Living on a budget

Australia
July 29, 2008 8:11am CST
With the constant increases in the price of basic commodities, I have learned to live on a tight budget, making both ends meet, without sacrificing little luxuries in life. One of my way of doing this is by bulk-buying whenever I go grocery shopping. I usually stack up our pantry, firstly to save and secondly, for my family. The problem is, we have this neighbour who thinks of us as some kind of their own personal grocery store. They always come knocking at our door to ask for supplies such as coffee, sugar, butter, eggs, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. I used to give them whatever they ask for, if we do have them, but it has now become a regular thing so nowadays, I'm saying we don't have them even if we do have what they're asking for. But sometimes, when its only the kids who are here at home, they just give them whatever they're asking for. I feel sorry for them, but I also hate it when your generosity is being abused. Am I being selfish?
16 people like this
44 responses
@sid556 (30997)
• United States
29 Jul 08
not at all. they are taking advantage of you very clearly. and knowing that you have a soft spot for the kids...they will send the kids to ask. Once in a while is ok but you aren't running a food pantry and they should not be treating you as one. You are trying to be frugal so that you can get by which is very difficult these days and your efforts are being compromised by moochers.
• Australia
30 Jul 08
Yes, they do send their young daughter to do the asking...mum never showed her face not even once. Probably too embarrassed???
3 people like this
@sid556 (30997)
• United States
30 Jul 08
could be embarrassement or maybe she just knows the little girl's approach works. I was regularly buying koolaids and snacks for a little girl that came in my store.She never had money and I felt bad for her. She told her mom that i was nice and was just giving her stuff. fact is...i was paying for it. I finally had to tell her i couldn't afford it all the time. Her mom felt really bad and brought me in a plant. so it is hard to say what the motive is here.
1 person likes this
• Spain
29 Jul 08
No way, your selfish,disorganized neighbour is just taking advantage of your buying skills and your generosity.You are handling the situation very sensibly,don't weaken and they should take the hint
4 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
No, I'm not going to weaken coz I know, things might just become even more worse in the future. Thank you for your comment.
3 people like this
@katsmeow1213 (28926)
• United States
29 Jul 08
No I don't think you're being selfish. Asking for something once in awhile is fine, but making it a regular routine, geez. These people need to learn to budget for themselves and buy enough of what they need. They can't expect their neighbors to constantly help them out. I have a neighbor who will give me extra foods when they have them. They will give me vegetables from their garden, or church left overs if they go to a church function. Yesterday they gave me a pint of blueberries because they'd gone blueberry picking and felt like giving some to a few of their neighbors. They do it because they choose to. I've only ever once asked them for something, and it was because I was in the middle of a recipe when I realized I had no baking powder. That's the only time I've ever asked them for anything.
4 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
I do not mind giving them what they're asking when if its already late at night and I know that the shops are closed already. But it really irked me when one time I came home from grocery shopping (its like only 2pm) and straight away, the little girl came knocking at our door saying her mother wants to know if they can have some eggs. I just said I forgot to get some, which is half truth as I really did not get any, since we still have a carton full in our fridge. Thank you for your comment.
3 people like this
@markrobb (76)
• United States
30 Jul 08
you could always say, "here take the whole thing and when you go shopping. You can buy me a new one" "you are planning on going shopping?" "Great then enjoy!" that way, you let your neighbor know what's expected. You're happy to lend food, but you expect him to replace it. When they come to borrow again, could remind them of the items they owe you. Either that or you could just sell them the items at the door. One egg, $.25 stick of butter one dollar, three onions. $.45 Just some ideas.. Mark
3 people like this
• South Korea
30 Jul 08
Great Idea hahaha.. Yup, that's the way to do it with neighbors who aren't ashamed to ask for the things they need for free,..
3 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
Sell them things, you mean? Hahaha...I can just see their list of "credits" getting longer and longer if I will do that.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Jul 08
If their balance gets too high. Just let them know that they can't get anything until it's brought down. And they can bring the debt down not only by money, but possibly services. Like mowing your lawn, weeding your flower bed, washing your car. It's not real hard to understand that these things cost money and that you are not the money tree. Keep a clipboard by the door and keep good records to help them understand that you're keeping track of the goods borrowed.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jul 08
No, I don't think you're being selfish. You're wanting to make sure your family is taken care of first. I have a neighbor who has done that a few times. She'll ask to "borrow" the item and of course it is never paid back. Luckily it's only been a couple of times, but I've also given her quite a bit of my "extras" from time to time. I feel bad for her because she has 4 kids and she's a SAHM, and her husband apparently doesn't give her much money - she can't grocery shop without him or anything. I wish I knew a solution for you. Maybe next time you need something they've "borrowed", go ask for it back! :) Maybe they'd get the point???
