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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: Kitsune on May 25, 2016, 08:27:39 AM

Title: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on May 25, 2016, 08:27:39 AM
My colleagues are... clown-car ridiculous. A few of them have wound up on the 'overheard at work' board a few times, for context.

My sister, who works in my office, showed someone a picture of my kid playing in sprinklers this past weekend (everyone was sharing weekend pictures and kid-pictures, it was totally appropriate) and 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. And rather than pitch a fit at them, I'm gonna rant here, calm the hell down, and get one with my life. Warning: this is a venting rant.

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'. b) I make the same amount as the people making these comments, give or take 5% - I do the profitability metrics at work, so I actually know their salaries. c) Dear 'friends' who judge my house: yes, I know that we are all in our early 30s, and you can barely afford rent with roommates. But remember when we were 24, and you kept quitting jobs because you wanted to 'enjoy your summer', and you laughed at me for working 70+ hour weeks on big projects and getting promoted and stashing away money instead of spending it because I 'wasn't enjoying my life' (I was, just differently than you were)? This is why I have a well-established career and a down payment, and you are working seasonal jobs and have free time. No judgement if that's what you chose, and I sincerely hope you're happy, but stop wondering 'how it happened'. It's the logical freakin' results of the choices we all made and keep making.

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). HOWEVER: our contractor quoted 12K for it. The wood is from my FIL's woodlot, and he and my husband got it cut, used the sawmill in the back field to cut it into boards, let it cure over winter, and we are now building the deck out of it. We have to buy screws, brackets, and a few larger posts. Total cost of the deck will be under 600$. It's not that extravagant, it's just work!

2) Yes, those garden boxes are nice. Yes, everything is growing and looks lush and amazing. Yes, colleague-who-spent-almost-1K-asking-someone-to-build-garden-boxes, paying someone to do that is very expensive. We built the garden boxes out of pine my husband sawed, filled them ourselves with topsoil (that we bought, because ours is too clay-filled to be much good for a vegetable garden - 200$), I started the seedlings from seed 2 months ago and spent an extra 10$ on a few plants that didn't come up, and assuming everything keeps growing well we basically won't be buying vegetables for about 5 months.

3) Yes, my front deck will look lovely with large flower boxes all built and put in. Yes, I know they are 100$ at the local garden center, and yes, colleagues who bought them at that price, they ARE nice. I found a plan for ones I like online. My husband sawed the lumber, and my dad and I are building them next weekend. We'll then paint them with leftover paint, and plant the on-sale plants I got last weekend. Total: 8$ including plants, and most of that is because I had to buy more screws.

4) Yes, I have a large-ish house on 2 acres of land. But y'know what? I live in the country. My 4-bedroom(plus one office), 3-story, 2.5 bathroom house cost less to build than buying a 3-bedroom house on a 1/4 acre in the city. I commute to work only twice a week, AND I'm not spending 1.5K to rent a cottage down the street from where I live in the summer, like 3 of my colleagues do. It's a choice: slightly longer commute, but living in a way better place that I actually enjoy living in. Coming home feels like being on vacation. I like it.

5) Yeah, I agree: my furniture is gorgeous. It is 90% hand-me-downs, Craigslist, Kijiji, or garage sales, which means that I have a house full of gorgeous antiques for about 1/3 the price of Ikea. God, I love country garage sales. 10$ oak table, anyone? I also spend a fair amount of time painting/decorating/making it look nice, because living in a place that looks nice is important to me. No judgement if it's not important to you. But it IS possible to have a nice place for relatively little, IF you spend the time and effort. It's a CHOICE.

You know how we afford it? HERE'S HOW:
- We do things ourselves, or with the help of family. And we also help family with stuff. It's a trade-off.
- We buy used, we fix things, we make aesthetic changes to things (a coat of paint works wonders)
- One car. ONE car, which is a 2011 Honda Fit. We commute together when we need to. It's good on gas, runs great, doesn't require all that much maintenance. And when we're going around the lake, or anywhere that's within 5km? BIKES, YO. What do my colleagues drive? All families have, minimum, 2 cars. At least one BMW and one Audi. 3 of them have 'summer cars' (convertable) and 'winter cars' (heat-able).
- Restaurants? Muahahaha, funny joke. We live in the country, there isn't one within 25km. Half of my office eats lunch from the 'lunch menu' of places down the street. Cost: 12$/day. Every day. Plus dinner out at least twice a week with the whole family, AND cocktails with friends, AND take-out. You wanna know why you have no spare cash? THAT.
- Vacations: several colleagues spend 1.5K for a week in a cottage across the lake from my house, in summer. I LIVE in a vacation spot. Many other ones think that not going 'down south' at least once a winter, with the entire family, is 'cheap' and 'living like you're poor'. I'm like... guys, I LIVE in the spot where you pay to vacation. My vacation expense this summer will be a hammock stand, and maybe a fresh pitcher of ice tea and gas to get to the library. Add a bottle of wine and a stroll down to the lake, and why would I pay to go elsewhere??

To be clear: if people WANT to spend money on cars, or restaurants, or vacations, or hiring people to do things around their house instead of learning to do it themselves: go. cheers. knock yourselves out. your money, your goals, your choices, etc.

But the things we can afford are the result of the choices we make. No, I couldn't afford to live where I do if I was eating out multiple times a week, driving a BMW, and flying south twice a winter. But I CAN afford to live like I do AND save 33% of a perfectly average Canadian family income because of the CHOICES WE MAKE. Cut the damn snark. It's not flattering to anyone. Spend money on the things you value (house? travel? food? whatever it is - but it can't be EVERYTHING. Make choices.) and let the rest GO.

Argh.

Now I feel better. Thanks. ;)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: gardeningandgreen on May 25, 2016, 08:49:32 AM
This is fantastic. I have family and friends who talk about this all the time. My coworkers along with the concrete guys were flabbergasted when we paid in cash for the concrete to be poured for the garage we are building ourselves. Its amazing what you can afford when you make a priority of affording it! People just don't think about where their money goes!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on May 25, 2016, 09:03:14 AM
Honestly, it's just annoying to be judged. Like, guys, we're a) making an average-but-not-phenomenal amount, and b) we're living in a house, we're not living in a house AT YOU. Stop the judgement, enjoy your life, get over it.

Also, you can afford a whole lot more if you make a habit of doing things yourself. There is absolutely no way I could afford to pay someone to build that deck, or spend 200$ on 2 wood garden boxes for the front porch, or buy antiques from an antique store OR new furniture from anywhere not ikea, or... anything else, really. But we can afford all of those things via time, effort, and work. It's a trade-off.


Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on May 25, 2016, 09:09:50 AM
Kitsune, that's awesome!

The comments your co-workers made about you being "rich" reminds me of something that happened at my gym.

There's a women there that I train with occasionally, she generally does 3 classes M-T and then another class on Friday and Saturday, in addition to running and lifting in the morning. She's really modest about this, I just did my first triple (3 classes) yesterday and haven't stopped bragging about it, but a few weeks ago she mentioned this to another women at the gym who said, "I wish I had the time," and I couldn't help but butt in by saying, "Asil doesn't have time, she makes it, in addition to working out she works a full-time job and a part-time job on the weekend," and Asil gave me the biggest smile, which told me that she wanted to say that but didn't want to be rude. She did add, "Well I really enjoy working out, and I no longer need to work part-time."
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on May 25, 2016, 09:11:11 AM
Good rant, particularly the sexism bit. I have the same thing when people see my wedding photos and comment on how much it must have cost my dad. Or ask which dad paid for my sister and her wife's wedding. And they look genuinely surprised when I explain to them how sexist they are being. As if grown adults need a parent to pay for a party; and as if anyone should be getting married before they can figure out how to pay for said party.

You are right, they are being fools. It is crazy that your friends think they can laugh at you for working hard in your twenties and now be judgemental that you can afford the things that money and effort can buy.

If I was as foolish as your colleagues sound (clown cars, holidays, $100 for a planter?!?) I'd struggle to put on my own shoes, never mind figure out how to choose to spend my money.

Thank you for posting here, I hope it was therapeutic for you. Thanks also for the phrases 'pitch a fit' and 'living in a house AT YOU', I hadn't heard them before.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: homestead neohio on May 25, 2016, 09:13:24 AM
...we're living in a house, we're not living in a house AT YOU.

That's amazing.  Thanks for this.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: acorn on May 25, 2016, 09:21:42 AM
I have such immense house envy right now.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on May 25, 2016, 09:25:32 AM
...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?
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Vertical Mode on May 25, 2016, 09:45:55 AM
This is awesome! Great read, hope you're feeling better.

It absolutely baffles me that people don't see (or refuse to/are in denial about) the fact that all of these things are connected. You didn't hit the lotto or marry a trust-fund heir, you made smart moves with your money and continue to avoid the traps of consumerism others regard as normal fare. One bar tab foregone can be several bricks in the cash castle, lest ye remain a serf!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: mm1970 on May 25, 2016, 09:58:17 AM
That was pretty awesome.  It's rare for people to make comments about how lucky we are, but it happens.  I try to not take it personally.  I do occasionally (gently) agree that it's terribly hard to afford a house in this town, and many things have to line up for it to happen.

- We bought our house in our mid 30's
- We were frugal and saved money for over a decade before buying the house
- We bought the house before kids
- We had a bit of stock options for 1/2 the down payment (though honestly, we could have self-funded the whole down payment)
- We bought the bottom of the single family  house market (albeit at a bad time, near the peak). We still live in the 2BR, 1BA 1100 sf house with no garage.

We make choices every day that are frugal, or partially so.  For example: eating out.  I'm not a fan of eating out.  Hubby and bigger kid are.  We work it into our budget.

So last night was a celebratory pizza meal with the baseball team. Husband and big kid went, I took toddler home (eating out with a toddler sucks, especially one who doesn't want to be there).  They used a coupon.
Tonight is a fundraiser meal for the school. We'll go.  We'll order light.  But more importantly, it's in our budget.  If you were to look at the times that we eat out, they are *always* social/ special occasions.  Or at least 99%.  We don't go out to breakfast, or dinner just because.  We go to baseball pizza, or birthday lunches at the burger place, or fundraiser dinners for the school.  Usually it's not more than 1-2x a month.

I mean, we aren't even talking massive mustachianism here.  I could go on:
- We didn't join the $275/ month swim club for the summer
- We signed our son up for the free summer drop in program.  Instead of a summer full of expensive camps.  A full summer of camp would be a minimum of $1500, and those are the cheap camps.  Many of the camps are $300-400 a week for half days.  The free program allows us to sign him up for 3 weeks of quality camps (robotics, gifted, and softball) for about $600.  Oh and he gets free lunch there too.
- We don't have a huge entertainment expense.  We don't go on dates very often (though have been doing better this year).  Date nights are $40-60 in babysitting alone (nobody wants to swap).  We are going to our first concert at the musical venue in town!  After living here for almost 20 years. 
- We don't have a huge grocery expense.  I actually work on this.
- Our 20th anniversary is this summer.  I was thinking about doing a fantastic vacation to Hawaii or the Caribbean.  Instead, we are going to my niece's graduation.  The plane tickets for the summer trip/graduation are about $2700 (4 people, 5 round trip flights).  Cheaper than a bigger trip.  On our actual anniversary (a Wednesday after we are back), we will take the work day off, go kayaking (using a gift card we already have), and have a picnic on the beach. 

I really enjoyed your post.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: mm1970 on May 25, 2016, 10:00:01 AM
This is awesome! Great read, hope you're feeling better.

It absolutely baffles me that people don't see (or refuse to/are in denial about) the fact that all of these things are connected. You didn't hit the lotto or marry a trust-fund heir, you made smart moves with your money and continue to avoid the traps of consumerism others regard as normal fare. One bar tab foregone can be several bricks in the cash castle, lest ye remain a serf!
Most of it they don't see.

They don't really think about the fact that their gas guzzling truck was 2x a small car, but also costs more to operate.
They don't see you spending your evenings at home cooking dinner, or going for hikes or to the beach or going camping.

They don't see you doing your own yard work, darning your own socks.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on May 25, 2016, 10:02:08 AM
darning your own socks.

I don't know if anyone here has played the Monkey Island computer games made by Lucasarts, I just started playing their newest version and there's a line where Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate, looks at a pair of socks and says, "Those socks need a good darning." Hesitates and then raises fists, "DARN YA SOCKS!"
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: I'm a red panda on May 25, 2016, 10:17:33 AM
My SIL called and cancelled cable the day that she was talking about how jealous she was my husband and I go on a fancy vacation every year (granted, we do out earn them and have no kids). But I pointed out to her what she pays annually for cable is MORE than we pay for our yearly cruise.  And she told me she never used it because they watch netflix anyway!

People thing some things are "necessities" and just assume everyone does the exact same things they do- so everything else is extra.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ketchup on May 25, 2016, 10:34:51 AM
That has to be frustrating.

It's interesting the things that make people think we're rich or poor.

Some of my coworkers think I'm dirt poor.  I never go out to lunch, I drive the sort of car a normal person would throw away, and I wear thrift store clothes.

Some of them think I'm a millionaire because I'm 25 and own two houses (one almost paid off).

It's like they can't connect the two.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Elderwood17 on May 25, 2016, 10:51:13 AM
I think it is interesting that Mustachians can be "judged" negatively because we might drive a small, older car or because we don't spend in whatever frivolous manner others think we should, but then we get judged because we can afford a house or are able to pay for something in cash.

People just cannot connect the dots.....l
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: FIREwoman on May 25, 2016, 10:56:14 AM
i love this

i'm still on the "extremely pathetic" end of the MMM spectrum (earning- and stache-wise). i don't really talk money around friends/ acquaintances, but sometimes get the "you're so lucky!" thing. dude...almost the entire time you've known me, i've been working 7 days a week (took a part-time job to pay off debt, lasted four years). i drive a 14 year old car and don't eat out much (i still need to work on it, but have cut down a lot). i also don't ask a local smoke shop if they're having any "4/20" deals right after i've been fired from my PT job at 28 whilst constantly bitching about being broke and how "life is against me!!!".

i mean i'm lucky that i was born in the US and have a shit-tonne of opportunity in contrast to a lot of the world. but then again, so do they.

i guess i am lucky that i finally woke up.



Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on May 25, 2016, 11:35:27 AM
I think it is interesting that Mustachians can be "judged" negatively because we might drive a small, older car or because we don't spend in whatever frivolous manner others think we should, but then we get judged because we can afford a house or are able to pay for something in cash.

Well it's like we are often told to spend more money so that we can "enjoy life," and then when we don't and enjoy life, people feel like there's no possible way that our foresight has helped us live more comfortable lives...is has to be luck, or being rich, or some other thing that helps them justify their own state.

I have a customer that's a good friend, and he constantly pays his invoices late. I put up with it because he gives me a ton of advice on products, advice that has helped me make a ton of money, so him paying a few weeks late is a small price to pay. We talk a lot about life, and he considers me to be cheap. Each time I want to say, "I may be cheap, but I can pay all my invoices on time."
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: TravelJunkyQC on May 25, 2016, 11:40:23 AM
Thank-you so much - if I recall Kitsune, you're also in Québec, as am I.

I get the same shade from people. I quit my job because it was making me physically ill (very unhappy - the day I puked at work was the day I decided to leave). Was told that I was "lucky" I had a man who could support me as I quit (he doesn't, we have separate finances, and I would have been fine even if I hadn't found a new job immediately).

We get judged for our lifestyle of not going out to eat, living in a small loft, having old cars, preferring camping and being in the woods to anything else... and then they also say how we must make a huge salary to be considering buying a land in the country with cash (we don't - very average Québec salary as well).

Thank-you for the rant, you said exactly what I've always wanted to say.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: onlykelsey on May 25, 2016, 11:41:47 AM
i mean i'm lucky that i was born in the US and have a shit-tonne of opportunity in contrast to a lot of the world. but then again, so do they.

Yeah, this is my pet peeve.  I am SO INCREDIBLY LUCKY in so many ways.  I grew up able-bodied, white, in 21st century America, with a literate mother and English as my first language.  I have won the freaking lottery of humanity. BUT SO HAS PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE MAKING THESE COMPLAINTS.  Especially because I was orphaned as a teenager and grew up in probably the 25% or 30% percentile income-wise, I do not want to hear your lame excuses.   
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on May 25, 2016, 12:29:12 PM
i mean i'm lucky that i was born in the US and have a shit-tonne of opportunity in contrast to a lot of the world. but then again, so do they.

Yeah, this is my pet peeve.  I am SO INCREDIBLY LUCKY in so many ways.  I grew up able-bodied, white, in 21st century America, with a literate mother and English as my first language.  I have won the freaking lottery of humanity. BUT SO HAS PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE MAKING THESE COMPLAINTS.  Especially because I was orphaned as a teenager and grew up in probably the 25% or 30% percentile income-wise, I do not want to hear your lame excuses.

