Our Family Budget

How To Say No When You Are On A Budget!

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For some say the word budget and they turn their head the other way. It’s almost taboo to be on a budget for some. They think budgets are for poor people, I don’t need to budget. Ya right, time to get a grip! I’ve never had a problem telling anyone “No” but sometimes it can get frustrating when people just don’t understand.

Have you ever met someone who tells you what they do for a living  and you automatically assume they have lots of cash? Likely, we all do it but is it the correct way to be thinking?- No

Why is that not the correct way to think?

It’s simply not always the case and we don’t know what happens in everyone’s budget and life. How do you know they have a healthy bank account? Can you read minds?  (if so please click here and contact me…. I could use your ability) There are lots of people earning 6 figure incomes but are in debt because they spend more than they earn or have massive student loans to pay back etc. Education is not cheap and most pay for it for years.

2009 Ford F-150 photographed in College Park, ...

Another example is when you say oh look at Johnny up the road, he’s just bought a new F-150 Truck and now he’s taking his family on a Cruise to Spain. He must be rolling in the $$$ right? Not exactly. It may be true sure, but remember one of the most important pieces of advice I say…

“Credit can buy you anything” problem is you have to pay it back and sometimes that could take ages and for some the credit card bill will outlive their very existence.

Here’s a quick scenario… tell me if you choose Scenario 1 or Scenario 2 answer.

Friend: Hey do you want to go camping for March Break it will be great… looking for something exciting to do, lots of sun, drinks, bbq’s,boating… ah the life!

You: Sure, where and how much is it? (you know you are in debt up to your eye balls and can’t afford it)

Friend: Wasaga Beach, the cabin is only $1200 a week.. and it’s right across from the beach… how cool is that? So it’s only $600 a week  plus food, drink and whatever else you need for each of us.

Scenario 1 Answer~You: (You know you can’t afford $600 and you really want to go but not build more debt on your line of credit... What do you say? Sure mate, when you thinking of booking it? (Wrong Answer unless you love debt)

Scenario 2 Answer~You: Sorry Mate, I simply have too much debt I need to clear up and don’t have the cash to fund an outing this year, maybe next time. Thanks for asking. (Better Answer)

Is that scenario reminiscent of  you when it comes to your friends/family wanting to do something with you. It doesn’t have to be a vacation it could be a simple trip to the mall or the spa, restaurant,pub or the movies etc.

How do these situations make you feel?

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Most people who are in debt and don’t want others to know will continue to build the debt for fear others will not accept them.They do what we call emotional spend on items they don’t need or think they need to impress others or themselves.

Are they really your mates then?

Probably not, so let it go and move on. If they understand then you should have no problem using scenario 2 above and telling them no. There truly are people in this world that are frugalminded and simply put on a show for everyone else to conform to perceived standards of living.                                                              

They believe that is what is expected of them but inside they are die-hard savers… they want to live simply and enjoy what the frugal life has to offer. We enjoy it and life is much easier without the stress of money worries. There are always cheap summer  family outings that don’t  have to cost an arm or a leg like above.

  • Don’t be afraid to be who you are.
  • Don’t be afraid to be the person you are at work or around your friends and relatives.
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One of the hardest parts for some are to tell their family. My wife’s family understands our frugal ways now but at first her sister would make fun of her.Her sister makes almost 6 figures per year and is in her early 30’s.

Have a gander at this Scenario………..

Sister- Oh nice sweater its American Eagle where did you get it at Value Village haha..you’re so cheap why do you shop there when you clearly have money.

Wife- Yes in fact I did and it only cost me $4 and it’s hardly been worn. You know buying second-hand clothing isn’t that bad and allows us to save for other things.

Sister- Ewee no way.. I’ll stick to the mall thanks

Moving Forward to the following year her sister now has a baby… (this is hilarious)

Sister- Hey do you think you can keep an eye out on kijiji for some deals on baby clothes and furniture. It’s so expensive now I see why you shop second-hand. Having a baby has truly opened my eyes.  (ha.. that’s me saying ha!)

