Saying No Is Half the Battle

by B. Benson

I would have no money at the end of the month to pay my bills if I said yes to everything I’m invited to do. Saying no half of the time and deciding what is or isn’t worth doing helps keep my spending in check. Here, I provide three examples:

New Year’s Eve Party
Pros: First time seeing friends since being away from the holidays; party will likely be lively and fun; possibility of midnight kiss.
Cons: New Year’s Eve reality never meets expectations; party is at bar instead of a house, so costs are unknown; will probably want to pay for a car service to go home/it’s impossible to get car service on New Year’s Eve.
Cost: $100+


New Year’s Day Brunch
Pros: Brunch is in the middle of the day, is casual, and at a friend’s house; will only need to spend enough money to bring something to brunch; that item will be cheese.
Cons: Everyone will probably be hungover and the mood will somber compared to a New Year’s Eve party at a bar; since people are hungover, half will probably flake or cancel.
Cost: $30

Decision: New Year’s Day Brunch. New Year’s Eve really never lives up to what you want it to be, and the costs, when hosted at a paying establishment can quickly spiral out of control.

Happy Hour/Networking Event
Pros: New Year’s Resolution is to meet new people and perhaps land a lead for a new job; can sneak out if not what I expect it to be
Cons: Am introverted, which makes it difficult to go up to talk to people; friends who invited me to event are no longer going
Cost: $40; $20 for entry, $20 for liquid courage


Dinner Out With Group of Friends
Pros: Love my friends; restaurant has rave reviews so food will be good
Cons: Party is greater than six which may lead to complications when the bill comes; food will not be cheap; not meeting new people.
Cost: $80, based on previous dinners out with this group

Decision: Dinner Out With Group of Friends. Though it’s double the cost, I feel much more comfortable going to a networking event if it’s with people I already know, and I have the rest of the year to work on this resolution. Plus, I’ve never had problems with paying the check with this particular group of friends.

Night In With Friend Watching New Season of Downton Abbey
Pros: It’s Downton Abbey.
Cons: None I can think of.
Cost: $20 to order delivery


Night Out Watching Her at the Movie Theater
Pros: Have generally enjoyed Spike Jonze films; enjoy going to the movie theater
Cons: Can you believe movie ticket prices nowadays?
Cost: $30; $15 for movie ticket, and the rest at the concessions stand

Decision: Night In With Friend Watching New Season of Downton Abbey. I should really search online for a booklet of discount movie tickets.

B. Benson is an office drone.