The Cost of Your Tribe

Everyone belongs to a tribe, and sometimes more than one. These are the communities of people that we identify, play and congregate with. Some of us have a mission such as community work, physical fitness or support systems, while others are simply groups of friends.

Have you ever asked how much being a part of a particular tribe costs?

Let me give you two examples. I play beach volleyball in the spring and summer seasons and before every game our team meets at the local beach bar by the courts for a drink and to catch-up. Approximately one drink each and 30 minutes later, we’re on the beach smacking the ball around. Every season (which lasts eight weeks), my volleyball tribe costs me approximately $400 to be a part of – registration plus social meet-ups. I don’t mind the cost because I love the activity.

 

Turning to another example, I’ve recently coached a couple that belongs to a swanky supper club with their friends. Twice each month they meet up at new restaurants to test drive the menu, socialize and rate the restaurants on Google Reviews. Every evening out costs $250 per couple with food, drinks, taxes and tip included. That’s a whopping $6,000 for the year. To this foodie couple, it’s worth every penny.

When you take a look at where you spend your time, and with whom, does your wallet shudder with financial fear? If so, you might want to re-think the tribes you belong to. Specific activities to examine that are huge budget busters are:

  • Food. Are you and your tribe big into eating or drinking out at restaurants? Could you bring that activity in-house or cut it out completely? What about only participating in happy-hour specials?
  • Sports. What do you like to play? If you’re golfing, rowing, playing tennis or sailing, chances are that you’re paying hefty fees. If you swapped these with low-to-no-cost activities, you could save thousands each year.
  • Concerts, theater and movies. I’m all for entertainment. In fact, I think it could be one of the best ways to spend time. But, if you’re not careful, these events can ruin your financial progress. Try mapping out what you’d like to see this year and fitting it into your budget in advance.

There are so many tribes that you can join like running clubs, cycling, book clubs, hiking groups, community fitness, meet-ups, festivals, cook-offs, volunteer activities and more that won’t cost a lot to be a part of. So, if you’re looking to be a part of a tribe that means something to you, consider the cost and how that will or will not support your financial goals.