Author Topic: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?  (Read 7690 times)

MayDay

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #50 on: April 16, 2017, 05:41:10 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.

Please tell us more!

This is the stuff that as a white person, I'm sure I've done. But I reeeeeeeally am trying to learn and do better and virtually all my learning is online.

Stuff like the food thing is so duh! But I never thought of it before. Because I'm majority culture and apparently have my head up my ass.
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BlueHouse

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #51 on: April 17, 2017, 10:49:26 AM »
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.

Please tell us more!

This is the stuff that as a white person, I'm sure I've done. But I reeeeeeeally am trying to learn and do better and virtually all my learning is online.

Stuff like the food thing is so duh! But I never thought of it before. Because I'm majority culture and apparently have my head up my ass.
+1. 
But I will cop to feeling like fish should not ever be reheated in the work microwave.  No matter what. 
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MayDay

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #52 on: April 17, 2017, 12:35:38 PM »
Me too, but if everyone around us always ate fish for every meal, we probably wouldn't feel that way. 
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ysette9

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #53 on: April 17, 2017, 01:09:42 PM »
Quote
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.

I think this is such a great observation. I have only experienced life in the body of a white woman, but I have found myself vaguely aware of and grateful for the fact that society generally treats me as respectable and non-threatening unless I do something to indicate otherwise. I don't worry about going to a car dealership wearing jeans and a t-shirt and having them doubt my financial well-being. I don't think twice about hanging around a public park with little kids or approaching someone else's little kid and have people suspect I am a creeper.

I had an interesting experience a few months back where I was sitting in our neighborhood little park after dark wearing a big hoodie. I was playing Pokemon Go outside where it was cold so I was dressed for warmth, which upon later reflection made me look like a hoodlum. Some cops were checking out something outside the park (maybe a car had been broken into?) with their flashlights but I was totally absorbed with my game, so I was only vaguely aware of some lights. I got up to walk home and head a voice shout behind me "stop, come back here!", with a light trained in my direction. As a small woman alone at night my instinct was to run home, not stop. I said something like "no, thank you" and walked very quickly the block back to my house. It was only safely inside when I saw the cop car slowly cruise my street that I realized that had just happened. How easy would it have been for me to be chased down, or god forbid, shot in the back had I been playing Pokemon Go in a different neighborhood?
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Shane

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #54 on: April 17, 2017, 08:13:39 PM »
This discussion is interesting. It's something DW and I have talked about many times in the past while daydreaming of where we might live post ER.

My wife and daughter are Asian and I'm white. For the past 20+ years and all of our daughter's childhood we lived in Hawaii where white people are a minority. Our daughter's elementary school class was about 50/50 white/non white kids. In 2016 we lived for a semester in a neighborhood where I was one of only a small handful of whites.

Before we married, my wife lived for about a decade on the U.S. Mainland, first in Boston and then in Texas, where she says she experienced occasional nasty comments but generally people were, at least superficially, nice to her. She refers to people in TX as being "southern nice."

Right now, post FIRE, we're slow traveling around Asia, where I am again in the minority. Some day, we'll probably go back to the US, but we haven't yet decided where we'll live. I liked Hawaii and really don't mind being outnumbered by non-whites. Mostly people are nice to me even though I'm white. Interestingly, my wife expressed last night when we talked about it, that at some point it might be good for our daughter to be exposed to a little more "diversity" by living in a majority white small town somewhere in the U.S. DW said she thought that experience had been good for her as a young adult and might be a good learning experience for our daughter as well. I'm still a little skeptical. Somehow, I'd rather be the one getting discriminated against rather than my little girl...

Abe

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #55 on: April 17, 2017, 08:28:36 PM »
That's an interesting idea. I am Asian and grew up in a small town, while my wife grew up in the San Francisco area. I have zero interest in returning to my "home" town. That became negative interest after my son was born. I realized that there's nothing anyone back home could say that would let me think raising him in a discriminatory environment was a good idea. Yeah, it made me grow up faster than my peers, but the toxic thinking that permeates my hometown isn't worth a damn second of anyone's time. Maybe that's why almost everyone who was successful in that town left as soon as possible, regardless of skin color. Maybe, also, other small towns are more welcoming...

