Is it just us, or are adult friendships getting more and more expensive? It is an issue women in their twenties, thirties and forties are increasingly experiencing, due to full-on hen parties overseas, plush baby-showers, unreasonable wedding gift lists and pricey birthday bashes. This kind of financial pressure can put real strain on friendships.

Are your mates costing you too much money?

Are your mates costing you too much money?

So how do you curb the costs connected with your adult friendships? Finance guru Shane Clifford - CEO and co-founder of new bill management app WonderBill – shares his top tips with Female First, on how to control spending when it comes to events with bank-busting besties.

Top Tips for Guests:

Raid the Wardrobe - It may be tempting to pick up a new outfit for a wedding, party or special occasion if other guests are doing so. However, costs can easily add up. Rather than head to the shops for something brand new, invest in wardrobe staples and swap and change elements of an outfit to keep it original. Just like us guys with a suit, simply changing the tie freshens it up!

Gifts Galore - Picking up a gift can get costly when you add up all the potential occasions where you feel you might need to take a gift over the course of a year. Plan ahead, lots of shops do once-a-season special offers so buy in advance. Take advantage of 3 for 2 deals, and don’t forget to use your reward cards!

Travel Team - It may remind you of being a teenager and sharing lifts with your friends, but it can slash costs. If a venue is a few miles from a town and it’s after 11pm, a 15 minute trip could burn a hole in your budget. Best case scenario, you share both journeys with other guests, but even if it’s a late night journey it'll help - as that is often the budget killer.

Get the Deal - If you are planning a trip or activity, don’t always book direct. Third-party providers often provide a cheaper cost if you are looking at a package (such as a holiday), or if you are dealing with a company direct (perhaps for a hen-do activity) don’t be afraid to haggle. Go in at 20% discount or free added extras, then go from there.

Do it Yourself – Having your hair styled and make-up done professionally can be a big expense, but remember it isn’t essential. Thanks to video sharing platforms like YouTube, novices can quickly turn into experts. Simple hair updos or makeup tutorials can give you that desired salon finish for a fraction of the price. Make sure you take time to do test runs beforehand!

Top Tips for Hosts:

Sharing is Caring - If you regularly host dinner parties or gatherings at yours, why not suggest guests bring some food to contribute? This is becoming a popular thing to do, and it also helps managing dietary requirements of your guests.

Untapped Skills - We’re a talented bunch, so don’t forget to think friends or connections first. Even if you don’t know a professional photographer, a friend or family member will do - or they can recommend someone. Mate’s rates do exist, which help keep the budget in check, plus you can have greater peace of mind knowing they have been recommended.

Set the Scene - Simple touches can often make all the difference but costs soon add up. A candle here, some fresh blooms there, and a budget can soon deflate. Shop for in-season flowers, even a daffodil can look high-end if showcased properly. Candles don’t need to break the bank, go for scent over brand as that’s what matters. Instagram will provide plenty of inspiration so keep your eye out for pieces that can be used for different events or time of the year.

Venue Value - You’ve found the perfect venue for a special occasion or celebration, but wait, the cost is what?! Private rooms or venue hire can quickly drain budgets. When viewing venue spaces, be vague about what your occasion is as there is often an automatic mark-up for special occasions compared to corporate prices. Lots of restaurants now have private dining available for no additional cost, so take time researching to pick the perfect place.

Keep it Close - Guest lists can often enter the stratosphere for special occasions; what was a small, intimate gathering is now spiralling to a big event and an even bigger budget. If you’re looking to cut a guest list down, put names on post it notes and make a visual wall of guests. This can help clear any confusion and streamline the selection process.

Quality time with your number one pals is precious, but not everyone can afford the blow-out events so many now have on their wish lists. We may all experience FOMO from time to time, but nobody wants to be digging to the bottom of the money barrel to attend - or organise - events they simply can’t afford. These top tips will not only make mate dates easier on the bank balance, but help keep those friendships harmonious and happy!

WonderBill is a new household bill management app, available to download from the AppStore and Google Play. The app allows users to manage energy, water, multimedia (TV/Netflix etc), broadband and mobile bills, all in one place. A user provides their household bill information once, and then WonderBill does the hard work for them - users see a snapshot of household bill outgoings in an easy-to-use dashboard, plus the best deals tailored to their needs (based on household bill usage and offers available) helping them to save money.

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