Author Topic: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?  (Read 10451 times)

happyuk

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How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« on: February 08, 2019, 01:46:42 PM »
Have you ever unfairly encountered a bad rap for supposedly being cheap?

Many confuse being frugal with being miserly or mean-spirited, unfairly in my view.  In actual fact (as we know well) the opposite is the usually the case. 

In fact being frugal has meant that I have been in a MUCH better position to help others.  When I encounter a friend in genuine need I will happily GIVE him or her small of amounts of money in a spirit of friendship (or my time or other form of assistance) rather than loan a large amount of money.  Nobody likes money lenders after all.

Frugality means different things to its adherents, but the reasons almost invariably laudable.  Some want to maximize the money they earn so that they can retire early, go on a sabbatical, provide for their children's education; some just hate waste while others view it as a means of liberating themselves from a wretched situation.

I've been made fun of for not owning a smart phone and criticized for not driving a souped-up new model of car (which I could afford, if the desire was there).  Depending on who I am dealing with my reactions alternate between bored indifference or formidable opposition.  Ice or iron!  But underneath it all I really don't care and I sleep well.

How do you deal with others that just don't "get it" or even hate what you do?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 01:48:13 PM by happyuk »

montgomery212

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 01:59:20 PM »
I wouldn't say I've been "made fun of" the way people do to each other in grade school, but I get what you're saying. Here in the US I have definitely been scoffed at for not having a McMansion or a luxury car. Sadly most of it comes from extended family members who are flashy money types of people. It makes them feel good about themselves -- that they make sooooo much money that they can have these things and in their minds, I am less successful because I don't have these things. Bored indifference is a good way to put it. I ignore them/shrug it off or if I'm in a sarcastic mood I'll say "well cousin X, I'm just not as successful as you." Shuts them up bc they know I'm either (i) not impressed when I'm not responding about their Mercedes; or (ii) I'm mocking them when I put my own career down. Reality is in their heart of hearts, they know I make as much or more than them (as a single person -- while most of them are 2 working spouses). So I let them think I'm cheap or don't have good taste or whatever frankly bc I don't want them in my business. NO WAY am I going to share net worth or FI goals with people like that, nor will I discuss my investments.

RunningWithScissors

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 02:37:25 PM »
I haven't encountered much criticism simply because I avoid people in the Big Spendy Lifestyle and have chosen to surround myself with people who have similar values and goals.  Before I FIREd, I worked for a big organization which had people from a wide range of backgrounds, incomes and lifestyles.  It didn't take long before the invites from those who ate lunch out everyday tapered off, and I found my tribe of fellow brown baggers in the lunchroom. 

I'm working on resisting the temptation to judge others for their financial choices, too.  I figure everyone acts in accordance with their values and if they value stuff more than time/freedom, well, that's their choice.  But it felt good to walk out of the office for the last time knowing I was financially independent.  Haven't heard a peep of criticism since!

Eric

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 02:49:46 PM »
You can't please everyone.  People are free to think I'm cheap.  I just stopped giving a shit long ago.

haflander

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2019, 03:10:12 PM »
Them: Why don't you have The Thing??
Me: I don't care about The Thing.
Them: What? Why not? What do you mean??? -can't compute Otherness-
Me: -shrug- I'd rather have money than The Thing.
if it continues...
Them: It's only money, -or- Life is short -or- YOLO
Me: I'd rather be rich than act rich.*

*Only people on the level of Buffett or Gates can do both. Ironically, they both like to dress like Walmart-loving dads. Couldn't paste the pic, but BONUS: Buffett, Gates, and Ludacris TOGETHER.

https://www.businessinsider.com/warren-buffett-bill-gates-ludacris-photo-2011-6

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2019, 03:44:45 PM »
So, there are usually small number of those types of comments that you get over and over, so coming up with a shut-them-up response is useful.

