Author Topic: Obligation To Spend  (Read 10860 times)

makincaid

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Obligation To Spend
« on: December 05, 2012, 06:01:16 AM »
Every so often, I run into the idea that certain activities should be reserved for "poor" people. That high income people are obligated to do things in a more expensive way. For example, here is a thread where people are debating if only poor people should be allowed to shop at the good will.

http://community.dooce.com/home-garden/do-you-think-goodwill-shopping-should-be-reserved-people-who-actually-need-shop-there

Lately, I have been learning about hunting, and have run into the similar attitude from some people. That hunting is OK if you are poor and need to feed your family, but if you can afford to buy food at the grocery store then you should. Personally, I want to be more self-sufficient, and not count on the grocery store always being there. 

So, what about you guys? Do you ever run into the expectation that you are obligated do things the expensive way just because you have good income.

BPA

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 06:27:59 AM »
So, what about you guys? Do you ever run into the expectation that you are obligated do things the expensive way just because you have good income.

Not really.  Most people just assume that I don't make very much.  But I am interested to hear the perspectives of others. 

tooqk4u22

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 06:52:32 AM »
Sure, it ranges from "why you buying that when you can afford better" to the expectation that I pick up the bill because they think I have or make more.

But for what its worth because of the first part of above the second part doesn't come up that much.

destron

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 08:05:15 AM »
I find that there is peer pressure at work to buy more expensive things since I "can afford them". After all, why wouldn't I want the more expensive, nicer thing?

Case in point:

My coworkers, as a group, make between $70,000 - $110,000. On this type of salary, many of them feel that they need a nice car. When I was in the market for a car a few years ago, people thought I should buy a "pre-owned" (rich people code for used) Mercedes Benz. After all, I could get a C-series with only 30,000 miles on it for around $25k (C-series is rich people code for very expensive Honda Civic). I went with the much less expensive but still not at all mustachian Hyundai Sonata. This is a purchase I regret, but I can only imagine how I would have felt had I followed others' advice.

My coworker who makes less than me had saved up around $45,000. Earlier this year, she used that money as a down-payment on a $90,000 Range Rover. Wow, that is a beautiful car, but not extend your working time for 3 years beautiful. Such a car does not exist for me. She seems happy, but I feel bad for her that she has been duped by society to make such a horrendous purchasing decision. Her car payment is around $800-$900/month, and I can only imagine how much she is paying for insurance and registration.

I feel that if I worked in a lower paying field there would not be the same kind of peer-pressure to spend. Spenders need to justify their actions, so they encourage others to spend just as much. Mustachians do the same, but I feel it creates a positive feedback loop.

bcg150

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 10:02:40 AM »

My coworker who makes less than me had saved up around $45,000. Earlier this year, she used that money as a down-payment on a $90,000 Range Rover.

When you hear things like this don't you just day dream about grabbing the person by their shirt and asking them. "Are you aware you just saved $45,000 to buy a FUCKING CAR?!"


BPA

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 10:15:27 AM »

My coworker who makes less than me had saved up around $45,000. Earlier this year, she used that money as a down-payment on a $90,000 Range Rover.

When you hear things like this don't you just day dream about grabbing the person by their shirt and asking them. "Are you aware you just saved $45,000 to buy a FUCKING CAR?!"

lmao  Yes.  Just like when I want to kick SUVs and Hummers.  I have a rich fantasy life in that regard.

jrhampt

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 10:19:08 AM »
Yes, people laugh at my 2001 Toyota Echo, but they seem resigned to the fact that I have no use for expensive cars.  On the other hand, most of my friends/co-workers have i-phones now along with expensive data packages, and I do get pressured to upgrade my phone.  I also feel the pressure on home renovations (kitchen/bathroom particularly), as I still do not have granite countertops, and I think every single one of my friends now does.  One of my high-spending/high-income friends was in town recently, and she always does a lot of restaurant meet-ups, so in an effort to mitigate the effects of a week- long+ visit, I have at least converted her to the joys of happy hour (free buffets, $2 apps, etc.).

tooqk4u22

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 10:33:24 AM »

My coworker who makes less than me had saved up around $45,000. Earlier this year, she used that money as a down-payment on a $90,000 Range Rover.

When you hear things like this don't you just day dream about grabbing the person by their shirt and asking them. "Are you aware you just saved $45,000 to buy a FUCKING CAR?!"

