This week actually went quite well with my new budgeting strategy -- no giving way to temptation, no purchases that sabotaged my bank account!

As I did my weekly grocery shopping, I selected the generic items, and I always asked myself, “Is this item something that I need or is it something I want?”  The needs (bread, eggs and veggies) went into the basket and the wants (magazines, soft drinks and chocolates) stayed on the shelf.  This was a big win!  I rolled my shopping cart out of the store with a smile of self-satisfaction.  No sooner had I dropped the groceries on my kitchen table when the phone rang…

 

Now, let me tell you, I have several different groups of friends that I hang out with.  One group -- l’ll call them The Darcys – is a luxury loving, group of social butterflies who love good food, wine and shopping!

 

I checked the Caller ID.  Sure enough, it was a Darcy.  She was calling to schedule a dinner date. Now what should I do?  Be honest and say, “Hey I can’t afford to go out for dinner right now.” Opt for the “I have another commitment” excuse, or put caution to the wind, pull out the credit card and go have a good time.

 

Like a total chicken, I didn’t even answer the phone.

 

Then I started thinking. These girls are my friends.  Why should I feel embarrassed about saying, “Hey, I’m broke right now, can we do something on Friday (payday J)?  I’ve know these girls for nearly 10 years.  We’ve all had our ups and downs with family, boys, jobs and finances.  Just because we’re a bit older and more experienced doesn’t mean that life is always going to be smooth, especially when it comes to cash!  I rang my friend, and told her my situation.  Of course she totally understood.  She suggested getting together at her home with the other Darcys for pizza! Now that, is an expense that my piggy bank can swing! 

 

What a huge relief.  I’ve now set expectations for my friends so they are aware of what I’m can manage financially at this time, and best of all, they are cheering me on! Good friends will help you succeed.  But most importantly, you must be honest with yourself about your limitations or you will continue to find yourself on the negative end of your bank account.