Author Topic: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders  (Read 34568 times)

Potterquilter

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"Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« on: July 23, 2015, 05:17:38 PM »
We have a group of friends we see  about monthly and have for years, and one couple constantly talks about how poor they are. They pinch every penny. When we get together they make minimal contributions yet feel free to drink other people's beer or eat their food.  They borrow a lot of stuff. Get people to give them a ride to the airport instead of parking a car there and paying the fee even for a few days.   get people to take their dog instead of boarding (dog is poorly trained, I won't take him). 

At a recent event they were pretty tipsy and wife disclosed they have about two million dollars.  Everyone was flabbergasted. the husband was furious telling her it was none of anybody's business and they had a huge fight in front of everyone. A few days later she called the hostess to apologize and admitted they did have that high net worth.  the hostess could not hide her disgust that all of us had pitched in to help them numerous times, all the while they were just being hoarders.

Needless to say the rest of this group feels very taken advantage of. So many people have helped them out and all the while they were being stingy and selfish. We will have nothing to do with them.  Would you confront them?  Leave it alone.

Hank Sinatra

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2015, 05:21:22 PM »
I wouldn't waste my time confronting them. That would solve nothing and take effort.

But they're dead now.

vagon

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2015, 05:27:20 PM »
Yeah there's frugal and there's cheap.
This is clearly cheap and not someone I would associate with.

AZDude

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2015, 05:27:53 PM »
Some of the stuff does not sound that bad. Driving to the airport? Watching their dog? Aren' t those things friends normally do. As far as eating/drinking goes, if that is a habit, then yeah, OK, that is not good. The rest does not sound so bad.


hunniebun

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2015, 05:32:56 PM »
For me the bigger issue would be the lack of trust and that they have been lying to your face for many years.  Why make a big production about being poor and guilting and deceiving people.  It would have been far more honest to just say that you are saving to reach a goal and that is why they are pinching pennies.  Brutal. If they are people you still want to be friends with, I would have a conversation about the hurt caused by the deception. 

K-ice

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2015, 05:35:50 PM »
Wow. I'd ask them how they saved 2M.  LOL


Sounds like they did a lot of uncool things

... constantly talks about how poor they are. ... When we get together they make minimal contributions yet feel free to drink other people's beer or eat their food. ...

 We will have nothing to do with them.  Would you confront them?  Leave it alone.


Sounds like you should leave it alone.


I actually agree, like AZ, and have done or been on the giving end of the other things and find them mustacian as long as one reciprocates.

Ie borrow stuff, trips to airport, dog sitting.

justajane

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2015, 05:39:00 PM »
If you're only going away for a few days and have the funds, then yeah, I think that you should pay for parking. It's an imposition to ask someone to drive you. I feel this way about people who don't have cars in places where public transportation isn't good. There's a mom of my son's classmate who always loudly announces that she doesn't have a car, as if that makes her somehow more frugal and environmental than the rest of us. This would be great, if she wasn't always asking people for rides to the grocery store or other places. In that case, she is just inconveniencing other people so that she can save money and keep a certain view of herself as not owning a car.

I have found with our friend group that we aged out of asking people for rides or asking people to help you move in exchange for beer and pizza. If you ask for help for those things, it needs to be a true need rather than just a desire to save money.

I sometimes get annoyed with friends who ask year after year to borrow our steam cleaner. Why don't you buy your own, especially since those things are easy to break when transporting them. But I don't say anything, because they have done favors in the past and the relationship is thus not one-sided. It sounds like the situation with your friends was entirely one-sided and that they were taking advantage.

I would have a hard time being friends with these people after all this.

Bob W

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2015, 05:47:35 PM »
, I pretty much know my "friends" financial situations.  These people were just Lieing aquaitences.

klystomane

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2015, 05:50:01 PM »
They are laughing their way to FIRE now.

Gen Y Finance Journey

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2015, 05:55:15 PM »
While they do sound like cheap bastards, I'm definitely in the camp that thinks there's nothing wrong with asking your friends for rides to the airport or to watch your dog while you're gone. Sure, I could afford to pay for parking and board my dogs, but those are pretty small favors that lots of people are happy to do, particularly if you return the favor.

lhamo

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2015, 06:08:20 PM »
While they do sound like cheap bastards, I'm definitely in the camp that thinks there's nothing wrong with asking your friends for rides to the airport or to watch your dog while you're gone. Sure, I could afford to pay for parking and board my dogs, but those are pretty small favors that lots of people are happy to do, particularly if you return the favor.

This.  As long as there is some kind of reciprocity -- so if you ask someone to watch your dog while you travel, you do the same for them, or at least give them several free blocks of babysitting or have them over for a nice meal or something.  Same with borrowing tools or equipment -- fine as long as they will loan stuff to you and it isn't just mooching off of what you have. 


vhalros

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2015, 06:10:26 PM »
I sometimes ask friends for a ride to or from the airport; I do plenty of random stuff for them (in particular, I'm the guy who gets called whenever any thing heavy needs to be moved). Technically, we could both easily afford to pay people for these services, but we both save money, and being frugal people, are happy about that. However, it is another thing if they never entirely if they never ever reciprocate. Its not necessarily that they have to reciprocate a ride-for-a-ride, but there has to be something.

desk_jockey

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2015, 06:11:52 PM »
While they do sound like cheap bastards, I'm definitely in the camp that thinks there's nothing wrong with asking your friends for rides to the airport or to watch your dog while you're gone. Sure, I could afford to pay for parking and board my dogs, but those are pretty small favors that lots of people are happy to do, particularly if you return the favor.

