Author Topic: Relatives who just don't get it  (Read 1112471 times)

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4350 on: January 13, 2018, 12:17:28 PM »
Well, they're not terrible, but they're not FIRE either. And my brother and I both live with them, so even though we have separate bank accounts, in a way their finances are my concern.

Honestly, if my adult kid (I'm assuming you are) living in my home, under my roof, had the audacity to say that to my face, the hotel of mum and dad would be closing its doors pretty soon.

So I hope you're only saying that on here, and not irl.

crispy

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4351 on: January 13, 2018, 12:51:02 PM »
Well, they're not terrible, but they're not FIRE either. And my brother and I both live with them, so even though we have separate bank accounts, in a way their finances are my concern.

Honestly, if my adult kid (I'm assuming you are) living in my home, under my roof, had the audacity to say that to my face, the hotel of mum and dad would be closing its doors pretty soon.

So I hope you're only saying that on here, and not irl.

I'm with Imma here. The items you mention don't seem to be a big deal at all. I also refuse to use a drying rack to save a few dollars a year. I hope you and your brother pay rent and dfo your own laundry. If not, that would be a much bigger help to your parents.

BookLoverL

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4352 on: January 13, 2018, 04:09:09 PM »
Yes, we both pay board and do a fair share of chores. Of course I didn't say it to anyone's face.

I am already trying to earn more money, and even offered to contribute a larger share of board (my offer was turned down to keep it equal with my brother). The main point I was trying to make is that my mum was deflecting the conversation away from spending by focusing on earning - but when I suggest ideas for how I could earn more, she often shoots those down too. Actually, my brother is probably a worse culprit than either of my parents, because he bought about 10 pairs of running shoes this year.

ETA: Is it really that bad to be concerned about your family's finances? It's not like I can force them to change, anyway, if they really don't want to, but especially with the alcohol, it'd be better for their health too to cut back there. I want to help them have more money if I can because I think it'd make my mum especially happier if she didn't have to work as long. And all of us help with my dad's business.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 04:18:38 PM by BookLoverL »
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crispy

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4353 on: January 13, 2018, 05:42:34 PM »
Yes, we both pay board and do a fair share of chores. Of course I didn't say it to anyone's face.

I am already trying to earn more money, and even offered to contribute a larger share of board (my offer was turned down to keep it equal with my brother). The main point I was trying to make is that my mum was deflecting the conversation away from spending by focusing on earning - but when I suggest ideas for how I could earn more, she often shoots those down too. Actually, my brother is probably a worse culprit than either of my parents, because he bought about 10 pairs of running shoes this year.

ETA: Is it really that bad to be concerned about your family's finances? It's not like I can force them to change, anyway, if they really don't want to, but especially with the alcohol, it'd be better for their health too to cut back there. I want to help them have more money if I can because I think it'd make my mum especially happier if she didn't have to work as long. And all of us help with my dad's business.

No, it isn't bad to be concerned. My in-laws financial decisions are a frequent source of concern for us. It just seems the things you were concerned about are fairly minor (using a drying rack doesn't really save a ton of money in the grand scheme of things). When it comes down to it though, my in-laws are adults and their choices and the consequences belongs to them, not me (that sounds heartless, but they have wasted at least 300k in windfalls and refuse any budgeting help so we just let them deal with their own stuff).

Goldielocks

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4354 on: January 14, 2018, 12:43:20 AM »
It's just like electric bikes: they are a terrible choice if you're healthy and fit and ride a regular bike frequently, but if you're driving everywhere and not getting any exercise, an electric bike is a massive improvement.

Yeah,  I am going to call BS on that one.    My guess is that you have not owned an electric bike or you live where it is flat.  Most cyclists I knew looked down on them at the time (circa 2002/2003 here).

Once upon a time, I was a cyclist part time (to work), and when I got an electric kit, my frequency and distance traveled tripled... versus taking DH's car or the bus.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 12:46:49 AM by Goldielocks »

Rowellen

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4355 on: January 14, 2018, 12:54:54 AM »
Yes, we both pay board and do a fair share of chores. Of course I didn't say it to anyone's face.

I am already trying to earn more money, and even offered to contribute a larger share of board (my offer was turned down to keep it equal with my brother). The main point I was trying to make is that my mum was deflecting the conversation away from spending by focusing on earning - but when I suggest ideas for how I could earn more, she often shoots those down too. Actually, my brother is probably a worse culprit than either of my parents, because he bought about 10 pairs of running shoes this year.

ETA: Is it really that bad to be concerned about your family's finances? It's not like I can force them to change, anyway, if they really don't want to, but especially with the alcohol, it'd be better for their health too to cut back there. I want to help them have more money if I can because I think it'd make my mum especially happier if she didn't have to work as long. And all of us help with my dad's business.

No, it isn't bad to be concerned. My in-laws financial decisions are a frequent source of concern for us. It just seems the things you were concerned about are fairly minor (using a drying rack doesn't really save a ton of money in the grand scheme of things). When it comes down to it though, my in-laws are adults and their choices and the consequences belongs to them, not me (that sounds heartless, but they have wasted at least 300k in windfalls and refuse any budgeting help so we just let them deal with their own stuff).

I beg to differ on the dryer issue. My former boss had his electricity bill go up about $200 in a qtr maybe more. I can't remember the exact numbers. He discovered his wife had started using the dryer for every load of washing. Nothing else had changed.

crispy

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4356 on: January 14, 2018, 03:42:41 AM »
Yes, we both pay board and do a fair share of chores. Of course I didn't say it to anyone's face.

