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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: I Love Cake on March 27, 2013, 08:35:42 AM

Title: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: I Love Cake on March 27, 2013, 08:35:42 AM
So, I know a family who are very broke. Dh is on disability and will never work again (mental illness-not physical) mom works at a mediocre job (30k ish) and it is not very secure. Have a child at home. They rent, have a big debt load but are talking about going on a Disney cruise. WTF????

I also know a couple in their late 20s. Both have great jobs (probably 120k together) but are in debt. Dh claimed bankruptcy once. They don't have ANY savings and rack up debt to buy whatever they want, eat out all the time and go on holidays because they 'deserve it' WTF?????

I'm sure everyone knows people like this. If so, do you say anything? I try to for the 2nd couple (she is my niece) but not the first one.

Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: jpo on March 27, 2013, 08:39:36 AM
No. Sounds like a great way to ruin a friendship.

If they ask for it, however, that's a different story.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: Rachelocity on March 27, 2013, 08:53:39 AM
My brother got a lecture when he told me that he was planning to buy a new car with an 8-year loan at a much higher interest rate than normal, because of his trashed credit and using his girlfriend's income (smaller than his) as the basis for the loan.  I sweetly suggested that they stash the money they would have spent on car payments for a year or so, work to re-establish their credit, and what the fuck were they thinking that an 8-year car loan would be a good idea?  They both acted as if this was the first time that this had ever occurred to them (I'm almost inclined to believe this, because they're financial dumb-asses) and although I hate to facepunch someone on Passover, I think it may have been worth it. 
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: Spork on March 27, 2013, 08:55:13 AM
I know the feeling....  but think of it like you are someone in a wacky religion wanting to save their soul (because that's what they may think.)  You're better off to wait for a very small, right moment and give solicited advice.  When someone sees that you are of average income (presumably) and yet NEVER HAVE ISSUES... they tend to ask how the hell you're doing it.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: dfields on March 27, 2013, 10:29:22 AM
I have a friend who is in her first permanent job out of school. She has a reliable old Camry from her grandparents but her mother told her to get a new car so she can get used to a car payment.

I think I have convinced her how horrible of an idea this is.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: projekt on March 27, 2013, 10:33:38 AM
[Her] mother told her to get a new car so she can get used to a car payment.

Wow. Next she should look for a job with a bad boss so that she can get used to being miserable all her life.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: TLV on March 27, 2013, 10:39:23 AM
When someone sees that you are of average income (presumably) and yet NEVER HAVE ISSUES... they tend to ask how the hell you're doing it.

That's a no-go for me. I have well-above-average income, and everyone knows it because of my employer and occupation. So even though we have friends who struggle to get by and spend more than we do, they assume that we're doing fine only because of the higher income, and not because we have our spending under control.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: MrMoneyMullet on March 27, 2013, 10:44:24 AM

[Her] mother told her to get a new car so she can get used to a car payment.

What's the next level of Mustachian force above a face punch???
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: DebtDerp on March 27, 2013, 10:44:36 AM
I know the feeling....  but think of it like you are someone in a wacky religion wanting to save their soul (because that's what they may think.)  You're better off to wait for a very small, right moment and give solicited advice.  When someone sees that you are of average income (presumably) and yet NEVER HAVE ISSUES... they tend to ask how the hell you're doing it.

Spork is right, teach by example! When I tell people I have paid off over $14k in student loans in the last three months they think I must have won the lottery or something but this is the perfect time for me to explain how I am doing it. When they realize that it's not that crazy they may start to think that they can do it too. I'm not pushy and don't tell them how to live their lives I just lead by example. I think it's the best you can do.

EDIT to say: but if someone does ask for advice you should punch them in the face so hard that they won't soon forget.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: I Love Cake on March 27, 2013, 12:53:17 PM
[Her] mother told her to get a new car so she can get used to a car payment.

Wow. Next she should look for a job with a bad boss so that she can get used to being miserable all her life.

hahahahaha so true!
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: Spork on March 27, 2013, 01:13:35 PM


EDIT to say: but if someone does ask for advice you should punch them in the face so hard that they won't soon forget.

LOL.  This is assuming they have half of a sense of humor or better.  Some  folks still have the "precious little snowflake syndrome" and can't quite take a face punch.  Maybe a "firm tickle" is as rough as you can get with them.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: JoshuaSpodek on March 27, 2013, 01:44:02 PM
I'm sure everyone knows people like this. If so, do you say anything?