Shane

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #56 on: April 17, 2017, 08:42:59 PM »
I agree with you, Abe. There's no way I would agree to living in a town where we didn't feel comfortable that our daughter and we were accepted.

Maybe we could move to @Tom Bri's town. Sounds like it may be nice there. Where do you live Tom?

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #57 on: April 17, 2017, 08:50:19 PM »
^ Come to my town!!!! It is the bestest, most inclusive small town! And pretty! And lovely! And diverse!

More inclusive if you're lesbian... And we lost our rockin' home here, so are actually moving on to a different small town... But if you have $500k for a house, come here!
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Shane

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #58 on: April 17, 2017, 09:27:17 PM »
Where Juniflorisploo?

We're not planning on ever buying a house again, just renting. What are rents like?

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #59 on: April 17, 2017, 09:37:41 PM »
Bazillions of dollars! lol. ($1700 and up for a decently nice two-bedroom. I scored a skookum work-exchange deal for these years of paradise, but it ended.) Hence my wandering off...
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shelivesthedream

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #60 on: April 18, 2017, 02:40:53 AM »
Quote
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.

I think this is such a great observation. I have only experienced life in the body of a white woman, but I have found myself vaguely aware of and grateful for the fact that society generally treats me as respectable and non-threatening unless I do something to indicate otherwise. I don't worry about going to a car dealership wearing jeans and a t-shirt and having them doubt my financial well-being. I don't think twice about hanging around a public park with little kids or approaching someone else's little kid and have people suspect I am a creeper.

I had an interesting experience a few months back where I was sitting in our neighborhood little park after dark wearing a big hoodie. I was playing Pokemon Go outside where it was cold so I was dressed for warmth, which upon later reflection made me look like a hoodlum. Some cops were checking out something outside the park (maybe a car had been broken into?) with their flashlights but I was totally absorbed with my game, so I was only vaguely aware of some lights. I got up to walk home and head a voice shout behind me "stop, come back here!", with a light trained in my direction. As a small woman alone at night my instinct was to run home, not stop. I said something like "no, thank you" and walked very quickly the block back to my house. It was only safely inside when I saw the cop car slowly cruise my street that I realized that had just happened. How easy would it have been for me to be chased down, or god forbid, shot in the back had I been playing Pokemon Go in a different neighborhood?

Exactly! If I'm sat alone on a park bench in the middle of the day watching the world go by, I'm just there. If a black boy in a tracksuit is watching the world go by, he's an unemployed loser who's probably meeting his drug dealer. It's my accent too - people hear me speak and say "Wow, you must be really clever." Honestly, I would say that I probably am above average, but that has nothing to do with my accent and I have met some real dopes who speak just like me.

ElleFiji

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #61 on: April 18, 2017, 11:40:54 AM »
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.

Please tell us more!

This is the stuff that as a white person, I'm sure I've done. But I reeeeeeeally am trying to learn and do better and virtually all my learning is online.

Stuff like the food thing is so duh! But I never thought of it before. Because I'm majority culture and apparently have my head up my ass.
+1. 
But I will cop to feeling like fish should not ever be reheated in the work microwave.  No matter what.
My examples included cases where ALL fragrant foods were excluded vs. cases where 'white people' fragrant foods were accepted, but not anyone elses.

Mayday, I'm sorry, but I can't be the one to teach you :). I included a few stories because I do think that this is a very real issue and that parents don't always know what their children's experience are - sometimes I don't even know I've been discriminated against until months or years later, when I finally comprehend someone meant to insult me, or accidentally infringed on my rights. But entering into these discussions online opens me up to people discrediting my experience, or arguing, or my accidentally hurting someone's feelings. None of these are things I have energy for right now. But I'm really happy that you like learning, and I hope you find some great sources.

