What It’s Like Being The Poorest Couple In The Friend Group
My partner and I are by no means poor. We cover our bills. We get to go on a couple of fun trips each year. We go to the movies and restaurants a couple of times a month. But, within the context of our friends group, we are the poorest couple. Our other friends are getting to that point where they have several investment accounts, stay at Marriotts almost everywhere they go, and buy business class plane tickets. They aren’t living like celebrities but they also aren’t passing up on those little upgrades in life, the way we often do. They love us and don’t care how much we have, but, naturally, having some drastically different household incomes can lead to some awkward situations and can even be an obstacle sometimes. Here’s what it’s like being the poorest couple in the friend group.
You can’t do the boozy brunches
When everyone wants to go to brunch on a Sunday, we just don’t do it. We know that will involve several people just ordering tons of things for the table, hoping to split the bill, and everyone being okay with that. Meanwhile, we were hoping to be conservative diners, but that would just ruin the fun for everyone else.
You stay in a different hotel
When we vacation with friends, they stay in the very nice hotel—like the Marriott or Hyatt—and we stay in the quirky, affordable mom-and-pop place across the street. You know—the one where the continental breakfast is just Cheerios and bananas.
You aren’t always invited
We sometimes catch wind of the fact that a trip or outing has happened and we weren’t invited. Truth be told, we wouldn’t have gone if we had been invited because it was too expensive—and we realize that’s probably why we weren’t invited.
When the party is across town
When everybody’s going to an event across town, we’re in a predicament. We don’t want to spend $100 on Lyft or Uber rides. Neither of us wants to be the designated driver. There have been times we just took the bus to get around this, and arrived way too late.
You’re always pushing to hang at home
When everyone’s brain storming what to do, we push hard to hang at one of our homes. We say it’s just quieter and a better way to catch up, but secretly we don’t want to spend tons of money at a bar.
But you feel guilty hosting
Even though it’s our idea to hang at someone’s home, we feel bad if that winds up being our home because we know everybody else prefers it were, well, anybody else’s home. Their houses are just nicer. Like, they have houses—we have an apartment.
You wonder whom the potluck idea is for
When we’ve offered to have people over for dinner, our friends suggested we make it a potluck. We realize this may be because they know we want to save money. And, hey, they’re right, so we don’t mind.
Financial talks are hushed
Some of the other couples go in on investments together and things like that. Sometimes, one of them will accidentally bring it up, and the others will shush them. We weren’t included in that financial move because we couldn’t afford it.
Wedding season sucks
We dread wedding season. While everyone else gets so excited to get their invitations and starts an email thread about where to stay and who is flying out when, we have to pick and choose which weddings we attend, and take the weird 2am flight with a three-hour layover because it’s the cheapest.
Your date spots amuse people
Sometimes when we tell people where we have date nights they think it’s “Cute” or “Funny.” We go to some hole-in-the-walls that we personally love but that not everybody deems date-night-worthy.
You pack flasks and get in trouble
We’re the couple that packs the flask or the purse beers. Then, all the other couples get uncomfortable, thinking we’re going to get kicked out of the event for it.
Everyone tries to pay for you; you don’t like it
So everyone just insists they’ll buy us the $14 drinks at the event, so we leave our flasks at home. But we don’t like that. My partner especially doesn’t like that, since if anyone’s buying me drinks, he wants it to be him.
The, “What’d you do for Valentines Day” talk
We love the way we spend Valentines Day. We keep it low-key. We just like the excuse to spend the evening together and we don’t do the whole $120 pre-fix menu thing at restaurants. But, it can feel funny telling friends we ordered pizza on Valentine’s Day.
Multi-activity birthdays stress you out
When it’s time for a friend’s birthday, the invite goes out, and it’s, of course, a whole, multi-activity (read: expensive) extravaganza. It’s brunch then a booze cruise then night clubbing. We can only do one of these things—or, like half of one of them.
And going splitsies on presents
When the friends want to go splitsies on a gift for someone—like a birthday gift or housewarming gift—we have to sit it out. They all want to put down $200 a piece on something massive, and we were just planning on spending like $40.