I am already trying to earn more money, and even offered to contribute a larger share of board (my offer was turned down to keep it equal with my brother). The main point I was trying to make is that my mum was deflecting the conversation away from spending by focusing on earning - but when I suggest ideas for how I could earn more, she often shoots those down too. Actually, my brother is probably a worse culprit than either of my parents, because he bought about 10 pairs of running shoes this year.

ETA: Is it really that bad to be concerned about your family's finances? It's not like I can force them to change, anyway, if they really don't want to, but especially with the alcohol, it'd be better for their health too to cut back there. I want to help them have more money if I can because I think it'd make my mum especially happier if she didn't have to work as long. And all of us help with my dad's business.

No, it isn't bad to be concerned. My in-laws financial decisions are a frequent source of concern for us. It just seems the things you were concerned about are fairly minor (using a drying rack doesn't really save a ton of money in the grand scheme of things). When it comes down to it though, my in-laws are adults and their choices and the consequences belongs to them, not me (that sounds heartless, but they have wasted at least 300k in windfalls and refuse any budgeting help so we just let them deal with their own stuff).

I beg to differ on the dryer issue. My former boss had his electricity bill go up about $200 in a qtr maybe more. I can't remember the exact numbers. He discovered his wife had started using the dryer for every load of washing. Nothing else had changed.

Your must have very expensive electricity. For me, the electric cost is less than $100 per year (using an online equation) so I will happily pay $8 per month for convenience.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4357 on: January 14, 2018, 05:40:17 AM »
Yes, we both pay board and do a fair share of chores. Of course I didn't say it to anyone's face.

I am already trying to earn more money, and even offered to contribute a larger share of board (my offer was turned down to keep it equal with my brother). The main point I was trying to make is that my mum was deflecting the conversation away from spending by focusing on earning - but when I suggest ideas for how I could earn more, she often shoots those down too. Actually, my brother is probably a worse culprit than either of my parents, because he bought about 10 pairs of running shoes this year.

ETA: Is it really that bad to be concerned about your family's finances? It's not like I can force them to change, anyway, if they really don't want to, but especially with the alcohol, it'd be better for their health too to cut back there. I want to help them have more money if I can because I think it'd make my mum especially happier if she didn't have to work as long. And all of us help with my dad's business.

I'm sure your intentions are good, but if your mum doesn't appreciate it, I can imagine it will only result in her being annoyed. I'm not that much older than you, but we used to rent out a room to a guy who would give me all kinds of unwanted advice about very small things. He was right sometimes, but it still annoyed me to no end, because in my head I thought "if you know so well how to run a household, GO RUN YOUR OWN HOUSEHOLD for gods sake".

There's nothing wrong with being concerned about your family's financial situation, but there's a difference between concern and meddling. Giving people advice when they're not interested in my experience just doesn't work. It's understandable though, if you see opportunities for improvement or your family is financially in trouble (I hope they're not) but I don't think you're in a position to hand out unwanted advice unless they're asking for your help.

If you want to help them save money, maybe you could offer to do things for them like find out the cheapest mobile phone / TV / electricity / internet provider or compare insurance policies. Or you could offer to do the grocery shopping + meal prep and planning and get the grocery budget down. You could do the laundry and do it your way and see if you can bring the electricity bill or the use of detergent down (most people can save massively on laundry detergent). I think most people are open to saving money, but they don't want the hassle or disrupt their routines, especially if they're already extremely busy working and running a household.

Roadrunner53

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Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4358 on: January 14, 2018, 06:09:52 AM »
Years ago I knew these people that were always in debt. The wife didn't work but the husband had a good paying job but they always squandered every penny they had. So one episode was somehow the couple got a visit from a freezer plan outfit. The deal was they would bring a freezer (upright) to the home and then you would pick from a list of foods what you expected to eat in a month. Somehow the cost of the freezer was rolled into the cost of the frozen items. So this couple picks out so many steaks, roasts, chickens, pork chops. I have no idea if veggies were included but anyway they filled up the freezer. The next thing you know they thought they were living the life and were eating steaks for breakfast! They gobbled up all the food in just a few weeks, still owed the freezer company for the first fill up plus the freezer! I am not sure what happened after that but if they filled up the freezer a few times that was it. They probably didn't pay the bill when it came in either. As they were gobbling steaks for breakfast they were laughing their heads off!

marion10

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4359 on: January 14, 2018, 02:01:26 PM »
If you are going the laundry - then you can dry it however you like.

wordnerd

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4360 on: January 14, 2018, 03:08:20 PM »
I previously posted about my parents who bought a boat and then often used it solely as a waterside cocktail bar. Well, they bought it in August and have already upgraded to a larger boat. They originally justified this as "when we sell the smaller boat, it will only $XK more to buy the bigger boat." Then, "well, the new boat has some issues but we're getting $1K off the price." Now, it's "when we sell the smaller boat, it will cover the vast majority of projected repairs to the larger boat." Apparently, "vast majority" means that their asking price for the smaller boat is less than 70% of the projected repairs to the bigger boat. Finally, my dad doubts his ability to get the larger boat out of the slip without damaging it...

Le sigh.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4361 on: January 15, 2018, 04:45:37 AM »
If you are going the laundry - then you can dry it however you like.

Last summer I was drying my laundry on the line outside. And twice I was bitten by a tic. Once I woke up in the morning with a tic hanging in the back on my leg. Another time I was at work in the afternoon and noticed a tic hanging on the inside of my elbow. My colleague suggested that it might be due to line drying outside. The strange thing is that I have been line drying from the balcony for 15 years in our previous house, where I never had issues with tics. In this new house I also line dry on the balcony and had tics twice. According to my colleagues I need to shake the laundry really well when taking inside. I will focus on that the next summer. In the winter I use the tumble dry. I could also use the foldable drying rack and maybe I should focus on using that more often. With the current washing machine with a large capacity the rack if easily overfull.

