Author Topic: Is there any type of wasteful spending you'd 'judge' someone for no matter what?  (Read 23029 times)

Apocalyptica602

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On the way home from work today I got to thinking: I (wrongfully) tend to find myself judging people for making extremely antimustachian purchases. Most of this stems from the usual frustrations mustachians observe with complainypants people - "I hate my job, I hate my boss, I hate my commute, I'm struggling to make ends meet - oooh I just bought my 2nd child their own iPad, they were having trouble sharing one"

IE: They are unhappy with their financial situation yet spend beyond their means and do nothing to change it.

Whereas if there is someone who's comfortably and happily meeting their savings goals but decides to get a big new SUV every few years 'just because'... I don't have much of a problem with that.

I know it's wrong to judge and what other people do with their money is no business of mine, but just as a thought exercise:

If hypothetically there was a person whom you knew, who was financially secure and had plenty of 'fun money' left-over, is there any activity or purchase they could make that would make you think poorly of their decision?

Within reason of course, otherwise "Taking one hundred dollar bills and lighting them on fire in front of homeless people" would be right up there.

To get the ball rolling I'd say: super high-end dining, like hundreds of dollars per person for a meal

foobar

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Nope. I figure they know what makes them happy.  Go down your spending and think about how much of it is wasteful to some other people.  If you don't like something (dining out, travel, pets, sports, the arts, drinking, ....) that spending will come across as wasteful. If enjoy them you consider them part of what makes life worth living.


On the way home from work today I got to thinking: I (wrongfully) tend to find myself judging people for making extremely antimustachian purchases. Most of this stems from the usual frustrations mustachians observe with complainypants people - "I hate my job, I hate my boss, I hate my commute, I'm struggling to make ends meet - oooh I just bought my 2nd child their own iPad, they were having trouble sharing one"

IE: They are unhappy with their financial situation yet spend beyond their means and do nothing to change it.

Whereas if there is someone who's comfortably and happily meeting their savings goals but decides to get a big new SUV every few years 'just because'... I don't have much of a problem with that.

I know it's wrong to judge and what other people do with their money is no business of mine, but just as a thought exercise:

If hypothetically there was a person whom you knew, who was financially secure and had plenty of 'fun money' left-over, is there any activity or purchase they could make that would make you think poorly of their decision?

Within reason of course, otherwise "Taking one hundred dollar bills and lighting them on fire in front of homeless people" would be right up there.

To get the ball rolling I'd say: super high-end dining, like hundreds of dollars per person for a meal

darkadams00

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My advice to my kids has always been "Live with your choices." If someone has set his/her goals--at whatever level--and is successfully meeting those goals with a bit to spare, I think it's okay to spend any excess above those goals in most any way legally and ethically possible (personally, my goals will always include giving, so charity doesn't have to wait for me to have such an excess). For me, conflict begins when a person announces that his wanter is bigger than his getter.

chasesfish

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fadedsunrise

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No. I tend not to judge anyone because I've been so hyper focused since grad school about getting to an appropriate level of mustachianism, stoicism, independence, etc, that I don't have time to be judging. I just assume that if they're spending it, they can afford it somehow. What if they have a giant inheritance, or are harboring a large net worth and taking a rare detour from their frugal habits? Since I wouldn't know, I won't assume the worser.

Bookworm

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Spending unlimited amounts of money on children, to the point where the children are routinely deprived of the full range of money experiences (i.e. earning, going without, delayed gratification, solving problems without effortlessly throwing money at them) bothers me, even if the person doing it is fully FI.

LibraTraci

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Two things come to mind:

1 - Driving gas-guzzlers sometimes seems like a "crime against humanity" issue.  People who drive a Ford F-350, or a Hummer, for no good reason (i.e. neither hauling construction equipment nor fighting in a war)-- this seems like a very ugly quality to me. 

2 - Getting awful plastic surgery.  If it hurts my eyes to look at you (chipmunk cheeks, duck lips, grapefruit boobs, eyebrows up near your hairline), something's gone horribly wrong and you should have your "privileged spender" card revoked.

Bottom line, if your spending is inflicting something unpleasant on someone else, we got a problem.   