Also, America isn't the beeknee's for opportunity. Obvi as an American I can't speak to other country's opportunities, but there are more opportunities in countries that were previously very class based (think India). In short, I believe that this is among the best times to be alive and kicking. Of course it isn't perfect everywhere and too many people suffer from lack of nutrition and access to clean water, but I can't think of a single period in history that was better for the global population than now.

That said, in addition to the problems I mentioned, there are growing problems that could plague us for the next century.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on May 25, 2016, 12:48:06 PM
Thank-you so much - if I recall Kitsune, you're also in Québec, as am I.

I get the same shade from people. I quit my job because it was making me physically ill (very unhappy - the day I puked at work was the day I decided to leave). Was told that I was "lucky" I had a man who could support me as I quit (he doesn't, we have separate finances, and I would have been fine even if I hadn't found a new job immediately).

We get judged for our lifestyle of not going out to eat, living in a small loft, having old cars, preferring camping and being in the woods to anything else... and then they also say how we must make a huge salary to be considering buying a land in the country with cash (we don't - very average Québec salary as well).

Thank-you for the rant, you said exactly what I've always wanted to say.

Yep, Quebec-based.

And, I mean... I've had a lot of privilege - I was born to fairly well-off parents, in good health, in a place where education is heavily subsidized, I have a decently varied skillset and learn quickly, I've had the luck to find/get decent jobs at the right time.... but the people I'm talking about have ALSO had all those advantages.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Chris22 on May 25, 2016, 12:49:06 PM
Also, America isn't the beeknee's for opportunity. Obvi as an American I can't speak to other country's opportunities, but there are more opportunities in countries that were previously very class based (think India).

Which is why so many Americans are getting H-1B visas to go work in India.  Oh wait.

I have to think America offers the most opportunity to the total population than any other country on earth.  Yes, for instance, if you're a Saudi Royal in Saudi America, you've got more opportunity, but if you show up there tomorrow as an American, or God forbid as an Indian or Pakistani, good luck.  Or even if you're of African or Middle Eastern and in Europe, where employment is 50% + for those demographics.  Now, there may be more upside if you were to start a business in India versus starting one in the US, but I put your chances of moderate success MUCH higher in the US, even if you are potentially less likely to be a billionaire.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: onlykelsey on May 25, 2016, 12:52:37 PM
Also, America isn't the beeknee's for opportunity. Obvi as an American I can't speak to other country's opportunities, but there are more opportunities in countries that were previously very class based (think India).

Which is why so many Americans are getting H-1B visas to go work in India.  Oh wait.

I have to think America offers the most opportunity to the total population than any other country on earth.  Yes, for instance, if you're a Saudi Royal in Saudi America, you've got more opportunity, but if you show up there tomorrow as an American, or God forbid as an Indian or Pakistani, good luck.  Or even if you're of African or Middle Eastern and in Europe, where employment is 50% + for those demographics.  Now, there may be more upside if you were to start a business in India versus starting one in the US, but I put your chances of moderate success MUCH higher in the US, even if you are potentially less likely to be a billionaire.

Yeah, this comment confused me, as well.  Mgo usually has good input on posts, though, maybe I'm missing something.  I'd be more sympathetic to the argument that certain other countries incubate developing companies (for example, Sweden with Skype, Spotify, etc).
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Warlord1986 on May 25, 2016, 12:54:11 PM
What you're experiencing is something I ranted about recently in another thread. The 'Must be nice' and 'You're so lucky' shade that gets thrown around is nothing but sour grapes. Pardon the French, but it's a bunch of bullshit that people use to absolve  themselves of blame for problems they could resolve, but won't. It annoys me greatly.

I am lucky in the same way everyone around me is lucky. I just choose to capitalize on my luck by taking control of my finances.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on May 25, 2016, 12:58:14 PM
Also, America isn't the beeknee's for opportunity. Obvi as an American I can't speak to other country's opportunities, but there are more opportunities in countries that were previously very class based (think India).

Which is why so many Americans are getting H-1B visas to go work in India.  Oh wait.

I have to think America offers the most opportunity to the total population than any other country on earth.  Yes, for instance, if you're a Saudi Royal in Saudi America, you've got more opportunity, but if you show up there tomorrow as an American, or God forbid as an Indian or Pakistani, good luck.  Or even if you're of African or Middle Eastern and in Europe, where employment is 50% + for those demographics.  Now, there may be more upside if you were to start a business in India versus starting one in the US, but I put your chances of moderate success MUCH higher in the US, even if you are potentially less likely to be a billionaire.

Yeah, this comment confused me, as well.  Mgo usually has good input on posts, though, maybe I'm missing something.  I'd be more sympathetic to the argument that certain other countries incubate developing companies (for example, Sweden with Skype, Spotify, etc).

I went back and re-read my comments, allow me to clarify.

I think America has the greatest opportunities for it's population, but I do believe that many foreign countries are becoming a better place for it's citizens to achieve upward mobility. India is where my family is from and my parents left in the 1970s due to a lack of opportunities. This was due to a combination of a poor economy (THANKS NEHRU!) and a lack of opportunities (class structure, ect). Had it been 2016, there is a great chance they would have stayed.0
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Chris22 on May 25, 2016, 01:01:05 PM
There is no question that India in 2016 is better than India in 1970 as far as upward mobility.

There is also no question that the US in 2016 is better than India in 2016 as far as upward mobility, in general. 
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: onlykelsey on May 25, 2016, 01:06:28 PM
There is no question that India in 2016 is better than India in 1970 as far as upward mobility.

There is also no question that the US in 2016 is better than India in 2016 as far as upward mobility, in general. 

Two additional points:

US in 1970 was better for upward mobility than US in 2016

I'd rather be NON upwardly mobile (ie stuck in the 10th percentile) in the US than in India, in either year
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on May 25, 2016, 01:10:03 PM
What you're experiencing is something I ranted about recently in another thread. The 'Must be nice' and 'You're so lucky' shade that gets thrown around is nothing but sour grapes. Pardon the French, but it's a bunch of bullshit that people use to absolve  themselves of blame for problems they could resolve, but won't. It annoys me greatly.

I am lucky in the same way everyone around me is lucky. I just choose to capitalize on my luck by taking control of my finances.

Exactly!

Like, ok, there are people who had the advantages I had and then were UNlucky - their health was bad, or a disabled child/parent required a stay-at-home parent as caretaker, or prolonged layoffs drained savings before they could build up, or... you know. That kind of stuff.

But I'm having a hard time mustering sympathy that someone 'can't' have a house as nice as what I have while they're making BMW payments and eating out 4 nights a week. Like, you chose what you get, and they chose differently, and that's genuinely fine (like, my house makes me happy, their BMW can make them happy, sure!) but don't whine that you can't have ALL the things. You can have SOME of the things. You get to pick what those things are! Ain't it wonderful? You picked! But now don't exect sympathy because you don't have what you didn't pick - that's your choice, argh!!

And stop throwing shade at me because I have what you don't! I have what I chose to have! Which means I GAVE UP OTHER THINGS, and you don't see me whining about not having THOSE! ARGH.

Patience has never been my strong point.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: exterous on May 25, 2016, 01:36:57 PM
I feel your pain when it comes to house comments. So many people don't do things themselves or buy items at full price that they have a vastly inflated perception of cost. We have gotten a lot of the same sorts of comments. We do almost everything ourselves - even if we don't know how to do it we'll read, research or just give it a go to learn how. We'll look at how we can fix\change\modify something we find at a reuse center or on craigslist. People don't see that time and effort though. They just see the results and, after applying their version of costs, think that you have more money than you do. I have been particularly annoyed as our house purchase came 7 months after my father died so people look at our house and the work we've done and assume it was inheritance related.

What you're experiencing is something I ranted about recently in another thread. The 'Must be nice' and 'You're so lucky' shade that gets thrown around is nothing but sour grapes. Pardon the French, but it's a bunch of bullshit that people use to absolve  themselves of blame for problems they could resolve, but won't. It annoys me greatly.

I am lucky in the same way everyone around me is lucky. I just choose to capitalize on my luck by taking control of my finances.

I think people have a hard time seeing the sum of their expenditures and instead see a lot of smaller purchases that don't appear to add up to large numbers. "Its only $x" adds up
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: zolotiyeruki on May 25, 2016, 02:08:02 PM
That was an epic rant, and I enjoyed it immensely.  The whole idea of "my position is largely a result of my choices" is one that I've really come to appreciate over the last few years.  I think MMM needs to quote this rant as the basis for a new blog posting.  Seriously.  So I can post it on Facebook.
I feel your pain when it comes to house comments. So many people don't do things themselves or buy items at full price that they have a vastly inflated perception of cost. We have gotten a lot of the same sorts of comments. We do almost everything ourselves - even if we don't know how to do it we'll read, research or just give it a go to learn how. We'll look at how we can fix\change\modify something we find at a reuse center or on craigslist. People don't see that time and effort though. They just see the results and, after applying their version of costs, think that you have more money than you do. I have been particularly annoyed as our house purchase came 7 months after my father died so people look at our house and the work we've done and assume it was inheritance related.
That's really insightful, actually--I can think of several projects that I've done around the house for next-to-nothing, that many people would think were very expensive, because they would hire it out.  Because it's so much cheaper for me to tackle these projects myself, they actually happen more frequently than an outsider might expect, given my income.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Warlord1986 on May 25, 2016, 02:08:30 PM

Exactly!

Like, ok, there are people who had the advantages I had and then were UNlucky - their health was bad, or a disabled child/parent required a stay-at-home parent as caretaker, or prolonged layoffs drained savings before they could build up, or... you know. That kind of stuff.

But I'm having a hard time mustering sympathy that someone 'can't' have a house as nice as what I have while they're making BMW payments and eating out 4 nights a week. Like, you chose what you get, and they chose differently, and that's genuinely fine (like, my house makes me happy, their BMW can make them happy, sure!) but don't whine that you can't have ALL the things. You can have SOME of the things. You get to pick what those things are! Ain't it wonderful? You picked! But now don't exect sympathy because you don't have what you didn't pick - that's your choice, argh!!

And stop throwing shade at me because I have what you don't! I have what I chose to have! Which means I GAVE UP OTHER THINGS, and you don't see me whining about not having THOSE! ARGH.

Patience has never been my strong point.

Exactly. Yes, I went on an awesome vacation. But I don't eat out for lunch every day; I cook dinner at home and eat leftovers for lunch. And my clothes come from the consignment shop and I wear them out.

Whining because they don't have everything they want is something I associated with and expect from children. Grown adults should know better.


I think people have a hard time seeing the sum of their expenditures and instead see a lot of smaller purchases that don't appear to add up to large numbers. "Its only $x" adds up

This gets back to MMM's post about a millionaire being made ten bucks at a time. Millionaires are also unmade ten bucks at a time.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: mm1970 on May 25, 2016, 02:09:56 PM
Also, America isn't the beeknee's for opportunity. Obvi as an American I can't speak to other country's opportunities, but there are more opportunities in countries that were previously very class based (think India).

Which is why so many Americans are getting H-1B visas to go work in India.  Oh wait.

I have to think America offers the most opportunity to the total population than any other country on earth.  Yes, for instance, if you're a Saudi Royal in Saudi America, you've got more opportunity, but if you show up there tomorrow as an American, or God forbid as an Indian or Pakistani, good luck.  Or even if you're of African or Middle Eastern and in Europe, where employment is 50% + for those demographics.  Now, there may be more upside if you were to start a business in India versus starting one in the US, but I put your chances of moderate success MUCH higher in the US, even if you are potentially less likely to be a billionaire.

Yeah, this comment confused me, as well.  Mgo usually has good input on posts, though, maybe I'm missing something.  I'd be more sympathetic to the argument that certain other countries incubate developing companies (for example, Sweden with Skype, Spotify, etc).

I went back and re-read my comments, allow me to clarify.

I think America has the greatest opportunities for it's population, but I do believe that many foreign countries are becoming a better place for it's citizens to achieve upward mobility. India is where my family is from and my parents left in the 1970s due to a lack of opportunities. This was due to a combination of a poor economy (THANKS NEHRU!) and a lack of opportunities (class structure, ect). Had it been 2016, there is a great chance they would have stayed.0
I have many friends and coworkers from India.  I know a lot of guys who came over for their PhDs.  There are a fair number who are working for US companies in India.  Of all countries that I know people from (India, China, Korea, Brazil, Germany, Norway)... a greater percentage of Indians go back home to work.  Still way less than half.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Vertical Mode on May 25, 2016, 02:12:19 PM
This is awesome! Great read, hope you're feeling better.

It absolutely baffles me that people don't see (or refuse to/are in denial about) the fact that all of these things are connected. You didn't hit the lotto or marry a trust-fund heir, you made smart moves with your money and continue to avoid the traps of consumerism others regard as normal fare. One bar tab foregone can be several bricks in the cash castle, lest ye remain a serf!
Most of it they don't see.

They don't really think about the fact that their gas guzzling truck was 2x a small car, but also costs more to operate.
They don't see you spending your evenings at home cooking dinner, or going for hikes or to the beach or going camping.

They don't see you doing your own yard work, darning your own socks.

Interesting. Not quite how I meant for that to read, but also true. I was referring to a seeming inability to "connect the dots" of the big picture that to a Mustachian would be quite obvious - driving a behemoth, going out to eat all the time, expensive cocktails on the regular, etc. and then crying poor wondering where the whole paycheck went, for example. But yes, much of what has gotten OP ahead of the game seems to be the stuff that coworkers probably don't see, like making dinners at home or biking to nearby places instead of driving. My guess is that one of the reasons the coworkers are surprised by OP's situation is that they're extrapolating their own idea of "normal behavior" and assuming everyone acts that way, failing to account for the fact that others may indeed be much more frugal and efficient with their spending patterns.

It is amazing how quickly people will disregard math when dollar signs are placed in front of the values.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: yourusernamehere on May 25, 2016, 04:24:45 PM
Kitsune, glad you could get that off your chest. We're here for you! Very well said.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: markbike528CBX on May 25, 2016, 04:42:31 PM
....
I mean, we aren't even talking massive mustachianism here.  I could go on:
- We didn't join the $275/ month swim club for the summer.......

I hadn't realized that my above ground pool was semi-mustachian (~$2K)
vs 4 months/year*$275/month*3 years (so far)= $3300.

I thought it was a facepunchable thingy.--- Thanks mm1970!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: KodeBlue on May 25, 2016, 04:50:16 PM
Isn't it nice to be lucky, Kitsune? Our mortgage will be paid off in about three months- not because over the years I've worked holidays and OT and thrown the extra money on the house payment- it's because I'm just lucky like you are! hard work has nothing to do with it ;)

Dear jerky coworkers: If I really possessed that much "luck" don't you think I would won lottery and packed it in years ago? 
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: galliver on May 25, 2016, 05:42:56 PM
Kitsune, your house sounds fantastic and the work you put into it, tremendous. Seems like it is certainly paying off in creating your little corner of lakeside paradise. :) *a little bit of envy*

But I wouldn't be sure your coworkers were necessarily sexist in suggesting your husband's paycheck was responsible for your lovely situation. I expect it was a matter of them assigning the value to an obvious unknown (his paycheck) rather than the non-obvious (to them) unknown of all the labor and DIY you put into it. Maybe if you were a man you'd get a similar response ("You married well, huh?" or whatever dudes say to each other). Hard to check of course.

Also, I hope you realize the ways in which you are lucky. Your FIL has a woodlot that was able to provide materials for this project. That's awesome! Furthermore, it sounds like you and your husband both had fathers who passed down a tradition of DIY/projects, ones you could "help" in the garage on weekends? Not everyone has that. Though I do think anyone can read an instruction manual (to a saw), watch some YouTube, and figure out how to make BOXES. It does require having work or at least storage space for some tools, though...but if you need $1k worth of boxes for a house, you probably have that!

Finally, I think you may not be giving yourself credit: your sense of aesthetics that allows you to create a beautiful home with secondhand finds? It may seem so natural and integral to you that you don't realize it, but it's also not something everyone has. Same way I don't understand how people can have trouble with trigonometry or kinematics. But I've observed that there is a spectrum of people when it comes to aesthetics. Some people can be surrounded by mismatched colors, styles, etc and not care; I think my parents, at least my dad, are in this group. Then there's people like me: I care, and I can pick out things I like that go quite well together, and even find some of them secondhand, if they are "ready to go". And finally people like two of my former roommates, and I suspect you as well, who have VISION...you can see a crummy chair/table/chest on Craigslist and say "I can sand that, stain it, change the hardware, and it will look gorgeous *here*" and be right. Maybe it can be learned, to an extent, but like all art I think it takes a degree of talent as well. So: take their jealousy of your furnishings as a compliment to your immense skill, and if it's something you enjoy maybe consider starting a side-hustle as a decorator-craigslist trawler-furniture refinisher? Free consultation (tour their house), $X per piece found+price of piece+$Y/hr for refinishing. :)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: accountingteacher on May 25, 2016, 05:43:49 PM
Kitsune - you are my soul mate. 