.......and that in three years it will ONLY be worth $45,000 - 50% loss in three years you can't beat that in the market.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2012, 10:45:21 AM »
Every so often, I run into the idea that certain activities should be reserved for "poor" people. That high income people are obligated to do things in a more expensive way. For example, here is a thread where people are debating if only poor people should be allowed to shop at the good will.

http://community.dooce.com/home-garden/do-you-think-goodwill-shopping-should-be-reserved-people-who-actually-need-shop-there

Lately, I have been learning about hunting, and have run into the similar attitude from some people. That hunting is OK if you are poor and need to feed your family, but if you can afford to buy food at the grocery store then you should. Personally, I want to be more self-sufficient, and not count on the grocery store always being there. 

So, what about you guys? Do you ever run into the expectation that you are obligated do things the expensive way just because you have good income.

The author's contention with Goodwill that's a bit distinct from yours. It's run as a non-profit and I think a lot of people do donate their clothes with the idea it'll go to the less fortunate as a charity. Well-off people receiving charity is morally unacceptable. Now that's not really the case as Goodwill serves a lot of purposes like job placement and the like, but it's still a valid, if unsound argument. It's the charity elements she has an issue with, not the "spending-less-even-though-you-can-afford" element. Maybe a better example of what she's getting at would be getting a free meal at a soup kitchen when you're solvent. Pretty sure they aren't demanding tax returns at the door, but it's still immoral to take advantage of that service when it was intended for the less fortunate. There's a difference between saving money on your own and saving money taking advantage of the charities of others.

That said, your point that you need to do certain things because you're rich is well taken. There's a kind of hilarious expectation to blow your money on a Porsche when you're finally making bank. I don't need satellite TV, I don't need my house to be 65 degrees in the summer and 85 in the winter, I don't need a massage chair, I don't need to get the name brands of products when the store products are identical just because I can afford it.

Admittedly, certain cost calculations do change decisions when the value of your time goes up. I'm not going to spend hours a day managing my business when I can pay a guy in the Philippines to do it for $7/hour. I'm not going to waste hours cleaning my house when I can get some maids to do it. I'll pay a few hundred extra to have a guaranteed parking spot next to my school's entrance instead of having to leave earlier to park in a hit-or-miss distant lot. I won't spend days and weeks trying to time airline fares to be their most optimal. No I won't fly first class, but at the same time I'll pay $100 more to take a flight that's direct as opposed to a 4 hour layover. These are all luxuries admittedly, but ultimately examples of what I believe is the true purpose of money- freedom.



kt

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2012, 11:15:17 AM »
if you don't talk money much then the assumption also runs the other way, o you don't spend much, you must be poor. i've realised recently that at least one of my friends potentially views me like this and therefore tries to pay for my lunch/coffee when we're out because she knows i wouldn't normally spend money on it. and there've been a few other instances with other people where i've thought, is this because you think i'm skint?
and this assumption finds its way into how i talk 'o, i'm still living like a student', as thought there is something wrong with living minimally. actually, i'm living like a frugal adult.

ShavenLlama

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2012, 12:43:38 PM »
That was the strangest arguement to spend money I think I've read in a while.

There are lots of reasons a person would want to shop at Goodwill and the like- Older furniture is built better, it's fun to refinish and repurpose things, older dishes and the like have more character, and maybe there is simply no need to waste the planet's resources making new things if an old one will suffice. And besides, you never know what you might find!

These charity shops are set up to make money to fund the charity. Excluding the people with bigger wallets would probably not aid in this endeavor. It would be like saying, "I need cash, so I'm going to have a yard sale. But only other people who are short on cash can shop at my yardsale."

If "rich" people find shopping at second hand stores to be such a fun fashion collection adventure, this might take the stigma away from people (schoolkids, specifically) who shop there out of circumstance.

makincaid

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2012, 12:59:43 PM »
@chucklesmcgee
It does seem that a lot of people get confused about the purpose of the Goodwill. The purpose of the charity is to raise money for their jobs programs, not to provide cheap clothing for poor people (though that might be a nice side effect). Goodwill needs shoppers as well as donators in order to achieve their mission.

From a Good will Ad (http://www.goodwillncw.org/shopping.html):
SHOPPING IS GIVING
Goodwill is not a retail store for the impoverished. It's a store for the empowered. Shopping at Goodwill doesn't take away from people in need; it actually helps them. Because we are 100% not-for-profit, every dollar you spend at Goodwill goes back into funding local community programs for people in need.


