6. "That birthday money doesn't count, so I can blow it on something I'll enjoy, not my late gas bill."
This is a particularly tricky one. Say you get a check for $100 and you know your mother is hoping you'll take yourself out for a massage with the money she gave you—heck, life has been hard!—but you also know that you owe $89 to the gas company. You feel the weight of what your mother wants for you, not to mention the idea of having this one little moment of bliss—for free! Here's the unattractive truth: The amount of stress you will relieve paying that gas bill will go further than three massages. So, take those 11 leftover dollars and drive to your grocery store and buy the nicest baking chocolate you can find, a pound of sugar, some butter and flour. Now, go home and bake yourself the best birthday cake you've ever tasted. Then call your mom and say thank you.