Author Topic: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant  (Read 48095 times)

Magilla

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #150 on: June 03, 2016, 08:32:15 AM »
I didn't read all of this thread. But this:

my house was in the background of the picture. I'm now getting comments about 'wow, you must be rich' and 'wow, your husband must make a LOT'. And I've gotten snarky comments from 'friends' in a similar fashion, and I'm mad.

. . .

To answer their comments, as well as other snarky comments I've gotten about my house:
1) Yes, the cedar deck that is in the process of being built is huge (10x36 - the entire length of the house).
2) Yes, those garden boxes are nice. Yes, everything is growing and looks lush and amazing.
3) Yes, my front deck will look lovely with large flower boxes all built and put in.
4) Yes, I have a large-ish house on 2 acres of land. . .Coming home feels like being on vacation. I like it.
5) Yeah, I agree: my furniture is gorgeous.

got me thinking. Sorry if I go a little analytical on you here if that isn't what you are looking for. Feel free to disregard.

So what bothers you about the comments? (genuine introspective question.)

Is it the lack of respect for the fact that you worked for it and chose it? Is it the ignorance that they could to? You mention both of these aspects. Most other things I can think of fall into basically these categories (such as an assumption that you or your husband make more than they do, but that most likely would be bothersome in the same ways, that either you are bothered that they think a higher salary means you had it easy and didn't work for it, or that they don't understand the principles of what you can get on this salary.)

(snip)

I guess, the main thing I really wanted to say was just that, their basic premise - you must be rich - is *right* not because you are more rich or privileged than them, but because of all that you have and love and appreciate. If nothing else, you are rich in knowledge and discipline in a way they seem not to be, and pondering that may make you feel more thankful and thus more able to patiently state your perspective rather than getting angry.

Food for thought. Dismiss it if it's not helpful.

No worries - I like introspection.

I think what genuinely annoys me about it is the dismissal, combined with the need to talk about it? I dunno. I put a fair amount of effot (and money, but a lot less money than if I wasn't also putting in effort) into making my space a nice space - it's something that's important to me. And, y'know, no judgement or expectation of anyone else - I have friends who genuinely don't care about their living space and live in little white apartments on college-age fiberboard furniture, and spend all their money on travelling. Absolutely fine! You do you! But having someone look at what I'm doing and be like 'enh, obviously you have that, your husband makes money' makes me bristle, because it's not true, and it's hard work, and it just feels like a complete dismissal of the work we're putting in to get the results they're simultaneously admiring and dismissing.

Also, it's a huge and gorgeous house to ME - but gorgeous is relative, and huge = less than 2K square feet, plus basement. So, less actual square footage than most new houses around here. Still feels huge, though. ;)

Also, the expectation (actually stated) that I sympathize with why they can't have what I have while also having what they have. And my reserves of patience are low, so no: because I can't have what I have while also having what they have. It's a choice. I don't CARE what you chose. But I'm not particularly inclined to be sympathetic because you chose to have something different.

I dunno. It's the complete dismissal of working and choices, combined with a total sympathy-circle of 'no one can get ahead and so we need sympathy from those who are managing to get ahead to validate our choices so we don't need to change'. It's... exasperating.

And yeah, I'm trying the subtle educating. It's... slowly sinking into one person that there might be something to it, the others just dismiss it as 'but you're lucky, it's different for us'. Then again, this is the person who just signed a lease on a new car because she could afford lease payments but not a 2K repair on her owned-and-payed-off car, so, y'know, the path is long.

The question you should ask yourself is why do you expend so much energy giving a flying f*** what these people think.  I get the annoyed part.  I used to get all sorts of annoyed at all sorts of stupidities (I still do but a lot less).   But at the end of the day I realized that it doesn't help me, they will never learn, so why am I getting worked up over their stupidity.  As you said, you do you and let them do them and don't worry what they say or think.

Mental health and energy is also a resource and it should be carefully guarded and not expended on idiots.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #151 on: June 03, 2016, 08:45:38 AM »

The question you should ask yourself is why do you expend so much energy giving a flying f*** what these people think.  I get the annoyed part.  I used to get all sorts of annoyed at all sorts of stupidities (I still do but a lot less).   But at the end of the day I realized that it doesn't help me, they will never learn, so why am I getting worked up over their stupidity.  As you said, you do you and let them do them and don't worry what they say or think.

Mental health and energy is also a resource and it should be carefully guarded and not expended on idiots.

Speaking of introspection, it is also interesting that so many additional people start to give a flying f**.  This is the second rant I have been sucked in to (the first being this classic:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/fancy-dinner-with-the-in-laws-or-an-exploding-fountain-of-waste/).  I have no idea what I hope to get out of reading and commenting, but oddly enough here I am, reading and commenting again  :)

I do agree with the sentiment quoted - I've stopped caring a long time ago about what others think when it comes to how I handle my finances and how I go about my appropriate quality of life.  In my neighborhood, I'm comfortably boring middle-class, but it is an above average neighborhood in a solidly first world country....
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 08:49:06 AM by EscapeVelocity2020 »

MrMoogle

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #152 on: June 03, 2016, 08:55:35 AM »

The question you should ask yourself is why do you expend so much energy giving a flying f*** what these people think.  I get the annoyed part.  I used to get all sorts of annoyed at all sorts of stupidities (I still do but a lot less).   But at the end of the day I realized that it doesn't help me, they will never learn, so why am I getting worked up over their stupidity.  As you said, you do you and let them do them and don't worry what they say or think.

Mental health and energy is also a resource and it should be carefully guarded and not expended on idiots.

Speaking of introspection, it is also interesting that so many additional people start to give a flying f**.  This is the second rant I have been sucked in to (the first being this classic:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/fancy-dinner-with-the-in-laws-or-an-exploding-fountain-of-waste/).  I have no idea what I hope to get out of reading and commenting, but oddly enough here I am, reading and commenting again  :)

I do agree with the sentiment quoted - I've stopped caring a long time ago about what others think when it comes to how I handle my finances and how I go about my appropriate quality of life.  In my neighborhood, I'm comfortably boring middle-class, but it is an above average neighborhood in a solidly first world country....
I think it has to do with the fact that there are so few of us to sympathize with each other.  We can do it here, when we don't have as many people to do it with in our every day life.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #153 on: June 03, 2016, 09:05:00 AM »
Also, we can start a rant with "I've worked and saved hard, I'm loaded compared to my colleagues but I'm pissed at them because..." without it being called bragging.


Kitsune

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #154 on: June 03, 2016, 09:42:33 AM »

The question you should ask yourself is why do you expend so much energy giving a flying f*** what these people think.  I get the annoyed part.  I used to get all sorts of annoyed at all sorts of stupidities (I still do but a lot less).   But at the end of the day I realized that it doesn't help me, they will never learn, so why am I getting worked up over their stupidity.  As you said, you do you and let them do them and don't worry what they say or think.

