Author Topic: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?  (Read 7766 times)

LizzyBee

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If you are white or non-white, have you ever thought about how the color of your skin affects your frugality? For example, I'm white, but am married to someone who is not and we have kids together. It's really important to us that we live in the city in a diverse neighborhood. The city that we live in happens to be pretty expensive. Almost all of our friends have chosen to live in the suburbs where they can get bigger houses for less money and the schools are better. We didn't want our kids to be the only non-white kids at their school or their neighborhood so we chose to stay in the city with a more expensive house with less space (the space part doesn't matter to us, we have plenty of house for our needs).

We bought our house in our current neighborhood about 2 years ago. Our house has increased by 100,000-150,000 since we bought it. Sometimes I dream of selling and living in a LCOL area so that we can FIRE earlier, but many LCOL areas are small cities with less diversity and are less liberal (which is really important to us) so our FIRE plans include staying in our HCOL area. Yes, this is an over-generality, but I have yet to find a LCOL city that is socially progressive and diverse (suggestions welcome). Also, where we live is right in the middle of where my spouse's family lives and my family lives so there's also that factor.

I may be a bit traumatized by growing up in small mid-western town. My town was mostly pretty white, but we also had migrant workers and,later, Somali refugees. I could not believe how poorly the migrant workers and Somali refugees were treated, even by my own family members. Some people were just ignorant, many others were/are just blatantly racist. I know not all small towns are like this, but I cannot imagine voluntarily putting my husband and children in an environment like my hometown where I know they would largely be seen as a stereotype.

As a side note, I'm not intending on starting a debate about racism or whether or not small towns are welcoming places for people of color. I'm more interested in how you think your skin color has played into your ability (or not) to be frugal.


WhiteTrashCash

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2017, 09:37:47 PM »
I used to live in a low-cost rented room in an urban area composed almost entirely of African Americans. I am white. I got a lot of nasty comments that made me feel pretty uncomfortable. That's one of the reasons I moved to a more racially diverse suburban community. It's a little more expensive, but I feel more welcome here. It's unfortunate that people have to be that way. You'd think people of all races would be a little more tolerant of one another in the 21st century.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2017, 10:03:35 PM »
I don't know... Interesting question!

Re: Feeling limited in options for progressive areas, I think a lot of HCOL areas can be low-cost, depending on how we live within it. I also think there's sometimes more diversity in small towns (my personal preference) than folks might notice at first glance. I.e., At a community meeting recently, we were asked to declare what we love about the area. I said the diversity. Someone automatically interpreted it as "lack of diversity" and wrote that down, while people nodded. I was all, WTF? We have a few hundred people here, and among them are lots of gay people, lots of straight people, at least 12 heritages visible in the tiny school, mixed-race families, folks with disabilities, a wide range of political leanings... Then I realized the people at the meeting don't hang out outside of a sort of WASPy circle. So, they see only white, upper middle class, straight, and I see this whole other dimension goin' on. This blew me away. Anyway, just saying I think there may be more wonderful places out there, that are also affordable... Though the family support piece I would hang on to for dear life :)
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Abe

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2017, 10:20:12 PM »
My analysis of where to live is more driven by data about hate groups and their membership numbers than %race x or %ethnicity y in a given area. I find diversity of life experience more important than diversity of race/ethnicity. Being non-white and growing up in a small town, I feel that the majority of people are either not bigots or are able to keep it together enough in public for that not to be a problem. This is especially true if you're rich and thus not economically influenced by them (i.e. need a job). The dangerous people are the hate groups that feel emboldened enough by their membership numbers to be active bigots (KKK, Aryan Nation, etc). Again, they are a tiny minority but their influence in a given area is a barometer of the area's overall tolerance of other ethnicities. As other point out, there are many low-cost areas that are worth considering. It's more complicated with children since it is harder to protect them from the casual bigotry that children can learn at home. With that in mind, I would be unwilling to live in a non-diverse area while they are young.

GuitarStv

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2017, 12:49:59 PM »
Skin colour doesn't matter.  What I look at when choosing a place to live is crime stats, average income, quality of schools, and transit.  As a white dude, I'm in a minority in my neighbourhood (80% of which is made up of new/recent immigrants from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Thailand, China, and Jamaica) but this has never really been a concern, or caused any problems.  We do have kick ass access to small grocery stores that keep ingredients I'd never heard of before, but now regularly cook with so I'd be unhappy to have to leave.

