5 things I won’t pay for

cutting up a credit card with scissors
Photo by SqueakyMarmot

Only three days until this Master Cleanse is over and I. can’t. wait. I didn’t understand how important food is to me emotionally, how often I see food commercials, or how often my husband needs to eat until I started doing this. I’ve lost a couple of pounds, but all I’ve done since Day 5 is make mental lists of things I want to eat…

And here’s another list: Things I am not going to pay for anymore. Little bit hesitant about putting this out there, I’m not gonna lie. But I am also sick to death of buying things for other people that I don’t want to buy for myself–and wouldn’t want anyone else to give me.

I sound like Scrooge, don’t I? Like straight out of A Christmas Carol. But then again, I wouldn’t be able to say no if Tiny Tim needed something. I am only saying no to the people in my life who are getting themselves mired in bad debt so they can have new things and matching things and shiny things instead of being resourceful. If I try to talk to you about your retirement plan and your eyes glaze over and you start to swallow your own lips, then do NOT tell me that the expensive luxury purchase you are contemplating is an “investment“. I’m about to write some people out of the will.

Here’s the list:

  1. Being a bridesmaid. My sister’s wedding is coming up and because it’s my sister, I will pay what I need to pay to buy the same outfit as the other women in the wedding, but then that door is closed. I never gave much thought to how much money people spend to be in their friends’ and relatives’ wedding until I got married for super cheap. I  can’t stomach the excess. I’m as married as anybody, and J and I did it for about $1000.
  2. Wedding showers, baby showers, and any series of prolonged pre-party events: You getting engaged doesn’t mean I have to tap into my emergency fund or start hitting the credit cards again. You do not need an engagement party, a bridal shower, an engagement dinner, a bachelorette party, and whatever else you’re planning. I seriously cannot keep track of this anymore. That goes double if you’re planning all these events over the course of a week. That goes triple if you live more than an hour away and you expect me to take time off. That goes quadruple if you are having money problems, but you want everyone else to chip in for your Barbie-fantasy life-changing event. Not gonna happen. Also, stop it with the gifts. You’re adults, mostly. I’ll get you a babybjorn, but you are going to have to buy some of this shit yourself.
  3. Multi-level marketing parties: When you go, you are basically required to buy something, and most of the time, it’s things you’d never heard of before. So there you are, going along your merry way, when a friend invites you to her house for Hidden Valley Ranch dip and crudites, and now you have to purchase $80 in scented oils and candles as a “contribution” to help her earn her very own candle travel tote so she’ll never be caught without a cinnamon-scented pillar candle again. Or maybe you’re cheap and you refuse to buy anything except a $15 mug, purely out a sense of propriety and obligation.
    That would be me, and I would hate that mug forever.
  4. A new car: Do a little homework, find a reliable secondhand car from a reliable dealership, and buy it. You want to pay tens of thousands of dollars extra for the chance that probably no one else has ever farted in your driver’s seat? I can’t even wrap my brain around it.
  5. Birthday/wedding/graduation cards: Going to the store to buy four or five for various birthdays and holidays, I realize I have to start actually including these pieces of cardboard in my annual budget for “gifts”, and I’d certainly like to spend that money better. Otherwise, I am going to have to start unfriending some people I know who have June birthdays. Besides that, I’m trying to be a writer over here. From now on, I’m getting blank cards and writing frank, heartfelt, and maybe even humorous messages inside. Maybe I’ll include some of the money I saved by not going to your pre-bachelorette-brunch-pedicure party.

Am I curmudgeony or does this stuff bother you, too? Let me know in the comments.


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