What NOT to Say to a Dave Ramsey Follower

“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!

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  1. I can see why this makes you feel awkward. But what more can you do? Do you tend to say that you can’t have X because you’re on a budget? This could play a part? Perhaps make it clear that you’re choosing not to and you want nothing more than your packed lunch. Xx

    1. Good point! I’m just going to claim I’m dieting. People seem to respect that more! Lol

  2. I completely agree! It’s crazy that the word “budget” is connected with lack of wealth when having one leads to wealth. My mom constantly wants to treat me to things knowing that I’m intentionally strict with my money while in Baby Step 2. It’s so frustrating!

  3. Your “motherly” co-worker – or anyone else that has trouble taking no for an answer, can be “paid back” with a thank you note or some home baked cookies. Not every kindness requires a financial response. A lot of people, get pleasure from sharing and buying things for their friends. Take it as it is meant – as a kindness.

    1. Thanks for your input!

  4. First off I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Many thanks!

    1. Ellie Mondelli says:

      Thank you! I unfortunately don’t have any tips for clearing your head prior to writing. It’s something I struggle with unless I am just really in the mood to get all my thoughts down on paper. Most of the time, I just have to start. I usually end up completely focused and loving what I’m doing about 15 minutes or so into it. Sometimes it doesn’t take as long; sometimes it takes longer. Best wishes!

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