Mental health and energy is also a resource and it should be carefully guarded and not expended on idiots.

Speaking of introspection, it is also interesting that so many additional people start to give a flying f**.  This is the second rant I have been sucked in to (the first being this classic:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/fancy-dinner-with-the-in-laws-or-an-exploding-fountain-of-waste/).  I have no idea what I hope to get out of reading and commenting, but oddly enough here I am, reading and commenting again  :)

I do agree with the sentiment quoted - I've stopped caring a long time ago about what others think when it comes to how I handle my finances and how I go about my appropriate quality of life.  In my neighborhood, I'm comfortably boring middle-class, but it is an above average neighborhood in a solidly first world country....

I don't particularly care what they think. I care about being sucked into a conversation that seems to be a never-ending circle of subtle criticism, and that's impossible to avoid without being percieved as rude (and these are colleagues, and I need to get along with them in order to get all our jobs done, so...). So I keep the conversation as short as possible, bottle it in, rant here, and then feel better and get on with my life. It's a coping mechanism among many others. ;)

Also, we can start a rant with "I've worked and saved hard, I'm loaded compared to my colleagues but I'm pissed at them because..." without it being called bragging.



Hah! Truth. :)

I dunno where it crosses the line into bragging. I mean, for some people, any mention of a positive achievement is bragging and should be avoided. For others, any positive achievement is to be trumpeted to high heavens. *shrugs* 'I've worked hard, saved hard, put my money into things that mattered to me, and I'm annoyed that people won't just let that go' seems kinda mid-range, comparatively.

Uturn

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #155 on: June 03, 2016, 10:24:53 AM »
1.  I don't think it's the millennials fault.  I think it's the public school system's fault.  I would say about 30 years ago, we shifted from teaching kids "how" to think to teaching them "what" to think.  Mostly because it is easier to test memorization than it is to test for problem solving skills.

2.  As frustrating as it is to get the "you're so lucky" from co-workers, it's exponentially more frustrating when it comes from family.  FFS people, we grew up in the same damn house and raised by the same parents.  How am I luckier than you?


RedBaron3

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #156 on: June 03, 2016, 10:58:53 AM »
As frustrating as it is to get the "you're so lucky" from co-workers, it's exponentially more frustrating when it comes from family.  FFS people, we grew up in the same damn house and raised by the same parents.  How am I luckier than you?

My wife gets that from her sisters and her mom all the time, but it's usually insinuating that she's lucky she married me which "allowed" her to pay off her student loans early, save up to actually pay a 20% down payment on a house, and choose to be a stay at home mom.  It was infuriating for her at first (especially before becoming SAHM) because she had a better education (not subsidized by parents like the siblings), found and kept better jobs, and was more highly motivated than any of her siblings.  Her mom still says it mostly as a dig at my father-in-law because he apparently never made enough to "let" her stay at home (and because she's a bitter human being). 


SaskyStache

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #157 on: June 03, 2016, 11:53:08 AM »

The question you should ask yourself is why do you expend so much energy giving a flying f*** what these people think.  I get the annoyed part.  I used to get all sorts of annoyed at all sorts of stupidities (I still do but a lot less).   But at the end of the day I realized that it doesn't help me, they will never learn, so why am I getting worked up over their stupidity.  As you said, you do you and let them do them and don't worry what they say or think.

Mental health and energy is also a resource and it should be carefully guarded and not expended on idiots.

Speaking of introspection, it is also interesting that so many additional people start to give a flying f**.  This is the second rant I have been sucked in to (the first being this classic:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/fancy-dinner-with-the-in-laws-or-an-exploding-fountain-of-waste/).  I have no idea what I hope to get out of reading and commenting, but oddly enough here I am, reading and commenting again  :)

I do agree with the sentiment quoted - I've stopped caring a long time ago about what others think when it comes to how I handle my finances and how I go about my appropriate quality of life.  In my neighborhood, I'm comfortably boring middle-class, but it is an above average neighborhood in a solidly first world country....

I don't particularly care what they think. I care about being sucked into a conversation that seems to be a never-ending circle of subtle criticism, and that's impossible to avoid without being percieved as rude (and these are colleagues, and I need to get along with them in order to get all our jobs done, so...). So I keep the conversation as short as possible, bottle it in, rant here, and then feel better and get on with my life. It's a coping mechanism among many others. ;)


Just saw this thread now, and I get this. All the implications that these things must have been handed to you instead of even considering that it is because of a number of decisions and a concerted effort you have made over the course of your life to get to this point. That would annoy me too, especially when they are things that they could do themselves. Although I can't say that I don't care about what people think because I do. However, I am starting to care less and less what certain people think. Maybe at some point it will reach close to 0.

And venting is pretty good for mental health.

AMandM

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #158 on: June 03, 2016, 01:48:01 PM »
Also, the expectation (actually stated) that I sympathize with why they can't have what I have while also having what they have. And my reserves of patience are low, so no: because I can't have what I have while also having what they have. It's a choice. I don't CARE what you chose. But I'm not particularly inclined to be sympathetic because you chose to have something different.

This.

I was once in a conversation with two other faculty wives; all our husbands are humanities profs.  One wife, a lawyer who lives in a $800,000 house and sends all her kids to private schools, says airily, "Well of course it's impossible around here without two incomes."  The other wife and I, both SAHMs and homeschoolers who live in ticky-tacky houses, just smiled at each other.

Cassie

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #159 on: June 03, 2016, 03:47:34 PM »
People want it all but don't want to sacrifice for it. I was a SAHM for a number of years and also got 4 college degrees all paid for in cash. Were we rich with 3 kids and DH that worked in the skilled trades?  Nope we just make do and did without.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #160 on: June 03, 2016, 07:37:59 PM »
Also, the expectation (actually stated) that I sympathize with why they can't have what I have while also having what they have. And my reserves of patience are low, so no: because I can't have what I have while also having what they have. It's a choice. I don't CARE what you chose. But I'm not particularly inclined to be sympathetic because you chose to have something different.
Mrs Z. had a good example of this a few months back.  She was with a bunch of friends for book club, and the conversation turned to the Language Arts curriculum that our school district uses.  Apparently, the teachers have to follow it to the letter, with no latitude for adaptation or interpretation.  The women were all complaining about how their kids (some of whom are quite bright) were getting poor grades on assignments, not because their kids were turning in poor work, but because of the very arbitrary and poorly-explained rubric required by the curriculum.

