Author Topic: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?  (Read 44161 times)

hyenas

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Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« on: July 20, 2014, 08:12:49 AM »
Like many of you do...

I drive an old car, I live in a little house, I have old furniture, and most of my repairs are DIY. But I'm sick and tired of everyone (family, neighbors, friends) thinking that I'm financially struggling. I am not poor. I spent most of my childhood being truly poor (well, American poor), and I was so excited to no longer be sneered at by everyone. Nope. No such luck.

I adopted a wonderful child through the state foster care system (most frugal way btw, cost about $500) which means in my state she has state insurance, subsidized daycare, WIC, and b/c she's handicapped there are automatic state disability payments (which happen to come on an EBT card just like welfare payments). So I look poor.

I know this is shallow, and it shouldn't actually matter. But I'm tired of grocery store cashiers being rude, people commenting on what I buy with my "welfare". I want to brand my networth into my forehead. Last year at her (wealthy) preschool I had to go through four "homevisits" simply because my earned income was so low.

How do you deal with the lack of social status that being Mustachian seems to bring with it? I'm not talking about people not inviting you to join their country club. But the discrimination that people who are poor deal with every day in this country.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2014, 08:30:27 AM »
First, you choose how you react to anything in life. When someone looks down on you, take it as a reminder of what's important to you and why you are choosing to live this way. There is no reason to look down on them, but at least realize you don't want to live paycheck to paycheck in order to appear rich like them, you want to be rich even it that means appearing poor. There's nothing wrong with that.

Also, here's 6 pages of comments from other mustachians on the subject. Hopefully this will make you feel at peace with your lifestyle.
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/do-you-look-poor-to-people/

Very cool that you adopted a foster child. Keep your head up. You're not doing this for them, you're doing it for you and your child.

DocCyane

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2014, 08:31:11 AM »
First off, I want to thank you for adopting a special needs child. You must be an amazing person with a huge heart.

Second, I understand where you're coming from. My side hustle involves climbing into trash dumpsters and pulling out items to sell on eBay. Not exactly something you talk about at dinner parties!

My personal strategy for handling the disdainful looks is to play along. And play it up. Oh my gosh, I'm so poor the beggars give ME money!

Somehow when you start joking about it, it takes all the fire and venom out of people. You're ruining their fun when you cease to be the joke and start being the jokester.

Maybe that doesn't help much, but I want you to know I sympathize. Mustachians may never win the flashy award, but we always win on substance. And you're top notch.

SnpKraklePhyz

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2014, 08:34:00 AM »
I have often felt the same way.  I live in a very wealthy area and my colleagues regularly go out to eat, the movies, vacations, buy nice clothes, put marble in the bathroom and renovate the kitchen.  I spent Memorial Day weekend replacing a window with me up there on the ladder myself.  And while I'm proud of myself and my 'stashe I feel like the neighbors look at me weird.  MMM talks about having like minded friends and I would love to have like minded friends but haven't found them.  In the meantime I feel like an outcast or weirdo in the circles in which I move.  I try not to let it get to me but it does.  My goal is to retire in 3 years either fully retire or partially retire and I try to focus on that goal and let the thoughts of weird looks roll off.  Easier said than done sometimes.
I don't think there is an easy answer - upgrade your lifestyle and change your goals or get new friends.  Just not easy in any way.

lifejoy

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2014, 08:44:22 AM »
Have you ever seen the show Columbo? The main character (Lt. Columbo) wears the same shabby outfit every show and has an old beater of a car. He gets a lot of razzing about it. Was once even cast in a play as a "homeless man" because he wandered on set and they mistook him for that role. Lol! Does it bother him? Nah. It's almost a source of pride. Anyways, I think you're amazing and I don't want to discount your feelings - because I'm sure it's exhausting... But it's kind of my goal in life to get to where you are. My parents are FIRE, and they wear old jeans, tshirts, and regular shoes or rubber boots (they live on a farm). You don't know they're well off unless you see their farm or know that they paid for their vehicle in cash. I think it's cool - like having a secret, or being incognito! And no one is going to hit you up for cash ;)


