Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!
I work nights, and bring something to eat most every night. My co-worker does not make much money and most times does not bring anything. Normally if I were alone, I would eat a leftover, boiled egg or just anything frugal. I feel like I have to buy certain foods for us to eat and share due to not wanting to eat in front of her, and due to the fact that she likes certain things. She laughs if I bring something frugal like a can of chicken and dumplings. This is costing me much more money and I feel it is a cycle I can’t get out of. She says that I should not feel as if I need to bring her food but yet she really expects it. If I bring something she doesn’t like she frowns and looks unhappy. I could save a lot more money if i didn’t have to do this.
This is easy for me to say since I’m not there, but I think that you need to have a forthright conversation with this co-worker. Let her know that you’re not going to be bringing food for her anymore, and then follow through on that.
Or if you feel like that’s too harsh, I would at LEAST stop catering to her wishes. Bring whatever you’d bring if she wasn’t there and if she doesn’t want to eat it, she certainly doesn’t have to.
It sounds to me like you may be a people-pleaser (Hi! I’m one of those too!), and your desire to please her is making you do something that’s kind of making you miserable. Remind yourself that you can’t make everyone happy and that you will drive yourself crazy if you try.
And something that helps me too is to remember that the world will not come to an end if I do something that makes someone else unhappy. I know that sounds obvious, but my goodness, all too often I function as if I must maintain the happiness of All People In The World.
What do you think about all the Facebook deals lately, where you have to “Like” a company to get a coupon or deal. Sometimes it seems like these are good deals, but I do not have a Facebook account. I had one, but now it requires me to give a cell phone number to “verify” my account, and I do not have a cell phone. My only other option to verify my account is to send a photocopy of my driver’s license, and I refuse to do that. Why are these companies limiting their deals to only Facebook users? I don’t like Facebook anyway, and like it even less now that they want me to send something I’m not willing to send.
I realize you are not a deal site (and I thank you very much for that), but would like to know how you feel about this.
Hmm. Could you use a friend’s cell phone to verify your account? I’m assuming you just need to receive a text or something like that.
As to why companies are limiting these deals to Facebook, I think it’s because they’re focused more on marketing than on being fair. Once you like a company on Facebook, they’ve got yet another way to market their products to you, so every “like” is really valuable to them.
They’re not distributing coupons/free stuff out of the goodness of their hearts…they’re trying to successfully market their product.
If you can’t get a Facebook account opened or you don’t want to, my advice is to just not sweat the Facebook deals. We all survived before companies were giving away free stuff on Facebook, right? The freebies are what I would consider to be nice but not necessary. And like I always say, there are lots of ways to save money without doing the couponing/deal thing.
How do you live on less when you have been living that way all along? One can only go down so far without turning off the electricity, for instance.
(this question was emailed in after I published Whoopee, we can spend again!)
Yep, you’re totally right. There is a limit to how effective frugality can be because we do all need things like food and shelter.
This is why I don’t think we ought to choose between saving and earning. Living frugally will help you make the most out of the income you have, but it’s not going to do a ton to help you save up a nice nest egg if your income is really sparse.
If you’re in a situation where you’ve pinched every penny you can pinch and you still are having trouble making ends meet, I’d highly recommend figuring out a way to earn some more money.
I don’t know your situation, but if you’ve got a job, perhaps you could ask for a raise*, or look for a similar job with another company that would pay you more.
(*I should have added this when I wrote the post, but the career advice isn’t my own…I’ve just read a multitude of times that asking for a raise is a wise choice sometimes and that women in particular don’t think of doing that.)
Maybe a part-time second job would be a good idea…and that part-time job could be a self-employed kind of job (child-care, housecleaning, paid organizing, tutoring, etc.), depending on what your skills and gifts are. Think about what you’re really good at, and figure out if there’s a way you could get paid to do that on the side.
If you have extra possessions, you could sell them in order to build up a bit of an emergency cushion.
Have you signed up for Swagbucks? Using Swagbucks doesn’t require any special skills, and you could use your points for things like Amazon gift cards. That could give your budget a bit more wiggle room. It’s not going to be as profitable as a part-time job, but hey, every little bit helps!
If you need more ideas, MoneySavingMom has a 27 Ways to Make Money list up, and at the bottom there are a few links where you can find freelance work.
Readers, do you have any advice to share on these three topics?
Today’s 365 post: Requiring Concentration