Every time I turn around some co-worker is collecting money for something – kids’ sports, walks for every disease under the rainbow, birthdays, retirements. It never ends! If I don’t contribute, they’ll think I’m hard-hearted. But I’m on tight budget. How can I hold on to my money without being Scrooge?
A.Boy, if I had a nickel for every time this comes up! This is a problem for many people, especially in these difficult economic times. Unfortunately, most people don’t speak up, so the financial drain keeps growing for everyone. Be a hero in your office! Announce that, as much as you care about your colleagues and their special events and causes, you must limit your financial contributions. I’d suggest making this announcement at a staff meeting or another neutral time – not when you’re being asked to contribute. Then, next time you’re asked, just look apologetic, shrug, and say, “Sorry.” Co-workers who are also feeling the pinch will bless you for setting the precedent.