With the news of COVID cases possibly being on the down tick, social calendars are beginning to fill up again. Weddings, birthday trips and everything in-between are knocking on the door of our bank accounts wanting us to set aside a few coins. No doubt, we want to be part of the milestones in the lives of the people we love; however, at what cost? Perhaps being debt-free, becoming a homeowner or even starting a family of your own are high on your list of more immediate goals, so what does your budget say your limits are? It’s not always fun to be saving for a big goal and have to miss out on major moments but having a big picture lens is more important than avoiding transparency to keep from disappointing others. Plus, as we all mature in age, there are always big life changes happening for ourselves and everyone around us. God willing, there will continue to be moments to celebrate. If you find yourself at a crossroads financially and need to focus on where you want to be rather than your FOMO, try this talking points out when declining an invitation to play a major role in a big life event. 

Express gratitude for having been included.

It’s important that you make it clear how grateful you are to have been included in something so monumental for them. Even when we cannot show up the way we may prefer, we can still honor the ceremony of the moment by truly giving the ask, alone, a certain level go gravitas. Most people extend the invitation to those they find important in their lives not only because they want to celebrate alongside them but also because they want the person to know how much they mean.

Offer an alternative role that is more conducive to your needs. 

Maybe being the maid of honor isn’t something you can feasibly do right now because of other financial obligations but being a bridesmaid who helps with planning is more doable. Maybe you can’t come on the girls trip but you can cover the first round of drinks at the restaurant they’ll be eating at. Or maybe you can come to the baby shower but don’t want to be responsible for throwing it. However the alternative looks, it’s a good idea to have a solution and not just an issue when approaching someone about a moment that may mean a lot to them. 

Share your plans. 

If you’re a person who is private about the moves you make, this may be a good time to share what you’re saving towards. Your loved ones should want you to live your best life so letting them know that your inability to show up the way they’re asking is tied to a big change in your own life, they’ll probably be a lot more receptive to your alternative choice. 

Plan something that can show your enthusiasm for this moment. 

Maybe a grand gesture isn’t in your budget but something smaller and well thought out can go the distance. It’s a nice way to still celebrate your loved one while also not putting extra financial strain on yourself. It can be a very special moment shared between the two of you that you’ll always remember. 

Split the responsibility with someone else. 

Go in on an expensive trip or bridesmaid duties, etc…with another trusted friend with whom you feel comfortable sharing your current financial goals. This can be a great way to still show up and do what you can. Definitely remember to show that friend some love at a later date for being down to carry the load with you.