I have a little rule for myself when I feel compelled to give unsolicited advice. Since I don't know how attached the person is to whatever I'm advising on, I approach the situation like I'm advising a mother how to raise her child better.

Usually gets me to hold my tongue. If not, it forces me to be respectful and realize I'm inviting them to tell me they know how to live their life just fine.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: the fixer on March 27, 2013, 02:07:17 PM
My girlfriend and I have only delved into this arena for people where we believe we'd be obliged to render financial assistance in the future if things go bad for them (i.e. our parents). The way we see it, that means we are at least entitled to voice an opinion about what they should do. But even within family it rarely works out.

The only other times I bring up stuff is if someone is actually asking for my advice, or I can sneak it in in casual conversation. For instance, I was talking to a coworker about gaming rewards credit cards and signup bonuses because we were discussing our REI dividends, and I explained my dividend was higher because I had the REI Visa card.

Sometimes a coworker and I will make fun of ridiculous cars we see parked in the garage.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: psychomoustache on March 27, 2013, 02:10:57 PM
It's true that being frugal (OK...*mustachian* frugal, not just "pay attention" frugal) does seem to most people to be some spooky-culty thing that people misinterpret as an inability to *make* money - otherwise, why not just spend everything you have?

This is what I've confronted with my parents for example. My father is a really wealthy guy, but somehow must Absolutely Spend up to the Limit (so we know he has made a lot of money?)

My mother has very little money (after two bad divorces) but can't give up Botox (at age 73, who cares from forehead wrinkles???) getting her hair "done", manicures, movies... etc.

I think people get frightened at the idea of limiting their spending. Frightened of feeling deprived, of looking different from other people - of looking (they imagine themselves as looking) *less successful* than other people ...less *able* to make money. If you can't *make* money, you must be like, less of a capable human. So, at least *look* like you make some money, right?

I say this with some authority - given I used to behave in this way, and I grew up this way. Upper-middle class entitled. A lot of  freakin' good that did me...
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: AccidentalMiser on March 27, 2013, 02:41:17 PM
I simply say, "Hey, I just found the coolest website!   mrmoneymustache.com, this guy retired early and talks about all kinds of cool ways to make better use of your time and money.  I highly recommend it!"

I also occasionally say that I'm sure looking forward to retiring in five years (I'm 45) and try to work the conversation around to my "conversion experience" without addressing their silliness at all.

Other than that, I don't directly punch them in the face.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: NumberJohnny5 on March 27, 2013, 02:52:52 PM
Maybe a "firm tickle" is as rough as you can get with them.

Yeah, I'd love to see how that conversation goes. "Hey honey, hard day? Me? Oh, I just had to firmly tickle someone today." Now THAT'LL be a facepunch MMM would be proud of.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: Spork on March 27, 2013, 02:56:36 PM
Maybe a "firm tickle" is as rough as you can get with them.

Yeah, I'd love to see how that conversation goes. "Hey honey, hard day? Me? Oh, I just had to firmly tickle someone today." Now THAT'LL be a facepunch MMM would be proud of.

Video posting or it didn't happen!  ;)
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: dragoncar on March 27, 2013, 03:57:21 PM
I usually tell them about my new foolproof multilevel marketing opportunity.

Since I don't know how attached the person is to whatever I'm advising on, I approach the situation like I'm advising a mother how to raise her child better.

Yeah you never can be sure just how attached a mother is to her child.  Better tread carefully :-)
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: joyful girl on March 27, 2013, 04:27:18 PM
I never mention it unless asked because I hate letting people know I have money in the bank. As soon as people know I have a stash, they start telling me about every opportunity to spend it... investments here, houses there, etc. Like my savings are burning a hole in their pocket and they just itch to get it out.

But I find it difficult to keep my cool when someone complains how much debt they're in, how their partner is so out of control, how they're never be able to retire... then shops, shops, shops.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: matchewed on March 27, 2013, 04:30:46 PM
To those I'm close with... yes I call them out on their stuff. I'd hope they'd do the same for me. I don't expect them to do something differently; just stop and rethink what they're doing from a different perspective.

A close friend that I work with is in a relationship where his partner has her first "real money" job (whatever that means). Suddenly she wants a puppy, and a new car, and a condo, and a baby...etc. I double check to make sure he knows they can't afford all that in one go. He does and I move on.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: Self-employed-swami on March 27, 2013, 04:46:54 PM
When someone sees that you are of average income (presumably) and yet NEVER HAVE ISSUES... they tend to ask how the hell you're doing it.

