So, what do you do when your group of friends want to meet up for coffee, breakfast, lunch or dinner or a movie, and you can’t really justify using the family “Dining Out” or “Entertainment” funds for just yourself?
At the time that I’m writing this, I’m on Baby Step 2 of the Dave Ramsey plan. My husband and I have budgeted for $50/month for any dining out situation that may come up. That fund tends to be used for birthdays when we go to a pizza parlor. Very special occasions, and we’re paying for 3 of us to eat. So, in the case of just me going out with the girls, I realized that I needed to budget my personal pocket money. My husband and I budgeted $20/month for ourselves to get things we wanted like a coffee while shopping, or a magazine (me). Very recently, I bowed out of, yet again, another get-together with the girls from my old youth group days. I can’t attend every single event, but I realized that I really did need to go out now and then. For the record, this particular “bow-out” was also due to having several household projects going on as well with a time line. I’ve had friends offer to buy my coffee or meal if I come, but I don’t want to owe anyone.
This is the time that I realized, that to be able to say “yes” more often, I needed to start telling my pocket money where to go. I needed to start an envelope for “girl time”.
So that is the plan. My next outing may only be for coffee, but I’ll be able to visit with friends for a bit.
UPDATE: It’s been about a year since this was written, so I’ve had that time to put this into practice and really follow through. The get-togethers for meals tend to not happen as often as the get togethers for movies. I’m ok with waiting for most movies to come out on DVD and watching them at home (another post for another time). When my friends start planning to get together at a restaurant, I check to see how much I can afford, including the tip, look up the restaurant’s menu online and see which meals are in my budget, and let my friends know. Hopefully, they’ll read this and know that I’m not poor, or strapped for cash, sometimes dinners are just not in the budget at that time. There was a time in the recent past where that was the case. But not now. Now, I can.