Zikoris

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 09:09:19 AM »
It's never even crossed my mind to look up the racial stats of an area before moving there. My top few concerns would be proximity to work and amenities, transit access, and being in a walkable place that I enjoy spending time in. It's also never crossed my mind to look up political breakdowns of areas before moving there, because again, 100% do not care.

As far as our own skin colour and political affiliations, we're a mixed asian/white couple who are centrist/slightly right wing.
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Just Joe

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 02:34:27 PM »
Look for a university town... Avoid the small minded folks if you find any wherever you live. I'm sure we have them here (small town) but I never rub shoulders with them b/c I choose "my people" carefully. "Our people" is everyone of any background with a brain that actively makes use of it. ;)

ysette9

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2017, 02:42:35 PM »
Interesting topic. I hadn't thought of it this way before. We are a mixed couple and I credit the fact that my husband is an immigrant to part of the reason he is so frugal.

To the other point of the OP, we too choose to stay in a HCOL area in large part due to the diversity. I want my mixed-race, multi-lingual kid growing up thinking that she and our family situation is normal. Indeed in our neighborhood it is almost more common to have parents who speak multiple languages to their kids than to be growing up in a monolingual house. This also means that her daycare is in language A while later she will go to a public immersion program in language B.

Related to that, I turned down a relocation offer to FL recently and HR emailed me today asking why. I gave them e two primary reasons: one was the lack of diversity with the other being the opportunity cost of my husband giving up his career to follow me on a move. I wonder how that will go down with the person reading the email?
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iris lily

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2017, 08:14:12 PM »
I can't understand the thinking that LCOL Midwest cities=no diversity and conservative  politics.

I live in St. Louis where the Republican Party is pretty much a joke, it barely hangs in there. All but one Aldermen and mayors of the past decades have been Democrats.

For new immigrant populations we have many Bosnians, ,  second in number only to the mother county. We have significant Somali, Vietnamese, Chinese, in the city and fabulous ethnic restaurants of many countries.



okits

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2017, 12:57:06 AM »
We expect to stay in our current HCOLA for similar reasons, OP.  I don't think it's diversity so much as "critical mass" of the subset I identify with (non-white but integrated with the dominant culture).  There are enough of us that I'm a visible minority but mostly seen as just a regular person (people in my subset are so commonplace that we're accepted and considered pretty normal).

If we move towns I don't want to just move someplace with other mixed-race families and mixed-race children.  I want to move somewhere that mixed-race families and children are so commonplace that we're just another regular family and our kids will be seen as just a couple of normal kids.  I feel excluded and a bit unwelcome when it seems my skin colour or ethnicity are viewed as my defining characteristic.  I'm a regular person and want to live someplace where I feel I'm viewed that way.

kayvent

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2017, 03:51:01 AM »
I live in the lowest COL area, adjusted for income, in all of Canada. I find OP assumption that LCOL means white and white means non-diverse very offensive. It white washes significant differences of groups. Pun intended. Where I live a significant percent of the population are Arcadians with a distinct culture; just because they are white doesn't mean they aren't different. We also have Italians and Greeks. Again, very cultural different. And Slavs. And Indians. And Asians.

Just because a population may be low on one type of skin complexion, it doesn't mean they are bigoted and culturally monotone. Take the super progressive Nordic countries in Europe for example. They have the reputation of being bastions of progressivism yet have populations writers than lined loose leaf paper. They're not even very culturally diverse.

RetiredAt63

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2017, 06:26:03 AM »
I live in the lowest COL area, adjusted for income, in all of Canada. I find OP assumption that LCOL means white and white means non-diverse very offensive. It white washes significant differences of groups. Pun intended. Where I live a significant percent of the population are Arcadians with a distinct culture; just because they are white doesn't mean they aren't different. We also have Italians and Greeks. Again, very cultural different. And Slavs. And Indians. And Asians.

Just because a population may be low on one type of skin complexion, it doesn't mean they are bigoted and culturally monotone. Take the super progressive Nordic countries in Europe for example. They have the reputation of being bastions of progressivism yet have populations writers than lined loose leaf paper. They're not even very culturally diverse.

+++!!!

