DEAR HARRIETTE: Every summer for the past 15 years, my family and I have gone on vacation to the beach. This year has been difficult. I lost my job a few months ago, and we have had to cut back on our activities a lot. We managed to scrape together enough money to send our son to the camp he has attended for the past few years, but that meant that there was no money left for my husband and me to do anything more than whatever we can do locally. Friends keep asking us what’s up, why we aren’t heading to the sun like usual. Do I tell the truth -- we just can’t afford it this year? Or do I say we decided to stay home and work on our house, which is also true? I’m not sure how forthcoming is appropriate. -- No Sun, No Fun, Dayton, Ohio
DEAR NO SUN, NO FUN: Think about the friends who are asking, how close you are to them and how much you want them to know. Since you are out of work, you may want to let people know so that if they have any leads, they can share them with you. Keeping your state of employment to yourself does not necessarily help you, even though it can be tough and feel embarrassing to talk about it. For the friends that you feel comfortable talking to, tell the truth -- all of it. It is a blessing that your son is able to enjoy the summer in his normal way. You are making the best of your situation, but these are lean times. Opening up allows you to think out loud with loved ones. Maybe you will find a path to abundance in this way.