Preemptive Strike to Battle Over Spending

lasagna

Peer Pressure. You think once you are out of high school you never have to deal with it again? Wrong. When it comes to reigning in our spending our best friends can sometimes be our worst enemies. Why? Think about it, you know another dinner out—or another cute pair of shoes (even if they are 76% off) is exactly what you don’t need right now. You are trying to get your financial house in order, pay down debt, save for a down payment for a home, retirement. The extra shoes and the extra glass of cabernet won’t get you there. But your friends lay the guilt trip on you – “Come on. What is one dinner out going to do? We deserve it. We work hard and it’s raining outside.” You know the drill. Peer pressure. And yes, too often, we give in.

Arm Yourself:   I have a preemptive strike for you: A plan to say yes to the socializing, and no to the unnecessary spending. You take charge and invite your friends to take part in a little money therapy and have a fabulous dinner to boot.  Pick someone’s house (why not yours) and plan a fun session where you share you favorite money strategies, not just sob stories but ideas that could make both you and your friends financially stronger and start to build wealth.  To make sure your idea is irresistible, offer something great on the menu. If you don’t have a favorite dish, let me humbly offer my homemade Lasagna recipe (which you may claim as your own). You make the Lasagna (or whatever your specialty is), your friends bring the sides and the beverages and everyone bring ideas on how you can each become more empowered financially.  The meeting itself will save you the cash you would have spent out. But the bigger lesson is that you will, over time, begin to make each other more intelligent about money.

Rules of Engagement: No tips on shopping. Make the ideas more meaningful. Knowing you can save 75% on a pair of shoes you don’t need right now will not make you rich later. Learning how to lower fees, better structure retirement investments or better understanding all that stuff that gets taken out of your paycheck will help make you a more informed consumer. Tell the gang there is no such thing as a dumb question and there is no room for a know-it-all. That should keep the discussion civil and fun. 

Just between you and me, not everyone will be as open about sharing ideas right off the bat. Pressure to share can be just as scary as pressure to wine and dine or shop when you know it’s not in your best interest. Even if the conversation never gets to money, that is okay, because you have already saved the cash by creating a great night in. –Mary Caraccioli

 Mary Caraccioli’s Lasagna Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 lb fresh hand dipped ricotta cheese
  • ½ lb fresh mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • ½ lb of smoked mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • ½ lb Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 lb hot/mild Italian sausage ground
  • 4 freshly steamed artichoke hearts chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • fresh lasagna pasta

Baking Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • In skillet brown sausage and set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, salt, pepper, chopped basil , ricotta, mozzarella and 2/3rds Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Using 9×12 baking dish , coat with olive oil spray or other cooking spray
  • Add 3 tablespoons of sauce
  • Add 3 3×12 pasta sheets (adjust as needed depending on pasta size)
  • Spread slightly less than half of the cheese mixture on first layer of pasta
  • Top cheese with  ½ ground sausage
  • Add half of the chopped artichoke
  • Cover with another layer of pasta
  • Use ¾ of remaining cheese mixture
  • Top with remaining ground sausage
  • Add remaining artichoke
  • Cover with pasta
  • Add remaining cheese mixture
  • Add 1 ½ – 2 cups of sauce while spreading it evenly over the pasta
  • Cook for 50 minutes to one hour
  • Let stand for 10 minutes out of oven
  • Top individual servings with additional sauce and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Serves 6
  • Mangia!

 

    

 

 

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    About Mary

    About Mary Mary Caraccioli, MLA, MBA is the Money Confidante. An Emmy™ Award winning financial journalist, she has worked at CNBC, FOX, Comcast and ABC's LiveWell TV where she has created numerous award winning programs. Mary also helped to create the Lou Dobbs syndicated radio report. She was an early adaptor of digital media and creator of well respected money websites.

    Mary has access to the top financial thought leaders and brings that information home to everyday people who are looking to make better money decisions in their lives. Let the Money Confidante help you and your family too!    Learn more...

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