No money means saying "No" to friends and family.

Pay day on Friday, £5.37 in my bank account and £3.78 in my purse and a three quarter of a tank of diesel to take us to mum in law’s (Bristol) and back on Friday. It’s like this every month. I have just enough. There is plenty of food in the house and everything is paid by direct debit. The lodger pays me on Friday and that will cover my water bill. I reassure myself that it’s all OK.

Yesterday with mum has left me feeling ‘out of sorts’. I don’t usually go in ‘normal’ shops and therefore don’t have many reminders of how some people live. As you all know, I deal with the mess I’ve made for myself in a positive way and walk on the sunny side of the street. Today though, is not so good.

 What I saw yesterday, in Fowey, were people escaping from their reality. They were away from home, on a break and I know that’s what we all need once in a while. My own mum, who doesn’t have a car, dropped lots of hints yesterday that it would be nice to go out for the day; to somewhere like Tavistock and go round the shops and go for lunch. I don’t have the heart to tell her “Mum, I could afford the diesel to come and see you today and I can afford the Diesel to go and see DB’s mum on Friday, but that’s it.” Our (with Dearly Beloved) days out are lovely. We go somewhere, find somewhere free to park, go for a walk and usually sit in the car with a flask and a bit of homemade cake, we chat and enjoy each other’s company. We’ve no money, but for that moment, in our moneyless world, it doesn’t matter.

I look positively at having what is truly necessary and no more. I have food, clothing, enough heat not to be chilly, the library, nice places to walk, a decent home. I also think that a social life, hobbies and life enhancing experiences are also truly necessary; they all make us who we are. Today, I feel like the last miser in the village who can’t afford to take my mum out for the day and although I don’t feel ‘down’ about it, it doesn’t make me feel good either.


19 thoughts on “No money means saying "No" to friends and family.

  1. I feel like this alot with my kids, so I totally understand.

    I used to do lots of days out with my mum, pop in cafe, spend a few £ here and there, these days could add up to £50 plus eeek.

    I know it is sometimes hard , but you are doing what is right for you xxx


  2. I just spent £75 after Mr Bent suggested going to 'catch a movie' and 'grab some noodles' afterwards, I never expected it to cost that much and although it was lovely the next day it was over and I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth 😦

    Feeling guilty at saying no is lot less painful then that bitter taste


  3. I know what you mean. I've got a weekend with my mum ahead and she loves to shop…it's a hobby I'd say and I'm the opposite. I stick to my budget and she's not satisfied until her purse is empty.
    She likes cafes and when I suggest a flask and a sit in the park, she looks at me like I'm insane!


  4. Hi Sharon, Hi Mrs Bent. I used to take mum out, buy lunch, fill the car up with fuel, pay to park and buy a few 'bits' and that would be the end of £50! It is hard. Last month, I had the first contact in months from my daughter, who asked me to take her shopping to buy her new clothes, it was just at the point where I had nothing left and I had to say no, she hasn't answered any texts or any calls since. I know I'm doing what's right but it is so hard to say no to my family so often.


  5. Big hugs Froogs, money is a strange thing indeed! Those of us that understand you and your (lack of) spending habits all look at the 'other folk' and wonder at what point they'll 'click' and actually get it.
    Just listening to the radio this morning and how many jobs are on the line down here in professions that 2 years ago seemed the safest around. Sadly more and more people will be joining us through necessity really soon xx
    PS never forget you're doing what's right for you and your family, even if they can't quite see that yet!


  6. It is hard, I am sure your mum will understand, take some homemade cake and suggest a walk in a park, just spending some time together would be nice. It is hard but you are doing what is right for you.


  7. Hi Lyn, if only it was that easy, mum would rather die than live my frugal way, she sees my way of life as 'depressing'. I know people who feel 'sorry' for me because I live like this, unfortunately, we frugals are in the minority, others spend their way to happiness – I would invite mum to us, for lunch and she wouldn't come! if I invited her and dad to 'eat out' they WOULD come, it's sad but true!


  8. Hey Froogs, I totally get this X.
    What about asking mum to “get lunch” this time as you really need a treat?
    Or going to hers with lunch and your knitting and tell her you really need some mum/daughter time?
    I haven't met your mum, so don't know if either of these will work, but if they don't, just remember that she loves you, even if she doesn't “get” the frugal lifestyle.
    You could try linking with something she does get, like “The Good Life”, and the dilemmas of Tom and Barbara with very little money but loads of love?
    If all else fails, ring me..I have diesel, lunch to share and plenty of wool and material, and I can be with you in 40 minutes.
    X X X


  9. Thanks FM, I'm alright really, just feeling a bit crappy about not being able to do something for my mum. I love her to bits but she's a funny old sort. I work, she's retired and her and dad only have a state pension, they are really really skint and I've had to help her in the past. I used to be able to buy her clothes, shoes and things she needed but I can't any more. It's just plain old guilt that I'm not providing for mum, they thought they would be taken care of by their three kids when they were old and the economy and our lifestyles are such that we can't look after our parents the way we should. My sister is a star and takes mum to have her hair done, to the chiropodist and pays mum and dad's dental insurance because the NHS one has gone now. I should be able to do more for them. I can provide for the kids, they don't mind second hand but mum finds that really hard.