Uturn

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4362 on: January 15, 2018, 07:14:38 AM »
I was having dinner with Mom yesterday, and she mentioned that I should get a dog. 

Me: (chuckle) No, I plan on retiring in 3-5 years and want to be nomadic and a dog does not fit those plans.
Mom: What!?  But you're not even in your 50's yet, how can you retire?
Me:  Remember all those years that you called me a cheapskate because I don't have new cars and fancy gadgets?  I was buying a portfolio instead.
Mom:  I don't understand why you denied yourself a nice life just so that you can sit around the house so early in life.
It's not about money, it's about mindset

Rubic

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4363 on: January 15, 2018, 07:22:21 AM »
ETA: Is it really that bad to be concerned about your family's finances? It's not like I can force them to change, anyway, if they really don't want to, but especially with the alcohol, it'd be better for their health too to cut back there. I want to help them have more money if I can because I think it'd make my mum especially happier if she didn't have to work as long. And all of us help with my dad's business.

Flip the script and imagine it's your mum nagging you because you're
not married, or don't have children, or don't live in a nice house.  Nobody
wants unsolicited advice, especially not a parent.

Both my parents were chain smokers for 20+ years, and me pointing out
the health hazards wouldn't have made any difference, and would probably
have harmed our relationship.  Fortunately they both quit soon after my
grandfather (a physician!) died of lung cancer in his early 60's.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4364 on: January 15, 2018, 07:40:04 AM »
I was having dinner with Mom yesterday, and she mentioned that I should get a dog. 

Me: (chuckle) No, I plan on retiring in 3-5 years and want to be nomadic and a dog does not fit those plans.
Mom: What!?  But you're not even in your 50's yet, how can you retire?
Me:  Remember all those years that you called me a cheapskate because I don't have new cars and fancy gadgets?  I was buying a portfolio instead.
Mom:  I don't understand why you denied yourself a nice life just so that you can sit around the house so early in life.
Did she somehow misunderstand the word "nomadic"?

SwordGuy

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4365 on: January 15, 2018, 07:45:58 AM »
I was having dinner with Mom yesterday, and she mentioned that I should get a dog. 

Me: (chuckle) No, I plan on retiring in 3-5 years and want to be nomadic and a dog does not fit those plans.
Mom: What!?  But you're not even in your 50's yet, how can you retire?
Me:  Remember all those years that you called me a cheapskate because I don't have new cars and fancy gadgets?  I was buying a portfolio instead.
Mom:  I don't understand why you denied yourself a nice life just so that you can sit around the house so early in life.

Isn't it maddening that people just won't listen?  Or can't connect the dots because of pre-conceived notions in their heads?

I mean, you just said you're going to be nomadic, which is about as far from "just sit around the house" as you can get!


MgoSam

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4366 on: January 15, 2018, 10:00:16 AM »
I was having dinner with Mom yesterday, and she mentioned that I should get a dog. 

Me: (chuckle) No, I plan on retiring in 3-5 years and want to be nomadic and a dog does not fit those plans.
Mom: What!?  But you're not even in your 50's yet, how can you retire?
Me:  Remember all those years that you called me a cheapskate because I don't have new cars and fancy gadgets?  I was buying a portfolio instead.
Mom:  I don't understand why you denied yourself a nice life just so that you can sit around the house so early in life.

Isn't it maddening that people just won't listen?  Or can't connect the dots because of pre-conceived notions in their heads?

I mean, you just said you're going to be nomadic, which is about as far from "just sit around the house" as you can get!

Well that is the impression most people have of retired people. This is largely due to having known people that are retired and do just sit around the house. This is a concern I have about my dad as he's toying with retiring but doesn't have a life. I fear he'll just sleep and watch TV all day.

Uturn

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4367 on: January 15, 2018, 11:59:44 AM »
I was having dinner with Mom yesterday, and she mentioned that I should get a dog. 

Me: (chuckle) No, I plan on retiring in 3-5 years and want to be nomadic and a dog does not fit those plans.
Mom: What!?  But you're not even in your 50's yet, how can you retire?
Me:  Remember all those years that you called me a cheapskate because I don't have new cars and fancy gadgets?  I was buying a portfolio instead.
Mom:  I don't understand why you denied yourself a nice life just so that you can sit around the house so early in life.

Isn't it maddening that people just won't listen?  Or can't connect the dots because of pre-conceived notions in their heads?

I mean, you just said you're going to be nomadic, which is about as far from "just sit around the house" as you can get!

Well that is the impression most people have of retired people. This is largely due to having known people that are retired and do just sit around the house. This is a concern I have about my dad as he's toying with retiring but doesn't have a life. I fear he'll just sleep and watch TV all day.

When Dad retired, he took various jobs, mostly to keep busy.  He drove a schoolbus for a while, delivered parts for a local car dealer, did tractor work.  He stayed busy until Leukemia took him.  Mom retired and found a recliner and Fox News.
It's not about money, it's about mindset

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4368 on: January 15, 2018, 12:54:28 PM »
When Dad retired, he took various jobs, mostly to keep busy.  He drove a schoolbus for a while, delivered parts for a local car dealer, did tractor work.  He stayed busy until Leukemia took him.  Mom retired and found a recliner and Fox News.

