It’s Friday night. All your friends are going out for happy hour to celebrate the end of the work week. You’ve already gone over budget this week, but hey it’s happy hour and that means deals. You head to the bar and 4 drinks later realize it’s a $25 tab and that’s half your grocery budget for the week. Feel free to adjust this tale for going shopping for sales, or dining out or heading to a $14 movie (yeah, New York is expensive). Needless to say, there are times in life you need to do what your parents, teachers or those cops who came in for D.A.R.E classes taught you about peer pressure and drugs: Just Say No!
(I was the valedictorian of my D.A.R.E. class. And yes, that is actually a thing.)
Perhaps it’s an odd frugal find, but finding your power to say no can be difficult. Some people feel better about money lining their wallet instead of paying for experiences (guys, get out some), but others don’t want to deprive themselves of social experiences, networking opportunities, vacations and good old fashion fun. We struggle to walk away from a good time so we just swipe our cards, run up a tab and think about the financial responsibilities later. I’ve never been one to support deprivation as a form of budgeting, but there are moments in life when your frugality should kick in.
Want to go to happy hour with your friends? Go! Stop at one drink, or just get a soda, or heck a free water. Have gal pals who want to check out a sale? Do it! Just say no to actually purchasing something. Are your friends wanting to go out to dinner and the movies? Just say no to spending $30 to $45 and suggest cooking at home and streaming a movie or show on Netflix. Sometimes alcoholic milkshakes and season one of the Kardashians make a lovely evening. Scratch that, I’ve disclosed too much.
(Screw it. I’m not ashamed about my guilty pleasure. Alcoholic milkshakes are delicious!)
Treating yourself is important, but if you tend to count two happy hours, a movie, two dinners out and a shopping spree each week as acceptable you might want to adjust your “Treat-Yo-Self-meter.” Sometimes you need to harness the power of just saying no for the sake of your wallet and perhaps your sanity.
Do you find it hard to just say no?