Thursday, October 13, 2011

$10 Here and $10 There Add Up

In addition to all of the graduation expenses that have hit me hard this month, I've been nickel and dimed quite a bit, too. We started off the month with a Lee Jeans Day for Breast Cancer at work. A $5 donation, and you get to wear jeans to work. This is completely "optional" but I'm also well aware that it is noticed by the powers that be who participates in the various fundraisers. so I participated. Then we also had the United Way pledge drive. And of course I participated in that too --- that will start as a payroll deduction in January. Also this month we have a canned food drive. All are worthy causes, no doubt about it, but those, combined with other things this month are eating into my bottom line deeply. (I have a separate budget category for the causes I regularly contribute to, so these are over and above my normal level of giving).

Next up, we have departmental birthdays. For each person in the department that has a birthday, we each chip in $10 and the birthday boy or girl gets a nice wad of cash. While it is fun to get that wad of cash, basically we are just getting back what we put in over the course of the year (unless of course someone leaves after they've had their birthday so they are no longer contributing) so I really see no point in it. Trading money to me just has no purpose. Each year I try to be the voice of reason, but majority rules. This month we have 2 birthdays, so there goes another $20. Add in 2 funeral plants for extended family members of a coworker and another former coworker and there's another $20.

I know I sound completely UNGENEROUS (is that a word?). But I do give to causes I find worthwhile over the course of the year --- I budget it in. I also give a lot of time to worthwhile organizations over the course of the year, too. Giving, to me, is an important part of a balanced life. I'm just not sure I like this month's "Giving Til It Hurts" phase. We're only 13 days in and I've put out $55 in unplanned giving. (Yes, I forgot about the birthdays this month and didn't include them in my budget!)

And wow, this post sounds SO much more stingy than I intended.... I'm just trying to figure out where I'm going to cut my budget to absorb those things I hadn't planned for --- my "Misc" category was already consumed, and then some, with the graduation expenses! Back to tweaking the budget!


  1. I don't think you sound stingy... or that you are being 'ungenerous'. Giving is an act that comes from the self, and shouldnt be prompted by peer pressure (or office pressures) or random forced acts of nature. I am not saying we shouldnt care about the passing of someone's extended family, but if you really care beyond a sympathy card, then so be it. If not, you shouldnt be looked at weird for it.

    Like you said, $10 here and $10 there on a budget can really make or break a month-to-month budget. I'm glad that the only thing we do at work for birthdays is cake, and whoever gets the cake/card (usually me) is reinbursed for their total cost.

    Go easy on your budget, but also, go easy on you. I disagree that those contributions are 'giving'... I see them more like a business expense. Then again, you can call me mean if you want.

  2. I don't think you sound stingy at all. It all adds up quickly.

  3. Thanks y'all! I was a bit worried that I was coming off as a Greedy Gus! I do feel a bit better!