Ed Shreyer and Ray Hnatyshyn were certainly white men, but probably not the cultural monotone OP was thinking about (and I doubt the US has had less diverse immigration than Canada has).  Both from the prairies, both of Ukrainian descent - not a big surprise there.  Come to think of it, Roland Michener was from Alberta, so we certainly got geographic diversity going early.*

Growing up in Quebec, I looked like the majority until I opened my mouth, and out came the English.


*For non-Canadians, these are all former Governors-General.  So very well-known and respected people in public life.  I say people, not men, because being male is not a requirement for being appointed GG, as Jean Sauve et al. have demonstrated.
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Vindicated

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2017, 07:01:23 AM »
I live in Indianapolis, and my family and my nearby neighbors are well mixed.  Also, Indianapolis is super LCOL.  I love it!
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iris lily

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 07:53:02 AM »
I live in Indianapolis, and my family and my nearby neighbors are well mixed.  Also, Indianapolis is super LCOL.  I love it!
I was thinking of Indy as well in this discussion.

Vindicated

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 08:21:19 AM »
I live in Indianapolis, and my family and my nearby neighbors are well mixed.  Also, Indianapolis is super LCOL.  I love it!
I was thinking of Indy as well in this discussion.

Yes!  All Mustachians should move to Indianapolis.

There are plenty of jobs in every sector, LCOL, and lots of great features.  #1 Childrens Museum in the world, Indianapolis Art Museum is gorgeous, downtown is safe and accessible, decent Zoo, etc.

The only thing I wish we could have is more suburbs with bike-ability. 
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ysette9

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2017, 08:41:25 AM »
Quote
I want to move somewhere that mixed-race families and children are so commonplace that we're just another regular family and our kids will be seen as just a couple of normal kids.  I feel excluded and a bit unwelcome when it seems my skin colour or ethnicity are viewed as my defining characteristic.  I'm a regular person and want to live someplace where I feel I'm viewed that way.

This is exactly my sentiment but much better stated. As a white woman who has mostly always fit in (well, except the part of being a woman in engineering, hah), so I'm trying to be sensitive to the experience of my family that I myself mostly don't live personally. Ultimately I want my daughter to grow up being seen as a normal kid and judged by her character and talents and personality, not by the way she looks or what her parents look like.
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iris lily

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2017, 08:43:10 AM »
I live in the lowest COL area, adjusted for income, in all of Canada. I find OP assumption that LCOL means white and white means non-diverse very offensive. It white washes significant differences of groups. Pun intended. Where I live a significant percent of the population are Arcadians with a distinct culture; just because they are white doesn't mean they aren't different. We also have Italians and Greeks. Again, very cultural different. And Slavs. And Indians. And Asians.

Just because a population may be low on one type of skin complexion, it doesn't mean they are bigoted and culturally monotone. Take the super progressive Nordic countries in Europe for example. They have the reputation of being bastions of progressivism yet have populations writers than lined loose leaf paper. They're not even very culturally diverse.

I have been thinking that another reason the OP would greatly enjoy St. Louis is that everything here is about race. Since that is her predominant point of view in making decisions, she would fit right in here.

Vindicated

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2017, 08:47:31 AM »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/top-20-states-interracial-dating-infographic_n_1959131.html

Indiana made this list at #19.  Not sure if this really means anything, but thought I'd share.
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BlueHouse

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2017, 01:26:39 PM »
color of skin, no.  But I'm single and childfree.  I do not have much in common with suburban families and it is painfully uncomfortable for me to live in the burbs. 
I moved to a much higher COLA and into much more expensive house but it's completely worth it to me because there are others like me here.  We relate on a much deeper level than even my family members. 

I also live in a mixed-income community (million dollar homes share walls with subsidized public housing).  I don't think it's skin color so much as finding a like-minded community.  Although, living where I do, I have been exposed much more to the "why do white/black people do this"? type of question.  It's pretty funny.  Yes, white people lower their voices when they're angry and the windows are open. Yes, black people seem to really like their bass.  Being able to laugh about these stereotypes gives us a way to look at each other and understand more without harmful judgment.

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jezebel

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2017, 01:32:58 PM »
I live in a LCOL city in the northeast and it is much less expensive to live in the (very diverse) city than it is in the (much less diverse) suburbs.  I am kind of baffled by this post.

kayvent

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2017, 01:44:39 PM »
color of skin, no.  But I'm single and childfree.  I do not have much in common with suburban families and it is painfully uncomfortable for me to live in the burbs. 
I moved to a much higher COLA and into much more expensive house but it's completely worth it to me because there are others like me here.  We relate on a much deeper level than even my family members. 