I referenced a few pieces of literature that help me process my experience in my first post. I'm posting links to people and theories you might find interesting:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homi_K._Bhabha
http://www.nourbese.com/poetry/she-tries-her-tongue/ (look for the poem Discourse on Language online)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postcolonial_literature

MudDuck

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #62 on: April 18, 2017, 11:59:26 AM »
I may be outing myself as a bigot according to some of the above standards, but a large motivation for living in the particular area I do is the racial and cultural diversity of the school district. Yeah- we look at crime stats and standardized tests and such, but we're in the suburbs, so they don't vary wildly. There's a twin suburb right next door with somewhat lower taxes and similar home prices- but it's 90-something% white and I do not want my child to grow up in that kind of neighborhood. Obviously he chooses his own friends, but I think it's valuable to grow up alongside children who look, sound, worship, and eat differently than we do in our family.

So, yeah. I do understand wanting to choose a home based on the other people living there. Sometimes that does include skin color.

okits

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #63 on: April 18, 2017, 01:35:09 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.

Please tell us more!

This is the stuff that as a white person, I'm sure I've done. But I reeeeeeeally am trying to learn and do better and virtually all my learning is online.

Stuff like the food thing is so duh! But I never thought of it before. Because I'm majority culture and apparently have my head up my ass.

A non-personal example that comes to mind is in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  As a girl the main character brings home food to school for lunch.  The other kids ask (not in a friendly, curious way) what it is (moussaka) then laugh at her for eating "moose caca".  When the main character is an adult in college she brings a sandwich for lunch and is happy that she now fits in.

In the workplace this might look like complaints that someone has smelled up the whole office by bringing X for lunch.  Not commonly made against anyone bringing a burger and fries back to the office, because fries may be fragrant but are majority-culture food.

Goldielocks

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #64 on: April 19, 2017, 05:38:47 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.



Are you referring to people with Scottish last names?

Shane

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #65 on: April 19, 2017, 06:10:25 PM »
In Hawaiian pidgin English the word pake (pronounced pah-kay) means Chinese but is also a synonym for frugal, cheap, tight, miserly...

Growing up in a blue collar, mostly Catholic neighborhood, I remember hearing the word Jew used both as a noun and a verb, i.e. "to jew somebody down," on the price of something he was selling...

clairebonk

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #66 on: May 10, 2017, 09:31:40 PM »
The only reason I'm financially well off is because of the white privilege I (and my family) have experienced my entire life. I haven't worked harder than everybody, I haven't worked smarter than everybody, I haven't been more or less lucky than everybody. I simply have been raised in a culture where white bodies are valued more than POC bodies. I used to not think this, but luckily I have had help from other white people to educate myself on what non-white people experience in our country.

Zikoris

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #67 on: May 10, 2017, 10:54:32 PM »
The only reason I'm financially well off is because of the white privilege I (and my family) have experienced my entire life. I haven't worked harder than everybody, I haven't worked smarter than everybody, I haven't been more or less lucky than everybody. I simply have been raised in a culture where white bodies are valued more than POC bodies. I used to not think this, but luckily I have had help from other white people to educate myself on what non-white people experience in our country.

How do you reconcile that belief with the fact that Indian and Asian people out-earn whites by a considerable margin in the US? Are they more privileged, smarter, or harder working?
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 10:58:26 PM by Zikoris »
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Shane

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #68 on: May 11, 2017, 05:20:43 AM »
The only reason I'm financially well off is because of the white privilege I (and my family) have experienced my entire life. I haven't worked harder than everybody, I haven't worked smarter than everybody, I haven't been more or less lucky than everybody. I simply have been raised in a culture where white bodies are valued more than POC bodies. I used to not think this, but luckily I have had help from other white people to educate myself on what non-white people experience in our country.

How do you reconcile that belief with the fact that Indian and Asian people out-earn whites by a considerable margin in the US? Are they more privileged, smarter, or harder working?

Here, I always thought my financial success was at least partially related to the fact that I had worked my ass off at multiple jobs and side hustles, and saved and invested 50% or more of my income for 25 years. If I hadn't read this thread, I never would've known that the *only* reason I was able to FIRE at age 49 was actually the color of my skin.