It amazes me how people try really hard to justify their own lack of wealth.  The one I get regularly is, "...but you don't have kids."  It doesn't matter that I lived at home for university and graduated with no debt, or that my husband and I lived in a house we hated for 5 years while we saved for this one, or that I know where every single penny of our (admittedly high) incomes go, or that I have 3 different levels of emergency financial plans.  I didn't have kids and that's why I appear wealthy.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on May 25, 2016, 07:43:56 PM
That was such a fun read Kitsune, thank you.  Throwing facepunches right and left!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Tuskalusa on May 25, 2016, 08:35:18 PM
Amen sister!  Love your post.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: LeRainDrop on May 25, 2016, 08:45:54 PM
Awesome post, Kitsune!  Don't let those jellies force you to play defense.  Also, I am reminded of TLC's "No Scrubs":

Quote
A scrub is a guy that thinks he's fly
And is also known as a buster
Always talkin' about what he wants
And just sits on his broke ass . . .
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: shelivesthedream on May 26, 2016, 02:09:31 AM
@galliver: I think a high level of taste can be learned by most people (at least 75%) if they want. I wasn't born knowing what a great colour mustard can be in the right combination or where to put a lamp to lift a room.

Over the past fifteen years...
- I spent ten years reading interior design magazines as a teen
- and transitioned into another ten years reading fashion magazines
- my parents took me to stately homes and gardens in the holidays
- I love a good design museum
- I took a History of Art class at school and another at university, and woodwork at school, for fun
- I used to watch TV makeover shows (fashion and interiors) so I understand how a person or space can be transformed by some simple changes
- I love crafts and DIY so I practice making things and have learned what options are available to me
- I look at things with a design mindset all the time. I compare and contrast and work out what I like about everything, from Autumn colours to the uniform of the till assistants at the supermarket
- Browsing Pinterest (for actual design stuff, not shitty mommy crafts) could be considered a hobby of mine

I've made some horrendous aesthetic decisions but I've been practicing for fifteen years straight. That's why when my friend asked me to help her pick paint colours for her new flat she was sceptical when we were looking online but when the walls were painted she said "You were right!" If you don't think about something your whole life, how can you expect to know anything about it? But anyone can get started by flipping through some design books at the library, looking on Pinterest or going to a furniture museum. It's like anything in life, you just have to make an effort. I feel like people who understand cars are born with some special "car gene" but I know they're not really, they just practiced for a while and I can't see that. It's not magic!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on May 26, 2016, 06:00:05 AM
@galliver: I think a high level of taste can be learned by most people (at least 75%) if they want. I wasn't born knowing what a great colour mustard can be in the right combination or where to put a lamp to lift a room.

Over the past fifteen years...
- I spent ten years reading interior design magazines as a teen
- and transitioned into another ten years reading fashion magazines
- my parents took me to stately homes and gardens in the holidays
- I love a good design museum
- I took a History of Art class at school and another at university, and woodwork at school, for fun
- I used to watch TV makeover shows (fashion and interiors) so I understand how a person or space can be transformed by some simple changes
- I love crafts and DIY so I practice making things and have learned what options are available to me
- I look at things with a design mindset all the time. I compare and contrast and work out what I like about everything, from Autumn colours to the uniform of the till assistants at the supermarket
- Browsing Pinterest (for actual design stuff, not shitty mommy crafts) could be considered a hobby of mine

I've made some horrendous aesthetic decisions but I've been practicing for fifteen years straight. That's why when my friend asked me to help her pick paint colours for her new flat she was sceptical when we were looking online but when the walls were painted she said "You were right!" If you don't think about something your whole life, how can you expect to know anything about it? But anyone can get started by flipping through some design books at the library, looking on Pinterest or going to a furniture museum. It's like anything in life, you just have to make an effort. I feel like people who understand cars are born with some special "car gene" but I know they're not really, they just practiced for a while and I can't see that. It's not magic!

This. I think if you care about aesthetics, you can learn - it's not an inherent skill. I mean, it takes an eye for design, but if you care enough to notice when stuff doesn't work, you have the potential to train yourself to see what might.

I strongly, STRONGLY recommend the Manhattan Nest blog for inspiration - his most recent stuff is full-on construction and renovation, but his earlier stuff (apartments - accessed in the sidebar) was basically just student apartments re-done on a student budget and a lot of elbow grease. His style is NOT my style (I go for vaguely colonial, dark woods, natural textures, lots of books; he goes for more mid-century glam) but in terms of training yourself to see the potential in things, man, does that guy have an eye for it. Also DesignSponge, though they can edge into the much pricier. Good inspiration, though.

I'm not discounting my luck in a lot of ways - I think I posted that above somewhere!

I had the luck to negotiate myself into a job after graduating university with an English Lit degree (minor in history and women's studies, no less). I then worked my ass off in the worst job imaginable (staplers flung at your head at 8am on Monday morning? yup. Being consistently screamed at? yup. Panic attacks in the bathroom before pulling it together and getting back to work? yup.) and gained enough experience to find a BETTER job, and then a better one, and then another better one, and 10 years later I'm working half the hours for twice the salary. It was luck COMBINED with effort. It's the people who didn't put in the effort, told me I shouldn't bother, and are now wondering why I'm doing what I'm doing that drive me up the wall.

I have good health, my family has good health, no one is bankrupted or having serious issues, etc - that counts, success-wise.

My FIL has a woodlot - yes, that's SUPER helpful! And, in return, we're helping paint his house, re-do the floors, and put in his garden because he hurt his knee. The help flows both ways. ;)

And Galiiver, in terms of learning DIY skills from my dad: hahahahahahahaaaaaaaa NO.

For woodworking: my dad likes it as a solitary hobby. So I learned basic woodworking from a handyman friend of mine AFTER I moved out of my dad's house, in my 20s (along with practical things like re-caulking a bathtub and the like - I paid him to teach me, instead of paying him to do it. Best decision ever.) I'm ok for the basics of woodworking, but definitely not the detail work of making fine furniture... yet. ;) These planters I'm building are from Ana White's website (super easy plans, for the most part, and shown very clearly - I recommend it for basic woodworking), and for things I'm not sure of, I Youtube. At this point, my dad is coming over to help, but I could do it on my own, and NOT because he taught me. (don't get me wrong - I'm grateful for the help, and it's easier with 2 people)

For sewing stuff: my mom taught me... ish. Very ish. Enough to hem pants and fix a button. So, when I lived in the city, I went to a sewing studio and signed up for lessons (best 30$ ever spent), and got a 3-hour crash course on using a sewing machine, following patterns, etc. I then spent 80$ on a dirt cheap sewing machine and a lot of time on youtube and blogs figuring out how the hell this works. Now, I can make the household stuff I want and the shirts I want and can't find ready-made.

Like: some of it was luck, sure. Absolutely. 100%. I would not be in the same spot without some luck and privilege. But a) a lot of it was also making the effort to grab the luck, build on it, spend the money and time learning practical skills, and applying them until they get better, and b) a lot of the people whining and complaining at me HAVE HAD THE SAME LUCK (I am NOT complaining about people who, like, grew up in a ghetto with a disabled parent, or something. Totally different starting points). Like, seriously, one colleague who was shade-admiring my house? her husband is a contractor. Like, lady, if ANYONE has the skills to improve their own house...   
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Tjat on May 26, 2016, 07:35:52 AM
Just posting to comment that more than a few times I'm reading a post, nodding my head in agreement, and when finished, see that it's posted by Kitsune....
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: zephyr911 on May 26, 2016, 07:46:21 AM
Fully expect someone to try to cover my gas money to be nice...
Take it, but laugh while you do it. Shrug apologetically so they know you're just indulging them. $20 is $20 ;)

Kitsune/"all"; I guess I'm lucky to have a circle of friends who really don't care about this stuff. Some of them probably make more than I do, some of them most assuredly earn less. Homes, cars, and lifestyle accessories at least would indicate a large spread, though a couple of years here have opened my eyes to how vague those indicators can be; regardless, nobody seems to fixate on them. I'm spending less than half what I was in late 2013 and actually doing more stuff out around town with friends; we're living in a much smaller house but having raucous gatherings more often too. They like my cooking enough that if the "downgrade" bothers them, I've never heard it. And if someone doesn't have the $5 entry fee for a typical throwdown, people will line up to cover it for them. Good people, if you ask me.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on May 26, 2016, 08:17:56 AM
Just posting to comment that more than a few times I'm reading a post, nodding my head in agreement, and when finished, see that it's posted by Kitsune....

Awwww. Totally made my morning. Thanks! :)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on May 26, 2016, 08:38:26 AM
I just remembered a great quote.

"The harder I work, the luckier I get." - Samuel Goldwyn
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: The Happy Philosopher on May 26, 2016, 08:56:55 AM
Ahhhh! Nothing like an epic rant first thing in the morning. I feel so energized :)  Thank you!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on May 26, 2016, 09:02:45 AM
I just remembered a great quote.

"The harder I work, the luckier I get." - Samuel Goldwyn

Basically.

And to be clear: working hard is not a guarantee for success. Plenty of people work hard and can't get ahead. But it is a PREREQUISITE for success.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Making Cookies on May 26, 2016, 09:05:39 AM
I hate the whole luck thing that put on you when you really spent months and years learning how to do what you do.

"Oh you're so lucky you could get a job like that" when you're thinking about all the crummy jobs and self-taught skills you've cultivated over the years.

Maybe it's just people's version of small talk but to me it diminishes what you have accomplished.

I'm probably repeating something said here a million times already but that's what I thought of reading your rant.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: mm1970 on May 26, 2016, 01:18:22 PM
darning your own socks.

I don't know if anyone here has played the Monkey Island computer games made by Lucasarts, I just started playing their newest version and there's a line where Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate, looks at a pair of socks and says, "Those socks need a good darning." Hesitates and then raises fists, "DARN YA SOCKS!"
My 10 year old just threw a pair of socks away this morning because they have holes in them.  (I just bought him 12 pairs of socks a few months ago).  I pulled them out so I could fix the holes!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: BFGirl on May 26, 2016, 02:07:56 PM
Great post Kitsune!

I like the part about how you live where they vacation :)  I feel the same way about where I live.  Last year I took a "staycation" and will probably do the same this year because coming home is like going on vacation except I have my own bed and stuff.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: FireLane on May 27, 2016, 06:02:07 AM
That was an awesome rant, Kitsune! I want to bookmark this thread so I can show it to someone the next time I'm trying to explain what Mustachianism is all about. This is one of the best explanations of the concept I've seen.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ender on May 27, 2016, 06:09:14 AM
That has to be frustrating.

It's interesting the things that make people think we're rich or poor.

Some of my coworkers think I'm dirt poor.  I never go out to lunch, I drive the sort of car a normal person would throw away, and I wear thrift store clothes.

Some of them think I'm a millionaire because I'm 25 and own two houses (one almost paid off).

It's like they can't connect the two.

I think the biggest thing is that most people do not realize their financial situation is death by a thousand paper cuts.

"No single raindrop believes it is responsible for the flood" is a despair.com image which I think describes nearly everyone who earns enough but is still broke.

Quote
This. I think if you care about aesthetics, you can learn - it's not an inherent skill. I mean, it takes an eye for design, but if you care enough to notice when stuff doesn't work, you have the potential to train yourself to see what might.

Alternatively, marry someone who has that eye :-)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MrMoogle on May 27, 2016, 06:51:19 AM
Maybe if you were a man you'd get a similar response ("You married well, huh?" or whatever dudes say to each other). Hard to check of course.
The only time I've heard this was in regard to food.  My coworker's wife is an amazing cook, so he married well :)
But then again, we don't talk about money much here.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Ann on May 27, 2016, 07:43:48 AM
And stop throwing shade at me because I have what you don't! I have what I chose to have! Which means I GAVE UP OTHER THINGS, and you don't see me whining about not having THOSE! ARGH.

Maybe people get confused
They hear "The best revenge is a life well-lived".  So they see someone with a well-lived life, and they think "That must be some evil revenge plot!"  ;-P
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on May 27, 2016, 07:50:41 AM
Maybe people get confused
They hear "The best revenge is a life well-lived".  So they see someone with a well-lived life, and they think "That must be some evil revenge plot!"  ;-P

This made me laugh out loud - thank you!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on May 27, 2016, 11:52:20 AM
Follow-up rant. Deep breath. Deep breath.

I usually do my groceries over my lunch break (because I've got a system streamlined enough to take a half-hour and it avoids me needing to drive into town to do it on another day - the joys of country living). A colleague asked of she could hitch a ride, since she lived next door and wasn't working after lunch, instead of taking the bus; sure, ok, no problem, hop in, I'm willing to take a 3-minute detour to drop you off in order to be nice, it doesn't really cost me anything here (other than blood pressure points, apparently).

Both of us were getting a full week's worth of groceries; she has an extra kid (twin toddlers, to my one toddler), but I'm throwing 3 dinner parties this weekend.

I got: 20$ worth of milk (will last a week, yay Quebec's high milk prices). 30$ worth of beer (yay taxes on booze). Vegetables, potatoes, steak, chicken thighs to make grilled portugese chicken, fresh salmon, fresh berries, kiwi, and pears, a large bag of apples, some tofu and frozen mango for breakfast smoothies, etc. Total cost of the week's groceries: 120$ plus the beer, which will, honestly, be enough beer to last 2 months or so. We'll combine that with our pantry stash (rice, baking supplies, etc - I budget about 20$/week for pantry re-stocking) and we're hitting our budget limit of 140$/week CAD. And drinking decent beer, and eating steak and salmon and fresh veggies and lots and lots of fruit - could be lower, but this is a pretty great set of meals for the price!

She got: I have no idea. SO MANY PACKAGES. Packaged individual servigs of apple sauce. Packaged snacks. Packaged individual juice boxes. Packaged and wrapped pre-marinated BBQ meat and ribs. Cans of juice. Boxes of cereal. I think the only fresh fruit I saw in her cart was a bag of apples. Total cost for her week's groceries: 270$.

The 3-minute ride to her house to drop her off before heading back to the office was filled with her complaining about how 'groceries are so expensive' and 'no one can get ahead' and, I KID YOU NOT, how 'SHE CAN NEVER AFFORD TO EAT LIKE I DO, BECAUSE WHO HAS THE MONEY FOR STEAK'. Direct-bloody-quote, and I can't even.

At that point, I actually just went... you realize that your groceries were twice the price of mine, right? Like, you CAN afford to eat steak. Frankly, the steak was on sale - 4 steaks for tomorrow night's dinner was half the price of the box of chicken nuggets she bought.

To which she replied that yes, but then she'd have to pay her household help extra time so that they'd cook it because she didn't know how.

'Can't get ahead' and 'can't afford to eat steak' vs HOUSEHOLD HELP. I freakin' give up.

(Note: this household help is NOT her house cleaner. Both of us hire house cleaners, no shame, live with your choices, etc. This household help is a nanny/cook combo IN ADDITION to her house cleaner. Because how else would one manage their household, you see.)

Again: if you have the money, make your choices, live with what you chose, and be happy. Blessings, etc. But don't expect me to agree that the cost of food is SO HIGH when it's because you're using packaged foods that you then pay someone to put in the oven for you. ZERO SYMPATHY.

Now, I'm going to have a cup of tea (from tea bags stashed in my desk, to hell with paying 2$ for stewed leaves at the café) and calm down again.

Ye gods. Can't get ahead, indeed.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ketchup on May 27, 2016, 12:14:46 PM
Ho.  Lee.  Shit.

Wow.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Nederstash on May 27, 2016, 12:47:12 PM
darning your own socks.

I don't know if anyone here has played the Monkey Island computer games made by Lucasarts, I just started playing their newest version and there's a line where Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate, looks at a pair of socks and says, "Those socks need a good darning." Hesitates and then raises fists, "DARN YA SOCKS!"

Beware, I've been known to start dating people based on Monkey Island quotes. Space Quest works too.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on May 27, 2016, 01:59:19 PM
Wow your coworker's willful ignorance is staggering.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on May 27, 2016, 02:07:22 PM
Follow-up rant. Deep breath. Deep breath.
....

*head explodes*
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Warlord1986 on May 27, 2016, 03:28:31 PM
Poor, poor woman not to have access to google.

I'm so blessed that when I want or need to cook something new for the first time, I google 'how to cook x' and it would bring up how to cook x. I never realized what a tremendous privilege it is to be able to google recipes. Truly, we have no idea how hard life is for those who cannot go to their computers, go to the google website, and google something simple that people have known how to do for forever. We are so lucky.

In all serious, I know I'm a condescending jerk sometimes, but how hard can it be to google 'how to cook a steak'? It's not magic.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: mm1970 on May 27, 2016, 04:04:36 PM
Ho.  Lee.  Shit.

Wow.
+1
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Dezrah on May 27, 2016, 04:12:35 PM
10/10 rants.  Can't wait for the next issue.


Poor, poor woman not to have access to google.

