Author Topic: Chip on my shoulder  (Read 6567 times)

Bearblastbeats

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Chip on my shoulder
« on: August 02, 2012, 10:29:10 AM »
Hello all,

Why am I getting upset over seeing some of my peers live so non-mustachian. My group of friends all go out and drink almost every night. Trying out new restaurants all of the time, buying new clothes, furniture, toys, tattoos..etc. I've been telling them about how I want to be FI by 35-40 max and they think I'm crazy. Some of them even get so upset and verbally attack me about it, saying that they don't want me to be FI unless they become FI, or something like that. (mainly drunken banter).

I've been pretty religious about trying to be as frugal as possible, from cutting my spending WAY down to moving closer to work and living alone in a town where I don't know anyone. This has helped me from spending unless its actually needed. I used to buy clothes a lot, eat out a lot, I have really impressive home theater system, I drove a lot. I also have about a 3rd of my body covered in tattoos. So I definitely have spent a ton of money in my short time here on earth, not to mention my CC debt, which I finally kicked its ass back in April! I also have a sometimes expensive hobby. I play drums, which when you are in a band it costs you money to go out and play gigs, make merch and the cost of gas and then a bar tab at a venue.

The thing is, I could afford all of that and never once did I feel any pinch to my wallet. But now that I hardly spend a penny on anything, I stay home almost every single night and I track every dollar I spend, I feel strapped. This bothers me about my friends since, we all make around the same amount of money and they are still going out every night, spending, consuming & wasting without thinking about their future.

Am I upset with them, or am I jealous that I'm alone in a new place feeling lonesome?


arebelspy

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2012, 10:32:29 AM »
Live your values, rather than preach them.  You might convert more that way, and will certainly aggrivate less.

You tried the latter, try the former.
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James

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2012, 10:52:37 AM »
Am I upset with them, or am I jealous that I'm alone in a new place feeling lonesome?

I would guess you are feeling lonesome, you don't sound like you are getting the interpersonal interaction you are used to.  Have you considered some lower cost options to entertainment with these and other friends?  Would they consent to hanging out at a house or park rather than a bar?  Pot luck dinner with grilled food and bring your own beer?  I would make it a two pronged approach, trying to engage your friends in areas of less expense (while not preaching AT ALL like arebelspy pointed out), and also working on new friends engaged in low or no cost activities.

grantmeaname

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2012, 10:53:23 AM »
A lot of the less advanced personal finance blogs (like Get Rich Slowly and The Simple Dollar) and podcasts (The Money Guy) advocate designating some of your budget 'fun money' and then not thinking about how you spend it, so long as you stay within the budget's limit. It sounds like worrying about little social expenditures is really wearing on you. Have you thought about giving yourself something like $50 a month to spend, guilt-free? I don't know your situation or your budget, but it's something to think about and it's a somewhat small concession that could help you get along with your spendy friends.

galaxie

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2012, 11:07:47 AM »
But now that I hardly spend a penny on anything, I stay home almost every single night and I track every dollar I spend, I feel strapped. This bothers me about my friends since, we all make around the same amount of money and they are still going out every night, spending, consuming & wasting without thinking about their future.

Am I upset with them, or am I jealous that I'm alone in a new place feeling lonesome?

Maybe you're being a little bit too Mustachian.  It's supposed to be about quality of life, right?  About spending money on things you need or really value, but not on things that don't bring you happiness.  It's about buying back some of your time for things that really matter.  It sounds like you've cut a lot of expenses, but maybe some of the expenses you cut were actually important, like spending time with your friends.

This is just me talking -- I made a very anti-mustachian decision to live in an expensive town because it's where my friends and community are.  I can afford it, but it's delayed my FI by probably 10 years.  Is it worth it?  YES.  But you have to make that kind of evaluation for yourself.

I say, go out with your friends once in a while.  Have fewer drinks.  Do something cheaper with them, like street festivals or going to parks.  But if you're not having any fun, you're not going to be able to stick with frugality for very long. 

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2012, 11:16:17 AM »
My former living situation was with 5 other people, 3 of which were my close friends. I moved out in order to have piece of mind and enjoy some me time. I thought moving closer to work would help me budget instead of spending a 1/4 of my income in fuel and just biking to work. I used to pot luck type stuff when I lived in the house full of people, I used to also host DIY shows at the house as well. The new place I can't do so much since its smaller.