It's funny, though, the vast majority of white people I grew up with and even siblings who literally grew up in the exact same house, with the exact same white parents, as I did live paycheck to paycheck. Even white people I know who always earned much more money than I ever did when I was working are, according to them, "just barely making ends meet," every month. Wonder why that is? If "white privilege" were really so powerful, seems like way more white people would be kicking ass financially than actually are...

expatartist

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #69 on: May 11, 2017, 06:03:08 AM »
I'm a (white) minority in the city where I live, an immigrant to Hong Kong, where ~95%+ of residents have Asian heritage. Most people who look like me tend to live in various expensive neighborhoods on Hong Kong Island. I choose to live more cheaply (nearly US$900/month for a 150sqf tiny one bedroom subdivided flat, haha but cheap for HK), and in a more diverse neighborhood, in a part of the city famous for its art/design/fashion supplies. It's also only 2 subway stops away from my work. The 'hood is gentrifying however, and I'm part of that process: though my rent is market rate or below, my presence and that of other westerners attracts attention and changes perceptions.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 06:15:55 PM by expatartist »

Vindicated

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #70 on: May 11, 2017, 07:06:54 AM »
The only reason I'm financially well off is because of the white privilege I (and my family) have experienced my entire life. I haven't worked harder than everybody, I haven't worked smarter than everybody, I haven't been more or less lucky than everybody. I simply have been raised in a culture where white bodies are valued more than POC bodies. I used to not think this, but luckily I have had help from other white people to educate myself on what non-white people experience in our country.

How do you reconcile that belief with the fact that Indian and Asian people out-earn whites by a considerable margin in the US? Are they more privileged, smarter, or harder working?

Here, I always thought my financial success was at least partially related to the fact that I had worked my ass off at multiple jobs and side hustles, and saved and invested 50% or more of my income for 25 years. If I hadn't read this thread, I never would've known that the *only* reason I was able to FIRE at age 49 was actually the color of my skin.

It's funny, though, the vast majority of white people I grew up with and even siblings who literally grew up in the exact same house, with the exact same white parents, as I did live paycheck to paycheck. Even white people I know who always earned much more money than I ever did when I was working are, according to them, "just barely making ends meet," every month. Wonder why that is? If "white privilege" were really so powerful, seems like way more white people would be kicking ass financially than actually are...

Claire was clearly just using herself as an example.  She wasn't saying that all white folks do well financially, or that all POC don't.

There are some societal benefits that come from being white, but it's obvious that a lot of other factors that also contribute to how successful a person is financially.
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Paul der Krake

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #71 on: May 11, 2017, 09:42:06 AM »
I'm a minority in the city where I live, an immigrant to Hong Kong, where ~95%+ of residents have Asian heritage. Most people who look like me tend to live in various expensive neighborhoods on Hong Kong Island. I choose to live more cheaply (nearly US$900/month for a 150sqf tiny one bedroom subdivided flat, haha but cheap for HK), and in a more diverse neighborhood, in a part of the city famous for its art/design/fashion supplies. It's also only 2 subway stops away from my work. The 'hood is gentrifying however, and I'm part of that process: though my rent is market rate or below, my presence and that of other westerners attracts attention and changes perceptions.
Your white privilege is showing.

Cali Nonya

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #72 on: May 11, 2017, 10:09:31 AM »
I'm just going to post this anyways, from the title of this thread I interpreted this question very differently.

Being white of the red-headed variety, this impacts my frugality specifically on sun-care.  I will not scrimp on sun-blocking clothing or sun-screens.  Those can get fairly pricey, but getting off-season deals from places like UV-skins helps.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #73 on: May 11, 2017, 10:46:33 AM »
Quote
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.

I think this is such a great observation. I have only experienced life in the body of a white woman, but I have found myself vaguely aware of and grateful for the fact that society generally treats me as respectable and non-threatening unless I do something to indicate otherwise. I don't worry about going to a car dealership wearing jeans and a t-shirt and having them doubt my financial well-being. I don't think twice about hanging around a public park with little kids or approaching someone else's little kid and have people suspect I am a creeper.

I had an interesting experience a few months back where I was sitting in our neighborhood little park after dark wearing a big hoodie. I was playing Pokemon Go outside where it was cold so I was dressed for warmth, which upon later reflection made me look like a hoodlum. Some cops were checking out something outside the park (maybe a car had been broken into?) with their flashlights but I was totally absorbed with my game, so I was only vaguely aware of some lights. I got up to walk home and head a voice shout behind me "stop, come back here!", with a light trained in my direction. As a small woman alone at night my instinct was to run home, not stop. I said something like "no, thank you" and walked very quickly the block back to my house. It was only safely inside when I saw the cop car slowly cruise my street that I realized that had just happened. How easy would it have been for me to be chased down, or god forbid, shot in the back had I been playing Pokemon Go in a different neighborhood?

