Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Continued Inability to Say "No" to Friends

Vegas was fun and I definitely spent more than I should. After any kind of binge, there's always a hangover and it's no different this time. (Is it a coincidence that I had a nightmare of Suze Orman last night yelling at me, "Are you stupid? You can't afford it!"??)


Sure, I had money saved up to pay for it. But now, my "miscellaneous fund" and my "vacation fund" balances are pretty low and I just realized I won't have any money to replenish it in December. $haronRose just recently tweaked her budget to create a new "me" fund and I commented since it was so hard and slow to save my "me" fund, I always thought twice before blowing it. Uhhhhh... yeah. That makes me a hypocrite.

Anyhow, while I'm wallowing in this Day-After hangover, I got a call from my BFF. And it looks like I've wimped myself into yet another spending bonanza weekend.

This is how the discussion went down:

BFF: My DH is in the doghouse right now.

Shtinky: Why? What happened?

BFF: Our plumbing backed up last year and we got an estimate of $5,000 to repair it. But since we didn't have the money and this repair can wait, we held off. Our plumbing backed up again and my DH called a plumber for an estimate. DH couldn't get a hold of me so he let the plumber make the repairs and he put $8,000 on our credit card!

Shtinky: Well, it needed to be repaired anyways, right?

BFF: I'm pissed off because: (a) he didn't negotiate the price, (b) the repairs could've waited and (c) he unilaterally did this without discussing it with me first!

Shtinky: Yeah, that sucks. But at least he didn't charge frivolous stuff, right?

BFF: I'm so mad at him. I don't want to look at him and I don't want to speak to him right now. I need to get away. Let's have a girls' getaway spa weekend!

Shtinky: [Internal dialogue] WTF? Weren't you just pissed that he charged some stuff and now you want to spend more money on frivolous stuff? Are you crazy woman???

Shtinky: [Actual dialogue] Yeah! Let's do it!


For brevity's sake I won't go into details of the other reasons why DH is in the doghouse with BFF. But the bottomline is, BFF is livid (some justified, others not so much) and she wants some frivolous fun time away from hubby (partly to punish him, I suspect).

As you may know, I have this frustrating inability to say, "No," to frivolous spending with my family. I have less difficulty saying, "No," to my friends, but I found it difficult to turn my BFF down this time.

During the past couple of years, BFF underwent numerous major surgeries and is finally healthy (read: pain free) enough to go to a spa for some R & R. Since she lives 120 miles away, I don't get to see her as often as I'd like. I've always felt guilty not taking time away from work to be by her side during at least one of her surgeries. Had this been anyone else, I think (although I'm not too sure) that I would've suggested doing something cheaper.

Anyhow, our plan isn't THAT extravagant. My BFF found a great package for $289 (which will be split equally) that includes:

  • Overnight deluxe accommodations

  • Two (2) premium signature cocktails (per reservation)

  • One (1) $50- giftcard from Chi-Chi Mall (which we'll use for food)

  • Two (2) 50- minute massages at The Spa

She sounds very excited and happy about our girls' weekend. And to be honest with you, so am I. It's often frustrating not being able to say "no" to frivolous spending but sometimes not saying "no" is worth it.


Ms. MoneyChat said...

I think most of us have had to reintroduce the word "no" into our vocabs at some point. The spa package looks like a great deal. Will you be able to cashflow it? (i'm going to read more of your blog now to catch up on your story;-).

Miss M said...

I can't cast stones, I still have some spending issues. I think experiences are important, certainly more important than "stuff". You'll have the memory of your time with your friend forever. Do you have savings outside of retirement? My BFF had her first baby in June and I splurged for the $300 diaper bag she really wanted. It wasn't in the budget so I pulled it out of savings, what are savings for if not spending.

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-Oh, this 'me' fund is very confusing. I'm doing my best not to think about what I can spend the money on! because there is a balance, I'm finding it very tempting indeed to 'blow'it :-( Anyhow, personally I think this spa weekend is something you both will value as quality time spent together and sometimes, you just can't put a price on these events. She lives a long way, so its not like you see her regularly for a coffee as such. Both enjoy it, tweak that budget hard to try and get something out of it if you can towards the trip!!