None of them have contacted the district to complain.  None of them are willing to put forth any effort to effect a change.  DW, on the other hand?  We got sufficiently frustrated with public schools a few years ago that we took matters into our own hands:  we homeschool now.

okits

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #161 on: June 03, 2016, 11:11:11 PM »
The real question: Kitsune, how long until you ER and never have to speak to these people again?  ;)

I love the generosity-of-spirit in MrsEnder's comment, I could stand to work on that.

MgoSam

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #162 on: June 04, 2016, 01:07:03 AM »


The question you should ask yourself is why do you expend so much energy giving a flying f*** what these people think.  I get the annoyed part.  I used to get all sorts of annoyed at all sorts of stupidities (I still do but a lot less).   But at the end of the day I realized that it doesn't help me, they will never learn, so why am I getting worked up over their stupidity.  As you said, you do you and let them do them and don't worry what they say or think.

Mental health and energy is also a resource and it should be carefully guarded and not expended on idiots.

+1

This is something that really used to bug me, what other people thought about me. I've gotten a lot better about it, but it still can be a problem.

shelivesthedream

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #163 on: June 04, 2016, 02:38:19 AM »
1.  I don't think it's the millennials fault.  I think it's the public school system's fault.  I would say about 30 years ago, we shifted from teaching kids "how" to think to teaching them "what" to think.  Mostly because it is easier to test memorization than it is to test for problem solving skills.

I absolutely agree that schools thes days teach to the test and teach what to think, but did they ever really teach children how to think? I mean, broadly across the education system and not just individual great teachers (who still exist now)?

LeRainDrop

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #164 on: June 04, 2016, 06:25:33 AM »
1.  I don't think it's the millennials fault.  I think it's the public school system's fault.  I would say about 30 years ago, we shifted from teaching kids "how" to think to teaching them "what" to think.  Mostly because it is easier to test memorization than it is to test for problem solving skills.

I absolutely agree that schools thes days teach to the test and teach what to think, but did they ever really teach children how to think? I mean, broadly across the education system and not just individual great teachers (who still exist now)?

I'm gonna agree with shelivesthedream.

IMO, I had an excellent public school education K-8 in a great school district in a state ranking highly for education.  But even now, I have to admit that the assignments and tests on which we were evaluated were largely about memorization.  I remember in elementary school when we used to get substantive grades on our report cards, but also grades for effort, and I always got E's (excellent) for effort -- I'd tell my dad, I don't understand how I get E's for effort when I barely have to do anything and study very minimally for tests to still get A's; I probably should be getting N/A's (needs improvement) for effort.

On the other hand, I switched to an exceptional private school for high school, and that required a whole lot more effort to earn the high marks.  Plus, it definitely had a much more how-to-think curriculum.  Sure, there was some memorization for tests, but we were very frequently given essay questions that required real integration of topics -- formulating your own thoughts and opinions and substantiating them with the facts.

On the whole, I am very satisfied with all of the education that I received -- both the public and private school settings.  Without a doubt, there was a difference in teaching style between them, yet I can't really say that is due to *quality* of the teaching.  Perhaps it is simply that it makes more sense to have memorization-oriented learning in the lower grades and then more independent thinking as the students get older and their brains are more developed.


nobodyspecial

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #165 on: June 04, 2016, 09:26:15 AM »
Anyway, she used the instructions a few times and then told me they didn't work any more. I said I'd watch her do it and try and figure out what the problem was. She did step one, then step two, then step four, then-- Wait, you skipped a step. What, you mean I have to do all the steps?
You were lucky.

The most infuriating bit of tech support is users who will do it properly when you are standing there watching but skip steps when they are alone. Then you get the "well it didn't work last time" and you waste hours trying to find the problem.
   

MgoSam

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #166 on: June 04, 2016, 11:17:20 AM »
Also, the expectation (actually stated) that I sympathize with why they can't have what I have while also having what they have. And my reserves of patience are low, so no: because I can't have what I have while also having what they have. It's a choice. I don't CARE what you chose. But I'm not particularly inclined to be sympathetic because you chose to have something different.

This.

I was once in a conversation with two other faculty wives; all our husbands are humanities profs.  One wife, a lawyer who lives in a $800,000 house and sends all her kids to private schools, says airily, "Well of course it's impossible around here without two incomes."  The other wife and I, both SAHMs and homeschoolers who live in ticky-tacky houses, just smiled at each other.

Hearing such things just makes me sad. I can completely understand both spouses working, but I just hate the concept that it's necessary just to pay the bills...which for all too many people, is a reality due to their expenses.

Ladychips

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #167 on: June 04, 2016, 11:46:01 AM »
1.  I super enjoyed the original rant that started this thread.  Your post was a work of art (I don't know why I am just now saying this).

2.  Teachers teach to the test because that's what legislatures mandate.  In many states, teacher evaluations are based on the success of students on the test.  Not much room there for variation.  Know lots of teachers...their favorite days of the year are the days immediately following the tests...when they have so much more flexibility on what they do in their classroom.

3.  My ex-sister in law once said to me that she wished she had my life.  I told her she could but then she wouldn't have her two fantastic kids, her stay at home life, and would have eaten ramen noodles most days for six years while going to school. Grass is always greener.

4. When people start talking to me about something that annoys me (in particular things like the original rant about why they can't do a thing when they absolutely COULD do a thing) is to start responding with 'ok'.  Over and over again until they stop talking about it.  I don't do it to be hateful, I just don't know what else to say (other than STFU, but that's so rarely appropriate in public).

I love that we have this space to rant, and I love that these kinds of topics draw such varied and interesting responses.

onehair

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #168 on: June 07, 2016, 10:41:08 AM »
My aunt loves to tell my mom that she is "lucky" and only has what she has because she has a husband.  We will leave out the parts where my aunt COULD have had a husband (but she's a shrew and the only man who ever proposed ended up leaving after one of her frequent rants), my mom saved money for her goals and my aunt is a compulsive shopper who had problems in the past paying her utilities and keeping food in the house but had no problem shopping on QVC or HSN, who always complains about being broke but never seemed to want to get a second job, curb her spending or learn to invest.

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #169 on: June 10, 2016, 10:33:26 PM »
Also, the expectation (actually stated) that I sympathize with why they can't have what I have while also having what they have. And my reserves of patience are low, so no: because I can't have what I have while also having what they have. It's a choice. I don't CARE what you chose. But I'm not particularly inclined to be sympathetic because you chose to have something different.

This.

I was once in a conversation with two other faculty wives; all our husbands are humanities profs.  One wife, a lawyer who lives in a $800,000 house and sends all her kids to private schools, says airily, "Well of course it's impossible around here without two incomes."  The other wife and I, both SAHMs and homeschoolers who live in ticky-tacky houses, just smiled at each other.

Hearing such things just makes me sad. I can completely understand both spouses working, but I just hate the concept that it's necessary just to pay the bills...which for all too many people, is a reality due to their expenses.