 

steveo

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I was going to post that they could spend their money on anything they want and then I read the other posts and I basically agree with all the comments on excessive spending that has already been listed.

galliver

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(Famous) Designer clothes/goods, I think. 

If it's a brand that has better quality workmanship or 'fair trade' or some other redeeming feature, sure, whatever. Vote with your wallet. But if it's a white cotton t-shirt produced pretty exactly to a $10 shirt at Target (etc), and it's $500, that's ridiculous. I wouldn't even notice, but if someone told me they got such a thing, I'd laugh in their face.

Also, really expensive jewelry. Like, more than $5k. Exception for royalty. I see less than zero reason for anyone else to spend that much on pretty sparkly things...

Cigarettes
+1

mahina

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i agree with libratraci that cosmetic surgery (except in cases of reconstruction after trauma or disease) is a ridiculous waste of money. if anyone wants to spend a big chunk of money on feeling better about themselves, i would suggest they give to charity.

Gray Matter

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Two things come to mind:

1 - Driving gas-guzzlers sometimes seems like a "crime against humanity" issue.  People who drive a Ford F-350, or a Hummer, for no good reason (i.e. neither hauling construction equipment nor fighting in a war)-- this seems like a very ugly quality to me. 

2 - Getting awful plastic surgery.  If it hurts my eyes to look at you (chipmunk cheeks, duck lips, grapefruit boobs, eyebrows up near your hairline), something's gone horribly wrong and you should have your "privileged spender" card revoked.

Bottom line, if your spending is inflicting something unpleasant on someone else, we got a problem.

Yes to both of these!

MayDay

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I judge all gas guzzlers, but I also tell myself that for all I know they have 6 kids and need that suburban.

But Hummers I judge hard with no exceptions.  There isn't a single reason I can think of to have a Hummer.  Only the US government armed forces should own a Hummer in this country. 

Upon further thought, I judge people who destroy the environment unnecessarily.   Cars is just the one I notice the most.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 05:27:59 AM by MayDay »

jhartt3

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cigarettes definitely top my list. 

people who buy things b/c it makes them feel like they have achieved some "status" because they purchased something. (obviously this pertains to consumer goods, if someone buys their first share of Berkshire Hathaway.  I think thats a cool mustachian status symbol)

dude

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Yep, anyone who buys a time share deserves a facepunch, IMHO.  The most ridiculous concept ever, especially in this day and age of cheap, easily available internet travel package options.

jhartt3

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Yep, anyone who buys a time share deserves a facepunch, IMHO.  The most ridiculous concept ever, especially in this day and age of cheap, easily available internet travel package options.

I made the mistake the other day of voicing my opinion about them to a coworker who had just toured 2 of them.  I assumed he didnt buy. we work at an engineering firm we are engineers we specialize in logic.  Had to eat my words. 

dude

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Yep, anyone who buys a time share deserves a facepunch, IMHO.  The most ridiculous concept ever, especially in this day and age of cheap, easily available internet travel package options.

I made the mistake the other day of voicing my opinion about them to a coworker who had just toured 2 of them.  I assumed he didnt buy. we work at an engineering firm we are engineers we specialize in logic.  Had to eat my words.

HAHAHAHA!  My younger brother, never very good with his money, got suckered into buying one years ago.  Well, it turned out the management company wasn't paying the property taxes on the place for years, so guess who was on the hook?  Yep, all the time share "owners" got bills for thousands of dollars.

Mister Fancypants

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I think that is my biggest problem with the concept of "Mustachianism" it is very judgmental and so is Mr. Money Mustache. Now we can all agree that for those who spend above their means and buy SUV's or Latte's when they are in debt up to their eyeballs that they do deserve Face Punches and to be judged, reprimanded but more importantly they deserve to be helped and guided to a better money management system and financial life.

Mr. Money Mustache and his ideals and a great many people on this forum choose to judge people for their lifestyle choices and it is completely inappropriate. I for one do not care what you choose to do with your surplus capital, and am very happy for Triple MMM for his decadent lifestyle even though I don't find it very decadent, but if he is happy I am happy for him and would never begrudge him for it. Way too many people here feel it is there place to tell people what is acceptable and what is not. I only judge people for judging.

I am a tremendous saver and very savvy investor, I am as green as I can be but only to the extent that it is convenient, I can care less about biking, I outsource a ton of things as I value my time a lot more then the cost of the labor and some skills just don't excite me.

