The young kids go through a lot of spending peer pressure. The places where they eat, the brands that they buy, the shops that they buy from – all are ‘peer-decided’.

However many of these kids go through a lot of stress. 2 girls earning Rs. 25,000 per month may be having very different needs! One girl who supports her family of 5 vs. the daughter of a big successful man. Sadly, if they are working together, there can be tremendous stress at common functions.

Let us see what can be done:

1. Make a Socialising budget: Let us say you wish to spend 10% of your income on ‘fun’ activities. In the aforementioned case, your budget comes to about Rs. 2500 a month. Let us say out of this you have reserved Rs. 500 for you to spend with your family. That leaves you with Rs. 2000 for 4 Saturdays. Not bad. However your budget is ONLY Rs. 500. If your friends go to a pub with a cover charge of Rs. 3000 what do you do? break the bank?

2. Tell your friends about your ‘social budget’ and why you will NOT BUDGE from that figure.

3. Remember there is an awesome life OUTSIDE of money.

4. Tell your friends that “I am saving for a goal’ – I want to buy my brother a laptop or I am planning to buy an air-conditioner for my parents. Whateva – but convey it strongly. People will appreciate.

5. Say you guys are great and awesome, but here is an alternative – BECAUSE I have other priorities…

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  1. Hi Subra – human beings are programmed to yearn for companionship and recognition. That is what peers provide. When the individual wants to be ‘more’ liked and ‘more’ companionship then they give in to peer pressure. Hence the way out from peer pressure does not lie in telling the peers – ‘ I have a socilising budget ‘ – she will be ridiculed even more for being stingy / cheapskate.

    The solution is to have a balanced relationship with peers. To seek companionship and recognition from others / other activities. Pursuing a hobby, focusing on acquisition of new skills will also help.

    I guess this is what you are also saying in points 3 and 5. But rest of the points in this post got my goat :)…

  2. It is not just “young kids” who face peer pressure on the spending front. It follows you through your career and life. And the amounts just keep increasing in keep-up-with-the-joneses-style.

    Why do you need to buy a “bigger” car as you climb the career ladder, if your basic requirement for a car hasn’t changed? Why after paying off one home loan, are you expected to buy a bigger house with an even larger amount and EMI? What is wrong in wearing Bata shoes instead of Nike and Reebok? Why does a party with friends not be about having a good time but depend on how much was the bill amount?

    The worst part of it all is since everyone around you is doing the same thing, you don’t even think about it. If you are lucky (yes, I said lucky not unlucky), one day life takes you by the scruff of the neck forcing you to think and re-evaluate your life and the choices you made …

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