I'm so blessed that when I want or need to cook something new for the first time, I google 'how to cook x' and it would bring up how to cook x.

Funny family story:

My parents, sister, BIL, and youngest brother are visiting my older brother out of state.  My youngest brother (who's about 23 years old at this point) is notorious for sleeping in until around 2pm whenever the family hangs out over vacations.  Since they have a schedule to keep however, he's up and about so they tell him to make some scrambled eggs for everyone for breakfast.  "Umm, okay."  A few minutes later, they look over and notice he's just cracking eggs into a pan and kinda moving them around.

Sister: What are you doing?
Brother: Making scrambled eggs.
Sister: What? No you're not. You're supposed to beat the eggs, add some milk and seasoning, not just push raw eggs in a hot pan.
Brother: Well I didn't know that.
Sister: Fair enough, but when you realized you didn't know how to make scrambled eggs you didn't think to just ask one of us here or even Google a simple recipe?
Brother: ...

He's getting better but we still rib him for this kind of stuff all the time.
Family:
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Psychstache on May 27, 2016, 04:51:21 PM
Poor, poor woman not to have access to google.

I'm so blessed that when I want or need to cook something new for the first time, I google 'how to cook x' and it would bring up how to cook x. I never realized what a tremendous privilege it is to be able to google recipes. Truly, we have no idea how hard life is for those who cannot go to their computers, go to the google website, and google something simple that people have known how to do for forever. We are so lucky.

In all serious, I know I'm a condescending jerk sometimes, but how hard can it be to google 'how to cook a steak'? It's not magic.
One of my best friends will reply to people's dumb Facebook question posts with a LMGTFY link. Makes me laugh every time.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on May 27, 2016, 11:51:52 PM
darning your own socks.

I don't know if anyone here has played the Monkey Island computer games made by Lucasarts, I just started playing their newest version and there's a line where Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate, looks at a pair of socks and says, "Those socks need a good darning." Hesitates and then raises fists, "DARN YA SOCKS!"

Beware, I've been known to start dating people based on Monkey Island quotes. Space Quest works too.

You fight like a dairy farmer!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: shelivesthedream on May 28, 2016, 01:48:50 AM
I... Just... Wow.

I am so glad you pointed out that your groceries cost twice as much, and I cannot believe her answer! Did she seem embarrassed at all? Like she was trying to cover the fact that she realised she was an idiot?
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: LeRainDrop on May 28, 2016, 02:43:41 AM
I... Just... Wow.

I am so glad you pointed out that your colleague's groceries cost twice as much, and I cannot believe her answer! Did she seem embarrassed at all? Like she was trying to cover the fact that she realised she was an idiot?

I'm totally blown away by this, too!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on May 28, 2016, 04:48:33 AM
I... Just... Wow.

I am so glad you pointed out that your colleague's groceries cost twice as much, and I cannot believe her answer! Did she seem embarrassed at all? Like she was trying to cover the fact that she realised she was an idiot?

I'm totally blown away by this, too!

No, she was just super matter-of-fact about it. Like, obviously she doesn't know how to cook and so this is how she handles it.

And, like... FINE, but don't complain about being broke when it's the direct result of your choices.

Some of my colleagues are broke for actual reasons - one has a sick spouse, for example. Sympathy. But the ones making choices like this and then expecting the universe to just pour more money into the moneypit? zero patience.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Paul der Krake on May 28, 2016, 05:18:09 AM
Grocery store layouts typically follow the same pattern everywhere.

One end has the fresh vegetables and fruit. The other end has bread, rice, milk, cheese, other refrigerated items. Everything else in between is packaged crap, with some non-perishable goodies (jam, cereal, baking supplies) scientifically sprinkled here and there to force you to venture into these aisles of diabetes and doom.

If you regularly spend more than 20% of your grocery budget in the middle aisles, you are probably eating like crap, and overpaying for it.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: kite on May 28, 2016, 08:44:27 AM
There is no question that India in 2016 is better than India in 1970 as far as upward mobility.

There is also no question that the US in 2016 is better than India in 2016 as far as upward mobility, in general. 

Two additional points:

US in 1970 was better for upward mobility than US in 2016


I have to disagree.
1970 sucked for the majority.
We think of the past as the good old days, but it's a mental trick your brain plays on you.  It was only better for a minority of the population because the playing field was skewed to their advantage.
In 1970, all of the following faced legal, cultural or physical barriers to advancement:
Black people
Gay people
Female people
White, heterosexual males of draft age.
Those with any sort of disability.
 
It's better now than it ever was.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: vivophoenix on May 28, 2016, 09:02:38 AM
There is no question that India in 2016 is better than India in 1970 as far as upward mobility.

There is also no question that the US in 2016 is better than India in 2016 as far as upward mobility, in general. 

Two additional points:

US in 1970 was better for upward mobility than US in 2016


I have to disagree.
1970 sucked for the majority.
We think of the past as the good old days, but it's a mental trick your brain plays on you.  It was only better for a minority of the population because the playing field was skewed to their advantage.
In 1970, all of the following faced legal, cultural or physical barriers to advancement:
Black people
Gay people
Female people
White, heterosexual males of draft age.
Those with any sort of disability.
 
It's better now than it ever was.

it 'sucks' now because blue collar white men who has usually had it the easiest are now competing with the above classes, and it sucks to no longer be the teachers pet. (insert those three dots in the shape of a triangle here) Trump
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on May 28, 2016, 11:13:30 AM
That's a fair point, though for some reason my family found society to be very accepting...even though we are brown. I remember hearing stories about my grandfather and how his neighbors loved him and went out of their way to help take care of him when he came over.

Hearing stories about this make me appreciate being in the US, whenever my parents hear about intolerance here in the states they just shake their head and say, "They should go see what things are like in India," as a way of saying how insular Indian society can be. Here they were able to come without much resources and prosper within a generation. They do appreciate that it is now possible to do the same in India and that things are changing for the better.

My point earlier about more Indians staying in India certainly is true. That said, if it was a place to compare where someone would want to be today, I agree that nearly all would say India, but my point was partially to talk about the future. I think of India still as an economy in ascendancy. There are a ton of structural problems in the country (pollution, corruption, poverty, caste, just to name a few), but if they are able to nail them together it will be amazing to see what they can accomplish. Right now it is very tough to do business in India, I know that first-hand as an importer. I'm able to bring things in due to my family connections but otherwise contracts and promises would be meaningless.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Making Cookies on May 28, 2016, 02:34:29 PM
Poor, poor woman not to have access to google.

I'm so blessed that when I want or need to cook something new for the first time, I google 'how to cook x' and it would bring up how to cook x. I never realized what a tremendous privilege it is to be able to google recipes. Truly, we have no idea how hard life is for those who cannot go to their computers, go to the google website, and google something simple that people have known how to do for forever. We are so lucky.

In all serious, I know I'm a condescending jerk sometimes, but how hard can it be to google 'how to cook a steak'? It's not magic.

How are people able to be professionally successful enough to hire help at home but are unable to teach themselves how to cook???
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Goldielocks on May 28, 2016, 06:00:06 PM
umm,,

Wow.   

Doesn't nanny / cook mean that she does not need to buy (much) packaged food, because, um, the cook can prep it?   Maybe the nanny/cook is just a nanny, or is also secretly laughing at her spendypants employer for blowing money around.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on May 28, 2016, 07:04:22 PM
That's a fair point, though for some reason my family found society to be very accepting...even though we are brown. I remember hearing stories about my grandfather and how his neighbors loved him and went out of their way to help take care of him when he came over.

Hearing stories about this make me appreciate being in the US, whenever my parents hear about intolerance here in the states they just shake their head and say, "They should go see what things are like in India," as a way of saying how insular Indian society can be. Here they were able to come without much resources and prosper within a generation. They do appreciate that it is now possible to do the same in India and that things are changing for the better.

My point earlier about more Indians staying in India certainly is true. That said, if it was a place to compare where someone would want to be today, I agree that nearly all would say India, but my point was partially to talk about the future. I think of India still as an economy in ascendancy. There are a ton of structural problems in the country (pollution, corruption, poverty, caste, just to name a few), but if they are able to nail them together it will be amazing to see what they can accomplish. Right now it is very tough to do business in India, I know that first-hand as an importer. I'm able to bring things in due to my family connections but otherwise contracts and promises would be meaningless.

Isn't India a pretty gigantic country, though? I wouldn't expect New Delhi to have a lot in common with Bangaluru or Chennai.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: KodeBlue on May 30, 2016, 03:58:25 AM
umm,,

Wow.   

Doesn't nanny / cook mean that she does not need to buy (much) packaged food, because, um, the cook can prep it?   Maybe the nanny/cook is just a nanny, or is also secretly laughing at her spendypants employer for blowing money around.
(http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/7b/7b162ab3abbadac1a3577969be64584287270e9c411677b5546e8346ab30b0b8.jpg)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on May 30, 2016, 07:07:51 AM
How are people able to be professionally successful enough to hire help at home but are unable to teach themselves how to cook???

From what I gather, it's a piece of mental acrobatics that requires you to simultaneously believe that cooking is a complicated skill that comes naturally to some and is not learned and therefore cannot be learned by you AND that cooking is easy and someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.

The co-existance of these beliefs mystify me.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: G-dog on May 30, 2016, 08:20:11 AM
A little late to the thread but THIS. WAS. AWESOME.

you give good rant Kitsune!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Rezdent on May 30, 2016, 08:36:31 AM
How are people able to be professionally successful enough to hire help at home but are unable to teach themselves how to cook???

From what I gather, it's a piece of mental acrobatics that requires you to simultaneously believe that cooking is a complicated skill that comes naturally to some and is not learned and therefore cannot be learned by you AND that cooking is easy and someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.

The co-existance of these beliefs mystify me.
Or:
Cooking is beneath you to learn because someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.
Ug, I've met one of these people.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: hunniebun on May 30, 2016, 09:00:18 AM
Great post. I was with a friend who was lamenting over how 'people' can afford to have 'everything'.  I made the point that you can never know a person's financial situation, maybe they are in debt? maybe they had an inheritance? Maybe they work their ass off to pay for it all?  Maybe it is some combination of the above.  Comparing is a sure way to create misery.   Your places sounds wonderful and speaking of envy...I am envious that you have access to a saw mill! DH would LOVE that.  He is so handy and can build anything in the world, but the limiting factor is still the cost of/access to enough wood!    Keep doing what you are doing. The great news it that you don't owe anyone anything...especially an explanation!!!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ender on May 30, 2016, 09:13:04 AM
Great post. I was with a friend who was lamenting over how 'people' can afford to have 'everything'.  I made the point that you can never know a person's financial situation, maybe they are in debt? maybe they had an inheritance? Maybe they work their ass off to pay for it all?  Maybe it is some combination of the above.  Comparing is a sure way to create misery.   Your places sounds wonderful and speaking of envy...I am envious that you have access to a saw mill! DH would LOVE that.  He is so handy and can build anything in the world, but the limiting factor is still the cost of/access to enough wood!    Keep doing what you are doing. The great news it that you don't owe anyone anything...especially an explanation!!!

A big factor too is you never see what people are not having.

Maybe the family who has everything (nice cars/house) doesn't eat out, doesn't pay for daycare, doesn't vacation extravagantly, has older furniture, and doesn't have the latest X.


Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on May 30, 2016, 09:30:33 AM
How are people able to be professionally successful enough to hire help at home but are unable to teach themselves how to cook???

From what I gather, it's a piece of mental acrobatics that requires you to simultaneously believe that cooking is a complicated skill that comes naturally to some and is not learned and therefore cannot be learned by you AND that cooking is easy and someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.

The co-existance of these beliefs mystify me.

Or it could be a case of specialization. It does take time to learn to cook, and a person who doesn't grow up in a cooking household doesn't get to learn it by osmosis. If a person spends a disproportionate amount of time pursuing, say, a technical or artistic skill that makes him or her very financially successful, the time invested can preclude learning a lot of other stuff. I've met engineers that were incapable of changing a tire or unplugging a drain.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Syonyk on May 30, 2016, 09:34:35 AM
A few minutes later, they look over and notice he's just cracking eggs into a pan and kinda moving them around.

Sister: What are you doing?
Brother: Making scrambled eggs.
Sister: What? No you're not. You're supposed to beat the eggs, add some milk and seasoning, not just push raw eggs in a hot pan.
Brother: Well I didn't know that.
Sister: Fair enough, but when you realized you didn't know how to make scrambled eggs you didn't think to just ask one of us here or even Google a simple recipe?
Brother: ...

Huh.

I mean, sometimes I'll whip them in a bowl with milk & stuff, but most of the time I make scrambled eggs, I just crack them into the pan and stir them around with a spatula...
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ender on May 30, 2016, 09:36:41 AM
I mean, sometimes I'll whip them in a bowl with milk & stuff, but most of the time I make scrambled eggs, I just crack them into the pan and stir them around with a spatula...

+1

I do the same, even the "sometimes" :)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: sonjak on May 30, 2016, 09:38:30 AM
Agreed that it can be frustrating when people say something is purely based on luck rather than realizing that choices (often daily choices) are the main factor.  Like someone who commented upthread about weight being luck-caused, not work-related.

At my last job, several of my coworkers told me I was "lucky" I was thin because they hadn't seen me when I was heavier so they assumed I had always been thin or healthy weight and that I just happened to be born that way.  One of these coworkers ate chocolate muffins, cookies or similar treats EVERY SINGLE DAY.  My snacks consisted of fruit and nuts and I walked every day.  That isn't luck (good or bad), it's a lifestyle choice.

More recently a neighbor told me I was "lucky" because "you don't have kids or anyone else to worry about."  I used birth control and got a divorce.  Lucky me!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Rezdent on May 30, 2016, 09:40:11 AM
How are people able to be professionally successful enough to hire help at home but are unable to teach themselves how to cook???

From what I gather, it's a piece of mental acrobatics that requires you to simultaneously believe that cooking is a complicated skill that comes naturally to some and is not learned and therefore cannot be learned by you AND that cooking is easy and someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.

The co-existance of these beliefs mystify me.

Or it could be a case of specialization. It does take time to learn to cook, and a person who doesn't grow up in a cooking household doesn't get to learn it by osmosis. If a person spends a disproportionate amount of time pursuing, say, a technical or artistic skill that makes him or her very financially successful, the time invested can preclude learning a lot of other stuff. I've met engineers that were incapable of changing a tire or unplugging a drain.
I'd argue that an engineer can read, and therefore was capable of changing a tire or unplugging a drain.  Now that we have YouTube, they don't even have to read much to find the video.  Motivation is a different thing, and goes back to "others can do this for me".
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on May 30, 2016, 10:07:39 AM
How are people able to be professionally successful enough to hire help at home but are unable to teach themselves how to cook???

From what I gather, it's a piece of mental acrobatics that requires you to simultaneously believe that cooking is a complicated skill that comes naturally to some and is not learned and therefore cannot be learned by you AND that cooking is easy and someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.

The co-existance of these beliefs mystify me.

Or it could be a case of specialization. It does take time to learn to cook, and a person who doesn't grow up in a cooking household doesn't get to learn it by osmosis. If a person spends a disproportionate amount of time pursuing, say, a technical or artistic skill that makes him or her very financially successful, the time invested can preclude learning a lot of other stuff. I've met engineers that were incapable of changing a tire or unplugging a drain.
I'd argue that an engineer can read, and therefore was capable of changing a tire or unplugging a drain.  Now that we have YouTube, they don't even have to read much to find the video.  Motivation is a different thing, and goes back to "others can do this for me".

By the same logic, anyone who can read is capable of following the instructions in a recipe too though, or imitating a YouTube cooking video. The special irony with the engineer is that the missing practical skill relates to the theoretical work he or she does for a living. I've yet to hear of a nutritionist who doesn't know how to boil an egg or a medical doctor who doesn't know how to follow cough medicine dosage instructions.

I do agree that learning a skill comes down to motivation.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on May 30, 2016, 12:04:52 PM
Agreed that it can be frustrating when people say something is purely based on luck rather than realizing that choices (often daily choices) are the main factor.  Like someone who commented upthread about weight being luck-caused, not work-related.

At my last job, several of my coworkers told me I was "lucky" I was thin because they hadn't seen me when I was heavier so they assumed I had always been thin or healthy weight and that I just happened to be born that way.  One of these coworkers ate chocolate muffins, cookies or similar treats EVERY SINGLE DAY.  My snacks consisted of fruit and nuts and I walked every day.  That isn't luck (good or bad), it's a lifestyle choice.

More recently a neighbor told me I was "lucky" because "you don't have kids or anyone else to worry about."  I used birth control and got a divorce.  Lucky me!

Well, to be fair, part of it can be due to luck, aka, genetics: my husband and I eat the same thing and he reliable eats twice what I do, and yet I gain weight by blinking and he still fits into the suit he wore for his prom. That said, genetics aren't destiny - eat healthy food (and the occasional treat), walk a lot, and control the drinking, and you'll be thinner than you would be otherwise.

