Many people would rather struggle to pay off a large credit card bill than utter the phrase "I can't afford it." People feel so conflicted and ashamed about their financial situation and will do anything to avoid admitting they can’t afford it. I think it is more a reflection of today’s society than our moral values. The fact is if we are more honest about what we can and can’t afford, we will likely reduce our financial stress and probably our mental stress.
Here are a few tips:
1. Defer and divide. When presented with the opportunity to go to an event, out for dinner or to buy a gift for a colleague, consider phrases like, “Can I think about it and get back to you? Let me check my budget and see if I can handle it this month.” By doing this you avoid the quick decision that you might regret later. Defer your response and divide costs wherever possible.
2. Tell your friends that you have specific financial goals. Telling them you can’t do something that costs a lot of money isn’t a reflection of the value of the friendship – it is a reflection of your current financial situation.
3. It is okay to say no. Don't be afraid to say no to children who clearly want everything their friends have. By teaching the value of no at an early age, it makes it so much easier to implement the 'no' strategy later in life.
CTV's Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid offers a financial tip of the day during the month of February for Your Money Month.