I also live in a mixed-income community (million dollar homes share walls with subsidized public housing).  I don't think it's skin color so much as finding a like-minded community.  Although, living where I do, I have been exposed much more to the "why do white/black people do this"? type of question.  It's pretty funny.  Yes, white people lower their voices when they're angry and the windows are open. Yes, black people seem to really like their bass.  Being able to laugh about these stereotypes gives us a way to look at each other and understand more without harmful judgment.

So you choose to live in a like-minded community........to be in a more diverse environment.......have you considered diversity of thought?

Pigeon

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2017, 01:46:53 PM »
I live in a city in the Northeast that is slightly higher than average COL.   In my area, houses in the city are cheaper than houses in the suburbs, but generally have higher property taxes and much worse schools.  Dh and I are white, our kids are Asian. 

The suburb we live in has a range of housing prices, from the low 100,000s to the multi-million.  It has an excellent school system and low taxes.  The school district is pretty diverse, not quite as many African-Americans as the US as a whole, but a lot of Asian-Americans and a lot of immigrants from all over.  We have some surrounding suburbs that have much higher taxes, slightly better schools and much less diversity.

The diversity is important for us.  We have relatives in rural VT.  When we go out in public with our kids, we get noticeable stares, something that never happens at home.  I wouldn't choose to raise our kids in a place like that.

The political climate is also very important to us.  I couldn't live in a conservative state.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2017, 03:10:11 PM »
We bought our house in our current neighborhood about 2 years ago. Our house has increased by 100,000-150,000 since we bought it. Sometimes I dream of selling and living in a LCOL area so that we can FIRE earlier, but many LCOL areas are small cities with less diversity and are less liberal (which is really important to us) so our FIRE plans include staying in our HCOL area. Yes, this is an over-generality, but I have yet to find a LCOL city that is socially progressive and diverse (suggestions welcome). Also, where we live is right in the middle of where my spouse's family lives and my family lives so there's also that factor.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2017-03-26/c-us-message-youre-welcome-here.html -- Champaign/Urbana/Savoy. Housing is inexpensive for what you get, the bus system is top notch thanks to the university, and if you're still working the average commute is well under the national average, even considering people tooling in from the all-white small towns ~30 minutes away. Champaign/Urbana/UofI are fairly bike friendly (but watch out for the drivers who are sick of college kids behaving badly on bikes and take it out on you). Good and authentic Chinese/Thai/Mexican cuisine. We used to have a good Greek place, but they've since closed. Indian cuisine is a weak spot compared to Bloomington-Normal according to the Indian folks I've worked with previously, but it seems pretty on-par to me vs the Indian places near my folks in the Chicago suburbs. YMMV. The university is a great moderator on the housing market -- we didn't have a crash in 2008 -- sure the market cooled, but nobody lost half their house's value. The flip side of that is houses also don't appreciate much either. We've been in ours for 12 years now and we'd make substantially less than S&P500 returns on it if we were to sell.

Side benefits: Indy, St Louis, and Chicago are within day-trip distance if you want the cultural attractions occasionally.

It isn't all rainbows and unicorns. There are certainly the racist/nationalist types, even at the university. There's been anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, etc -- graffiti since Trump demarginalized that sort of behavior, but by and large its a minority that tends to get put in their place by the rest of the community.

The biggest downside I'd give is that winter is not bike weather. We're on the thaw/freeze line, so we get a lot of AM ice slicks and the snowplows tend to dump snow into the bike lane, so you're forced to resort to sidewalks (often not shoveled and/or iced over) or ride fully in the road. Oh, and property taxes are pretty high, and it means you're living under the disaster that is the State of Illinois Government.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2017, 03:12:25 PM »
So you choose to live in a like-minded community........to be in a more diverse environment.......have you considered diversity of thought?

Although this wasn't asked of me, specifically, I'll note that personally, I need both to thrive. I spend a whole bunch of hours every week intentionally exposed to diversity of thought (etc), and rely on home to be a space where I'm almost automatically "gotten" and where for a few hours everything I do and say easily makes sense to others (not a common experience in my bigger world, lol).