I certainly agree that going to a foodbank, etc. would be wrong if you were wealthy.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 01:08:48 PM by makincaid »

makincaid

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2012, 01:13:21 PM »
@kt
Unfortunately, people know I am not poor, because I work as a Mechanical Engineer.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2012, 02:40:46 PM »
I certainly agree that going to a foodbank, etc. would be wrong if you were wealthy.
My nearest food bank's website states that they do ask for "proof of need" in order to be allowed in. I'm guessing it is at the doorman's discretion, because a lot of low-income people probably don't have payslips to begin with.

Obviously someone dressed in office clothes might raise suspicions, but I'd be curious to see how it's handled. Mabe I'll drop by.

mustachecat

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 03:49:23 PM »
Yeah, the woman in the dooce forum corrects herself after actually reading Goodwill's mission statement.

Here's another situation for you guys: New York City has something called HDFC housing, which attempts to make apartments permanently affordable by restricting the income of buyers (there are a lot of loopholes, though, like HDFCs allow parents to purchase for their adult children). It's variable, usually something like up to a certain percentage of the area median income.

Often, I see apartments listed where the limit for a one-person household is something like $69K, but the limit for a two-person household is something like $79K. I sometimes toy with the idea of looking into buying one while I'm still, in the government's eyes, single (I'm actually engaged and cohabitating) and under the income limits.

What say ye all?

Sylly

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2012, 04:15:26 PM »
Often, I see apartments listed where the limit for a one-person household is something like $69K, but the limit for a two-person household is something like $79K. I sometimes toy with the idea of looking into buying one while I'm still, in the government's eyes, single (I'm actually engaged and cohabitating) and under the income limits.

What say ye all?

Another old-fashioned single & married income limits that don't reflect today's reality. Not a fan of these.

As long as you don't get forced to sell once you're married and exceed the income threshold, I don't see why not. Hell, if it's not for parents' happiness, I'd seriously consider not marrying to avoid hitting the marriage tax penalty in the foreseeable future.

destron

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2012, 04:33:09 PM »

My coworker who makes less than me had saved up around $45,000. Earlier this year, she used that money as a down-payment on a $90,000 Range Rover.

When you hear things like this don't you just day dream about grabbing the person by their shirt and asking them. "Are you aware you just saved $45,000 to buy a FUCKING CAR?!"

I would have tried to talk her out of it if she had mentioned it beforehand. Alas, she had already purchased the car. Nothing for me to do.

I did manage to convince another coworker of mine not to buy a huge house with his girlfriend. Reasoning: if you get married and live happily ever after, she gets half of the house anyway. If you break up, you're both screwed. Coincidentally, she got pregnant and they got married. So far it seems to be going well.

prosaic

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2012, 08:06:49 PM »

These charity shops are set up to make money to fund the charity. Excluding the people with bigger wallets would probably not aid in this endeavor. It would be like saying, "I need cash, so I'm going to have a yard sale. But only other people who are short on cash can shop at my yardsale."


Exactly.

sheepstache

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2012, 10:51:05 PM »
Yeah, the woman in the dooce forum corrects herself after actually reading Goodwill's mission statement.

Here's another situation for you guys: New York City has something called HDFC housing, which attempts to make apartments permanently affordable by restricting the income of buyers (there are a lot of loopholes, though, like HDFCs allow parents to purchase for their adult children). It's variable, usually something like up to a certain percentage of the area median income.

Often, I see apartments listed where the limit for a one-person household is something like $69K, but the limit for a two-person household is something like $79K. I sometimes toy with the idea of looking into buying one while I'm still, in the government's eyes, single (I'm actually engaged and cohabitating) and under the income limits.

What say ye all?

I have one of these.  We were lucky and one in the area we were interested in allowed a family of up to four to make up to $98K.  I was living with my SO but not married yet and I was the one who had the purchase price, so I was going to just apply as myself.  All the paperwork suggested that while I should put him down as a member of the household, my financial information was all they were interested in.  It turned out at the information session that they wanted his as well to make sure we weren't over the income limit as a household.  It was so frustrating because it was hard to get a straight answer and then there wasn't even a place for a non-applicant to sign to authorize the credit check.  So just FYI.  This was through UHAB and another organization might be more organized (it would scarcely be possible to be less organized). 
Morally, it's a personal decision, but you could think about the fact that you never get kicked out of these apartments even if your salary shoots up, so it would be difficult to say that the guidelines are there to stop people who can super easily afford the apartments from getting them.

velocistar237

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2012, 07:26:22 AM »
Unfortunately, people know I am not poor, because I work as a Mechanical Engineer.