These small things are fine if you return the favor and don't take advantage.  They clearly didn't do the right thing with their share of the food.  If they didn't make up for it by giving noticeably more favors than they received, then it's time to be done with them. 

I would probably give then one last thing... the courtesy of a brief explanation as to why I was done with them.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 06:13:28 PM by desk_jockey »

Monkey stache

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2015, 06:37:23 PM »
Absolutely agree with the last few comments. I swap dog sitting with friends all the time. I didn't have a working car for awhile so I got rides from a friend but she didn't need any help with anything in return so I gave her gas money. Plus she lives two neighborhoods over and we were going to the same sports' practice together so I wasn't just asking her drive me around town to run errands for myself. I can't stand when people are inconsiderate moochers!

Hummer

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2015, 06:40:41 PM »
Sounds like they are closet mustachians, however perhaps with a bad attitude who could use some perspective on life and how to treat their friends. I agree with the pthers though about the dog and rides, that's what mustachians do. Why pay for it if you don't have to, as long as favors are returned. Maybe they need to work on a couple things.

sheepstache

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2015, 06:47:08 PM »
I have found with our friend group that we aged out of asking people for rides or asking people to help you move in exchange for beer and pizza. If you ask for help for those things, it needs to be a true need rather than just a desire to save money.

I sometimes get annoyed with friends who ask year after year to borrow our steam cleaner. Why don't you buy your own, especially since those things are easy to break when transporting them. But I don't say anything, because they have done favors in the past and the relationship is thus not one-sided. It sounds like the situation with your friends was entirely one-sided and that they were taking advantage.

Ha ha I totally respect whatever the social mores are with your group but it kind of reminds me of one of those buzzfeed-type articles about "30 things you shouldn't do after you're 30." I was just discussing one with a co-worker today. Apparently he had read one that said, "Don't wear jeans on the golf course." Okay. Two I remember are, "don't use toilet paper in place of kleenex" and "buy real garbage bags rather than re-using shopping bags." So, um, apparently maturity = spending money. Sadly I see this among younger colleagues who celebrate a big paycheck by buying new furniture and bragging that they feel so adult.

Sucks about the steam cleaner. Hopefully there's an understanding that if it breaks they buy you a replacement. Maybe this time they can keep it at their house so you don't have to store it.

lbmustache

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2015, 07:12:46 PM »
It's hilarious to me that a number of people on this forum, including myself, could someday be perceived the same way as the "mooching" friends.

Think about it. 

1. A number of us have decided to not talk about our FI journey to family/friends/acquaintances (for obvious reasons) and instead pursue stealth wealth.  We'll drive old cars into the ground.  We won't upgrade our wardrobe every year.  We'll talk about how much things cost and sometimes suggest cheaper alternatives.  All things that sound normal to us, but that others could perceive as acting poor.  Is behaving like you are poor really so different than "pretending" like you're poor?   

2. There's a fine line between taking a fair amount of food/drink in social situations and too much food/drink, and it's often in the eye of the beholder, who has imperfect information.

Once you reach FI and some people realize how wealthy you are, are you really so sure others won't recall every favor they ever did for you,  any small thing they did that saved you money, and say, What the Hell!?  Are you 100% sure that, after being surprised to learn about how rich you are, they'll look at the ledger book of favors you did for them and favors they did for you and conclude that it's balanced?

I'm sure as hell not :)

All valid points. Of course, I am reading into things that are not stated in the post - but the tone sounded very much like the "friends" went around and complained about being unable to afford things (contributing to holiday parties, airport parking) and then took advantage of everyone.

I don't think (or hope) that the people on this forum are going around saying, "I am so tight on money this month, I can barely afford rent! I couldn't afford to park my car at the airport, can you give me a ride?" which is what the OP's situation sounds like. I think most of us would, to our friends, be like, "hey! mind driving me to the airport?" and return the favor if it came up. Maybe buy the friend a beer or something for helping us out. Not bemoan our supposed "lack of money" and have a total lack of appreciation for our friends' help.

vagon

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2015, 07:26:15 PM »
I agree with lbmustache. You've also got to consider that this is someone who I assume is themselves already mustachian, commenting on these people.
So if relative to a mustachian you seem cheap then its probably going to be pretty bad.

neil

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2015, 07:37:17 PM »
Knowing anyone's net worth is not really reaction-worthy to me without context.  Some people are just more comfortable asking for favors all the time and I would not penalize a friend for asking if they don't penalize me for saying no.  But if they are insisting and appending false complaints that imply they were needs rather than wants (and use this to often get their way) I would say it is an appropriate reaction.  Some people seem to be able to justify that their presence is a reward for others and it is expected for others to do things for them to earn their time.  The difference can be subtle but I took the OP's post to mean that these people are being overt in their methods of extracting financial gain out of their relationships.