Exactly! If I'm sat alone on a park bench in the middle of the day watching the world go by, I'm just there. If a black boy in a tracksuit is watching the world go by, he's an unemployed loser who's probably meeting his drug dealer. It's my accent too - people hear me speak and say "Wow, you must be really clever." Honestly, I would say that I probably am above average, but that has nothing to do with my accent and I have met some real dopes who speak just like me.

+1

Getting ahead in life is all about trust. Getting a job, or even a "good" job, getting the good apartment with affordable rent, getting the seller of a car on craigslist to take a few hundred of the sale price, hiring an affordable babysitter, getting the teller at the bank to take some extra time to explain something about your account you didn't understand, getting your employer to let you take time off when your kid is sick, getting the daycare down the road to give you a discount, ETC ETC ETC

All of these interactions are based on TRUST. Therefore, since my skin color matches the majority, the majority of the people I interact with are going to trust me just a smidgin (or maybe a fuckton) more than a person of color.

When people trust you AND you are nice and polite, you can get good deals in life. Add up a million of these little good deals over a lifetime and you get a ton of extra money, all due to the color of my skin.

smh at the people (not on this thread, just in general) who think this is not a real and substantial benefit. Drives me nuts when people think white privilege is not a thing, and that everything they have is ONLY due to their hard work.

When I moved to Mexico, I experienced being a minority, being the odd one out, etc, and it felt bad being judged. I thought, oh good, I'll finally get some perspective. Sad truth is that my white skin still gives me privilege here. I must be rich, responsible, a good business person, good with money, etc. This is a good reputation to have. Americans are seen as having their shit together. Yeah it's annoying when people think you have tons of money and you don't (compared to MY benchmark I don't, compared to theirs, I DO), but in the end, it's advantageous to be seen as someone who's responsible.

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #74 on: May 11, 2017, 06:03:55 PM »
"White privilege" may be the *only* reason for some people's success, but that doesn't make it true for everyone. In my last job I was the only white person in the department where I worked. My boss was not white. My boss's boss was not white. My boss's boss's boss was not white. For sure, being white was not an asset in that work environment. The last neighborhood where my family and I lived in the U.S. was >99% non white. My family and I were the only people in our neighborhood who walked, anywhere. Every morning, my wife and I walked our daughter 1/2 mile to her elementary school. My impression was that my neighbors did not think our behavior was "quaint" or "bohemian." They assumed we were too poor to afford a car. Our daughter and I were repeatedly asked by her classmates, "Why do you walk everywhere? Why don't you buy a car?" Our daughter's classmates and their parents didn't seem to think our behavior was "eccentric." They thought we were fucking weirdos, and they assumed we were poor. One of my daughter's classmates' mothers told me proudly, in front of my daughter, "Our family doesn't walk ANYWHERE. If we have to go more than 5 doors down the street, we drive!"

expatartist

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #75 on: May 11, 2017, 06:16:41 PM »
I'm a minority in the city where I live, an immigrant to Hong Kong, where ~95%+ of residents have Asian heritage. Most people who look like me tend to live in various expensive neighborhoods on Hong Kong Island. I choose to live more cheaply (nearly US$900/month for a 150sqf tiny one bedroom subdivided flat, haha but cheap for HK), and in a more diverse neighborhood, in a part of the city famous for its art/design/fashion supplies. It's also only 2 subway stops away from my work. The 'hood is gentrifying however, and I'm part of that process: though my rent is market rate or below, my presence and that of other westerners attracts attention and changes perceptions.
Your white privilege is showing.

Totally ;)
Fixed.

ElleFiji

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #76 on: May 11, 2017, 10:13:23 PM »
I'm just going to post this anyways, from the title of this thread I interpreted this question very differently.

