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Old 05-18-2009, 08:31 AM
 
596 posts, read 2,502,191 times
Reputation: 201

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
In todays economy are they still saying this? If so they are fools, or braggarts that still believe they can impress you by how much money they have. The days of impressing people based on what you buy for show are over, except for the most shallow of people.

Your response needs to be along the lines, I will not judge you on your spending habits, and you will refrain from any further judgment of me based on my spending habits.
Yes! One of the people I am referring to is my own mother, who asked me to not tell her I couldnt afford something. She wanted me to buy crystal candle holders: "they dont make them like this anymore" & "these are Waterford", etc. I had to tell her no way. I also argued over a crystal vase, it was a particular size - good for clipped flowers. I told her I dont put out flowers and if I ever do, I'll use the crystal vase that I have...or I'll put them in a mug! Its all about making do, for me. Not out to impress anyone with china and crystal at this or any other point...

I really appreciate all of your responses so much. Its helped and given me things to think about :-)
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Right where I want to be.
4,507 posts, read 7,846,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jctx View Post
Sometimes, our friends and family have actually come out and stated that they were tired of hearing us say "we cant afford that" or "we dont have enough money for that" - and usually we were referring to things that were completely unnecessary. Even when we have extra, we refuse to spend it on stuff that is all for show. I seriously think that by us being so frugal all the time, others are afraid of their own spending and sometimes direct anger towards us for highlighting the fact that they are over-spending? Weird...
ACK!!! I'm pretty frugal and yet I don't think I've ever said "we cant afford that" or "we dont have enough money for that". Frankly, I can afford 'it', I'm just making another choice with my money. I do have enough money for 'that' but I'm still not going to buy it.

So someone asks us to join them for dinner and instead of saying "No, we can't afford that." or even "No, it's not in our budget." we say, "That sounds great but we'll have to pass. Maybe we can plan something for next weekend....how about you all come over and I'll BBQ chicken on the grill?" Leave the money out of it altogether.

The problem is when you start explaining....then they think you're cheap or whatever....some (like your mom) might even argue with you. So don't explain why you aren't going here or there or buying this or that. "Mom, that is a beautiful vase, you're right. I'm glad I already have a nice crystal vase...who ever buys that one will surely enjoy it as much as I enjoy mine."

This is the approach we used when some family members all got car fever and bought new cars. It seriously bothered them that our car was 6 years old and they kept trying to convince us we needed to step up into new wheels too. They even offered to drive us to the dealership!! Nope, but we never made it about money. We complimented them on their new cars and reaffirmed how happy we were with our car.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:02 AM
 
596 posts, read 2,502,191 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCyank View Post
ACK!!! I'm pretty frugal and yet I don't think I've ever said "we cant afford that" or "we dont have enough money for that". Frankly, I can afford 'it', I'm just making another choice with my money. I do have enough money for 'that' but I'm still not going to buy it.

So someone asks us to join them for dinner and instead of saying "No, we can't afford that." or even "No, it's not in our budget." we say, "That sounds great but we'll have to pass. Maybe we can plan something for next weekend....how about you all come over and I'll BBQ chicken on the grill?" Leave the money out of it altogether.

The problem is when you start explaining....then they think you're cheap or whatever....some (like your mom) might even argue with you. So don't explain why you aren't going here or there or buying this or that. "Mom, that is a beautiful vase, you're right. I'm glad I already have a nice crystal vase...who ever buys that one will surely enjoy it as much as I enjoy mine."

This is the approach we used when some family members all got car fever and bought new cars. It seriously bothered them that our car was 6 years old and they kept trying to convince us we needed to step up into new wheels too. They even offered to drive us to the dealership!! Nope, but we never made it about money. We complimented them on their new cars and reaffirmed how happy we were with our car.
You make excellent points and good replies that I will use. I should clarify though, that I dont come right out and say "we cant afford it", etc. Sometimes when we decline things, people nudge and grin and poke and say "come onnnnnnnnnnnn - it'll be fun!" and eventually it always turns into "why not?!" and THAT is where our "we just cant afford to be doing that right now" will rear its ugly head. Alot of our friends dont have kids, either. So this comes into play frequently. Anyways, most of the time they back off. Some of them are nearing bankruptcy right now. Well, I am also not too proud to speak the truth. I am truthfully not afraid to tell anybody I cant afford to join them in some event. Its the reason why, sometimes, just not always. I mean, growing up my mother would have NEVER on her life have told anyone she couldnt afford something. It was wrong in her mind. Today, however, things are getting a bit more transparent (or they are that way for me). I am not too proud to discuss financial things including income with friends/family. I have learned quite a bit by being open and gleaning some key pointers from others. Thanks so much for your help and advice.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,934 posts, read 51,582,747 times
Reputation: 27931
Quote:
Originally Posted by jctx View Post
Yes! One of the people I am referring to is my own mother, who asked me to not tell her I couldnt afford something. She wanted me to buy crystal candle holders: "they dont make them like this anymore" & "these are Waterford", etc. I had to tell her no way. I also argued over a crystal vase, it was a particular size - good for clipped flowers. I told her I dont put out flowers and if I ever do, I'll use the crystal vase that I have...or I'll put them in a mug! Its all about making do, for me. Not out to impress anyone with china and crystal at this or any other point...