I don't ask anything of anybody because I hate the implied social contracts being built.  I don't hold others to the same standard as long as I feel they are not costing me money and time because I've long accepted most people don't work this way.  I spend time as I see fit and that will occasionally mean giving a favor I know I will never call in.  But I do think it is fair to feel slighted if there was some communicated understanding that the situation was a certain way.  After establishing someone as a pathological liar, particularly for personal gain at my cost, would cause me to change my behavior toward them.  I probably wouldn't be confronting or combative about it because that is a waste of time.

Zamboni

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2015, 07:44:05 PM »
Hmmm, this is interesting.

I know there are people around me who assume I am poor because I drive an old car. Car shop guys, for example, always assume I can't afford repairs. Acquaintances and family might sometimes offer to do things for me because they think I'm poor, but can I really help that? I set the record straight if I think people aren't letting me reciprocate or pay less than my share consistently. I haven't ever said "oh dear, I'm so poor," but I have definitely been guilty of suggesting cheaper alternatives to plans I think are too spendypants. I've had people refuse to let me pay for my kids on something even when I try to insist, stating that kids are free when I don't think they should be. Of course those who know me well realize that I am at best a bit "eccentric," not poor. Will all of these people be pissed at me when I retire before they do? Probably, alas.

I've also known a couple of people whom everyone else considered cheap or mooches. One guy didn't have a car and was constantly bumming rides everywhere, but never offering even gas money. Another guy just never offered to drive if people were car pooling, then drew attention to that fact by always making some odd comment about not wanting to put mileage on his car. Another couple would invite us to dinner out, then not order anything themselves, watch us eat, then try to eat our leftovers. "You gonna eat those fries?" That last one was by far the most odd and awkward . . . the whole going out thing was THEIR IDEA! The second time they did that I decided it was the last time I'd accept an invite from them.

I'm all for giving rides to the airport (I live close, by all means leave your car at my place!), but I never ask for pet care from neighbors unless I can reciprocate. I do have someone I love who feeds my fish, and he has no pets, but I try to give back in other ways.

So, like dobedo, I guess I can see both sides of this story.

Potterquilter

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2015, 08:59:39 PM »
OP here. I loved all the responses. I did not make some things really clear. These are the type of people who borrow a truck to run to pick something up and return it with a quarter tank of gas missing. They ask for a ride to and from the airport but always seem to be busy when they are asked.  Constantly talk about how poor they are.

There is a huge difference between frugal and cheap. Frugal people make concious decisions about how much money they spend and the value of what they are spending it on. They have reciprocal relationships. You lend me your great mulch carrying wheelbarrow and pitchfork, I help you out when you need someone to walk the dog when you will be home really late.  If I need a ride to the airport, I give you gas money. It is not about making things equal, but being reciprocal.

I am super frugal, but also super generous. If someone brings me a basket of tomatoes from their garden, I make extra soup and drop it off in thanks. We have one car, if I got stuck somewhere I would call a taxi, or if I called a friend would reciprocate by doing something nice in return. 

I think we all gave them a lot of leeway through the years because they played the poor card.

I think I am going to sit back and watch how it plays out. Actually I feel bad for them. Multi millionaires bitching about how poor they are. Think of the good use they could make of that money while still having a fabulous life.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2015, 09:05:53 PM »
I wouldn't waste my time confronting them. That would solve nothing and take effort.

But they're dead now.

+1

Also, legit chuckled.

Potterquilter

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2015, 09:30:47 PM »
What a timely thread...

My sibling and I just found out that our other sibling has plenty of resources but for years has been telling a "I don't have the money" story to us and our parents. As a generous and close (we thought!) family, we had all pitched in to be sure that the "poor" sibling could join family vacations (money for airfare, meals/hotels as needed, etc.). Now we find out (through our sibling's slip of the tongue) that there has always been plenty of money for vacations, shiny new toys, etc. All attempts to address (one on one, in various formats) the lack of honesty and taking money have been meet with refusal to discuss.

The lying and, now, the refusal to take responsibility is what hurts most. The good news is that the money hasn't been going to feed an addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc. From what we can tell, it's about not being able to be honest about a preference to spend resources on travel/toys rather than family visits. If it wasn't my sibling, I'd be very likely to cut the connection. Lying and refusal to take responsibility for one's actions are hard issues to resolve. I'm fine with people making their choices - just be honest that it's a choice (vs. saying that you're too poor when it's really a matter of you preferring to use your money in a different way).

Much more difficult and more painful than my situation. Hang in there.

bacchi

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2015, 09:40:03 PM »
What a timely thread...

My sibling and I just found out that our other sibling has plenty of resources but for years has been telling a "I don't have the money" story to us and our parents. As a generous and close (we thought!) family, we had all pitched in to be sure that the "poor" sibling could join family vacations (money for airfare, meals/hotels as needed, etc.). Now we find out (through our sibling's slip of the tongue) that there has always been plenty of money for vacations, shiny new toys, etc. All attempts to address (one on one, in various formats) the lack of honesty and taking money have been meet with refusal to discuss.

