Monday, 29 June 2009 15:22
It’s hard to say no to things we want, but to save money, you have to. When friends are going out to eat, and you don’t even have enough money to pay your bills, the responsible thing is to say no. Here are some tips on saying no, saving money, and still keeping your friends.
It’s hard to say “no” to eating out, whether it’s lunch with co-workers or dinner with friends, but to save money (and not to mention extra calories) you need to learn how. Plan out your weeks or months. Make it a point to say either, “I will only eat out x amount of times per week/month,” or “I will only spend x amount on eating out per week/month.” Having a plan makes it much easier to say no, and then you can explain that you can’t today, but make a plan to go out the next week. I have a co-worker who will pack their lunch and take it with them wherever we are eating. You can also invite friends over for a dinner you were already planning.
Deals and Upgrades
So, you’re purchasing an item, and the salesperson starts telling you about every accessory and add-on possible that goes with the item. They also indicate that if you buy them together, you save. Well, if you weren’t planning on buying the accessories in the first place, it’s really not “saving” you anything; it’s costing you money you hadn’t planned on spending. Don’t feel bad about saying no. Also, really consider the warranty add-ons; you will probably never need one, and most items already have a manufacturer’s warranty that covers it for a full year or more. Also, don’t get caught up in getting a new cell phone every time there’s an upgrade offer; unless it’s free, you still weren’t planning on spending $49.99.
Gifts and Donations
Giving gifts to co-workers or friends and donating money to worthy causes is great, but if you are struggling financially and have lots of debt, it is ok to say no. Don’t feel pressured by another co-worker requesting that you all chip-in for a gift; politely decline. Instead, send your co-worker a free e-card to congratulate them on their wedding or new baby. Also, it seems like there are so many charities these days, and there are so many people in need. If you don’t have the money to donate, consider donating your time instead. Organizations need volunteers just as much as they need money.
Kids have a hard time understanding the concept of money, and many parents struggle with denying their requests for things. Again, this is where planning can really help. Instead of waiting on your children to ask for something, be proactive and have them choose what they are saving for. This not only saves you money but teaches your children a valuable financial lesson. Give them a set dollar amount on a regular basis for completing chores and the like, and then, when they are actively saving for one item, you are able to say no to other items.