That's a no-go for me. I have well-above-average income, and everyone knows it because of my employer and occupation. So even though we have friends who struggle to get by and spend more than we do, they assume that we're doing fine only because of the higher income, and not because we have our spending under control.

Same for me.  It comes off as smarmy, when I mention finances at all to anyone.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: NumberJohnny5 on March 27, 2013, 06:22:11 PM
But I find it difficult to keep my cool when someone complains how much debt they're in, how their partner is so out of control, how they're never be able to retire... then shops, shops, shops.

I just keep quiet. But I'm naturally a quiet person to begin with.

When confronted with someone who stated that only brand name clothes were good enough for her, my wife replied "well you value brand names, so that's where you spend your money. We value cruises (and travel in general), so that's where we spend our money. Just different priorities." I did cringe a bit (this is a statement that wouldn't go over well with this particular person), but I don't think I could have phrased the sentiment much better than that.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: SwordGuy on March 27, 2013, 07:34:26 PM
Some  folks still have the "precious little snowflake syndrome" and can't quite take a face punch.

I love that expression!
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: mm31 on March 27, 2013, 10:35:27 PM
I always point out cheaper alternatives. If people are receptive, I press on, if not I let it go. I'm more forceful with family members
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: madgeylou on March 28, 2013, 05:29:42 AM
Sometimes I might say something verrrrry gingerly. Like when someone I know decided to move 30 miles away from work down a notoriously terrible highway, ostensibly to save $200/month in rent, I just said "Huh. Have you run the numbers on that? Seems like you might not be coming out ahead with all that driving" ... And then I let it go when it became clear that their mind was made up already.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 28, 2013, 06:35:34 AM
Nope.  Lead by example, occasionally mention things that you're doing that make sense and save you money.  Don't try to convert someone . . . they'll never do something they don't want to because someone recommends it.  You can lead a horse to water . . .
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: GoStumpy on March 28, 2013, 06:44:05 AM
It's definitely hard to keep quiet when someone that we like enough to call a friend does something foolish, that we know will hurt them in the long run...

The only advice I usually give is to point to future rammifications, and ask them if they've thought this idea COMPLETELY through, and not just the joyful 'let's buy it now' mentality...
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: BlueMR2 on March 28, 2013, 07:21:14 AM
I don't say much normally.  People are very proud of spending large sums of money that they don't have.  Attacking someone's pride is not going to help.  However, when they do complain about not having any money, I make small suggestions in areas that are low dollar amounts (such as going out to eat at work vs. packing a lunch) and draw the picture of how much they can save with just those.  Hopefully, someday, they may be able to extend that to the expensive items and realize how much MORE they could be saving...
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: GoStumpy on March 28, 2013, 07:22:52 AM
  However, when they do complain about not having any money,

That's definitely the only time I'm saying something... when at first they're complaining that they don't have $, and then the next day they're talking about buying a new car... I gotta say something.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: sherr on March 28, 2013, 08:57:31 AM
I don't say much normally.  People are very proud of spending large sums of money that they don't have.  Attacking someone's pride is not going to help.  However, when they do complain about not having any money, I make small suggestions in areas that are low dollar amounts (such as going out to eat at work vs. packing a lunch) and draw the picture of how much they can save with just those.  Hopefully, someday, they may be able to extend that to the expensive items and realize how much MORE they could be saving...

Huh, interesting. My knee-jerk reaction would be that that's silly and if you really care about helping them get their financial lives in order you should talk about the big dollar items first and then slowly work your way down the list to the less disastrous decisions. They may be more likely to actually follow your advice your way though. Something for me to think about.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: pka222 on April 04, 2013, 02:19:42 PM
I say way too much too often as I live amongst people who live one paycheck ahead - i.e. they borrow against future earnings every week.  I know it's not productive but when approached for cash I feel a Face Punch is justified.  One success is the guy down the street now brings me coconuts when he wants 10 bucks- my suggestion to him- but now it is business not a handout/loan. If I could convince the other neighbors to stop asking for handouts I could get fresh chicken, taro and pigs ... like a CSA with no organization at all (ha) -

In this case the foolish spending is often beer or smokes instead of food- or church tithing instead of school fees (blah)
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: Starstuff on April 04, 2013, 02:38:01 PM
It hurts, doesn't it? The people I work with are all like that... complaining about being broke as they talk about planning a trip. But sometimes, keeping your job is more important. I do say something if it's spending that will hurt me. My boyfriend was spending a little irresponsibly while I'm putting aside $1,300 so we can move this month.... We talked about that....
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: randymarsh on April 04, 2013, 09:53:28 PM
My co-workers think I'm crazy because I opted in to the retirement plan year round at our on-campus job. I'm a college student and we're exempt during the school year, but in the summer you have to pay 10% of your gross (unless you're taking 6 or more credit hours). The school puts in 14% of my gross. All of them pay it in the summer then apply for refunds in the fall.

