It was a fine Tuesday morning when I woke up after a splendid night out with friends, my hollow stomach rumbling for some greasy, filling food to fuel it. Leaving the house, I headed to the closest diner in Kensington Market (Our Spot), ordered myself a plate of food, and upon checkout, handed the cashier my debit card.
And then it happened. In one of the most dreadful moments of my life, I held the card machine in my hand staring at one word, in big block letters: DECLINED.
The cashier, bless their soul, gave me a sympathetic look and asked, “Do you have another card you’d like to try?” Absolutely mortifying.
Luckily, I had some cash on me and Our Spot was a pretty inexpensive place to eat, so I dodged a bullet (as I only had my debit card on me), but that one word on the machine had me scrambling to figure out when did I slaughter my bank account?
Well, maybe it was when I agreed to see The Avengers with my friend in theatres. Or when I accepted the numerous Facebook event invitations to various pubs and birthday dinners and dancing events. Or it was even when my friend called me and said, “Hey! Have you heard of the new hat in stock at this store? I’m going this weekend, do you want to come with me to buy it?” and my immediate comment was “Sure!”
I might have a problem. It’s like that film starring Jim Carrey where he says “No!” to everything but is suddenly influenced to saying “Yes!” to everything. Well, I am him, just less enthusiastic about it.
Part of the issue might be because now, I have a lot of friends. You see, in elementary and high school, I kept to a small group, and didn’t make friends easily. I kind of enjoyed staying at home and reading books by myself, though I also looked wistfully at people who went out all the time with their friends and had the Facebook friends and social media networks to prove it. Upon reaching university, I shed my awkward shell and started being more social, talking to more people (I became more confident in myself) and getting exposed to the world outside of books and internet. People started to like me. I was a walking “Transformation Tuesday” and that was great!
Another part of the issue miiiiiiight be self-control. Just a little bit. This summer, I may have been enjoying patio season. I may have been spending a lot of time with Kensington Market restaurants. I may have been opting for the more expensive $2.50 chocolate milk instead of walking farther to buy the $1.25 one.
But this is my turning point. My journey to not being afraid of saying “no” to friends starts today. I’ve already started: a friend asked if I wanted to grab ice cream today and my response was, “Not today Satan!” Learning constraint this summer will be difficult, but for the sake of my weathered, battered wallet and bank account, I will have to do it.
Here’s a role reversal then: what tips do YOU have for saving money and saying “no” to social events for someone who is struggling in this field? Let me know (please)!