Ha! I may be this sibling. I wouldn't consider it lying because there's no "I can't pay rent!" but there may be some "I can't afford that right now" when I really mean, without giving offense, "Why would I waste money flying to Vegas?" No one's ever paid for my travel expenses but there certainly have been situations, like dinner, where the parents have insisted on paying. Is that because they're being generous parents or because they worry about my part-time job and my inconsistent job history?

Wait, they did pay for one trip. My parents paid for travel to a sibling's overseas wedding. They offered first but maybe they that was because they assumed that I (we) couldn't afford it?  Hmm.

okits

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2015, 10:39:10 PM »
Quote
I think I am going to sit back and watch how it plays out. Actually I feel bad for them. Multi millionaires bitching about how poor they are. Think of the good use they could make of that money while still having a fabulous life.

Like others, I'd be done associating with these people.  Real friends do not lie to extract financial gain from you.  Real friends reciprocate help.  It seems clear their $2MM is worth more than treating people honestly and respectfully.

And hey, at least you found out. They could still be mooching if you hadn't.

Lyssa

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2015, 04:47:17 AM »
Nothing wrong with asking favours. I earn six figures and yet a friend is going to feed and watch my cat while I'm gone. Because I trust her to treat her well and her kids look forward to kitty playtime.

What's wrong is to emotionally blackmail people by claiming you're poor when you are not.

I would be done with them.

DeltaBond

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2015, 05:48:00 AM »
Well, I'm not sure if they have lied to you or not, 'poor' is a perspective thing for most people.  If they have had the opportunity to help out any of the friends, and haven't, and blamed it on a lack of money... well, that's something to walk away from.  But if they have just lived their life on the cheap, and given the perspective that they didn't have much money... that's not all that bad.  My in-laws probably think I don't make much, because I under-bought with my house, and vehicles, etc, and don't go on vacations with any of them.

These people might be worth having a conversation with, just to learn their saving technique.  I wouldn't shun them just yet.

Le Poisson

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2015, 05:54:37 AM »
Whelp...

We get the neighbours to watch our dog if we're away.
Our inlaws drive us to the airport.
A coworker cleans the pool and cuts the lawn when we're gone.
Another coworker lent a hand when we built a retaining wall.
We don't bring lavish dishes to potlucks - its food not an art display.

But we expect to reciprocate on everything too. IMO if you help me out, I'm available to help you. And if you want fancy crap for your potluck, you should let us know - I've done cookie swaps like that before.

Could I get some tips from your friends on building my net worth?

justajane

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2015, 06:01:53 AM »
I think the lesson here is to be honest when you don't want to do things, rather than saying you can't afford something. Our close group of friends goes to Vegas almost every year, and we have never gone. Now I wonder if they think we are cheap. I'm almost positive they don't think that we can't afford the trip, but who knows. I'm known as a pretty big stick-in-the-mud, so they might just think my lameness has also rubbed off on my husband and that's why we don't go.

Perhaps we should say things like, "I think insert random event or trip is too expensive or not in my budget at the moment", rather than saying we can't afford it. I could see how the latter could be misconstrued.

There was once that I complained on Facebook about how much a local children's fair cost. It was through a local city, and I believe it cost $20 a person for unlimited rides. And these weren't Six Flags rides - more like lame carnival rides. I wasn't about to spend $40 for my 5 and 3 year olds (at the time) to ride a bunch of little rides. Anyway, my mother-in-law sent me a private message offering to pay so that our kids could go. At this point, I could have accepted. But I refused, because clearly we had the money; we just didn't think such an event was a good value.

I think what I'm trying to say is that, if family or friends offer to pay for things when you decline to attend because of cost, you probably shouldn't accept their generous offer. That way when you go to retire in five years, there won't be built up resentment about all the times they paid for you. I'm not saying those of you who have accepted offers in the past have done anything wrong per se, but I'm just not sure it's worth the strain it will put on your relationship.

And I guess we just all have to accept that we will be considered non-joiners or stick-in-the-mud because of our desire to grow our investments :).

Le Poisson

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2015, 06:20:39 AM »
I see it a little differently Justajane.

I think society interprets "I have enough money for that" as I can afford it.

While we interpret "I can do this without adversely affecting my net worth" or "I can do this and recover the cost by..." as being able to afford something.

How many people do we hear say "I can afford this trip to Hawaii if I put it in payments for 36 months" to a lot of people they can afford something if they can find a way to pay for it. We see it as not affordable and look for alternatives.So for me to be sitting with $100 in my pocket and say I can't afford to go out for lunch is entirely true. I can't. Not if I have the intent to invest that money and let it fester away to become 20 lunches out - which I won't be able to afford without bumping my schedule. There would be consequences I'm uncomfortable with.

The whole notion of 'affordability' has been so twisted by society that most people don't  know what the word means anymore.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/afford - We've forgotten the "serious consequence or adverse affect."