About folks staring...When I travelled in places where my colouring was uncommon, people stared, tried to touch me, gasped, etc. I wouldn't wish that on children or others in their home area :)    On the other hand, when I was a visible minority in my Vancouver BC neighbourhood, no one blinked an eye because while a minority, people were also "used to" my minority, thus no gasping.
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BlueHouse

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2017, 08:25:08 AM »
color of skin, no.  But I'm single and childfree.  I do not have much in common with suburban families and it is painfully uncomfortable for me to live in the burbs. 
I moved to a much higher COLA and into much more expensive house but it's completely worth it to me because there are others like me here.  We relate on a much deeper level than even my family members. 

I also live in a mixed-income community (million dollar homes share walls with subsidized public housing).  I don't think it's skin color so much as finding a like-minded community.  Although, living where I do, I have been exposed much more to the "why do white/black people do this"? type of question.  It's pretty funny.  Yes, white people lower their voices when they're angry and the windows are open. Yes, black people seem to really like their bass.  Being able to laugh about these stereotypes gives us a way to look at each other and understand more without harmful judgment.

So you choose to live in a like-minded community........to be in a more diverse environment.......have you considered diversity of thought?
Why yes, I have and I think about it quite often, but to which of my statements are you referring?  The comment that I felt like dying out in suburbia, or the comment that I literally hear such stereotypes in my mixed income community and that we have used those stereotypes in helping to open the dialogues between the two communities so that we can also see commonality?  (I say two communities for a reason, and it's based on something unique to my community, not really skin color. 
Kayvent, I am aware that I lived most of my life in a white cocoon.  Sometimes it's hard to even notice that I take certain things for granted until I'm smacked in the face with them.   So if I'm missing something that more enlightened people would or should see, then feel free to point it out to me fully rather than with a short snark-snipe. 
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Goldielocks

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2017, 11:49:44 AM »
For 2 years, I lived in a suburb outside of San Francisco, that was primarily white.  It was creepy and weird, coming from a large city suburb in Canada, including those in Manitoba, Alberta, and Vancouver.   We also stuck out a lot, with a car the wrong colour and the wrong age (7 years old), hanging laundry in the rear yard, mowing our own lawn, driving "gasp" through the "bad" area of town (on a freaking main road/highway) to get to the city's airport, zoo, etc.

I think some of it was the greater populations in the US.   When I grew up, you maybe had 5 blocks of "like" people living with "like", but the schools and grocery stores and workplaces were all mixed with several different ethnicities.   In California, it was whole towns of 50 blocks of "like to like".  Perhaps because the population is 10x larger.

The strangest day was when we drove to the nearby lake / beach park on a hot summer day.  Typical cheap family day we would do at our previous locations.  It was a maybe 15 minute drive from our heavily white population city/suburb, with mostly other white suburbs around.   Out of hundreds of people, we were one of 4 white families, and there was only 2-3 black families and one asian family.   WTF?   It was like a sci-fi movie where we entered another dimension.   It was a beautiful location with great friendly people, too.  I still don't get it.  At all.  Why would people miss out on this fabulousness so close to them?

I have no idea why this happens, that people self-group en masse, other than perhaps due to the larger populations that exaggerate underlying collections.   

I do believe that there are a lot of LCOL neighborhoods with like visible minorities in the USA, just as there are white LCOL towns....  So, maybe you just need to find them, and find one that feels right to you?   

But IMO, you are correct to think that diverse (multi-racial) blended areas in LCOL can be hard to find, and worth paying a little more for to live in.

Poundwise

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2017, 06:58:08 AM »
I feel that there is a lot of pressure for people of color, especially new arrivals and those who have worked themselves out of poverty, to dress and buy rich, in order to not be mistaken for the servant or criminal class.  I saw this in my mother, who has an almost slavish worship of name brands. 

maizeman

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2017, 07:11:54 AM »
I have no idea why this happens, that people self-group en masse, other than perhaps due to the larger populations that exaggerate underlying collections.   

This is a good resource to understand how even very small biases towards not standing out from all their neighbors when people choose where to live can produce very homogenous blocks over time.

http://ncase.me/polygons/

(If you're in a hurry scroll down to "run this simulation a few times. what happens?" and run that).