But, yeah, I get your point - it's not 'luck', it's 'reasonable circumstances COMBINED WITH EFFORT'. The reasonable circumstances are important (just like with finances...) but they are NOT the reason/excuse/whatever BS people are telling themselves to avoid facing the logical circumstances for their lack of effort.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Nederstash on May 30, 2016, 02:07:58 PM
Preach! I just want to tear my hair out when people harp on me for not getting the latest gadget/laptop/tv or blowing cash on cocktails, but then at the same time laugh when I mention early retirement, wishing me good luck in cheating the system, talking to me like I'm some delusional nutcase. It's not a system, you numbskulls, it's math! Guess what, the number of cocktails you drink can actually be translated directly to days, months, years you have to work extra before you get to do whatever you please.

That said, I do budget for eating out, cocktails and a good laptop. But in moderation. Because I really just want to enjoy these things exponentially over the years. Classic tortoise/hare race. First order of business when I retire: Monday morning 9 AM, having a giant pina colada while you are stuck in traffic to your miserable desk job.

(I am a sadistic tortoise)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Digital Dogma on May 30, 2016, 02:35:46 PM
How are people able to be professionally successful enough to hire help at home but are unable to teach themselves how to cook???

From what I gather, it's a piece of mental acrobatics that requires you to simultaneously believe that cooking is a complicated skill that comes naturally to some and is not learned and therefore cannot be learned by you AND that cooking is easy and someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.

The co-existance of these beliefs mystify me.
Or:
Cooking is beneath you to learn because someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.
Ug, I've met one of these people.
I get that from some people too, and men who think cooking isn't masculine.

Know what else is not masculine? Starving to death because you're unable to track, kill, clean, and cook dinner. Better hope life stays easy if you don't know how to cook for yourself.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on May 30, 2016, 02:59:30 PM
How are people able to be professionally successful enough to hire help at home but are unable to teach themselves how to cook???

From what I gather, it's a piece of mental acrobatics that requires you to simultaneously believe that cooking is a complicated skill that comes naturally to some and is not learned and therefore cannot be learned by you AND that cooking is easy and someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.

The co-existance of these beliefs mystify me.
Or:
Cooking is beneath you to learn because someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.
Ug, I've met one of these people.
I get that from some people too, and men who think cooking isn't masculine.

Know what else is not masculine? Starving to death because you're unable to track, kill, clean, and cook dinner. Better hope life stays easy if you don't know how to cook for yourself.

Another thing that tends to cost a man his "masculine" card is being stuck in a relationship with an abusive wife, because he's unable to survive on his own. Male abuse victims get very little respect or help from society as a whole, which is unfair.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Cassie on May 30, 2016, 05:29:42 PM
Does your co-worker have any $ left over after paying nanny/cook, expensive crap food, cleaners, etc ? Or is she basically working to have a pampered life?  I had cleaners when I worked f.t. and they were worth every dime but this woman seems ridiculous. As someone else pointed out aren't cooks supposed to cook?
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on May 30, 2016, 07:28:18 PM
How are people able to be professionally successful enough to hire help at home but are unable to teach themselves how to cook???

From what I gather, it's a piece of mental acrobatics that requires you to simultaneously believe that cooking is a complicated skill that comes naturally to some and is not learned and therefore cannot be learned by you AND that cooking is easy and someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.

The co-existance of these beliefs mystify me.
Or:
Cooking is beneath you to learn because someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.
Ug, I've met one of these people.
I get that from some people too, and men who think cooking isn't masculine.

Know what else is not masculine? Starving to death because you're unable to track, kill, clean, and cook dinner. Better hope life stays easy if you don't know how to cook for yourself.

Another thing that tends to cost a man his "masculine" card is being stuck in a relationship with an abusive wife, because he's unable to survive on his own. Male abuse victims get very little respect or help from society as a whole, which is unfair.

Agreed! I've heard of some relationships where the man was being physically abused by his wife and was too ashamed to say anything or leave, it's really sad and unfortunate that they are continuing to suffer as a result.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: kite on May 31, 2016, 07:13:18 AM
How are people able to be professionally successful enough to hire help at home but are unable to teach themselves how to cook???

From what I gather, it's a piece of mental acrobatics that requires you to simultaneously believe that cooking is a complicated skill that comes naturally to some and is not learned and therefore cannot be learned by you AND that cooking is easy and someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.

The co-existance of these beliefs mystify me.
Or:
Cooking is beneath you to learn because someone else should do it for you for minimum wage.
Ug, I've met one of these people.
I get that from some people too, and men who think cooking isn't masculine.

Know what else is not masculine? Starving to death because you're unable to track, kill, clean, and cook dinner. Better hope life stays easy if you don't know how to cook for yourself.
Yup.
The kind of people who categorize and rank the relative masculinity of various pursuits are themselves, not Masculine. Masculine entails not actually giving a fig what anyone thinks
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: sonjak on May 31, 2016, 08:20:40 AM
Agreed that it can be frustrating when people say something is purely based on luck rather than realizing that choices (often daily choices) are the main factor.  Like someone who commented upthread about weight being luck-caused, not work-related.

At my last job, several of my coworkers told me I was "lucky" I was thin because they hadn't seen me when I was heavier so they assumed I had always been thin or healthy weight and that I just happened to be born that way.  One of these coworkers ate chocolate muffins, cookies or similar treats EVERY SINGLE DAY.  My snacks consisted of fruit and nuts and I walked every day.  That isn't luck (good or bad), it's a lifestyle choice.

More recently a neighbor told me I was "lucky" because "you don't have kids or anyone else to worry about."  I used birth control and got a divorce.  Lucky me!

Well, to be fair, part of it can be due to luck, aka, genetics: my husband and I eat the same thing and he reliable eats twice what I do, and yet I gain weight by blinking and he still fits into the suit he wore for his prom. That said, genetics aren't destiny - eat healthy food (and the occasional treat), walk a lot, and control the drinking, and you'll be thinner than you would be otherwise.

But, yeah, I get your point - it's not 'luck', it's 'reasonable circumstances COMBINED WITH EFFORT'. The reasonable circumstances are important (just like with finances...) but they are NOT the reason/excuse/whatever BS people are telling themselves to avoid facing the logical circumstances for their lack of effort.

Yes! This exactly: it's not 'luck', it's 'reasonable circumstances COMBINED WITH EFFORT'
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on May 31, 2016, 08:21:43 AM
More recently a neighbor told me I was "lucky" because "you don't have kids or anyone else to worry about."  I used birth control and got a divorce.  Lucky me!

And I'm guessing that you not having children gets you criticized by people around you. The childfree people I know certainly do.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Vertical Mode on May 31, 2016, 08:52:41 AM
Preach! I just want to tear my hair out when people harp on me for not getting the latest gadget/laptop/tv or blowing cash on cocktails, but then at the same time laugh when I mention early retirement, wishing me good luck in cheating the system, talking to me like I'm some delusional nutcase. It's not a system, you numbskulls, it's math! Guess what, the number of cocktails you drink can actually be translated directly to days, months, years you have to work extra before you get to do whatever you please.

That said, I do budget for eating out, cocktails and a good laptop. But in moderation. Because I really just want to enjoy these things exponentially over the years. Classic tortoise/hare race. First order of business when I retire: Monday morning 9 AM, having a giant pina colada while you are stuck in traffic to your miserable desk job.

(I am a sadistic tortoise)

1. Absolutely agree. Math, people!

2. Cheers! I plan on doing something very similar, although an Irish coffee would probably be more my speed at that hour.

3. 'Sadistic Tortoise' would make a great forum handle! :-)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: mm1970 on May 31, 2016, 09:20:35 AM
10/10 rants.  Can't wait for the next issue.


Poor, poor woman not to have access to google.

I'm so blessed that when I want or need to cook something new for the first time, I google 'how to cook x' and it would bring up how to cook x.

Funny family story:

My parents, sister, BIL, and youngest brother are visiting my older brother out of state.  My youngest brother (who's about 23 years old at this point) is notorious for sleeping in until around 2pm whenever the family hangs out over vacations.  Since they have a schedule to keep however, he's up and about so they tell him to make some scrambled eggs for everyone for breakfast.  "Umm, okay."  A few minutes later, they look over and notice he's just cracking eggs into a pan and kinda moving them around.

Sister: What are you doing?
Brother: Making scrambled eggs.
Sister: What? No you're not. You're supposed to beat the eggs, add some milk and seasoning, not just push raw eggs in a hot pan.
Brother: Well I didn't know that.
Sister: Fair enough, but when you realized you didn't know how to make scrambled eggs you didn't think to just ask one of us here or even Google a simple recipe?
Brother: ...

He's getting better but we still rib him for this kind of stuff all the time.
Family:
I make scrambled eggs like Brother, because I'm lazy!  (hubby does it the "correct" way). Sorry not sorry!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: bridget on May 31, 2016, 09:37:47 AM
10/10 rants.  Can't wait for the next issue.


Poor, poor woman not to have access to google.

I'm so blessed that when I want or need to cook something new for the first time, I google 'how to cook x' and it would bring up how to cook x.

Funny family story:

My parents, sister, BIL, and youngest brother are visiting my older brother out of state.  My youngest brother (who's about 23 years old at this point) is notorious for sleeping in until around 2pm whenever the family hangs out over vacations.  Since they have a schedule to keep however, he's up and about so they tell him to make some scrambled eggs for everyone for breakfast.  "Umm, okay."  A few minutes later, they look over and notice he's just cracking eggs into a pan and kinda moving them around.

Sister: What are you doing?
Brother: Making scrambled eggs.
Sister: What? No you're not. You're supposed to beat the eggs, add some milk and seasoning, not just push raw eggs in a hot pan.
Brother: Well I didn't know that.
Sister: Fair enough, but when you realized you didn't know how to make scrambled eggs you didn't think to just ask one of us here or even Google a simple recipe?
Brother: ...

He's getting better but we still rib him for this kind of stuff all the time.
Family:
I make scrambled eggs like Brother, because I'm lazy!  (hubby does it the "correct" way). Sorry not sorry!

I assert that neither is the correct way, they are just different preparations of scrambled eggs. I prefer Brother's way. I don't actually want a pillowy pile of mashed-potato-texture eggs with a lot of extra calories/runniness added. I want a hard-fried egg that has been broken up and stirred around (dare I say that the correct verb for this action is "scrambled"?). I like having bits of crispiness in there, and don't want the egg flavor to be diluted with other stuff.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on May 31, 2016, 02:29:07 PM
Preach! I just want to tear my hair out when people harp on me for not getting the latest gadget/laptop/tv or blowing cash on cocktails, but then at the same time laugh when I mention early retirement

See that's the thing, I want to get a newer TV for my living room, and a surround sound system. There' a ton of restaurants here that I want to try, I've been craving Korean for the longest time but refuse to eat out for it (need to get myself to cook my favorite dishes first), and there's a craft cocktail bar that I want to go to but can't justify $17 for a drink. These are all things that I am voluntarily depriving myself because this long weekend was fucking awesome and I hated needing to wake up to come into work. I want my life to be a long weekend, and I know that by depriving myself of these things it will come to fruition much sooner, and the enjoyment will be far greater.

In no way am I actually deprived though, my lunches and dinners are delicious (made taco salad in the slow cooker and it is AMAZING), and I have a ton of fun with friends on the weekend without needing to go out for cocktails. My living room TV is perfectly acceptable and I have little need for a sound system as my tenant goes to bed at 9 most nights anyways.  But my mind still is conditioned to want these things, thankfully it also knows that NO means NO.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ender on June 01, 2016, 04:45:43 AM
Preach! I just want to tear my hair out when people harp on me for not getting the latest gadget/laptop/tv or blowing cash on cocktails, but then at the same time laugh when I mention early retirement

See that's the thing, I want to get a newer TV for my living room, and a surround sound system. There' a ton of restaurants here that I want to try, I've been craving Korean for the longest time but refuse to eat out for it (need to get myself to cook my favorite dishes first), and there's a craft cocktail bar that I want to go to but can't justify $17 for a drink. These are all things that I am voluntarily depriving myself because this long weekend was fucking awesome and I hated needing to wake up to come into work. I want my life to be a long weekend, and I know that by depriving myself of these things it will come to fruition much sooner, and the enjoyment will be far greater.

In no way am I actually deprived though, my lunches and dinners are delicious (made taco salad in the slow cooker and it is AMAZING), and I have a ton of fun with friends on the weekend without needing to go out for cocktails. My living room TV is perfectly acceptable and I have little need for a sound system as my tenant goes to bed at 9 most nights anyways.  But my mind still is conditioned to want these things, thankfully it also knows that NO means NO.

You mention a TV, do you often watch live TV and see ads?

I am curious how advertising plays into wanting things like that. I am on a very low information intake (never watch TV and almost never listen to the radio) and am curious how much having done this for years now affects my overall wants and desires for consumeristic things.

Though I already have a nice speaker set from my pre-mustachian days and highly recommend it (I think all the speakers and receiver totaled around $2000). Hah. So it's easy to say I don't want one, though the receiver requires about 15 minutes to turn on, so...
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: sonjak on June 01, 2016, 08:27:13 AM
More recently a neighbor told me I was "lucky" because "you don't have kids or anyone else to worry about."  I used birth control and got a divorce.  Lucky me!

And I'm guessing that you not having children gets you criticized by people around you. The childfree people I know certainly do.
I'm actually pretty lucky at this point.  Pretty much everyone I interact with regularly is supportive.  One woman that I work with is always laughingly sharing stories with the comment, "this will make you grateful that you decided not to have kids" (I said it first and it's become an ongoing joke with us and 100% true.  So much drama with her teenagers.)

I did have a sort of funny experience recently at a store I don't go to often.  It was Mother's Day and she asked me if I was a mom.  I said "not anymore" without any explanation (I used to be a stepmom).  I was mentally out of it, feeling introverted and didn't feel like chatting so I didn't explain.  The look on her face was a mixture of horror and puzzlement.  I know people ask those types of questions to bond but I feel bad for people whose child died, or are going through a painful divorce or tried and couldn't get pregnant or couldn't carry the baby to term.... it feels a little thoughtless if people don't voluntarily start talking about their kids, etc.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on June 01, 2016, 08:46:57 AM
Poor, poor woman not to have access to google.

I'm so blessed that when I want or need to cook something new for the first time, I google 'how to cook x' and it would bring up how to cook x. I never realized what a tremendous privilege it is to be able to google recipes. Truly, we have no idea how hard life is for those who cannot go to their computers, go to the google website, and google something simple that people have known how to do for forever. We are so lucky.

In all serious, I know I'm a condescending jerk sometimes, but how hard can it be to google 'how to cook a steak'? It's not magic.
One of my best friends will reply to people's dumb Facebook question posts with a LMGTFY link. Makes me laugh every time.

To be fair, I think there can be a generational issue here where we younger folks take for granted the access we have to information and our parents just don't realize what is out there.

I am way more adventurous in the kitchen than my parents were at my age, mostly thanks to Food Network and foodnetwork.com.  Want to try an ethnic dish I've never made before?  Just Google it and with a little perusing you can easily find a top-notch recipe and sometimes even find step-by-step how-to videos.  My parents had cookbooks-- if they wanted to try a new dish they'd never done before, they looked in their cookbooks.  If it wasn't in the books, they were out of luck.  If it was in the books, its questionable whether the recipe is a good one and the recipes may lack the tips and tricks that a video can provide. 

Same with DIY projects.  I've tackled some home repair and car repair jobs that I would not have had the confidence to try were it not for access to YouTube.  Our parents didn't have that benefit. 
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on June 01, 2016, 09:13:58 AM
Poor, poor woman not to have access to google.

I'm so blessed that when I want or need to cook something new for the first time, I google 'how to cook x' and it would bring up how to cook x. I never realized what a tremendous privilege it is to be able to google recipes. Truly, we have no idea how hard life is for those who cannot go to their computers, go to the google website, and google something simple that people have known how to do for forever. We are so lucky.

In all serious, I know I'm a condescending jerk sometimes, but how hard can it be to google 'how to cook a steak'? It's not magic.

Seriously! My dad's computer was acting screwy and took a while to fix, I just kept googling things on my phone and trying it until it worked. He had a serious of issues, but none of them were all the troublesome. I love Google!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Making Cookies on June 01, 2016, 01:22:57 PM
I wonder how many folks have developed careers (or expanded upon their careers) with Google or other search engine research. I know it's been a huge boon to me.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ketchup on June 01, 2016, 02:07:42 PM
I wonder how many folks have developed careers (or expanded upon their careers) with Google or other search engine research. I know it's been a huge boon to me.
I work in IT.  I probably perform at least 100 work-related Google searches a day.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on June 01, 2016, 02:28:55 PM
I wonder how many folks have developed careers (or expanded upon their careers) with Google or other search engine research. I know it's been a huge boon to me.
I work in IT.  I probably perform at least 100 work-related Google searches a day.