I just need some reassurance that moving was a wise idea to help me save money. The move was strictly work related and I'm only under contract work now. I envision myself in an old western movie and I'm the lone wolf character only passing through the town temporarily for work.

Jamesqf

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2012, 12:12:37 PM »
Why am I getting upset over seeing some of my peers live so non-mustachian. My group of friends all go out and drink almost every night.

Maybe you need new friends?  Do some reading on the effects of peer pressure.

 
Quote
I've been pretty religious about trying to be as frugal as possible...

If part of your religion has been preaching to the heathen, don't be surprised when you're thrown to the lions :-)

Quote
I play drums, which when you are in a band it costs you money to go out and play gigs, make merch and the cost of gas and then a bar tab at a venue.

Humm... If it's a hobby, you should expect to pay.  If you're a professional, you should be paid, at least enough to cover expenses.  (But you may consider some of the spending as a speculative investment in future success...) As for the bar tab, I know this may come as a surprise, but you don't actually have to drink.  Don't know much about drumming, but I've played Celtic harp & hammered dulcimer a bit, and I know my playing goes to hell after more than one beer.

Quote
But now that I hardly spend a penny on anything, I stay home almost every single night and I track every dollar I spend, I feel strapped.

Sounds like you have become a bit too fanatical about your new religion, and are perhaps in danger of becoming a miser. 

dancedancekj

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2012, 12:20:05 PM »
Yeah the past six months I was super religious about tracking my money. I got really miserable and bitter, lonely, and all I could think about was how to save money.
I eased up and allowed myself a bit more flexibility. Going out with friends was good, I just created strategies to decrease the expenditures aside from travel expenses. Eating before going out to eat, maybe getting a small cheap appetizer or a drink, and enjoying the company of my friends without worrying about the $5 I spent.
I wouldn't want to have a huge Stache with no friends, being miserable and grouchy. It completely misses the point. For me, that means budgeting a little extra for social expenses. I'm much happier now.

carolinakaren

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2012, 01:43:21 PM »
I can definitely feel your pain.  Sometimes it seems like our weekends are filled with expensive restaurant meals....all in the name of "celebration"....birthdays, anniversaries, and such.  We really enjoy eating out, but have tried to occasionally suggest less expensive alternatives.  Our neighbors love to grill and have potluck!

kisserofsinners

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2012, 02:01:20 PM »
There seems to be a moment when one finds "the answer" whatever it is. For me it started with health choices that meant i lost 60lbs. It was incredible and i was all too happy to share and "educate" the people around me. ...But no one is re-inventing the wheel here.

Is MMM the first dude to tell you to save your money? Probably not, when you were ready to hear it you went out and found this info. The reality is that most people totally have access to all the same information that you do and continue, everyday, to chose to do nothing about it. You rubbing their noses in it only forces them to look at why they don't care and that is really painful if your not ready to forgive yourself.

It's possible that you still haven't forgiven yourself for the lost time. You want to save your friends and that is very noble, but one can not save those who refuse not see danger. They don't see the point and they will try to make you change your mind if you let them.

That's not to say that all hope is lost! Host events if you can and bring a flask to the bars when you go out with your peeps. I agree just do it and don't brag. Let them do what they will. Their financial outlook is not your problem, don't take it on like it is.

velocistar237

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2012, 02:12:04 PM »
Our neighbors love to grill and have potluck!

This sounds like a good idea. Hanging out, drinking BYOB, grilling BYOM, even watching the game on TV is pretty cheap compared to a night on the town. Our city has tons of free events in the summer, like outdoor concerts, perfect for a picnic.

CptMrPants

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2012, 03:14:46 PM »
Agree with most above. 

Sounds like you used to use money in the same way your friends (and most people) do. 
And when you talk about FI, it's exciting to you.  I get the same feeling for sure. 
But it's not as exciting to them AND it's may feel like a moderate jab at them and their life.

You being able to do so much with the roughly the same income and tools they have is hard for them to believe!
When I tell my wife my 4 year savings goal, she still doesn't believe me.  She's getting into it.

All that said, I love people and my friends-I like to go out.   But, I have not found an issue with going out 3-4 times a week and still saving over half my income. 
I have $1-3 drinks, go to concerts usually $5-7 cover and skip group dinners (unless it's a birthday).
Congregating at someones house before hand is helpful also...more time with friends, less time at the bar/venue.