This sounds like my grandfather.

He sold his business and "retired" then drove school buses for a few years, delivered cars for a local dealership, visited his brothers to lend a hand every time they were harvesting or shearing, then got sick of watching his business decline so he bought it back and worked another 10 years.

He's now 86 and on his second go at retirement, spending lots of time on the water in his boat and having dinner with one of his children or grandchildren every night. He will never be one to just sit home.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4369 on: January 15, 2018, 01:05:37 PM »
ETA: Is it really that bad to be concerned about your family's finances? It's not like I can force them to change, anyway, if they really don't want to, but especially with the alcohol, it'd be better for their health too to cut back there. I want to help them have more money if I can because I think it'd make my mum especially happier if she didn't have to work as long. And all of us help with my dad's business.

Flip the script and imagine it's your mum nagging you because you're
not married, or don't have children, or don't live in a nice house.  Nobody
wants unsolicited advice, especially not a parent.

Both my parents were chain smokers for 20+ years, and me pointing out
the health hazards wouldn't have made any difference, and would probably
have harmed our relationship.  Fortunately they both quit soon after my
grandfather (a physician!) died of lung cancer in his early 60's.

I agree - nothing worse than unsolicited advice from a relative.  It would be different if your mum told you that they were about the lose the house and asked for your advice re saving money.  But it doesn't sound like she is doing that.  Also, even though you and your brother are paying board, having your adult children still living with you must be grating at times.  The way I see it, once you strike out on your own and run your own household then you can do it any way you like.  Until then, you've chosen to live in your parents' household and they can run things their way.

TomTX

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4370 on: January 15, 2018, 07:52:14 PM »
I beg to differ on the dryer issue. My former boss had his electricity bill go up about $200 in a qtr maybe more. I can't remember the exact numbers. He discovered his wife had started using the dryer for every load of washing. Nothing else had changed.

Erm, is their vent totally clogged with lint? Does the wife just set the dryer for max time/temp and walk away?
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Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4371 on: January 16, 2018, 06:46:09 AM »
My mum is an intelligent woman and works as a Certified Financial Planner. 3 years ago, my fiance and I bought a cheap house that was in need of some TLC, which is why it was cheap. We've done quite a lot of work already and right now, we are almost done with the upstairs bathroom. Tomorrow the plumber will arrive to connect the new toilet (we didn't have one upstairs) and then it's done. I was excited about that and told my mum on the phone. Then she asked me what we still need to do, as she lives in a different city and doesn't visit a lot. We only have the kitchen and the (small) garden left, so we're nearly done.

Then she proceeded to tell me how it would be much better if we sold the home and bought another home that was already done up by someone else, so we didn't have to do "all that work". Well, first of all, we're nearly done. There's only about 10.000 of work left to do and in the short term, they're not necessary but cosmetic repairs. Secondly, we're in the middle of a huge housing boom, so it's generally a bad time to sell a cheap house and buy an expensive house. With her professional background, this is the most stupid advice she could possibly give. Thirdly, buying a comparable home completely fixed up by someone else could all in all cost us around 100.000 - house prices are at an all-time high and there are high additional costs to buying a house. And I didn't even include higher property taxes etc. Even when we would "just get a mortgage" that's a pretty huge waste of money for a house in the same neighbourhood with a more shiny kitchen, a fashionable floor and matching curtains throughout the house.

I told her this, and I don't want to get into an argument, but it really annoys me that someone with her education and professional background would dish out such stupid advice in their private life. I know she's good at her job and she would never recommend this to a client. She just keeps nagging about this because she just wants us to live in a different type of house and be different people. She feels like since we've doubled our income since we've bought this house, we should find a house that reflects our current level of wealth. She feels our house is a bit small at 800 square ft (3 bedrooms for 2 people, feels more than big enough for me) and I guess because she hopes she'll get grandchildren after all if we just have more bedrooms. She is very much aware that having children is not medically an option for us right now, but she brings it up all the time. She doesn't visit often, but when she does, she's always trying to get us out of the house to go shopping or to go to restaurants. She never does that when we visit her. It's like she hates being in this house at all, and it's not just me who thinks that. She sat next to my friend at my birthday and my friend later vented to my fiance about how much of a snob she thought my mum was ... (my friend is very polite and would never tell me, but my fiance told me).

I have tried to talk to her about this, but it's difficult because she just denies it. I try to ignore it when she says things like this, but it makes my blood boil. I just don't really get it because I wasn't raised like that and my mum has always lead a pretty simple life herself. She did move to another city when we were adults and she's in a different social circle now, full of people much wealthier than she is. Maybe they're a bit of a bad influence.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4372 on: January 16, 2018, 07:24:42 AM »
@Imma How did your mother get the spending mentality of Americans? I thought Europe was much more financially conservative.

My wife is a CPA, qualified to practice in both the UK and USA. She says that co-workers in London were much more financially astute about investing their own money and looking for ways to reduce taxable income via various investments. However, it's a different story in the US, where many of her fellow CPAs love spending every dollar on their large houses, new cars, constant drinking and parties. We're talking 25-50 year olds, some even older. Many don't even put more than the minimum few percent in the 401(K) or IRA. There's only a couple of savvy ones, who are modest in their ways.

I have a friend who works at TD Ameritrade supporting individual investor accounts, customer-facing role. But she spends every penny partying, living like there's no tomorrow.

