Weekly Money Roundup #24

Hello everyone! Welcome to Weekly Money Roundup! Here I wrap up happenings here at Color Me Frugal during the week and share with you some of my favorite posts that I enjoyed from other sites this week. There were some pretty awesome articles making the rounds in the personal finance blogosphere this week, so I hope you’ll enjoy! If you haven’t already, please considering Following us on Twitter or Liking us on Facebook.


Why So Many “Days”?

Weekly Money RoundupLately I’ve been thinking a lot about how pretty much everyone has a “day.”  Has anyone else noticed that?  Administrative Assistant’s day, Nurses’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, etc., etc.  The cynic in me feels that Hallmark and other greeting card makers probably came up with this.  Is it necessary?  I don’t know.  Shouldn’t we do nice things for those we love or those we work with every day?  Why must there be a day for everything?  I think I am feeling all “day’d” out right now because I happen to work with a nurse… and a few administrative assistants… and I have a mother.  And a stepmother.  And a mother-in-law.  And if anyone out there knows their “days” you know that Mother’s Day is this weekend, Nurse’s Day was this week, and Administrative Assistant’s Day was a week or two ago.

Most years these “days” have not bothered me too much, and it’s been fun picking out flowers or other gifts for my various mothers.  But this year I have a bee in my bonnet (gosh I’ve been dying to use that phrase for a long time!) over all the days, and in particular all these days being so close together.

Case in point:  last week a co-worker suggested to me that the three of us who work most closely with the two administrative assistants on our team get them gift certificates for a restaurant for Administrative Assistant’s Day.  My hubby and I are currently spending lots of money on various costs associated with our upcoming adoption and we are feeling pretty broke at this point, but I felt I couldn’t say no (peer pressure… everyone else was doing it).  So I agreed.  The co-worker who came up with this idea later emailed us and suggested that we each pitch in $20 per assistant and get them $60 gift certificates for one of the nicest restaurants in town.  $40 each for the three of us.

I felt like this was a little steep, especially considering that the hubs and I opted to just get cards for the mothers this year- no gifts.  Like I said, we’re adopting and it’s expensive and we feel broke.  I was trying to figure out how to word an email back to her to suggest a cheaper restaurant or less money on the gift certificates when she wrote us to tell us that she’d already gone to pick up the gift certificates and she got them for $75 for each assistant.  So the three of us would each need to chip in $50!!  Unbelievable.  I wrote her several snarky emails and deleted them all before I sent them.  After all, I had agreed to the gift certificate idea.  And I do appreciate these people.  It just feels wrong to be spending so much money on them when our mothers are just getting cards this year for Mother’s Day.  And at a time when our expenses are so high.

What do you think?  Do you get suckered into chipping in for things like this too?  Would you have sent one or more of the snarky emails?


Below are the posts we published this week:

Monday May 5- Got Gift Cards?

Tuesday May 6- May Goals and Life Update

Wednesday May 7- How to Afford a Summer Vacation


Here are some articles we enjoyed from other sites this week:

Kyle at Rather-Be-Shopping Blog writes, Can You Save Money at Starbucks?  -8 Ways To Make It Happen.  I was immediately interested in this post, because I have to admit, Starbucks is my weakness.  I try to make coffee at home most days, but once in a while I indulge.  So I was super interested in reading Kyle’s great tips here!

Sam at Frugaling writes, Living in a Van to Becoming a Porn Star:  Crazy Ways Students Pay Tuition.  I was fascinated by this post because it’s so sad and so true.  Students really do have to get incredibly creative (and apparently pornographic!) these days if they are to have any hope of making it out of school without student loans.

Danielle at SavingAdvice.com writes, 13 Ways to Make Money While Exercising.  I love this post because it combines two really great things;  exercise and making money!  And hey, if you can do both at the same time it’s always a bonus, right?  I’m all about multi-tasking…

Michelle at Diversified Finances writes, Working Smarter When You’re Self-Employed.  I really appreciated this post because I have also been struggling with the constant goal of working smarter, not harder!  As a matter of fact, I too have been thinking about writing a post about this one!  It’s the ultimate goal for me.