  10. I can absolutely get where you are coming from – I get this too from the kids (sometimes, although they understand more) and from my partner who's working and has a good job – and smiles wryly at my attempts at frugality (he stays with us once a month) – whilst getting it – he's a big one for saying OK when you're down we'll have to……………costing £XXX – I simply can't do it most of the time. We got to a wedding recently and ONLY because my OH thought it was important to go – so I had to say 'OK YOU HELP PAY…..'. I know you can't do that with your mum but if she does get old Tom and Barbara style life – then maybe suggest something local with a bit of a lunch/picnic might work? Anything on locally that is free over the break?

    If its any consolation – from what I've briefly read – you're trying your very hardest.

    I'll go away now! Sorry but I just wanted to give you a *virtual* and *free* hug.


  11. At the rate this economy is going, the best thing you can do for yourselves AND for your mum is to keep doing what you are doing to get out of debt. The day may come she will need a lot more than a trip to the shops or the like. THEN you'll be in a position to help because you'll be out of debt. It's almost like raising kids; you have to do the right thing whether they understand it or not. . . . . . . My husband has a government job. We don't know how it's going to come out. Holding on to every penny I can right now. Same song, umpteenth verse. I get so tired of explaining it to my kids, but at least they won't grow up under any false ideas about what it takes to get by. . . . .. Hang in there. Don't do anything today that you'll kick yourself for tomorrow. It'll get better with a little sunshine and a flask of hot tea!! Couple of Cornish pasties. Cheers!!


  12. Oh deep deep sympathies! I love my family greatly – but cannot compete in the financial stakes. Your friends have left you lots of positive comments which I really endorse – there are other ways to show love than splashing the cash.

    Hang in there, stick to your principles.

    Two of my favourite verses are…

    What does it profit a woman to gain the whole world and lose her own soul?


    The Lord will provide.



  13. Hi its hard but sometimes your own little family have to come first..we are the same only no car we had to get rid when dh got made one asks for a lift coz i get out my bike and kiddies trailer and say hop on then i'll give you a backie….instead i ask if they would like to come for lunch or have a walk around the charity shops…soon gets rid of them lol…


  14. Thanks every body for your comments. I have to do, what I have to do. Dearly Beloved works for the Benefits agency and under the reforms, with 'Universal benefit' he could be one of the 50,000 public sector workers who loses his job! We have to clear these debts before we spend so much as a penny!


  15. I know you have problems with your daughter as do I but worry as you might please don't let emotional blackmail make you feel guilty. I know there are complex issues involved but your daughter is an adult and it is not right that she sees you as someone who is always going to say yes to her demands for material things as you are unable to provide them and it's unfair of her to withdraw contact and worry you simply because you aren't able to take her shopping on demand. Love shouldn't have to be bought! You are not a cash machine. It's sad that your parents don't want to take you up on the pleasures you are in a position to give, a lunch or dinner invitation at your house, a picnic, sad but not your fault! It not like you are an uncaring daughter who doesnt bother about her parents, you are there for them and so many elderly people wish this were the case for them. It's great that your sister can help out materially and does but unfortunately you can't! You offer emotional support and your home is open to your parents and your daughter as is your heart. You are doing your best with what you have and that's all a person can do frankly


  16. Oh my late mother was like that! When she died there was an entire wardrobe of unworn clothes, with tags left on them. She always used to complain about how poor we were in the 1980s. I always wore jumble sale clothes and had the fun taken out of me at school for it (especially as even the gypsies wouldn't buy the clothes I got put in). When Dad was alive he was taking home £380 a WEEK in the 1980s but everything went on her and her clothes etc.
    These days if the kids need clothes they get them (OK Primark or GAP outlet), I get clothes when mine are past the point of no return.
    We do have the advantage of having Atlantic Village shopping outlet place here, so good quality stuff (M & S, Gap etc) is easier to get hold of.
    I know when we emigrate things are going to be tough, Norway is not the cheapest country to live in but at least it is the happiest. (And froogs, you can always come for a free holiday once we get there, not as warm as Cornwall I'm afraid.)


  17. Oh hun. It's always hard to try and explain to others how little money you have. Me and Spadger used to have to turn down visits to the pub all the time and our rineds could never understand how it was possible for us to not have enough money. All they saw was 2 people in full time employment. Not 2 people with a lot of debt!

    Keep on that sunnyside :o)


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