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hyenas

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2014, 08:58:01 AM »
Thanks for the link to the other post. I'm going to read through it. I know this is a shallow reaction. I just never have had much success with telling myself what I should be feeling.
I have trouble finding like-minded people. My friends either end up being a lot poorer than me, because I meet them at salvage yards or while complaining about parking fees. Or a lot "richer' because I met them at my private school or university.
I'm so grateful for these forums. :)

socaso

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2014, 09:44:31 AM »
It's terrible to be penalized for appearances! I'm sorry you have felt judged. I don't have a lot of insight here because I don't have a special needs child but the first thing that popped into my head it that perhaps there is a support or Meetup group for other parents of special needs kids in your area. You might find some like minded people in a group like that and your child might meet some new friends. You are obviously not the only person received EBT payments for a special needs kid and I'm sure other parents must have some of the same feelings you do when they use their EBT. BTW, who are these people watching other people's shopping transactions like a hawk and leveling judgment against them? I've read about this sort of behavior in other forums and I'm pretty shocked. When I'm waiting in line at the grocery store I'm usually staring off into space.

samburger

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2014, 10:17:41 AM »
I know this is a shallow reaction. I just never have had much success with telling myself what I should be feeling.

Your feelings are not wrong! You're absolutely entitled to feel shitty about being mistreated--and you are being mistreated. I wish I had advice for you, but I all I have is some validation and good wishes.

I hope you can find some folks with similar experiences. Nothing is as cathartic as finding someone to relate to.

southernhippie

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2014, 11:31:48 AM »
Recently my son was diagnosed with a rare serious heart condition before he was born. When I told family and friends about it the next reaction was "do you need money".  I am only 25 and my wife 26.  We have good jobs and nice house and cars.  We are new mustachians but have always been big savers.  So I was shocked that was the first thing people asked me is if we need money.  It seems just because I am in my 20s and having my first child that I wont be able to afford anything.  I keep reassuring people that we can take care of ourselves.  But because we have a clothes line, have old clothes, grow our own veggies and don't buy stupid shit that we are thought to be financially insufficient to raise a child with a serious health condition. 

It seems nobody ever seems to think that maybe my wife and I live the way we do to prepare for such awful circumstances

GizmoTX

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2014, 12:10:28 PM »
SouthernHippie, perhaps they were concerned about massive medical expenses.

Ziggurat

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2014, 12:17:45 PM »
Have you ever seen the show Columbo? The main character (Lt. Columbo) wears the same shabby outfit every show and has an old beater of a car. He gets a lot of razzing about it. Was once even cast in a play as a "homeless man" because he wandered on set and they mistook him for that role. Lol! Does it bother him? Nah. It's almost a source of pride.

I love the Columbo reference.  The beauty of his shabbiness was that the bad guys did not take him seriously, until his net of evidence started closing in, and by then it was too late.  At the end they realized just how smart Columbo was, and how he had maneuvered them all along.

A very encouraging analogy for mustachians to hold on to.  People may not recognize how smart you are now, but eventually they will.




plantingourpennies

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2014, 12:37:31 PM »


A very encouraging analogy for mustachians to hold on to.  People may not recognize how smart you are now, but eventually they will.

Why does your success or failure depend on people "recognizing" how smart you are?

Best,
Mr. PoP

lifejoy

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2014, 12:42:13 PM »

Have you ever seen the show Columbo? The main character (Lt. Columbo) wears the same shabby outfit every show and has an old beater of a car. He gets a lot of razzing about it. Was once even cast in a play as a "homeless man" because he wandered on set and they mistook him for that role. Lol! Does it bother him? Nah. It's almost a source of pride.

I love the Columbo reference.  The beauty of his shabbiness was that the bad guys did not take him seriously, until his net of evidence started closing in, and by then it was too late.  At the end they realized just how smart Columbo was, and how he had maneuvered them all along.

A very encouraging analogy for mustachians to hold on to.  People may not recognize how smart you are now, but eventually they will.

Oh, and just one more thing... ;)

Lol ok but for real - I do think society might be harder on shabby "poor-looking" women than it is on men. A woman in sweatpants and flip flops has maybe "let herself go" but a man in the same attire is probably just a tech start-up billionaire. Know what I mean? I don't agree with it, I just see examples of it in mass media.


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SDREMNGR

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2014, 12:43:08 PM »
Your feelings are valid.  Humans, as social animals, need and thrive on social status.  That's why all the non-frugal people leverage themselves to the hilt to look like something they are not.

By definition, what we here as a group are doing is anti-social. Not in an aggressive way, but we are invalidating the opinions of others for what WE believe in.  So if you really don't like the shabby treatment, you can choose to dress a little nicer and drive a little nicer car, while learning to do so at frugal ways.  You can also go shop where they appreciate your business.

