Daily Worth: Social Econom-icks
The bigger issue is that it's not always easy to be straightforward about a change in your financial circumstances—especially when it might impact how you socialize. Still, a part of good etiquette is being honest, and I advocate telling good friends the truth (or at least not hiding it). If you fall off the social radar with no explanation, some may think it's a reflection on their company. It's better to say, “Dan and I are going to have to give up our Friday night dinners out, but maybe we could turn it into a movie night instead?” Or, for the sake of privacy, don't explain: Simply suggest cheaper get-togethers—free museum days, babysitting swaps, etc. In this economy, most people will take the hint, and I bet they'll be grateful for your graciousness (and frugality). If you get the sense from a pal that a swanky restaurant meal—or expensive booze—means more than your friendship, then they're the ones who should examine their manners. This article originally appeared in Anna Post's question and answer column on dailyworth.com on November 5, 2010.