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2017, 10:33:19 AM »
That was so groovy!!!!
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Mezzie

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2017, 08:07:56 AM »
My neighborhood is very diverse, which is something I need to feel comfortable. The people in my house and extended family represent diverse cultures and socioeconomic statuses, so that's what I'm most comfortable with.
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MrsStubble

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2017, 07:41:03 PM »
We live in a college town.  It's not big but there's a lot of culture and it's much cheaper then living in the neighboring city.    We're white but we tend to live in places that provide a diverse culture, college towns generally guarantee that thank goodness.  I don't want to live in an mostly white area.  Opinions tend to be narrow. 

Side note though... i read this originally and thought, yeah, as a pale white person, i do spend a good amount of money on sunblock and UV filtering clothes for outside.
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Paul der Krake

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2017, 08:09:29 PM »
It doesn't.

I select my environment for characteristics that are desirable to me. More often than not it is tied to some diversity of backgrounds, but if something offers what I am looking for and there is no egregious case of discrimination, I waste no sleep over what that means for social justice.

Fu Mainechu

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2017, 02:02:44 PM »
While the people I know are kind and accepting, rural Maine isn't exactly known for its racial diversity.  That doesn't really factor into my choice of locales, though.  I love western Maine for the natural beauty of the area - the lakes and the mountains - all other factors be damned.  Most of my neighbors are 30 years older than I am, and we live in different worlds economically.  When it comes down to it I have basically nothing in common with them except a shared love of where we are, and I couldn't care less.

Fish Sweet

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2017, 02:17:54 PM »
Ethnicity wise, I'm Han Chinese, so there's sometimes there's this interesting, conflicting assumption that I'm A) super cheap because Chinese people are just super cheap, and B) super rich and about to drop big bank on brand name things because a lot of Chinese ex-pats are million frillionaires and love spending money.  I'm neither (well, moderately cheap), so it's sometimes a disappointment to people who know me well when I don't fulfill the expected stereotypes.

In terms of how it impacts my life, it absolutely shapes where I would go, live, and work, and any place I'd consider moving to.  I grew up in an area with a very diverse population and also a large Taiwanese community, so I never thought of myself as 'different' or 'strange' compared to the other kids I would see at school. 

Going to college, I met other people who had the opposite experience-- their skin color always set them apart in their community, and they had a difficult time relating to their culture of origin and wanting/not wanting to be like the (usually white) children they grew up with.  I identify very strongly with my own culture, and wouldn't feel at home in a place where I couldn't find my community, Chinese/east asian grocery stories, or see people who look 'like me' on the regular. 

I've been places where people gawped at me or made comments because of how I look and the color of my skin, and it was.... well, just as alienating  as one could expect.  Or even when people weren't outright rude or staring, you can always tell that they're not really sure what to make of you, like you aren't just another person in the long line of random people they see each and every day.  Personally, I'd never choose to put myself in a position where I'm dealing with that every day.

Mac_MacGyver

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2017, 05:39:14 PM »
I have to buy sunscreen

dividendman

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2017, 07:08:09 PM »
I have no idea why this happens, that people self-group en masse, other than perhaps due to the larger populations that exaggerate underlying collections.   

This is a good resource to understand how even very small biases towards not standing out from all their neighbors when people choose where to live can produce very homogenous blocks over time.

http://ncase.me/polygons/

(If you're in a hurry scroll down to "run this simulation a few times. what happens?" and run that).

Very cool

Tom Bri

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2017, 05:00:40 AM »
Wow. What an odd discussion. I currently live in a 97% white, small-town, LCOL, midwest, conservative area. With my spouse who is not white, and my kids who are mixed race. Never once had to worry that they were being mistreated because of their race. People are sometimes curious, but generally polite about it.
Moving my family to a nice, quiet, crime-free midwestern small town was no problem. Seriously. Where do people get these bigoted ideas from?

shelivesthedream

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2017, 07:34:11 AM »
Two discussions here:

1. Would you pay more to live in a racially diverse area?
Nope. I've said on another thread that I wouldn't mind living in an area full of white conservatives as long as they were decent people. I grew up in an upper middle class white area and am about to move to a working class white & black one. The one thing that bugs me about the area is the amount of litter, so I guess my ideal area would be ever so slightly aspirational lower middle class. :)

2. Does your skin colour affect your frugality?
YES. I am white, well-educated and have a posh accent. This means that when I do "poor people" things like not own a car, cut my own hair, walk around the house and garden in bare feet, buy second-hand clothes and furniture, hang-dry my laundry...(the list goes on!) I am regarded as charmingly eccentric and slightly bohemian rather than scummy. My sofa cost half what the cheapest DFS one would have cost but people think I must have paid a bomb for it because I must be a rich white girl. (And because it's really nice and just needed the trim fixing up a little :)) Basically, I can do pretty much whatever the hell I like and people won't think I'm scummy, even though they would despise someone black with a Jamaican accent who lived the exact same way.