In the end, you can't change how the world works. But you can change how much you care about it, or where you go to find validation.

Personally, I take pride in how shabby I dress because I own several nice suits and lots of nice shirts and wool pants but I love to dress comfortably and out of fashion. 

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2014, 12:49:09 PM »
I agree it's not fair but those are the ropes.    People will judge you on appearance....period.

Why do you think people judge you?   Do you wear shabby clothing?   Is your car all dented up?   Do you like the way you look?   Do you like the way your car looks? 

You don't need to look poor and still have a MMM savings rate and financial worth thing going on.....you know this right? :)

If you're fine the way you are the F them!    Complaining will do nothing

If you're truly not happy with your appearance, car and old furniture then spend some money to fix those issues.    So you old off FIRE for a couple years....so what?  :)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 12:55:06 PM by surfhb »

G-dog

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2014, 01:12:21 PM »
. BTW, who are these people watching other people's shopping transactions like a hawk and leveling judgment against them? I've read about this sort of behavior in other forums and I'm pretty shocked. When I'm waiting in line at the grocery store I'm usually staring off into space.

Me too, I don't pay any attention in the checkout line - except if you end up behind someone with a fistful of coupons AND using their checkbook!
Seems like  e-payment is e-payment, whether credit card, debit card, or EBT card.  What am I missing here?

RootofGood

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2014, 01:18:57 PM »
I guess you have to adopt the "who cares?" attitude and internalize it. 

As for the intrusive home visits, I'm assuming those are conditions of receiving welfare.  You take the good with the bad. 

Cyrano

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2014, 01:26:18 PM »
Clothes are a tool that intermittently come in handy for impressing strangers. It doesn't break a Mustachian budget to have a change of clothes held in reserve for such circumstances. Poor folk know this, and those who live on a similar budget will find it useful to do likewise.

Will

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2014, 01:31:03 PM »
Quote
What other people think of me is none of my business.

Quote
When you judge another, you do not define them.  You define yourself.

Quotes from Wayne Dyer (an obviously smart and content man).

Also, I have picked up some VERY nice shirts in excellent condition at Goodwill.  So you can be poor and not look it, and you can also look and be rich without spending a lot of money.

And... this is probably why nudists are such nice people.  They don't judge you by your clothes (or lack thereof).  They are concerned about the person.

Zikoris

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2014, 01:50:15 PM »
Personally, I like people thinking I'm poor - it makes them less likely to ask to borrow money or try to sell me something. Or try to rob/scam me in a foreign country.

NeighborGuy

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2014, 02:21:21 PM »
"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel. Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are."
-Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

That's my fancy way of agreeing with the other poster who said that people are going to judge you by your appearance. Fact of life.

The good news is that it doesn't cost much to look rich (with the exception of your transportation...can't get around that one). If you want to look as rich as you are, dress like it. I've been broke as a joke (relatively speaking) for years while going through school, but I dress like a high-rolling corporate big wig. The fun part is that even when I'm dressed "rich," I'm probably never wearing more than $300 total, including shoes. Make friends with eBay and your local tailor. If you want to get even cheaper than full suit, you can probably just get some business casual clothes from the thrift store. As long as they fit well, 95% of people will never know the difference.

BTW, mad respect for the adoption. I wish more people adopted.

iris lily

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2014, 02:36:59 PM »
Like many of you do...

I drive an old car, I live in a little house, I have old furniture, and most of my repairs are DIY. But I'm sick and tired of everyone (family, neighbors, friends) thinking that I'm financially struggling. I am not poor. I spent most of my childhood being truly poor (well, American poor), and I was so excited to no longer be sneered at by everyone. Nope. No such luck.

I adopted a wonderful child through the state foster care system (most frugal way btw, cost about $500) which means in my state she has state insurance, subsidized daycare, WIC, and b/c she's handicapped there are automatic state disability payments (which happen to come on an EBT card just like welfare payments). So I look poor.

I know this is shallow, and it shouldn't actually matter. But I'm tired of grocery store cashiers being rude, people commenting on what I buy with my "welfare". I want to brand my networth into my forehead. Last year at her (wealthy) preschool I had to go through four "homevisits" simply because my earned income was so low.

How do you deal with the lack of social status that being Mustachian seems to bring with it? I'm not talking about people not inviting you to join their country club. But the discrimination that people who are poor deal with every day in this country.
I'm sure you are placing your child into the preschool because of the excellent education for her. However, watch the social cues for disdain for her, too. There may be a point in the future where you want her in a less "aspiring" culture and may have to sacrifice "educational" aspect for that.
 