• Australia
30 Jul 08
What is a SAHM? I just happen to be the type of person who doesn't like asking around for things, be it big or small things. I don't like being a burden to anybody and I certainly wouldn't want to be anybody's obligation. In our family, I'm the most independent sibling and what I cannot understand is, if I'm able to do something, why others can't do the same? I just wish they'd stop knocking at our door and will give us peace.
3 people like this
• United States
31 Jul 08
Sorry...so used to these acronyms I forget sometimes! lol SAHM is Stay-At-Home-Mom.
1 person likes this
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
30 Jul 08
No you aren't. There comes a point in time that one must start saying no. The person that lives next door to me that my husband has known for many years never borrows things from us, nor to we from him. He has offered many times to let us swim in his pool but I don't feel right because he doesn't have any children my children's age. It just seems to weird to go over and swim and we don't really have anything to return to him. Good luck with your person maybe they will move.
3 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
The house that they're renting was put up for sale by the owner and we really thought that, that would make them move somewhere else. But unfortunately, the new owner let them renew their lease for at least another year....wwaaahhhhh!
2 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
30 Jul 08
That really stinks! I'm sorry!
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36471)
• United States
30 Jul 08
no, you are not being selfish. those aren't the kind of neighbores you want ti\o have. i don't blame you for telling them u don't have that. that is ridulous that they are doing that. i'd be ashamed if i was then. that's really taking advantage of you & i'd stop it to. most of us do well ti\o buy for ourselves, i don't mind lending someone something they need but i'm not going to take them on to feed them. times are hard enough trying to feed your own.
3 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
That is very true...I think everyone is feeling the pinch of prices sky rocketting on to the roof. Some do have the conscience and consider other people's situation as well, but there are some (like our neighbours) who seems to only thinks of themselves.
2 people like this
@ANTIQUELADY (36471)
• United States
30 Jul 08
that is one of the biggest problem i think w/people nowadays is that me, me, me syndrome.
1 person likes this
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
29 Jul 08
You are not being selfish - they are taking advantage of you. May be you should start charging them - tell them that you have to buy those items at the store and if they need them, they should either reimburse you for thos items or replace them.
• Australia
30 Jul 08
oohhh, i don't think i can do that, to actually charge them for everything that they would ask us for. i'll just pretend that we're always out of whatever they're asking for...thanks for your comment.
3 people like this
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
30 Jul 08
You have to pay the store when you buy it - and they would have to pay the store if they purchased it at the store - the least they could do is to replace whatever it is that they "borrowed" from you.
2 people like this
@ruby222 (4848)
30 Jul 08
No Bunny you are not being selfish,if you are being frugal and sticking well to yuor budget then that is good,but your generousity must not be taken advantage of its not fair.If you are able to budget then they must be able to budget,and though its hard to refuse you must or this problem will continue,and they will be around borrowing more and more
• Australia
30 Jul 08
Yes I know that..this is the reason why I've started saying no to them. Eventhough I feel guilty sometimes, but I know that if I will not put a stop on it now, this will just go on and on, forever and ever...
3 people like this
• United States
30 Jul 08
lol its really kewl living on budget because there will be no tension of money ... i wish i would also live on budget lol XD ....
3 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
its only cool if you have the money to budget. others don't have much to even budget on and i really feel sorry for them. but we're in a country where low income earners and those who are unemployed can get support from the government so i guess, we are just on equal footing here. if i can survive, so should they.
3 people like this
@jwfarrimond (4474)
30 Jul 08
No you're not being selfish. They are abusing your generosity and I think that you should tell the children that they are not to give anything without getting your permission first.
3 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
My kids always asks for my permission first...but only if and when I'm at home at that time. If I'm not, I guess that's the time that they're able to get what they want coz my kids would not say NO for sure.
2 people like this
@subha12 (18452)
• India
30 Jul 08
no you are not at all selfish.prices are sky ricketting. its not time to amke charity. some peopel always try to get advantage out of anything. its in their nature that i have seen.