For the 'you should by X' comments, which I used to get a lot about my phone, 'how are you still using a flip phone, you really need to get yourself a smartphone', my standard response is 'why?  what will happen if I don't?'  I've never had anyone find something to say back to that.

For the 'life is too short, live a little', I haven't quite gotten one down I really like, but something like 'I literally don't have time to live any more than I already do until I can quit my job to free some up, which is why I'm trying to do that asap.  life is to short to spend at a desk, I have way too much I want to do in this one short life we get.'.  Or throw it back at them with something like, 'money isn't life, if you need to spend money to enjoy life you're missing the point.'  Not sure, need to work on that one some more.

Lmoot

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 04:42:31 PM »
I wonder if you have to get to a certain income level to get comments on frugality. In my circles everyone tries to be frugal bc nobody is wealthy, really. I also live in a lower to medium cost of living area… Practically my whole state except for a few cities. Being cheap and frugal is way of life, if not a necessity around here.

HenryDavid

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2019, 04:57:55 PM »
Friend once told me “you have no Car Pride.”
Once I stopped laughing, I strongly agreed. The car is no reflection whatsoever of anything about me.

So now my spouse and I have this slogan. No Car Pride.
No Kitchen Pride. No lawn pride. No recent#fashion pride.
Make no mistake—our lives are luxurious and comfortable!
We are retired and spend 6 months each year in Europe. Occasionally driving a dented 15 year old car.
My friend is working and stressed and leases a $40,000 (?) SUV.

Own it. Celebrate it. Live yer life.

Dee18

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2019, 05:14:06 PM »
HenryDavid...love your post!

I’ve always just said, I like to spend my money on travel.  But now I’m going to steal your lines.

libertarian4321

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2019, 05:19:26 PM »
Tell them you'd rather be retired at 40 with a flip phone than toiling away at 70 just so you can impress the financially clueless with the latest iWhatever?

Telecaster

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2019, 05:20:26 PM »
Mainly by not giving a shit.  But on the rare occasion someone says something my car, I say something like "No doubt.  But it has been so nice not having a car payment these past few years.  It has really given me a lot of flexibility."   At that point they ruefully agree. 

libertarian4321

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2019, 05:23:51 PM »
Friend once told me “you have no Car Pride.”
Once I stopped laughing, I strongly agreed. The car is no reflection whatsoever of anything about me.

I once told a co-worker bragging about his new Lexus, and haranguing me for driving a POS truck that I'd rather have the money to buy a fleet of Lexi for cash than have a new Lexus and years of debt payments just to have a shiny toy.


Cranky

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2019, 05:29:35 PM »
I don’t hang out with people like that. I live in a pretty low income neighborhood, and I just don’t hang out with people who define themselves by cars or houses or clothes.

Cassie

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2019, 05:37:45 PM »
Our friends have similar values.  When I was working some living above their means but not the norm.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2019, 05:38:56 PM »
I just say I'm Dutch.  And where I'm at in the US that means of Dutch decent and it's a local stereotypical thing based on whatever Dutch group settled in this area.

RedmondStash

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2019, 05:41:44 PM »
I proactively call myself frugal, and then am very generous with friends, family, & coworkers. I enjoy that it confuses them.

I don't really run into people criticizing my lifestyle. But if they did, I'd probably say, "Huh. That's a weird thing to say." Or maybe, "Hey, if you're more comfortable spending more, cool. We all have to find the right balance in our lives."

ixtap

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2019, 05:48:28 PM »
I proactively call myself frugal, and then am very generous with friends, family, & coworkers. I enjoy that it confuses them.

I don't really run into people criticizing my lifestyle. But if they did, I'd probably say, "Huh. That's a weird thing to say." Or maybe, "Hey, if you're more comfortable spending more, cool. We all have to find the right balance in our lives."

