I was talking to one of my cube-mates about upcoming summer plans, and how busy the summer is. I've got a weekend in NYC this month, a a week in Germany in July, and 2 full weeks in Hawaii in September. He literally said, "What are you, a millionaire?" I started to explain about gaming credit cards for airline miles, and VRBO, and the ridiculously good deal I got by patiently Pricelining a car in Honolulu. And I very pointedly did not explain that after the husband and I save/invest 50% of our take home we budget our vacations separately (because that's not anyone's business). But people really assume that you can't do both.
I have another co-worker that I've been friends with for 10+ years. I've always told him I was going to retire at 45 (I'm 34). I think he used to think I was joking, but the other day he asked me, in front of our boss, if that was still my plan. I said probably. My boss looked dumbfounded. He said, "I don't understand how people retire." I thought he meant, what do people do with their time? But then he went on, "I can't imagine having enough money to not work." Eek. (My boss is probably 25 years older than me.) My co-worker chimed in to point out that I have always lived well below my income, and my boss looked at me for a moment before he had like this light bulb moment and said, "Oh, that's why you can take those lavish vacations every year!" Because apparently, I'm the only one in the office who takes 2 weeks at a time off to go somewhere interesting. I so wanted to explain that, no, I don't live far below my means and then spend the difference on vacations, I figure out ways to travel that fit my budget after I meet my savings goals. But again, none of this makes any sense to people.
Also, a few months ago, we started be able to expense our cell phone bills since we take company e-mails on them. After the first round was submitted, my boss asked me why mine was so much less then everyone else's. I use Republic Wireless, and my bill was like $31.12. Apparently, every other person on our team had submitted up to the $70 max, and he was flabbergasted that I had such cheap cell service.
In January, we had to travel for an orientation. We weren't in the travel expense system yet, so were were asked in December to book our own flights and we would be reimbursed. I was astounded at the number of people who protested that they couldn't possibly afford a plane ticket in the same month as Christmas.
Same coworker who outed me as a Mustachian decided to buy a new car, because his car was 5 years old. Discussed the process at length in our cubicle. Highlights include - "I've just accepted that I'll always have a car payment," the rational that by the time you've paid off a new car it has fallen out of warranty and you'll have to start paying for adhoc repairs, and his wife deciding as he shopped for a car that she missed her old VW and deciding to purchase a VW Jetta at the same time. I'm currently in negotiations with my local Honda dealership to get the price of a 2015 Fit down to $10k after trade so I can buy it with cash. I'm taking me time, since mine is only 8 years old and I don't NEED a new one, but the new one is purple and has 8 years newer fancy features. Said coworker keep trying to convince me that it's a terrible idea to pay cash for a car, and that he's much better off always driving a new car with payments and a warranty.
One more. Same two cube-mates discussing Soylent (the geeky meal replacement powdered shakes) as an alternative to actually cooking meals. I said that it was pretty expensive. They looked online and found that it would cost $9-10 per person per day, and they both agreed that seemed pretty reasonable. I said that's more than I budget for groceries for my husband and I per person, how did it compare to their grocery budgets? Blank stares. Crickets. I asked what their grocery budgets were, and both of them looked at me like they didn't understand the question. Why would you have a grocery budget? Well, to know how much I have to spend on food. We make IT money, we can afford to buy groceries.
I love my cube-mates dearly. But I'm clearly an alien and now I try very hard to not get drawn into these kinds of conversations.