Everyone in my office thinks I'm an excel magician, including tHe banker and the investment people. I'm like, go to google, search "how to do X in Excel" follow instructions. If you do that often enough, you, too, can be an excel magician.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Warlord1986 on June 01, 2016, 02:52:34 PM
Whenever someone wants to put up a sign for a business in the county they go through me. Depending on the zoning district they can have up to X square feet.

One day I get a sign application for an elliptical sign. I checked the square footage and thought 'That doesn't look quite right.' Tenth grade geometry was a long time ago, (and I suck at math anyway) so I did a quick google search and re-learned how to calculate the square footage of an ellipse. I even found a calculator that will check the math for me! Turns out the customer calculated it the same way you would a rectangle (length x width) and they could have a larger sign.

I e-mailed them to let them know that the math was off, to please double check it, a link to the online calculator, and that they could have a larger sign if they wanted.

They e-mailed me back with apologies for applying to me with too LARGE a sign, and included revised drawings with a SMALLER SIGN. Calculated using length x width.

No, no! I e-mailed, figuring there had been some minor miscommunication. You can have a larger sign! It's just that ellipses are calculated differently than squares! NBD, we just need to check the math, here's the calculator, you can google it, blah-blah-blah.

This person, the VP of his small company, sent me another sign application with yet a smaller sign calculated using length x width. I stared at that e-mail for a long time wondering how he could possibly has misinterpreted my last e-mail. I mean, I understand if you don't remember something from tenth grade. But for God's sake, you should know how to read and do simple research. I'm pretty sure those signs are priced based on size and complexity, so this guy lost out on money by not googling.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on June 01, 2016, 03:07:06 PM
ugh, regarding the google search thing...  How about being able to perform a simple email search?

I have an assistant who does our marketing.  We've emailed back and forth about various things, including specifics on prices and sign-up dates for an upcoming project.  She made a flyer with those specifics.

Well now its time to start our email marketing campaign and she asked for the prices, info and details. 

Bah!  So frustrating.  Simply open your email account, and search for it.  You will find the email with all the info.  Or, think back to the flyer you made!!!  Pull up the flyer!

I'm hiring you to think, not just regurgitate emails and facebook posts!

I've had another partner request our bank account info.  So I checked my email, where we sent that info out, and copy and pasted the info for her. 

PEOPLE!  Why do I have to spoon-food you everything!?
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: dandarc on June 01, 2016, 03:08:21 PM
I'm pretty sure those signs are priced based on size and complexity, so this guy lost out on money by not googling.
So this was a representative of the sign-builder?
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Magilla on June 01, 2016, 03:50:33 PM
ugh, regarding the google search thing...  How about being able to perform a simple email search?

I have an assistant who does our marketing.  We've emailed back and forth about various things, including specifics on prices and sign-up dates for an upcoming project.  She made a flyer with those specifics.

Well now its time to start our email marketing campaign and she asked for the prices, info and details. 

Bah!  So frustrating.  Simply open your email account, and search for it.  You will find the email with all the info.  Or, think back to the flyer you made!!!  Pull up the flyer!

I'm hiring you to think, not just regurgitate emails and facebook posts!

I've had another partner request our bank account info.  So I checked my email, where we sent that info out, and copy and pasted the info for her. 

PEOPLE!  Why do I have to spoon-food you everything!?

My biggest pet peeve with so many millenial interns.  If I have to sit there and walk you on how to do a task point by point then WTF do I need you for?  I'm giving you a task, I will give you help when you get stuck and help direct you but I want you to do your own research and figure out how to do it.   With interns I don't even care what you know or don't know, I just want you to have the drive and desire to go figure things out and ask for help when you get stuck.  And seriously, what kind of engineer are you going to be if you can't even figure shit out on your own. 

Drives me nuts!  Pure laziness.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: AlwaysLearningToSave on June 01, 2016, 03:53:00 PM
. . .
I've had another partner request our bank account info.  So I checked my email, where we sent that info out, and copy and pasted the info for her. 
. . .

Your mistake is copying and pasting the information for her.  In the future, forward the original email and include a note to the effect of "Here is the email I sent you last month."  Usually this will shame them into learning to search before asking. 
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ender on June 01, 2016, 04:41:53 PM

My biggest pet peeve with so many millenial interns.  If I have to sit there and walk you on how to do a task point by point then WTF do I need you for?  I'm giving you a task, I will give you help when you get stuck and help direct you but I want you to do your own research and figure out how to do it.   With interns I don't even care what you know or don't know, I just want you to have the drive and desire to go figure things out and ask for help when you get stuck.  And seriously, what kind of engineer are you going to be if you can't even figure shit out on your own. 

Drives me nuts!  Pure laziness.

I love reading folks rage on millenials, as if whatever generation they are part of somehow magically was perfect at the world without having anyone teach them anything ever.

Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Magilla on June 01, 2016, 04:47:01 PM

My biggest pet peeve with so many millenial interns.  If I have to sit there and walk you on how to do a task point by point then WTF do I need you for?  I'm giving you a task, I will give you help when you get stuck and help direct you but I want you to do your own research and figure out how to do it.   With interns I don't even care what you know or don't know, I just want you to have the drive and desire to go figure things out and ask for help when you get stuck.  And seriously, what kind of engineer are you going to be if you can't even figure shit out on your own. 

Drives me nuts!  Pure laziness.

I love reading folks rage on millenials, as if whatever generation they are part of somehow magically was perfect at the world without having anyone teach them anything ever.

I will grant you that stupidity knows no generation.  And there is certainly a survivorship bias going on here where most of the lazy stupid older generation engineer wannabes are gone from my radar so I do not see them on a regular basis.  However, given that all the interns I see are millenials I doubt I could rail against interns from other generations.

Besides, I'm sure I'm wrong, but I still can't shake the feeling that this generation is lazier than the previous ones :P

Also, it doesn't annoy me they don't know how to do things it annoys me they don't put any effort in figuring it out.  They expect to be given step by step instructions and just sit there doing nothing if they get stuck until you check up on them.  This is on things that they can easily research themselves.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on June 01, 2016, 05:05:09 PM

My biggest pet peeve with so many millenial interns.  If I have to sit there and walk you on how to do a task point by point then WTF do I need you for?  I'm giving you a task, I will give you help when you get stuck and help direct you but I want you to do your own research and figure out how to do it.   With interns I don't even care what you know or don't know, I just want you to have the drive and desire to go figure things out and ask for help when you get stuck.  And seriously, what kind of engineer are you going to be if you can't even figure shit out on your own. 

Drives me nuts!  Pure laziness.

I love reading folks rage on millenials, as if whatever generation they are part of somehow magically was perfect at the world without having anyone teach them anything ever.

I will grant you that stupidity knows no generation.  And there is certainly a survivorship bias going on here where most of the lazy stupid older generation engineer wannabes are gone from my radar so I do not see them on a regular basis.  However, given that all the interns I see are millenials I doubt I could rail against interns from other generations.

Besides, I'm sure I'm wrong, but I still can't shake the feeling that this generation is lazier than the previous ones :P

Also, it doesn't annoy me they don't know how to do things it annoys me they don't put any effort in figuring it out.  They expect to be given step by step instructions and just sit there doing nothing if they get stuck until you check up on them.  This is on things that they can easily research themselves.

Huh. See, the 25 year olds I've worked with have generally had basic problem-solving and googling skills down. Those over 40, though... Oh man. Not so much. That said, I'm not gonna make sweeping generational statements based on my experience with a handful of people.

Also, they're  interns. Bu definition, they're there to learn both how to do things and to learn the social norms and expectations of the office. With a lot of bosses, initiative and problem solving is frowned on. Academically, it's even worse. Some of what you're seeing might be learned behaviour that's been trained into them. So... Have you TOLD them that you expect problem-solving and initiative?
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ender on June 01, 2016, 05:34:21 PM
Huh. See, the 25 year olds I've worked with have generally had basic problem-solving and googling skills down. Those over 40, though... Oh man. Not so much. That said, I'm not gonna make sweeping generational statements based on my experience with a handful of people.

No do it, it's fun. You can use this template:


Man, I can't stand <generation> because they can't do <X> which is so basic. They are lazy and need someone to help them every step of the way and are so <adjective> about everything!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Goldielocks on June 01, 2016, 06:05:31 PM

My biggest pet peeve with so many millenial interns.  If I have to sit there and walk you on how to do a task point by point then WTF do I need you for?  I'm giving you a task, I will give you help when you get stuck and help direct you but I want you to do your own research and figure out how to do it.   With interns I don't even care what you know or don't know, I just want you to have the drive and desire to go figure things out and ask for help when you get stuck.  And seriously, what kind of engineer are you going to be if you can't even figure shit out on your own. 

Drives me nuts!  Pure laziness.

I love reading folks rage on millenials, as if whatever generation they are part of somehow magically was perfect at the world without having anyone teach them anything ever.

I will grant you that stupidity knows no generation.  And there is certainly a survivorship bias going on here where most of the lazy stupid older generation engineer wannabes are gone from my radar so I do not see them on a regular basis.  However, given that all the interns I see are millenials I doubt I could rail against interns from other generations.

Besides, I'm sure I'm wrong, but I still can't shake the feeling that this generation is lazier than the previous ones :P

Also, it doesn't annoy me they don't know how to do things it annoys me they don't put any effort in figuring it out.  They expect to be given step by step instructions and just sit there doing nothing if they get stuck until you check up on them.  This is on things that they can easily research themselves.
I have found that the ratio of people who do this is pretty consistent across all ages.

What is different is that the younger crowd ask for help or say they don't know more often.  Older ones are more likely to hide or ignore  it (you) as long as possible.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on June 01, 2016, 06:11:21 PM
Huh. See, the 25 year olds I've worked with have generally had basic problem-solving and googling skills down. Those over 40, though... Oh man. Not so much. That said, I'm not gonna make sweeping generational statements based on my experience with a handful of people.

No do it, it's fun. You can use this template:


Man, I can't stand <generation> because they can't do <X> which is so basic. They are lazy and need someone to help them every step of the way and are so <adjective> about everything!

Yeah, but I LIKE the high moral ground. ;)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Magilla on June 01, 2016, 08:13:14 PM
Huh. See, the 25 year olds I've worked with have generally had basic problem-solving and googling skills down. Those over 40, though... Oh man. Not so much. That said, I'm not gonna make sweeping generational statements based on my experience with a handful of people.

No do it, it's fun. You can use this template:


Man, I can't stand <generation> because they can't do <X> which is so basic. They are lazy and need someone to help them every step of the way and are so <adjective> about everything!

Yeah, but I LIKE the high moral ground. ;)

Let's not kid ourselves.  You're on this section of the board to bitch about people doing things differently than you etc.  Don't think anyone here really has a moral high ground. ;)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on June 01, 2016, 09:47:24 PM
Huh. See, the 25 year olds I've worked with have generally had basic problem-solving and googling skills down. Those over 40, though... Oh man. Not so much. That said, I'm not gonna make sweeping generational statements based on my experience with a handful of people.

No do it, it's fun. You can use this template:


Man, I can't stand <generation> because they can't do <X> which is so basic. They are lazy and need someone to help them every step of the way and are so <adjective> about everything!

Yeah, but I LIKE the high moral ground. ;)

Let's not kid ourselves.  You're on this section of the board to bitch about people doing things differently than you etc.  Don't think anyone here really has a moral high ground. ;)

How about a moral "slightly buzzed" ground, because of the glass of red wine? That's how I like to post in the evenings. It makes my metaphors better.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: EarlyStart on June 02, 2016, 01:01:37 AM
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.

I'm all for brushing things off and not reacting. I think being levelheaded is one of the most admirable traits...


But those comments verbatim wouldn't receive a smile and nod from me. This is going to sound snobby, but people who would dream of commenting "wow, you must be rich" and "wow, your husband must make a LOT" are white trash, plain and simple. I wouldn't tell them so, but I'd certainly make it clear that they shouldn't ever make comments like that again.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: shelivesthedream on June 02, 2016, 01:43:43 AM
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.

I'm all for brushing things off and not reacting. I think being levelheaded is one of the most admirable traits...


But those comments verbatim wouldn't receive a smile and nod from me. This is going to sound snobby, but people who would dream of commenting "wow, you must be rich" and "wow, your husband must make a LOT" are white trash, plain and simple. I wouldn't tell them so, but I'd certainly make it clear that they shouldn't ever make comments like that again.

Even if they're black? Or Asian? Or Latino? Or... Or... Or...
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: barbaz on June 02, 2016, 05:18:11 AM
1) Yes, the cedar deck ...
2) Yes, those garden boxes are nice.
3) Yes, my front deck will look lovely with large flower boxes ...
4) Yes, I have a large-ish house on 2 acres of land. ...
5) Yeah, I agree: my furniture is gorgeous. ...
Seriously though, you can't just write that and then leave us hanging without a photo.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on June 02, 2016, 06:39:25 AM
1) Yes, the cedar deck ...
2) Yes, those garden boxes are nice.
3) Yes, my front deck will look lovely with large flower boxes ...
4) Yes, I have a large-ish house on 2 acres of land. ...
5) Yeah, I agree: my furniture is gorgeous. ...
Seriously though, you can't just write that and then leave us hanging without a photo.

I'm envisioning something like this...
(http://www.lovethispic.com/uploaded_images/22083-Large-Mansion-Exterior-.jpg)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on June 02, 2016, 06:40:33 AM
I wonder how many folks have developed careers (or expanded upon their careers) with Google or other search engine research. I know it's been a huge boon to me.
I work in IT.  I probably perform at least 100 work-related Google searches a day.

Everyone in my office thinks I'm an excel magician, including tHe banker and the investment people. I'm like, go to google, search "how to do X in Excel" follow instructions. If you do that often enough, you, too, can be an excel magician.

I made "doing [insert program here] magic" into my full-time job by saying "this should be possible" and Googling how to do it. I make 80% more than I did when I started this job 5 years ago.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Warlord1986 on June 02, 2016, 06:46:34 AM
I'm pretty sure those signs are priced based on size and complexity, so this guy lost out on money by not googling.
So this was a representative of the sign-builder?

It was a sign vendor. Their client was a business in town who ended up with a smaller sign than what they wanted.

99% of the time signs are the easiest part of my job and I've had vendors tell me I'm a dream to work with because I make it so simple. I need Baby Jesus to hold my hand when I deal with the other one percent.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Chris22 on June 02, 2016, 06:49:33 AM

My biggest pet peeve with so many millenial interns.  If I have to sit there and walk you on how to do a task point by point then WTF do I need you for?  I'm giving you a task, I will give you help when you get stuck and help direct you but I want you to do your own research and figure out how to do it.   With interns I don't even care what you know or don't know, I just want you to have the drive and desire to go figure things out and ask for help when you get stuck.  And seriously, what kind of engineer are you going to be if you can't even figure shit out on your own. 

Drives me nuts!  Pure laziness.

I love reading folks rage on millenials, as if whatever generation they are part of somehow magically was perfect at the world without having anyone teach them anything ever.

I will grant you that stupidity knows no generation.  And there is certainly a survivorship bias going on here where most of the lazy stupid older generation engineer wannabes are gone from my radar so I do not see them on a regular basis.  However, given that all the interns I see are millenials I doubt I could rail against interns from other generations.

Besides, I'm sure I'm wrong, but I still can't shake the feeling that this generation is lazier than the previous ones :P

Also, it doesn't annoy me they don't know how to do things it annoys me they don't put any effort in figuring it out.  They expect to be given step by step instructions and just sit there doing nothing if they get stuck until you check up on them.  This is on things that they can easily research themselves.

Huh. See, the 25 year olds I've worked with have generally had basic problem-solving and googling skills down. Those over 40, though... Oh man. Not so much. That said, I'm not gonna make sweeping generational statements based on my experience with a handful of people.

Also, they're  interns. Bu definition, they're there to learn both how to do things and to learn the social norms and expectations of the office. With a lot of bosses, initiative and problem solving is frowned on. Academically, it's even worse. Some of what you're seeing might be learned behaviour that's been trained into them. So... Have you TOLD them that you expect problem-solving and initiative?

I had to teach the 50ish lady who sat next to me how to do a copy+paste or a VLOOKUP about 1x a week.  And then troubleshoot what she was doing wrong.  I also inherited a task from her that took her 4 days....I got it down to 45 minutes. 
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: shelivesthedream on June 02, 2016, 07:52:19 AM
I wrote out instructions for one lady on how to print from excel and fill the whole sheet with the numbers rather than tiny dot numbers and a load of empty cells (I.e. Print selection). I figured it out through Google.

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?

YES! Yes of course you have to do all the steps! I didn't write them in just for fun! You called me in here to demonstrate to me that not only can you not google something, but you also cannot follow simple written instructions?! How have you kept your job for the past few decades?

I pretended the phone was ringing next door so I could walk away and not punch her. I think it's partially a difference in expectation. If I want to do something on the computer I assume that other people might want to do it too, and so that it would be written into the software, and that the information on how to do it would be widely available. If she wants to do something and doesn't know how, she assumes it's impossible to do it on the software so doesn't bother looking.