This. When people ask us why we don't buy or do X, we just respond that it isn't a priority for us. Of course, being happy can irritate other people, but in the moment, it tends to through them off. For anyone that insists, we usually just smile, nod and walk away.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2019, 05:49:20 PM »
I generally get all the shiny things, but free. I have very spendy friends that hand down things! I recently had a birthday and asked for a fitness tracker off Aliexpress for about $20 incl postage. Instead I got a last year model Garmin that a sister was given at work, didn't want and gave to brother, who upgraded somehow or other and gave to me for bday. Now I have a shiny thing! I have Smeg washer and dryers and Jamie Oliver cutlery and eygptian cotton sheets, and apple TV etc etc for nothing or next to nothing. I love other people's cast offs!

kei te pai

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2019, 05:52:09 PM »
Used to be all our friends were careful with limited incomes, our entertainment was pretty cheap or free, and we hung out at each others places. Now its all "meet for coffee" by appointment, and overseas holidays, and how hard they all have to work. Im Fired, and frugal, and pretty lazy and happy. I try to keep my mouth shut, but do get a bit tired of comments about my dumb phone and old car.
Most I say is something like "its good to have choices about how we spend isnt it"

Zikoris

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2019, 07:00:05 PM »
"But I don't like or want [the thing]", and if they ask more questions I elaborate on why - like, for cars it would be "I get really carsick, I don't like being in a car, I never learned how to drive, I'm an environmentalist, and I really like walking places". For smartphones, it would be "They're so big and clunky and breakable, and I don't like texting or using most apps". Once someone told me I should "treat myself" by going to restaurants, and I said something like "It's not a treat if you don't like restaurant food or the experience".

Offhand I can't think of anything I avoid solely for monetary reasons - that's pretty much always a secondary concern.

Dave1442397

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2019, 07:31:50 PM »
When I lived closer to NYC (back in the '90s), my co-workers all made around the same amount of money, around $100k. I was amazed when they all started buying houses at the $450k price point, and having a brand new Lexus was considered normal, even if it was usually an ES300/330 back then. People thought nothing of eating out for lunch every day, with $5 iced-coffees for dessert.

Now, I work in an office where people make around the same amount of money, but they all take pride in having paid-off cars, in some cases paid-off houses, and everyone brings a brown-bag lunch. One co-worker's car was totaled in a flood last year, and she was shopping around for a 'new' car. I'm into cars, so she would run some of them by me, but it was funny to hear her say how her husband wanted her to look at a car that cost $20k, and she said she couldn't bring herself to spend that kind of money on a car. She ended up with a Subaru, six or seven years old.

I'm sure being around all the glitz of NYC pushes some people toward trying to live that lifestyle, even if they can't really afford it.

Pigeon

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2019, 07:39:17 PM »
I embrace my cheapness and  don't give a hoot about what other people think about it.  I'm the first person to accuse me of being cheap because it's true.

MikeBT

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2019, 05:32:52 AM »
I just say with a straight face, "I have enough money that I no longer have to keep up appearances." It is true and it is a very good line.

Malkynn

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2019, 07:41:33 AM »
Bitches gonna judge.

It has nothing to do with your frugality, that's just the obvious target to judge you about. If you weren't frugal, they would judge you for something else. If people really respect you, they don't judge you over inconsequential shit.

There is absolutely no way to stop someone from judging you, so don't bother wasting your energy worrying about how you will be judged.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you say because they don't actually care.


undercover

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2019, 08:00:51 AM »
When I lived closer to NYC (back in the '90s), my co-workers all made around the same amount of money, around $100k. I was amazed when they all started buying houses at the $450k price point, and having a brand new Lexus was considered normal, even if it was usually an ES300/330 back then. People thought nothing of eating out for lunch every day, with $5 iced-coffees for dessert.

I would have loved to have bought real estate in NYC on any budget in the 90's :) 5x yearly income in NYC is not even remotely possible today. Of course they had no idea. They can keep their cars though.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 08:34:06 AM by undercover »

ketchup

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2019, 08:06:49 AM »
Offhand I can't think of anything I avoid solely for monetary reasons - that's pretty much always a secondary concern.
This is the core of it.  And when you lead with that, it shuts people up.  It's much easier to scoff at "that's not worth it" or "I don't feel like spending the money" than "I don't actually want that."

