Frugal Friends and Financial Frenemies

martinis and your money

Frugal Friends and Financial Frenemies

Over the last few months, many of you have asked how you can help me. I’ve always said I would ask when I was ready – well, now I’m ready! Many of you know I founded the company the Financial Gym, and we opened our first gym location in New York City. Earlier this year, I was close to getting some investors to help me open multiple locations; however, that deal fell through, but I continue to search for other investors!

The process is both humbling and frustrating – 97% of venture capital decision-makers are men and many don’t understand my unique business model. It also doesn’t help that 90% of venture capital funds go to male-started businesses versus 10% that go to female-started businesses. Nevertheless, I persist – because I know helping people get financially fit is not only the right thing to do, it’s business model that makes sense! So now for my ask…

In an effort to continue to impress venture capital investors, my Financial Gym team has set an aggressive goal of getting 165 new clients in the next TWO months – and I need YOUR help to do it!

If you’ve ever thought about signing up for the Financial Gym services or know friends or family members who could benefit from another perspective on their finances, NOW is the time to join! We have clients who have started with $200,000 in the bank and we have clients who have started with $200 in the bank. We’re in New York but we work with clients virtually across the country – so we know how to give you the financial guidance you need no matter where you are on your financial journey or where you are physically located!

Go to and get started now!

As a bonus, the listener who refers the most new clients in the next two months will win three free months of financial training with me personally – which is over a $600 value! So send yourself or your friends to either to get started on your road to financial fitness or to get the boost you need on your road to get where you want to go faster.

This is a big goal we set for ourselves, and I KNOW we can accomplish it with your help!

Now onto Happy Hour! Today is the last Friday of the month and in case you are new to this blog or my podcast, on the last Friday of the month, I host a happy hour on my podcast where the happy hour ladies and I talk about various money topics while drinking cheap drinks! Today, we are talking about financial frenemies and how we manage friends into a financially fit lifestyle.

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — Malbec

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Water infused with lemon as she records this episode with a towel over her head

Mrs. Frugalwoods from — Hot cocoa

Shannon — Cavit Pinot Grigio

Podcast Notes

  • Shannon has the conversation about being frugal and keeping friends with her clients ALL the time!
  • She asks the Happy Hour ladies if they have financial frenemies or if they had friends in the past that have pressured them to make poor financial choices.
  • Melanie says she has been definitely been in the situation where she made poor financial choices because of friends.
  • A few years ago while she was still paying off debt, a good friend invited Melanie to her birthday party at a sushi place.
  • Melanie told herself she would only order one roll and that would be fine – but when the bill came around, everyone wanted to split it.
  • She ended up splitting the bill with the group because she didn’t want to be awkward and make a big deal about it.
  • Now, she stands her ground and will initiate the invitation by proposing something frugal and within budget.
  • Shannon says a group dinner is the #1 money trap!
  • Her advice is to just avoid it if you’re not prepared financially or if you don’t want to split the bill.
  • Frugalwoods discusses the time she decided to go to a bachelorette weekend for one of her best friends in Charleston, SC.
  • She made a conscious decision to not stress out and just spend all the money that she wanted to so she could enjoy the weekend.
  • She is so glad she made the decision not to stress about money before each meal.
  • Even though she decided not to act like Mrs. Frugalwoods on that trip, she was able to spend that money the way she did because of her frugal lifestyle.
  • Shannon advises her clients to practice frugality before and after an expensive event so they can prepare for and enjoy the experience.
  • Tonya talks about how she declined an invitation to a bachelorette weekend because has a big trip to Europe coming up.
  • She wants to be less concerned about the money she spends on her trip to Europe which is why she’s saving a lot for it now.
  • One thing that is very challenging for Tonya is seeing her friends traveling and going out to eat a lot – which makes her feel a little left out.
  • She doesn’t feel pressured from her friends, but she does feel like an odd duck by choosing not to do the things her friends are doing.
  • Tonya explains why she doesn’t like the term “you deserve it!”
  • Shannon says if you are one of those friends that tells another friend “you deserve it,” you are a financial frenemy!
  • Frugalwoods agrees and thinks you are also a financial frenemy if you use the term “treat yourself!”
  • Tonya would rather someone say “I know you’ve been saving a lot and I know you’ve worked hard for that.”
  • The ladies discuss the fact that many people are embarrassed about being frugal and do not know how to discuss it with their friends.
  • If you have a friend who is trying to improve their life whether it’s by eating better, working out more, spending less, etc. why wouldn’t you encourage that instead of making fun of their decision?
  • The people that really matter and that you want to keep around for the long-term are the ones that you have fun spending nothing with or doing whatever with.
  • Shannon asks how the ladies handle friends who make poor financial choices and if they ever say anything to them about those choices.
  • Shannon has had light conversations where she offers to do a financial plan for them and very few ever accept her offer.
  • Frugalwoods is happy to talk with anyone about their finances, but she has to look at all of their finances to really help them.
  • She says that is a challenge for a lot of people, and no one has ever taken her up on her offer!
  • Tonya adds that a lot of people are not ready to accept the sacrifices they might have to make or the hard work they will have to put in to make a lifestyle change.
  • It bothers Shannon that people fear living a financially responsible life because they think they will be deprived and live an awful life.
  • You can be financially responsible and still live an amazing life!
  • Frugalwoods says people also believe they can’t do more – they think they don’t make enough to invest or don’t spend enough to save more – and she has never seen that be the case even with herself!
  • She continuously finds new ways to save money, and it makes her sad when people don’t recognize all of the opportunities they have to save!
  • Shannon agrees but also thinks people sometimes need to hear that they need to work harder and make more money either in their current job or from a side hustle to get ahead financially.
  • Tonya asks the ladies if any of their family members have ever made them feel guilty for not attending a family event or for not buying a gift because they didn’t have the money and how they handled that guilt.
  • Don’t get yourself in financial disarray for the people who should love you no matter what!
  • If they want to pay for it, great! But if they don’t, they shouldn’t be mad because you don’t want to pay for it.
  • Shannon adds you can also be brave and suggest a frugal alternative – you might be surprised how many others feel the same way but were too afraid to say anything!
  • The ladies give their tips to anyone struggling with managing a financially-healthy lifestyle and also keeping up with friends.
    • Suggest a frugal alternative plan.
    • Don’t be afraid to say no.
    • Understand people will have to leave your life during your financial journey if their priorities don’t align with yours.
  • Never regret your choice to live a financially healthy life!!
  • TAKEAWAY: If you’re focused on living a financially healthier lifestyle and you lose financially unhealthy friends, don’t fret it! Frugal friends are all around to give you joy and support your life goals!

Don’t forget to refer your friends and family and help us reach our goal in the next two months!

Do you have more frugal friends or financial frenemies?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.


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