I'm also an engineer, but people don't seem to equate that with high earnings. When we were looking for housing, friends suggested to my wife that we look at subsidized housing options. When I remarked to a friend that it would be fun to go back to school and get a PhD, he asked why not do it now, thinking it wouldn't be that big of a big pay cut to go from my engineering job to a student stipend.

Hooray for Goodwill, my favorite store.

CookerS101

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2013, 06:14:03 AM »
Sure, it ranges from "why you buying that when you can afford better" to the expectation that I pick up the bill because they think I have or make more.

I often find myself in this situation especially if I am with our relatives. They think that I have more, when in fact they are well-off than me.

BlueMR2

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2013, 08:53:17 AM »
Unfortunately, people know I am not poor, because I work as a Mechanical Engineer.

I'm also an engineer, but people don't seem to equate that with high earnings.

Engineers don't necessarily make a lot of money.  There are certainly positions where one can.  However, I know a great number of engineer friends that hold "engineering" positions that are basically glorified CAD operators/drafters...  There's not much money in those positions...

John74

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2013, 11:25:28 AM »
My money is in the bank. I don't wear it or drive it. So people have pretty low expectations regarding my spending abilities. Even family and close friends don't know that I am FI, so they see me as unemployed rather than retired. So the pressure to spend is pretty low.

Gerard

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2013, 02:37:14 PM »
wrt the original post: I've noticed that in places with a large gap between the rich and poor, like parts of the Caribbean, the rich are seen to have an obligation to spend at least some of their money on servants, in order to create work for the poor. Doing your own gardening or cleaning is seen as taking a job away from somebody who needs it.
I'm not sure how this translates into a society where our purchases, if they benefit the poor at all, generally benefit somebody very far away (e.g., an overseas factory worker), and actually disproportionately benefit the rich people who employ them. I guess there are some purchases (farmer's markets, artists and artisans, local musicians) where your spending directly helps the bottom line of a nearby person, often someone who's doing things in an earth-friendly or society-helping way.
wrt using services aimed at the poor, yeah, I'm not going to exploit a food bank or soup kitchen, but I'm definitely going to the thrift store. And I'm certainly making use of a range of government-funded services like transit and libraries and parks, although technically I guess I could afford to buy a car and books and a big yard. In fact, it's when the middle class stops using those services that politicians feel they can get away with starving them of funding, or a small subset of employees can start treating users like they're doing them a favour. I still remember the day an OC Transpo bus driver called down a passenger who turned out to be a judge...

jrhampt

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2013, 10:19:36 AM »
We got another lecture this weekend from my father-in-law about being too cheap to have cable.  Not sure why our not having cable bothers him so much, because it doesn't bother us at all.

momo

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2013, 12:03:07 PM »
I do research for specific items like furniture at the GoodWill and I routinely donate but otherwise I do not shop there.

I get frequent grief to spend more money eating out and to stop looking at the "cost" of things, the real cost of certain careers, learning better ways to retiring early, Jones's sheep mentality, and evaluating "lifestyle choices" from people in general and one gender specificaly, girls. Over the years I found many girls feel "entitled" to a crap filled materialistic lifestyle which is frankly, sad. Everything ranging from debt-ridden activities including but not limited to: mani/petti/facials, big rings, cars, house, vacations (which IMO is merely escapism & if you've read Your Money or Your Life illustrates it is all due your craptacular job), wardrobe, shoes, bags, title(s) at end of name, to other "things".

All of these things are so disgustingly superficial because these serve only to puff up a girl's vanity and mask their iceberg sized  insecurities. So far none of the girls I've met understand all the consumeristic crap they've bought won't help them get ahead financially or more importantly, create genuine happiness! I know these comments are laden with harsh judgments on my part but frankly I am getting very disgusted with how most people I meet feel I should spend more. Why? So I can work longer at a job I hate (I don't hate mine btw), to buy stuff I do not need? Buying stuff I cannot afford, to impress people that I cannot stand? Fuck that bullshit!

