What a great church service you had this morning. Now all your friends from the Singles Group are heading out to lunch. You know your money is tight and a constant headache, but you just can’t take going back to your apartment and having something frozen. Besides you deserve to go out to eat because (insert reason here).
The truth is, if you don’t have the money in your budget for this meal out, then you don’t deserve it. In fact, you don’t deserve the hurt you are causing yourself by spending money that you don’t have. We all have a 5-year old living inside of us. That 5-year old doesn’t care about a Spending Plan. That 5-year old wants what it wants, and wants it NOW!
Sometimes we have to tell our inner 5-year old “no.” That is harder to do when we don’t have a spouse or parents helping us keep ourselves in-check. So, does that mean we should put on a sack cloth and go home to eat our frozen dinner alone, never to have any fun again? Absolutely not! It just means that you need to be creative with a little discipline thrown into the mix.
Knowing that the group typically goes out, come up with some good alternatives. For example, you could pack a sandwich or a snack to eat on the way and then just fellowship with them once at the restaurant. This doesn’t mean go and order water and then fill up on the free chips and salsa. You need to do what is right and don’t forget to tip the server. They are still serving you even if you just order a drink. Another idea would be to offer alternatives such as suggesting the group brown-bag it to a park one week, invite everyone to your place for a potluck, or share 2 for 1 coupons in order to reduce the cost of your meal.
Keep in mind, this is temporary. You won’t have to do this forever, just while you are getting to a better place in your finances. Keep your eye on the prize which is winning with your finances.