So would I consider myself Mustachian, not really, but I still think there is tremendous value interacting with a group of people who have the common interest in saving and investing.

-Mister FancyPants

nereo

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I think that is my biggest problem with the concept of "Mustachianism" it is very judgmental and so is Mr. Money Mustache. Now we can all agree that for those who spend above their means and buy SUV's or Latte's when they are in debt up to their eyeballs that they do deserve Face Punches and to be judged, reprimanded but more importantly they deserve to be helped and guided to a better money management system and financial life.

-Mister FancyPants

+1.  I find many of the views shared here to be judgemental and elitist and it often bothers me. I want to educate people who are deeply in debt and support and encourage them to find their way out.  But ultimately people make their own choices.  As an example, my parents are comfortably retired and live the quintessential suburban lifestyle.  They drive two shiny new cars, drive everywhere and frequently spend lots of money on shiny things.  They can afford it, and they both worked into their 60s to get where they are.  I have to respect their choices, even when they aren't my own.

davisgang90

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Starting a fire with a $100 bill is almost always wasteful.

ketchup

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Starting a fire with a $100 bill is almost always wasteful.
Yeah, bassoons burn longer anyway.

irononmaiden

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Most of the time I can't be bothered to care. But based on my own past, I tend to have a strong opinion when people's spending is hurting someone else. (I'm talking about direct and avoidable harm against a vulnerable individual.)

soccerluvof4

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I think that is my biggest problem with the concept of "Mustachianism" it is very judgmental and so is Mr. Money Mustache. Now we can all agree that for those who spend above their means and buy SUV's or Latte's when they are in debt up to their eyeballs that they do deserve Face Punches and to be judged, reprimanded but more importantly they deserve to be helped and guided to a better money management system and financial life.

Mr. Money Mustache and his ideals and a great many people on this forum choose to judge people for their lifestyle choices and it is completely inappropriate. I for one do not care what you choose to do with your surplus capital, and am very happy for Triple MMM for his decadent lifestyle even though I don't find it very decadent, but if he is happy I am happy for him and would never begrudge him for it. Way too many people here feel it is there place to tell people what is acceptable and what is not. I only judge people for judging.

I am a tremendous saver and very savvy investor, I am as green as I can be but only to the extent that it is convenient, I can care less about biking, I outsource a ton of things as I value my time a lot more then the cost of the labor and some skills just don't excite me.

So would I consider myself Mustachian, not really, but I still think there is tremendous value interacting with a group of people who have the common interest in saving and investing.

-Mister FancyPants



I agree whole hardheartedly with your statements. Big difference if your broke wasting money or your are FI and spending. But in any case there is smart spending and just down right foolish and thats even so for the FI.  Which is what I am here for to see what I am dong foolish.

Having said that what bugs me most is when people I know always complain about how they live paycheck to paycheck, Have familys and seem to be out everynight eating fast food or ordering in. And always at some kind of even that costs money. Try to hint some subtlle advice and there answer is always I know but and the blame there partner.  Trust me less and less this is bothering me though.

To answer the OP ?

The biggest one for me is seeing people with large familys buying 4, 5 6 year old laptops to serve as a babysitting device. I know more than one couple that drags all there kids to events. Constantly tells there little ones to shut up and sticks laptops in there face.  It personally really irritates me.  My kids have tablets but are limited to one hour a day if the read an hour the day prior. I am not saying my way is right BUT i dont think all these electronics should be used as overpriced pacifiers and hence becomes a waste of foolish spending.

jp

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I judge all gas guzzlers, but I also tell myself that for all I know they have 6 kids and need that suburban.

But Hummers I judge hard with no exceptions.  There isn't a single reason I can think of to have a Hummer.  Only the US government armed forces should own a Hummer in this country. 

Upon further thought, I judge people who destroy the environment unnecessarily.   Cars is just the one I notice the most.

I automatically assume anyone who drives a Hummer is a massive douche.  I don't really feel the same way about Suburbans and F250s. 



aclarridge

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What does it mean to 'judge' somebody anyway? When I see somebody driving alone in their giant SUV, there's probably a 95% chance they don't need it, so I'm about 95% sure they're just kinda foolish with their money. I don't fight them about it or care much. If you tell me I'm an idiot for thinking that way, then somebody might say you're 'judging' me...

