Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
You know the routine. It happens quite often. Especially around a holiday. The phone rings and there is someone on the phone asking for money. I don’t know about you but I get very tired of people begging me for my money.
I’m flattered they believe I have bunches of money laying around ready to freely give away but lets keep some perspective on this. Whose money is it anyway? Why should my money be given away to someone else and why do they need it more than me?
My ability to say “no” helps me hang onto the money I desperately need myself. It also keeps me from being “taken” by the con artists that are everywhere these days.
Don’t get me wrong. I do my fair share of charitable giving. Instead of handing over cash to a stranger on the phone I give quilts I’ve made. But I give to the charities “I” choose. Those quilts got raffled off for far more than I could possibly have given as cash. Sometimes I get a request to do free quilting on a customer’s charity quilt. This is gonna sound harsh but its the truth. I don’t do free quilting because a customer tells me she or he is making their quilt for a charity. Their charitable giving is their own responsibility not mine. Free work doesn’t pay the bills or buy groceries.
One of the best money saving tools in any arsenal against poverty is the ability to say NO and let them know the decision is not going to change. Its my money so its not going to change hands simply based on a request. I have my own hard financial battles to fight and I don’t need others taking away my ammunition.
Yes, I do understand there are people with “needs”out there. We all have needs. That’s not new. What’s really feels good about saying no is to know that I am taking care of my own needs first which I can’t do if I am giving my money away. I choose my own favorite charity and give according to my ability but I don’t do this from a blind phone call. The caller just might be a scammer.
Now if the calls become really annoying and the callers don’t seem to take no for an answer here’s what I do and it’s a suggestion for you. Next time someone calls you repeatedly asking for money, and can’t seem to comprehend the word no, tell them to hang on for a minute, put the phone down, then go cut the grass or cook dinner or something. Or better yet, put the phone on speaker then make fake sex noises to really get their attention. Heck, why not have a little fun with a new way of saying no at their expense? If they believe its ok to freely take up your time with repeated phone calls its fair game to take up their time too.
This technique also works great for those annoying “windows computer” and most any other scammers. I do it all the time. It takes the caller an average of about two or two and a half minutes to figure out I’m not coming back to the phone.