Author Topic: How do FIRE'd mustachians cope when others expect things and/or envy?  (Read 4955 times)

Cassie

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11 years ago I retired at 58 with a small pension and my husband was laid off and couldnít find a job so took his small pension at 54.  Only one couple were jealous and they were 66 and still working. However they were life coaches working part time from home with no bosses. They were always encouraging people to become self employed and said they never wanted to retire. But finally they realized working forever sucked and were making nasty comments. Our friendship went dormant for about 5 years. Now I only see them occasionally.

People were always asking us to do things for them because they were working. We took peopleís pets to the vet, waited for their new furniture to arrive, etc for a few years and then tapered off only doing things we wanted to. We did end up helping a few people empty their homes, helped during cancer treatments, was a guardian for one with dementia and helped another friend with Parkinsonís disease but all of those were choices we voluntarily made because we loved them and wanted to help. You just need to be careful to only give your time to people that value you.

Freedomin5

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Thank you so much for this reply. I don't share my finances with people as well. However, I live in Toronto and as a millennial and with our struggling economy, high inflation, and horrible housing, the topic of finances inevitably comes up (almost all the time). I keep things vague and get evasive but my not complaining is fuel enough to go on about how it must be 'nice' that I don't have to struggle so much.

What you need is a generic comment that allows you to participate in the complaining without feeling like you're lying.  People in similar situations complain about common issues as a way of bonding with each other -- it's shared hardship, which allows each person to show empathy for the others, which brings the group closer.  So if you don't complain, you're sort of setting yourself apart from the group, which is awkward and uncomfortable for everyone -- it's sort of like a ritual, and when someone doesn't provide the expected response, it throws everyone else off, and now they don't know how to react.  And of course one natural response to feeling uncomfortable is to blame the person who didn't follow the "rules" and made you feel that way.  If you think about it, since the whole point is bonding, if you're not participating, they'll naturally want to send you back a signal that says, "well, fine, then you're not part of the group."  Which, not coincidentally, is often phrased as some version of "must be nice."

So is there something you can say that would signal that you're trying to fit in?  I mean, it seems like if your complaint is that they're wanting to go places that you find too expensive, it would be pretty easy to say something like, "yeah, it's rough, I hate how rarely I see you guys, but the budget just doesn't allow too many of these fancy restaurants/bars/parties/trips/etc."  You don't have to specify that the "budget" includes a massive chunk of savings. 

IOW:  focus less on what they are saying than on why they are saying it, and then figure out how you can share in the ritual, even though your facts are very different.

Sincerely,

Your Fellow Socially-Awkward Introvert Who Spent WAAAYYYY Too Much Time Trying To Figure Out People

I appreciate this response, because you are correctly noting, it's often used for bonding.

Framed within the context of bonding, I guess my question to myself is: Are these the kind of people to whom I want to be bonded?  You know how they say you are the average of the five people closest to you. Maybe these people have other redeeming qualities that make the relationship a net positive. Or maybe theyíre spendthrifts who live beyond their means and resent and snark at anyone who is financially stable and healthy, in which case perhaps Iíd rather bond with people who arenít mean and snarky.

Laura33

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Thank you so much for this reply. I don't share my finances with people as well. However, I live in Toronto and as a millennial and with our struggling economy, high inflation, and horrible housing, the topic of finances inevitably comes up (almost all the time). I keep things vague and get evasive but my not complaining is fuel enough to go on about how it must be 'nice' that I don't have to struggle so much.

What you need is a generic comment that allows you to participate in the complaining without feeling like you're lying.  People in similar situations complain about common issues as a way of bonding with each other -- it's shared hardship, which allows each person to show empathy for the others, which brings the group closer.  So if you don't complain, you're sort of setting yourself apart from the group, which is awkward and uncomfortable for everyone -- it's sort of like a ritual, and when someone doesn't provide the expected response, it throws everyone else off, and now they don't know how to react.  And of course one natural response to feeling uncomfortable is to blame the person who didn't follow the "rules" and made you feel that way.  If you think about it, since the whole point is bonding, if you're not participating, they'll naturally want to send you back a signal that says, "well, fine, then you're not part of the group."  Which, not coincidentally, is often phrased as some version of "must be nice."

So is there something you can say that would signal that you're trying to fit in?  I mean, it seems like if your complaint is that they're wanting to go places that you find too expensive, it would be pretty easy to say something like, "yeah, it's rough, I hate how rarely I see you guys, but the budget just doesn't allow too many of these fancy restaurants/bars/parties/trips/etc."  You don't have to specify that the "budget" includes a massive chunk of savings. 