I don't tell them they should do what I'm doing. It's just not my place, they're my friends and co-workers, not my kids. And in all fairness, some of them probably need that 10%. I have parents who cover a lot of expenses, many of them don't. But still, I can't help but think even a college student should be able to spare 20-40 bucks a pay period.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: kkbmustang on April 04, 2013, 10:11:38 PM

or church tithing instead of school fees (blah)

I take it, then, you don't see tithing as necessary? Perhaps not for you, but could very likely be for some people who participate in a church that takes the tithing position. I'm not the authority on this issue, so don't know what other religions believe. I only know that as a Christian I strive to contribute 10% to church and/or charitable organizations. I don't view this as foolish, discretionary spending. But that's just me.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: Starstuff on April 05, 2013, 08:43:48 AM

or church tithing instead of school fees (blah)

I take it, then, you don't see tithing as necessary? Perhaps not for you, but could very likely be for some people who participate in a church that takes the tithing position. I'm not the authority on this issue, so don't know what other religions believe. I only know that as a Christian I strive to contribute 10% to church and/or charitable organizations. I don't view this as foolish, discretionary spending. But that's just me.


I think pka222 may have been suggesting that people are tithing money they don't have. If tithing puts you in debt, then you're not really tithing your money, your tithing the someone else's money. You can't give your God money you don't have. If it's a choice between debt and donation and cash and no donation, I would suggest that God would prefer that you avoid debt and give Him time instead until you can afford more. (Of course, this is a whole other debate. I just want to point out it's not necessarily discretionary, but true tithing involves giving yours and sacrificing, not giving others' and living large.)
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: noob515 on April 05, 2013, 11:49:40 AM
When someone sees that you are of average income (presumably) and yet NEVER HAVE ISSUES... they tend to ask how the hell you're doing it.

That's a no-go for me. I have well-above-average income, and everyone knows it because of my employer and occupation. So even though we have friends who struggle to get by and spend more than we do, they assume that we're doing fine only because of the higher income, and not because we have our spending under control.

This.  My husband and I make more than most of our friends, maybe not by a lot ($20k), but most people assume that we're okay financially because we don't have kids.

This actually came up during a get-together a few weeks ago.  One friend was flabbergasted when I made some comment about being able to pay off $7k of debt in just a few months.  Another friend jumped in and said I can do that because I don't have kids. 

But the flabbergasted friend's issue is not that she has kids.  She gets free daycare from her mom.  They have 2 brand-new car payments (including a big $35k gas guzzling SUV), they finance all sorts of fancypants things for the house, and I can think of at least $10,000 worth of "because I deserve it" crap that her husband has bought in the past 1-1.5 years.  Plus they say they eat out at LEAST once every weekend.  (and I'm sure that's in addition to however many times they eat out during the week). 

Clearly my friend sees all the crap her husband is buying and hasn't put her foot down, so I figure she's not really ready to hear what advice I would have to give.  So I just keep my mouth shut - and gripe about them to financially responsible people.  People have to want to help themselves.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: marty998 on April 05, 2013, 04:46:38 PM

or church tithing instead of school fees (blah)

I take it, then, you don't see tithing as necessary? Perhaps not for you, but could very likely be for some people who participate in a church that takes the tithing position. I'm not the authority on this issue, so don't know what other religions believe. I only know that as a Christian I strive to contribute 10% to church and/or charitable organizations. I don't view this as foolish, discretionary spending. But that's just me.

No wonder churches (especially the Catholic church) are some of the richest organisations on the earth. When they guilt you into donating 10% of you hard earned...imagine how much that raises. (I apologise to people who are happy to donate freely, you probably should stop reading now).

For arguments sake lets assume a household income of $70k x 10% x say 400 households in the church. That means they are pulling in roughly $3m each year. WTF do they do with all that....probably gets added to the Vatican art collection.