I think that is my biggest problem with the concept of "Mustachianism" it is very judgmental and so is Mr. Money Mustache.

I'd also say MMM isn't judgmental in a bad way - he typically writes in a joking/playful way about wasteful spending. It's more laughing about it, not anger/hate.

aclarridge

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Also when is it OK to 'judge' somebody, or is it just never OK?

Eric

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galliver

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Also when is it OK to 'judge' somebody, or is it just never OK?

Social sanctions are an incredibly powerful way to change behavior, possibly more powerful than most state sanctions. Judging is a part of human nature and a powerful force for social good. I would argue that part of the decline in both smoking and overt racist speech in many sectors of society is due to those behaviors being redefined as embarrassingly lower class. In other words, use the n word and people will judge you unfavorably.

I agree with you so much. Sometimes my friends will mention that something shouldn't have shame/a stigma attached (e.g. teen pregnancy came up recently) and I'm not so sure about that. I think it can be a powerful demotivator away from undesirable behaviors.

LibraTraci

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It is definitely good to to differentiate between wise and foolish behaviors, and admire the wise behaviors and look askance at the foolish behaviors. 

I can see where we don't want to become arrogant people, full of contempt for others, but I'm not sure that we are in danger of that. 

Everything in Moderation

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+ 1000000000000000000

"I think that is my biggest problem with the concept of "Mustachianism" it is very judgmental and so is Mr. Money Mustache. Now we can all agree that for those who spend above their means and buy SUV's or Latte's when they are in debt up to their eyeballs that they do deserve Face Punches and to be judged, reprimanded but more importantly they deserve to be helped and guided to a better money management system and financial life.

Mr. Money Mustache and his ideals and a great many people on this forum choose to judge people for their lifestyle choices and it is completely inappropriate.
-Mister FancyPants"

arebelspy

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No.

Not that I can think of at least.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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frugledoc

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I once read about a website that allowed disabled hunters the chance to snipe safari animals over the internet in real time by controlling a camera attached to a rifle

That pissed me off.

Gin1984

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Cigarettes
I was going to say nothing, but you are right cigarettes, or any drug really, other than alcohol or pot.

golfer44

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Nothing, really

MooseOutFront

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About the only thing that comes to mind for me is lift kits and huge ties on trucks.  They look stupid and couldn't be less practical here in the city.  So, I would roll my eyes at even my richest friend for owning such a thing even as his second vehicle.

Jamesqf

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1 - Driving gas-guzzlers sometimes seems like a "crime against humanity" issue.  People who drive a Ford F-350, or a Hummer, for no good reason (i.e. neither hauling construction equipment nor fighting in a war)-- this seems like a very ugly quality to me.

Second that.  And add people who have a lot of outdoor 'landscape' lighting, just to show off their expensive house.

I find many of the views shared here to be judgemental and elitist and it often bothers me.

Why does it bother you?  I certainly consider myself an elitist, and have worked pretty darned hard to become part of the elites that matter to me.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 12:17:36 PM by Jamesqf »

Gin1984

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(Famous) Designer clothes/goods, I think. 

If it's a brand that has better quality workmanship or 'fair trade' or some other redeeming feature, sure, whatever. Vote with your wallet. But if it's a white cotton t-shirt produced pretty exactly to a $10 shirt at Target (etc), and it's $500, that's ridiculous. I wouldn't even notice, but if someone told me they got such a thing, I'd laugh in their face.

Also, really expensive jewelry. Like, more than $5k. Exception for royalty. I see less than zero reason for anyone else to spend that much on pretty sparkly things...

Cigarettes
+1
Cause I like the sparkly.....   Why would you take my sparkly away? :(

Beaker

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People that leave their car idling to warm up when it's 25 degrees out, particularly in a "transitional" neighborhood where the theft of idling cars is common. The lady I saw that drove her dog to the park to poo, and left her car idling while she waited so that it wouldn't get cold.

I do try not to judge people - I try to come up with valid reasons why their behavior is justified. But sometimes it's really hard, particularly when they're causing a bunch of negative externalities (eg, pollution).