Anonymous said...

I want to be very supportive because heaven knows, we've all been here. As long as you can cash flow the spa trip (and I'm assuming you can), then that's cool.

I do want to impress on you, though, that you've been worried about layoffs. Next time someone asks you to do something, tell them that. Tell them you want to make sure you have enough to pay all your bills if that happens.

At any rate, enjoy the spa day! Don't get stressed about the money because that will just defeat the purpose. You are going to see your best friend, who you never see. Definitely justifiable.

J. Money said...

OMG a dream w/ Suze Orman??? now THAT is funny!! would be better if Kristen Wiig was actually just playing her ;) gotta love SNL!

Sunflowers said...

I had that same problem with my friends... but now I'm just coming out and saying "I don't have the money." Some friends respond to that with kind of a puzzled silence (I guess it's weird to them that only a few months ago I was willing to go anywhere & do anything) and some (almost sounding relieved) say "Yeah, I don't really have the money either."

The only thing I still am not able to say "no" to is pricey restaurants... But I have budgeted every month for that, so I think it's ok. I just can't see certain friends very often, or that budget will be blown. :p

Anyway, it's a work in progress... for both of us. :) And $144 for a room, food, and a massage sounds like a pretty good deal!!

MoneyMateKate said...

Look at how much more you are getting for the price of just a massage at the Bellagio, which your sister tried to talk you into last weekend!

I don't know if you exchange Christmas presents with this friend, but if you do, why don't you say "this getaway is our Christmas present to each other". Then you'll save whatever you would have spent on a gift for her (and vice versa), and you both get something you really wanted.

Sallie's Niece said...

Man it seems like your friend needs to get away and you're being a good friend to help her. My friend's live in BF also drives her crazy but usually we just get together at my place and watch movies. It does seem like you got a great deal at the spa so enjoy! (Just next time suggest a cheap motel, chinese food and The Notebook on DVD).

Christine said...

I wanna go, too! I am definitely in the need for a spa treatment. Yes, need! LOL! I hope you have a great time, but watch those finances!

Love the Suze Orman nightmare. Teach you right than to spend (too) frivilously!

Shtinkykat said...

Ms. MoneyChat: Welcome to Shtinkykat's world of idiotic spending! Ummm... I'm hoping to cashflow it. The month is still young! Keeping my fingers crossed.

Miss M: I do tend to spend beaucoup bucks on experience stuff (eating, traveling with friends and family). If you look at my place, you'll know I'm not a Material Girl!

Sharon Rose: As Jack Nicholson's character said to his neighbor's dog in the movie, As Good As It Gets, "Don't be like me. Don't ever be like me!" I'm sure you'll use your "me" fund more wisely than I. :-D

ParanoidAsteroid: Sigh. Yes. I think I let my guard down when I survived the most recent round of layoffs. The layoff is a serious issue and I need to take it more seriously. Thanks for the reminder. It'll help get me focused.

J. Money: I think Suze Orman haunted my dreams since I missed last Sat's episode while in Vegas. I LOVE the SNL Suze Orman skits! Hahaha. Now I want to shop at Joann's Phoenix Jacket Junction.

Sunflowers: Yeah, I've been pretty good all year telling people, "I'm broke. Leave me alone." But for some unknown reason, I've been spending like there's no tomorrow. I think my BFF got a great deal too!

MMK: My sister commented that it was a good thing that I didn't get the massage at the Bellagio either. I think that's a great idea. We did a trip to SF together as a birthday gift to each a few year's back. I'll definitely suggest that!

Sallie: I was thinking about suggesting veging out at my place. Knowing me, I'd pick up a very inappropriate DVD like Unfaithful or Forgetting Sarah Marshall and make things worse. :-P

Christine: Suze was outright brutal in my dreams! I'm NEVER calling into her show until I've paid off all my debt first. Knowing her, she'd yell at me for not having enough in my EF. I'll probably call her when I'm 60 and ask her whether I can buy a Segway.

jpkittie said...

that is hilarious - love the actual conversation in there!

you have to admit on your friend's behalf, $200 is much better then $8k! lol

now, just make sure that you try to refrain from spending any more on yourself during this month & you should be okay!