How good relationships can save you a lot of money

Now that I’m trying to save money and improve my cash flow I came across some new ways to save that I hadn’t even considered before. Let me share with you my latest findings on how good relationships can help you save money.

One of my expenses is a $180/month private sports club membership, which I consider very valuable to my well-being and happiness. Being able to play tennis and pickleball at home, especially when it’s raining, feels like a great value.

Before I moved to San Francisco in 2001, I lived in Manhattan, where it was $60/hour to play on an indoor court. Today, entry to such indoor courts easily costs $100/hour.

Despite feeling like I was getting great value for $180 a month, I recently realized that I could still enjoy indoor tennis and pickleball while paying less. Strategy? Simply be a member’s guest.

Befriend a club member to save money

Since I joined sport clubs in 2002 I was always the one to invite guests to my club to play. I’ve always paid the guest fee and catered the balls, so it didn’t really occur to me to not be a member and just be a guest.

I’m the guy who always tries to pay for the food when the party is at four or less. It’s the way I was taught growing up in Taiwan and Malaysia, watching my parents always fight over the bill. As a result, when someone pays for me, it feels like mine The provider clock suddenly broke.

Additionally, relying on a member to play is inconvenient. I want the autonomy to go whenever I want, similar to how I want financial independence do what i want

Relying on a member to play is like having a spouse who relies on their partner for money. Financial dependency is sub-optimal in adulthood, which is why I think it’s best for any couple joint and separate bank accounts.

A better way to save money with good relationships

I’m guessing most of you would also feel uncomfortable as permanent bums. Therefore, the easiest solution is to make friends with a member of the club you would like to play in insist on paying a guest fee.

At my club, a guest pass is $30 per day. It’s not cheap, especially if you have to pay for more than one guest. As a result, most members simply play with other members to avoid guest fees.

Since I pay $180 a month to be a member of this club, I would have to go six times a month every month for 12 months to break even. I didn’t think about this math until a fellow loader told me that it goes away after a baby is born.

But here’s the thing: I only go to my club once a week on average, which works out to $120 a month if I was a guest paying for four guest passes. One of the main reasons I go so rarely is because I play in public parks nearby with other players.

Be a friendly guest

Since I have been a member for some time, I know dozens of other members in the club.

I am also part of large WhatsApp chat groups full of members who are always asking for arrangements of four or more. I could join as a guest and insist on paying the $30 guest fee to minimize any friction for the member. If so, I’ll save $60 a month if I maintain my regular cadence.

If I wanted to save more, I could play twice a month as a guest, save $120 a month, and simply play outside in public parks more often. $120 is a long way for someone in a tight cash flow situation.

Unfortunately, to get the $180/month membership, I had to subscribe for 12 months. This strategy is therefore something to think about in the future.

If you don’t have a good relationship, the strategy can be weird

For this money saving strategy to work, you need to have a good relationship with other members. Such a relationship can be developed after meeting for at least four sessions or connecting online over a three-month time period. Anything less and it will be a bit awkward and the money saving strategy may not work.

Let me illustrate this with an example. A guy joined our WhatsApp group chat consisting of 100% club members after hitting it off with three other members as a guest. He knows the admin of the group and the idea was that he might join the club one day. Cold. He’s a nice guy and a good player.

However, since joining the group chat, he has been asked several times if someone would be in our club with him at a specific time and he would pay the guest fee. However, no one responds because only 10% of the group knows who he is. Additionally, the times he suggested may not be convenient for others.

So even if you’re willing to pay a guest fee, members need to know and like you to invite you. Take the time to build good relationships because if you want to save money, you will always be dependent on others for access.

Other ways good relationships can help you save money

In general, we often want to make our friends happy, and if you’re rich, you might be inclined to give connections to your less wealthy friends. Here are some common ways good relationships can help you save money:

  • Shoes and clothes: It’s common for friends to give each other shoes and clothes, especially if things don’t fit or they have accessories or lightly used items they no longer wear.
  • Furniture: Having extra furniture can be a problem when moving house. Giving it to friends who need it is a win-win situation, saving you the trouble of selling and helping your friends furnish their homes for free.
  • Holidays: As you get older and richer, you can have friends vacation properties. These properties can often sit empty for long periods of time, so offering free nights to friends when they’re not in use is a generous gesture. Your friends would usually just cover any cleaning costs to restore the property to its original condition.
  • Car pooling: Sharing rides to work or social events not only saves fuel costs, but also reduces your carbon footprint. Many families I know take turns picking up and dropping off their neighbors’ kids at school to help each other out.
  • Friends and Family Plans: While streaming services like Netflix are getting stricter about sharing accounts, there are still friends and family plans available that offer cost-effective options compared to individual plans.
  • Entertainment and sports events: If you have friends with access to corporate boxes at events like NBA games, they may have additional seats available. These slots are sometimes unused, so why not fill them with a friend invite instead of letting them go to waste.

It pays to be kind and helpful to others

If you want to save money, try cultivating closer friendships. Strong relationships not only bring joy, but also pave the way for help recommendations and referrals. Just remember to return the favor to your friends from time to time.

Even if your boyfriend is extremely wealthy and clearly has everything, it’s still important that he repays you in some way. While you may not be able to match their lavish gifts, you can always offer them something thoughtful in return. Something as small as buying a friend a drink or bringing an energy bar to the court goes a long way.

Rich friends may not need or want your freebies because they often have access to nicer things and experiences. However, they will appreciate your positive gestures.

If you want to save money, alleviate lonelinessand increase your enjoyment, consider developing yours the emotional intelligence. Surprisingly, one of the most effective methods to achieve these goals is to offer more of your time, money, and wisdom to others. By giving priority, you are likely to receive abundant support in return.

Questions and suggestions from readers

How have strong relationships contributed to your money saving efforts? What are some activities you like to do for your friends that also help them save money and have a good time? And how do you make sure you’re not overstepping your bounds or taking advantage of your friends’ generosity? Do you think there is a connection to angry internet commenters and their happiness and ability to save money?

For better cash flow management, explore Empower, a remarkable wealth management tool that I have trusted since 2012. Empower goes beyond basic budgeting to offer insight into investment fees and retirement planning. Best of all, it’s completely free.

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