I love baking. I always have, and heading more on to the frugal path has pushed me to stop wasting money on bland biscuits and head in to the kitchen. After whipping up a delicious batch of shortbread, I brought some for snacks in to work. I decided to share some with my coworkers, and the feedback was pleasingly positive. Then one coworker, and then another, starting saying, ‘You’re bringing a batch of these in tomorrow, right?’
Tomorrow at work, there is a morning tea fundraiser happening for a cancer organisation. While I concede that is a great cause, I’ve spent my money on ingredients to make snacks that should last me at least a week. If I want to make another batch, I’ll need to go and buy extra groceries in order to whip up some vegan biscuits for people that aren’t vegan, and who likely won’t provide any other options for me to partake in. And on top of that, we’re expected to bring in an additional donation. So I have to buy more groceries, then bake biscuits, then pay more money. Why? Because I feel like I have to.
I give to charity. I regular donate my money, time, and skills as a performer to support charitable organisations. I think that’s fair to expect of a person. But it’s not fair to expect me to be involved in an event I didn’t sign up for. We have established a culture of expectation, of obligation, of FOMO. We’re not a good friend unless we’re buying lavish gifts or huge bunches of flowers or expensive dinner dates. It drives me absolutely crazy.
If you want to partake in these kind of fundraisers, absolutely do it. I may choose to as well! But if I do, it’s going to be when I’m prepared and willing, not because I feel obliged. I will not spend money unless it’s my choice.
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