My tactic is to either do that or lean into it.  "Those shoes are looking a little ratty, eh?"  "Oh yeah, I'll replace them when they have three or four more holes."  If they're just casually ribbing, they'll laugh.  If they're actively being a jerk, they'll walk away.

Not giving a fuck helps too.  You only get a limited number of fucks to give over your lifetime, so you must spend them with care.

AlexMar

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2019, 09:51:27 AM »
How do you handle it? By absolutely, positively, not caring one bit.  You will show confidence and people feed off that and respect it.  The key is not to actually come off like a cheap ass, but instead, simply financially responsible.

englishteacheralex

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2019, 10:03:44 AM »
Honestly, my problem isn't that I feel criticized. It's that I'm concerned for my friends.

I fervently wish that my friends/family would finally discover how much better it is to be frugal than spendy. When they make comments I never know what to say, because their comments reveal such ignorance about what truly makes people happy and I don't know how to be tactful about what I am really thinking. I care about these people.

Personally, it doesn't bother me one bit to be criticized for my frugal choices--in fact, when people notice these choices, I see it as a tremendous opportunity to quietly and gently (maybe?) influence them. But mostly it's a struggle to not just feel sad that people I care about are mis-prioritizing money. In the end, with some caveats, it's not simply neutral "different people make different choices with their money" territory--it's just not. People I truly love are making choices that I can see are clearly making their lives worse.

Anyway, when people criticize my frugal lifestyle, I get excited. Maybe they will see that there are different ways of doing things with money! In response to the criticisms, I try to be as diplomatic as possible and say little. I don't want to scare them away!

sol

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2019, 10:24:26 AM »
This whole post just seems foreign to me.  People actually criticize you, like out loud, for being frugal?  I don't think that has ever happened to me.

Or maybe it has and I just didn't notice, because I didn't care or I misunderstood their criticism as a compliment?

I live in a fancy house in a fancy neighborhood.  We have two cars, one of which is electric.  We take family vacations every year, my kids have new cell phones and fancy clothes, we're all in good healthy and reasonably well adjusted.  For all intents and purposes, we look and act like a moderately successful upper middle class family, because we are.  Who would possibly criticize us for being cheap?

Our regular family budget is also under $10k/year/person in a high cost of living area.  These days it's just not that expensive to have fancy things and live a fancy life, if you're not being wasteful with your money.  There are certainly people with more money than us, but I'm pretty sure even those people wouldn't consider my lifestyle impoverished.

BPA

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2019, 10:41:06 AM »
I have had people judge me. One friend told me that my children wouldn't have any nice memories of childhood because I didn't have a car. My mother mocked me for not renovating my house to her liking. My ex's wife criticized that I didn't decorate my house for Easter like she did.

I just didn't give a shit. In fact, if anything, I got a good laugh at how ridiculous they were. Besides, out of all of us, I am the only one who reached FIRE. My friend is retiring next year at 65. My mother retired at 65. My ex's wife is 57 and retirement is nowhere in sight for her.

I'd rather be me. And you, OP, should just be glad that you are you.

tralfamadorian

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2019, 10:44:44 AM »
I wonder if you have to get to a certain income level to get comments on frugality. In my circles everyone tries to be frugal bc nobody is wealthy, really. I also live in a lower to medium cost of living area… Practically my whole state except for a few cities. Being cheap and frugal is way of life, if not a necessity around here.

Or go to the opposite end of the spectrum. Very wealthy, old money is generally quite reserved and I can't imagine those that I have been around ever criticizing someone for not spending in an obvious enough way.

Zikoris

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2019, 10:57:31 AM »
This whole post just seems foreign to me.  People actually criticize you, like out loud, for being frugal?  I don't think that has ever happened to me.

Or maybe it has and I just didn't notice, because I didn't care or I misunderstood their criticism as a compliment?

