When Every Penny Counts: Tips for Staying Social at Work



Between helping my parents financially and paying for life essentials like rent, fare to and from work and meals, I am left with little money.

Unfortunately, at work, I am also expected to contribute to collections for colleagues who lose a relative, for birthdays, and to socialize with colleagues on Fridays. I want to be a team player, but I can’t afford it, what do I do?


It’s admirable that you take care of your parents and it’s understandable that your income has limits.

Work at times can become a social pressure pot. This is where my motto “say it plain” comes in. Express to your co-workers that you want to participate in the many office events but right now it’s not in your budget. You’re probably not alone in feeling this pressure and once said your co-workers will more than likely understand you will participate when you can afford to. If people know where you’re coming from, they tend to be more compassionate and accepting.

Now one last piece of advice, since you work in a very social environment, maybe you can create a savings strategy. For example, save the change you get after breaking a dollar. This is the money that you could use for work-related events. Only give or spend what you have in the savings. You would be surprised how quickly things add up over time.

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