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After a year of primarily staying at home, I know many of us are itching to reconnect with friends and family — in real life, not over a screen.

While group outings are wonderful — things can get tricky when someone invites you to a place or makes plans for a vacation that you can’t really afford.

Are you upfront with friends and family about your budget limitations for group outings? Or do you suck it up and spend more than you want?

Erin Lowry’s latest book, “Broke Millennial Talks Money,” discusses what to say to your loved ones when you can’t afford to join in on group plans. One of her tips is to suggest an alternative option that’s within your budget.

If you’ve ever been in this situation, what do you do when plans with friends are too expensive for your budget?

**Writer at The Penny Hoarder. All opinions expressed are my own and don't necessarily reflect the views of The Penny Hoarder.**

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A group of us boomers have a common interest in getting together in person and do so at coffee shops where you get free refills, membership earnings (Panera, etc), inexpensive outings like plant shopping, a day in the park... One of this group has a high end interest and loves to go to places that reflect her taste-like classy downtown restaurants, bars..., when she invites the others in the group, one or more of us does a little research and usually finds the price of the admission is beyond our means and not hers, we decline the invitation by just saying we can't afford it. The latest was going to a Cinco de mayo party where tx were $100. Lots included including a Mariachi band. For hubby and me that is a chunk of the budget for 3 hours. Just not worth it. How you say no is up to you, just pleasantly and simply decline the offer.

I was (last year) invited on a vacation that I could not afford and as much as I wanted to go, I just simply said that I could not- it was outside of my budget, but that I would love to get together when they return. I know that offering an explanation leaves me open for them to 'argue' it with me, and they did. Apparantely I should have been able to 'Find' $700.) Next time I will decline without an explanation. 🙄
When I am Invited to events and outings, sometimes I will just go and do it inexpensively- order an appetizer or soup for a meal- so that I can socialize without breaking the bank. Other times I will decline the invite. Most of the time, declining politely is not an issue, and my friends understand! And sometimes, I can find it in the budget and celebrate guilt-free. 🙂

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