Q: My neighbor plans expensive playdates for our kids, like laser tag and paintball–and we can’t afford it. What’s a nice way to request cheaper outings?
A: Just be honest and pleasant. With so many people concerned about expenses these days, I can’t imagine your neighbor will be surprised. You could say, “I really appreciate your planning these fun outings, but they just don’t fit in our budget.” Suggest alternatives-maybe some seasonal outdoor fun, such as a hike or a visit to a nearby park. Another idea: Many public libraries have creative programs for kids of all ages.