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Old 05-19-2009, 06:14 AM
 
596 posts, read 2,495,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
I really don't understand what is wrong with saying "I can't afford that ...." or "I don't think its worth that...", etc to someone, especially someone you know well. What exactly is the point of hiding the truth just because your comment may offend them in some odd way?

Americans are way too secretive about their finances, its really funny.

Anyhow, I've been called cheap and such from people for saying simple things like "We don't have the money for that right now", etc. The funny thing is often the response is "Just use your credit card".
I dont really understand what is wrong with saying this, either. I also dont fully grasp why it is offensive. What I imagine is that it is offensive because it is too truthful, and when people are in denial that they are living on credit cards and paying minimum balances each month (or they've taken a HELOC to support their lifestyle in this economy) then saying "I cant afford to join you on that but thank you for the invitation" etc is too real for this denial.

I also think financial discussions or even just eluding to one's financial status or income has been shunned for decades that it is part of our culture now. This is not necessarily a good thing. I want my kids to be reasonable, logical and rational about their decisions and keep things real. I would hate for them to have friends say "oh, its just one long distance call on your cell - I'm sure you/your parents can afford that" and have them shrug and say "yeah, I guess so" and do it. (They do not own cell phones, but all their friends do, so I just threw this one out there). I would rather them say "are you kidding? No! Its really expensive and I'm not going to pay for that - it would take me 2 babysitting jobs just to pay for it!" Or something...

Also, when someone says "I cant afford that" its alot different from "I cant afford that - can YOU?!" but I believe this is what people that get offended are HEARING sometimes...therefore they get defensive?
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,720 posts, read 59,631,443 times
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We have one familymember who is extremely frugal and another one who gets mad about it all the time. "They are sooo cheap"

Our frugal members often give gifts of things that they aquired for free or for next to nothing. If I like a gift, I like it, I do nto care what it cost. However another family member gets mad becuse the frugal pair are the best able to afford things out of anyone. Because they are frugal, they paid off their house in seven years. They drive really cruddy old beat up and worn out cars where almost nothing works. The eat all their meals at home. However when one of them recently had to quit working due to a health problem, the loss of income was no big deal. That is not a bad way to live. I cannot understand why other family members get mad ab9out it. As far as i am concerned, it is none of my business. except that I am proud of them for being good stewards of their money and resources. I wish I could be that way.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
19,884 posts, read 36,406,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jctx View Post
I also think financial discussions or even just eluding to one's financial status or income has been shunned for decades that it is part of our culture now. This is not necessarily a good thing. I want my kids to be reasonable, logical and rational about their decisions and keep things real.
I think the answer to your first sentence is: A"s far as i am concerned, it is none of my business."

As for the second, it's entirely possible to discuss money (or sex) and the morals and ethics and practicalities surrounding either with your children without making a point about your financial life (or sex life) to the rest of the world or even friends.

Again, I suspect that it's not the frugality itself that's causing the anger but the apparent attitudes surrounding it and those who don't share your frugal attitude.

For example:

I dont really understand what is wrong with saying this, either. I also dont fully grasp why it is offensive. What I imagine is that it is offensive because it is too truthful, and when people are in denial that they are living on credit cards and paying minimum balances each month (or they've taken a HELOC to support their lifestyle in this economy) then saying "I cant afford to join you on that but thank you for the invitation" etc is too real for this denial.

This "imagining" is passing judgment on the people who get angry with you for discussing your frugality. Perhaps that creeps out in the way you say the things you do?
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:27 AM
 
596 posts, read 2,495,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
The essence of frugality is getting the most for your money. Buying tools can provide a good example. The cheapskate will buy the cheapest tool. This tool is likely to break or damage parts which will cost more than buying a higher priced but proper tool in the first place. "The cheapskate pays the most"