Kali at L Bee and the Money Tree writes, Is Working for Yourself Worth It?  Many out there know that I have been contemplating self-employment, so this post immediately caught my interest.  It’s definitely worth a read!

photo credit: cdsessums via photopin cc, with changes


  1. says

    I have been sucked into buying things like that before. I have a hard time telling people no when it comes to giving, but I am better than I used to be. I just try to be honest and let people know that it’s not in my budget. Most people don’t really budget their money, so they don’t think anything of buying things like that.

    On another note, you’re adopting??? Awesome! I didn’t know that. Probably because I am not very observant. My wife and I have 2 children and we are adopting 2 more. We actually get them next month! It’s exciting!

    Thanks for the list of articles! Good stuff!
    Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog recently posted…Where is Your Money Really Going When You Donate to Charities?My Profile

    • says

      Thanks, that’s cool that you’re adopting too! I actually haven’t written much about it because, well, with adoption anything can happen and we don’t want to make a big announcement until things are somewhat final. But it’s been hard not to say anything because this is a personal finance blog and it’s having a massive impact on our finances!

    • says

      It’s hard when that kind of thing happens at work. You always feel like there will be ramifications if you say no- if nothing else, I often feel that I can’t say no because I’ll be judged or thought of as cheap.

    • says

      Thanks Kate. I still haven’t sent an email about it. I also haven’t forked over my $50 yet, but I don’t plan on stiffing anyone at this point. It’s hard because the person who is this enthusiastic to be generous actually makes less money than me- so I guess I fear she’ll think I’m really cheap if I say anything. The really crazy thing about it is that this woman has adopted a child in the past- so she if anyone should know how expensive it is and what we’re going through at this point. But that was obviously not taken into consideration. Sigh.

  2. says

    I was cringing as I read your coworker decided to up the amount. I’ve been an admin assistant, and I’ve never gotten anything for it. No one’s even acknowledged the day. Going crazy is so unnecessary. I would have just liked to have known that my work was appreciated! And yes, I do feel really bad when I get roped into things and spend more on coworkers than family. It sucks to have your plans derailed. I was glad to have left a job where they were suggesting pitching in $60 for our bosses Christmas present. I think some people have too much fun with the act of gift giving and don’t consider the monetary part.
    E.M. recently posted…Choose Wealth! Be A Millionaire By Midlife: A ReviewMy Profile

    • says

      I think when you give a gift like that it truly is more the thought than the dollar amount that counts- I really think these folks would have been just as happy with gift certificates for cheaper restaurants or less money on them. They would never have known the difference and still would have thought we were really generous! And the message that we really appreciate them still would have come across loud and clear. It’s the sentiment, not the dollar amount that matters.

  3. says

    Yea this happens in our office too. One guy who has appointed himself in charge of gift giving duties seems to make these decisions on behalf of everyone (sometimes without consulting others). Actually one time, a co-worker e-mailed back and straight out said that she just couldn’t afford it and that she would contribute less. It’s a difficult situation, but your co-worker shouldn’t have made the decision unilaterally. I guess another option would be to not chip in and get a different gift. Have a great weekend.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Are You Suffering From Technology Overload?My Profile

    • says

      Oh no! Wow, if someone appoints themselves to this job it puts an extra spin on things- I wonder if that person ends up having less friends in the office because of that? I could see how folks might begin to avoid the person who is always collecting money for something :-)

  4. says

    ugh I hate that pressure thing. Personally I’d rather donate to a cause that is important to me…and I don’t have a problem anymore saying that my budget dictates that I spend money elsewhere, but I will do something nice for ______(the admin assistant). People really want to feel appreciated…and that doesn’t have to be something monetary.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…It’s Not Always About the BenjaminsMy Profile

    • says

      I need to get to that place where I feel comfortable doing that too. One of the areas of personal growth that I need to work on, I think. I like the way you word that, “my budget dictates that I spend money elsewhere…” I may need to borrow that one!

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