Personally, I am deeply skeptical of "good schools," what that means and what that achieves. It's a tremendously complex issue, I know. I don't have children and so will shut up now about it, but you probably know what I mean about the "aspiring" culture found within "good schools." blech.

SDREMNGR

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2014, 02:54:49 PM »
It's a balancing act.  I just bought a house and will be moving for the school district change.  The one I was in had some poor areas nearby and the school test scores were pretty bad as a result.  Unfortunately, income level directly correlates to test scores and achievement in school.  It's another whole discussion.

But I do like the idea of using shabbiness or unfanciness as a theft and loan request deterent.  People who know us well knows that we are financially ok.  But from the outside of my house, it does not look fancy at all.  Very simple and clean but not fancy.  Clean paint but very regular level door knobs and doors and furnishings from the outside.  A thief would rightly think that there's not much to steal.  And same with when I go to the store and some begger asks me if I have some change.  I give them the look like, "do I look like I have any money?" and tell them that I don't have any cash.  They take one look at me and think, "meh, he's probably telling the truth."  So there are perks of looking not rich.

abhe8

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2014, 02:55:14 PM »
i admit i did not read all posts, but it is not anti-mustacian to look nice. do NOT need to spend lots of money to look nice. clean, pressed, pulled together clothing, neat, clean personal grooming and some well choosen accessories go a LONG way towards a respectful (ie. respect given by strangers) then any amount of money. and that can all be had with a trip to the thrift store!

a couple of collared shirts from goodwill for 2 bucks a piece and the use of an iron can make all the difference. i do NOT think being mustacian means I need to "look poor" (whatever that means). i also do not think it means I need to look rough, unkempt or dirty. sweatpants and tank top might be ok for bed but not the grocery store. right or wrong, it is true that people make assumptions based on appearance. but i do not agree that appearance is a good indication of net worth. some of the best dressed are also in debt. you can go a long way with a very few nice outfits, you dont' need 40. kwim?

Ziggurat

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2014, 03:17:20 PM »

A very encouraging analogy for mustachians to hold on to.  People may not recognize how smart you are now, but eventually they will.

Why does your success or failure depend on people "recognizing" how smart you are?

Best,
Mr. PoP

I didn't say it did. Okay ... maybe there is a bit of smug satisfaction to the idea.

But the point is to be good at what you do, whether you look flashy or not.   Substance over style, especially for financial matters.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 03:19:15 PM by Ziggurat »

teen persuasion

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2014, 03:34:27 PM »
We are in a rural area, so not as much of a social climbing environment.  Even so, I'm pretty oblivious to what others are thinking about my social status.  If I do happen to clue in to someone who thinks me poor, I'm secretly amused that they don't have any idea of our net worth.

A few weeks ago we were replacing my deceased minivan (with a very nice car from last century), and stopped in the bank to get the cash to buy it.  DH told me he noticed the teller sizing him up while he waited; he said she probably thought he was broke.  When she got to him, she pulled up our accounts, and her attitude abruptly changed, she started trying to sell him credit cards.  Of course, she was talking all about the interest rate - we don't care about the rate on a card, we pay it off every month!  We had a good laugh about the whole thing, and discussed how non-mustachians don't quite know what to make of us.  Honestly, we don't care what "they" think.  I either think they are idiots for living paycheck to paycheck on an income double ours, or feel sorry for them that they haven't yet learned better.

hyenas

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2014, 04:45:26 PM »
"Your feelings are valid.  Humans, as social animals, need and thrive on social status.  That's why all the non-frugal people leverage themselves to the hilt to look like something they are not.

By definition, what we here as a group are doing is anti-social. Not in an aggressive way, but we are invalidating the opinions of others for what WE believe in."

^This. That's why it's so hard.
I don't know how clothes got into the discussion...but I look good. Real good. Well, I look like a hipster redneck. But that's perfectly fine. Also, I'm not on any income based welfare. It wouldn't matter how much money I make, I'd still receive all the state benefits, think of it as the state's "child support" payments. I guess I could actively reject them to avoid the stigma, but that would be stupid.

The visits are entirely at the preschool's discretion. And they choose who to visit by asking what the earned income level of the parents is. My earned income is non-existent. We live on a combination of rental and investment returns. I do understand that at a statistical level that child neglect, abuse etc. are more prevalent (are they?) at the lower income levels. It seems like people are being punished for being (or appearing) poor.

