It seems as though my ‘struggle’ is following me into Baby Step 3.
When we go to TN to do our debt free scream and Dave asks me the hardest part about paying off our debt, I’m going to tell him ‘keeping control of my GIFT catergory!’ I LOVE to give gifts and in order to get ourselves out of debt, one of the catergories we had to decrease was Gifts. We have $40/month allotted to gifts. That is not very much at ALL when you have 3 birthdays, a wedding shower, & Mother’s Day in one month. I’ve had to get really creative down to just no gift at all. (I feel even more lame giving a card with nothing in it- I know that’s stupid, but it’s just ME, & I can’t help me) Divide 5 into $40 and that’s $8 each! I’ve had to tell myself that it wont always be this way! Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else. I really thought I was okay with myself and saying no.
It’s bosses day at work and everyone was asked to contribute $5 last week for restaurant gift cards for our 5 bosses. Well this month is also my sisters birthday, dads birthday and father-in-law’s birthday. My sister got a $10 sonic gift card and well, you do the math for what the dads get this month. I’m fine with that until I was called out on not contibuting $5 for the bosses. I wasn’t allowed to sign the card to the bosses since I didn’t contribute my $. We call ourselves a team in our dept so since I couldn’t contribute $ I was no longer considered part of the team, basically. (I hate scorecards, but I like to bring cakes and cupcakes to work and I share them with everyone. I may not always be able to participate financially, but I bring other things to the team.)
Okay so what, it’s $5… can’t I just grab $5 from another catergory? Well, No. As part of my behavior change I’ve disciplined myself and it’s proved to be working for us. I’m not going to let someone guilt me into a gift. In my opinion, that’s a tainted gift. $5 is only $5 but $5 is still $5. We know what happens when we 2 and 3 dollar ourselves. We wonder where the money went. Well can’t I make an exception just this once? If I fall for this, I’ll fall for anything. There will always be exceptions. And there will be another bosses day.
I’m out of debt, but I’m not in the clear yet. I made good money choices in baby step 2, I have to continue in baby step 3. I’m still not in a position where I could just help someone else out! (no matter how much I want to!) I will get there soon and while I’m excited to be out of baby step 2, I’m still held responsible for how I use my money. I didn’t get out of debt by other people telling me what to do with my money and the same is true for now.
It’s a different feeling when you hear people complain about their money situation and have no plan to follow. Not that I’m complaining but when I was asked where my $5 was I said I do not have the money for it but this particular person knows I’m on a plan so I figured there would be some sort of understanding there.
We can’t please everyone and we have to stick to it, no matter what is thrown at us! 🙂