So, for me yes at times others people try to make me feel obligated to spend more. Do I ultimately do it? More often than not, I do not. I am far more inclined to spend my time with people instead of money on activities, purchases, and/or causes I do not believe in. How about you? What are your experiences?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 12:11:41 PM by Stashtastic Momo »

stevedoug

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2013, 05:23:35 PM »
I do research for specific items like furniture at the GoodWill and I routinely donate but otherwise I do not shop there.

I get frequent grief to spend more money eating out and to stop looking at the "cost" of things, the real cost of certain careers, learning better ways to retiring early, Jones's sheep mentality, and evaluating "lifestyle choices" from people in general and one gender specificaly, girls. Over the years I found many girls feel "entitled" to a crap filled materialistic lifestyle which is frankly, sad. Everything ranging from debt-ridden activities including but not limited to: mani/petti/facials, big rings, cars, house, vacations (which IMO is merely escapism & if you've read Your Money or Your Life illustrates it is all due your craptacular job), wardrobe, shoes, bags, title(s) at end of name, to other "things".

All of these things are so disgustingly superficial because these serve only to puff up a girl's vanity and mask their iceberg sized  insecurities. So far none of the girls I've met understand all the consumeristic crap they've bought won't help them get ahead financially or more importantly, create genuine happiness! I know these comments are laden with harsh judgments on my part but frankly I am getting very disgusted with how most people I meet feel I should spend more. Why? So I can work longer at a job I hate (I don't hate mine btw), to buy stuff I do not need? Buying stuff I cannot afford, to impress people that I cannot stand? Fuck that bullshit!

So, for me yes at times others people try to make me feel obligated to spend more. Do I ultimately do it? More often than not, I do not. I am far more inclined to spend my time with people instead of money on activities, purchases, and/or causes I do not believe in. How about you? What are your experiences?

Before anyone claims sexist and gets all up in arms, I will back you up.
It took me around 29 years before I found a female mate who had her eyes open, and wasn't part of the consumer "Matrix."
Even still, she had some habits that she willingly changed over time (because she realized she had way more fun taking a trip to new national park, rather than 2 hair appointments).

Point is, it exists, but it's really hard to find in American women (from my limited perspective)

savingtofreedom

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2013, 07:50:57 PM »
I do research for specific items like furniture at the GoodWill and I routinely donate but otherwise I do not shop there.

I get frequent grief to spend more money eating out and to stop looking at the "cost" of things, the real cost of certain careers, learning better ways to retiring early, Jones's sheep mentality, and evaluating "lifestyle choices" from people in general and one gender specificaly, girls. Over the years I found many girls feel "entitled" to a crap filled materialistic lifestyle which is frankly, sad. Everything ranging from debt-ridden activities including but not limited to: mani/petti/facials, big rings, cars, house, vacations (which IMO is merely escapism & if you've read Your Money or Your Life illustrates it is all due your craptacular job), wardrobe, shoes, bags, title(s) at end of name, to other "things".

All of these things are so disgustingly superficial because these serve only to puff up a girl's vanity and mask their iceberg sized  insecurities. So far none of the girls I've met understand all the consumeristic crap they've bought won't help them get ahead financially or more importantly, create genuine happiness! I know these comments are laden with harsh judgments on my part but frankly I am getting very disgusted with how most people I meet feel I should spend more. Why? So I can work longer at a job I hate (I don't hate mine btw), to buy stuff I do not need? Buying stuff I cannot afford, to impress people that I cannot stand? Fuck that bullshit!

So, for me yes at times others people try to make me feel obligated to spend more. Do I ultimately do it? More often than not, I do not. I am far more inclined to spend my time with people instead of money on activities, purchases, and/or causes I do not believe in. How about you? What are your experiences?

Hilarious - I feel your pain.  I am going for a ladies weekend - not b/c of work burnout, but some personal issues and I need a break - but of course we are eating at a fancy restaurant and going to the spa - all a waste of money in my book.  Hard to convince others that cheap ethnic food is the best and lots of activities can be free.  I do it so infrequently that sometimes I suck it up - just order cheap things on the menu and never drink at dinner.  It can be tricky finding like minded folks. 