I really appreciate all of your responses so much. Its helped and given me things to think about :-)
It is beginning to sound like the issue goes beyond frugality. From your statement is seems like your mother is still treating you as a child and is being WAY overly directive. If that is what you like, fine. If it isn't, you might want to read a couple of books on assertiveness.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:21 AM
 
596 posts, read 2,502,191 times
Reputation: 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
It is beginning to sound like the issue goes beyond frugality. From your statement is seems like your mother is still treating you as a child and is being WAY overly directive. If that is what you like, fine. If it isn't, you might want to read a couple of books on assertiveness.
Nah, I'm good on assertiveness, especially with my mother. She's just..."mom". She has a hard time passing up crystal, china, and anything she thinks is valuable. I just point out to her that value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. If I see something that intrigues me that is $2, and I want to have it, I will buy it. She wont, she'll watch for the 'deal' on the thing that is normally high-dollar, regardless of needing it or really having wanted it.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:33 AM
 
1,072 posts, read 1,645,810 times
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It happens to us too, and I'm pondering the great suggestions others have pointed on this thread!! Others always insist that:

1-We should treat ourselves (I have a different definition. Buying something we truly don't need or can't afford gives me stress. I like to sleep at night, thank you.)
2-Come on, we buy it why can't you? You have a lot of money! (Nobody knows HOW much money other people have unless you do their checking, so everyone should quit judging and guessing)
3-You have to put money aside every week so that way you'll be able to eat out more often (We both cook VERY well, thank you very much, and we do sometimes buy a nice bottle of wine to go with dinner. We do not enjoy eating out because most of the time, we can make it better ourselves with 3-4 times less of the cost. With the soaring costs of health care and everything else including saving up for a first house, we are quite content and don't miss anything. I am happy NOT wasting my money and saving it. We came from a LONG way and used to stress every day about money. We got our common sense together and have been saving, but we still have a way to go.)

It feels good talking about this issue. I think people truly want to feel validated for their spending choices and feel offended if we don't follow around. It's like a lot of women who talk about their diets and how they shouldn't eat their dessert in a dinner party but do it anyway, then stare at the ones who don't and try to force them to do it. My parents used to ask my hubby to pay for things behind my back when they'd come visit, and hubby wanted to be polite and said yes, so I had to have a serious talk with all of them. These were expensive items that we truly could not afford. My parents were worried about us when we were not doing well, and now that we have a little emergency fund, they beg us to spend more. But they are making financial mistakes with their money as are a lot of other people I know. They just want to make themselves feel better about spending it. I'm also very tired of the people who associate expensive gifts with "love". True generosity is when you can afford it and don't feel worried or stressed out about it. It could take me a few days to make a very thoughtful homemade gift for someone (I haven't done it yet, but I shop around for nice gifts that are affordable). I'm sorry but Mother's Day means spending time with your mother, calling her often, giving her a nice thoughtful card that you could make yourself, and maybe give her a small significant gift (or more if you can afford it). Every holiday has become extremely commercial and people just want to show off with expensive gifts. I don't know about you, but I have a hard time accepting expensive gifts when I know that that person has a lot of CC debt or just wiped out their 401Ks.

So bottom line is: do what is right for you and your immediate family, even if that means upsetting your own parents or close people in your life sometimes. They will eventually move on from this topic if they can't get their ways.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Right where I want to be.
4,507 posts, read 7,846,840 times
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Excellent post NYSinger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYSinger View Post
I think people truly want to feel validated for their spending choices and feel offended if we don't follow around. It's like a lot of women who talk about their diets and how they shouldn't eat their dessert in a dinner party but do it anyway, then stare at the ones who don't and try to force them to do it.

This made me LOL...this is EXACTLY how it is sometimes, with dessert and finances!!

It's one reason why we are not very open with discussing finances with friends and family. I prefer to be a financial enigma. I think people can get to a ballpark income figure (based on knowing what DH does for a living) but then it doesn't match with our lifestyle at all. We have a kind of don't ask, don't tell policy in place. I don't mind discussing financial concepts with folks, but we usually leave it vague or don't use ourselves as an example. It also helps us not to be flaunting our frugality or making folks feel bad by comparison...we just don't discuss details usually.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Back in the gym...Yo Adrian!
9,371 posts, read 17,544,534 times
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No one has a right to criticize your judgment when you are merely prioritizing your spending. There's nothing wrong with being frugal, especially in today's economy.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
19,919 posts, read 36,520,628 times
Reputation: 21413
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYSinger View Post
I think people truly want to feel validated for their spending choices and feel offended if we don't follow around. It's like a lot of women who talk about their diets and how they shouldn't eat their dessert in a dinner party but do it anyway, then stare at the ones who don't and try to force them to do it.
This is another of those things that goes both ways. People who are frugal also truly want to feel validated for their spending choice and, for that reason, may come across as judgmental of those who don't share those choices.

Try this: Instead of saying, "We can't afford it" in any way, shape or form ("That's too expensive" is another variation), try saying, "I have other things that I want to spend that money on," or some variation on that and see what kind of reaction you get.

It's subtle, but it changes the focus a bit, and is perfectly true.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
5,517 posts, read 8,792,135 times
Reputation: 2530
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Saying "you can't afford that" or talking about not having enough money is construed as whining and being "cheap". Trying saying "no I don't need that" if they ask, if they don't, don't even bring up the subject. They are upset at you because it's annoying.

I dont know about you, but I embrace being cheap. I wear it like a badge. I will see most of the people who are annoyed by my cheapness in bankruptcy on the way down, so it doesnt bother me in the slightest.
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