Author Topic: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism  (Read 2159 times)

ThreeCarbsNoGrains

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« on: December 25, 2017, 10:52:52 PM »
This post is mostly a rant.

In the past couple of years my husband and I have been saving more money, shopping less, spending less time watching tv/movies, more time reading, have decuttered and downsized, and just generally improved in several areas of our life.  What we consider to be totally normal and non-extreme improvements seem to make certain other people so uncomfortable.  I would not call us minimalists, just normal human beings trying to avoid debt and excessive consumerism and making rational decisions.  We still live what we consider to be ďhigh on the hogĒ and have so much room to reduce waste and improve further but itís a journey. 

Over Christmas we received several comments which just show what a warped world we live in.  One individual asked how many bedrooms in our new apartment and I responded one.  Their response? ďGod, youíre so tight.Ē  Me ďuh no I just donít need an extra room to store crap in.Ē  Iím not offended, itís just kind of sad that someone thinks 835 square feet is inadequate for two adults and no pets.  What a bizarre perspective we have in America.  Similarly, this person thinks itís amazing that we donít have cable tv.  We just donít care about it and never have.  We arenít some super disciplined monks or anything, we just donít spend money on things we donít care about.

I received some snide comments from another individual about not being able to afford a second bedroom.  It just makes me sad that they donít understand that you donít have to spend all the money you have.  And also life isnít a contest to see who can buy the nicest stuff.  I had such a nice christmas spending quality time with lots of family and I received a few gifts but didnít need a thing.  My husband and I didnít exchange gifts but scheduled a cooking class to take together.  Again, we are not minimalists or even frugal (especially compared to others on this forum).  Itís sad that even being remotely reasonable with our money sets us apart like we are so extreme.

All this to say, I really enjoy these forums and the individuals here who challenge me to question everything around me and constantly improve.  I have so much room to improve but Iíve come so far already.

Rowellen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 425
  • Location: Australia
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 03:13:42 AM »
I'm sorry people have been so rude to you. Just remember that their comments are a reflection of them and not you.

Dabnasty

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 806
  • Age: 28
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 10:08:30 AM »
Now imagine what it's like when you are one of the extreme ones!

Of course "extreme" is a relative term, I don't think I'm extreme at all. And most of my relatives wouldn't make rude comments like that over living in a 1 bedroom. Coworkers on the other hand...

manuelsoy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 08:30:07 AM »
I think you're right, and do not worry about what others say, with their insults they just show what they are like. You just be yourself and do not pay attention to them :)
El dinero es tan solo una debilidad, a mi solo me gusta ganarlo con https://www.soywebmaster.com/f63/ apuestas porque me parece la forma mŠs rŠpida sencilla y divertida de conseguirlo

Aelias

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 166
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 08:58:16 AM »
Sorry people said those things to you.  Not helpful. Not kind.

We have some suuuuper spendy friends who are lovely, awesome, fun people, but who clearly have different ideas about money than we do.  Which is fine!  I try not to judge, and for the most part, they do the same. They've known us for years, they know we have some habits they think of as weird, and they don't care.

I will say, though, that I ran into one of my very spendiest friends in early January, and she was totally burned out by the excess of the holidays.  And she told me she'd learned this new word -- "frugal".  I about fell out of my chair, but after I recovered, we talked about it a little, in a light-hearted way.  Like, "Instead of buy the shit, don't buy the shit."  And we invited them over to our house for pancakes.

We'll see if it sticks.  But my hope is that just maybe I've planted a tiny seed.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1515
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 09:25:07 AM »
It just makes me sad that they donít understand that you donít have to spend all the money you have.
You often here the phrase "time is money" in regards to wasting time. Only in the early retirement community do people realize the inverse "money is time" in regards to wasting money. Sure the everyday consumer realizes they can buy time with money - that's what all the convience products cater to; but saving and investing money to buy future time is not even thought of by most people. I certainly didn't have early retirement as something on my list for prioritizing where to put my money before I found MMM.

FiveSigmas

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 11:40:07 AM »
This is one of the most on-topic "Off Topic" posts I've read in a while...

Sounds like you two are on the right track to me.

The Fake Cheap

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Location: Canada
    • The Fake Cheap
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 07:30:25 PM »
This post is mostly a rant.

In the past couple of years my husband and I have been saving more money, shopping less, spending less time watching tv/movies, more time reading, have decuttered and downsized, and just generally improved in several areas of our life.  What we consider to be totally normal and non-extreme improvements seem to make certain other people so uncomfortable.  I would not call us minimalists, just normal human beings trying to avoid debt and excessive consumerism and making rational decisions.  We still live what we consider to be ďhigh on the hogĒ and have so much room to reduce waste and improve further but itís a journey. 

Over Christmas we received several comments which just show what a warped world we live in.  One individual asked how many bedrooms in our new apartment and I responded one.  Their response? ďGod, youíre so tight.Ē  Me ďuh no I just donít need an extra room to store crap in.Ē  Iím not offended, itís just kind of sad that someone thinks 835 square feet is inadequate for two adults and no pets.  What a bizarre perspective we have in America.  Similarly, this person thinks itís amazing that we donít have cable tv.  We just donít care about it and never have.  We arenít some super disciplined monks or anything, we just donít spend money on things we donít care about.

I received some snide comments from another individual about not being able to afford a second bedroom.  It just makes me sad that they donít understand that you donít have to spend all the money you have.  And also life isnít a contest to see who can buy the nicest stuff.  I had such a nice christmas spending quality time with lots of family and I received a few gifts but didnít need a thing.  My husband and I didnít exchange gifts but scheduled a cooking class to take together.  Again, we are not minimalists or even frugal (especially compared to others on this forum).  Itís sad that even being remotely reasonable with our money sets us apart like we are so extreme.