My brother always makes fun of me for being frugal and he is living paycheck to paycheck so go figure.

madgeylou

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2013, 09:38:45 AM »
Point is, it exists, but it's really hard to find in American women (from my limited perspective)

it's hard to find in american men, too! before i got together with my husband, my experience with dudes was either the football game attending  / big truck driving sort, or the sort who was perpetually broke but always wanted to go out to eat and drink and party (i.e., wanted me to pay for them).

i understand that it's frustrating, but i am glad to see that you understand your perspective is limited. it's way more complex than boys-are-like-this / girls-are-like-that.

nofool

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2013, 09:59:50 AM »
Ya, this is definitely not a one-sided issue. It's a nationwide epidemic, regardless of gender.

daymare

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2013, 11:59:38 AM »
Quote
I get frequent grief to spend more money eating out and to stop looking at the "cost" of things, the real cost of certain careers, learning better ways to retiring early, Jones's sheep mentality, and evaluating "lifestyle choices" from people in general and one gender specificaly, girls. Over the years I found many girls feel "entitled" to a crap filled materialistic lifestyle which is frankly, sad. Everything ranging from debt-ridden activities including but not limited to: mani/petti/facials, big rings, cars, house, vacations (which IMO is merely escapism & if you've read Your Money or Your Life illustrates it is all due your craptacular job), wardrobe, shoes, bags, title(s) at end of name, to other "things".

All of these things are so disgustingly superficial because these serve only to puff up a girl's vanity and mask their iceberg sized  insecurities. So far none of the girls I've met understand all the consumeristic crap they've bought won't help them get ahead financially or more importantly, create genuine happiness! I know these comments are laden with harsh judgments on my part but frankly I am getting very disgusted with how most people I meet feel I should spend more. Why? So I can work longer at a job I hate (I don't hate mine btw), to buy stuff I do not need? Buying stuff I cannot afford, to impress people that I cannot stand? Fuck that bullshit!

Perhaps you would fare better if you stopped hanging out with girls, and spent more time with women (those over 18)?  I totally agree with your overall frustrations -- I feel like my eyes have been opened to all of the assumptions we as a society blindly make (ie, I found myself, after reading the magazine for several years, getting annoyed at the advice for families in Money magazine -- 15% savings rate is outrageous, we're all going to work until 65 because of this, etc).  It is true that many people don't question whether buying things is 'worth it', whether it makes them happier and their lives better.  On the other hand, I disagree that this is a gendered issue.  It may be especially easy to judge some women's buying habits given that you find no value in makeup or handbags, and while I agree that pursuing having more stuff is a fruitless endeavor and bad for your financial health, YMOYL also underscores that understanding the personal importance you feel towards any consumption is necessary to evaluate whether you're allocating your money properly.  I will never, ever feel that a video game is worth its price (even if it's free), but obviously other people feel differently.

I suppose 'entitlement' is a good way to describe the reason why people buy things they cannot afford (and put on a credit card instead).  However, could you be confusing women's perceptions and feelings toward ambition with being mindless consumers?  I, as a newer Mustachian who is fed up with my own and society's backwards views of consumption, a woman who makes my own money and doesn't intend to rely on anyone else to achieve FI (which I want much more than any new pair of shoes, vacation, or a big house), could certainly react negatively to your views based on how judgmentally you expressed them, rather than the substance behind them.  I found this article very interesting (http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-truths-that-will-make-you-better-person/) and applicable -- to find a woman passionate about FI and truly living a good life, being ambitious and accomplished certainly works better than complaining about others' habits and feeling superior because you lack the unhealthy consumption patterns of others.

Back to the original topic: I don't run into this problem too often, given that my friends have pretty varied financial situations (ranging from PhD students to engineers making 100K+ straight out of college).  One friend even works in Africa (making African wages) and gets paid in cash. 

momo

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2013, 02:13:23 PM »
@ dinarik: Thanks for sharing your ideas and welcome to starting your journey learning about the vast world of financial independence! MMM is a great place to start and I strongly encourage you to read the book, “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. MMM did a review of the book http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/12/18/your-money-or-your-life/.

Allow me to clarify two things that from your reply I feel you may have missed. First, I feel a person’s age does not determine if she/he is emotionally healthy and a well-rounded responsible adult. Wouldn’t you agree plenty of grown women (21 years older) are young girls emotionally? Once you recognize this distinction, you will understand the context I was referring to when I wrote the “girls” I meet. As others have said it IS challenging for anyone to find other like-minded mature adults to date, but that doesn't mean we should stop trying, right? Everyone has different experiences when dating and the expectations placed on them. But isn't it true that not everyone you meet is actually an adult? How do you define an adult? Well my definition of an adult is a person (regardless of age or gender) who accepts full responsibility for what happens in their lives. An adult is a person who consciously choses to make the best of any situation and can humbly acknowledge when they need to ask for help. Financially to me it also means an adult chooses to learn “discipline” and practices saying NO to themselves. Of course MMM's complimentary punch in the face is more efficient, but not everyone knows Mustachianism, yet. Would you be surprised if I told that a Harvard University study discovered the number one factor in determining whether a child would become more financially successful than their parents was “discipline”? Fortunately, the proof is in the pudding and I have found there are plenty of full grown adults whose actions show they prefer to remain, infantile. I chose not to learn from their examples and learn from others who walked the talk and proven it! Whom do you think these children in adult bodies learn from?