I can't wait to get her into a different school. However, this is the only place willing to work with her disabilities. If we were actually a low income household she could go to headstart. Next school year though the public schools will have to accept her enrollment.

Thanks for all the tea and sympathy guys. :)

sheepstache

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2014, 04:54:48 PM »
Could you pull off an "old money" attitude?  Where I grew up wearing brand spanking new clothes was something ghetto poor people did whereas the well-off could afford to wear worn clothes, drive old cars, etc., because they felt so financially comfortable.

Exflyboy

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2014, 05:37:26 PM »
Here's my story.. Several times in these numerous posts I refer to being derided by my family for being cheap.

Yes I have suffered this derision for years.. However when you finally do walk out the door at a young age and you just know people can't quite believe you can afford to do it.

Well.. Priceless..:)

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/i-retired-today!-)/

Frankies Girl

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2014, 05:51:58 PM »
It sounds like one of the main issues is that the school is targeting you as needing excessive welfare checks based on the idea that you have no earned income and therefore must be (as far as they're concerned) some sort of poor trashy family that probably isn't capable of caring properly for your kid. I'd actually take it up with the school's administration. Have you discussed that you are concerned about the time and resources they are wasting "investigating" your family based off of the earned income basis - they are ignoring the idea that you are financially independent based off of rental property, and wonder at whether they are going after all of the independently wealthy with the same attitude since they also couldn't show actual earned income? They are profiling, plain and simple.


AllChoptUp

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2014, 08:53:45 AM »
I'm with Frankies Girl...I am fine if people think we are in the same financial boat as most of my peer group (military, so there's a lot debt and flashy spending to keep up appearances), but would draw the line at the school putting a crosshair on us. 

If your kid comes to school with a mark on her from usual kid activities you don't want the default set at "abuse" because they believe you are destitute (a terrible assumption, of course).  Schools can have a powerful pull with Child Protective Services or similar agencies in your area.

So in this case I would make an appointment with the principal/director and ensure he or she understands that you are financially secure.  Brief the individual and bring a copy of your bank statement.  Word will get out among the staff that you are a wealthy eccentric and the harassment should stop. 

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2014, 11:44:09 AM »
Have you ever seen the show Columbo? The main character (Lt. Columbo) wears the same shabby outfit every show and has an old beater of a car. He gets a lot of razzing about it. Was once even cast in a play as a "homeless man" because he wandered on set and they mistook him for that role. Lol! Does it bother him? Nah. It's almost a source of pride.

25 and making a (relevant) Columbo analogy?  *thumbs up*  I try to make Columbo references IRL and no one gets them :-(

MoneyCat

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2014, 12:07:50 PM »
If you want to meet like-minded people, have you considered organizing a Meet Up?  People on these boards do this all the time and it's a great way to socialize with people who share your financial values.

oldtoyota

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2014, 12:10:05 PM »
First off, I want to thank you for adopting a special needs child. You must be an amazing person with a huge heart.

Second, I understand where you're coming from. My side hustle involves climbing into trash dumpsters and pulling out items to sell on eBay. Not exactly something you talk about at dinner parties!

My personal strategy for handling the disdainful looks is to play along. And play it up. Oh my gosh, I'm so poor the beggars give ME money!

Somehow when you start joking about it, it takes all the fire and venom out of people. You're ruining their fun when you cease to be the joke and start being the jokester.

Maybe that doesn't help much, but I want you to know I sympathize. Mustachians may never win the flashy award, but we always win on substance. And you're top notch.

I was going to post something and then I read this post and don't think I can top it. This says what I think--except for the dumpster part. ;-)


oldtoyota

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2014, 12:14:06 PM »
I have trouble finding like-minded people. My friends either end up being a lot poorer than me, because I meet them at salvage yards or while complaining about parking fees. Or a lot "richer' because I met them at my private school or university.
I'm so grateful for these forums. :)

You note yourself that you want like-minded people. I am just going to point out that whether they are rich or poor doesn't matter. What matters is their mindset…and love.

I am practicing not caring what people think and not getting invested in their story or my story. You might read some Pema Chodron (sp??) if you want to read more on that topic. She writes wise words on getting untangled from stories (our own, mostly) and regaining peace.


rocksinmyhead

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2014, 12:25:30 PM »
. BTW, who are these people watching other people's shopping transactions like a hawk and leveling judgment against them? I've read about this sort of behavior in other forums and I'm pretty shocked. When I'm waiting in line at the grocery store I'm usually staring off into space.

