Lending a Hand – Frugal Friendships
Our frugality has encouraged us to get out of our introverted shells and reach out to our friends for help when needed. I’ve learned not to shy away from admitting when I can’t do everything myself. We frequently call on our friends to lend a hand, which has helped us grow frugal friendships, even with some of our not so frugal friends. And although realizing when I need to ask for help is a lesson I will not have mastered within my lifetime, this week I’ve really grown to appreciate how asking others to help builds deeper friendships.
One of my main challenges with asking others for help, is the fear that I’m placing an undue burden on them. I run through an unreasonable list of questions when debating asking for help.
- Will they ever ask me to return the favor?
- Would I happily return the favor, or will it be a burden on me?
- How much of an inconvenience is this?
- Do they have expertise that would be very helpful to me in this task?
This week we’ve been able to return the favor and assist our friends and family in at least five ways!
- Our friends K&P want to have a fence built for their dog to be able to run freely in the back yard! They got quotes for a survey, which would have cost them $400! (People, they own about 1/8 of an acre! $400 is unreasonable.) We were able to locate the platt map online (using the county records), borrow a metal detector, and do their survey one night after work this week. This in total took about one hour. We got to see our friends after work, when we wouldn’t normally hang out and help them save some money! They provided dinner and it was a fun way to spend the evening. (We also offered to help build the fence, they declined.)
- My dad comes over every week and helps weed the garden. This is awesome, since I get to see him regularly, and we get work done. Now that it is July, I was able to send him home with a full grocery bag of veggies! It will save him and my mom money at the grocery store, and encourage them to eat healthy food. This is an awesome arrangement, and it really feels like we are helping each other out.
- My sister and brother-in-law are going on vacation for a week, so we are watching their two rambunctious dogs. We swap dog sitting on the reg. We normally pay them in a bottle of wine or small souvenir from our trip.
- My best friend and her husband are off to a concert in Chicago this weekend, so we’ll be also watching their dog for the weekend. And, while I’m a little overwhelmed (5 dogs!), we are happy to help them out. Plus I’ll get to see them two times that I normally wouldn’t (pick up and drop off).
- Mr. Kiwi’s best friend happens to have a two day conference fifteen minutes from our house. While he could commute the 1.5 hours both days, he’s crashing with us (and the five dogs…) tonight. We’ve been working on a project with him all year in preparation for his upcoming wedding, so we’ll work on that too.
I’ve found that if you ask others for help, they will likely turn around and ask you to lend a hand when they need something too. This is one of the best ways to grow your circle of frugal friends. Just this week we were able to spend extra quality time with friends at almost zero cost to us and major cost savings to them.
Some of our friends aren’t as big on the potluck or game night hang outs, but they will say yes to coming over to work on a project. So, if you haven’t tried that approach yet, buy some frugal wine or beer (or brew your own) and invite some friends over to weed the garden! (Or put a new roof on your house, as we plan to do this fall!)
The dogs arrive tonight! We’ll see how I feel next Friday when our house goes back to normal!