I live in a fancy house in a fancy neighborhood.  We have two cars, one of which is electric.  We take family vacations every year, my kids have new cell phones and fancy clothes, we're all in good healthy and reasonably well adjusted.  For all intents and purposes, we look and act like a moderately successful upper middle class family, because we are.  Who would possibly criticize us for being cheap?

Our regular family budget is also under $10k/year/person in a high cost of living area.  These days it's just not that expensive to have fancy things and live a fancy life, if you're not being wasteful with your money.  There are certainly people with more money than us, but I'm pretty sure even those people wouldn't consider my lifestyle impoverished.

It does happen, but I wouldn't say it's super frequent, and in my experience it's more confusion-based than actual malice. If someone was actually just being a jerk, I think I'd be way more likely to say something like "Well, I hope you like your job, you'll be doing it for a long time!". But I think you personally wouldn't see much of it unless you ditched the fancy house, two cars, fancy phones, fancy clothes, etc.

Some more examples: People have tried to convince me to get a smart phone several times before - the arguments for that one are pretty interesting. "But you can be connected to people all the time!" Like, why the hell would I want that, or for people to have the expectation of being able to reach me immediately? For about the first five or six years of our relationship, my in-laws and extended family on that side continuously tried to convince us to get drivers licenses so we could buy/rent cars. A number of people were absolutely horrified when we downsized to a smaller apartment (600 to 400 square feet), and tried to talk us out of it, despite that we'd already set it in motion - that one actually surprised me, because we were really excited about it.

Travis

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2019, 11:41:34 AM »
From one of my subordinates: "Sir, you're a Jew with your money!"  which was his playful way of criticizing my spending habits.  He has/had a giant truck, an SUV, a dune buggy, and all the electronics.  The Army also fired him last year for less than ethical activities so I care about his opinion even less than I did before. 

All that to say I don't talk about personal finances in the workplace.  I don't advertise it and it's nobody's business.  The above remark originated from him seeing my used car and beans&rice lunches.  All of my family are supportive of my intentions and some of them even jealous that my never working again by age 45 is a real possibility.

How do I handle people who criticize my frugal lifestyle? I laugh my way to the bank.

Hula Hoop

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2019, 01:16:01 PM »
From one of my subordinates: "Sir, you're a Jew with your money!"  which was his playful way of criticizing my spending habits. 

I'd say that's more of a racist way of criticizing your spending habits.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 01:14:19 PM by Hula Hoop »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2019, 01:43:10 PM »
From one of my subordinates: "Sir, you're a Jew with your money!"  which was his playful way of criticizing my spending habits. 

I'd say that's more of a racist was of criticizing your spending habits.

Anti-semitism is playful now?

Dicey

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2019, 02:51:17 PM »
It's happened on and off in my life. My siblings have always done it, but it's with a kind of grudging respect*, so it rolls off. If pressed these days, I mention that we have a lot of charities we like to support. Then I innocently ask them which ones are their favorites. Deflection for the win.

I will say that part of my game has always been to look the part without spending the money. Feels like winning to me. It also means that people tend not to pay any attention to my thriftiness, because it's subtle unless you know where to look.

*Some siblings are less grudging. My brother was buying a house and his loan fell apart right at closing, due to his broker's dickheadedness. He called me and I moved the entire purchase price into his account (we have the same bank) the next morning. A week later, I got it all back. Respect. And, a hint of pride on my part, because I trust him and I was glad I could help out. And don't get on my case for having a bunch of cash laying around. We had just flipped a house, and the money was for the next project, which we hadn't found yet. It also helps that my brother lives in a much lower COLA.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 06:43:34 PM by Dicey »

Imma

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2019, 03:33:18 PM »
This whole post just seems foreign to me.  People actually criticize you, like out loud, for being frugal?  I don't think that has ever happened to me.

Or maybe it has and I just didn't notice, because I didn't care or I misunderstood their criticism as a compliment?

