Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It figures...

So, no joke - moments after I publish my first post and I start feeling proud of myself that I am making some progress and on the way to financial freedom... a co-worker enters my office and sweetly asks me to check out a catalog of gift items for a fundraiser at her child's school. Aghhhhh! Of course, I smiled and enthusiastically said, "Yes, I'd love to!" What I was thinking in my head was more like: "No effin' way! Did you know that I am about $60K in debt?!?" or "I don't even have kids, what gives you the idea that I'd want to fund your kid's school?" or "Are you kidding, you make way more than me! There's no way I can afford anything in there." But no, instead I took a look through the "catalog of crap" (as I fondly refer to them as) and prayed that the selection would be more than just a bunch of cheap chocolates and lousy holiday wrapping paper. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they now offer magazines! Not that I need a subscription to any, but my fiance loves to peruse Entertainment Weekly while in the bathroom (I know... TMI!). So, I spent $20 and I ordered a subscription for him. Hopefully it will start around the holiday and I can chalk that up to a gift for him.

As I begin this journey and come across situations like that (as I'm sure there will be more), I'm going to try to find a gem of wisdom to learn from. I figure this path won't be easy and I'll have to be prepared to handle these situations as they arise.

Lesson Learned : Although it may not be comfortable, come up with a nice way to decline when asked to donate money or purchase items that are not needed. (Preferably without having to share my financial situation.) Make it my "go to" phrase when those situations arise. Learn how to kindly, but comfortably say "No".

Question : What is your "go to" phrase when asked to spend money that you really shouldn't?


  1. Sometimes I do buy something because, I set asside money to give each month. Otherwise I tell people "it's not in the budget" or "I have already donated my allocated funds". This may sound formal, but I work in purchasing. Many people know that I am agressively tackling debt.

    Over time it gets easier

  2. Fortunately, all of my coworkers know I'm aggressively working to pay off my debt, so they don't even approach me with that stuff.

    But since you don't want to tell your coworkers about your debt, I would simply say, "It's not in the budget" or "Ehhh, I really should spend anymore this month!" There are definitely ways around spelling out your money history for them. Good luck! I'm glad this isn't something I have to deal with.

  3. hmm... you know what? I have four kids and I don't even buy the stuff in those catalogs. I used to. Previously I felt obligated to buy one item per catalog, per kid.

    Eventually I started just stuffing them in the trash the second they come home. The kids are old enough now to understand what a rip-off the items are and how much I don't want to support the PTA (that sounds un-American, doesn't it?) because my husband once sat on the board and found out that they roll $30,000 over from year to year because they don't know what to do with it. What I'm getting around to is that I never ask anyone else to buy that stuff since I don't even consider it.

    If anyone dares approach me, I'm going to use your commenter's line, "I've already donated my allocated funds." LOL - that's a great one. It will leave people scratching their heads.