IOW:  focus less on what they are saying than on why they are saying it, and then figure out how you can share in the ritual, even though your facts are very different.

Sincerely,

Your Fellow Socially-Awkward Introvert Who Spent WAAAYYYY Too Much Time Trying To Figure Out People

I appreciate this response, because you are correctly noting, it's often used for bonding.

Framed within the context of bonding, I guess my question to myself is: Are these the kind of people to whom I want to be bonded?  You know how they say you are the average of the five people closest to you. Maybe these people have other redeeming qualities that make the relationship a net positive. Or maybe theyíre spendthrifts who live beyond their means and resent and snark at anyone who is financially stable and healthy, in which case perhaps Iíd rather bond with people who arenít mean and snarky.

100%.  Always good to evaluate whether the folks you're hanging with actually make you happy and are the kind of people you want to spend time with.  IME, the more you have to work to come up with the "right" response, the less likely it is these are truly your people.

I have always struggled with knowing the right thing to say (see "socially awkward," supra), and so I often find myself sort of watching myself and self-editing what I say, trying to figure out the best way to say things, stopping myself from saying stupid stuff, etc.  I am happiest when I can turn off the filter and know that the people I am with won't judge me if something stupid comes out of my mouth (in fact, they'll likely be right there laughing with me). 

That said, it can often take time to find your people.  So it's helpful to figure out how to navigate life with the friends you have while you're continuing to look for the friends you want.  So much is about subtext -- what is meant vs. what is said.  Which is a royal bitch for those of us who don't come naturally to that sort of thing. 

Oh, and FWIW, I also agree with the "empathy" point above as a useful bonding tool where it feels disingenuous to jump on the whiney brigade.

charis

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Thank you so much for this reply. I don't share my finances with people as well. However, I live in Toronto and as a millennial and with our struggling economy, high inflation, and horrible housing, the topic of finances inevitably comes up (almost all the time). I keep things vague and get evasive but my not complaining is fuel enough to go on about how it must be 'nice' that I don't have to struggle so much.

What you need is a generic comment that allows you to participate in the complaining without feeling like you're lying.  People in similar situations complain about common issues as a way of bonding with each other -- it's shared hardship, which allows each person to show empathy for the others, which brings the group closer.  So if you don't complain, you're sort of setting yourself apart from the group, which is awkward and uncomfortable for everyone -- it's sort of like a ritual, and when someone doesn't provide the expected response, it throws everyone else off, and now they don't know how to react.  And of course one natural response to feeling uncomfortable is to blame the person who didn't follow the "rules" and made you feel that way.  If you think about it, since the whole point is bonding, if you're not participating, they'll naturally want to send you back a signal that says, "well, fine, then you're not part of the group."  Which, not coincidentally, is often phrased as some version of "must be nice."

So is there something you can say that would signal that you're trying to fit in?  I mean, it seems like if your complaint is that they're wanting to go places that you find too expensive, it would be pretty easy to say something like, "yeah, it's rough, I hate how rarely I see you guys, but the budget just doesn't allow too many of these fancy restaurants/bars/parties/trips/etc."  You don't have to specify that the "budget" includes a massive chunk of savings. 

IOW:  focus less on what they are saying than on why they are saying it, and then figure out how you can share in the ritual, even though your facts are very different.

Sincerely,

Your Fellow Socially-Awkward Introvert Who Spent WAAAYYYY Too Much Time Trying To Figure Out People

I appreciate this response, because you are correctly noting, it's often used for bonding.

Framed within the context of bonding, I guess my question to myself is: Are these the kind of people to whom I want to be bonded?  You know how they say you are the average of the five people closest to you. Maybe these people have other redeeming qualities that make the relationship a net positive. Or maybe theyíre spendthrifts who live beyond their means and resent and snark at anyone who is financially stable and healthy, in which case perhaps Iíd rather bond with people who arenít mean and snarky.

This post wasn't regarding anyone being mean or snarky.  I think you might be confusing it with the OP's experience that people were snarky when hearing about her financial situation.  I don't think that anyone would argue that that is bonding.  I don't think there is anything inherently unredeeming about a person who is lamenting the expensive surgery that her dog needs or the high cost of youth travel sports because I have a dog and kids and might be able to relate.  It doesn't cause me to feel the need to evaluate the quality of our friendship because he/she engaged in a bonding ritual related to the expenses of their life. 