Not the expenses, but the ratio of expenses to income. For most people with professional-level incomes, two incomes aren't "necessary" to pay the bills, but they sure do provide a nice hedge against occasional unemployment in bad times, provided the couple doesn't spend it all.

Sadly, for people who make it to adulthood without any significant marketable skills (and there always will be some of those simply because every bell curve has a left side), the need for two or more minimum wage or barely-above-minimum-wage incomes per household is real simply because housing codes and other economic factors have driven up the cost of living to the point where less economically productive people have to band together in order to get by. Of course, this has been the norm for most of human history. The fact so many people believe it to be an aberration is evidence that our society has a very short collective memory.

meghan88

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #170 on: June 11, 2016, 04:34:08 PM »
I love that we have this space to rant, and I love that these kinds of topics draw such varied and interesting responses.
+1.

Dicey

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #171 on: June 11, 2016, 05:02:54 PM »
I love that we have this space to rant, and I love that these kinds of topics draw such varied and interesting responses.
+1.
+ 2737 or so and counting...

rothnroll

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #172 on: June 11, 2016, 05:35:36 PM »
I'm now getting comments about 'wow, you must be rich' and 'wow, your husband must make a LOT'.
a) Thank you, sexism: I have out-earned my husband for the ENTIRE length of our relationship, INCLUDING the year I was on maternity leave at 55% salary. Don't give me 'he must earn so much'.

Well.. here is a rant of my own:

I am not sure why you were so quick to cry sexism because someone made a comment that your husband must make a lot of money.
I am a male, and I am sure if I was in your shoes, they would have said the same thing to me.
It has to do with your coworkers inability to manage their money properly (as evidenced by the comments you posted).
Just like you have guessed what your co-workers make, they have done the same with you.
Because of their inability to manage their money properly, they are possibly thinking "There is no way that I could afford that house, so she must not be able to either. Her husband must make a lot of money." This is their excuse on why you have nice stuff, and why they have crappy stuff.

Anyways - not sure why you cared enough to write your rant, or why I cared enough to write it. However, I enjoyed reading it.

MgoSam

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #173 on: June 12, 2016, 04:02:53 PM »
I'm now getting comments about 'wow, you must be rich' and 'wow, your husband must make a LOT'.
a) Thank you, sexism: I have out-earned my husband for the ENTIRE length of our relationship, INCLUDING the year I was on maternity leave at 55% salary. Don't give me 'he must earn so much'.

Well.. here is a rant of my own:

I am not sure why you were so quick to cry sexism because someone made a comment that your husband must make a lot of money.
I am a male, and I am sure if I was in your shoes, they would have said the same thing to me.


I'm a guy and I think that comments is sexist. This is assuming of course on whether or not they know anything about her husband's job/salary. This is because they automatically assumed that her husband is the one making the most money and being completely wrong.

Absent knowledge of a couple's professions/salary, no one will ever say to a man, "Wow, your wife must be making a ton of money."

EDIT: It's possible I'm wrong, maybe OP's coworker is not paid all that well and so assumes that the OP is similiary compensated, and thus the assumption that her husband is making serious bucks. Either way, it is common for people to assume that people like the OP are making a ton of money in order to have the savings and lifestyle they have. That's why "The Millionaire Next Door," hit home with me, as I realized that I don't need to be making a ton of money to be rich, but instead if I am frugal and wise with my income, I can invest and become wealthy.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2016, 04:05:17 PM by MgoSam »

trashmanz

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #174 on: June 12, 2016, 04:05:29 PM »
I'm now getting comments about 'wow, you must be rich' and 'wow, your husband must make a LOT'.
a) Thank you, sexism: I have out-earned my husband for the ENTIRE length of our relationship, INCLUDING the year I was on maternity leave at 55% salary. Don't give me 'he must earn so much'.

Well.. here is a rant of my own:

I am not sure why you were so quick to cry sexism because someone made a comment that your husband must make a lot of money.
I am a male, and I am sure if I was in your shoes, they would have said the same thing to me.


I'm a guy and I think that comments is sexist. This is assuming of course on whether or not they know anything about her husband's job/salary. This is because they automatically assumed that her husband is the one making the most money and being completely wrong.

Absent knowledge of a couple's professions/salary, no one will ever say to a man, "Wow, your wife must be making a ton of money."

Just because it may not have happened to you doesn't mean it isn't common. I get that a lot.

rothnroll

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #175 on: June 12, 2016, 04:09:06 PM »
I'm now getting comments about 'wow, you must be rich' and 'wow, your husband must make a LOT'.
a) Thank you, sexism: I have out-earned my husband for the ENTIRE length of our relationship, INCLUDING the year I was on maternity leave at 55% salary. Don't give me 'he must earn so much'.

Well.. here is a rant of my own:

I am not sure why you were so quick to cry sexism because someone made a comment that your husband must make a lot of money.
I am a male, and I am sure if I was in your shoes, they would have said the same thing to me.


I'm a guy and I think that comments is sexist. This is assuming of course on whether or not they know anything about her husband's job/salary. This is because they automatically assumed that her husband is the one making the most money and being completely wrong.

Absent knowledge of a couple's professions/salary, no one will ever say to a man, "Wow, your wife must be making a ton of money."
But they more than likely know the ballpark of her earning potential. They assumed that she couldn't afford that, because they can't afford it off of their salary (because they waste their money).
Thus.. the money must be coming from somewhere!
The world isn't black and white. There is a lot of room for interpretation. Let's not just throw around words like sexist and racist and homophobic every time we try to interpret situations.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2016, 04:10:47 PM by rothnroll »

ender

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #176 on: June 12, 2016, 04:15:40 PM »
But they more than likely know the ballpark of her earning potential. They assumed that she couldn't afford that, because they can't afford it off of their salary (because they waste their money).
Thus.. the money must be coming from somewhere!
The world isn't black and white. There is a lot of room for interpretation. Let's not just throw around words like sexist and racist and homophobic every time we try to interpret situations.

I think you both are right.

I suspect there is a combination of "oh her husband must earn a lot" which is based in the complete inability to comprehend how someone with her income level can have the lifestyle she has.

It's trivial for folks here to imagine how one might afford a really nice house on a small-ish salary. It's not for many other people who have tons of other fancy things. Particularly if Kitsune's peers make similar and based on their other spendings cannot afford as nice of a place as her - to them, the assumption seems easy to arrive at - her husband must make a lot of money.

MgoSam

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #177 on: June 12, 2016, 05:11:39 PM »
I'm now getting comments about 'wow, you must be rich' and 'wow, your husband must make a LOT'.
a) Thank you, sexism: I have out-earned my husband for the ENTIRE length of our relationship, INCLUDING the year I was on maternity leave at 55% salary. Don't give me 'he must earn so much'.