One particular evangelical church from Sydney (I won't name them, because they have a habit of suing everyone), has made a virtue of acquiring riches. Their pastor is a multi squillionaire because of tithing who then takes it further by abusing the tax-exempt charitable status of his "church" to run businesses out of it.

Jesus says look after the poor, but imo there are better ways to do it besides tithing. Give your time to meals on wheels or St Vinnies or the Salvos. If you're an employer, give an unskilled job vacancy to a long term unemployed person. There are hundreds more ways to build your community in a dare I say more mustachian way.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: Ms. Doodles on April 05, 2013, 05:33:48 PM
I normally keep quiet about these things with friends and family.  Especially with high income earners. 

One of my relatives has a big house, new cars, and the upscale lifestyle, and their assumption of my standard of living is "poor".  They think that my SO and I can't afford a "better" place that's why we live the way we do.  I'm both amused and annoyed but I refuse to clear the misconception.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: kkbmustang on April 05, 2013, 07:26:02 PM

or church tithing instead of school fees (blah)

I take it, then, you don't see tithing as necessary? Perhaps not for you, but could very likely be for some people who participate in a church that takes the tithing position. I'm not the authority on this issue, so don't know what other religions believe. I only know that as a Christian I strive to contribute 10% to church and/or charitable organizations. I don't view this as foolish, discretionary spending. But that's just me.


I think pka222 may have been suggesting that people are tithing money they don't have. If tithing puts you in debt, then you're not really tithing your money, your tithing the someone else's money. You can't give your God money you don't have. If it's a choice between debt and donation and cash and no donation, I would suggest that God would prefer that you avoid debt and give Him time instead until you can afford more. (Of course, this is a whole other debate. I just want to point out it's not necessarily discretionary, but true tithing involves giving yours and sacrificing, not giving others' and living large.)

All I'm saying is that tithing (whether with the value of time and/or cash) is not discretionary FOR ME. Maybe it isn't for those people pka222 is talking about as well. Should people not waste money on fancy vacations, eating out, etc. while they are in debt? Absolutely. I don't judge people who don't tithe or contribute to charity. Neither should people be judged for tithing - it might not be an option for them from a religious standpoint. That's all I'm saying.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: Zikoris on April 06, 2013, 10:43:44 AM
Quote
All I'm saying is that tithing (whether with the value of time and/or cash) is not discretionary FOR ME. Maybe it isn't for those people pka222 is talking about as well. Should people not waste money on fancy vacations, eating out, etc. while they are in debt? Absolutely. I don't judge people who don't tithe or contribute to charity. Neither should people be judged for tithing - it might not be an option for them from a religious standpoint. That's all I'm saying.

Here's the problem with that - you're supposed to tithe on YOUR OWN INCOME, right? If you're in debt, you HAVE NO MONEY OF YOUR OWN. You are living on other people's money. Your money is 0, an illusion. If you choose to tithe, you are NOT giving God your money - you're giving God other people's money. Would you take money from your friend's wallet to give as a tithe? What about your spouse? A random person on the street? That's basically what you're doing if you tithe well in debt. Get it?
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: Spork on April 06, 2013, 11:03:21 AM
Quote
All I'm saying is that tithing (whether with the value of time and/or cash) is not discretionary FOR ME. Maybe it isn't for those people pka222 is talking about as well. Should people not waste money on fancy vacations, eating out, etc. while they are in debt? Absolutely. I don't judge people who don't tithe or contribute to charity. Neither should people be judged for tithing - it might not be an option for them from a religious standpoint. That's all I'm saying.

Here's the problem with that - you're supposed to tithe on YOUR OWN INCOME, right? If you're in debt, you HAVE NO MONEY OF YOUR OWN. You are living on other people's money. Your money is 0, an illusion. If you choose to tithe, you are NOT giving God your money - you're giving God other people's money. Would you take money from your friend's wallet to give as a tithe? What about your spouse? A random person on the street? That's basically what you're doing if you tithe well in debt. Get it?

Caveat: I'm not religious.  Not even a little bit.  I have absolutely no right to speak on behalf of religion... and yet, I say lots of foolish things I shouldn't.  ;)

If I were religious (did I mention I wasn't?), I'd see it the other way... Not that you're giving god other people's money, but that you're choosing debt first over god.  In other words: until you pay your tithe, you have no right going into debt.   

