Picture this: You’re with friends and they suggest going somewhere for dinner. Your finances are tight, and you really can’t afford to eat out at the place suggested.


Picture this: You’re with friends and they suggest going somewhere for dinner. Your finances are tight, and you really can’t afford to eat out at the place suggested.



What would you do?



•Admit you lack the funds and say, “I really can’t afford it.”



•Keep quiet and go along — you’ll just order an appetizer and water.



•Go ahead and buy what you want.



Some people feel shame or embarrassment if they say they can’t afford to do something — but there’s nothing wrong with saying it!



Perhaps rephrasing it would help. Instead, you could say, “That’s out of my price range right now.”



Facing reality might be difficult, but it can reduce your financial stress.



Would you rather confront things now or wait until you are struggling to pay your credit card bill?



Managing money



Everybody should learn how to manage money. Good money management includes being able to pay your monthly bills, saving for the future and buying the things you need and want without creating unmanageable debt.



A spending plan can be a helpful money management tool.



Some people want to collect as much as they can, while others want to buy as many goods and services as they can.



Recognizing your attitude about money can help you deal with situations so you can confidently say, “I can’t afford it” — or, alternatively, “Let me check my budget/spending plan,” “Let me think about that,” “That’s not in my plan for today” or “Maybe another time.”



Understand the emotions involved. Friends often get their feelings hurt if you never want to go places with them. Explaining your plans in advance can help you avoid misunderstandings.



Peer pressure encourages us to spend money when we can’t afford to do so.



When you have a clear understanding of your money and financial goals, it may make it easier to resist such pressure.



Elaine Courtney is a Family & Consumer Sciences Extension agent at the Okaloosa County Extension offi ce in Crestview.