OP - by saying "we cannot afford that." You are implying that they cannot either or that you are not in their financial cohort. This can embarrass some people or just make them uncomfortable. Maybe you could just say "we do not have any use for X" and change the subject.
Good point! And the way I operate, is I will go on a hunt to find an excellent tool for the best price possible. I will hunt the second-hand shops, pawn shops, craigslist, garage sales, etc and I always find the item I'm looking for for such a great price that we are never left in need of something for very long. I will not purchase junk, either. (Although I've purchase some furniture pieces that others thought were junk only to refinish them and have people then want to have it the piece - never discount sweat equity!)
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:30 AM
 
596 posts, read 2,495,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
We have one familymember who is extremely frugal and another one who gets mad about it all the time. "They are sooo cheap"

Our frugal members often give gifts of things that they aquired for free or for next to nothing. If I like a gift, I like it, I do nto care what it cost. However another family member gets mad becuse the frugal pair are the best able to afford things out of anyone. Because they are frugal, they paid off their house in seven years. They drive really cruddy old beat up and worn out cars where almost nothing works. The eat all their meals at home. However when one of them recently had to quit working due to a health problem, the loss of income was no big deal. That is not a bad way to live. I cannot understand why other family members get mad ab9out it. As far as i am concerned, it is none of my business. except that I am proud of them for being good stewards of their money and resources. I wish I could be that way.
Great post, ColdJensens. They are self-sufficient and that is something to be really proud of. An old, unattractive, beat up vehicle that MOVES still gets the task done, right? I would have a problem if it was spewing black smoke everywhere and in danger of causing an accident but otherwise,
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:38 AM
 
596 posts, read 2,495,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
I think the answer to your first sentence is: A"s far as i am concerned, it is none of my business."

As for the second, it's entirely possible to discuss money (or sex) and the morals and ethics and practicalities surrounding either with your children without making a point about your financial life (or sex life) to the rest of the world or even friends.

Again, I suspect that it's not the frugality itself that's causing the anger but the apparent attitudes surrounding it and those who don't share your frugal attitude.

For example:

I dont really understand what is wrong with saying this, either. I also dont fully grasp why it is offensive. What I imagine is that it is offensive because it is too truthful, and when people are in denial that they are living on credit cards and paying minimum balances each month (or they've taken a HELOC to support their lifestyle in this economy) then saying "I cant afford to join you on that but thank you for the invitation" etc is too real for this denial.

This "imagining" is passing judgment on the people who get angry with you for discussing your frugality. Perhaps that creeps out in the way you say the things you do?
Hmmmm...maybe. You may be right and I am going to pay close attention whenever the topic comes up or some statement is made in the future and see what happens and how it affects the feel of the discussion. I dont want to lose myself, though. I'm aware of the feelings of others, but I wont coddle (sp?), walk on eggshells, sugar-coat or deny my own feelings or opinions (when asked) to prevent someone else from feeling judged when that is never my intention. Does that make sense? There are just those people that feel judged at all times...I am NOT judgemental. I'm an "anything goes/to-each-his-own" type of person...very laid back. But this isnt about how others feel that I am judging them, this was to learn how to manage them judging me, lol.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:44 AM
 
10,711 posts, read 20,139,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
We have one familymember who is extremely frugal and another one who gets mad about it all the time. "They are sooo cheap"

Our frugal members often give gifts of things that they aquired for free or for next to nothing. If I like a gift, I like it, I do nto care what it cost. However another family member gets mad becuse the frugal pair are the best able to afford things out of anyone. Because they are frugal, they paid off their house in seven years. They drive really cruddy old beat up and worn out cars where almost nothing works. The eat all their meals at home. However when one of them recently had to quit working due to a health problem, the loss of income was no big deal. That is not a bad way to live. I cannot understand why other family members get mad ab9out it. As far as i am concerned, it is none of my business. except that I am proud of them for being good stewards of their money and resources. I wish I could be that way.
Giving "gifts" you get for free isn't being frugal, it's being cheap and selfish.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Right where I want to be.
4,507 posts, read 7,828,129 times
Reputation: 3304
Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
I really don't understand what is wrong with saying "I can't afford that ...." or "I don't think its worth that...", etc to someone, especially someone you know well. What exactly is the point of hiding the truth just because your comment may offend them in some odd way?
My point for not saying it is because it isn't true. It's not hiding a truth, I CAN afford it. I could afford the new car, I can afford to buy another handbag at the mall, I can afford most of what I really want. BUT, I CHOOSE to do something else with my money. I choose to save for retirement, I choose to save for our next car, I choose to buy the handbag at TJMaxx and get 60% off the mall prices so my money goes farther. It has little to do with what I can afford but rather the financial choices I am making. To say "I can't afford that" implies a lack of money or perhaps a lack of money management skills....neither of which are true in my case.

