Author Topic: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.  (Read 51622 times)

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Iris

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2010, 03:54:27 PM »
Quote
Quote from: KittyBass on October 31, 2010, 11:09:35 PM
Tonight it happened again, we ran into 2 of DH's friends and they saw both our phones and one said 'oooh, must be nice to have money to throw around.'

To this, I would reply in a slightly injured tone of voice, "We're not throwing money around, we scrimped and saved for months to be able to buy this!".

I wouldn't give them that much information. I think it is rude for them to say anything to you at all and you do not need to justify your spending patterns to them. If you feel as though you must say something I would say something like "Oh yes, DH is the best deal finder ever," then bean dip.

My DH and I saved and did without for many years (including moving to a remote area away from family and friends to save money for a while) to finally buy our own modest house back in our original region, which happens to have a pool. My MIL and FIL will come over for a swim and then say 'It must be nice to be rich' or 'I wonder what the poor people are doing?'. Instead of showing them our mortgage statement I just say 'yes, it must' or 'They're having a swim in their pool right now'.
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Alboury

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2010, 01:34:43 PM »
My brother's wife is from a third-world country.  In spite of all evidence to the contrary over the last 30 years, she believes that all Americans are rich.  She spends Brother's Navy pension like it was water, and when it runs out in the middle of the month, she goes whining to our parents.  Who, of course, are rich because they are Americans. ::)

$200 sneakers are 'better' than $20 sneakers, simply because they cost 10x more.  (Never mind that they wear out at the same rate...)  This goes down the line with everything.  If you get a widget on sale, you got a good deal, even though you may have three perfectly serviceable widgets at home already.  But the new widget is 'better' because it is new.

Because ALL Americans are rich, and this is how rich people spend money.   :P


POD. I have spotted the same pattern of thinking in West Africa. Here in Finland, I am a student and have to live a very, very low-profile life. Even though I make my do better than most of my student friends in humanities, I would not survive at all if I did not live in a cell flat with two strangers. The flat's owned by the local student apartment foundation, so internet, water and electricity are included in the rent. The main reason for me having the bucks for the occasional pint of imported beer (my deepest respect to the many breweries in Britain, the Eire and the U.S. - we only have two proper breweries here) is that I have such a small rent to pay. After all, that's the biggest single expenditure in a household.

But, in West Africa I am rich because I am white. Of course, the amount of money I use daily would support a West African family anywhere outside central Dakar for a week or two, but most people there don't seem to understand that things also cost much more in Europe. I once explained a friend of mine that he would have to put his wages aside for two weeks in order to buy a pack of the cheapest blue-collar tobacco in Finland, and he seemed to get it only after that. He was utterly shocked by that fact. Earlier, I tried to tell him that what I pay for a small bag of bread at home would feed him an his family for four days - his response was "of course, in Europe you have better bread". But when I took tobacco for the example, he stated in the blankest of tones I have ever heard that ordinary tobacco is the same everywhere (he knows it - he has been offered countless fags by European tourists) - so can it be that bread is no better in Europe? Yup, so it is. And he shook his head slowly, then nodded and said that "so an ordinary European has the same trouble with money that we have here, and only those of you are rich that can pay to get to TV".

Actually, I think that he got the point better than he understood himself. The examples of the rich Western lifestyle that common Africans get is the one provided in the trendy series in the telly. Naturally, they have little means to figure that the image is false, and that even common Westerners envy the lavish lifestyle of the trendy people in the trendy series. The tourists that appear to the hotels in the beach reservations near Dakar have gone there to spend their money, which helps keep up the belief that all whites are rich and educated. Again naturally, most Africans that somehow reach Western wealth will want to show off and adopt the trendy Western TV lifestyle instead of thinking with their own brain and putting the money to better use. And these people, on the other hand, are admired by fellow Africans, which results to - can anybody guess? In my opinion, this is the most vicious form of postcolonial development. Many people sacrifice their own culture before a mirage which they believe, falsely, to be "good Western life".  Another Senegalese friend of mine, who has worked in those beach reservations, has coined a term of his own to describe this. He once explained to me that he thinks I differ from the tourists there, because I am "not lazy and fat and moneyblind". I got interested of this expression "moneyblind", and he explained to me that it is what he calls the people who have so much money that they become lazy and tire easily and eventually start having difficulty in seeing and recognizing joy. That is a thought that I have often pondered since. Should more people understand his idea, many things might turn to a better direction.

However, there is also a certain point in charging the so-called "whiteness extra" throughout Africa. If one has afforded flying to another continent, one surely has the money to support the life of ordinary locals. I don't mean accepting being harshly fooled in every bargain, but simply keeping in mind that what's five cents for you could be two days' living for someone. I think that the sequences of believing that every white person is rich are much worse than the idea itself. After all, the latter is half true.



