Learning to say no

Remember my wedding worries? Well just this weekend I heard a very good friend of mine is having a baby (yay!!!) and after the initial excitement, I had to do something important.  I had to tell myself “no”.  I love babies and I love being able to do nice things for friends, so what I really wanted to do was throw her a baby shower.   But honestly, right now, that would be just too much.   I can only stretch my money so thin-plus my sanity.  Part of what makes it so hard to tell myself no is that she’s my bridesmaid and will be throwing me my shower.

So it’s a partial “she’s throwing my shower and I want to throw hers” and a partial “I love my friend and want to make sure she has an awesome shower” mix of thoughts that was going through my head.  (Not going to lie, it’s still going through my head) I kicked around trying to squeeze more money out of my budget but realistically?  I know short of getting a second job, I can’t.  And trust me, I’m keeping an eye out for a second job or a side gig but in my small town, choices are limited and the money I would earn, I’d want to put towards debt or my wedding.  Yes, it’s a choice I’m making to not work at a fast food place and I’m okay with that.  I know that if I really needed to, I would but….I just don’t want to.  My time is worth more to me than that.

Instead, I’m trying to tell myself to just be an awesome friend-talk more on the phone (no lie, I’m horrible at this), make sure to see her when I can and, well, by her some awesome baby shower gifts.  Okay, I don’t have to do that last part but I’m claiming her baby as my future niece or nephew so I’m going to try.  It might come out of my personal money but I’m okay with that! (And wow, I have a lot of “pretend” nieces/nephews)

I did tell her that I didn’t think I could host her shower-I’m not sure if that was rude or tactless.  I’m horrible with social niceties sometimes so I just came out and said “I’d love to host your shower but I’m not going to be able to at this point. But let me know who is going to throw it.”  See, it seems rude now that I see that written out but at the time…well, I can’t and I wanted to see if she knew who was going to throw her shower.  My thought process on this is that while I can’t host, maybe I can do something-buy balloons, help decorate, bake a cake, etc.

I will say this: telling myself that I cannot host was hard.  But I also know that I can’t hurt my budget and not be able to pay my bills because I want to help out a friend.  So, yay for growing up?

 

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31 Comments on “Learning to say no”

  1. Michelle says:

    This is something that I’m coming up across right now also. 2 of my good friends are getting married, and I’m the MOH for both. Goodbye money!

  2. SWR says:

    I’m sure that your friend realizes that you are planning a wedding and have all kinds of expenses related to that. There will be plenty that you can to do help out at her shower, even if you aren’t the host.

  3. Kathleen says:

    It’s a great thing to tell her. Especially so someone else can step up!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I’m hoping someone does! I don’t know if it will be here or where she currently lives or if she’ll end up with two but I think I know who would do it if it’s held here. I just hope they step up!

  4. mrsplungedindebt says:

    Your friend will understand. I couldn’t go to a really good friends wedding this summer b/c of money, she gets it. You would feel much worse with the financial aftermath of hosting so let someone else deal with the stress and offer to help in ways you can (bring food, help send invites or something) it doesn’t make you any less of a friend 🙂

  5. Throwing baby showers can be so expensive! I totally understand!

    Just be a good supportive friend and be excited for her. That’s all a new mom wants!

  6. AverageJoe says:

    I always understand when someone tells me that as long as they include the “why” behind it. If you just said, “I can’t throw it,” without the “why,” she might dream up some horrible reason.

    • bogofdebt says:

      And you’re right back to spam land again! I did include the why because I know I would wonder if she had said I can’t throw you a shower. Plus she’s my bridesmaid so she does have a clue on how much I’m saving lol.

  7. I think there is a lot you can do to be involved in the shower without actually hosting it. Volunteer to help set up/take down/clean, record all the names of the people who brought gifts, etc. Give more of your time instead of your money if that’s something that works for you. But I know how you’re feeling. I’ve said no to so many of my friend’s charity events. If I ever do something like that myself I wonder if anyone would show up!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I think the volunteering will be a great idea as long as it’s local. So I’m hoping it is! I think a friend would understand that if you could donate money, you would.

  8. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

    I think your friend will understand. Plus, as has been mentioned, there are numerous ways you can help out in a big way without having to actually host it.

  9. Your friend will understand. Throwing a party is a big expense you can’t afford right now.

  10. I don’t know how anyone decides to throw a shower or not! I’ve never thrown one for anyone, nor have I had any thrown for me. It doesn’t sound to me like you had already arranged that you would be the one to put one on so I think you were fine to just let her know that you wouldn’t be able to do it so she can make arrangements with another friend. It’s not like backing out of a commitment you already made.

    But also, aren’t baby showers generally given toward the end of the pregnancy? And if you just found out that your friend is pregnant, isn’t that like 4-6 months away? Something could change for you or her between now and then.

    • bogofdebt says:

      She’s due in April which is about 2 months before the wedding. And I think you generally give it a month or two prior (that’s what we did with the other shower) to her actually going into labor which would be right around the time a lot of stuff is “due” for the wedding.

  11. I think being honest is important, so if you let her know you really would like to do it but it’s just financially realistic at this point, then I don’t think she should mind. It’s definitely the thought that counts. Or maybe you could do a wedding/baby shower. Mmm maybe not. It sounds good in my head but I think that might just be too stressful. It’s definitely important to know when to say no though.

    • bogofdebt says:

      It is and it’s something that took me a long time to understand. I hated disappointing people so much that I had issues saying no to them or wanted to be nice, so would spend money that I didn’t have.

  12. So hard! I still hosted a friend’s shower (well, co-hosted, but I ended up spending more than the other girl, I’m sure…sigh) just a few months ago even though we’re in debt. I just don’t have any spine and don’t know how to say no! 😦 We’ve got a fundraiser coming up and I will be working at it/helping out but I honestly hope they don’t ask me where my money for my ticket is. I’ll HAVE to tell them that we can’t afford it! Unfortunately, it would cost $55 for our family to go, and if I have to pay….sorry guys. We can’t give to a fundraiser when we don’t have any funds ourselves! I don’t think you’re rude at all. Your friends should understand what you’re going through and still love you.

    • bogofdebt says:

      I know what you mean-I co-hosted my future sis-in-laws shower and they get so expensive. Thankfully, I was able to budget it but that was before everything started to pile on. It is hard when you really want to do something but all of your money is *gone*. And by gone, I mean already allocated.

  13. Good for you. It’s hard not to want to do things for friends. But I’m sure if she knows your financial situation, she’ll understand. Offer babysitting and bring her a few meals after the baby is born – that’ll mean so much to her!

  14. Nice work, friend…..to get out of debt you have to be selfish with your money. Sometimes that means saying “No” to something or someone that you may want to do. I look forward to the day when I can be a little less selfish…but I hope I always keep that perspective at least a little bit. 🙂


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