All this to say, I really enjoy these forums and the individuals here who challenge me to question everything around me and constantly improve.  I have so much room to improve but Iíve come so far already.

A lot of this seems to echo our lifestyle, especially mine, I wish my wife was just a bit more on board.  I spend SOME money on things I care about, and virtually nothing on stuff I don't care about, iphones, fancy cars, etc.  Lots of comments from my family  (who are super in debt) about how "little" we spend.  "Why don't you turn up the heat in your house?  Why don't you have a bigger TV?  Why don't you have cable? (although we have it now on a promo)  Why are you cars so old, you can afford a new one!    Why don't you build a garage to store your stuff!"  My general take is that we live in a nice house, in a nice neighbourhood, and we have safe reliable cars, and we are healthy...what else in life could we possibly want?   Hint: It is definitely not MORE STUFF.

2Birds1Stone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4129
  • Age: 31
  • Location: New York
  • Peter Gibbons
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 08:27:58 PM »
I can certainly relate lol.

My Fiance and I have an average combined income above $100k and live in a 1 bedroom basement apartment (hcol), drive 10 & 14 yo cars, and haven't had even basic Cable TV (share netflix/hulu/sling w/ a friend).

Many snide comments from family and "friends" about it. We let it role of like water on a duck's back.

Then they wonder how we travel by air to cool places, and don't think twice about taking a trip that's meaningful to us........the real shocker will be when we throw a retirement party at 35.

facepalm

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 259
  • Location: California
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 09:58:07 PM »
This is one of the most on-topic "Off Topic" posts I've read in a while...

I'm going to have to report it to a moderator. ;-)

I live well below my means, and friends can't seem to get why I don't drive an SUV. All my co-workers and friends drive them. All of them. My reasons (they are ugly, suck gas, and generally suck) don't seem to matter. When I tell them that their 40K SUV will really cost them 80K, their eyes glaze over and they start mumbling something about kids and convenience "plus we really need one . . ."

kei te pai

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 115
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 11:16:43 PM »
Before I knew better, I thought that "other people" saved like I did, had an emergency fund, invested, lived within their means, and therefore were just wealthier and earnt more than I did. Because they had all the toys.
 Wasnt till the last ten years or so that I realised actually I was the wealthy one, and those "other people" were still making minimum payments on the credit cards. And complaining about the cost of everything.

ixtap

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 986
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 11:26:07 PM »
Before I knew better, I thought that "other people" saved like I did, had an emergency fund, invested, lived within their means, and therefore were just wealthier and earnt more than I did. Because they had all the toys.
 Wasnt till the last ten years or so that I realised actually I was the wealthy one, and those "other people" were still making minimum payments on the credit cards. And complaining about the cost of everything.

I have long noticed that the ones who drank more than I did and knew where the good restaurants were also spent a lot of time complaining about money. This was especially obvious as a grad student, since I knew other people's stipends.

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3302
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 07:25:31 AM »
What strikes me odd is what kinda people are even asking you these questions. But never-the-less its like handling bullies. Just ignore the noise and stay away from people that are negative to you. A lot of times people seem abrasive because they cant get their own act together.  Kinda an example when I was in my 20's and 30's I was big into fitness and worked out twice a day before work and after work. Did this for 18 years before a kneck injury. During that time I would go out and people always would try to rip on the way I ate, that I didnt drink and it just made me want to be that more disciplined because I found it hilarious it upset them that much. But they always called to ask me to hang and stuff and they felt they could shoot their mouths off to others when I was around. So I took their stupidty as humerous and let it be that. In the end I knew they respected me and just wish they had the same discipline. Be proud about what your doing and try to avoid situations the best you can to have to explain things.
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1190
  • Location: US
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 07:36:29 AM »
I hear you, ThreeCarbs.  We live similarly -- no more space than we need, older cars, no cable, not buying 'crap.'  Occasionally we get comments about how we are 'depriving' our kids, and how we are so "extreme".  We just tune it out, and try to gravitate toward others like us.

Just Joe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1872
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 09:25:29 AM »
"...and try to gravitate toward others like us."

If there are any around like you to gravitate towards.

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1190
  • Location: US
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2018, 10:05:54 AM »
"...and try to gravitate toward others like us."

If there are any around like you to gravitate towards.

True!  That's why I am on this forum all the time!

Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2018, 01:22:26 PM »
I think people snicker at my old car in the company parking lot. They all probably think that I am poor.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3220
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2018, 01:37:02 PM »
I have long noticed that the ones who drank more than I did and knew where the good restaurants were also spent a lot of time complaining about money. This was especially obvious as a grad student, since I knew other people's stipends.

You need to find better grad students to hang out with.  The good ones know where you can go to get a drink that will flatten a rhino for about $3.

We definitely surfed the cheap drinks.  $1 pints, $3 long islands (aforementioned rhino flattener), and High Life or something if there were no specials (at someone's place).
My random project blog - ebikes, DIY, fans, and more: http://syonyk.blogspot.com

ixtap

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 986
Re: Avoiding Excessive Consumerism
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2018, 02:00:57 PM »
I have long noticed that the ones who drank more than I did and knew where the good restaurants were also spent a lot of time complaining about money. This was especially obvious as a grad student, since I knew other people's stipends.

You need to find better grad students to hang out with.  The good ones know where you can go to get a drink that will flatten a rhino for about $3.

We definitely surfed the cheap drinks.  $1 pints, $3 long islands (aforementioned rhino flattener), and High Life or something if there were no specials (at someone's place).

You clearly drank more as a grad student than I did, too. Although never a teetotaler, I was a reliable designated driver who didn't have a single drink when driving.