G-dog

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2015, 06:48:50 AM »
Is it possible that they are nuts? As in, they really do think that they are poor, and have some psychological problem, like hoarding only with money.
In that case, they weren't being deceptive to the same extent as if they are just cheapskates. Though it would be odd if they both had the same disorder.....
And if it were a true disorder, they wouldn't have reacted to the eventual disclosure that way

OK, never mind.....

dandarc

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2015, 07:10:19 AM »
Pretty sure we're the cheap bastards with our group of friends.  One couple in particular is almost compulsive about out-spending us.  If we're out, and I buy a pitcher of beer or two for the table, they'll respond with shots of Patron.  Just frustrating, because I'm not trying to be cheap.  The one time he let me pick up the tab was after we had shot his guns at the range.  I still had to say "c'mon man I just shot off $50 worth of your ammunition - let me buy lunch."

I'm a red panda

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2015, 07:25:41 AM »
Some of the stuff does not sound that bad. Driving to the airport? Watching their dog? Aren' t those things friends normally do. As far as eating/drinking goes, if that is a habit, then yeah, OK, that is not good. The rest does not sound so bad.

Seriously, mooching food and drink isn't nice- but these other things. These are the things friends do!

boarder42

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2015, 07:39:26 AM »
I do quite a few of these things while hoarding money

1. my brother lives by the airport - anytime im gone longer than 4-5 days i have him drop me off and pick me up.  throw him 20 bucks for his effort
2. i own a boat - i dont own a truck i borrow my cousins and give him a bottle of whiskey or buy him lunch
3. i have 2 bears at home i have my parents come feed and water them when we go on vacation.  usually take them out to dinner for this

I think you can do these things but you need to help out the people helping you in whatever way you can.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2015, 07:53:14 AM »
I do quite a few of these things while hoarding money

1. my brother lives by the airport - anytime im gone longer than 4-5 days i have him drop me off and pick me up.  throw him 20 bucks for his effort
2. i own a boat - i dont own a truck i borrow my cousins and give him a bottle of whiskey or buy him lunch
3. i have 2 bears at home i have my parents come feed and water them when we go on vacation.  usually take them out to dinner for this

I think you can do these things but you need to help out the people helping you in whatever way you can.

WTF?

DeltaBond

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2015, 08:12:15 AM »

3. i have 2 bears at home i have my parents come feed and water them when we go on vacation.  usually take them out to dinner for this


You have bears???

marcela

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2015, 08:21:58 AM »
I think the lesson here is to be honest when you don't want to do things, rather than saying you can't afford something. Our close group of friends goes to Vegas almost every year, and we have never gone. Now I wonder if they think we are cheap. I'm almost positive they don't think that we can't afford the trip, but who knows. I'm known as a pretty big stick-in-the-mud, so they might just think my lameness has also rubbed off on my husband and that's why we don't go.

Perhaps we should say things like, "I think insert random event or trip is too expensive or not in my budget at the moment", rather than saying we can't afford it. I could see how the latter could be misconstrued.

There was once that I complained on Facebook about how much a local children's fair cost. It was through a local city, and I believe it cost $20 a person for unlimited rides. And these weren't Six Flags rides - more like lame carnival rides. I wasn't about to spend $40 for my 5 and 3 year olds (at the time) to ride a bunch of little rides. Anyway, my mother-in-law sent me a private message offering to pay so that our kids could go. At this point, I could have accepted. But I refused, because clearly we had the money; we just didn't think such an event was a good value.

I think what I'm trying to say is that, if family or friends offer to pay for things when you decline to attend because of cost, you probably shouldn't accept their generous offer. That way when you go to retire in five years, there won't be built up resentment about all the times they paid for you. I'm not saying those of you who have accepted offers in the past have done anything wrong per se, but I'm just not sure it's worth the strain it will put on your relationship.

And I guess we just all have to accept that we will be considered non-joiners or stick-in-the-mud because of our desire to grow our investments :).

We recently ran into this with my in-laws, they (my husband's parents and his grownup sib) reached out talking about doing thanksgiving at some all-inclusive fancy tropical place this year. When my husband responded that doing this was not in our budget, his dad wrote back that of course they would cover our tickets.  If we go on the trip and let them pay, we're moochers when they find out how much we've got in savings. If we refuse to accept their gift and don't go, we hate family (and it will be all my fault as the DIL). If we do go in the interest of family time, we're negatively affecting our ability to save. We got out of it because we have to work that week anyway, but sometimes there's not an easy way to respond, especially with family.
Does anyone have a good method of dealing with this? We're currently saving up for a house down payment and also trying to not let my husband's delayed entrance into the workforce affect our retirement savings too badly.

boarder42

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2015, 08:30:44 AM »

3. i have 2 bears at home i have my parents come feed and water them when we go on vacation.  usually take them out to dinner for this


You have bears???

yeah a Newfoundland and a great Pyrenees

charis

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2015, 08:31:28 AM »
I think the lesson here is to be honest when you don't want to do things, rather than saying you can't afford something. Our close group of friends goes to Vegas almost every year, and we have never gone. Now I wonder if they think we are cheap. I'm almost positive they don't think that we can't afford the trip, but who knows. I'm known as a pretty big stick-in-the-mud, so they might just think my lameness has also rubbed off on my husband and that's why we don't go.