Freedomin5

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Thank you so much for this reply. I don't share my finances with people as well. However, I live in Toronto and as a millennial and with our struggling economy, high inflation, and horrible housing, the topic of finances inevitably comes up (almost all the time). I keep things vague and get evasive but my not complaining is fuel enough to go on about how it must be 'nice' that I don't have to struggle so much.

What you need is a generic comment that allows you to participate in the complaining without feeling like you're lying.  People in similar situations complain about common issues as a way of bonding with each other -- it's shared hardship, which allows each person to show empathy for the others, which brings the group closer.  So if you don't complain, you're sort of setting yourself apart from the group, which is awkward and uncomfortable for everyone -- it's sort of like a ritual, and when someone doesn't provide the expected response, it throws everyone else off, and now they don't know how to react.  And of course one natural response to feeling uncomfortable is to blame the person who didn't follow the "rules" and made you feel that way.  If you think about it, since the whole point is bonding, if you're not participating, they'll naturally want to send you back a signal that says, "well, fine, then you're not part of the group."  Which, not coincidentally, is often phrased as some version of "must be nice."

So is there something you can say that would signal that you're trying to fit in?  I mean, it seems like if your complaint is that they're wanting to go places that you find too expensive, it would be pretty easy to say something like, "yeah, it's rough, I hate how rarely I see you guys, but the budget just doesn't allow too many of these fancy restaurants/bars/parties/trips/etc."  You don't have to specify that the "budget" includes a massive chunk of savings. 

IOW:  focus less on what they are saying than on why they are saying it, and then figure out how you can share in the ritual, even though your facts are very different.

Sincerely,

Your Fellow Socially-Awkward Introvert Who Spent WAAAYYYY Too Much Time Trying To Figure Out People

I appreciate this response, because you are correctly noting, it's often used for bonding.

Framed within the context of bonding, I guess my question to myself is: Are these the kind of people to whom I want to be bonded?  You know how they say you are the average of the five people closest to you. Maybe these people have other redeeming qualities that make the relationship a net positive. Or maybe theyíre spendthrifts who live beyond their means and resent and snark at anyone who is financially stable and healthy, in which case perhaps Iíd rather bond with people who arenít mean and snarky.

This post wasn't regarding anyone being mean or snarky.  I think you might be confusing it with the OP's experience that people were snarky when hearing about her financial situation.  I don't think that anyone would argue that that is bonding.  I don't think there is anything inherently unredeeming about a person who is lamenting the expensive surgery that her dog needs or the high cost of youth travel sports because I have a dog and kids and might be able to relate.  It doesn't cause me to feel the need to evaluate the quality of our friendship because he/she engaged in a bonding ritual related to the expenses of their life.

I get it. No disagreement here. That wasnít my point. No oneís telling you to stop being friends with someone whose dog has an expensive surgery. Nor am I disagreeing with Laura33ís post. I agree with her.

My point is, in some situations, I (not you in your specific situation, Iím talking about my experience) find out that complaining is someoneís primary method of bonding, or they resent those who donít complain about finances, in which case it may lead to my re-evaluation of how bonded I would prefer to be to that person. In my circumstances, Iím constantly meeting new people and making new friends every two or three years as people rotate through our lives on expat contracts. This concept on what people are bonding over is important. That doesnít mean Iím necessarily going to completely cut someone off just because they like to complain. It does mean I may set different boundaries with them in terms of how close we get or adjust the amount of time I spend with them.

billygoatjohnson

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Don't talk to them.

JAYSLOL

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Thank you so much for this reply. I don't share my finances with people as well. However, I live in Toronto and as a millennial and with our struggling economy, high inflation, and horrible housing, the topic of finances inevitably comes up (almost all the time). I keep things vague and get evasive but my not complaining is fuel enough to go on about how it must be 'nice' that I don't have to struggle so much.

What you need is a generic comment that allows you to participate in the complaining without feeling like you're lying.  People in similar situations complain about common issues as a way of bonding with each other -- it's shared hardship, which allows each person to show empathy for the others, which brings the group closer.  So if you don't complain, you're sort of setting yourself apart from the group, which is awkward and uncomfortable for everyone -- it's sort of like a ritual, and when someone doesn't provide the expected response, it throws everyone else off, and now they don't know how to react.  And of course one natural response to feeling uncomfortable is to blame the person who didn't follow the "rules" and made you feel that way.  If you think about it, since the whole point is bonding, if you're not participating, they'll naturally want to send you back a signal that says, "well, fine, then you're not part of the group."  Which, not coincidentally, is often phrased as some version of "must be nice."

