Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Livin' On A Prayer (Instead Of A Budget) Irritates Friend

Dear Tazi:

I have a friend who is an absolute diva!  Anything she wants, she gets and worries about the bill later.  This would not concern me so much if it were not for the fact that she keeps trying to drag me down with her.  If she wants a pedicure, she insists I come along; when I tell her I can’t afford one, she replies, “Sure you can!  You just think you can’t!”  No, Tazi, I really can’t….plus I live in the North and open-toe shoe season is over.  Nobody is going to see my feet anyway!  This is just one example of “Tonya’s” irresponsibility.  There are many more.

Tonya has always kept her spending a secret from her husband, arguing that she can do what she wants with her “allowance”.  Tonya pays the bills – her husband does not want the responsibility – so her husband cannot see the hundreds of dollars she spends every month on stuff she does not need.

Tonya’s husband just lost his job, and they have had to cut back on a lot of things, including cable TV; cigarettes and alcohol; date nights; coffee shop coffee; and laundry service – but Tonya still spends money on stupid stuff!  This week she wanted me to go with her to get our Tarot cards read.  She said the psychic is very reputable, which is why she costs so much, but Tonya wanted to know how much longer she was going to have to “pinch pennies”.  Tazi, she isn't!  Although I accompany her on most of her outings, I do not indulge myself.  I am now starting to feel resentful towards Tonya for the way she spends money she does not have while her husband joneses for a cigarette.  I completely understand how he feels, and want to say something to him.  Should I?

The REAL Penny-Pincher

Dear The REAL Penny-Pincher:

I can see how your friend’s attitude would disgust you; I am mildly disgusted by her myself and I have not had to sit next to her as Miss Cleo tells her the future. While I believe in the gift of reputable psychics I also believe that there is an appropriate time to visit one - and when you are down and out is not that time. The same can be said for pedicures and other indulgences.

I would advise against telling Tonya’s husband just where all their money is going; if he has any interest in knowing he can step up to the responsibility of assisting with the household budget.  I am aware that in most marriages one person handles the finances, but the other spouse is generally aware of where the money is being spent.  Willful ignorance offers its own rewards, as well as its own punishments.

You are wise not to spend money that you do not have to spend, even in the face of temptation.  Unfortunately, watching Tonya’s high rolling behavior sounds like it is dragging on your spirits.  May I suggest a compromise?  The next time Tonya suggests something that costs money – pedicures, Tarot readings, lunch at a fancy restaurant – counter-offer with an idea that is low-cost or free.  Colleges and universities frequently host lectures that are free and open to the public; in many areas, museums offer free admission on the first Saturday of the month; and your public library is a great place to look at local artwork, find a good book, or just chill with a friend!  If none of this appeals to you, why not try people watching at Walmart?  The view is always an interesting one!                                                                                        
Willy the Pimp. So this is who Frank Zappa was singing about...
Photo courtesy of

If you cannot convince Tonya to leave Macy's and return to Walmart (figuratively speaking, although quite literally as well) you will have to tell her that you will no longer be a party to her wasteful spending. Then, find your own way to keep busy with other friends. There are other fish in the sea!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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