Kris

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2017, 08:09:05 AM »
Wow. What an odd discussion. I currently live in a 97% white, small-town, LCOL, midwest, conservative area. With my spouse who is not white, and my kids who are mixed race. Never once had to worry that they were being mistreated because of their race. People are sometimes curious, but generally polite about it.
Moving my family to a nice, quiet, crime-free midwestern small town was no problem. Seriously. Where do people get these bigoted ideas from?

You are one data point. The plural of anecdote is not data.
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ElleFiji

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2017, 08:46:17 AM »
I'm not white. Not quite.

But my mix makes me look like I'm white. Especially for people or areas where white is normal. I've lived in areas where white was normal and I was okay because I was white, and it was absolutely beyond belief terrifying.  As an adult, I definitely take an areas diversity into account when deciding where to live, and I'm happy that so many parents do that for their kids.


In my experience, English is a foreign anguish if you're in an area with one English, and one culture, but when you're in a multicultural environment then everyone's language is shared and borrowed and loved.

cheapass

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2017, 08:49:22 AM »
I don't care if people are white, black, purple or green. Behavior and character are what influence my decisions, not skin color. I believe it is racist to treat people differently based on race (here's looking at you, affirmative action).
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MayDay

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2017, 12:06:53 PM »
I'm white, grew up in University towns in the Midwest.

We live in a very white area and I hate that aspect of it. It doesn't bother my H. I want my kids to not grow up as the super majority.  In our case our whole county is white. And other areas we've looked to relocate are very segregated- and of course the schools are horrible in the more black areas (that is a whole seperate thread!). So I think we would end up in the same situation. Because my kid has ASD and even though I think greatschools et al is shit, and that "bad" schools can provide a great education, I need him to be in the school that has the most money to hire speech therapist etc. A D that is the all white school.

With the exception of University towns, which so far we haven't found jobs in. If anyone wants to hire 2 chemical engineers in a lcol University town, let me know!
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maizeman

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2017, 01:04:48 PM »
University towns are definitely my own preferred solution.

Outside of university towns I've lived in multiple places that were ~50% white and places that are >90% white or >95% han chinese. Sometimes no-single-majority communities are awesome, sometimes there is still incredibly strong social segregation with unwritten rules about who goes to which stores or which restaurants. I've lived in both types of places. Sometimes largely homogeneous communities are that way because they are unwelcoming to outsiders. Sometimes largely homogeneous communities can be incredibly friendly and welcoming. I've been fortunate that, as far as I've seen, I have only lived in the latter -- either a person who could blend into the crowd or one who stuck out like a sore thumb -- but wouldn't argue the the former don't exist.

redbird

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2017, 09:46:38 PM »
I'm white and I have never lived in a majority white neighborhood. It's either been approximately 50/50, or whites in the neighborhood are actually the minority. Excluding my neighborhood in Japan (which I'm 99% certain was all Japanese except for me and my DH...), the previous place I lived had the least number of white people. I lived in an apartment complex in a suburb of Atlanta. There was more African American and Hispanic people than white people there. I didn't pick the cheapest of the cheap place to live, but it was certainly on the cheaper side.

Being childfree makes me able to be more frugal in the housing department than anything racial related. I don't have to pay the price premium on housing that is in the district of a good school.
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iris lily

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2017, 05:34:06 PM »
Wow. What an odd discussion. I currently live in a 97% white, small-town, LCOL, midwest, conservative area. With my spouse who is not white, and my kids who are mixed race. Never once had to worry that they were being mistreated because of their race. People are sometimes curious, but generally polite about it.
Moving my family to a nice, quiet, crime-free midwestern small town was no problem. Seriously. Where do people get these bigoted ideas from?

You are one data point. The plural of anecdote is not data.