Perhaps we should say things like, "I think insert random event or trip is too expensive or not in my budget at the moment", rather than saying we can't afford it. I could see how the latter could be misconstrued.

There was once that I complained on Facebook about how much a local children's fair cost. It was through a local city, and I believe it cost $20 a person for unlimited rides. And these weren't Six Flags rides - more like lame carnival rides. I wasn't about to spend $40 for my 5 and 3 year olds (at the time) to ride a bunch of little rides. Anyway, my mother-in-law sent me a private message offering to pay so that our kids could go. At this point, I could have accepted. But I refused, because clearly we had the money; we just didn't think such an event was a good value.

I think what I'm trying to say is that, if family or friends offer to pay for things when you decline to attend because of cost, you probably shouldn't accept their generous offer. That way when you go to retire in five years, there won't be built up resentment about all the times they paid for you. I'm not saying those of you who have accepted offers in the past have done anything wrong per se, but I'm just not sure it's worth the strain it will put on your relationship.

And I guess we just all have to accept that we will be considered non-joiners or stick-in-the-mud because of our desire to grow our investments :).

I don't agree with the idea that I shouldn't say "I can't afford this" when I could technically spend money on it if I wanted to.  What one can "afford" is their determination, not their social circle's determination.  If someone thinks I am poor because I tell them I can't afford $40 admission to a local carnival or a trip to Vegas, that is their problem. 

Based on our salaries, we certainly have the money for my daughter's ballet lessons, but I thought about whether we could "afford" it - can we afford to pay for these lessons when we could/should be making an extra student loan payment, IRA contribution, or saving for her future education.  What one can afford is a judgment based on their circumstances and values.  Also, if I rejected my mom's every offer to take us to dinner or go on vacation with  them, we would never go to dinner or vacation with them, which is what my parents want us to do.  So way more resentment would build up for them if we always said no.

If the couple in question was actually complaining about being poor and taking food/drink, etc without reciprocating, that's a huge issue.  But not spending money and giving the impression of being poor is more about perception than actual lying. 
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 08:35:23 AM by jezebel »

dandarc

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2015, 08:35:06 AM »
Quote
We recently ran into this with my in-laws, they (my husband's parents and his grownup sib) reached out talking about doing thanksgiving at some all-inclusive fancy tropical place this year. When my husband responded that doing this was not in our budget, his dad wrote back that of course they would cover our tickets.  If we go on the trip and let them pay, we're moochers when they find out how much we've got in savings. If we refuse to accept their gift and don't go, we hate family (and it will be all my fault as the DIL). If we do go in the interest of family time, we're negatively affecting our ability to save. We got out of it because we have to work that week anyway, but sometimes there's not an easy way to respond, especially with family.
Does anyone have a good method of dealing with this?

Oh my gosh, this is exactly what we deal with, too, with my large extended family.  An expensive family vacation every year.  If we don't go, we don't value family.  If we do go, then we don't respect ourselves. And if we let them pay, then we're moochers.   Any recommendations?
Go every once in a while, and when you refuse, offer to host a more modest gathering?

marcela

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2015, 08:40:16 AM »
Quote
We recently ran into this with my in-laws, they (my husband's parents and his grownup sib) reached out talking about doing thanksgiving at some all-inclusive fancy tropical place this year. When my husband responded that doing this was not in our budget, his dad wrote back that of course they would cover our tickets.  If we go on the trip and let them pay, we're moochers when they find out how much we've got in savings. If we refuse to accept their gift and don't go, we hate family (and it will be all my fault as the DIL). If we do go in the interest of family time, we're negatively affecting our ability to save. We got out of it because we have to work that week anyway, but sometimes there's not an easy way to respond, especially with family.
Does anyone have a good method of dealing with this?

Oh my gosh, this is exactly what we deal with, too, with my large extended family.  An expensive family vacation every year.  If we don't go, we don't value family.  If we do go, then we don't respect ourselves. And if we let them pay, then we're moochers.   Any recommendations?
Go every once in a while, and when you refuse, offer to host a more modest gathering?

We already got suckered into an unexpected trip to see husband's sib up in expensive northestern city to the tune of $700 plane tickets plus who knows how much we'll spend on food and drink while there. I invited everyone to our house for thanksgiving (I hadn't been part of the tropical conversation, so it was easy to play dumb).  I'm kinda hoping they don't take me up on it as we have a small place and making food for that many more people would be tricky for us. Not to mention, I intend to take advantage of the fact that my husband's work is keeping us in town and logging extra hours while the office is empty.

James

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2015, 08:48:58 AM »
I think the lesson here is to be honest when you don't want to do things, rather than saying you can't afford something. Our close group of friends goes to Vegas almost every year, and we have never gone. Now I wonder if they think we are cheap. I'm almost positive they don't think that we can't afford the trip, but who knows. I'm known as a pretty big stick-in-the-mud, so they might just think my lameness has also rubbed off on my husband and that's why we don't go.