3 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
Yes...I'd say they would make a good example. Thank you for your comment.
2 people like this
@irishmist (3819)
• United States
30 Jul 08
I don't feel you are being selfish, you work hard for everything you have, and they are just being mooches, but they have found you are a easy mark being so generous. It's ok to help out sometimes, but not all the time. I would never dream of borrowing anything from my neighbors. I would help out, but not all the time. I really just don't have it to give, as I live alone and I have a hard enough time as it is, and I'm on a tight budget.
3 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
between them and us, we're the more comfortable ones. but this doesn't mean that we're well-off and that, we can afford to be their milking cow all the time. i don't mind helping but i just hate it when they start to abuse my kindness and generosity.
2 people like this
@dropofrain (1168)
• India
30 Jul 08
No I think you should stop giving them groceries on regular basis. Along with that you can also go to their home and ask for the same. It will make them realize how does it feels when you continuously ask for these small things on a habitual basis.
• Australia
30 Jul 08
No, I don't think I can do that...to go to their house and ask for some small things too. Because they might take that as an insult on their part, it will only worsen the already getting complicated situation. Thank you for your comment.
2 people like this
• Philippines
30 Jul 08
I dont think that is being selfish. You work hard for your family. You earn and save for you and your family to give them their needs and their wants. If I am in your shoes, I'll do the same. I'll tell them I do not have the things they need. Once is enough, and right now its more than once that is very abusive. If you cant tell them just continue telling them you dont have it. If you cant stand it anymore, just tell them, there maybe some consequences but at least they'll stop, I hope.
3 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
I really hope so...I don't want to come to that where I will be forced to say something "unthinkable" just for them to see reality and what they're doing to us.
2 people like this
29 Jul 08
You have your family to look after and it is a sad thing that there are some that will take advantage of the fact that they can borrow from others,but it is not up to you to provide for that family,you must provide for your own and in turn they must providde for theirs ,they must budget as you do,and it is maybe about time that they learnt this.
• Australia
30 Jul 08
As I've said, I did not mind sharing what we have in abundance..like if I've cooked too many, instead of the food going to waste, I'd rather give them some of it. But they're kind of misunderstanding my friendly gesture and look at it as their safe haven to now rely on us on anything and everything.
2 people like this
• Philippines
29 Jul 08
If you will continue on living like that, you might as well take inside your house and feed them. You're not actually helping them but making them idiots and idle men. Kindness and firmness, as they stand together is wisdom. And once you know when to be kind and when to be firm, you'll find yourself less guilty on refusing their abusing behaviors.
3 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
This is the reason why I'm trying to put a stop on this by saying no every now and then. I'm just surprised why they can't and still haven't seen the picture yet.
2 people like this
@mooner20 (16)
• United States
29 Jul 08
absolutely not. My GRANDMA always buys bulk meats and gives them to all of her kids and grandkids when times get hard, and her neighbor (also her daughter in law) share an inlaw suite which means the houses are built together but no door leads from interior to interior, u just share a drive way...well her daughter in law always comes over and takes hamburger meat or chicken or anything she wants when my grandma is not home and it is THAWING out for my grandmas dinner that night. enough is enough. people should respect generosity or no one will be generous any longer!
3 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
I totally agree...we should learn to respect generosity...we should learn to be responsible and take care of our own personal needs. But I don't see this happening with our dear neighbours.
2 people like this
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
29 Jul 08
then you should stop doing this. i think you are being abused. it looks like these people see you as a free ride. stuff is expensive these days and you need to look after yourself right now and no, i dont think you are being selfish at all!
3 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
That is why nowadays, whenever they come knocking at our door, I'm just saying we don't have what they need, even if we do have them. Its just that sometimes, I feel I'm having this uncomfortable feeling inside me, knowing that I can help and yet, I'm not doing so.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Jul 08
I can see helping your neighbor out every once in awhile but when it becomes to constant something is up way up go ask to borrow something from them and see if they even return the favor if not well.....
3 people like this
• Australia
30 Jul 08
Return the favor? Oh, I don't think so. Despite everything that we have given them or them have sucked up from us, they even had the guts to actually ask $15 for petrol to give my teenage daughter a lift to go to her part-time job which is just 5 klms away because I don't have my license yet and my partner was away at that time.
2 people like this