Me too, I don't pay any attention in the checkout line - except if you end up behind someone with a fistful of coupons AND using their checkbook!
Seems like  e-payment is e-payment, whether credit card, debit card, or EBT card.  What am I missing here?

I know right? I don't even know what an EBT card looks like. I don't know how I would notice!

honestly, in your situation if someone commented on this I would straight-up tell them why my child and I receive the benefits. bet they would be embarrassed as fuck. assholes.

Could you pull off an "old money" attitude?  Where I grew up wearing brand spanking new clothes was something ghetto poor people did whereas the well-off could afford to wear worn clothes, drive old cars, etc., because they felt so financially comfortable.

oh yeah, I actually like thinking this to myself. I also liked someone else's comment about the school realizing you are a "wealthy eccentric," LOL I love that phrase. I mean, how insanely badass is it that you are able to support yourself and your child off of passive income?!? (not to mention how insanely badass you are for adopting in the first place, kudos!)

anyway, good luck and I hope you are able to find some like-minded friendship and support IRL, it definitely helps a lot!!

Davids

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2014, 08:18:06 PM »
You are an amazing person. Do not let what others may perceive to bother you.

Itchin4Scratch

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2014, 09:18:12 PM »
We look poor, but that is because we ARE poor.  We are just on the poverty line.  Even though we make so little, we save an incredible amount of money, and plan to use every penny to launch us out of poverty forever!

It doesn't bother me though.  Most of my friends are poor, and we live in the poorest county in our state, so it's not anything people bat an eye at.  We do visit the "rich" side of town occasionally where I've met a couple people with a "I'm better than you" attitude towards me.  It makes me glad I live in the "poor" side of town where nobody judges.

The only thing that ever bothers me is when my friends invite me out to do expensive things.  I really want to hang out with them, but I wouldn't spend that kind of money even if I had it.

arebelspy

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #38 on: August 12, 2014, 09:53:00 PM »
I genuinely don't care what others think of my financial situation.

Why would I?

(And after typing that, I can't answer it; I can't think of a reason why I would, or should, care.)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
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marty998

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #39 on: August 13, 2014, 03:32:52 AM »
Maybe the OP should look down on the social worker who visits because the social worker has to work? The OP has organised her affairs so that she only needs a low earned income, whereas all the people looking down on her are the suckers still slaving away at the 9 to 5 job....


EarlyRetirementGuy

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2014, 05:23:53 AM »
My partner and I experienced a similar kind of 'Wealth-perception discrimination' when we were looking for our first house.

We both work in relatively well paid positions for our young ages and I'd managed to save a large chunk of my income for the past few years. Whenever we approached the estate agents, they took one look at us in our worn out clothes and immediately assumed we were looking to get onto the government support schemes for tiny apartments. Some even went as far as refusing to show us around places until we had met with their mortgage advisor to check the numbers and ensure we wernt 'over-stretching' ourselves.

Alot of the agents obviously assumed we were just time wasting as well and didnt bother to show us round anywhere. They opened the front door then stood outside playing on their phones.

I don't particularly care what people think of me, but it does annoy me when their perception has an impact on the service they offer.

dragoncar

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2014, 09:51:34 AM »
I genuinely don't care what others think of my financial situation.

Why would I?

(And after typing that, I can't answer it; I can't think of a reason why I would, or should, care.)

Because some people will treat you differently based on what they think of your financial situation.  For example, as you well know, in Vegas the trick is to look like you don't need it, then they give you the shit for free.

But maybe you don't even care how other people treat you? 

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #42 on: August 13, 2014, 10:26:42 AM »
I don't care what people think of me but agree sometimes the treatment can get annoying.  I hated having to wear a suit for a couple years for work, but the treatment when out running errands after work was nice :-)  Now I dress below average for the area we live (tshirt and jeans, most people look like they walked out of a display window), and we sometimes get shitty service at restaurants etc.  We just don't go back there and find the places where they don't care, but it's still a crappy experience when it happens.

arebelspy

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #43 on: August 13, 2014, 10:37:17 AM »
I genuinely don't care what others think of my financial situation.

Why would I?

(And after typing that, I can't answer it; I can't think of a reason why I would, or should, care.)

Because some people will treat you differently based on what they think of your financial situation.  For example, as you well know, in Vegas the trick is to look like you don't need it, then they give you the shit for free.