Perhaps we should say things like, "I think insert random event or trip is too expensive or not in my budget at the moment", rather than saying we can't afford it. I could see how the latter could be misconstrued.

There was once that I complained on Facebook about how much a local children's fair cost. It was through a local city, and I believe it cost $20 a person for unlimited rides. And these weren't Six Flags rides - more like lame carnival rides. I wasn't about to spend $40 for my 5 and 3 year olds (at the time) to ride a bunch of little rides. Anyway, my mother-in-law sent me a private message offering to pay so that our kids could go. At this point, I could have accepted. But I refused, because clearly we had the money; we just didn't think such an event was a good value.

I think what I'm trying to say is that, if family or friends offer to pay for things when you decline to attend because of cost, you probably shouldn't accept their generous offer. That way when you go to retire in five years, there won't be built up resentment about all the times they paid for you. I'm not saying those of you who have accepted offers in the past have done anything wrong per se, but I'm just not sure it's worth the strain it will put on your relationship.

And I guess we just all have to accept that we will be considered non-joiners or stick-in-the-mud because of our desire to grow our investments :).


Yep, being happily the "odd duck" isn't that bad, much better than being seen as mooching or cheap. I agree about turning down offers of payment when you choose not to "afford" something. And letting people know you choose not to spend the money instead of "can't afford" it also sends the right message. We don't want people thinking we are "losing out" by not spending money, we are winning by not spending the money.

I'm a red panda

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2015, 08:56:52 AM »

Oh my gosh, this is exactly what we deal with, too, with my large extended family.  An expensive family vacation every year.  If we don't go, we don't value family.  If we do go, then we don't respect ourselves. And if we let them pay, then we're moochers.   Any recommendations?

My extended family does a family vacation to the Jersey shore each year.  We would need plane tickets (at least $400 pp), a condo for the week (expensive), plus food.

We go every 5 years.  We are the only branch of the family that doesn't attend each year.

Zamboni

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #43 on: July 24, 2015, 09:07:02 AM »
The problem, as other have tried to point out, is that every simple attempt made to decline something ridiculous is interpreted as just not having money.

Other people interpret "that is too expensive" as "I don't have the money."
Other people interpret "that is not in my budget" as "I don't have the money."
Other people interpret "we can't afford that" as "I don't have the money."
Other people interpret "let's enjoy this cheaper alternative" as "I don't have the money."
Other people interpret "no, thanks" as "I don't have the money!"

So, pretty much the only this we can do, I think after reflecting upon this post, is use the yes/yes/no/yes strategy, my "go to" for declining invitations.

Say (or write) something like:
"Listen, thank you for the invitation. What you are suggesting sure sounds like fun! I wish I could go and I have enough money to cover this activity, but right now I'm trying to avoid being up to my eyeballs in debt like the average American. I need to invest that money now so I can retire comfortably/buy a house/pay for college someday/whatever. I really want to see you, but I'm going to have to pass on this particular trip/dinner/whatever as it is going to disrupt my carefully thought out savings plan. How about we do [insert cheaper but still fun activity] together?"

Remember, the pattern is yes yes no yes: Thank you, sounds fun, I'm not going, let's do something else or please remember me again next time you go.


Wow, that is a lot of work!
It's much easier to do in writing, like via email, where one is not having to argue and defend one's sensible spending. But I really think that's the only way we, as a group, can avoid coming off like the couple in the OP. Some people are still going to think we're cheap douchebags for not joining in all of their spending sprees, but at at least we're being polite and making it clear where things really stand.

Good luck with it, everyone!

Gone Fishing

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #44 on: July 24, 2015, 09:15:38 AM »
Didn't read all the responses, but to as what to do it would depend on if they are real friends, or just people that show up at a lot of common events, otherwise known as aquaintances.  People seem to get these two confused all the time.  If they are truly friends that, aside from the poor mouthing, are decent people that you generally wouldn't mind spending time with, I would have a frank conversation with them and let them know that you enjoy their company, but the poor-talk is out of hand (they probably started using it when they actually WERE poor, and just never quit), and tell them they need to contribute/reciprocate more.  If they are truly decent people, they should appreciate the feedback and try to get better.  If they are merely aquaintances with no potenial for true friendship, only then cut bait.

I think a lot of relationships with good potential are lost because one side or the other doesn't have the courage to call the other out on some bothersome aspect. 

I recently had a good college friend tell me he didn't like me still calling him by his college nickname (apparently my wife and I were the only ones that still did).  For FIFTEEN YEARS he said nothing. He finally had enough in him one night to mention it.  So what did I do?  I apoligized and started using his preferred name.  Problem solved!  That is what adults do, they work things out.  If someone is incapable of working out a fairly basic friendship issue, I don't need to be their friend, nor would I make a good friend if I couldn't change my ways, just a little bit, to make them happier.     

Le Poisson

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #45 on: July 24, 2015, 09:38:46 AM »
The problem, as other have tried to point out, is that every simple attempt made to decline something ridiculous is interpreted as just not having money.