Just because they are financial professionals doesn't mean they know how to save and invest for themselves.
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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4373 on: January 16, 2018, 07:46:25 AM »
@Imma I am in a very similar boat to you! We sold a house in a HCOL area, and could "afford" a much nicer house in the lower COL city we moved to. We decided to buy an older home with a rental unit attached, or a house that has renos to be done. My parents did not love this plan. During the house hunt process they kept sending us recommendations for completely "finished" homes, but either at the top of our budget, or in neighbourhoods we weren't interested in. Finally we did end up buying a house with a rental unit, and I can tell they are still not impressed with that decision. They justified their opinions as  "well it isn't what we would be looking for now"...maybe your mom has an issue with your house because she can't imagine living there...which is foolish, because she doesn't have to live there! Next time she brings up your house just calmly say, "Mom, we love our house, we aren't moving. We are super happy with our renos!"

Sometimes parents forget to look back to where they were at this age (give or take a few years). My mom and dad used a card table as a kitchen table for 5 years when I was a kid, but yet, for some reason I "MUST BUY" a fancy dining room table immediately.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4374 on: January 16, 2018, 08:25:02 AM »
@Imma How did your mother get the spending mentality of Americans? I thought Europe was much more financially conservative.
[...] There's only a couple of savvy ones, who are modest in their ways.

Just because they are financial professionals doesn't mean they know how to save and invest for themselves.

I really don't know where she got that spending mentality. It's a new thing. My mum grew up in a very working class environment, she worked her way up, she taught us to budget and save money. Growing up she was super frugal, sewing all of our clothes and baking our bread. My parents had a very bad divorce when I was in in my early 20s and she ended up with practically nothing in a small one bedroom flat and her youngest kid still living at home with her. She was living so extremely frugal back then I actually gave her my old coat because she refused to buy a new one even though the zipper was broken and she was waiting in the cold for the bus to work every day. She saved up a lot of money to buy a nice house in a new city to start a new life there about 5 years ago. After that, she's changed so much I sometimes wonder who she is. Her new friends generally come from money and at around 60, most have received their full inheritances and have a lot of money. My mum isn't wealthy, but she's taken good care of herself in the past. She's close to 60, I know if she quit working today she has enough to live on until her pension and social security kicks in at 66.

She's still not spending a huge amount of money on herself compared to some people in this thread - she spends a lot on food and wine and eating in fancy restaurants and expensive clothes but not more than she can afford - but she's really pressuring us to spend money and judging others by how much money they spend. Because of her job, we're used to talking openly about money and she knows I save up for retirement, which she considers to be unneccessary 'at my stage in life'. I'm really happy that she goes on holiday every year, but I wish she would just shut up about my spending.

@kaypinkHH  When my parents were around 30 we lived in nearly exactly the same type of house in the same type of neighbourhood. Maybe she doesn't want to remember?

LadyMuMu

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4375 on: January 16, 2018, 08:46:46 AM »
We have a lower income and standard of living than both sets of my parents and it is REALLY difficult for them to accept at times. This in great part due to conscious choices we've made. My DH is an academic but could earn 3x as much in industry. I choose to stay home and run the domestic/financial part of our household with a little contract work on the side. If we were maxing out our educations and opportunities with other life choices, we'd be earning about 5-4x as much but would have a MUCH different lifestyle of work/life balance--one that more closely resembles their own.

I think it disrupts the typical American ideal that success means doing better than your parents. I think it is also feels like a rebuke of their own life choices at times--particularly not being as involved in our day-to-day lives when we were kids (nannies, summer-long camps, boarding schools). Most of all, I think they think of themselves as "middle class" even though they are wealthy. Heck, even we are upper middle class by income standards. So their self-narrative is disrupted that they are "ordinary" people.

mm1970

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4376 on: January 16, 2018, 11:29:48 AM »
Pretty minor one from me: My parents are absolutely not the worst spenders, but they still have obvious inefficiencies to my eyes. Anyway, I made a comment about how much my mum uses the tumble drier - which is too much, when we have an indoor drying rack (which apparently "takes up too much space" even though it's out all the time whether we're using it or not?!) and an outdoor washing line  (which we can use in the warmer half of the year) - and how it might save money on the electricity bill if we cut back. And she said, "Never mind saving, what about earning more?"

Also, I calculated that my dad drinks 1000 a year of beer and/or wine, at least. Yes, I know he enjoys it. But that's not that far off a particularly frugal budget for all other food for one person for a year.
My wine budget is probably pretty close to that a year.

I don't drink all of it - for Christmas I gave away 5 bottles, and I also take the majority of the wine to parties and get-togethers.

mm1970

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4377 on: January 16, 2018, 11:33:39 AM »
It's just like electric bikes: they are a terrible choice if you're healthy and fit and ride a regular bike frequently, but if you're driving everywhere and not getting any exercise, an electric bike is a massive improvement.

Yeah,  I am going to call BS on that one.    My guess is that you have not owned an electric bike or you live where it is flat.  Most cyclists I knew looked down on them at the time (circa 2002/2003 here).

Once upon a time, I was a cyclist part time (to work), and when I got an electric kit, my frequency and distance traveled tripled... versus taking DH's car or the bus.
+1

I don't have an electric bike, but my neighbor up the street does.

We live on a big hill.  She has 2 kids.  Doesn't drive.  The neighborhood isn't particularly walkable - not horrible, but it's a little over a mile over a really big hill to get to the nearest grocery store.