So is there something you can say that would signal that you're trying to fit in?  I mean, it seems like if your complaint is that they're wanting to go places that you find too expensive, it would be pretty easy to say something like, "yeah, it's rough, I hate how rarely I see you guys, but the budget just doesn't allow too many of these fancy restaurants/bars/parties/trips/etc."  You don't have to specify that the "budget" includes a massive chunk of savings. 

IOW:  focus less on what they are saying than on why they are saying it, and then figure out how you can share in the ritual, even though your facts are very different.

Sincerely,

Your Fellow Socially-Awkward Introvert Who Spent WAAAYYYY Too Much Time Trying To Figure Out People

I appreciate this response, because you are correctly noting, it's often used for bonding.

I actually just talked with DW about this, we arenít FIREd, in fact we canít even afford to buy a house here with the crazy prices right now, but we are working hard and saving hard, and we donít buy anything with debt and overall I think we are pretty frugal.  Apparently DWís coworkers have started making a lot of comments about us being ďrichĒ, and she was asking me why they might be assuming that, because we arenít rich and definitely arenít flashy with money at all.  I think itís because DW is probably the only person in the office that doesnít have a car payment, doesnít struggle with money and complain about money constantly.  So I think she probably needs to complain a bit more, for the social component of it that is

dividendman

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Thank you so much for this reply. I don't share my finances with people as well. However, I live in Toronto and as a millennial and with our struggling economy, high inflation, and horrible housing, the topic of finances inevitably comes up (almost all the time). I keep things vague and get evasive but my not complaining is fuel enough to go on about how it must be 'nice' that I don't have to struggle so much.

What you need is a generic comment that allows you to participate in the complaining without feeling like you're lying.  People in similar situations complain about common issues as a way of bonding with each other -- it's shared hardship, which allows each person to show empathy for the others, which brings the group closer.  So if you don't complain, you're sort of setting yourself apart from the group, which is awkward and uncomfortable for everyone -- it's sort of like a ritual, and when someone doesn't provide the expected response, it throws everyone else off, and now they don't know how to react.  And of course one natural response to feeling uncomfortable is to blame the person who didn't follow the "rules" and made you feel that way.  If you think about it, since the whole point is bonding, if you're not participating, they'll naturally want to send you back a signal that says, "well, fine, then you're not part of the group."  Which, not coincidentally, is often phrased as some version of "must be nice."

So is there something you can say that would signal that you're trying to fit in?  I mean, it seems like if your complaint is that they're wanting to go places that you find too expensive, it would be pretty easy to say something like, "yeah, it's rough, I hate how rarely I see you guys, but the budget just doesn't allow too many of these fancy restaurants/bars/parties/trips/etc."  You don't have to specify that the "budget" includes a massive chunk of savings. 

IOW:  focus less on what they are saying than on why they are saying it, and then figure out how you can share in the ritual, even though your facts are very different.

Sincerely,

Your Fellow Socially-Awkward Introvert Who Spent WAAAYYYY Too Much Time Trying To Figure Out People

I appreciate this response, because you are correctly noting, it's often used for bonding.

I actually just talked with DW about this, we arenít FIREd, in fact we canít even afford to buy a house here with the crazy prices right now, but we are working hard and saving hard, and we donít buy anything with debt and overall I think we are pretty frugal.  Apparently DWís coworkers have started making a lot of comments about us being ďrichĒ, and she was asking me why they might be assuming that, because we arenít rich and definitely arenít flashy with money at all.  I think itís because DW is probably the only person in the office that doesnít have a car payment, doesnít struggle with money and complain about money constantly.  So I think she probably needs to complain a bit more, for the social component of it that is

I complain about prices although I have plenty of money and it doesn't really matter to my finances.... nobody likes it when a McDonald's diet coke was $1 one day and then $1.29 the next! 30% increase? F that noise, I'm complaining... lol

Runrooster

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I don't think complaining about a .30 increase in soda prices counts.  I'm laughing, cause that's the kind of complaining I do too, and it does NOT help bond me with people who are living paycheck to paycheck. I worked with some minimum wage coworkers, and wouldn't you know they were eating lunch out one week and living on ramen noodles another week, instead of packing a home-cooked meal most of the time.

deborah

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Many, many years ago, I received an electricity bill for $60. It was DOUBLE any electricity bill I'd ever received before, so I went to the electricity place and complained. They were very sympathetic, until I revealed the size of the bill, and then they laughed in my face. The next day, I went to work and at coffee break, complained that I'd just received an electricity bill that was double what I'd ever paid before. My co-workers all started complaining about their bills - which were all over $600. I didn't ever tell them what mine was, but it was a bonding moment.