I live in a fancy house in a fancy neighborhood.  We have two cars, one of which is electric.  We take family vacations every year, my kids have new cell phones and fancy clothes, we're all in good healthy and reasonably well adjusted.  For all intents and purposes, we look and act like a moderately successful upper middle class family, because we are.  Who would possibly criticize us for being cheap?

Our regular family budget is also under $10k/year/person in a high cost of living area.  These days it's just not that expensive to have fancy things and live a fancy life, if you're not being wasteful with your money.  There are certainly people with more money than us, but I'm pretty sure even those people wouldn't consider my lifestyle impoverished.

Well, it happens to us, because we don't live the type of lifestyle that people could possibly confuse with a middle class lifestyle. People know that with my kind of job it's not possible that I earn a low wage. Family and friends are genuinely confused that we live very simply, very cheaply, have no car etc while we can't truly be poor. Some people kind of assume we're in debt, although of course they don't say those things out loud.

But people definitely ask me why we don't get a car (we don't even have driver's licenses) or why we live in a cheap house that is clearly a bit dated (although well maintained) or why I don't buy new clothes for every special occasion. I always tell them that there's no need to worry about my financial situation and that we just don't think these things are important / value for money, but buying less than you can afford to is an extremely weird idea to many people.

MrsTuxedocat

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2019, 05:27:31 PM »
It's happened on and off in my life. My siblings have always done it, but it's with a kind of grudging respect*, so it rolls off. If pressed these days, I mention that we have a lot of charities we like to support. Then I inocently ask them which ones are their favorites. Deflection for the win.

I will say that part of my game has always been to look the part without spending the money. Feels like winning to me. It also means that people tend not to pay any attention to my thriftiness, because it's subtle unless you know where to look.

*Some siblings are less grudging. My brother was buying a house and his loan fell apart right at closing, due to his broker's dickheadedness. He called me and I moved the entire purchase price into his account (we have the same bank) the next morning. A week later, I got it all back. Respect. And, a hint of pride on my part, because I trust him and I was glad I could help out. And don't get on my for having a bunch of cash laying around. We had just flipped a house, and the money was for the next project, which we hadn't found yet. It also helps that my brother lives in a much lower COLA.

Would never criticize that! You did something very generous and kind! I am also sure your bond has strengthened because of your generosity and trust. Much respect to the both of you.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2019, 05:35:48 PM »
From one of my subordinates: "Sir, you're a Jew with your money!"  which was his playful way of criticizing my spending habits. 

I'd say that's more of a racist was of criticizing your spending habits.

Anti-semitism is playful now?

Yeah, comments like this, or the one about being Dutch just enforce negative stereotypes. It's not required.

marty998

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2019, 07:05:53 PM »
From one of my subordinates: "Sir, you're a Jew with your money!"  which was his playful way of criticizing my spending habits. 

I'd say that's more of a racist was of criticizing your spending habits.

Anti-semitism is playful now?

I don't quite think this is anti-semitism. Garden variety racism or bigotry most definitely, but the antagonist in the OP is not calling for gas chambers here.

Not directing this against you @MrThatsDifferent, but I think it's a modern day phenomenon to judge every remark or act in very harsh terms. Newspaper headlines are a case in point. Not every disaster is a catastrophe, not every act of unkindness is the worst ever seen.

Probably not articulating my point clearly here, but I'd reserve the term anti-semite for acts calling for violence or oppression against Jews, not so much for calling someone a bit tight with their money.

Certainly doesn't mean the remark wasn't insensitive.

Apologies to anyone I've offended here.

sol

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2019, 07:16:56 PM »
I'd reserve the term anti-semite for acts calling for violence or oppression against Jews, not so much for calling someone a bit tight with their money.

He didn't call someone a bit tight with their money, he said they were like a Jew.  That's textbook anti-semitism.  It's perpetuating a negative stereotype about Jews, demonizing the entire class of people by associating a negative behavior with their ethnic group.  It's exactly how the Nazis started, in the most literal sense in that it was exactly their first step toward sending rail cars full of people to concentration camps. 