...but that's just one heathen's opinion.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: kkbmustang on April 06, 2013, 03:32:54 PM
Quote
All I'm saying is that tithing (whether with the value of time and/or cash) is not discretionary FOR ME. Maybe it isn't for those people pka222 is talking about as well. Should people not waste money on fancy vacations, eating out, etc. while they are in debt? Absolutely. I don't judge people who don't tithe or contribute to charity. Neither should people be judged for tithing - it might not be an option for them from a religious standpoint. That's all I'm saying.

Here's the problem with that - you're supposed to tithe on YOUR OWN INCOME, right? If you're in debt, you HAVE NO MONEY OF YOUR OWN. You are living on other people's money. Your money is 0, an illusion. If you choose to tithe, you are NOT giving God your money - you're giving God other people's money. Would you take money from your friend's wallet to give as a tithe? What about your spouse? A random person on the street? That's basically what you're doing if you tithe well in debt. Get it?

Caveat: I'm not religious.  Not even a little bit.  I have absolutely no right to speak on behalf of religion... and yet, I say lots of foolish things I shouldn't.  ;)

If I were religious (did I mention I wasn't?), I'd see it the other way... Not that you're giving god other people's money, but that you're choosing debt first over god.  In other words: until you pay your tithe, you have no right going into debt.   

...but that's just one heathen's opinion.

This is exactly right. From my faith based perspective, 100% of the income I am blessed to earn is given by God. He asks for 10% of what is His. So, I live on the remaining 90%. If I go into debt, that's a mismanagement of the resources I have been given (I was blessed with my talents, intellect, etc. which allows me to earn an income).
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: pka222 on April 06, 2013, 04:23:10 PM
kkbmustang- Starstuff is right on this one- I only take issue with tithing if the tither has to forgo necessities (like food for the kids) or borrow money to tithe.  My take on charity/tithing is- 1) it is good and I see it as a positive character trait to give if you can and 2) should be given freely - that is with out pressure.  The church my neighbors go to is stuck in the dark ages and reads off the contributions each family gives each week publicly - the amount of pressure and ego that is involved results in borrowing to make large tithings-


or church tithing instead of school fees (blah)

I take it, then, you don't see tithing as necessary? Perhaps not for you, but could very likely be for some people who participate in a church that takes the tithing position. I'm not the authority on this issue, so don't know what other religions believe. I only know that as a Christian I strive to contribute 10% to church and/or charitable organizations. I don't view this as foolish, discretionary spending. But that's just me.


I think pka222 may have been suggesting that people are tithing money they don't have. If tithing puts you in debt, then you're not really tithing your money, your tithing the someone else's money. You can't give your God money you don't have. If it's a choice between debt and donation and cash and no donation, I would suggest that God would prefer that you avoid debt and give Him time instead until you can afford more. (Of course, this is a whole other debate. I just want to point out it's not necessarily discretionary, but true tithing involves giving yours and sacrificing, not giving others' and living large.)
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: kkbmustang on April 06, 2013, 04:27:09 PM
kkbmustang- Starstuff is right on this one- I only take issue with tithing if the tither has to forgo necessities (like food for the kids) or borrow money to tithe.  My take on charity/tithing is- 1) it is good and I see it as a positive character trait to give if you can and 2) should be given freely - that is with out pressure.  The church my neighbors go to is stuck in the dark ages and reads off the contributions each family gives each week publicly - the amount of pressure and ego that is involved results in borrowing to make large tithings-


Their church seriously does that? That's hard core. Now I see where you are coming from. My church does not do that. Not even close.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: pka222 on April 06, 2013, 04:58:40 PM
kkbmustang- yep- truly and really- as far as I know, no one does it in the western world anymore.. - that said, giving is good, as long as its a choice
cheers
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: brewer12345 on April 07, 2013, 03:48:01 PM
*sigh* Many times even if you do say something it will not matter.  I have a friend stuck in a bad/abusive marriage.  They are in credit card debt to their eyeballs, largely through wild overspending (mostly on my friend's wife's part).  They are constantly careening from financial and marriage crisis to crisis.  What did they do over Easter weekend?  Rent a ski condo with my friend's in-laws.  WTF?  He'd love to get out of the marriage, but they are so broke that he cannot afford a lawyer.  I have told him that the only way to get out would be to file for divorce and bankruptcy and start over.  Unthinkable to him.  Yet the situation never improves and when it finally goes kaboom I fear he will be very sorry he did not throw in the towel long before so that he had ore time to start over.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: KatieSSS on April 09, 2013, 12:46:23 PM
I don't intentionally give people a good face punch. Most of the time it happens by accident. For example, someone tells me they always lease a car. My reaction might be "why in the hell would you do that?" Another example would be when someone tells me they bought a Kindle/Nook/whatever and I say "you know you can read books for free at the library." I need to bite my tongue in these situations, because they always just look at me like I'm the crazy one.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: nofool on April 10, 2013, 10:34:24 AM
Late to the party here, but just wanted to throw in my two cents concerning tithing.