JAYSLOL

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Definitely a good idea to leave out context if bonding with coworkers over money and higher prices.  Iíll definitely get some nods of agreement if I said ďhow am I supposed to save with the food prices these days? My grocery spending is way up this yearĒ, but if I had said ďIím only saving $3400/month instead of the $3500 I was hoping because my grocery spending is up quite a bitĒ Iíd get some WTF looks. 

charis

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and living on ramen noodles another week, instead of packing a home-cooked meal most of the time.

I always chuckle when I see this type of comment, or living on rice and beans.  My family loves ramen and rice & beans, it's just convenient that it's cheap, lol.

(which I understand wasn't what you meant here)

JupiterGreen

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Many, many years ago, I received an electricity bill for $60. It was DOUBLE any electricity bill I'd ever received before, so I went to the electricity place and complained. They were very sympathetic, until I revealed the size of the bill, and then they laughed in my face. The next day, I went to work and at coffee break, complained that I'd just received an electricity bill that was double what I'd ever paid before. My co-workers all started complaining about their bills - which were all over $600. I didn't ever tell them what mine was, but it was a bonding moment.

Ha, yes I've definitely done this! Our current utility company is pure evil, they took over for the last (evil but surprisingly not as bad) company and since then all utilities have doubled. It is an outrage on its own and so it is very easy to authentically complain about. Another one is student loans. My partner and I paid those off about ten years ago. But whenever the topic comes up I can commiserate because the obstacles created by these loans are too dang high. I grew up in poverty and have no problem relating to money problems. Though it has been a little harder to do this with a co-worker who complains about their mortgage on their newly bought 3000 sq ft house with a pool. They both drive nice cars and still take regular vacations and have two kids. So I just nod and say something like "yeah it's so hard".

Rdy2Fire

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A few friends, maybe more then a few inquire as to how I live the way I do and I have explained that I invested in my 401k and paying off all my debts etc but I don't get into much deep detail. With one specifically I said while you were buying, or I should say leasing a new car every 3 years, at over $600 a month, I used that money to travel and saved some and drive a 10 yr old (now 15) car.

I have or I should say had one 'friend' that used to make snide, jealous type comments and I just disassociated with them. Always negative and always more of sarcastic 'wish I could live like that' then a good job or congrats or, which I'd prefer, just not saying anything. They could live like me, they had the same job for over 25 yrs making good money, didn't save, got a couple of better jobs for more, don't save and have a lot of useless stuff for all their complaining.

Zikoris

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Many, many years ago, I received an electricity bill for $60. It was DOUBLE any electricity bill I'd ever received before, so I went to the electricity place and complained. They were very sympathetic, until I revealed the size of the bill, and then they laughed in my face. The next day, I went to work and at coffee break, complained that I'd just received an electricity bill that was double what I'd ever paid before. My co-workers all started complaining about their bills - which were all over $600. I didn't ever tell them what mine was, but it was a bonding moment.

Ha, yes I've definitely done this! Our current utility company is pure evil, they took over for the last (evil but surprisingly not as bad) company and since then all utilities have doubled. It is an outrage on its own and so it is very easy to authentically complain about. Another one is student loans. My partner and I paid those off about ten years ago. But whenever the topic comes up I can commiserate because the obstacles created by these loans are too dang high. I grew up in poverty and have no problem relating to money problems. Though it has been a little harder to do this with a co-worker who complains about their mortgage on their newly bought 3000 sq ft house with a pool. They both drive nice cars and still take regular vacations and have two kids. So I just nod and say something like "yeah it's so hard".

My electricity bill was REALLY weird the one year I had one - where I lived they checked the meters every two months and then in the off months billed whatever the average usage was for a unit of that size/season (and then squared up the next month). The result was my electric bill would alternate every month between next to nothing and sky-high. Eventually they use your own data once they have enough of that, but I didn't live there long enough for that to kick in.

mm1970

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Ah yes.  I think one of the only 2 people at my office who has a car older than mine (2006) is the CEO.

My husband bragged this morning that "look at me, buying clothes and shoes!"  While I've bought a lot in the last year thanks to menopause, he's down to one pair of jeans and his only exercise shoes are falling apart.  So, he looked at his jeans tag and bought 2 more and ordered the same running shoes, just a newer version.

