Frugalism and generosity(11 Posts)
Don't know if I'm looking for advice, just throwing this out for a bit of discussion and thoughts.
We're doing some major belt tightening at the moment. DP's contract at work is unexpectedly ending (cutbacks), at not a brilliant time as we're trying to save for me to take a year off for adoption leave. So doing all the right things like meal planning, reducing utilities (further!); packed lunches, coffee from home etc.
BUT the one thing I'm really having difficulty with is stuff for other people. Generosity has always been really important to me (long standing family thing) and I like to be able to do things like buy people nice presents and casual things like treat people in my team to coffee/drinks when the moment arises.
The other day, I met one of my team in our work cafe and wasn't getting anything for myself but realised that I'd feel awful and weird not to offer him something, so spent a few quid on what was supposed to be a NSD.
So, just really struggling with this, and it feels somehow more emotional and fundamental than packed lunches! I'd be really interested to know other people's experiences and thoughts.
Seems a bit odd to buy for someone else when you're not having anything yourself.
Why not set a budget for treats like this, worked out on what you can afford based on your incomings and outgoings? So if you can allocate £20 pm to it, for example, try to stick to that?
Everyone puts a tenner into the 'team purse' and then when we go to cafe for coffees, the bill is just paid out of the purse and it saves a lot of faffing around.
My boss takes the team out for a meal once a year and we would not expect her to pay for anything at any other time.
I think it's possible to be generous without spending much money. A bunch of flowers, bag of plums or apples from the garden or bake some scones. Re gift a box of chocolates or nice hand wash to share in the office. Even being generous with smiles, friendly words or praise can go a long way. I wouldn't buy anything for any of my team in the cafe especially if I wasn't having anything myself.
I think you need to put the generosity on hold until your situation improves. I'm sure the majority of the recipients wouldn't want you to go without for the sake of a couple of pounds.
I think there are ways to be generous without breaking the bank;
Get baking - surprise a colleague with a homemade cake on their birthday.
A little e-card or YouTube clip to cheer someone up.
Going to a conference and giving a freebie pen to a colleague who never has a pen that works.
Giving a free coffee voucher to the
Coffee addict in your office.
Donating books/magazines to people who you think would like them.
Give time and help, not clutter or wasteful sugar drinks. Explain why, there's no shame.
See, if I was the guy in the canteen and you paid for my items without buying anything for yourself I would find that odd and maybe even ?patronising....Almost like, 'look at me, I earn more than you'.
No one in our team, manager or minion routinely buys things for another. Work is where we go to earn money, home is where we spend it.
It's about a fundamental change in mindset. What you are describing is generosity with money & spending, but there are other ways to be generous; it's very easy and not too expensive to bake. For example, at work, taking in home made cake, biscuits etc I'm sure would be well received and cost a lot less. That's just one example, but there are lots of other things.
I know how you feel. We need to be frugal but I love to buy family and close friends nice presents. I know they would understand if I cut back but I really enjoy finding things I think they would like !
I'm in the same boat and feel the need to be generous too !
This is what I've done so far -
Offered babysitting to pals
Made lovely cushions out of remenant s
Flowers from garden tied with ribbon
Today friends are comming round for food - I've done spag Bol but cooked if v v slowly so flavours are good
Devised a quiz for the kids and will have candles and fairy lights to make it pretty
I do have well off friends who give me nice gifts for b day and I do worry that I can't reciprocate ! I have had to re gift presents to manage this .
If you have any friends or family intro vintage stuff you can sometimes still get Intresting stuff for cheap
Otherwise I tend to theme gifts in a light hearted fashion such as a small bottle of gin and a Apron I made and called it mothers little helper - touuge in cheek - gift !
I also do clothes swap parties and get folk together - offering yr home is a generous thing to do and makes folk feel cared for 💐
I find it a bit strange that you bought something for your colleague when you didn't get anything for yourself.
Can you cutback treats to friday only, to be honest i struggle with my weight would prefer less refined food it the workplace.
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