Well.. here is a rant of my own:

I am not sure why you were so quick to cry sexism because someone made a comment that your husband must make a lot of money.
I am a male, and I am sure if I was in your shoes, they would have said the same thing to me.


I'm a guy and I think that comments is sexist. This is assuming of course on whether or not they know anything about her husband's job/salary. This is because they automatically assumed that her husband is the one making the most money and being completely wrong.

Absent knowledge of a couple's professions/salary, no one will ever say to a man, "Wow, your wife must be making a ton of money."
But they more than likely know the ballpark of her earning potential. They assumed that she couldn't afford that, because they can't afford it off of their salary (because they waste their money).
Thus.. the money must be coming from somewhere!
The world isn't black and white. There is a lot of room for interpretation. Let's not just throw around words like sexist and racist and homophobic every time we try to interpret situations.

This would be fine if I were the one that said the that the comment was sexist based on what I read, but I didn't. It was the OP's own words, and I trust her judgement more than yours due to her actually working with the coworker that said this. In addition, I did add the caution that there may be reasons for that coworker to make such an assumption that would explain the comment to not be a sexist ones. I don't throw around words like sexism, but isn't it a bit odd for a man to say that a comment said to a women isn't sexist?

onlykelsey

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #178 on: June 12, 2016, 06:37:25 PM »
I'm now getting comments about 'wow, you must be rich' and 'wow, your husband must make a LOT'.
a) Thank you, sexism: I have out-earned my husband for the ENTIRE length of our relationship, INCLUDING the year I was on maternity leave at 55% salary. Don't give me 'he must earn so much'.

Well.. here is a rant of my own:

I am not sure why you were so quick to cry sexism because someone made a comment that your husband must make a lot of money.
I am a male, and I am sure if I was in your shoes, they would have said the same thing to me.


I'm a guy and I think that comments is sexist. This is assuming of course on whether or not they know anything about her husband's job/salary. This is because they automatically assumed that her husband is the one making the most money and being completely wrong.

Absent knowledge of a couple's professions/salary, no one will ever say to a man, "Wow, your wife must be making a ton of money."
But they more than likely know the ballpark of her earning potential. They assumed that she couldn't afford that, because they can't afford it off of their salary (because they waste their money).
Thus.. the money must be coming from somewhere!
The world isn't black and white. There is a lot of room for interpretation. Let's not just throw around words like sexist and racist and homophobic every time we try to interpret situations.

This would be fine if I were the one that said the that the comment was sexist based on what I read, but I didn't. It was the OP's own words, and I trust her judgement more than yours due to her actually working with the coworker that said this. In addition, I did add the caution that there may be reasons for that coworker to make such an assumption that would explain the comment to not be a sexist ones. I don't throw around words like sexism, but isn't it a bit odd for a man to say that a comment said to a women isn't sexist?

Gold star.

exterous

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #179 on: June 13, 2016, 07:50:19 AM »
But they more than likely know the ballpark of her earning potential. They assumed that she couldn't afford that, because they can't afford it off of their salary (because they waste their money).
Thus.. the money must be coming from somewhere!
The world isn't black and white. There is a lot of room for interpretation. Let's not just throw around words like sexist and racist and homophobic every time we try to interpret situations.

I think you both are right.

I suspect there is a combination of "oh her husband must earn a lot" which is based in the complete inability to comprehend how someone with her income level can have the lifestyle she has.

It's trivial for folks here to imagine how one might afford a really nice house on a small-ish salary. It's not for many other people who have tons of other fancy things. Particularly if Kitsune's peers make similar and based on their other spendings cannot afford as nice of a place as her - to them, the assumption seems easy to arrive at - her husband must make a lot of money.

My wife runs into this quite a bit but we know in her case it isn't sexism. It stems from the fact that her and her coworker's salaries are knowable from contractual specifications. Her male and female coworkers 'can't afford what we can' so I obviously must make significantly more. The few guesses we've heard have been pretty far off the mark

WGH

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #180 on: June 13, 2016, 11:27:27 AM »
1.  I don't think it's the millennials fault.  I think it's the public school system's fault.  I would say about 30 years ago, we shifted from teaching kids "how" to think to teaching them "what" to think.  Mostly because it is easier to test memorization than it is to test for problem solving skills.


I teach adults in a vocational program in the evenings and part of the introductory classes is basic math. The epiphany I've had is that if I show them how to calculate a problem and then give them a worksheet of similar problems they do fine. However at the end of the lesson when it's time to do the application word problems they mostly go blank. The issue seems to be they understand the steps of saying dividing fractions but they are unsure when reading a word problem if they are supposed to be adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing! It appears to be not a misunderstanding of math but just not being able to comprehend basic logic.

I then countless times tell them something like "The problem asks you what the price would be after applying a 40% discount. Why would your answer be more than the original price if you are discounting it?" "Oh yeah huh that doesn't makes sense..."

I then try and explain it in a real world scenarion like they are on a shopping trip and see a price tagged as 40% off. Sadly that's what a word problem does as well but there is still a disconnect in the ability to conceptually grasp what am I trying to figure out in this situation and how do I arrive at an answer...

Kitsune

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #181 on: June 13, 2016, 12:17:57 PM »
I'm now getting comments about 'wow, you must be rich' and 'wow, your husband must make a LOT'.
a) Thank you, sexism: I have out-earned my husband for the ENTIRE length of our relationship, INCLUDING the year I was on maternity leave at 55% salary. Don't give me 'he must earn so much'.

Well.. here is a rant of my own:

I am not sure why you were so quick to cry sexism because someone made a comment that your husband must make a lot of money.
I am a male, and I am sure if I was in your shoes, they would have said the same thing to me.


I'm a guy and I think that comments is sexist. This is assuming of course on whether or not they know anything about her husband's job/salary. This is because they automatically assumed that her husband is the one making the most money and being completely wrong.

Absent knowledge of a couple's professions/salary, no one will ever say to a man, "Wow, your wife must be making a ton of money."
But they more than likely know the ballpark of her earning potential. They assumed that she couldn't afford that, because they can't afford it off of their salary (because they waste their money).
Thus.. the money must be coming from somewhere!
The world isn't black and white. There is a lot of room for interpretation. Let's not just throw around words like sexist and racist and homophobic every time we try to interpret situations.

This would be fine if I were the one that said the that the comment was sexist based on what I read, but I didn't. It was the OP's own words, and I trust her judgement more than yours due to her actually working with the coworker that said this. In addition, I did add the caution that there may be reasons for that coworker to make such an assumption that would explain the comment to not be a sexist ones. I don't throw around words like sexism, but isn't it a bit odd for a man to say that a comment said to a women isn't sexist?

Gold star.

Hah, wow, that's what I get for stepping away from the computer for a few days, huh.