DS17 hates to shop, so he's wearing 3 pairs of pants that almost don't button anymore.  We'll make it to the end of the school year, and then the summer he'll be wearing athletic shorts and T-shirts.  Speaking of which, all of these that he wears were purchased 5 for $30.  A few of the shirts have holes because he treats them badly, but they'll last the summer anyway.

DS10 wears exclusively hand me downs.  I've patched his jacket twice (that originally belonged to a friend's kid who is now 20), and he's actually worn through 3 pairs of shorts.  I finally bought him "nice" shoes (Kizik) - he only has one pair, and these hold up so much better than any other pair he's had.

I'm currently wearing a shirt that was hand-me-downed from my MIL.

I don't think most people envy us.

Villanelle

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Ah yes.  I think one of the only 2 people at my office who has a car older than mine (2006) is the CEO.

My husband bragged this morning that "look at me, buying clothes and shoes!"  While I've bought a lot in the last year thanks to menopause, he's down to one pair of jeans and his only exercise shoes are falling apart.  So, he looked at his jeans tag and bought 2 more and ordered the same running shoes, just a newer version.

DS17 hates to shop, so he's wearing 3 pairs of pants that almost don't button anymore.  We'll make it to the end of the school year, and then the summer he'll be wearing athletic shorts and T-shirts.  Speaking of which, all of these that he wears were purchased 5 for $30.  A few of the shirts have holes because he treats them badly, but they'll last the summer anyway.

DS10 wears exclusively hand me downs.  I've patched his jacket twice (that originally belonged to a friend's kid who is now 20), and he's actually worn through 3 pairs of shorts.  I finally bought him "nice" shoes (Kizik) - he only has one pair, and these hold up so much better than any other pair he's had.

I'm currently wearing a shirt that was hand-me-downed from my MIL.

I don't think most people envy us.

What I've found is that people certainly don't envy my modest used cars and my non-designer purse and my daily no make-up look and my 2x/year haircuts.  But then they do envy that I have no car payment and that I only work extremely part time (and for several years didn't do paid work at all).  They don't--or refuse to--see the connection.  They want their Teslas and "upgraded" wedding rings with huge diamonds and their four-figure hand bags.  But they also want my financial security and lack of every worrying about money.

I think that's the part that frustrated me.  Many of my friends have much higher incomes, but far lower net worths, I'm sure.  They don't attribute the choices I make that are different than theirs to the financial situation I have that's different than theirs. 

So even though those people don't envy the things I have (or don't have), they are still envious of what results from those choices.

mm1970

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Quote
What I've found is that people certainly don't envy my modest used cars and my non-designer purse and my daily no make-up look and my 2x/year haircuts.  But then they do envy that I have no car payment and that I only work extremely part time (and for several years didn't do paid work at all).  They don't--or refuse to--see the connection.  They want their Teslas and "upgraded" wedding rings with huge diamonds and their four-figure hand bags.  But they also want my financial security and lack of every worrying about money.

My engagement ring broke.  I started lifting, and got tired of taking off my wedding ring.  I downgraded my rings, ha!  I wear a silicone band as a wedding ring because I don't have to take it off to lift.  And years ago, my dh bought me a cute little sapphire ring for Christmas.  I don't know why I asked for it - I almost never wear jewelry.  But I wear it all the time now, because the little blue stone looks really good with the navy blue/ purple "galaxy" silicone ring.

frugalecon

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I fear we'll see more of this in a couple of years, when we retire earlier than anyone in our family.

My MIL has already asked "Why in the world would you want to retire at 60?" My answer? "Because I CAN."

I have been working since I was 12. I think 48 years is enough. She was a SAHM for years, and then began doing Avon for some cash to spend as she would, since DFIL wasn't going to buy the car she wanted.

So she did Avon for 40 years. But it never supported her, let alone the family. Her world view just doesn't seem to compute with the mental tax of being employed as I am employed, and the family absolutely dependent on the funds I bring home.

So yeah. I think there's likely to be some envy. But everyone is well aware of how careful we are with our funds, and how we've been saving consistently for years. I hope that will offset some of the envy. I guess we'll see.

Wow, I really resonate with this. I have been a W-2 employee since I was 14 (I had a lawn-mowing and vegetable selling business from when I was 10), and I still get pushback from some family and non-family on the idea I should be ok to retire when I plan to (which isnít particularly early).

Runrooster

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and living on ramen noodles another week, instead of packing a home-cooked meal most of the time.

