Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ask Kelli: Talking About Tough Topics (Money & Weight)

by Kelli Miller

Hi Kelli,

A while back I asked my husband if we could spend money on a party planner for an event we’re having. I gave him a ballpark price of how much she would charge, and he agreed. Well, the party planner just left my house, and the estimate is about three times what I had anticipated. It’s not her fault; I just thought it would be far fewer hours. She has already done so much of the work that I can’t back out now. I’m terrified to talk to my husband. We already have so many other more important expenses. Do I not tell him and just write her a check?

Signed,
Nervous Party-Giver


Dear Nervous Party-Giver,

While it might seem that the easiest way out of this situation is to write a check to the party planner and pray your husband doesn’t see it, it's also the sneakiest, riskiest, and most likely plan to backfire. So, no, I wouldn’t suggest trying to hide the cost from your husband. You honestly thought the party planner's bill would be much lower but you misjudged the amount of time she was spending on the job. You're an adult and you need to own up to what the price turned out to be. And that means having an honest conversation with your husband.

One of the useful tips I have learned is to show your husband you’re trying to mend the situation. That means explaining to him that you’re:

1) Trying to negotiate a better rate from the party planner from this point on. (And really try your best to do this. It can’t hurt and it could help a lot!)

2) Scaling back on any items in the party budget that you still have the chance to reduce.

3) Cutting back on other elective spending that you do (for clothing, jewelry, entertainment, whatever your vice is).

4) Making sure to be more vigilant in the future about keeping track of costs, because of this experience.

All the best,
Kelli 

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Dear Kelli,

I’m so jealous of all my girlfriends who always look so trendy and pretty. I just can’t afford to keep up with the latest fashions. I mean I can’t even afford $35 tops at Marshalls. Is there anything I can do to still look cute?

Signed,
In Need of Fashion Help on a Budget


Dear In Need,

Yes, you can take your current pieces and just snazz them up a bit. I’m thinking you could buy a few cute pieces of fun jewelry from a place like Old Navy ($10-$12) and add them to your current wardrobe. A chunky necklace can work with simple tops, and dangly earrings can make a normal outfit a bit more glamorous. Finally, a wide black belt with a big buckle can work with a variety of outfits and make you look more trendy. You can probably find one for $15 or so at Target.

All the best,
Kelli

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Dear Kelli,

I’m extremely thin, and always have been my whole life. It’s just my body type. But I can’t tell you how many people either think I’m anorexic or “wish they could have that body.” What they don’t realize is that I don’t actually like being so thin. Clothes fall off me, and I certainly don’t feel sexy. So when people say how jealous they are of my thinness, I feel invalidated and frustrated. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Signed,
Hate Being Thin


Dear Hate Being Thin,

Being thin is certainly overvalued in our society; so I imagine when these people make comments about your body, they truly believe you have it easier because you’re thin. So why not clue them in? Let people know what it is you don't like about being underweight. (Most people are only aware of the problems of being overweight.) People can only understand how you are feeling if you tell them how you are feeling.

All the best,
Kelli

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Kelli Miller, MSW is a therapist, author, and radio personality. Miller was a featured expert for SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 198, the co-host for the TV show Love and Money: The Advice Show, and the advice columnist for Playboy U, and the author of Professor Kelli’s Guide to Finding a Husband. Ask Kelli is published on All Life is Local and the Cleveland Park Listserv on Wednesdays.  


4 comments:

  1. Hi Kelli-- I have to disagree with your advice to the person who gets comments about how thin she is. People need to understand that it's rude to make comments about someone's weight, whether the person is perceived as being fat or thin. She shouldn't have to talk about her weight or her body type if she doesn't want to, and would be better off letting people know that the subject is off-limits.

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  2. for "In need..." she should also check out the consignment stores in town (Secondi in Dupont, Second Time Around in Gtown) for cute pieces. They might be a season or two old, but if she sticks to classic pieces, she can't go wrong, as long as they fit her well and flatter her body type.

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  3. Dear Kelli,
    A good friend, who is VERY fashionable AND on a budget, shops Goodwill, secondhand shops, and her mother’s church rummage sale. She loves to brag about the wonderful items that she finds for $5 or $10. She even bought a Burberry rain coat at a church rummage sale for $20! I have never seen her looking shabby...ever. This would also be a good recommendation for “In Need of Fashion Help”. It’s also what trendy kids in cities such as New York do to make their own fashion statements on little cash.

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  4. According to recent research by Ofcom, 37% of adults and 60% of teens admit to being ‘highly addicted’ to their smartphones, with users checking their smartphones on average, 34 times a day. Additionally, 51% of adults and 65% of teens use their smartphones while socializing with others, and 22% and 47% respectively, confess to answering their smartphones even while on the toilet.

    ‘Moodoff Day’ on February 26th asks smartphone and mobile device addicts (and those that don’t yet consider themselves such) to spend a morning without their beloved devices.

    If you feel you could benefit from a morning without smartphones and mobile devices and want to encourage others to follow suit, go to www.MoodOffDay.org and pledge your support. You can even post your personal experiences of smartphone addiction or upload funny images showing smartphone addicts in action at www.facebook.com/MoodOffDay

    ReplyDelete