The other day I went out to lunch with a friend. (I promise this was before I vowed not to eat out.) She mentioned that she’d like to go somewhere cheap since things were kind of tight.
“Of course, cheap sounds great to me!” I said, always thankful for a frugal food suggestion. As we were eating, she disclosed a little more on how “tight” things were for her.
“I just found out I was late paying my rent and now I have a $35 late fee on top of that,” she moaned. “I’m going to have to ask my dad again to pay for me this month.”
“Oh no! How late were you paying rent? Surely if it was a couple of days they could waive the fee?”
“Well, the landlord emailed me this morning saying I haven’t paid yet. I really thought it had gone though!”
“Hmm. Did you see the money go out of your account? Because if your check has been sent or your bank account has been charged, then surely you can show your statement to the landlord.”
“Uh, I don’t know,” she said nonchalantly. “I haven’t checked my bank account since sometime in September.”
I tried not to choke on my sandwich.
“Oh,” I said simply, meanwhile thinking to myself: How can you go an entire month without checking your bank account???
“Hm, well I hope you get things resolved,” I said and then proceeded to tell her some empathetic story about how I once overdrafted twice in one day.
I could tell she was done with the money talk, so we continue with our lunch and on to other topics. But I really wanted to keep talking about it. I wanted to get out a notebook and create a budget for her. I wanted to tell her I’ve been there. I remember having $10 to my name. I remember when every meal I ate out tasted like money dropping from my wallet. I wondered if she thought that as we ate.
But I didn’t say any of that. Perhaps I should have. I guess I’m a coward when it comes to talking about money and my thoughts how one should handle it. I never want to come off as “holier than thou.”
So that brings me to some questions for the blogosphere:
1. Has anyone ever been in an uncomfortable situation like above where you confronted a friend/family member regarding their finances? How did it go?
2. How often do you check your bank account? Personally I feel a bit uneasy if I go a day without checking mine.
3. Do you currently feel like your finances are out of control? I know most of my readers are those who have a handle on their finances, but perhaps some of you would like some help. If so, I have definitely been there. I’m no expert, but I’d be willing to digest your financial situation and help set goals and create a budget. Please email me at myprettypennies[at]hotmail.com if you would like some help. :)
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