“Not in the budget?”
“Come on, it’s only $10.”
“It’s okay, I got you!”
These are all frequent responses from coworkers around lunchtime at my place of work. It is a very well-known fact that my husband and I create a monthly budget – and stick to it. When coworkers go out for lunch and ask if I want anything, suggest that we all go in for a couple pizzas or run to that temptress called Starbucks, I decline and await one of these responses.
Most of the time, I end up with a free meal or drink that I specifically declined. That may sound wonderful, but it is actually very awkward. It recently got to the point where I had to explain to one of my more persistent, motherly coworkers that she was really making me feel uncomfortable by buying me food almost every day.
One of the strangest side effects of this journey is that people seem to feel sorry for my husband and me. Do they think that since we have a budget that we have fallen on hard times? Or that we’re poor?! I suppose the word “budget” has such a bad connotation that they cannot help but to assume this about us.
Why can’t people just take “No, thank you,” for an answer? I prepare all of my meals for the week every Sunday and have a perfectly good lunch in the refrigerator every day at work. I am not poor and I am definitely not starving.
The main reason of getting out of debt is so that we do not owe anyone anything. So that there will be nothing hanging over our heads. But when people buy me a sausage biscuit, lunch, coffee or whatever it may be, there is a balance that is no longer even. I cannot enjoy the taste of a meal or drink when I feel that I, in return, owe them for what they have so nicely given me.
Surely I am not alone in this experience. Drop me a line and let me know how you guys handle these situations!