DEAR HARRIETTE: My friends are planning a trip to Florida for spring break. As much as I would love to go with them and spend a week in the sun, I am hoping that I will be asked to work that week. My friends keep asking me to book my flights and get the trip organized, but I have yet to do so. Although there is not a guarantee that I will be asked by the family I nanny for to watch their kids that week, I would rather stay home and save the money.
I want to either a) work through my spring break with the family, or b) stay home, not participate in any spring break plans and save the money. With either option, I need to break it to my friends that I won’t be coming to Florida with them. How do I do this without making it seem like I’m ditching their plans just to avoid spending time with them? -- Spring Breaker, Philadelphia
DEAR SPRING BREAKER: You owe it to your friends to be honest with them. It is likely that they need a certain number of participants in order to make the trip affordable. You are clear that you do not intend to go, so tell them you are so sorry, but you won’t be attending. Tell them the truth -- you hope to be working that week and that if your employer does not hire you, you still need to stay home and save money. Though your friends will be disappointed, they all have to understand expenses. Be transparent. Saying you can’t afford it is real. Being responsible for yourself is smart. Being responsible to your friends is thoughtful.