But maybe you don't even care how other people treat you?

Hmm, that's interesting, I'll have to think about that.

I guess I haven't ever encountered negative treatment that has affected me, so it's not something I care about.  Most of that treatment would only affect you by making you feel bad, but if you don't care, it can't even do that.

I suppose there are times though that it could manifest as an actual disparity that results in real loss, but I can't think of a time that it's personally happened.

And thus I'd conclude that, even in the rare case that it did, it's still better not to care, because otherwise you're caring in the vast majority of the cases where it doesn't matter, and only hurting yourself.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

dragoncar

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #44 on: August 13, 2014, 10:43:54 AM »
I genuinely don't care what others think of my financial situation.

Why would I?

(And after typing that, I can't answer it; I can't think of a reason why I would, or should, care.)

Because some people will treat you differently based on what they think of your financial situation.  For example, as you well know, in Vegas the trick is to look like you don't need it, then they give you the shit for free.

But maybe you don't even care how other people treat you?

Hmm, that's interesting, I'll have to think about that.

I guess I haven't ever encountered negative treatment that has affected me, so it's not something I care about.  Most of that treatment would only affect you by making you feel bad, but if you don't care, it can't even do that.

I suppose there are times though that it could manifest as an actual disparity that results in real loss, but I can't think of a time that it's personally happened.

And thus I'd conclude that, even in the rare case that it did, it's still better not to care, because otherwise you're caring in the vast majority of the cases where it doesn't matter, and only hurting yourself.

Well lets say you want a bank to loan you some money for a rental property.  And they think you are in a bad financial situation, so they don't lend you the money.  I have a feeling you go to some lengths to portray your financial situation as good when you apply for mortgages.

When it comes to expensive clothing... yeah I don't think the expense would be worth potential enhanced treatment.  But it's a plausible reason to care what other people think.

ketchup

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #45 on: August 13, 2014, 10:55:07 AM »
My dad (56, recently divorced) ran into a form of this recently.  He was looking around at houses, and wanted his realtor to make an offer on a ~$45k house.  She asked him how it would be financed, and he said "Cash offer." which she seemed OK with.  The deal didn't go through, and he found another house he wanted to make an offer on, but significantly more expensive (listed at ~$150k).  She got downright furious when he said that was a cash offer too.  He decided to go with a different realtor.

I get that as a realtor you're looking at the commission, but do you really need to get visibly angry when a client is looking for something cheaper than they "can afford"?

OSUBearCub

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #46 on: August 13, 2014, 11:24:47 AM »
I work in an field that pays well and my office is full of young professionals trying to prove they've made it: extensive wardrobes, new cars, cruise vacations, ordering lunch for delivery, the works. 

It's a different level of snobbery that I encounter but I truly empathize with your situation.

The way I deal with it is through attention to detail.  My shabby apartment - always spotless.  My shabby furniture - never in disrepair, always neat.  My hair and beard - DIY buzz cut but never shaggy.  My car - hand-washed every weekend.  My thrift store clothes - picked the best quality, never rumpled, never stained, always pressed. 

It's these little things that really help me keep a positive attitude.  I'm sure you do a lot of the same; give yourself credit before you let everyone else bring you down! :-)