You don't have to lynch a black man or burn a cross to be racist.  You can be racist in big ways and small ways.

marty998

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2019, 07:33:27 PM »
I'd reserve the term anti-semite for acts calling for violence or oppression against Jews, not so much for calling someone a bit tight with their money.

He didn't call someone a bit tight with their money, he said they were like a Jew.  That's textbook anti-semitism.  It's perpetuating a negative stereotype about Jews, demonizing the entire class of people by associating a negative behavior with their ethnic group.  It's exactly how the Nazis started, in the most literal sense in that it was exactly their first step toward sending rail cars full of people to concentration camps. 

You don't have to lynch a black man or burn a cross to be racist.  You can be racist in big ways and small ways.

Did you miss the part where I called it racist?

It's a bad ethnic joke, it's over the top to equate it to nazism.

JSalazar

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #42 on: February 09, 2019, 08:42:14 PM »
To the extent that I can, I cut people like that out of my life. Most of my friends don't spend money on junk they don't need, and the rest aren't the kind to judge others.

However, if the questioner seems like they're asking in good faith, I might mention how consumerism is a trap -- advertisers are creating problems for their products to solve. I tell them I don't want to live my life reacting to others/being lead, and that I'd rather think for myself. I typically couch that in some polite-speak, though. ;)

BPA

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2019, 09:47:26 PM »
I'd reserve the term anti-semite for acts calling for violence or oppression against Jews, not so much for calling someone a bit tight with their money.

He didn't call someone a bit tight with their money, he said they were like a Jew.  That's textbook anti-semitism.  It's perpetuating a negative stereotype about Jews, demonizing the entire class of people by associating a negative behavior with their ethnic group.  It's exactly how the Nazis started, in the most literal sense in that it was exactly their first step toward sending rail cars full of people to concentration camps. 

You don't have to lynch a black man or burn a cross to be racist.  You can be racist in big ways and small ways.

Did you miss the part where I called it racist?

It's a bad ethnic joke, it's over the top to equate it to nazism.

I've read Mein Kampf. Hitler's references to what he thought the Jews were like are the very essence of that stereotype right from chapter one. They formed much of the basis for his reasoning why they should be exterminated later in the book. So, it's not over the top to equate it to nazism. Hitler said it himself.


hypermiler

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #44 on: February 09, 2019, 10:30:31 PM »
I went for a walk with my dad the other day. He's a conventional early retiree (61). We passed a relative's home and he remarked on how happy they were with their new SUV. It did indeed look impressive. Very new. Like, 2022 new somehow. Really impressive.

I then asked, genuinely surprised, "They're still working?"

As my dad knows that I don't have to work anymore, and do it because I want to, he got my point. This couple is 67 and 61 and both partners have been working full-time since they were teenagers. And here they are. Still at the grind, with as far as I know no end in sight.

When people wonder why I drive a beater, or why I don't buy, well, basically anything, I try to briefly explain that I value time over goods.

I've gotten a few people to change their ways. A good friend of mine just transitioned from a Pixel to a flip phone. Of course he didn't think it possible. After all, how could I take pictures? How did I drive anywhere? How did I know where to go and at what time? I then pointed out to him that he was living more like a robot than a person. His phone told him, at various points in the day, what he had to do. 6 AM, get up for work. 6:30 AM, leave for work. 7:10 AM, pickup coffee order for coworkers. 11:00 AM on Saturday, mow the lawn. 7:00 PM, take out the garbage. He was merely the vessel through which the phone gave orders.

That seemed to hit home, and less than a month later he got a flip phone.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #45 on: February 09, 2019, 11:09:03 PM »
From one of my subordinates: "Sir, you're a Jew with your money!"  which was his playful way of criticizing my spending habits. 

I'd say that's more of a racist was of criticizing your spending habits.

Anti-semitism is playful now?