The electric bike made a HUGE improvement in her life.  Before that, she and her husband were basically looking to move to a more walk able neighborhood.  AND she's in her late 50s and very very fit.  Because she doesn't drive, she pretty much walked EVERYWHERE.   But getting the kids from school at the end of the day got much better with the bike.  Sometimes she makes the round trip 2-3 times a day, and it's a big hill.

max9505672

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4378 on: January 17, 2018, 07:33:54 AM »
It's just like electric bikes: they are a terrible choice if you're healthy and fit and ride a regular bike frequently, but if you're driving everywhere and not getting any exercise, an electric bike is a massive improvement.
Electric bikes are great if you have long distances and/or mountainous terrain, independently of how fit you are.

For example, it would take me 1h15 hour to go to work by bike. While not impossible, I wouldn't bike 3h30 hours/day even if I consider myself fit, it's just too much time at the end of the day. I do it sometimes, but not everyday.

With my electric bike, it takes roughly 30 minutes. Still a good physical exercise and much more viable on a daily basis.

londonstache

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4379 on: January 17, 2018, 09:14:04 AM »
@Imma How did your mother get the spending mentality of Americans? I thought Europe was much more financially conservative.

@jinga nation alas, I think we're rapidly closing the gap on Americans. You still see some financially conservative decisions, but at least here in the UK they are fairly rare. For example in the UK 10 years ago most people paid cash for a car, leased it or got a traditional loan - where you owned the asset outright at the end. Now most people get a PCP payment plan (82% of sales are now these), which typically looks like paying less now in most cases for no ownership in the future. I also find the state of preparation for retirement also entirely horrific.

snapperdude

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4380 on: January 17, 2018, 06:23:15 PM »
@Imma How did your mother get the spending mentality of Americans? I thought Europe was much more financially conservative.
[...] There's only a couple of savvy ones, who are modest in their ways.

Just because they are financial professionals doesn't mean they know how to save and invest for themselves.

I really don't know where she got that spending mentality. It's a new thing. My mum grew up in a very working class environment, she worked her way up, she taught us to budget and save money. Growing up she was super frugal, sewing all of our clothes and baking our bread. My parents had a very bad divorce when I was in in my early 20s and she ended up with practically nothing in a small one bedroom flat and her youngest kid still living at home with her. She was living so extremely frugal back then I actually gave her my old coat because she refused to buy a new one even though the zipper was broken and she was waiting in the cold for the bus to work every day. She saved up a lot of money to buy a nice house in a new city to start a new life there about 5 years ago. After that, she's changed so much I sometimes wonder who she is. Her new friends generally come from money and at around 60, most have received their full inheritances and have a lot of money. My mum isn't wealthy, but she's taken good care of herself in the past. She's close to 60, I know if she quit working today she has enough to live on until her pension and social security kicks in at 66.

She's still not spending a huge amount of money on herself compared to some people in this thread - she spends a lot on food and wine and eating in fancy restaurants and expensive clothes but not more than she can afford - but she's really pressuring us to spend money and judging others by how much money they spend. Because of her job, we're used to talking openly about money and she knows I save up for retirement, which she considers to be unneccessary 'at my stage in life'. I'm really happy that she goes on holiday every year, but I wish she would just shut up about my spending.

@kaypinkHH  When my parents were around 30 we lived in nearly exactly the same type of house in the same type of neighbourhood. Maybe she doesn't want to remember?

Perhaps she is feeling pressure to keep up with her new friends when they discuss the lifestyles of their children. She wants you to spend your money so she can tell her friends about how "well" you are doing.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4381 on: January 18, 2018, 02:38:55 AM »
She could brag about how her daughter has a savings rate of over 50%! But I guess that's not as cool as a 5 bedroom home.

UKMustache

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4382 on: January 18, 2018, 02:56:57 AM »
@jinga nation alas, I think we're rapidly closing the gap on Americans. You still see some financially conservative decisions, but at least here in the UK they are fairly rare. For example in the UK 10 years ago most people paid cash for a car, leased it or got a traditional loan - where you owned the asset outright at the end. Now most people get a PCP payment plan (82% of sales are now these), which typically looks like paying less now in most cases for no ownership in the future. I also find the state of preparation for retirement also entirely horrific.
[/quote]

Have you seen the latest update to 'autotrader', you can now search by how much you want to pay per month.

*facepalm*

jinga nation

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4383 on: January 18, 2018, 08:23:54 AM »
@UKMustache I tend to think of the British and Europeans as two separate identities. I have come to the UK several times, have plenty of 2nd cousins and in-laws there. I know y'all love to spend the almighty quids like there ain't no tomorrow, especially at the nearest Weatherspoon's chain pub. Or Kebabish.

Maybe I was stupidly under the impression that northern Europe was much more frugal and savvy. But then like Old Mother Europe, there's a lot of facades, buildings and personal and financial.

And now that Carilion's collapsed, how's it affecting those near and dear to you?
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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4384 on: January 18, 2018, 09:55:11 AM »
Canadians used to be considered more financially conservative than Americans.  Our banking system is still more conservative, but our savings rate is pathetic.  And our merchants are adopting all the American tactics - lots of advertising, "Black Friday" (how silly, not a holiday for us), pre-Christmas sales, etc..
The measure of civilization is how people treat one another.

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UKMustache

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4385 on: January 18, 2018, 10:40:52 AM »
@UKMustache I tend to think of the British and Europeans as two separate identities. I have come to the UK several times, have plenty of 2nd cousins and in-laws there. I know y'all love to spend the almighty quids like there ain't no tomorrow, especially at the nearest Weatherspoon's chain pub. Or Kebabish.

Maybe I was stupidly under the impression that northern Europe was much more frugal and savvy. But then like Old Mother Europe, there's a lot of facades, buildings and personal and financial.

And now that Carilion's collapsed, how's it affecting those near and dear to you?