Bearblastbeats

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2012, 06:35:35 AM »
These are all great! And thank you!


happy

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2012, 07:36:00 AM »
Peer group pressure is really strong and its hard to strike out in a different direction on your own.   In the past I 've had lots of negative feelings towards spendy friends and acquaintances. When the point of difference is over a status- defining substance like money then its even harder.

Finding the MMM and ERE communities has made all the difference to me. Knowing there's a group of people who think the same way really helps: we are social tribal beings.

The other things thats made this journey much easier is realising that this is not a money diet: spending money on stuff does not make me happier, rather it makes me unhappier. When I realised I could stop worrying about having enough stuff or the "right" stuff a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

Use the good tips others have suggested. With the passing of time hopefully you will find some non-spendy friends which should help.

MacGyverIt

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2012, 07:00:33 AM »
Yeah the past six months I was super religious about tracking my money. I got really miserable and bitter, lonely, and all I could think about was how to save money.
I eased up and allowed myself a bit more flexibility. Going out with friends was good, I just created strategies to decrease the expenditures aside from travel expenses. Eating before going out to eat, maybe getting a small cheap appetizer or a drink, and enjoying the company of my friends without worrying about the $5 I spent.
I wouldn't want to have a huge Stache with no friends, being miserable and grouchy. It completely misses the point. For me, that means budgeting a little extra for social expenses. I'm much happier now.
This was me as well, I went hard core and after a few months I realized some of the decisions I was making (like using mass transit upping my commute from 1-1.5 to 3 hours a day) were frugal but degraded my quality of life. I've stopped turning down quite so many social invites. When I join folks for dinner, I also eat at home before leaving for the dinner outing and I just simply explain I had a big meal earlier so I'm not that hungry. No one have given me a hard time but then I haven't preached to my friends and co-workers about FI, so not making a big deal out of these lifestyle decisions works for me.

Some folks can use "quality of life" as a fig leaf for ongoing spending excess - expensive phone plans, big cable package, car lease - but your scenario is far from that. Give yourself a break, pick your battles (have you moved so far away from friends you feel utterly alone or is it a matter of joining them on outings more frequently?) and enjoy your life now as you work (maybe a bit more slowly) towards FI.

Best of luck.
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Apocalyptica602

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2012, 07:47:18 PM »
I can echo the OP on some of his feelings regarding his friends, with somewhat of the opposite problem.

I do well, I'm 24, an engineer, I clear about 70k/year and save 23k/year in my 401k/Roth IRA while rapidly paying down my remaining school debt (16.5k left from 35k 15 months ago woooo)

My friends are in varied situations, some doing financially better than me:(Pharmacist making 120k/year without a penny of debt to his name thanks to well-off parents paying for school in full)

and some doing a lot worse: (2 years out of college with a useless degree working part time for near-minimum wage in retail and 20-30k in college debt) and all in between.

Since I've stumbled onto GRS / MMM and became addicted to the quest for FI, I've been guilty of making 'recommendations' to some of my friends. This ranges from 'Hey you should use Mint to get a better idea of where you're money is going. To, 'Spending $800/month on eating out at fancy restaurants and drinking top shelf liquor at the bars isn't the best bang for your buck.'

To be fair some of which have embraced the MMM lifestyle and are all the better for it. But I was surprised at the overwhelming pushback I've received from BOTH sides of friends.

Even the ones who live 'cheaply' (forced to because they make very little money) will respond to my frugality as: 'What is wrong with you? You make so much money, why are you bringing a flask to the bar? You should be buying rounds of drinks!'

As someone who wants the best for his friends and hates to see them struggling when it's so simple to make some adjustments that could improve their financial situations so dramatically...

I've learned to shut up. You can't help those that don't want to be helped.

It was difficult for me at first, but you need to learn to accept that they're going to live the lives they want, and you should live the life you want. Since obviously you don't want to feel alienated from your friends, you need to be more flexible. Don't just say no to any invites and sit at home counting your money. Bring a flask to a bar and make a game out of how much fun you can have only spending 10 dollars or w/e. Eat a big meal prior to going out to a restaurant and offer to split an appetizer or two.

Best of luck!

Bearblastbeats

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Re: Chip on my shoulder
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2012, 08:56:21 AM »
Thank you all for your responses.