Second, my comments were in response to makincaid’s question, “Do you ever run into the expectation that you are obligated do things the expensive way just because you have good income.” I feel you really missed that point and took what I wrote personally. In my comments I never said this was -solely- a gender specific issue. My comments focused on women because these are my experience/values with the topic of expectations, consumerism, and how I see women behaving with money. You wrote, “could you be confusing women's perceptions and feelings toward ambition with being mindless consumers”. I can see how you might think I might be mixing the two, but I assure you there is no confusion on how I view a woman's perceptions and her actions. For myself I do not care if a woman is career-driven and successful that is wonderful for her. Some of my closest friends are wildly successful in their chosen careers in art, law, medicine and finance; I am proud to have these friends in my life. My female friends without knowing it already practice Mustachian values, that's one reason why we get along. However the key difference between these women and the women I meet in the dating arena is "accountability", which is shown by their actions. When dating I meet plenty of single successful women that tell me they do not know where their money goes, or I just cannot save more/budget because I don’t want to deprive myself. Has anyone else heard these types of comments when dating? MMM wrote a article that discusses these values here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/09/18/is-it-convenient-would-i-enjoy-it-wrong-question/ When hearing women share these types of comments, frankly I am not surprised by the lack of discipline, accountability and the reality they've chosen to create. It is not rocket science to see the connection between “how” one chooses to spend money and the lack of money in their retirement accounts. As MMM readers we understand there is a real connection, but do most people understand this truism? So as curt as may sound, I for one do not appreciate it when other people (in my example women) expect me to frivolously spend what I am disciplined enough to save up, when they are not. Spending in moderation I do not mind, but not the way society and many women "expect". MMM wrote about this here http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/07/22/protecting-your-money-mustache-from-spendy-friends/ although it was written about friends the values and practices apply to dating too.

Your mileage may vary dinarik, but I certainly hope you can see and acknowledge there are a lot more unaccountable spenders around you, than disciplined and stoic Mustachian savers. Yes it does not help that we are blasted daily 24/7 with messages to spend beyond our means, but so what?! Ultimately we each make choices and act on them. And isn't that what it means to be an adult? The buck stops with each of us individually; we can choose to accept responsibility for all of our decisions or not. If we do not whom should accept responsibility and if not today, when?

I will leave you with Adam Baker's empowering video discussing this very topic; he is Mustachian in many ways. Enjoy! http://youtu.be/9XRPbFIN4lk  Cheers!
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 01:23:06 PM by Stashtastic Momo »

daymare

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Re: Obligation To Spend
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2013, 11:02:10 PM »
Thanks for the reply, Stashtastic Momo, definitely helpful & clarified some of your earlier points.  I actually have read YMOYL, and was trying to reference their concept of 'value' (enjoyment relative to monetary amount spend in each category) in my reply, but apologies if I wasn't clear.

I have to say that I don't disagree with any of your latest comment -- my reaction may have been strong because I find that anger or judgement of people who haven't 'seen the light' or taken responsibility and made the connection between consumption, money stress, and freedom, is often misguided.  There are many people capable of Mustachian thinking that may not have been put in the position of thinking consciously about spending or consumption, hence the lack of self-awareness.  I would consider myself, while very analytic, not naturally Mustachian (or perhaps latently Mustachian for most of my life), and this despite parents who grew up in Soviet Russia in the academic sphere, aka naturally frugal, questioning, rational, and Mustachian people.

I do agree with your last paragraph but realize that (in my personal situation) I have a lot of privileges -- namely, growing up with a culture/family that encouraged critical thinking and questioning of status quo, as well as a huge push for education (formal and informal) that absolutely broadened my perspectives and views.  So while Mustachians come from all walks of life, and many may not consider themselves privileged, I tend to give others the benefit of the doubt about the ability to change, because as you said -- there are a lot of cultural norms/ads to fight against.