For the most part, I agree with the opinions expressed above, but I will say this - one year I promised God that I would give to whoever asked me for financial support for msisions trips (was involved in an evangelical ministry, so this means lots of support letters every spring), and though I set aside money all throughout the year in anticipation of the huge inflow of support letters in April/May, a few stragglers came through in June. I made a personal decision that I would trust God's provision and gave more money than I had budgeted, per my promise to God earlier that year. A couple weeks later, I received a windfall of the exact amount I had over-given.

I'm not sharing this because I think everyone should follow what I did and expect God to give back everything we give to Him, but I think that all money is God's money, whether He's provided it for us through family generosity, student loans, or paychecks. And I think God wants us to be stewards of the resources He provides. In that instance in my life, I felt like the best way to steward my money was to honor a commitment I had made with God. I don't think that individuals who are in a lot of debt and still living a consumeristic lifestyle are really being good stewards of their finances. I think tithing while in debt can be an act of faith; that even though they owe money, they are putting their trust in God to provide their daily bread for them. However, some people can use it as a way to "save face" to others in their church - hence, they are giving to gain approval from other people. Or, some are generous givers but also generous with their own lifestyle, but they've never learned the meaning of stewardship.

Sorry, this became such a long post! I'm pretty passionate about the topic of tithing.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: galaxie on April 10, 2013, 01:10:18 PM
I accidentally face-punched my mom yesterday.  She was disappointed about how houses in their state have lost value, and said something like "Back in the day, people used to be able to buy a house, pay it off, and then sell it & retire on the proceeds while living in a smaller rental."  She gave an example where a house my parents owned 30 years ago went from $36k then to $250k now when the area they lived in took off.

So I said...
"Wow, you'd have to be really confident that you bought in a good area."
"But it actually cost more than $36k to buy the house, because interest rates were a lot higher then, right?"
"So, most people recommend a safe withdrawal rate of 4% if you want to keep your principal intact.  4% of $250k is.... $10k?  So I think you would still have needed a lot in terms of other retirement savings."

She seemed to be thinking about it in a different way by the end, but also I totally didn't mean to face-punch her.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: daymare on April 11, 2013, 12:12:14 PM
Most people know I'm pretty interested in money/behavioral finance (I blog about it and am starting a PhD in finance).  I really do believe that I'm extremely, extremely privileged in that my parents are highly educated, very responsible with money, and don't spend much (growing up in Soviet Russia does that to you).  I also happen to be really curious and into math (again, thank you parents for meeting at uni while studying math, then forcing me to do math as a kid), so money and investing are at this point, not scary, but instead really interesting.  So many people are only able to look around at those around them, and assume it's natural or inevitable to be stressed about money.  This doesn't lead to good decisions, but it's unproductive to approach them with judgement.  To me, that would be akin to children with wealthy donor parents mocking others for not getting in to an Ivy League school, while simultaneously benefiting enormously from their parents' connections & failing to acknowledge their privilege.  (Can you tell I'm nose deep in a book about exactly that?)

I'm really happy when something I talk about (like switching from Verizon to a much-cheaper MVNO while keeping my iphone) resonates with people.  I had friends who expressed interest in doing the same, and thanked me for sharing that option.  I do sometimes get frustrated with how I see people spending money.  Sometimes I have really mixed feelings -- over the last few months, a few of my friends have posted pictures on facebook of their brand-new cars.  When I see that, I feel a little concerned (are they taking out a loan?  Will they be paying off the car for a long time?) but also realize I would be an asshole to say something along those lines, especially since I don't know their financial situation with 100% certainty.  One of my closest friends recently did this, and I'll probably end up asking him about that, as I'm really interested in how other people make financial decisions.

