Author Topic: How do you say "I don't want to spend money on that" w/o "I cant afford that?"  (Read 13628 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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  • Posts: 1387
I'm a HUGE FAN of "can't afford it."

It usually shuts up the other person pretty quick, even if it isn't true.

I'm not a fan for two reasons:
1) Most of my friends and family know it is just not true.
2) It is more likely to get people (who sometimes can't afford it...) to offer to pay for you. Which I also do not want.

So in my experience, it doesn't shut them up at all.  I either get called cheap; or I then have to come up with another reason on why they shouldn't spend on me. (The reason being: I have plenty of money!)

So you get called cheap.  So what? 

If the "I can't afford it" doesn't work (and in my experience, it almost always does), just own it.

Say "I'd rather put the money into my Vanguard S&P 500 Index fund and retire early than spend it on (insert overpriced trivial activity here)."


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Very interesting tips.... I must admit saying NO is very hard to do when my kids are involved. A lot of kids in our neighborhood and on their schools are 'living the good life' (very spoiled). I find it hard to do my own thing. I don't want my kids to be social outcasts or something like that.

One of my duaghters had a certain BFF for years. Her mom always wanted to do very special and expensive activities and trips. Disneyland Paris for instance. And not just Disneyland, it included eating in the nicest restaurant all dressed up in disney dresses etc etc and sleeping in the best hotel on the spot. I usually suggested other things to do. The girls also enjoyed playing at the beach etc. Sometimes my daughter joined on a trip and I paid the costs of my daughter.

At a point in time I realised didn't want that anymore. I like to do nice things with my family myself and would rather spend the money on that. What happened was that the bff's mom asked another girl to join her daughter on a certain - very exclusive - trip. I'm okay with that. But I was not okay that on this particular trip, they drove by our house just before departure, rang the door bell, just to make my daughter envious. Why in the world would anyone do that?

Reading the replies on this subject I realised it's the same mom who can't pay her grocery bills after divorce. Her parents and boyfriend are paying. Her salary does not even cover her housing and groceries, she told me a few years ago. The girl and her mother are always very well dressed, expensive brands, highly fasionable.

I tried to help them as far as I could (not lending money or anyhing) but after the envy- incident I tried to talk to the mom, she did not want to talk about it and there has not been any contact since. Her daughter responded by bullying my daughter at school.

Anyway, my daughter is fine now. Lesson learned: next time do what you want to do yourself, from the start.