Other people interpret "that is too expensive" as "I don't have the money."
Other people interpret "that is not in my budget" as "I don't have the money."
Other people interpret "we can't afford that" as "I don't have the money."
Other people interpret "let's enjoy this cheaper alternative" as "I don't have the money."
Other people interpret "no, thanks" as "I don't have the money!"

So, pretty much the only this we can do, I think after reflecting upon this post, is use the yes/yes/no/yes strategy, my "go to" for declining invitations.

Say (or write) something like:
"Listen, thank you for the invitation. What you are suggesting sure sounds like fun! I wish I could go and I have enough money to cover this activity, but right now I'm trying to avoid being up to my eyeballs in debt like the average American. I need to invest that money now so I can retire comfortably/buy a house/pay for college someday/whatever. I really want to see you, but I'm going to have to pass on this particular trip/dinner/whatever as it is going to disrupt my carefully thought out savings plan. How about we do [insert cheaper but still fun activity] together?"

Remember, the pattern is yes yes no yes: Thank you, sounds fun, I'm not going, let's do something else or please remember me again next time you go.


Wow, that is a lot of work!
It's much easier to do in writing, like via email, where one is not having to argue and defend one's sensible spending. But I really think that's the only way we, as a group, can avoid coming off like the couple in the OP. Some people are still going to think we're cheap douchebags for not joining in all of their spending sprees, but at at least we're being polite and making it clear where things really stand.

Good luck with it, everyone!

LOVE this! For sure tucking it in my back pocket for future use!

DeltaBond

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #46 on: July 24, 2015, 10:17:49 AM »
So I'm hearing lots of different variations of "That's not how I choose to spend my money."  While that might be more honest than "I can't afford it", you now have the new problem of implicitly communicating, You spend your money in dumb ways.  Now it's not a financial matter, it's an indictment of their own values which are different than mine. 

I can totally see why it's so much easier to say, "We can't afford it."  So much easier.

I second this.  I'll try and find another solid reason to back out of family vacations and spending sprees, like a schedule conflict of some kind.  Still honest, but leaves out the money part and the values comparisons.

Potterquilter

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2015, 10:41:17 AM »
I did go to their house and have a talk with them. The husband is still furious at the wife.  The wife was sheepish and apologetic.

I told them that I never realized how different our values were. I feel so strongly that being FI means you can choose how to spend your money, but I was not at all in alignment with contributing less than I received from friends and did not think I could continue to be friends with them. The wife cried. I wished them the best and said I hoped they could find some happiness and left.

I truly pity them. I have no problem telling someone I don't like to go out to eat because I am a better cook than almost every restaurant I have been in. I have no problem saying we have one old car because walking and biking are good for us. But on the other hand we are extremely generous. We do a lot of charity work, have friends over for delicious dinners and so on. I pity them for not being able to free themselves up to enjoy their money. Isn't that what we are doing this for?  Things like being able to enjoy life to the fullest, be charitable when appropriate, spend time with friends and family, and be good stewards of the environment, and not support the  sweat shop produced junk out there? 

Quality of life. however you define it you can't beat it.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 10:43:14 AM by Potterquilter »

iris lily

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2015, 11:09:05 AM »


...Wait, they did pay for one trip. My parents paid for travel to a sibling's overseas wedding. They offered first but maybe they that was because they assumed that I (we) couldn't afford it?  Hmm.

Well this one is sticky and depends entirely on family values. I'm going to assume this overseas wedding took place in the bride's country of origin. If not, it was one of these now popular destination weddings where the married couple assume all responsibility for planning MY vacation and umm, no, I don't pay for a vacation where someone else chooses the location and date. Vacation money and time off from work are incredibly important resources for me.

Anyway, assuming no destination wedding, this is a tough one. In my family no one would be ostracized or resented for not going overseas for a wedding, we just are not "wedding" people, looking at it as only one day. But I admit that  attitude is unusual and most families would expect all siblings to be there. I hope that your parents paid your way simply to make it completely easy for you, and I hope they did it with some financial ease. You still had to arrange your life for this trip, and that's not insignificant, so you DID make efforts toward the wedding.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 11:11:53 AM by iris lily »

justajane

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Re: "Poor friends" are really mooching money hoarders
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2015, 11:11:12 AM »
I think we are certainly in a semantics discussion here that deviates from the OP's original example of people who were more moochers than anything.   

To be clear, I don't think it's wrong to say you can't afford something and mean it in the way YOU intend it to mean and not the way the average American means it, but you have to be aware that other people will interpret your words differently. And that's fine, but I personally would like to find a way to not alienate my friends and family through this process of saving. And like dobedo says, what do you really gain if you end up with loads of money in the bank and a bunch of family and friends who resent you? Sure, you could go all scorched earth and correctly point out that they are in the wrong, but you're still out a bunch of people you previously liked.

I do, however, think it's somewhat shady to say you can't technically afford X event (because your money is going elsewhere to things you value more) and then allow someone else to pay for it. The only caveat I would give to this is perhaps with parents. That's a different story, but your friends? Heck, no. Even if they get the wrong impression, I don't think it's right to take them up on their offer like the "friends" of the OP did.