Being white of the red-headed variety, this impacts my frugality specifically on sun-care.  I will not scrimp on sun-blocking clothing or sun-screens.  Those can get fairly pricey, but getting off-season deals from places like UV-skins helps.
I like your contribution.

wepner

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #77 on: May 12, 2017, 08:52:05 PM »
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.

I'm trying so so hard to figure out what place you are talking about. Can you please help me out?

Goldielocks

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #78 on: May 15, 2017, 10:54:42 PM »
I lived in a new area of Dublin, but Pleasanton, Walnut grove, and even Livermore had this problem.  The fantastic natural parks (2) I refer to were close to Livermore, but there was another in Castro Valley with the same impact of being in a vast minority of white people, but at least there, the nearest neighborhoods were mixed so it kind of made sense and everyone was quite friendly so easy to fit in.

Debonair

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #79 on: May 16, 2017, 05:48:58 AM »
Honestly I don't think about it. I don't think their is anywhere in Taiwan I would not be a minority. Granted I would probably get less stares if I was in Taipei or one of the big cities, but I like the east coast better. Then again I like attention, I let the little kids touch my hair or beard. Their is the perception that WhyGoRen spend all their money and are not frugal but I don't let that affect my spending habits.

I guess it also comes down to what you call diversity. I would say I live in a diverse city. It has a lot of aboriginals, Hakka, SE Asians and a smattering of others. Yet most people are Asian, and looking at the voteing pattern only starting to have political diversity.

Would it be different if I had kids? Lots of "fourginers/WhyGoRen" seem to move here to raise a family so I don't think it's a problem for most people.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 05:50:57 AM by Debonair »
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Shane

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #80 on: May 17, 2017, 01:49:26 AM »
Honestly I don't think about it. I don't think their is anywhere in Taiwan I would not be a minority. Granted I would probably get less stares if I was in Taipei or one of the big cities, but I like the east coast better. Then again I like attention, I let the little kids touch my hair or beard. Their is the perception that WhyGoRen spend all their money and are not frugal but I don't let that affect my spending habits.

I guess it also comes down to what you call diversity. I would say I live in a diverse city. It has a lot of aboriginals, Hakka, SE Asians and a smattering of others. Yet most people are Asian, and looking at the voteing pattern only starting to have political diversity.

Would it be different if I had kids? Lots of "fourginers/WhyGoRen" seem to move here to raise a family so I don't think it's a problem for most people.

宜蘭人生好嗎? 你在宜蘭做什麼?我想去宜蘭.

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #81 on: May 18, 2017, 10:02:49 PM »
"In 2010, the median wealth, or net worth, for black families was $4,900, compared to median wealth for whites of $97,000.
33.9% Blacks are nearly twice as likely as whites to have zero or negative net worth—33.9 percent compared to 18.6 percent."

Institutional racism is very real in the US.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #82 on: May 19, 2017, 06:45:16 AM »
^^ Those are some crazy stats. Yes it's real. We need to take it seriously.
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Paul der Krake

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #83 on: May 19, 2017, 10:19:01 AM »
"In 2010, the median wealth, or net worth, for black families was $4,900, compared to median wealth for whites of $97,000.
33.9% Blacks are nearly twice as likely as whites to have zero or negative net worth—33.9 percent compared to 18.6 percent."

Institutional racism is very real in the US.
I'm surprised the gap isn't bigger, considering the middle class consists almost exclusively of real estate, something blacks didn't have wide access to (and therefore couldn't inherit) until fairly recently.

Debonair

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #84 on: May 19, 2017, 03:18:58 PM »
Honestly I don't think about it. I don't think their is anywhere in Taiwan I would not be a minority. Granted I would probably get less stares if I was in Taipei or one of the big cities, but I like the east coast better. Then again I like attention, I let the little kids touch my hair or beard. Their is the perception that WhyGoRen spend all their money and are not frugal but I don't let that affect my spending habits.

I guess it also comes down to what you call diversity. I would say I live in a diverse city. It has a lot of aboriginals, Hakka, SE Asians and a smattering of others. Yet most people are Asian, and looking at the voteing pattern only starting to have political diversity.