I always chuckle when I see this type of comment, or living on rice and beans.  My family loves ramen and rice & beans, it's just convenient that it's cheap, lol.

(which I understand wasn't what you meant here)

I try to limit ramen to a rare treat or when I'm sick, because I don't think it's healthy, but even I would tire of eating it every day for a week.

I go through phases of wanting to take the time to research, shop, and cook "nice" meals - pad thai or tofu lettuce wraps or california rolls - and phases of wanting to eat the beans/veg that my parents still eat twice a day. Besides being more interesting I think a varied diet is healthier.  I also eat more salads and raw veg than they do.  Especially since I live with my parents and eating with them is a nice idea/ low-prep for me, but it's occasional.  I do make a fancy rice/beans (idli/sambar) about once a month and eat it for a week.

I'm relatively low maintenance about things like clothes, vacations, cars.  Food generally and fruit especially are important to me.  The fact that it's cheap is just convenient.

charis

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and living on ramen noodles another week, instead of packing a home-cooked meal most of the time.

I always chuckle when I see this type of comment, or living on rice and beans.  My family loves ramen and rice & beans, it's just convenient that it's cheap, lol.

(which I understand wasn't what you meant here)

I try to limit ramen to a rare treat or when I'm sick, because I don't think it's healthy, but even I would tire of eating it every day for a week.

I go through phases of wanting to take the time to research, shop, and cook "nice" meals - pad thai or tofu lettuce wraps or california rolls - and phases of wanting to eat the beans/veg that my parents still eat twice a day. Besides being more interesting I think a varied diet is healthier.  I also eat more salads and raw veg than they do.  Especially since I live with my parents and eating with them is a nice idea/ low-prep for me, but it's occasional.  I do make a fancy rice/beans (idli/sambar) about once a month and eat it for a week.

I'm relatively low maintenance about things like clothes, vacations, cars.  Food generally and fruit especially are important to me.  The fact that it's cheap is just convenient.
I'm confused about what's so unhealthy about ramen that it would be considered a rare treat, or for the sick. It's noodles, dude, and you can veg and protein to your heart's desire.

Our rice and beans meals are filled with veg and are very healthy.

Runrooster

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Iím reminded of the story of stone soup. Add enough veg and protein and you can make a (healthier) dish out of anything. Thatís not how my coworkers were eating ramen though.

Iím not telling you how to eat, but ramen noodles are white flour and fried, about the same as potato chips. I wouldnít call potato chips the same as a baked potato, dude, but ymmv.

RWD

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and living on ramen noodles another week, instead of packing a home-cooked meal most of the time.

I always chuckle when I see this type of comment, or living on rice and beans.  My family loves ramen and rice & beans, it's just convenient that it's cheap, lol.

(which I understand wasn't what you meant here)

I try to limit ramen to a rare treat or when I'm sick, because I don't think it's healthy, but even I would tire of eating it every day for a week.

I go through phases of wanting to take the time to research, shop, and cook "nice" meals - pad thai or tofu lettuce wraps or california rolls - and phases of wanting to eat the beans/veg that my parents still eat twice a day. Besides being more interesting I think a varied diet is healthier.  I also eat more salads and raw veg than they do.  Especially since I live with my parents and eating with them is a nice idea/ low-prep for me, but it's occasional.  I do make a fancy rice/beans (idli/sambar) about once a month and eat it for a week.

I'm relatively low maintenance about things like clothes, vacations, cars.  Food generally and fruit especially are important to me.  The fact that it's cheap is just convenient.
I'm confused about what's so unhealthy about ramen that it would be considered a rare treat, or for the sick. It's noodles, dude, and you can veg and protein to your heart's desire.

Our rice and beans meals are filled with veg and are very healthy.
Ramen tends to be very high in sodium which can be unhealthy.

charis

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and living on ramen noodles another week, instead of packing a home-cooked meal most of the time.

I always chuckle when I see this type of comment, or living on rice and beans.  My family loves ramen and rice & beans, it's just convenient that it's cheap, lol.

(which I understand wasn't what you meant here)

I try to limit ramen to a rare treat or when I'm sick, because I don't think it's healthy, but even I would tire of eating it every day for a week.

I go through phases of wanting to take the time to research, shop, and cook "nice" meals - pad thai or tofu lettuce wraps or california rolls - and phases of wanting to eat the beans/veg that my parents still eat twice a day. Besides being more interesting I think a varied diet is healthier.  I also eat more salads and raw veg than they do.  Especially since I live with my parents and eating with them is a nice idea/ low-prep for me, but it's occasional.  I do make a fancy rice/beans (idli/sambar) about once a month and eat it for a week.

