A few nights ago, while I was cleaning up the kitchen from dinner and my hubs and boys were watching a movie together, the doorbell rang. My hubs and I exchanged a glance since it was 7 pm and our neighborhood has no streetlights so it was pitch black outside.
My hubs answered the door and immediately I could tell that it was a door-to-door salesman – I went back to scouring my kitchen sink while my hubs listened to the solicitor’s pitch. A few minutes later, I hear my hubs ask “babe, don’t we have the AJC [our newspaper]?” “No, babe, we did but we cancelled last year” was my response.
After a few more minutes, I could tell that my hubs, who was once a door-to-door salesman (and a good one I might add), was having a difficult time telling this college kid “no”. My hubs knew we did not have the room in the budget, but was still struggling with telling this kid “no” because he felt sorry for him. So, my hubs called me over…
My hubs’ nickname for me is “the bulldog” because I am not easily pushed over. When it was my turn to talk the kid, I told him “no” in the politest way possible, but he was not getting it. I repeated my “no” which promoted him to state “I know you’re frustrated, but….”
That is when I lost it and the bulldog was let out of its cage.
I responded “I am frustrated because you are not understanding and are not respecting the fact that I have told you no. I am not purchasing a subscription to the AJC. I’m sorry that affects you negatively, but you are not going to make this sale.”
He finally got it and went on to our neighbor’s house. When my hubs shut the door, he looked at the boys and said “y’all mama’s a killer”.
Truthfully, I should not have been so harsh with the poor kid, but I was not going to budge on my stance. That is the power of a budget – the power to say “no” when something does not fit within your budget. Since I knew we did not have the money in the budget and we did not need nor want a subscription, I was able to stand firm in my answer of “no”.
My hubs knowing that we did not have the room in the budget, called me over to say “no” because he felt sorry the kid. The power of our budget meant that my hubs knew he could not justify the expense just because he felt sorry for him.
I know that many people avoid budgeting because they do not want to have to go without. They do not want to have to tell friends and family “no” to going out to eat or “no” to yet another kid’s birthday party, but a budget allows you the freedom to say “no” when something does not contribute to your overall money goals.
The reason behind budgeting is to tell your money where to go every month and how it needs to contribute to your overall financial goals. Even though we are no longer struggling financially, we still budget. This keeps us accountable to our goals, to each other, and to our journey towards debt-freedom. It allows us to say “no” to the unnecessary.
If you are struggling with having to say “no” because you are on a tight budget, remember why it is that you are budgeting in the first place. What are your goals? Why do you care to manage your money? Do you have children that need to learn how to say “no” to impulse purchases?
These are the things that we have to constantly remind ourselves of whenever we are struggling with saying “no” to others or “no” to impulse purchases. Budgeting is not a jail sentence; it is freedom knowing how much money you have to work with.
Do you feel that budgeting gives you the power to say “no”?
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