Unfortunately just over half the UK agreed with you not too long ago, so it's not long before we are two separate identities.

It's too early to say what the impact of Carillion will be, I believe many of the projects are being taken in house by other parties so the damage could be largely mitigated.  Here's hoping anyway, I could do with another 12 months before we see trigger a correction!

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4386 on: January 18, 2018, 10:58:23 AM »
@UKMustache I tend to think of the British and Europeans as two separate identities. I have come to the UK several times, have plenty of 2nd cousins and in-laws there. I know y'all love to spend the almighty quids like there ain't no tomorrow, especially at the nearest Weatherspoon's chain pub. Or Kebabish.

Maybe I was stupidly under the impression that northern Europe was much more frugal and savvy. But then like Old Mother Europe, there's a lot of facades, buildings and personal and financial.


My mother used to work in the UK and she always said that on the continent we're 10 years behind on the UK, and the UK's 25 years behind on the USA when it comes to financial matters. I do think that shopping and eating out are a lot less common in here than in the US, and so is spending money on 'flashy' things. Because of the strict calvinist heritage in north/west Europe, borrowing money and spending on decadent things used to be heavily frowned upon. It's now a little bit more acceptable because of celebrity culture, but most people still wear jeans and a t-shirt, most women don't have fake nails, fake tan, whitened teeth or have their hair blow dried. This seems to be a LOT more common in the UK.

Household debts are generally very high in western Europe, that's mainly because land is insanely expensive and prices go up most of the time and never go down a lot, land is just very scarce. People have very high mortgages because that's the only way you can buy a house and it varies from country to country whether deposits are required. In my own country (the NL) the government has new strict rules for mortgages. A (small) deposit is now mandatory.

While I support the regulation of the financial industry, it has led to unintended consequences. Because the regulated formal banking sector is now so strict, people turn to the unregulated part of the market. 100% interest only mortgages have been outlawed and any existing loans are now taken into account when you apply for a mortgage. I think any existing loan is actually weighed 150%, so if you have a loan for originally 10.000, the lender has to subtract 15.000 or something from your max. mortgage even if the actual balance of the loan is now only 2000.

People used to pay cash for things like cars, but they have less disposable income now because they have to pay off the mortgage. Taking out a regular loan from the bank for a car is unwise for people who want to buy a home or refinance, so instead they will lease a car because the lease payments are not a loan and not taken into account for a mortgage. Leasing is very expensive compared to buying or even a loan, and you end up with nothing. Lease companies are almost completely unregulated. So these laws basically just shift loans from the responsible, regulated sector to the irresponsible loan shark business.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4387 on: January 18, 2018, 11:09:30 AM »
@UKMustache I tend to think of the British and Europeans as two separate identities. I have come to the UK several times, have plenty of 2nd cousins and in-laws there. I know y'all love to spend the almighty quids like there ain't no tomorrow, especially at the nearest Weatherspoon's chain pub. Or Kebabish.

Maybe I was stupidly under the impression that northern Europe was much more frugal and savvy. But then like Old Mother Europe, there's a lot of facades, buildings and personal and financial.

And now that Carilion's collapsed, how's it affecting those near and dear to you?

Unfortunately just over half the UK agreed with you not too long ago, so it's not long before we are two separate identities.


This Brexit thing is definitely becoming a bigger disaster by the day. We do a lot of business with the UK and this uncertainty isn't doing anyone any good. And let's not even talk about exchange rates. There are strong regional identities but I believe they can exist within the structure of Europe. In the end I think there's a lot more (both culturally and economically) that connects us Europeans to each other than what divides us.

BTDretire

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4388 on: January 18, 2018, 11:12:05 AM »
I have tried to talk to her about this, but it's difficult because she just denies it. I try to ignore it when she says things like this, but it makes my blood boil. I just don't really get it because I wasn't raised like that and my mum has always lead a pretty simple life herself. She did move to another city when we were adults and she's in a different social circle now, full of people much wealthier than she is. Maybe they're a bit of a bad influence.

 We have an unwritten but getting to be a well worn rule in our home, it is better to have others waste their energy being mad at us then to waste our energy being at them. It is mostly used with family members.


  I won't give much detail: arrgh, the more I wrote the more detail I gave, so here are the details. The 'family' wanted us to sponsor another part of the family consisting 4 members into the states. Because our life was very busy owning our own business (plus I'm retiring) and knowing how little help the family is to the family, we opted out and would not do this. There was much discussion and even hand written letters begging. But NO!

 I told one family member that everyone in the family relies on my wife to do way to many things now, (she speaks the best English and they use their lack, as an excuse), if we did what you are asking, we would not have time to run our business, because there would be no help from the family.
 This was passed to other family members and pissed everyone off.

 When  a family is sponsored, you need to take care of everything from housing, food, doctor, dentist, car, insurance, school, documents, money, etc. So No! It was quiet year with the family mad at us, but then more and more contact was made. (I enjoyed the time off as did my wife, for a while)
  Then out of the blue with zero mention, 1 member of this family shows up, he is accepted to at an out of state school. This family member is going to spend three weeks at the sponsors house before school starts. Everyday my wife gets a call with all the complaints about the lazy do nothing young man, how he is afraid of the dark and leaves the lights on all night, how he won't clean up after dinner, how he demands a fresh towel everyday, won't eat the meal they cook, needs something else cooked, how he spends all day on his phone playing video games, and much more. A week of daily complaints!
  At the end of the first week the husband of the sponsoring pair came over and I see he is having a very animated conversation with my wife in their native language. I usually ignore most of what is going on, but after he left I ask my wife what that was about. She got a grin 1/2 mile wide and said, he apologized for the whole year of being mad at us and how he now understands what he was asking us to do.
  The next two weeks there are several attempts to get other family members to pitch in and help pay for the the young man's rent, food money and school tuition, also several attempts to get other family to take in the young man for a few days, this never happens, as I said no one wants to help.
 By the end of the 3 weeks they are trying to find ways to send him back to the home country. He is now at school, but I wonder how much support they will give him.
  I have pointed out to my wife how unfair it is for them to commit to this and then within 3 weeks decide they don't want to. She agrees but has made it clear she does not want to hear anymore about it from her family.