One of my friends is currently making a really big financial/life decision -- whether to go to a top master's degree program for design, at $150K for two years of tuition, supplies, and living costs.  When I talked to her about it, I mostly asked questions about why she wants to go to grad school, how she would benefit from the program, what her other options are, etc.  I have a huge pit in my stomach thinking about my friend being under such a mountain of debt.  I think that in her case she shouldn't do it (right now), but I also reiterated that it's a really tough question.  Ultimately I'm sad that she can't enjoy her amazing accomplishment, and that even though she's done a lot of work to get funding (postponing grad school for a year, applying for fellowships, networking, etc), she hasn't been successful and will have a huge financial burden if she goes to school.  Anyone have any good links/websites to illustrate what a student loan debt will mean for her in the future?  She's an engineer who's on the lookout for a math class to take for fun, so I think she'd respond well to something analytical/visual, and I'd like to make sure she understands what she could be getting into, without coming off as overbearing.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: Rollin on April 16, 2013, 01:49:48 PM
Would love to face-punch a friend of ours, but it would do noting but cause trouble.  They are in the situation they are in because of years and years of stupid decisions.  If I point out this one thing to them it won't change the situation they got themselves into.

Here it is - the mom doesn't work and said she can't because she's on disability (she'd loose that if she could work!!??).  The dad just lost his job.  They just crashed their mini-van and somehow the insurance is all messed up and they aren't sure they can get it fixed.  They just got kicked out of their family-member's house that they were living in - couldn't get along.  Soooo, we offer to take their daughter in for a few weeks so that she can finish school in peace.  Smart kid.  She's the same age and has most of the same classes as our daughter - and we live within walking distance to the school (no mini van remember).

Soooo, I see the kid come home from Barnes and Noble with a big bag of books she purchased.  She works at a local fast food place.  She doesn't like our food (too "healthy") so she buys $100 of her own - and most of it sits and rots because she goes out to eat with her boyfriend (who drives her around).

I offer to take her to the college she is interested in so that she can talk with financial counselors and get a feel for the school.  I offer to help her set up a savings account and my 12YO daughter chimes in and says "its real easy and fun watching the interest come in every month - they actually give you money!"

Sooooo, here's the biggy.  A few weeks later she starts crying (really) about wanting a unique dress for the prom - so my wife takes her into my daughter's bedroom and pulls out all kinds of cool dresses that she has found over the years.  She offers to make some additions that will really set them off - my wife is VERY good at making things look great.  Well, the girl gets back in with her mom and dad (who are now living in a brother's house) and her mom and her go out and buy a $500 prom dress!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Some from a paycheck loan? not sure how she can do that, and some the kid will pay for - later I suppose.  Again not sure about the payment details, but I want to face punch like Mohammed Ali against Joe Frasier.  Alas, I will keep the gloves put away and thank them (in my mind) for teaching my girls a good lesson.  BTW-my daughter is the one that pointed all this out to me and the Mrs.
Title: Re: Do You Say Anything to People Who Spend Foolishly?
Post by: MrsPete on May 03, 2013, 08:01:24 AM
dfields, That's the stupidest story I've heard in a while!  I personally would tell my child, "You have a car that's running well for now, but it's old and will eventually need to be replaced.  Start making payments into a short-term savings account (consider it a "real bill", perhaps even have it directly deposited) so that when you do need a new car, you'll at least have a good start towards paying for it.  This will save you LOADS in interest." 

kkbmustang, You're not alone in considering tithing to the church a necessity.  God says we are to give 10% or the "first fruits" to Him.  However, our church emphasizes that this is meant to be our money AND our time.  Time spent reading the Bible, time spent helping with youth, time helping those in need in the community, etc.  If you're short on money, you can always give in other ways.  The large, ruling body of the Catholic church may be wealthy, but individual churches are not wealthy.  Unsure?  If you're a member, you can see the budget.  Our church does take in a good bit of money, but we can see exactly where it's going out:  To the needy, for programs for our youth groups, to buy supplies for services and Sunday school, for a bus to take groups to various functions, to maintain the buildings, and to pay the pastoral staff.  The Bible speaks harshly to people in authority using tithes for their own gain or luxury, so anyone who finds that his individual church isn't using money wisely can -- and should -- go elsewhere.  Honest places do exist.

Overall, this board has great ideas about saving money and improving one's own financial situation -- but most of the posters have little concern for those beyond their own walls.  Whether you see it as a Christian duty or whether you consider it a part of being a good citizen, those who "have" should give back to the community.  How exactly?  Well, that's an individual question, depending upon your individual circumstances.