Saying No Is Half the Battle

I would have no money at the end of the month to pay my bills if I said yes to everything I’m invited to do. Saying no half of the time and deciding what is or isn’t worth doing helps keep my spending in check. Here, I provide three examples:

New Year’s Eve Party
Pros: First time seeing friends since being away from the holidays; party will likely be lively and fun; possibility of midnight kiss.
Cons: New Year’s Eve reality never meets expectations; party is at bar instead of a house, so costs are unknown; will probably want to pay for a car service to go home/it’s impossible to get car service on New Year’s Eve.
Cost: $100+


New Year’s Day Brunch
Pros: Brunch is in the middle of the day, is casual, and at a friend’s house; will only need to spend enough money to bring something to brunch; that item will be cheese.
Cons: Everyone will probably be hungover and the mood will somber compared to a New Year’s Eve party at a bar; since people are hungover, half will probably flake or cancel.
Cost: $30

Decision: New Year’s Day Brunch. New Year’s Eve really never lives up to what you want it to be, and the costs, when hosted at a paying establishment can quickly spiral out of control.


Happy Hour/Networking Event
Pros: New Year’s Resolution is to meet new people and perhaps land a lead for a new job; can sneak out if not what I expect it to be
Cons: Am introverted, which makes it difficult to go up to talk to people; friends who invited me to event are no longer going
Cost: $40; $20 for entry, $20 for liquid courage


Dinner Out With Group of Friends
Pros: Love my friends; restaurant has rave reviews so food will be good
Cons: Party is greater than six which may lead to complications when the bill comes; food will not be cheap; not meeting new people.
Cost: $80, based on previous dinners out with this group

Decision: Dinner Out With Group of Friends. Though it’s double the cost, I feel much more comfortable going to a networking event if it’s with people I already know, and I have the rest of the year to work on this resolution. Plus, I’ve never had problems with paying the check with this particular group of friends.


Night In With Friend Watching New Season of Downton Abbey
Pros: It’s Downton Abbey.
Cons: None I can think of.
Cost: $20 to order delivery


Night Out Watching Her at the Movie Theater
Pros: Have generally enjoyed Spike Jonze films; enjoy going to the movie theater
Cons: Can you believe movie ticket prices nowadays?
Cost: $30; $15 for movie ticket, and the rest at the concessions stand

Decision: Night In With Friend Watching New Season of Downton Abbey. I should really search online for a booklet of discount movie tickets.


B. Benson is an office drone.


19 Comments / Post A Comment

SarahRose (#5,702)

If you go to three movies a month Movie Pass is worth it – $35 a month for unlimited movies.

Allison (#4,509)

@SarahRose I don’t go to that many movies but man is that tempting. I COULD be a person who goes to a lot of movies.

Allison (#4,509)

@Allison just realized that this is essentially the stand mixer/vitamix thought process.

RiffRandell (#4,774)

@Allison I like how the “stand mixer/vitamix thought process” has become a legitimate expression of a very real thing that was missing a name.

ATF (#4,229)

@Allison True story – just yesterday I explained the stand mixer/vitamix thought process to a friend that joined an expensive gym and then spent more to upgrade her membership because she likes the idea of being able to take classes and thinks it will make her the type of person that takes classes at the gym. It is a great way to describe magical thinking.

Fig. 1 (#632)

@everyone I feel like we need a catchy phrase for the “stand mixer/vitamix” thought process so I can get it tattooed on, like, my hand. Fortunately my partner is a Vita-nixer.

**stares balefully at $150 grocery shopper because she thought she would become someone who would walk to the grocery store a half hour’s walk away**

WayDownSouth (#3,431)

As a thought, if an option is available to cook your own food which watching Downtown Abbey at home, you could free up $20 to spend on the other activities.

nutmeg (#1,383)

I cannot stress how great matinees (and Groupons, if you have any) are! There’s a movie theater in my area that does $6 matinees, and a theater in my hometown has $5 movies on Tuesdays (CRAZY). My boyfriend bought a couple of Groupons this summer for a theater nearby for two tickets and two popcorns for less than the price of two tickets alone. I think that movie theater prices always bum me out for movies, but I paid for my boyfriend and I to see American Hustle on Sunday, and it was totally worth the $12 I spent.

Also, go see movies with women who carry purses, because we can smuggle a lot of snacks in. I know it’s super unethical, but so are $4 sodas.

nutmeg (#1,383)

@nutmeg or anyone with a purse! I am not sure how often people get searched at the movies but in my limited experience it has never happened

punzy (#160)

@nutmeg We used to have the $5 Tuesday movie theater! It was super awesome. Then another company bought them out and got rid of it. Now I don’t go to the movies as much. See how that works theater company!

honey cowl (#1,510)

@nutmeg We have a $3 movie theater! They’re second-run, so you have to be okay with waiting 8 weeks or whatever, but for a non-movie person like me it’s totally worth it.

William (#5,707)

But you don’t have to buy food at the movies…

Slutface (#53)

@William Yes! This is where they make their money. I’ll never understand why anyone buys food at the movies when you can just bring it in your purse. I mean, I’ve brought pasta in a tupperware container to the movies before.

Allison (#4,509)

@Slutface I like movie theater popcorn, and that’s part of the reason for going, to me. But not a chance am I buying a drink instead of bringing my own. Possibly pre-spiked.

marykay (#3,102)

@Allison Over the holidays, I went and saw the Hobbit at the old one-screen movie theatre in my tiny hometown. It was $7.50 for a ticket, the theatre was newly renovated, and you could bring your own bowl which they would fill with popcorn for $2 a scoop. Normally I am a stuff-your-purse-with-snacks kinda girl, but there was no need! If only theatres everywhere were like that . . .

@Slutface My partner for some inexplicable reason LOVES movie snacks and drinks. I think it’s more about the intangibles of the experience than anything else because it’s certainly not tasty OR good value for money.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

The choice should always be Downton Abbey obviously.

boringbunny (#3,260)

It seems that in each one of these scenarios, you picked the less adventurous option, irregardless of cost. I actually keep a separate budget for when I throw myself out there in social situations (like networking events) as opposed to comfortable dinners with friends as an encouragement not to stay inside and watch netflix all the time.

honey cowl (#1,510)

@boringbunny Less adventurous = best!

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