I knew someone would be along to marginalized his experience. Only two posts below his. Excellent reactive time!

okits

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #45 on: April 15, 2017, 06:17:29 PM »
Wow. What an odd discussion. I currently live in a 97% white, small-town, LCOL, midwest, conservative area. With my spouse who is not white, and my kids who are mixed race. Never once had to worry that they were being mistreated because of their race. People are sometimes curious, but generally polite about it.
Moving my family to a nice, quiet, crime-free midwestern small town was no problem. Seriously. Where do people get these bigoted ideas from?

You are one data point. The plural of anecdote is not data.

I knew someone would be along to marginalized his experience. Only two posts below his. Excellent reactive time!

I appreciated Kris's comment.  Other people's experiences should not summarily dismissed as "bigoted ideas" simply because they don't align with Tom Bri's experience. 

ElleFiji

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #46 on: April 15, 2017, 07:42:12 PM »
Something I didn't mention in my first post, because it is hard to write out politely, is that my white parent does not think that I was exposed to racism or dealt with racism, exoticism or othering at any of many points in my life, including childhood. He doesn't know that I've dealt with it from his own family, from his friends, from neighbours, because his world is very different.

A very common example in my multicultural world stems around food, and which food is acceptable in the workplace. [a whole bunch of examples edited out because I can't write about this with politeness and clarity].

Another, is for children happily bringing home food in their lunches. How is that received by classmates and teachers? Again, I've seen different schools' reactions. My father hasn't, because in our culture, his home food is just food.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #47 on: April 15, 2017, 08:11:15 PM »
A weird thing I've witnessed two recent experiences of:

If a person has a specific heritage reflected in their last name or other "heritage giveaways", and we steward our finances, we're told it's because we're x culture. It makes no sense, because gauging by the MMM forum alone, heaps of different people from all sorts of backgrounds are stewarding their finances. But some people have their heritage pointed to -in a derisive way- as the reason.

It sucks that some people are bigoted like that, yes, but I do think it's totally okay to acknowledge where we're affected by that -or by others' fully expressed daily curiousity, questions, etc. Sometimes we get tired and feel the need to be free of all that. That's okay, of course. We're allowed respite. Not everyone has been on the receiving end of frequent curiousity, assessments based on colour or name, etc, so they might not know how affected one can ultimately feel.
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iris lily

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #48 on: April 15, 2017, 10:47:33 PM »
A weird thing I've witnessed two recent experiences of:

If a person has a specific heritage reflected in their last name or other "heritage giveaways", and we steward our finances, we're told it's because we're x culture. It makes no sense, because gauging by the MMM forum alone, heaps of different people from all sorts of backgrounds are stewarding their finances. But some people have their heritage pointed to -in a derisive way- as the reason.

It sucks that some people are bigoted like that, yes, but I do think it's totally okay to acknowledge where we're affected by that -or by others' fully expressed daily curiousity, questions, etc. Sometimes we get tired and feel the need to be free of all that. That's okay, of course. We're allowed respite. Not everyone has been on the receiving end of frequent curiousity, assessments based on colour or name, etc, so they might not know how affected one can ultimately feel.
Related to this, I notice people from many ethnicities grab the mantle of "frugality" as their own, taking proud ownership of finding good value.  But really, there are MANY ethnicities that have a reputation for being frugal. As a thrifty Scotswoman, I claim frugality as our national identity. I wont give more examples because I would probably insult someone unintentionally. Suffice to say many are proud of their frugal heritage even if it stems from poverty, as most do.

Kris

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #49 on: April 16, 2017, 10:09:10 AM »
Wow. What an odd discussion. I currently live in a 97% white, small-town, LCOL, midwest, conservative area. With my spouse who is not white, and my kids who are mixed race. Never once had to worry that they were being mistreated because of their race. People are sometimes curious, but generally polite about it.
Moving my family to a nice, quiet, crime-free midwestern small town was no problem. Seriously. Where do people get these bigoted ideas from?

You are one data point. The plural of anecdote is not data.

I knew someone would be along to marginalized his experience. Only two posts below his. Excellent reactive time!

Not at all. It is awesome that he lives in an area where he doesn't experience racism. Tom Bris was doing the marginalizing.

"Seriously," he said. "Where do people get these bigoted (sic) ideas from?"

So, he uses his one experience to negate all other experiences. And yet *I* am the one doing the marginalizing

Uh-huh.
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