To be clear: these are colleagues who have continually made sexist comments ranging from "Oh, I do all the laundry... you know my husband, such a MAN, can't sort colours at all" to straight-up telling me that I "must not be very attached to my daughter" (FU, seriously) because I went to work one day while she stayed home sick with her father (because sick days are a PARENTAL responsibility, not a MATERNAL one, and he had sick days and I had meetings, and he's a good dad who genuinely does 50% of the childcare and can absolutely take care of her for a day, and insinuating otherwise is seriously insulting to him, wtf).

Also, there's a difference in tone of voice: "oh, your husband must make a lot of money" in a casual throw-away 'oh, that explains it' tone is one thing. The same words in a sneering "oh, you're not the one responsible for this" followed by a snarky comment about how, if he makes so much money, they don't see why he'd be doing any housework... I'll leave that up to your interpretation, but claiming non-sexism seems dubious. (Why the balance of housework in my house is any of their business, I don't bloody know, but...)

So, yeah. In context: I'm pretty damned sure that I'm not seeing sexism where none exists.

What I'm mystified about is why some people are taking it so seriously. Like, even if it WAS sexism where none exists. So what? What actual consequence does someone saying "this is sexist" when it isn't have? And why does it seem like having sexism even acknowledged as a better-than-even chance need layers of back-ups and justifications?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 12:20:05 PM by Kitsune »

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #182 on: June 13, 2016, 12:47:29 PM »
Agreed that from what you've described this is absolutely sexism (no justification was needed as a) it's your rant and b) you come across as very reasonable on the forum and not the type to cast unfair tags at people (even idiots)).

I think it can be difficult for people who don't (frequently) experience sexism at work to understand/believe just how pervasive it is in some work places. In my old office there were some people who would occasional say things that could be construed as offensive in a certain context, but one can give someone the benefit of the doubt every now and again. In my current workplace there are plenty of people who have said enough bullshit to qualify themselves as 100% rock-solid sexist/racist/LGBTist, and now don't get any benefit of the doubt.

Although it's weird that you're being asked to justify this, I'm gonna choose to see it as hopeful that there are people who have never experienced these 100% rock-solid assholes, and are questioning their existence.

Hope this doesn't discourage you from future rants!

MgoSam

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #183 on: June 13, 2016, 01:06:58 PM »


Although it's weird that you're being asked to justify this, I'm gonna choose to see it as hopeful that there are people who have never experienced these 100% rock-solid assholes, and are questioning their existence.

Hope this doesn't discourage you from future rants!

That's why I always find it wrong for a guy to tell a women that something isn't sexist.

FireLane

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #184 on: June 13, 2016, 06:46:19 PM »
So, yeah. In context: I'm pretty damned sure that I'm not seeing sexism where none exists.

What I'm mystified about is why some people are taking it so seriously. Like, even if it WAS sexism where none exists. So what? What actual consequence does someone saying "this is sexist" when it isn't have? And why does it seem like having sexism even acknowledged as a better-than-even chance need layers of back-ups and justifications?

+1

It took some work for Mrs. FL to teach me this, but women deal with this crap a lot. Naturally they get good at noticing it. Us guys are hardly ever on the receiving end of this, so we don't have a ton of experience in what it looks or sounds like. Other than in exceptional circumstances, when a woman vents to me about sexism that I didn't notice, I believe what she says. That goes double when I wasn't even there!

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #185 on: June 13, 2016, 10:00:44 PM »
So, yeah. In context: I'm pretty damned sure that I'm not seeing sexism where none exists.

What I'm mystified about is why some people are taking it so seriously. Like, even if it WAS sexism where none exists. So what? What actual consequence does someone saying "this is sexist" when it isn't have? And why does it seem like having sexism even acknowledged as a better-than-even chance need layers of back-ups and justifications?

+1

It took some work for Mrs. FL to teach me this, but women deal with this crap a lot. Naturally they get good at noticing it. Us guys are hardly ever on the receiving end of this, so we don't have a ton of experience in what it looks or sounds like. Other than in exceptional circumstances, when a woman vents to me about sexism that I didn't notice, I believe what she says. That goes double when I wasn't even there!

The same thing can be said of any derogatory behavior, really: racism, classism, whatever-ism. A person who's seldom on the receiving end doesn't get used to picking up on the subtle stuff unless they're trained to notice it.

accountingteacher

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #186 on: June 14, 2016, 12:12:51 PM »
I'm now getting comments about 'wow, you must be rich' and 'wow, your husband must make a LOT'.
a) Thank you, sexism: I have out-earned my husband for the ENTIRE length of our relationship, INCLUDING the year I was on maternity leave at 55% salary. Don't give me 'he must earn so much'.

Well.. here is a rant of my own:

I am not sure why you were so quick to cry sexism because someone made a comment that your husband must make a lot of money.
I am a male, and I am sure if I was in your shoes, they would have said the same thing to me.
It has to do with your coworkers inability to manage their money properly (as evidenced by the comments you posted).
Just like you have guessed what your co-workers make, they have done the same with you.
Because of their inability to manage their money properly, they are possibly thinking "There is no way that I could afford that house, so she must not be able to either. Her husband must make a lot of money." This is their excuse on why you have nice stuff, and why they have crappy stuff.


I agree with you, rothnroll, because this happened to me.  I was heading out to shop for a hat and my friend said, "off to spend some of hubby's money, huh?".  I didn't say anything, just sort of raised my eyebrow and left.  Initially I was offended, as my husband and I make about the same amount.  She is also a teacher, and frequently complains she is broke.  It never occurred to her that I've taken a whole lot of extra courses / training etc. so I made at least $30K/year more than her. 

Parizade

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #187 on: June 14, 2016, 02:24:00 PM »
I get really tired of the "oooo, Miss Moneybags now are we?" kind of comments.

My mother, who is in hospice now, started in on this during my last visit with her. She seems to think it is now my duty to support my younger brother because I'm so "rich." My brother is college educated, healthy, able-bodied, but will only apply for jobs he doesn't have much chance of getting. He has been unemployed/underemployed for at least 10 years now and was mooching off my mother until she went into hospice. I told him he could stay with me until I sell my current home (a year or two) while he gets his life together. Now he is entrenched and panicking because I'm ready to sell and he might have to get a job and support himself. And my dying mother is scolding me for "abandoning" him.

I really don't need this sh*t

dandarc

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #188 on: June 14, 2016, 02:34:50 PM »
I get really tired of the "oooo, Miss Moneybags now are we?" kind of comments.

My mother, who is in hospice now, started in on this during my last visit with her. She seems to think it is now my duty to support my younger brother because I'm so "rich." My brother is college educated, healthy, able-bodied, but will only apply for jobs he doesn't have much chance of getting. He has been unemployed/underemployed for at least 10 years now and was mooching off my mother until she went into hospice. I told him he could stay with me until I sell my current home (a year or two) while he gets his life together. Now he is entrenched and panicking because I'm ready to sell and he might have to get a job and support himself. And my dying mother is scolding me for "abandoning" him.