Now, I do say "That isn't worth $XX.xx to me." but that's completely different than "I can't afford to buy that."

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
The essence of frugality is getting the most for your money. Buying tools can provide a good example. The cheapskate will buy the cheapest tool. This tool is likely to break or damage parts which will cost more than buying a higher priced but proper tool in the first place. "The cheapskate pays the most"
Great example. You have to know when it is worth it to spend the money. If a tool will be seldom and lightly used it may be OK to skimp but if you are going to really use it just buy a good one. Yard sales and estate sales are great for getting a bargain on tools, generally speaking.

Right now I am learning a new hobby and I might actually turn it into a hobby/business. If I do sell the product I'll need to get a better set of tools. If I just keep it at the hobby level the cheaper tools I am using now will work just fine. I already had the tools I am using, no need to go out and spend money if I am uncertain that it will be necessary.

Generally I agree, it's better to get something of higher quality and spend the money just once. There are exceptions and I'm sure we all misjudge sometimes but I try to be aware of when it's OK to be cheap and when being cheap will cost more in the long run.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Right where I want to be.
4,507 posts, read 7,828,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Giving "gifts" you get for free isn't being frugal, it's being cheap and selfish.
Really? So when we found a very nice phone system (base and 4 handsets!!) for my IL's that was just what they wanted, and it happened to be on clearance, and it happened to have a rebate so that when all was said and done we paid $0 we were being cheap and selfish to give it to them for Christmas?

Drats, that means this year when we give out the pen and stationary sets that we got FAR (free after rebate) that we are being cheap and selfish too. Too bad, my Aunt, Mom and MIL would have really liked them. I guess I better go spend some real money on some piece of carp from Target or the mall so they know how much I love them and don't think I am cheap and selfish.

And poor DD, I fear she is cheap and selfish too. She paid $1 at a yard sale for a computer game to give to her brother. He LOVES the game and if she would have purchased it at the store it would have been $25+. She took the remaining $24 and was able to buy him some books he wanted as well. I can't believe I am raising such a cheap and selfish kid. Shame on me!!



Psst......The value of a gift is not what you pay for it.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,261,709 times
Reputation: 18984
Quote:
Originally Posted by jctx View Post
I'm aware of the feelings of others, but I wont coddle (sp?), walk on eggshells, sugar-coat or deny my own feelings or opinions (when asked) to prevent someone else from feeling judged when that is never my intention. Does that make sense? There are just those people that feel judged at all times...I am NOT judgemental.
These two statements are contradictory. When you say things like "I wont coddle (sp?), walk on eggshells, sugar-coat or deny my own feelings" you are being hyper defensive. Being respectful of other people doesn't mean you are coddling them or denying your own feelings--can't you see that when you talk that way you're being, frankly, judgemental. Not to mention overly sensitive. You can deny it loudly if you like that "I am NOT judgemental" but that's not how you come across.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jctx View Post
But this isnt about how others feel that I am judging them, this was to learn how to manage them judging me, lol.
It's all the same. You come across as judgemental, whether you want to believe it or not. As a result people judge you in return. It may help to focus on something else. Choose to be oblivious to what you perceive to be their judgement.

It might also help to let go of the idea that you are going to manage other people. People are going to be what they are going to be, the only thing you can manage is how you perceive it and how you react to it.
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