I don't quite think this is anti-semitism. Garden variety racism or bigotry most definitely, but the antagonist in the OP is not calling for gas chambers here.

Not directing this against you @MrThatsDifferent, but I think it's a modern day phenomenon to judge every remark or act in very harsh terms. Newspaper headlines are a case in point. Not every disaster is a catastrophe, not every act of unkindness is the worst ever seen.

Probably not articulating my point clearly here, but I'd reserve the term anti-semite for acts calling for violence or oppression against Jews, not so much for calling someone a bit tight with their money.

Certainly doesn't mean the remark wasn't insensitive.

Apologies to anyone I've offended here.

I'm not offended by you at all. It wasn't your comment. But it's totally anti-semitism. At one time, Jews were restricted to certain, inferior occupations. Money lending was one of them. That's where the stereotype comes from. They were forced into that position, and now they're stereotyped by the consequences of that position. Saying someone is like a Jew because they're associated with 'hoarding' money is much the same as saying women aren't as smart as men because men invented everything. It's a dumb comment however you slice it.

Imma

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #46 on: February 10, 2019, 01:08:09 AM »
From one of my subordinates: "Sir, you're a Jew with your money!"  which was his playful way of criticizing my spending habits. 

I'd say that's more of a racist was of criticizing your spending habits.

Anti-semitism is playful now?

Yeah, comments like this, or the one about being Dutch just enforce negative stereotypes. It's not required.

No offense taken, as a Dutch person. Unlike the comment about Jews it's not a stereotype with a negative origin.

In the Dutch branch of Calvinism wastefulness is seen as a moral failure and it's no coincidence that our word for debt is the same as the word for guilt in the criminal sense.

While few people are still very religious and consumer culture has influenced us, those values still exist up to this date and we perceive them as positive, not negative. Even spendypants people are more likely to spend money on an expensive house (a 'sensible' purchase) rather than something flashy like designer clothes ( a more wasteful purchase) and bringing your own lunch to work is very normal.

happyuk

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #47 on: February 10, 2019, 02:12:18 AM »
I'd reserve the term anti-semite for acts calling for violence or oppression against Jews, not so much for calling someone a bit tight with their money.

He didn't call someone a bit tight with their money, he said they were like a Jew.  That's textbook anti-semitism.  It's perpetuating a negative stereotype about Jews, demonizing the entire class of people by associating a negative behavior with their ethnic group.  It's exactly how the Nazis started, in the most literal sense in that it was exactly their first step toward sending rail cars full of people to concentration camps. 

You don't have to lynch a black man or burn a cross to be racist.  You can be racist in big ways and small ways.

Godwin's Law alert!

Back to topic please!
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 02:14:48 AM by happyuk »

Trifele

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #48 on: February 10, 2019, 04:50:52 AM »
It's happened on and off in my life.  If pressed these days, I mention that we have a lot of charities we like to support. Then I innocently ask them which ones are their favorites. Deflection for the win.

Love this tactic!  Very elegant.  Nice job @Dicey.

I'm sure many co-workers wondered about me over the years but I only got a direct question one time, when someone asked me why I was driving such a crappy old car.  I didn't have a good line ready, but I honestly responded that there were at least 10 other things I would rather spend money on than a fancy car.  He didn't ask what the other things were, but that would have been an interesting conversation. 

dignam

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Re: How do you handle people that criticize your frugal lifestyle?
« Reply #49 on: February 10, 2019, 05:43:44 AM »
I've heard little comments from a couple of my family members about me being "cheap".  It's few and far between but it does happen.  Generally, it's when the subject of my 15 year old vehicle comes up.  (granted I also have a 6 year old sedan that doesn't get driven much in the crappy winter weather as it is my "fun", reliable car while the beater is, well, a beater).  I've learned to just let it roll off my shoulder, and almost take it as a badge of honor now.

RE: The Dutch thing, there are a lot of families in my region of the US that have Dutch ancestors.  They generally tend to be very good with their money.