That same office had a massive problem with emails being missed in a shared inbox because Outlook marked them as read after previewing. Two days in, I thought this was a PITA, googled it, and found a box to uncheck so they were only marked as read after being opened and then did it on everyone's computer. One lady had worked there for fifteen years and complained about the shared inbox every single day and had never once googled it to see if it could be changed. Fucking hell.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ketchup on June 02, 2016, 08:49:08 AM
I wrote out instructions for one lady on how to print from excel and fill the whole sheet with the numbers rather than tiny dot numbers and a load of empty cells (I.e. Print selection). I figured it out through Google.

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?

YES! Yes of course you have to do all the steps! I didn't write them in just for fun! You called me in here to demonstrate to me that not only can you not google something, but you also cannot follow simple written instructions?! How have you kept your job for the past few decades?

I pretended the phone was ringing next door so I could walk away and not punch her. I think it's partially a difference in expectation. If I want to do something on the computer I assume that other people might want to do it too, and so that it would be written into the software, and that the information on how to do it would be widely available. If she wants to do something and doesn't know how, she assumes it's impossible to do it on the software so doesn't bother looking.

That same office had a massive problem with emails being missed in a shared inbox because Outlook marked them as read after previewing. Two days in, I thought this was a PITA, googled it, and found a box to uncheck so they were only marked as read after being opened and then did it on everyone's computer. One lady had worked there for fifteen years and complained about the shared inbox every single day and had never once googled it to see if it could be changed. Fucking hell.
Sounds about right.

I usually work under the assumption that nobody ready any emails, nobody remembers what I said or did last time, nobody actually restarted before finding me, nobody knows what "logoff" means, and you didn't really fiddle with the printer or if you did you fucked it up.  It makes things easier.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on June 02, 2016, 09:03:29 AM
1) Yes, the cedar deck ...
2) Yes, those garden boxes are nice.
3) Yes, my front deck will look lovely with large flower boxes ...
4) Yes, I have a large-ish house on 2 acres of land. ...
5) Yeah, I agree: my furniture is gorgeous. ...
Seriously though, you can't just write that and then leave us hanging without a photo.

I'm envisioning something like this...
(http://www.lovethispic.com/uploaded_images/22083-Large-Mansion-Exterior-.jpg)

Picture something a bit more like this:
(http://www.takus.com/architecture/toh.jpeg)

Except add a small front deck/roof over the front door and entryway. That'd be the deck that needs flower boxes. :)

All the pictures on my phone have my kid in them, so not posting on a public forum... but, like, seriously, the garden boxes are 4x8 squares that are full of veggies. The flower boxes on the deck will basically be simple black cubes with legs (this plan: http://www.ana-white.com/2012/04/plans/square-planters-finials). It's not anything hugely extravagant!!


Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on June 02, 2016, 09:09:12 AM
That sounds amazing, I hope you are proud of the effort you put into that.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: LAL on June 02, 2016, 09:21:28 AM
I never got the whole renting a summer place. I also don't get how people don't understand buying a very expensive car can make a huge dent in finances.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on June 02, 2016, 09:32:28 AM
I never got the whole renting a summer place. I also don't get how people don't understand buying a very expensive car can make a huge dent in finances.

Yeah, I also never understood the appeal of a mansion. I can understand it if you have a huge family, but for me, it just means a large tax bill, loads more to maintain, and higher costs for electrical/heating usage.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: onlykelsey on June 02, 2016, 09:34:16 AM
I never got the whole renting a summer place. I also don't get how people don't understand buying a very expensive car can make a huge dent in finances.

Yeah, I also never understood the appeal of a mansion. I can understand it if you have a huge family, but for me, it just means a large tax bill, loads more to maintain, and higher costs for electrical/heating usage.

Agreed.  Talk to me after my second kid, but I think I would be comfortable raising two kids (with my 100 lbs dog) in my ~840 square foot place if it weren't 11' wide and a million feet long (so much lost space in the hallways!). Maybe 1000 or 1200 would be more reasonable.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: mm1970 on June 02, 2016, 11:06:36 AM

My biggest pet peeve with so many millenial interns.  If I have to sit there and walk you on how to do a task point by point then WTF do I need you for?  I'm giving you a task, I will give you help when you get stuck and help direct you but I want you to do your own research and figure out how to do it.   With interns I don't even care what you know or don't know, I just want you to have the drive and desire to go figure things out and ask for help when you get stuck.  And seriously, what kind of engineer are you going to be if you can't even figure shit out on your own. 

Drives me nuts!  Pure laziness.

I love reading folks rage on millenials, as if whatever generation they are part of somehow magically was perfect at the world without having anyone teach them anything ever.

Ha ha yes.  I'm an X-er, and I feel like I was *pretty good* at figuring things out myself.  I don't think, however, that it was something special to my generation.  I think my parents taught me to figure things out for myself.  I also have some innate skill.

I think, however, that this varies.  I am an engineer and I work with a lot of PhD's.  There's a wide variety of ability to just "figure things out" in my coworkers.  I've found that I am *much* better at applying what I already know to new situations, than I am (or ever have been) at dealing with completely new things.  Completely new things flummox me.  I get there, eventually.  So much of my success now is from applying my decades of experience.

I've been thrown into a completely new position now, and I'm back at square 2 or 3 at "figuring things out myself".  It's an area that I still struggle.

Likewise, I've had a lot of millenial engineers work for me, with varying abilities to "figure things out for themselves".  Most of them have been self-starters, go getters, and fantastic.  But some haven't been that great. 

The ones that haven't been great, I work with them step by step with instructions on how to do various things - where to find info, how to look things up, how and where to record the data, how to analyze and present results.  If they aren't able to "figure it out" then I can teach them and grow them. I figured it was kind of my job. 

I see nothing wrong with having to train someone.  If you have to train them over and over again, well, that's different.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: infogoon on June 02, 2016, 12:59:19 PM
Just chiming in to sympathize with your rant. I'm getting more and more annoyed with people saying "Oh, you're so lucky that your wife can stay home with the kids!" No, dipshit, it's because we bought a house for $80k when you bought one for $300k, and I drive an eight year old car while you upgrade your SUV every time the lease expires. No luck, just math.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: pbkmaine on June 02, 2016, 01:10:27 PM
I never got the whole renting a summer place. I also don't get how people don't understand buying a very expensive car can make a huge dent in finances.

Yeah, I also never understood the appeal of a mansion. I can understand it if you have a huge family, but for me, it just means a large tax bill, loads more to maintain, and higher costs for electrical/heating usage.

Agreed.  Talk to me after my second kid, but I think I would be comfortable raising two kids (with my 100 lbs dog) in my ~840 square foot place if it weren't 11' wide and a million feet long (so much lost space in the hallways!). Maybe 1000 or 1200 would be more reasonable.

Hallways are great for little kids! Put the trikes there on rainy days and let them exhaust themselves!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on June 02, 2016, 02:13:35 PM
I never got the whole renting a summer place. I also don't get how people don't understand buying a very expensive car can make a huge dent in finances.

Yeah, I also never understood the appeal of a mansion. I can understand it if you have a huge family, but for me, it just means a large tax bill, loads more to maintain, and higher costs for electrical/heating usage.

Agreed.  Talk to me after my second kid, but I think I would be comfortable raising two kids (with my 100 lbs dog) in my ~840 square foot place if it weren't 11' wide and a million feet long (so much lost space in the hallways!). Maybe 1000 or 1200 would be more reasonable.

Hallways are great for little kids! Put the trikes there on rainy days and let them exhaust themselves!

Trikes on a long hallway reminds me of The Shining.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Nederstash on June 02, 2016, 03:00:41 PM
I never got the whole renting a summer place. I also don't get how people don't understand buying a very expensive car can make a huge dent in finances.

Yeah, I also never understood the appeal of a mansion. I can understand it if you have a huge family, but for me, it just means a large tax bill, loads more to maintain, and higher costs for electrical/heating usage.

Agreed.  Talk to me after my second kid, but I think I would be comfortable raising two kids (with my 100 lbs dog) in my ~840 square foot place if it weren't 11' wide and a million feet long (so much lost space in the hallways!). Maybe 1000 or 1200 would be more reasonable.

Hallways are great for little kids! Put the trikes there on rainy days and let them exhaust themselves!

Trikes on a long hallway reminds me of The Shining.

The Overlook hotel, while huge, was actually very affordable. Jack Torrance got *paid* to live there with his family. And little Danny Torrance never paid much for a cell phone plan - just did it mentally. Quite MMM now I think about it.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on June 02, 2016, 03:24:30 PM
I never got the whole renting a summer place. I also don't get how people don't understand buying a very expensive car can make a huge dent in finances.

Yeah, I also never understood the appeal of a mansion. I can understand it if you have a huge family, but for me, it just means a large tax bill, loads more to maintain, and higher costs for electrical/heating usage.

Agreed.  Talk to me after my second kid, but I think I would be comfortable raising two kids (with my 100 lbs dog) in my ~840 square foot place if it weren't 11' wide and a million feet long (so much lost space in the hallways!). Maybe 1000 or 1200 would be more reasonable.

Hallways are great for little kids! Put the trikes there on rainy days and let them exhaust themselves!

Trikes on a long hallway reminds me of The Shining.

The Overlook hotel, while huge, was actually very affordable. Jack Torrance got *paid* to live there with his family. And little Danny Torrance never paid much for a cell phone plan - just did it mentally. Quite MMM now I think about it.

Except your forgetting that Jack is an alcoholic that's lost jobs due to his alcoholism and lack of anger management, which I would argue isn't very MMM.

On a side note, I saw the world premier of the operatic adaption of the book. I don't know if anyone here is an opera lover, but if you are and you get a chance to see this, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! Heck, even if you don't like opera, I recommend seeing it. It is amazingly good!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Nederstash on June 02, 2016, 03:30:18 PM
I never got the whole renting a summer place. I also don't get how people don't understand buying a very expensive car can make a huge dent in finances.

Yeah, I also never understood the appeal of a mansion. I can understand it if you have a huge family, but for me, it just means a large tax bill, loads more to maintain, and higher costs for electrical/heating usage.

Agreed.  Talk to me after my second kid, but I think I would be comfortable raising two kids (with my 100 lbs dog) in my ~840 square foot place if it weren't 11' wide and a million feet long (so much lost space in the hallways!). Maybe 1000 or 1200 would be more reasonable.

Hallways are great for little kids! Put the trikes there on rainy days and let them exhaust themselves!

Trikes on a long hallway reminds me of The Shining.

The Overlook hotel, while huge, was actually very affordable. Jack Torrance got *paid* to live there with his family. And little Danny Torrance never paid much for a cell phone plan - just did it mentally. Quite MMM now I think about it.

Except your forgetting that Jack is an alcoholic that's lost jobs due to his alcoholism and lack of anger management, which I would argue isn't very MMM.

On a side note, I saw the world premier of the operatic adaption of the book. I don't know if anyone here is an opera lover, but if you are and you get a chance to see this, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! Heck, even if you don't like opera, I recommend seeing it. It is amazingly good!

Oh my God, I'm imagining 'Heeeere's Johnny' in a dramatic opera voice.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Guses on June 02, 2016, 03:35:33 PM
My colleagues are... clown-car ridiculous.

RANT


Whoa whoa whoa! Calm down baby girl, is it this time of the month again? I am sure if you ask nicely, your husband will give you a few bucks so that you can buy yourself a nice dress.







Totally kidding, don't hurt me. ;)

I sure would love to see pictures of the deck and garden boxes!


Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam on June 02, 2016, 07:56:50 PM
I never got the whole renting a summer place. I also don't get how people don't understand buying a very expensive car can make a huge dent in finances.

Yeah, I also never understood the appeal of a mansion. I can understand it if you have a huge family, but for me, it just means a large tax bill, loads more to maintain, and higher costs for electrical/heating usage.

Agreed.  Talk to me after my second kid, but I think I would be comfortable raising two kids (with my 100 lbs dog) in my ~840 square foot place if it weren't 11' wide and a million feet long (so much lost space in the hallways!). Maybe 1000 or 1200 would be more reasonable.

Hallways are great for little kids! Put the trikes there on rainy days and let them exhaust themselves!

Trikes on a long hallway reminds me of The Shining.

The Overlook hotel, while huge, was actually very affordable. Jack Torrance got *paid* to live there with his family. And little Danny Torrance never paid much for a cell phone plan - just did it mentally. Quite MMM now I think about it.

Except your forgetting that Jack is an alcoholic that's lost jobs due to his alcoholism and lack of anger management, which I would argue isn't very MMM.

On a side note, I saw the world premier of the operatic adaption of the book. I don't know if anyone here is an opera lover, but if you are and you get a chance to see this, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! Heck, even if you don't like opera, I recommend seeing it. It is amazingly good!

Oh my God, I'm imagining 'Heeeere's Johnny' in a dramatic opera voice.

I was going to go with a good friend but I told her the wrong date and she was going to be in NYC that day so I went with another friend, that guy came close to promising to name his first born son after me, he was that grateful (tickets to all performances sold out about a month before).
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Ellsie Equanimity on June 02, 2016, 10:34:04 PM
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.

Isn't a basic premise of "mustachianism" recognizing that you *are* rich? Whether that be understanding the importance of the choices of what you spend on aspect or upping your contentedness because most everything we consider common these days is a luxury, (likely both), I believe that is pretty fundamental to the life you have chosen. You, yourself, are admitting in your rant that you see what you have as huge, nice, lovely, gorgeous, etc.

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.)

In either case you can subtly educate and respond with compassion rather than anger. I get that people are frustrating, and good for you to not rant back to them. But there are responses that can possibly help them learn and hopefully help you continue to view them with more compassion and grace than anger.

"You must be rich/make a lot" can be responded to with something along the lines of (quick response) "Not overly rich but we know what we value and making it a hobby helps a lot!" Or elaborated further: "We know what's important to us and what we want to spend on. We had a great time building all the gardens ourselves. It's much less expensive than paying someone plus we enjoy it!" or (a little more insightful/educational) "We love that our jobs allow us to invest time in building our home. We watch our spending in other ways so we can spend some on hobbies we enjoy. Plus when we do a lot of the work ourselves it ends up not costing as much as you would think anyway!"

An "I can't afford..." response can be countered with your own experience - "It's surprising what you can afford when you know your priorities. We make sure to spend as little as possible on driving, we even only have one car, because we know that this is more important to us." Just pretend they are baby mustachians in training! If you're really comfortable with them you could even do some actual comparisons. I think I saw a post about groceries, that is a pretty safe place to say real numbers without getting to personal - "I spent $x. When you buy fresh and plan/cook, it actually saves a lot!" You could even offer to help. "If you wanted I could give you recipes/meal planning for what we do. They really get you in prepackaged stuff so we avoid that and it ends up being high quality and really not very expensive. (Optional: We only spend $x and we end up feeling like we eat luxuriously!)"

I'm not saying this is easy or that they'll get it. Some people will never see it from your perspective. But at least you are honest with where you stand.

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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: BlueHouse on June 03, 2016, 05:02:21 AM

I've had another partner request our bank account info.  So I checked my email, where we sent that info out, and copy and pasted the info for her. 

PEOPLE!  Why do I have to spoon-food you everything!?
This describes approx 70% of what I do everyday. I bill $185/hour.
On a regular basis, I am asked to do some extra task to help someone else out. I chuckle inside but very willingly and with a great attitude agree to do some pretty menial tasks. Last week I was paid $1400 to print labels. Not complaining! 
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on June 03, 2016, 07:09:06 AM
My colleagues are... clown-car ridiculous.

RANT


Whoa whoa whoa! Calm down baby girl, is it this time of the month again? I am sure if you ask nicely, your husband will give you a few bucks so that you can buy yourself a nice dress.







Totally kidding, don't hurt me. ;)

I sure would love to see pictures of the deck and garden boxes!

Wow, you must have met some of my old colleagues, to he able to imitate them that well. ;)

Joking aside: the deck is in process of being built, so pictures when we're done..., but here are the garden boxes (blueberry bushes on one side, swing and sandbox on the other).

See what I mean? Nice. Super functional. Will look lush once more veggies start growing in. But... home-built, from lumber we sawed ourselves, and not really the hight of luxury. Why someone would pay big bucks for the equivalent, I don't know.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune on June 03, 2016, 07:41:15 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.

Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: LeRainDrop on June 03, 2016, 08:08:27 AM
Joking aside: the deck is in process of being built, so pictures when we're done..., but here are the garden boxes (blueberry bushes on one side, swing and sandbox on the other).

See what I mean? Nice. Super functional. Will look lush once more veggies start growing in. But... home-built, from lumber we sawed ourselves, and not really the hight of luxury. Why someone would pay big bucks for the equivalent, I don't know.

