$30 Bucks to A Good Cause… Because I Had To

If you are visiting from the 85th Money Hacks Carnival hosted at The Dough Roller, welcome to Out of Debt Again! Thank you DR for including my post in today’s carnival!

During this past week I was waylaid by my boss soliciting charity goods. I admit it, I ordered the $10 loaf of Bavarian Crème with chocolate icing butter braid bread of my volition.

But I had myself talked out of the fast food coupon book.  I bought one last year. I don’t know where it’s at, and I don’t think we used more than one or two coupons out of it. First of all, eating out isn’t really in our budget (okay, it is, but I wish it weren’t).  Not to mention we really don’t want to be eating fast food.

Gretchen stood in front of my desk looking down at me.  She waved a book in front of me and said, “Madeline said as long as I was selling the butter braid bread for Ralph, I may as well find out who wants the fast food coupon book.”

I’d known this was coming… several times a year she comes around with fundraisers for children and grandchildren of staff.  I worked up my last drop of nerve and replied (or should that be “lied”?) “You know… I never used even one coupon out of last year’s book.”  I paused, trying wildly to assess her reaction, then continued, “And, well, we are on this new budget, so we aren’t supposed to eat out.  I don’t know if it would really be worth it for me.  Besides, weren’t the books only $15 last year? They’ve gone up to $20.”

She glared, her blue eyes piercing through me and retorted, “Do you really want to disappoint Madeline’s grandchildren?  They are coming by tomorrow to sell the books to clients, and Madeline always helps by selling books to staff.”

I immediately caved, and said I’d buy one.

Both items were for a “good cause”. The “children” soliciting the items both go to private schools and the money raised by the fundraisers will be used to buy supplies for their schools.

I have a few problems with what happened. First of all, if I’m not mistaken, I believe one purpose of the fundraiser is for the children to gain experience by selling the fundraising products; experience with dealing with the public, salesmanship, speaking with adults, rejection, etc. Secondly, the staff member who has decided to deprive the children in his or her life of this opportunity should be the one soliciting. Thirdly, obviously it’s wrong for my boss to insist that we participate in these fundraisers unless we legitimately interested.  Fourth, it’s too bad I’m such a sissy.

In spite of my fussing, I have to admit there a TON of coupons in these books. You can easily make back your twenty bucks by eating out four or five times in the next year, depending on which coupons you use. For example, you can get two free tacos with any purchase from Jack in the Box, a savings of $1.  Or, you could get a buy one get one free Big Mac. The last time I looked, Big Mac’s were pretty expensive, maybe $3.49?  There are also coupons for entertainment, like Buy One Get One free admission to Imax, or $10 off your purchase of $50 at Dick’s Sporting Goods, and also coupons for auto care, like dollars off an oil change, tire rotation, etc.

You can buy one for yourself at the site.  I think they would make a great Christmas gift for someone who eats out a lot (if they are willing to use coupons).  You could even buy the book for someone who lives in another state because the site allows you to buy the book by your city and state.   Mr. A is planning to get one for a guy he works with fairly regularly, and AJ bought one for our pastor and his family. So in the end, it’s all good. Thanks, Gretchen. Maybe next year I’ll just budget in twenty bucks for the coupon book.

Now if I could just find last year’s book… I still have three months left to make it worth the $15 I spent last year…

Are you plagued with “kid” solicitations from coworkers at your job? How do you handle it?

Yours Truly,

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6 thoughts on “$30 Bucks to A Good Cause… Because I Had To

  1. Just tell her your husband checked the budget and you can’t afford one after all. That way, it looks like he’s the bad guy (sorry Mr. A) and you come off as someone who doesn’t want to start a family squabble.

    In this economy, you should never feel obligated to spend money on stuff you won’t use. And, you are 100% right in saying THE KIDS should be doing the selling, not some adult.

    Stick to your guns!

    I own a consignment shop (nearly 5 yrs open) and I’ve finally decided to close down by early November. Two reasons – first, sales are in the toilet (that’s a good enough reason in my book!) and no, resale shops are NOT booming in the bad economy like everyone seems to think, and second, I CAN’T STAND IT IF ONE MORE PERSON ASKS ME IF I’LL TAKE LESS FOR SOMETHING. Honest to God, do they ask that at grocery stores or a Hallmark store or even their local Kmart? NO. So why do they think they can try to haggle in my store?

    Sorry…I’m rambling. My point was that people are stressed and they seem to think it’s ok to be rude because the economy has tanked. That woman was RUDE in trying to make you feel guilty. You should never feel obligated to bow to this rudeness by agreeing to buy something you don’t need or have budgeted or won’t use.


    Love your blog.


  2. I have nightmares of grade school product sales, I HATED having to do it. I always feel sorry for anyone who does make the effort. This is now my policy. I will happily donate $10 or $20 to the charity (501c3) they are selling for, but I will Not buy anything. This is a win-win in my opinion because I get a tax write-off and they get an 100% profit that they wouldn’t have otherwise. This policy also prevents me from those scam magazine sales people who come knocking.


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