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.

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Last Edited: May 25, 2017 @ 6:49 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a former practicing CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of FinCon, the conference and community dedicated to helping other financial influencers and brands. He created this website back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money, hold himself accountable, and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

PT uses Personal Capital to keep track of his financial life. This free software allows him to review his net worth regularly, analyze his investments, and make decisions about his financial future.

PT keeps a portion of his emergency fund in Betterment, the automatic investing tool that makes investing super simple. Betterment focuses on what matters most: savings rate, time in the market, investing costs, and taxes. PT recommends this service to anyone looking to get started investing for themselves.

All the content on this blog is original and created or edited by PT.