Love this!  It's exactly like what my parents did with us kids growing up (except that they bought the lumber).  We had a large L-shape box for our garden (tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, flowers, carrots, green beans, etc.) and a mirror-image L-shape box for our sandbox and the swing-set that parents bought from our next-door neighbors when they wanted to "upgrade" to some new, expensive version.  The picture that of the similar house you posted also looks so much like the house that my elementary school crush grew up in.  Do you live in New England?
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Magilla 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 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....
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MrMoogle 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Playing with Fire UK 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.

Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Uturn 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?

Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: RedBaron3 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). 

Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: SaskyStache 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: AMandM 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Cassie 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: zolotiyeruki 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: okits 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: shelivesthedream 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)?
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: LeRainDrop 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.

Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: nobodyspecial 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.
   
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Ladychips 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: onehair 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: meghan88 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Dicey 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...
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: rothnroll 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: trashmanz 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: rothnroll 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: ender 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam 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?
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: onlykelsey 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: exterous 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
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: WGH 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...
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Kitsune 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?
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Playing with Fire UK 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!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: FireLane 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!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: accountingteacher 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. 
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Parizade 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
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: dandarc 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Apocalyptica602 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Canadian in KS 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: jinga nation 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Dicey 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?
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: FireLane 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: MgoSam 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!
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Trudie 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Slee_stack 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!

Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Trudie 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...."
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Warlord1986 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.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Making Cookies on June 24, 2016, 09:50:23 AM
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.

That fishbowl would be a very uncomfortable place to be in a smaller community. Back when the lottery was huge and the coworkers were all discussing what they'd do if they won - all I could think about was "not tell anyone but DW that we had won". Except we never buy tickets.

In my mind telling anyone - even family - would end our happy existence. Our lives would become irreparably defined by our perceived bank account.

I remember a couple of do-nothing relatives who spent my entire childhood worrying about their parents' money and what would happen to it when their parent's died. It consumed their relationships with their parents and defined it. I thought it was fairly unique until I began lurking here at the MMM forums. Nope - pretty common after all.

Had they spent a fraction of the time and effort on a career they could have lived well-to-do lives.

I figured if DW and I ever won the lottery it would be better to slowly and quietly retreat to some hobby business (for example) that makes us happy and looks like we earn enough to live a comfortable life.

"Yeah, we grow kudzu for a living...." ;)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Slee_stack on June 24, 2016, 10:29:00 AM
It is worse to be offended by ignorance or bust a gut laughing at it?

In the OP's place I'd have had a good time playing up the role and 'rubbing it in'.

Oh heck yeah its sweet!  I kind of just show up to work because I do get a little bored sometimes.  Sometimes I forget that everyone else doesn't have a choice!

Maybe pout a little or shake your head to feign concern.

Are they going to learn anything anyway at this point?  No, they're idiots!  May as well have some fun with them!  Bring that jealousy pot to a boil!

Perhaps that's a pretty mean thing to do, but generally I only work with my coworkers, I don't socialize with them.  (I'd actually probably bust chops even more if they were semi friends.)

If the only alternative is taking offense, will...EEEEEFFFFFFF that!

Of course if there are any mentally unstable folk whose skin is a looking a little too greenish, you might want to opt out of the ribbing.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: accountingteacher on June 29, 2016, 08:19:58 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.

I think that's why I resent my BIL and SIL so much - not because they have accomplished more than we have but that they pretend to have by putting 5% down on a $600K house, leasing an Audi so they can 'write it off on taxes' etc.  We objectively know our family income is nearly twice theirs, but they think we're poor / cheap for spending less on a house, owning later model cars and (gasp) using the library instead of Indigo. 
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Cassie on June 30, 2016, 03:57:34 PM
I don't get why you resent them for making foolish choices?  Maybe feel bad that they are not good with their $.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on June 30, 2016, 09:35:30 PM
I think that's why I resent xx so much - not because they have accomplished more than we have but that they pretend to have by putting 5% down on a $600K house, leasing an Audi so they can 'write it off on taxes' etc.  We objectively know our family income is nearly twice theirs, but they think we're poor / cheap for spending less on a house, owning later model cars and (gasp) using the library instead of Indigo.

I think this is a common conundrum for us forum members.  We Mustachian types have lots of savings and investments, but our peers or family have lots of stuff (and probably more stuff than they can reasonably ongoingly afford).  But ultimately, the tortoise beats the hare - you just have to love being the tortoise.  Of course, hares can win too if they are self-aware, so don't be a tortoise if you are actually a hare.  Ugh, what a complicated moral story :)
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Giro on July 01, 2016, 07:49:49 AM
I think that's why I resent xx so much - not because they have accomplished more than we have but that they pretend to have by putting 5% down on a $600K house, leasing an Audi so they can 'write it off on taxes' etc.  We objectively know our family income is nearly twice theirs, but they think we're poor / cheap for spending less on a house, owning later model cars and (gasp) using the library instead of Indigo.

I think this is a common conundrum for us forum members.  We Mustachian types have lots of savings and investments, but our peers or family have lots of stuff (and probably more stuff than they can reasonably ongoingly afford).  But ultimately, the tortoise beats the hare - you just have to love being the tortoise.  Of course, hares can win too if they are self-aware, so don't be a tortoise if you are actually a hare.  Ugh, what a complicated moral story :)

And we must be careful to not assume that our way is best for everyone.  That is what I struggle with sometimes.  It's okay for my entire neighborhood to buy new cars, it's not my business.  If they choose to work into their 60's, that is their choice and not mine. What I have to be careful with are assumptions.  I am assuming that they are leasing these new cars every year or two and that they are in debt up to their eyeballs.  How is that different than them assuming I am poor because I shop thrift stores and eat at home each night?




Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Sofa King on July 01, 2016, 08:06:31 AM
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


Fuck this shit. He needs to live his own life. I would never of let him move in in the first place.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: accountingteacher on July 02, 2016, 07:00:35 AM
I don't get why you resent them for making foolish choices?  Maybe feel bad that they are not good with their $.

Because of how condescending they are with their "wealth".
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: accountingteacher on July 02, 2016, 07:11:01 AM
I think that's why I resent xx so much - not because they have accomplished more than we have but that they pretend to have by putting 5% down on a $600K house, leasing an Audi so they can 'write it off on taxes' etc.  We objectively know our family income is nearly twice theirs, but they think we're poor / cheap for spending less on a house, owning later model cars and (gasp) using the library instead of Indigo.

I think this is a common conundrum for us forum members.  We Mustachian types have lots of savings and investments, but our peers or family have lots of stuff (and probably more stuff than they can reasonably ongoingly afford).  But ultimately, the tortoise beats the hare - you just have to love being the tortoise.  Of course, hares can win too if they are self-aware, so don't be a tortoise if you are actually a hare.  Ugh, what a complicated moral story :)

And we must be careful to not assume that our way is best for everyone.  That is what I struggle with sometimes.  It's okay for my entire neighborhood to buy new cars, it's not my business.  If they choose to work into their 60's, that is their choice and not mine. What I have to be careful with are assumptions.  I am assuming that they are leasing these new cars every year or two and that they are in debt up to their eyeballs.  How is that different than them assuming I am poor because I shop thrift stores and eat at home each night?

Definitely true, but in this case I'm not assuming.  I know about the 5% down because they asked us to borrow the other 15%.  They brag ($&@&$!) about the lease payments.  Regarding income, I'm off by 10% at most.  You are definitely right that there is no one right way, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of wrong ways.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on July 02, 2016, 05:18:55 PM
But how do we ultimately know if their way is the wrong way?  Maybe it will all work out.  For instance, I have neighbors in their early 50's that act like 20-year olds.  Must be up to debt to their eyeballs, but they keep on spending.  They have probably spent the equivalent of what we have in savings in nicer cars, upgrades to the house, eating out, social life, travel, gifts to the kids...  They will probably take out loans when the kids go off to school and they will probably work into their 60's or longer just to pay off their debts and retire on social security.  Every once in a while they let on that they 'blew' $xx that they were trying to save or didn't realize how much insurance on the new M3 was going to cost.  But they don't know any differently, despite our shining fiscal example with sensible cars, cost-effective home maintenance, conversations about 401ks, 529s, etc.  On the flip side, I don't get to walk around with a bubble of my net worth over my head or any other special signifiers of status, which is fine with me.  So maybe we are currently at an equivalent level of life satisfaction for all I know, I just happen to prefer the security and excitement of being financially independent.

Of course, if both of us lose our jobs, I would much prefer to be me, but I don't resent them and wish them all the best.  They are fun to hang out with.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on July 03, 2016, 08:35:22 AM
But how do we ultimately know if their way is the wrong way?  Maybe it will all work out.  For instance, I have neighbors in their early 50's that act like 20-year olds.  Must be up to debt to their eyeballs, but they keep on spending.  They have probably spent the equivalent of what we have in savings in nicer cars, upgrades to the house, eating out, social life, travel, gifts to the kids...  They will probably take out loans when the kids go off to school and they will probably work into their 60's or longer just to pay off their debts and retire on social security.  Every once in a while they let on that they 'blew' $xx that they were trying to save or didn't realize how much insurance on the new M3 was going to cost.  But they don't know any differently, despite our shining fiscal example with sensible cars, cost-effective home maintenance, conversations about 401ks, 529s, etc.  On the flip side, I don't get to walk around with a bubble of my net worth over my head or any other special signifiers of status, which is fine with me.  So maybe we are currently at an equivalent level of life satisfaction for all I know, I just happen to prefer the security and excitement of being financially independent.

Of course, if both of us lose our jobs, I would much prefer to be me, but I don't resent them and wish them all the best.  They are fun to hang out with.

It's probably a good thing that net worth isn't easily accessible public information for most people. I'd hate to make my family into a target for kidnappers or worse. Folks who don't have enough to meet their definition of what they need will either adjust their assessment of "need", or find a way to get more, or (more frequently) beg, borrow, and steal from people they perceive as having more. We all have problems with people who beg and borrow more than we'd like, but I'd venture to say Mustachians have less of a problem with "steal" than people who go in for conspicuous consumption.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Giro on July 03, 2016, 09:48:47 AM
But how do we ultimately know if their way is the wrong way?  Maybe it will all work out.  For instance, I have neighbors in their early 50's that act like 20-year olds.  Must be up to debt to their eyeballs, but they keep on spending.  They have probably spent the equivalent of what we have in savings in nicer cars, upgrades to the house, eating out, social life, travel, gifts to the kids...  They will probably take out loans when the kids go off to school and they will probably work into their 60's or longer just to pay off their debts and retire on social security.  Every once in a while they let on that they 'blew' $xx that they were trying to save or didn't realize how much insurance on the new M3 was going to cost.  But they don't know any differently, despite our shining fiscal example with sensible cars, cost-effective home maintenance, conversations about 401ks, 529s, etc.  On the flip side, I don't get to walk around with a bubble of my net worth over my head or any other special signifiers of status, which is fine with me.  So maybe we are currently at an equivalent level of life satisfaction for all I know, I just happen to prefer the security and excitement of being financially independent.

Of course, if both of us lose our jobs, I would much prefer to be me, but I don't resent them and wish them all the best.  They are fun to hang out with.

Yep.  And they could die tomorrow and the debts would never matter.  I worry about that occasionally.  It doesn't change my behavior but it does make me pause occasionally.   
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on July 03, 2016, 11:58:24 PM
I think the freedom of people to make their own choices is at the heart of the rant.

You can choose to be spendy or be thrifty, but you shouldn't be spendy and then act like a bitch when someone thrifty can do/have something you can't.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: eyesonthehorizon on July 04, 2016, 08:16:28 AM
I think the freedom of people to make their own choices is at the heart of the rant.

You can choose to be spendy or be thrifty, but you shouldn't be spendy and then act like a bitch when someone thrifty can do/have something you can't.
This right here. You have freedom of choice, not freedom from consequence.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: merula on July 06, 2016, 08:54:04 AM
This thread is great.

On the "Must be nice to have [external factor/rich spouse/etc.]", remember that's never about you, it's always about them. Always.

The fact that you are doing something (like retiring early or working part time or being a stay-at-home spouse) means that thing is possible. And if it's possible, it's possible for the other person to do too. Particularly if that person is a coworker who has reason to assume that you have similar incomes. So, if they want to be able to do that thing (ER/part-time/SAH) but aren't doing it, they have two options: (1) They can accept that their choices and priorities made the thing difficult or impossible for them and that you made better choices, or (2) They can blame it on an external factor rendering themselves blameless.

And what do you think most people have an easier time with: blaming others or accepting personal responsibility?

I have a friend and coworker that I really like as a person. I have every reason to believe our incomes are very close. We're both married to college-educated spouses with the same number and about the same ages of children. She talks about how she wishes she could stay home like my husband does. "You're lucky."

And I think "You and your husband drive an SUV and a loaded pickup truck, respectively. I take the bus to work and my husband walks most places, allowing us to have one small car that we don't drive much. My house is half the size of yours, but in a more walkable area and closer to work. I don't spend $200/month on cable TV. I don't eat out every lunch and then pay for a gym membership to keep fit. And, also, both of us have higher earning potential than our husbands, so it'd be easier to make it work if your husband was willing to stay home, but he isn't because gender roles."

But it's not about me or my choices. It's about her being unhappy with hers and finding an external place to lay blame.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: mm1970 on July 06, 2016, 10:38:07 AM
This thread is great.

On the "Must be nice to have [external factor/rich spouse/etc.]", remember that's never about you, it's always about them. Always.

The fact that you are doing something (like retiring early or working part time or being a stay-at-home spouse) means that thing is possible. And if it's possible, it's possible for the other person to do too. Particularly if that person is a coworker who has reason to assume that you have similar incomes. So, if they want to be able to do that thing (ER/part-time/SAH) but aren't doing it, they have two options: (1) They can accept that their choices and priorities made the thing difficult or impossible for them and that you made better choices, or (2) They can blame it on an external factor rendering themselves blameless.

And what do you think most people have an easier time with: blaming others or accepting personal responsibility?

I have a friend and coworker that I really like as a person. I have every reason to believe our incomes are very close. We're both married to college-educated spouses with the same number and about the same ages of children. She talks about how she wishes she could stay home like my husband does. "You're lucky."

And I think "You and your husband drive an SUV and a loaded pickup truck, respectively. I take the bus to work and my husband walks most places, allowing us to have one small car that we don't drive much. My house is half the size of yours, but in a more walkable area and closer to work. I don't spend $200/month on cable TV. I don't eat out every lunch and then pay for a gym membership to keep fit. And, also, both of us have higher earning potential than our husbands, so it'd be easier to make it work if your husband was willing to stay home, but he isn't because gender roles."

But it's not about me or my choices. It's about her being unhappy with hers and finding an external place to lay blame.
Yes.  Once a friend told us "must be nice to be able to pay for summer camp and not use it".

For the record: we both were working full time.  My son was in the $145/wk summer camp for almost the entire summer (minus summer vacation).
The week in question, they enrolled their son, who is my son's best bud.  However, my son had a dentist and doctor appt that week, so we picked him up for those at 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and then just didn't take him back.  So he missed about a day, total.

Our "nice" car is a Matrix. They drive a Cayenne.  We both work.  In her family, husband is a business owner, she's an artist.  So she works, and brings in money here and there (and is incredibly talented, but not cut out for the 9-to-5).  They have owned their house for more than a decade longer than us, it was less than 1/3 the price. 

The summer camp comment was 4 years ago.  Recently, at a birthday party, I mentioned dates.  We had hired a babysitter for the birthday party, and had gone on about 7 dates this year (6 more than normal, ha!)  Quote: "You guys work hard, you should SPEND THE MONEY.  SPEND IT on vacation, treat yourself to dates!  Take time off with the kids!"  I just nodded.  I didn't know how to make the point about being able to afford camp because of frugality.  Or even to make the point that I only get so many days off a year.  So if I choose to stay home instead of send my kid to camp, I may be out of luck when the kids start barfing come winter.
Title: Re: External perception vs actual financial state: A Rant
Post by: LeRainDrop on July 06, 2016, 02:33:43 PM
On the "Must be nice to have [external factor/rich spouse/etc.]", remember that's never about you, it's always about them. Always. . . . But it's not about me or my choices. It's about her being unhappy with hers and finding an external place to lay blame.

I'm trying to be better about just letting this stuff roll off and not get to me.  I realize that I am assessing the person who says that with only a limited amount of context, as well.  Sure, I see their pretty hefty consumer expenditures, and perhaps I can approximate their family income, but I generally don't know what is going on or has gone on behind the scenes of their life.  Perhaps they are supporting infirm parents or paying for their nursing home costs?  Perhaps they went through a period requiring significant medical care of themselves or a family member that they paid for?  Perhaps they had gone through a divorce and lost substantial assets?  Perhaps some family member stole from them, perhaps taking out a credit card in their name and racking it up or continuing to manipulate them into giving them money, and this person has not yet learned the emotional strength to turn the person in or to hold a bottom line of saying "no"?  Perhaps none of these, but I'm still just trying to be better about considering that just as there is more going on behind the scenes in my family, that could also be the case for theirs.