  I have this desire to tell them they did nothing compared to, bringing the whole family, but I won't do it.

 Also during this first week, the sponsor, my wife's sister, tried to point out SHE was the only one that could have sponsored the young man, because she had $40,000 in the bank to prove she could handle the responsibility. My wife held her tongue and didn't point out we have savings to generate over $75,000 every year for the rest of our lives.

  The apology was, as they say, priceless!

 I might add, now the relatives do get it!


mm1970

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4389 on: January 18, 2018, 02:02:07 PM »
I have tried to talk to her about this, but it's difficult because she just denies it. I try to ignore it when she says things like this, but it makes my blood boil. I just don't really get it because I wasn't raised like that and my mum has always lead a pretty simple life herself. She did move to another city when we were adults and she's in a different social circle now, full of people much wealthier than she is. Maybe they're a bit of a bad influence.

 We have an unwritten but getting to be a well worn rule in our home, it is better to have others waste their energy being mad at us then to waste our energy being at them. It is mostly used with family members.

snip

 
  The apology was, as they say, priceless!

 I might add, now the relatives do get it!

That was amazing.  And fascinating. I've just recently begun to realize issues with foreigners sometimes, by reading blogs.  I didn't realize that some countries the teenagers are so accustomed to servants that they don't actually know how to hang up a towel so it dries (and reuse it), and take basic care of themselves.

Most of my experience with teens from other countries (and even then, not direct experience, just via family) is Denmark.  Not all countries are the same!

BTDretire

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4390 on: January 18, 2018, 04:26:27 PM »
I have tried to talk to her about this, but it's difficult because she just denies it. I try to ignore it when she says things like this, but it makes my blood boil. I just don't really get it because I wasn't raised like that and my mum has always lead a pretty simple life herself. She did move to another city when we were adults and she's in a different social circle now, full of people much wealthier than she is. Maybe they're a bit of a bad influence.

 We have an unwritten but getting to be a well worn rule in our home, it is better to have others waste their energy being mad at us then to waste our energy being at them. It is mostly used with family members.

snip

 
  The apology was, as they say, priceless!

 I might add, now the relatives do get it!

That was amazing.  And fascinating. I've just recently begun to realize issues with foreigners sometimes, by reading blogs.
There is so much more gossip I could tell.
Quote
  I didn't realize that some countries the teenagers are so accustomed to servants that they don't actually know how to hang up a towel so it dries (and reuse it), and take basic care of themselves.
The boy's mother did everything for him, even took care of a chamber pot so he didn't need to walk downstairs to use the bathroom.
Quote
Most of my experience with teens from other countries (and even then, not direct experience, just via family) is Denmark.  Not all countries are the same!
This culture pushes their children very hard to excel, if they don't excel as the parents say, it brings shame to the parents. My wife is still pushing our 26 your old daughter even though she graduated with a minor and major 1yr+ early from a university and is 1 semester before she gets a Masters. But it is never enough.
 I'm very proud of my daughter and she knows it, she's a wonderful strong young lady, she gets a lot of that strength from her mother. When she does certain things, I'll tease, just like your mother, She'll say,
"I'm not like my mother!"  :-)
On the plus side, my wife's attitude and tenacity is also why we are FI.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4391 on: January 19, 2018, 01:18:24 AM »
I have tried to talk to her about this, but it's difficult because she just denies it. I try to ignore it when she says things like this, but it makes my blood boil. I just don't really get it because I wasn't raised like that and my mum has always lead a pretty simple life herself. She did move to another city when we were adults and she's in a different social circle now, full of people much wealthier than she is. Maybe they're a bit of a bad influence.

 We have an unwritten but getting to be a well worn rule in our home, it is better to have others waste their energy being mad at us then to waste our energy being at them. It is mostly used with family members.

snip

 
  The apology was, as they say, priceless!

 I might add, now the relatives do get it!

That was amazing.  And fascinating. I've just recently begun to realize issues with foreigners sometimes, by reading blogs.  I didn't realize that some countries the teenagers are so accustomed to servants that they don't actually know how to hang up a towel so it dries (and reuse it), and take basic care of themselves.

Most of my experience with teens from other countries (and even then, not direct experience, just via family) is Denmark.  Not all countries are the same!

Fascinating for sure!  Thanks for sharing, BTDretire.

With This Herring

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #4392 on: January 19, 2018, 06:22:04 PM »
*snip*
 By the end of the 3 weeks they are trying to find ways to send him back to the home country. He is now at school, but I wonder how much support they will give him.
  I have pointed out to my wife how unfair it is for them to commit to this and then within 3 weeks decide they don't want to. She agrees but has made it clear she does not want to hear anymore about it from her family.
*snip*

In my (uninformed) opinion, they committed to sponsoring an semi-adult, not to spoon-feeding a baby, so I wouldn't blame them for trying to get out of it now. 

But man, what a story!  A chamber pot!
Go soak your beans.  You know you keep forgetting.