Anyone who buys that IV hangover cure subscription.

Yeah, I can't think of a good reason for that one either.

crumbcatcher

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Definitely this:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/jorts/

This is great - paying $455 for the designer label on a pair of denim shorts, for sure.  A few years later those are going to show up in the thrift store near where I live and someone will pay $10 for them. ;-)

My answer to OP was going to be that I'm not sure if it's judging but I kind of feel sorry for many of the women I work with who walk around with designer handbags, because I know they're extremely expensive. They're nice people, and I suspect they can probably afford them, so I feel that I shouldn't care. It just seems like such an enormous waste to me.


galliver

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(Famous) Designer clothes/goods, I think. 

If it's a brand that has better quality workmanship or 'fair trade' or some other redeeming feature, sure, whatever. Vote with your wallet. But if it's a white cotton t-shirt produced pretty exactly to a $10 shirt at Target (etc), and it's $500, that's ridiculous. I wouldn't even notice, but if someone told me they got such a thing, I'd laugh in their face.

Also, really expensive jewelry. Like, more than $5k. Exception for royalty. I see less than zero reason for anyone else to spend that much on pretty sparkly things...

Cigarettes
+1
Cause I like the sparkly.....   Why would you take my sparkly away? :(

Nonono, sparklies are great! I love sparklies! Let's all have sparkly things! Let's just not spend as much on them as on a new car. Or a house. Like designer clothing, I feel like jewelry that expensive exists solely as status symbol rather than for the usual uses of jewelry--decoration, wearable art, symbol/reminder...

galliver

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Also when is it OK to 'judge' somebody, or is it just never OK?

Social sanctions are an incredibly powerful way to change behavior, possibly more powerful than most state sanctions. Judging is a part of human nature and a powerful force for social good. I would argue that part of the decline in both smoking and overt racist speech in many sectors of society is due to those behaviors being redefined as embarrassingly lower class. In other words, use the n word and people will judge you unfavorably.

I agree with you so much. Sometimes my friends will mention that something shouldn't have shame/a stigma attached (e.g. teen pregnancy came up recently) and I'm not so sure about that. I think it can be a powerful demotivator away from undesirable behaviors.

"MY GOD WHAT WOULD MY MOTHER THINK" will always be a much more powerful motivator for me than just about anything else. And by "my mother" I mean the opinions of everyone I care about and respect.

For me, the question isn't "should be judge?" It's "are we judging the right things, and are we stigmatizing the most socially unproductive behaviors, rather that stuff that's relatively trivial?"

Mhmm. A former office-mate would sometimes say "Oh, don't worry about it, I'm just judging" if I caught him looking over as I did something. At first it was odd but then I realized it was just oddly honest. We all judge. Sometimes that's useful, and sometimes we need to catch ourselves and let it go. e.g. I was starting to judge my current office-mate on the way he conducted his phone conversation with a vendor today. And then I put headphones in.

Jamesqf

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I find many of the views shared here to be judgemental and elitist and it often bothers me.

Why does it bother you?  I certainly consider myself an elitist, and have worked pretty darned hard to become part of the elites that matter to me.

Nonjudgementalism is probably the defining moral stance of our era, precisely because, as a culture, we're rejected the idea of a divine moral authority.* If your moral code is self-defined, then everyone else's is just as valid as yours, so you'd better not judge anyone.

I didn't mean being judgmental, but being elitist.  As I said, I work hard to become good at the things I value.  Why shouldn't I be an elitist?  Or should I value incompetence - mediocratism, to maybe coin a word - instead?

Nor do I think there's really any moral authority, whether divinely imposed or self-defined, in most judgements.  As for instance the guy who commutes to his desk job in a shiny new F-350.  He's perhaps expecting the world to judge him as a macho, prosperous, high-status person, while I judge him as insecure, wasteful possibly in debt, and likely to be a jerk.  Neither one of us are making a moral judgement, though.

huadpe

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Reacting to the initial thought about very fine dining, I think that is actually something I object to much less than most eating out.  Yes, going to somewhere like Alinea or Per Se or Noma is staggeringly expensive, but at that very pinnacle level, you're talking about food as art and people working at the absolute peak of their craft.  I can cook quite well at home, and going to a steakhouse is pretty much a waste for me, since I can cook a nice steak at home.  But I cannot come anywhere near the skill that is on display at a three star Michelin restaurant.