Would it be different if I had kids? Lots of "fourginers/WhyGoRen" seem to move here to raise a family so I don't think it's a problem for most people.

宜蘭人生好嗎? 你在宜蘭做什麼?我想去宜蘭.


Yilan is great. Probably one of my favorite places I have ever lived. If you want to go to Taipei it's a nice short bus ride. It's also pretty clean and a nice place to bike ride.  I also found that there was more of an ex-pat community that knew each other in Yilan then in Hualien.
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Shane

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #85 on: May 19, 2017, 05:37:00 PM »
Honestly I don't think about it. I don't think their is anywhere in Taiwan I would not be a minority. Granted I would probably get less stares if I was in Taipei or one of the big cities, but I like the east coast better. Then again I like attention, I let the little kids touch my hair or beard. Their is the perception that WhyGoRen spend all their money and are not frugal but I don't let that affect my spending habits.

I guess it also comes down to what you call diversity. I would say I live in a diverse city. It has a lot of aboriginals, Hakka, SE Asians and a smattering of others. Yet most people are Asian, and looking at the voteing pattern only starting to have political diversity.

Would it be different if I had kids? Lots of "fourginers/WhyGoRen" seem to move here to raise a family so I don't think it's a problem for most people.

宜蘭人生好嗎? 你在宜蘭做什麼?我想去宜蘭.


Yilan is great. Probably one of my favorite places I have ever lived. If you want to go to Taipei it's a nice short bus ride. It's also pretty clean and a nice place to bike ride.  I also found that there was more of an ex-pat community that knew each other in Yilan then in Hualien.

Sounds good Debonair. A Canadian friend who used to live there also highly recommended Yilan. We're slow traveling through Asia now and planning to go to Taiwan sometime soon. Hopefully we'll get to spend some time in Yilan while we're there.

maizeman

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #86 on: May 19, 2017, 08:10:26 PM »
"In 2010, the median wealth, or net worth, for black families was $4,900, compared to median wealth for whites of $97,000.
33.9% Blacks are nearly twice as likely as whites to have zero or negative net worth—33.9 percent compared to 18.6 percent."

Institutional racism is very real in the US.

While not disputing your point, one confounding variable to keep in mind is that as a result of the demographic shifts going on in our country right now the median white american is 42, and the median black american is 33,* so the median while household has almost an extra decade of wealth accumulation under their belt.

The median net worth for all american households under 35 is only $6,682 regardless of race.**

*Source: http://www.pewhispanic.org/2016/04/19/statistical-portrait-of-hispanics-in-the-united-states/ph_2015-03_statistical-portrait-of-hispanics-in-the-united-states-2013_current-09/
**Source: https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/01/26/the-average-americans-net-worth-by-age-heres-where.aspx
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rdaneel0

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #87 on: May 21, 2017, 09:24:24 PM »
We are in the same boat. My husband and I are both mixed race (different combos though) and we are happy to pay a bit more to live in a more diverse area. We both grew up in small low cost of living towns, and we were the "other" in those towns, which isn't super fun. Having your school lunches scrutinized, your looks dissected, being made fun of based on your race/ethnicity...not the best. Not the worst, but not the best. Because we live within our means we are able to afford to live in our ideal neighborhood, which for us is a diverse area. Nothing wrong with that! We'll still easily reach all our FIRE goals.
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Noodle

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #88 on: May 22, 2017, 06:43:27 AM »
I read the most interesting article this weekend that has made me understand the issue a little differently:
http://wapo.st/2qzf8Jn. The author is talking about the difference between "diversity," where people of different genders/races/ethnicities/disabilities are present and "inclusion," where a very wide variety of people feel included and a normal part of every day life. Which I think is what a lot of the posters in this thread are trying to say--that there are a lot of places that people of different kinds are present, but many fewer that feel inclusive--the lack of a racial majority however can be a signal about something that is difficult to suss out unless you live there awhile. One of the big challenges is that in settings that are diverse but not inclusive, often almost everyone has good intentions and wants their neighbors/colleagues feel welcome, and both sides are frustrated because it isn't working.

