Budget busting social stuff
I work in the type of employment where one set of people have higher level jobs and paychecks and the other (including me, unfortunately!) have lower level jobs/pay.
So now a "Social Committee" has been formed, which is asking for a yearly donation to cover gifts, flowers, cards etc. for people's various life events. The amount started at $25 and has now gone up to $50, since we have a lot of younger employes who are getting married, having babies, house warming events, etc.
They also plan to have a luncheon twice a year, which costs about $40 or more each time at a really nice restaurant. Too bad these luncheons come at the holidays, when money is tight w/me and again at the end of the school year, when I am lookng at what amounts to a 2 and a half month layoff, no unemployment benefits.
Just to top it off, I really do not enjoy these luncheons and if I want to give a gift to somebody for their marriage, baby, etc. I would prefer to do it on my own, so then I have some choice in what the gift is. For example, I contributed last year and the gift was a $200 ugly fake tree!
Does anybody have ideas for how to get out of this gracefully because I'm just not wanting to throw money away on this.