I really don't need this sh*t
Sorry you're going through this.  I worry a bit about this, although hopefully my parents have another 30+ years of enabling my drug-addict sister ahead of them.

Apocalyptica602

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #189 on: June 17, 2016, 09:06:20 AM »
I'm now getting comments about 'wow, you must be rich' and 'wow, your husband must make a LOT'.
a) Thank you, sexism: I have out-earned my husband for the ENTIRE length of our relationship, INCLUDING the year I was on maternity leave at 55% salary. Don't give me 'he must earn so much'.

Well.. here is a rant of my own:

I am not sure why you were so quick to cry sexism because someone made a comment that your husband must make a lot of money.
I am a male, and I am sure if I was in your shoes, they would have said the same thing to me.
It has to do with your coworkers inability to manage their money properly (as evidenced by the comments you posted).
Just like you have guessed what your co-workers make, they have done the same with you.
Because of their inability to manage their money properly, they are possibly thinking "There is no way that I could afford that house, so she must not be able to either. Her husband must make a lot of money." This is their excuse on why you have nice stuff, and why they have crappy stuff.


I agree with you, rothnroll, because this happened to me.  I was heading out to shop for a hat and my friend said, "off to spend some of hubby's money, huh?".  I didn't say anything, just sort of raised my eyebrow and left.  Initially I was offended, as my husband and I make about the same amount.  She is also a teacher, and frequently complains she is broke.  It never occurred to her that I've taken a whole lot of extra courses / training etc. so I made at least $30K/year more than her.

To comment on the sexism thing. I'm a male Engineer and gross around ~91k + bonus (the middle/low end of my co-workers as I'm only 28).

My wife makes more money than I do (but nobody knows her salary or profession except me). When I share with co-workers about my retirement plans, I get told 'Wow you must've married yourself a sugar mama.'

Because clearly almost 100k salary in an average COL area is impossible to retire before 65 on, so I must be a boytoy for a rich cougar.

It was frustrating to me even though it was a relatively 'gentle' ribbing. Sexism does go both ways, even in this situation, but either I'm mostly oblivious to the multitude of subtle sexist transgressions against me, or women have to deal with events like the above at a higher frequency. I'm inclined to believe the latter.

Canadian in KS

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #190 on: June 17, 2016, 01:35:27 PM »
I experience something similar (sort of). My husband is a physician, and I am often on the receiving end of comments like, “Is that a diamond watch? Must be nice to be married to a doctor!” (when in reality, I bought that watch for myself (on sale, of course!) to celebrate getting my first big job after I graduated with my PhD, long before I ever met my husband). Or, “You took a 6 month unpaid leave of absence to stay at home with your baby? Wow, you sure lucked out getting married to a doctor!” (when in reality, I had been planning ahead for that leave of absence for over a year (before I even got pregnant!), and had set aside funds from my own paycheck for the express purpose of replacing my income for that period). Etc. etc. etc.

Basically, some people seem to assume that my husband is some kind of fountain of money, and therefore must be footing the bill for all aspects of our family’s life (even when they are aware that I am a full-time working professional with a 6-figure salary). These comments are irritating to me in the same way as the comments I occasionally get about how “lucky” I am. That is to say, they completely discount my own *years* of effort (earning, planning, saving, prioritizing, etc.) and attribute everything to some external factor. I agree with one of the posters above; I think it is a case of (for example, a co-worker who can’t seem to manage her money effectively) thinking, “I could never afford a vacation like that, and we make similar salaries, so someone else MUST be paying for it.” But this same co-worker sees me bringing my coffee in a travel mug from home each morning, and my lunch in a sack from home each day, and never connects the dots between my behavior and the nice vacation.

jinga nation

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #191 on: June 17, 2016, 01:50:26 PM »
Canadian in KS and Apocalyptica602 reminded me of what a co-worker has said in the past:
If you drive a nice car, you must be doing well, thus you can afford to take vacations to nice places and stay in resorts or nice hotels.
If you drive an old car, you're probably not doing well, and can't afford to take vacations to nice places, so you just stay at home and "enjoy" your time off being bored.
Our manager just shook his head and walked away.

But I will not correct him. You cannot change those who have made up their mind. Change comes from within.

Dicey

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #192 on: June 19, 2016, 05:03:50 PM »
DH and I have both experienced this. We live in a lovely custom clown house that all of his colleagues pass daily on their way to and from work  Some of them have excruciatingly long commutes. There are three nice cars parked in front of our home, but they see us walking hand in hand to and from (if I'm home) work. DH is a skilled tradesman, not an executive. Everything they can see is paid for, but they don't know that. When asked, we make a joke of it. "Rich wife" says he, "rich husband" sez me, and we smile inwardly. In truth, when we got married four years ago, our net worth matched almost to the dollar. We're "rich" together.*

IMO, half of the fun of the Mustachian game is looking the "same" on the outside, but saving like mad on the inside. Sure, we can pass for "normal" and perhaps even "affluent", but we sleep well, knowing we're FI.

Yes, this does sound completely braggy, which is kind of where I'm heading with this comment. This is a FWP. Sure we worked hard and denied ourselves to reach our goals, but we were born in a place and time that gave us the freedom to do so. Who cares what anyone else thinks?  Let 'em think they're right, while you go right along with your bad (ass) Mustachian self and life. Just remember to keep your success to yourself if you don't want to be criticized, misunderstood or hit up for money. Except here, of course.

*We sold our modest homes and bought this fancy one (on a short sale ) so his mom and her pal Al Z. Heimer could live with us and DH could be close by if needed. His college student son also lives with us and helps with his grandma, hence the third car. Is anything ever exactly what it seems from the outside?

FireLane

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #193 on: June 19, 2016, 08:13:06 PM »
Yes, this does sound completely braggy, which is kind of where I'm heading with this comment. This is a FWP. Sure we worked hard and denied ourselves to reach our goals, but we were born in a place and time that gave us the freedom to do so. Who cares what anyone else thinks?  Let 'em think they're right, while you go right along with your bad (ass) Mustachian self and life. Just remember to keep your success to yourself if you don't want to be criticized, misunderstood or hit up for money. Except here, of course.

I love this. I think people should be proud of things they accomplished by working hard and budgeting wisely. Even if not in the outside world, at least here we can share our accomplishments with our fellow Mustachians and know that they'll understand.