Of course if you're in hair on fire debt, you should not go to these places.  Heck, if you're not FI, you should not go to these places.  But if you have the money, and you appreciate the artistry and skill of it, I see it as something like being a patron of the fine arts, except really, really delicious.

Also, these places aren't a "rip off" in as much as they're actually not insanely profitable.  They make a profit, but they have margins that are pretty typical of the restaurant industry.  The price is so high largely because providing the service they are is very expensive to provide.  They pay staff a lot, and they pay suppliers a lot.

PeteD01

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After reading MMM"s "conveniences" post, any fancy car looks to me like a diamond-encrusted bedpan on wheels.

Peter

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Put me down under the generic "behavior damagin to the environment" category. I don't care if you can "afford" it. If you're wasting resources that future generations can use, you're an asshole.

I try not to judge and use my Optimism Gun liberally, but single people who own anything other than a small hatchback or WORK truck make me cringe. Large houses, even though I make money designing lighting systems for them. Lots of things.

I'm increasingly becoming a minimalist. Read books about 19th century or earlier life. We're ridiculously rich but often far more miserable compared to the average person.

Hedge_87

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I really don't like the people who go way overboard on their yard. I used to live in western KS where it was hard to grow stickers and tumble weeds. People would have yards without a single brown blade of grass. And we are talking 3" tall fescue! Oh but it's ok they installed a well in their back yard so the water is free right.

nikki

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Put me down under the generic "behavior damagin to the environment" category. I don't care if you can "afford" it. If you're wasting resources that future generations can use, you're an asshole.


Ditto.

My grandparents ONLY use paper plates, for example. That really bothers me. I won't even use paper towels often, but paper plates have absolutely no place in my home.

Also not impressed with my family members' insistence on having SUVs, Jeeps, or large trucks for solo commuting (30+ minutes for some of them; <5 minutes or non-existent--homemaker--for others). When they go places together, they almost always drive their own vehicles so they can leave when they want, too. Despite living in the same home. Because going and leaving together is such a hassle, you know? One person wants to stop at Sonic for iced tea on the way back and another wants to stop to get lottery numbers at the convenience store. Clearly driving two huge cars in traffic is necessary.

Bleh. It's wasteful in a more-than-monetary way, and that's what really bothers me.

Russ

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No.

Not that I can think of at least.
samesies

Of course, the problem is all we've actually done is changed what we're judging. Now we judge people for exercising judgement, because judging people is part of human nature.
Do we? I'm not sure anyone who does that really understands how "not judging" works. Y'all can judge all you want, and that's totally fine. I get that it has utility / you have a reason for doing it. I just disagree that it's the most productive way to encourage the behavior you want to see in others.

Simple Abundant Living

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I'm guilty of doing this.  My DH showed me a picture of his brothers new 90K corvette (the old one was four years old). Same brother's second home is a ski-out luxury home on an exclusive ski resort. My mind was full of all the more deserving things I would do with that much money. Then I realized that if 90% of the world saw the luxury that I live in, they would probably make the same judgements about me. I also know my BIL is a great guy and probably gives loads to charities. (He also bought my mother-in-law a townhouse and moved her out of the trailer park she lived in before he bought his ski home).  I guess it's all perspective.

PMG

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I try hard not to.  The more I judge other people the more I cultivate discontent in myself. 

When it comes to environmental issues I do feel that everyone, every where should be living as responsibly as they can on whatever income they have. 

The clothing industry relies on slave labor.  (woah.)

Somewhere just under 50% of the electricity in the US is from coal burning power plants.  Coal extraction not only permanently wrecks the mountains and water but we willingly send people to an early death just to power our lifestyles?  Sounds like something out of a young adult dystopian novel... oh... wait...

Then there is responsible and irresponsible food production... and on and on.

Even if a person cannot or isn't willing to make drastic changes to their lifestyle for pete's sake take one more step and put you pop bottle in the recycling bin.

ugh.




Zikoris

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Buying plastic crap that end up in landfills or that island of plastic garbage in the Pacific. People with kids tend to be guilty of this a lot. I don't care how much money you make, you are a piece of shit human being if you do this.