CommonCents

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #47 on: August 13, 2014, 11:26:48 AM »
OP you have two productive choices (the unproductive one being to get mad and do nothing):
  • Change how you feel about the treatment
  • Educate these individuals such that they change how they treat you
If opting for two:
  • Store clerks: I would write a letter to the manager, requesting a meeting regarding their customer service.  I would be upfront (to make them feel bad) and say that as a customer, you expect to be treated the same regardless of payment method and you are disappointed that has not been the case here.  I would say that you adopted a foster child with special needs who is entitled to certain benefits based on this status, including EBT.   Explain that on multiple occasions store clerks have negatively commented on the items you are purchasing, which you feel is entitely inappropriate if you are buying items legally permitted by the program.  Request that additional customer service training is provided to all employeees.  Reiterate you would like an in-person meeting with the store manager to discuss this issue and offer a few times.  And then after your meeting, the next time it happens, immediately request to speak with their supervisor, and even if you feel like a heel with everyone waiting (they can listen and learn too or go to a different line), make a point of reiterating your complaint right then and there.
  • School: I would similarly write a letter to the principal.  I would first ask them if they believe in treating all children equally (negotiating tactic to ask a question which they are bound to agree with you on).  I would then request a meeting to discuss your concerns regarding the discriminatory treatment you have received, based on your perceived income and ability to pay for services.  I would state that you appreciate their terrific response to your daughter's disability, but then continue to say that you are disappointed that their other policies do not match their non-discrimination policy (which I am assuming they have).  Say that their policy on home visits should be blind income, perhaps adding that is because a child can be abused in high income family as well as a low income family (and often is more likely to be ignored or glossed over in those instances).  Add that even if they believe that this discrimination is acceptable and a wealthier family should not be monitored as closely, that their policy does not take into consideration other forms of income, such as rental properties or other forms of passive income which you yourself support yourself through.  Conclude by saying that while you recognize that your situation is perhaps unusual, having adopted a foster child with special needs who is entitled to certain benefits (such as the program that pays for the school), you still believe that all children, regardless of their background, should be treated equally and you are concerned that the schools seems to have adopted policies that contradict this.  Conclude by requesting a review of their policies - and that meeting.  And then meet with them and make them defend discriminatory policies directly to you (where you again remind them she is a foster child with special needs.  Lay it on heavy if need be "I could have had my own child, but I felt that it was important to take in a child who needed me, and who needs a parent more than a foster child with special needs?  While I did not expect parenting her to be easy, I never dreamed the hardest part would be fighting for her to be treated equally as a child without these challenges.  I hope you will work with me to eliminate these obstacles and differential treatment."

arebelspy

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #48 on: August 13, 2014, 11:37:33 AM »
I genuinely don't care what others think of my financial situation.

Why would I?

(And after typing that, I can't answer it; I can't think of a reason why I would, or should, care.)

Because some people will treat you differently based on what they think of your financial situation.  For example, as you well know, in Vegas the trick is to look like you don't need it, then they give you the shit for free.

But maybe you don't even care how other people treat you?

Hmm, that's interesting, I'll have to think about that.

I guess I haven't ever encountered negative treatment that has affected me, so it's not something I care about.  Most of that treatment would only affect you by making you feel bad, but if you don't care, it can't even do that.

I suppose there are times though that it could manifest as an actual disparity that results in real loss, but I can't think of a time that it's personally happened.

And thus I'd conclude that, even in the rare case that it did, it's still better not to care, because otherwise you're caring in the vast majority of the cases where it doesn't matter, and only hurting yourself.

Well lets say you want a bank to loan you some money for a rental property.  And they think you are in a bad financial situation, so they don't lend you the money.  I have a feeling you go to some lengths to portray your financial situation as good when you apply for mortgages.

When it comes to expensive clothing... yeah I don't think the expense would be worth potential enhanced treatment.  But it's a plausible reason to care what other people think.

I don't think that's a good example, as I just submit my financial documents and they see if it meets their criteria.  They're not looking at what car I drive or how I dress and thinking I'm poor.  That's the case that the OP is talking about.

I can look good on paper, but we're talking about others perceptions of you based on your lifestyle, rather than your portfolio.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

morjax

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Re: Tired of looking poor and getting angry. Anyone else?
« Reply #49 on: August 13, 2014, 11:38:07 AM »
I genuinely don't care what others think of my financial situation.

Why would I?

(And after typing that, I can't answer it; I can't think of a reason why I would, or should, care.)

Because some people will treat you differently based on what they think of your financial situation.  For example, as you well know, in Vegas the trick is to look like you don't need it, then they give you the shit for free.

But maybe you don't even care how other people treat you?

Hmm, that's interesting, I'll have to think about that.

I guess I haven't ever encountered negative treatment that has affected me, so it's not something I care about.  Most of that treatment would only affect you by making you feel bad, but if you don't care, it can't even do that.

I suppose there are times though that it could manifest as an actual disparity that results in real loss, but I can't think of a time that it's personally happened.

And thus I'd conclude that, even in the rare case that it did, it's still better not to care, because otherwise you're caring in the vast majority of the cases where it doesn't matter, and only hurting yourself.

Well lets say you want a bank to loan you some money for a rental property.  And they think you are in a bad financial situation, so they don't lend you the money.  I have a feeling you go to some lengths to portray your financial situation as good when you apply for mortgages.

Any bank or mortgage broker worth their salt should base these decisions entirely on the actual data of your financial situation (your account balances, financial history, etc.) and not your appearance. I don't think bankers are even allowed to turn you away based on how you look without checking your financial history. If they are doing this at your financial institution, find another immediately.