How do you decline your friend’s invitations that cost too much money?

It’s no secret that money is the biggest challenge in a relationship, and similar to a married couple bickering over finances, friends too face the challenges of money. Whether the debate is which restaurant, McDonald’s or Ted’s Montana Grill, or which movie, Netflix or the movie theater, your budget is often the driving factor in the decision. So how do you keep your friendship when you and your friend are on different budgets?

The key is finding a balance and being honest with your friend. Know your budget and stick to it, but be sure to validate the relationship by offering up an alternative. When your friend invites you out and it is too expensive: give an alternative. When your friend invites your to dinner and drinks consider meeting up for drinks after dinner; you can always drink less expensive beverages. Or, pick a restaurant that has a more economical menu.

And remember, an alternative does not always mean declining all together.