Average UK adult is in £1,260 “social debt” after regularly overspending with friends, a survey by the Money Advice Service has shown. Three in five of UK adults say that they usually spend more than they plan to on social occasions, with more than a third “getting carried away”, and £341 being spent each year simply out of fear of looking “tight” or “stingy”.

Overspending can have serious consequences, however. One in five has cut back on food because of this spending, and one in ten has not been able to pay utility bills.

How can you save and still be social?

empty wallet
Don’t let social pressure leave you out of pocket

One in three people felt great about not wasting money after controlling their spending, and one in five felt proud of their efforts. Here are some tips to help you feel the same:

Be honest

If money is tight at the moment, let your friends know if you need to take it easy with your spending. Real friends will understand and be supportive, and chances are they’ll appreciate giving their bank balance some respite too.

Be the organiser

Make plans that suit your budget so you don’t miss out on socialising. Have a film night at your house, have a dinner party where everyone brings one course,  or start an evening run club to get fit for summer.

Only take cash

If you have a set budget for an event, take only that money in cash. If it’s a realistic budget, you should have no problem leaving your bank cards at home.

Be the designated driver

Alcoholic drinks are not only the most expensive on a night out, they weaken our resolve to be good with our money. Being the driver will also save you money on a taxi – and even if you don’t have a car, going alcohol free for a night will rest your account and your liver.

Never pay full price

There are tons of voucher sites online, so whether it be a meal out, activity or birthday gift, you can find hefty discounts your wallet will thank you for. It’s worth noting that many of these voucher sites will send you regular emails with their offers on though, which can make it tempting to spend on things you don’t need. Either unsubscribe once you’ve made your purchase, or make sure they get sent to your junk folder.


We know that living with debt can be tough, and would urge anyone with financial problems to ring our advisers today. There are a host of financial solutions available that can make becoming debt free a reality.