A Better Way to Say "NO"

The giving season is upon us. It’s a wonderful time to focus less on ourselves and do good for others in need. It’s also a time in which we’re routinely asked directly for charitable contributions while at the register of our local gas stations, movie rental store, and even at a stop light.

While I don’t necessary mind this type of method for collecting money by charity groups, I find it awkward when you have to tell these people no. You could have a perfectly legitimate reason for saying no: you gave to them last week, you’re out of coins/bills, you don’t have it in the budget, you’re in a hurry, etc… Still, regardless of the reason, you’re still telling them no…and it’s awkward. Or at least I feel awkward. Maybe I have trouble saying no (boundary problem? …maybe) Well, I’ve got a remedy for this uncomfortable situation. Here’s a magic sentence my wife taught me to say in response to these situations:

“Not today, thank you.”

Said with a smile, this sentence can work wonders. It’s a polite response and implies you are a giving person but choose not to give right now. It’s empowering. I challenge you to try this next time you’re caught off guard and asked for money.

The past few years my wife and I have tried to pick a few charities we are comfortable giving to, and give a set amount. This way, we stay within budget and remain intentional with our giving, which helps us to feel that our money is going to a worthy cause.

By the way, the magic sentence above can also be used in most retail situations when asked if you want to join their club, sign up for a store credit card or product warranty, or any other sales pitch.



Last Edited: December 7, 2008 @ 11:34 am The content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, financial writer, FinCon CEO, and husband and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.