I'm relatively low maintenance about things like clothes, vacations, cars.  Food generally and fruit especially are important to me.  The fact that it's cheap is just convenient.
I'm confused about what's so unhealthy about ramen that it would be considered a rare treat, or for the sick. It's noodles, dude, and you can veg and protein to your heart's desire.

Our rice and beans meals are filled with veg and are very healthy.
Ramen tends to be very high in sodium which can be unhealthy.

It definitely depends on how you make it, like most foods.  Instant ramen can be high sodium if you use the flavor packet, but it's not a requirement.

Freedomin5

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and living on ramen noodles another week, instead of packing a home-cooked meal most of the time.

I always chuckle when I see this type of comment, or living on rice and beans.  My family loves ramen and rice & beans, it's just convenient that it's cheap, lol.

(which I understand wasn't what you meant here)

I try to limit ramen to a rare treat or when I'm sick, because I don't think it's healthy, but even I would tire of eating it every day for a week.

I go through phases of wanting to take the time to research, shop, and cook "nice" meals - pad thai or tofu lettuce wraps or california rolls - and phases of wanting to eat the beans/veg that my parents still eat twice a day. Besides being more interesting I think a varied diet is healthier.  I also eat more salads and raw veg than they do.  Especially since I live with my parents and eating with them is a nice idea/ low-prep for me, but it's occasional.  I do make a fancy rice/beans (idli/sambar) about once a month and eat it for a week.

I'm relatively low maintenance about things like clothes, vacations, cars.  Food generally and fruit especially are important to me.  The fact that it's cheap is just convenient.
I'm confused about what's so unhealthy about ramen that it would be considered a rare treat, or for the sick. It's noodles, dude, and you can veg and protein to your heart's desire.

Our rice and beans meals are filled with veg and are very healthy.
Ramen tends to be very high in sodium which can be unhealthy.

It definitely depends on how you make it, like most foods.  Instant ramen can be high sodium if you use the flavor packet, but it's not a requirement.

Ramen noodles contain a food additive called Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), a preservative that is a petroleum industry byproduct.

Villanelle

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and living on ramen noodles another week, instead of packing a home-cooked meal most of the time.

I always chuckle when I see this type of comment, or living on rice and beans.  My family loves ramen and rice & beans, it's just convenient that it's cheap, lol.

(which I understand wasn't what you meant here)

I try to limit ramen to a rare treat or when I'm sick, because I don't think it's healthy, but even I would tire of eating it every day for a week.

I go through phases of wanting to take the time to research, shop, and cook "nice" meals - pad thai or tofu lettuce wraps or california rolls - and phases of wanting to eat the beans/veg that my parents still eat twice a day. Besides being more interesting I think a varied diet is healthier.  I also eat more salads and raw veg than they do.  Especially since I live with my parents and eating with them is a nice idea/ low-prep for me, but it's occasional.  I do make a fancy rice/beans (idli/sambar) about once a month and eat it for a week.

I'm relatively low maintenance about things like clothes, vacations, cars.  Food generally and fruit especially are important to me.  The fact that it's cheap is just convenient.
I'm confused about what's so unhealthy about ramen that it would be considered a rare treat, or for the sick. It's noodles, dude, and you can veg and protein to your heart's desire.

Our rice and beans meals are filled with veg and are very healthy.

I think when most people--or most Americans, perhaps--mention Ramen in a context like this, they are referring to the highly salted "Top Ramen" type packets, that are just dried noodles and a flavor pack.  All the salt, none of the veggies (or meat). 

MaybeBabyMustache

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I think people are mixing up cup o noodle & the like, & ramen you can buy at a ramen shop or make at home. My understanding is that TBHQ is present in numerous products, including soy milk. Ramen isn't the outlier there.

simonsez

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Entitled people asking for things they didn't earn are ignorant.  They will not lose this quality if they are given handouts.  They are probably not aware of the process that can take years/decades to get to the point that they see from the side and are envious of the end result (i.e. a certain level of consumption and/or contentment, happiness, etc.).  They just want the end result and want to skip the process.  If someone is asking for a handout and are unwilling to learn about the process, that's on them, not me.

Be patient and kind, though.  Long-term planning is a difficult skill to navigate and master since life is so unpredictable.  I'm all for humans sharing knowledge and expertise with each other so I tend to be pretty open about anything, finances included.  No one was born an expert.