Framing the issue in this way was really helpful to me because I have a responsibility for encouraging a wide range of participants at my employer's events, and while I might not know exactly how to make every different kind of visitor feel welcome, I can definitely think about the most inclusive way to handle the various event components.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #89 on: May 22, 2017, 09:14:12 AM »
Wow, that's really helpful, Noodle! Thanks for that.

I would say my town is diverse but not inclusive. It squicks me out that at a meeting, people expressed a desire for more diversity. It completely disregarded the diversity that is very much present already, and also seemed to be a goal of "appearances". Because for all the wonderful things it is, inclusive isn't one of them. Togetherness is determined by sexual orientation, marital status, age, faith, language, drinking capacity, outward wealth, parenting status, etc. But, I do appreciate that no one is staring at me or poking my skin colour!
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Guide2003

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #90 on: May 29, 2017, 08:57:16 PM »
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.
This is a great point, and I have witnessed this as well, but not limited to skin color. People of any race and social standing want to appear significant, and often it is the poorest members of our society that engage in this image-chasing consumerist mindset in the most detrimental manner since it takes up a greater percentage of their paycheck.

Wife and I are both white but we often have black foster children so we purposely picked a lower-income, relatively diverse suburban neighborhood. That works in our favor budget-wise, but we would not have made the choice to live below our means unless that precedent had been set for us by parents and grandparents. My slim experience thus far says its the perspective you were raised with rather than your skin color that has the greater effect on the realm you can control, and vice versa for the part you can't control. Generally I'd say a white male like myself has a larger set of intangible resources to pull from if things started to go south, and from ages 0-college I benefited from my skin color probably more than I will ever realize which put me in the position where I can make better choices than my poorer neighbors.
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Bicycle_B

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #91 on: June 06, 2017, 11:38:06 AM »
1. White privilege - benefited many years without knowing.  Got some jobs with little effort, for example, and was cut slack at work for errors.  Hard to quantify, but surely there. 

2. As others have posted, can do "cheap" things without any serious penalty.  Allows me to save thousands of dollars per year from small old cars (20 years of savings, arguably 50k or more now accumulated), for example.  Some thousands more from not feeling as much need to wear nice clothes to feel safe.  I use these examples because Black Best Friend, by contrast, buys midrange cars (above typical Mustachian) to avoid being pulled over by cops, and spends on clothes because his penalties for "scummy" clothes are steeper than mine.  Yes, clothes can be found cheaply, but his motives are real; without the motivation, which is related to skin color, we wouldn't have a cost difference.

3. Can relax in ways that BBF cannot.  He has hypertension and therefore health expenses that I do not.

4. Half my stash is arguably a benefit from other people's racism, and the ignorant confidence enabled by my skin tone...story below.

When I moved into my house decades ago, I could tell from white realtors' and associates' remarks that some of them thought I was moving into a "dangerous" black neighborhood.   As a white liberal who never lived in a "bad" neighborhood, I figured they were full of crap, but their stereotypes were giving me cheaper rent.  Later, I bought the house from the landlord for the market rate.  The price was 45k for a structure with 61k replacement value; I was being paid $16k to accept land with black neighbors.

My skin color influenced the decision because I felt safe. Also, it may have carried actual protection without me thinking about it. The neighborhood was racially mixed; my white neighbor called cops when someone snooped around my house. Was that because of skin color?

In fairness, it wasn't completely safe.  The crack wars were on, and I eventually realized that the many backfires in my neighborhood during the early years were gunshots from gangs fighting over a key drug dealing corner half a mile away.  From that I learned to distinguish between danger that exists and danger that affects me. 

Eventually, the crack wars faded, and so did the gunshots.  Hispanics replaced half the blacks and half the whites; we became a place with very good taco stands.  The city as a whole became increasingly popular, raising real estate prices in all neighborhoods until my lot developed a positive property value.

In recent years, gentrification has gathered steam, in addition to the city continuing its relentless rise in popularity.  At this point, my 45k house is worth 300k per tax appraisal, maybe more per market, with land close to 100k.  After inflation, roughly a 200k appreciation - close to half my stash. 

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How does the color of your skin interact with your frugality?
« Reply #92 on: June 07, 2017, 07:17:29 PM »
I'm pretty pale, so I guess I have to buy more sunscreen than the average person =D
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