Wife– Sure no problem anything to help out and I’m glad you see how watching you money can add up.

Sister- Yes I was wrong, now I am amazed how much you can save and when I watch others at the cash register I just want to give them coupons to help them. I want to tell them everything you have taught me. I’d rather keep my money for things that are important to me. I’ve hardly spent any money on myself since the baby was born and understand the meaning of a dollar now. Thanks Big Sis!blah blah blah.. it went something similar to this remember I’m a guy and am supposed to be watching the game beer in hand minding my own business)

The Lesson

The point of this scenario is before she had the baby she would freely spend her money at the mall on expensive clothes without a care in the world. She thought why is my older sister who has no consumer debt buying her clothes at Value Village. Although we still don’t have any kids she realizes how budgeting, couponing and saving money has helped our bank account grow and allowed us to almost be mortgage free.  She is now an avid couponer and rings the wife to go to garage sales in the summer! Success- You bet….

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Most people want their family to be proud and happy they are doing well whether it’s the parents or siblings. I hear it all the time, How can I possibly tell them I’m in debt? It can be stressful so here’s some advice I think might help.

1- Invite them over for dinner- While they are over for dinner set the mood and calmly explain to them that you and your (spouse/partner) have gotten into some debt and are struggling to make ends meet. You wanted to let them know so that they would have patience with you when it came to family dinners, outings, birthdays etc as you simply don’t have the money. Then pour them another glass of wine and enjoy the dinner. It doesn’t have to get into a full-blown conversation, simply tell them what you want and move on or add a bit of tip 2.

2- Show them how you plan to get out of debt– Sometimes having a plan in motion will help them to understand that you are serious. In my wife’s case she would show them her coupon binder, her coupon stockpile and how much she paid for the items. They were amazed at how much money you could save simply being mindful of prices, budgeting and using coupons.  There will always be the people who don’t believe, don’t care and think you are crazy but remember, “it’s your life”.  Family should be the first people you can count on when you need to tell them anything. They should never judge you, yet motivate you to meet your goals.  Showing them that you have a plan will only reiterate how serious you are to become debt-free.

Sometimes just being you and not keeping up with the fast paced corporate life or city living is easier than waking up pulling your hair out or having to say no to people. Start a budget, keep on track and before you know it you will be debt free with a healthy Emergency Savings Fund and can enjoy all life has to offer and have the money to do it!

You can find Canadian Budget Binder on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE! We are waiting to chat to you! Cheers Mr.CBB

Doc Photo Courtesy of: Copyright (c) <a href=’http://www.123rf.com’>123RF Stock Photos</a>

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  1. I fall into the catergory of emotional spender. 2 years ago I won some money but instead of throwing it all on our debt, we decided to but a car. Now we needed a 2nd car as my husbands car was on its last legs, but it happened that he found the car I’ve been wanting for a good price. So we ended up buying this car (2009 dodge challenger SRT8), put a down payment on it and financed the rest. But now we had to go and buy another car for the winter. We should have paid down our debt or bought a sensible car that we wouldn’t of had to finance and is good on gas. The only good thing is I love my car!

    1. Thanks for your comment Linda. It’s amazing how we can look back and see where we went wrong. Most importantly we need to learn from those mistakes and start gaining control back in our finances… Good Luck and I’m glad you like your car!!! Mr.CBB

  2. Growing up I was always pretty frugal with my money and always tried to think things through before just jumping in and buying something I really wanted. When I became a mom that somewhat changed. It is hard sometimes to say no to your child, or hard to resist buying them things that you see your nieces and nephews or your child’s friends have. I sometimes feel quilty that I can’t always buy her things she really wants. On the other hand I tell myself, those kids have 2 working parents that can afford them more than I can as a single parent, and I can’t let it make me feel guilty. Instead I give her my time and attention and try to find fun things to do together. Thanks Mr. CBB for sharing!