MgoSam

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #194 on: June 20, 2016, 08:43:29 AM »
Yes, this does sound completely braggy, which is kind of where I'm heading with this comment. This is a FWP. Sure we worked hard and denied ourselves to reach our goals, but we were born in a place and time that gave us the freedom to do so. Who cares what anyone else thinks?  Let 'em think they're right, while you go right along with your bad (ass) Mustachian self and life. Just remember to keep your success to yourself if you don't want to be criticized, misunderstood or hit up for money. Except here, of course.

I love this. I think people should be proud of things they accomplished by working hard and budgeting wisely. Even if not in the outside world, at least here we can share our accomplishments with our fellow Mustachians and know that they'll understand.

+1, I agree!

mm1970

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #195 on: June 20, 2016, 10:45:30 AM »
I experience something similar (sort of). My husband is a physician, and I am often on the receiving end of comments like, “Is that a diamond watch? Must be nice to be married to a doctor!” (when in reality, I bought that watch for myself (on sale, of course!) to celebrate getting my first big job after I graduated with my PhD, long before I ever met my husband). Or, “You took a 6 month unpaid leave of absence to stay at home with your baby? Wow, you sure lucked out getting married to a doctor!” (when in reality, I had been planning ahead for that leave of absence for over a year (before I even got pregnant!), and had set aside funds from my own paycheck for the express purpose of replacing my income for that period). Etc. etc. etc.

Basically, some people seem to assume that my husband is some kind of fountain of money, and therefore must be footing the bill for all aspects of our family’s life (even when they are aware that I am a full-time working professional with a 6-figure salary). These comments are irritating to me in the same way as the comments I occasionally get about how “lucky” I am. That is to say, they completely discount my own *years* of effort (earning, planning, saving, prioritizing, etc.) and attribute everything to some external factor. I agree with one of the posters above; I think it is a case of (for example, a co-worker who can’t seem to manage her money effectively) thinking, “I could never afford a vacation like that, and we make similar salaries, so someone else MUST be paying for it.” But this same co-worker sees me bringing my coffee in a travel mug from home each morning, and my lunch in a sack from home each day, and never connects the dots between my behavior and the nice vacation.

Meh, I can see the point though.  I mean, some people assume there's got to be *one factor* that makes the difference, because that's what they see.  Like where I live, it's hard to buy a house because it's a HCOL.  When people own a house, they assume you have money.  But really, it runs the gamut of people who bought 20 years ago to people who put all their money in the house.

The more money you make, the easier it is.  Yes, you saved your own money for mat leave, probably easier because of your husband's income.  My husband was able to take time off with our first kid, partially because of my job (2 incomes make it easier to save).  I have  a friend who is a teacher, married to a doctor.  They are pretty frugal too, but you know she casually mentioned that they pay an extra $100k on their mortgage every year.  That's more than I make.  And even though we are two middle-aged engineers, our combined salary is less than the doctor's.  By quite a bit.

So, yeah, it's easier for them than us.  It's easier for us to save than my neighbors.  We make more.  But then they bought their house at a much lower price than we did.  My friend down the street made the comment once "it must be nice to be able to pay for summer camp and not use it" (after a week where my son left camp early on 2 separate days because of doc/ dentist appts).  I didn't really know what to say.  I mean, they are both self employed - husband has a manual labor business and she is a seamstress.  They have a truck and two SUVs (one a Porsche).  Yes we make more BUT their house was <1/3 the price of ours because they bought in 1992.

You just gotta shrug.

Trudie

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #196 on: June 22, 2016, 12:00:09 PM »
...we're living in a house, we're not living in a house AT YOU.

That's amazing.  Thanks for this.

I think it's originally from Captain Awkward? It's incredibly useful when people are reacting to something you're doing in your own life as if there's an implied judgement on their life and their choices. It was great when people were criticizing our decision to get married as if we were criticizing theirs to not get married (no judgement, again; this is just what we chose to do in our life) and I could be like, look, we're getting married, we're not getting married AT YOU. Why are you so invested in this?

This is true.  Most of us are just living our lives and how we choose to do it isn't a statement on how others live theirs.  Some people are just inherently mindful of where they "stand" vis a vis other people, and I really think they harm themselves a great deal.  I have a co-worker who gets really wound up about the money other people have, especially if she thinks they've inherited it.  (Not to mention the fact that there are often sad stories or complicated emotions behind inheritance scenarios.)   She has a lot of ideas about what other people deserve and has a "must be nice" attitude about many things.  But she chooses that path and it's socially isolating.  Not only because she perceives a "me v them" conflict that isn't really there, but who wants to be around people who are judging them so harshly?? 

I live in an area of the midwest where there isn't tons of pressure to spend lavishly or display wealth.... so I have less tolerance for the comparison game as well.  I know that I could probably pick two sets of friends with similar incomes and houses and trappings and one set are millionaires and set for life and the other probably has credit card debt up the wazoo.  It's hard to know...

There was a young couple who used to live in our small town and they worked the butts off at running a couple of different small businesses and they were active in the community, and from those who know them from community organizations I heard they were very down-to-earth.  At the end of the day, however, they couldn't live in the fishbowl because they'd inherited some money and some people treated them badly... as if they didn't have to work very hard.  Nothing about them ever appeared "entitled" to me.  I was sad to see them (and their energy) leave town.

Slee_stack

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #197 on: June 22, 2016, 02:43:43 PM »
Wife makes more, always has.  I know its anecdotal, but I'm used to women, in general, getting paid better.  So I have an inverted perception on the matter.

I suppose I probably need to be more conscious or I might end up reverse offending someone!


Trudie

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #198 on: June 23, 2016, 06:19:17 AM »
I think anytime someone makes a reference to living off someone else's wealth -- whether it's a husband, wife, or inherited from another family member it's just rude in many ways.  Mostly, it implies that we couldn't possibly be self-sufficient and need someone else propping us up.  It denies that we bring anything to the relationship -- ingenuity, hard work, sound decision making.... As in any true partnership it's not about everything being tit for tat -- it's about how you combine your relative strengths to move forward together.

My MIL and FIL are a perfect case.  He was good at investing and making the macro decisions.  She was totally on top of the micro stuff -- tracking expenses on paper for over 60 years while they amassed a small fortune.  In the end, it wasn't an "either/or" situation.  It was an "AND" scenario.  For years, though, he would get the glory for the big decisions.  People view the small stuff as petty.  Little did they know that she was mustachian before there even was such a thing.

I think I'm going to start coming back with something like, "Well, I'd tell you who my famous [mother/father/grannie] is but I signed a confidentiality agreement to keep the story of that night in Philly out of the press...."

Warlord1986

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Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
« Reply #199 on: June 23, 2016, 07:10:30 AM »
Of course it's rude. My money is nobody else's business, just as theirs is none of mine. That little 'must be nice' is snide and jealous. 'I can't have it so nobody else should be able to have it.' That kind of behavior is something I expect from children, not grown people.