Posted by Arianne | Filed under Arianne
I promised my friend I would lead today’s post with his comment to Gail: Please fix Toronto’s budget because our mayor isn’t so good with things like math.
I can’t say I haven’t thought the same thing a few times in my head! On to Thursday business:
As adults we’re still subjected to peer pressure, office cliques and simply trying to fit in. Luckily enough, I exude a pheromone that’s exempted me from ever falling into the perils a lot of people can’t avoid. In my youth, I was never surrounded and forced to take a puff of a cigarette to be a part of the ‘in crowd.’ I don’t recall being associated with any cliques. I wouldn’t call myself a ‘social butterfly’ either but I’m pretty sure I was friends with someone from every group of stereotypes in my school: AV Club, jocks, the student council, the teacher (still in touch with one of the ones who changed my life), the popular girls, the nerds, the foreign students, the younger kids, etc. If you were a nice person, then I didn’t see a reason why I couldn’t be friends with you.
Growing up priorities and responsibilities change but the pressure from your Grup friends and work colleagues are probably even stronger. You want to keep up appearances and you find yourself saying yes to those lunches even when you brought a perfectly good lunch from home. You will meet up at the bar for some drinks, snacks and gossip. It’s an expense you really can’t afford. In work situations, you don’t want to look like you’re not a team player and with friends you don’t want to deny yourself the fun of catching up – I mean, what are a couple of drinks, right? A lot of us spend the majority of our time at work, we’re forced to be somewhat social with the people we see every day. Many lasting friendships, sometimes more (Hey Angelina and Brad!), come out of working closely with these people day in and day out.
I don’t know what it is about me but it’s never bothered me to say ‘no’ to anyone about anything. If I don’t want to do it, I’m not going to. But a lot of people don’t have it that easy. Depending on your career and the industry you’re in, you have to schmooze and rub elbows and almost, perform from time to time or else people lose respect. Some people just don’t get it. You have to take cabs from across the city, you can’t wear the same thing twice to a function. I mean…what if you’re seen in another black dress?!?!!! Sacre bleu! The point is – sometimes you just have to look at what is important to you. No, going for a street meat run with some peeps from the office won’t derail your savings journey but then where do you draw the line? Happy hour drinks at the local pub? Going to a show to blow off some steam? That was so fun yesterday, let’s do something else today…and so on and so on.
You need to set your rules to live by. They don’t have to last forever, but guidelines helped me SO MUCH in getting to a healthier financial state of affairs. I knew what I needed to do, we all know what we need to do, it’s simply a matter of putting ourselves into action and dealing with the consequences. Here’s a suggestion: make it a team effort if you’re truly worried about what your peers may think.Coordinate a group potluck lunch where everyone is responsible to bring one dish to the office. You can still have the time away from your desk. It doesn’t take much to tweak bad habits, I am no Saint Savings! I’m finding as long as you acknowledge your missteps and get back on track, there’s no reason to feel guilty.
So let me know how you deal with the pressures of fitting in with your friends/peers? What tips do you have for those who feel that keeping up appearances is worth digging themselves deeper in debt?