    1. Thanks for your comments Joanna, Remember things don’t show love. At the end of the day your child needs your love not things. When your child gets older he/she will remember all the memories you made not the latest and greatest gadget or pair of shoes or toys.. remember that. Cheers Mr.CBB

  3. The one thing that makes doing this easier for us is that all our friends are at least an hour away. So any time we get together it is preplanned and we have time to save for whatever we are going to be doing. We are just sort of trying out the budgeting thing and so far for us its very difficult. I am sure it will get easier as time goes by.

    1. Hi APril,
      Budgeting does take time. The most important part besides both of you being on the same page is getting all the accurate data. You need to figure out if you are spending more than you earn. If you are you need to change that NOW or there is no budget in this world that can help you. That being said a budget has helped us save so much money so stick to it and you will get there. Cheers Mr.CBB

  4. Great article. I find that it is hard for many today to accept that we choose to live differently, especially after we got into so much debt. Many people today live on their line of credit and buy whatever they want. They justify it by telling us how cheap the interest rate is so they think it is not so bad to use the line of credit. Debt is debt and we don’t want to do that anymore. We are blessed to have a new start (without having to go bankrupt) and are making the choses that are best for us. We have decided that if people don’t understand then it is their problem. We spent too many years living under financial stress. It is not worth it.

    1. Thanks Wendy for your comment. It is true you said it, IT”S NOT WORTH IT… there is no amount of money or showing off or trying to keep up with the latest and greatest that would ever put me into debt. I could care less. I love to live my life knowing that I have money in the bank. Financial Stress can take it’s toll on your health, finances and relationships. Cheers Mr.CBB

    1. Thanks Vicki for your compliment. I truly write from the heart and believe personal experience is better than simply writing a blog post about a topic. Glad you enjoy them. Cheers Mr.CBB

  5. Great tips

    My kids have to save up for items they want that im not able to afford for them!! 🙂
    They have saved up for a swing set, and gameboy advance games and their wii games,,,
    its a great lesson for them at 5, 7 ,8 years old!!

    1. Thanks Amie, It’s good to teach your children when they are young so they value and understand the concept of money as they grow older. Let’s hope at some point saving becomes a priority. Thanks for your comment as always MR.CBB

  6. A lot of times, ppl don’t think about anyone’s else’s perspective but their own. THEY want to go away on a trip, out to dinner, to a show. THEY think that you would like it and THEY are right, but THEY don’t know YOUR situation. If THEY did, they may have asked you to spend time with them doing something else. This article reminded me again to make sure that I find ways to spend time with those I love, doing things WE all love, in a way that WE can all do it together. That is what counts!!! 🙂 Thanks for this little memory nudge.

    1. thanks for your comment Tara! It’s true what you say yes but that’s where we have to have the strength to say no. We would all like to have and do so much but with no money credit will only tear us down…. Cheers MR.CBB

  7. great read! It’s so very hard to say no sometimes, and even harder to not want to do everything that everyone else is doing, but if we wanta save, we have to. Some great scenarios you threw out there:) I have been saying no a lot lately, only spending on necessities…thanks to your help!

    1. We have said no so many times. In the moment it’s difficult, when an event is happening and you are not there it’s difficult but the next day it’s gone away… once you think of the money you saved and how not a big deal it was. Cheers Mr.CBB

  8. Haha! I fully expect my sister to come to me like that one day!!! She’s a young nurse and makes quite a bit and blows it all on stuff and partying….she will come to me just like your sister in law did one day! lol

    I talked to my mom about how we’re trying to budget now and I thought she understood but she still asked for my sisters and I to go in on an expensive gift for her for mothers day…my parents are just so generous to me that its hard to say anything else.

    I’ve been trying to tell as many friends and family as I can so that they take my situation into account and so they might share coupons with me lol

    1. That’s great that you have been telling the people who are most important to you in your life about what you are doing. It’s too bad your mum won’t back off the gift. You will get there Jen! Mr.CBB

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