To return to the actual topic, which seems to be more of a personal than an intercontinental discourse, I have faced the problem of my student friends thinking I'm some sort of a miniature squire. All of them are completely broke by the 15th day of each month and I am not. Luckily, they all have realized, after a small conversation with a hint of algebra, that they lose most of their money in their own high demands on living - I am the only one of us who lives in a cell flat. And I don't even try to repeat the life of my parents; I don't do my things the way they do when I can find a cheaper alternative. Further on, I rarely buy clothes or furniture or actually anything else than food, tobacco and alcohol. And the trick of affording the latter two is heavy work through all the holidays. Of course, I count myself lucky for my father taking me to work since I was 12. I learned even the roughest of the physical work by my mid-teens and first managed a construction site when I was 17. For a three-week period only, of course - my father took a holiday and left me a list of what he wanted to be done by the time he was back. So, I do know the value of work. I still remember the cost of each of my guitars, and I remember what site I was working on when I bought them, and how many weeks it took to save the money. Roughly the same applies to most of my more precious property.

Another aspect of saving money that some people have difficulty to figure is that not all that's expensive is good, but all that's really good tends to be expensive. A good example of this would be my winter boots - they cost a crispy sum back when I bought them. They are not trendy - I do nothing with trendy clothes, I'm too functionally oriented - and there is actually nothing appealing about them. They are completely unadorned and would probably cause dysentery to any Italian fashion designer. I know a girl who buys new shoes of about the same price at least every other winter. Trendy shoes with the unpleasant tendency to wear up quickly, they are. And she has the nerve to call me a rich mustard every time I snicker at her moaning about the price of winter shoes! Oh how many times I have reminded her that I bought my trusty boots when I was sixteen. And I'm twenty-two now. And my boots have been in the heaviest of use (including several drunken 16 kilometer walks home, countless hikes on foot or on skis, and ordinary day use whenever it's cold outside), yet they show no signs of aging to this day. It's about taking care of your property. It's about investing in high quality instead of pretty look. It's always better to pay a crispy sum for something that lasts for years instead of having to pay small sums repeatedly. Some people just can't figure this and consider those who figure rich. Even if they simply are good in evaluating investments.

When I am being frowned upon for having a long-term vision about my pennies, I usually explain about accepting the slight inconveniences in my daily life - such as a flatmate with a rather African sense of time when it comes to washing his dishes - to occasionally allow myself some conveniences that I consider better than a solitary flat. If I am asked for sums, I tend to give an answer unclear enough to make it understood that I have culturally inherited a heavy distaste towards talking about my money. The way I use it, no problem, but the cash itself - bugger off. This really frustrates people in insurance companies and the like, but then let them curl up in their desperation. Us from the Savonia region are famous for not talking about money and never answering directly, and making other people just cope with that.
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blue2000

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2010, 02:17:35 PM »

<snip>

Another aspect of saving money that some people have difficulty to figure is that not all that's expensive is good, but all that's really good tends to be expensive. A good example of this would be my winter boots - they cost a crispy sum back when I bought them. They are not trendy - I do nothing with trendy clothes, I'm too functionally oriented - and there is actually nothing appealing about them. They are completely unadorned and would probably cause dysentery to any Italian fashion designer. I know a girl who buys new shoes of about the same price at least every other winter. Trendy shoes with the unpleasant tendency to wear up quickly, they are. And she has the nerve to call me a rich mustard every time I snicker at her moaning about the price of winter shoes! Oh how many times I have reminded her that I bought my trusty boots when I was sixteen. And I'm twenty-two now. And my boots have been in the heaviest of use (including several drunken 16 kilometer walks home, countless hikes on foot or on skis, and ordinary day use whenever it's cold outside), yet they show no signs of aging to this day. It's about taking care of your property. It's about investing in high quality instead of pretty look. It's always better to pay a crispy sum for something that lasts for years instead of having to pay small sums repeatedly. Some people just can't figure this and consider those who figure rich. Even if they simply are good in evaluating investments.


Even if they wear out, sometimes it is better to pay for the good stuff. I have to buy steel-toe work shoes. Some of them wear out in about six months. I still don't buy with price or wear-time as top priority - I buy the ones that fit the best, because if I don't have good-fitting shoes, I get more injuries and joint problems. It is worth every penny to me.

People at work think I'm crazy for spending several hundred dollars a year for shoes when I make so little money. And then they go on about how much their feet hurt at the end of the day, and mine don't...
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

Suze

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2010, 02:57:36 PM »
ahh - steel toe shoes.....I hate the cruddy things

I wear shoes out fast (I walk "crooked?") and by the time I can get another pair off the shoe truck (once a year)

my feet hurt bad because I have run over the heels and am walking sideways.

which is why I don't buy "very expensive" shoes otherwise - I can get "fresh" shoes more often  and not have so much foot pain

and it doesn't matter how expensive they are they all last about the same amount of time.   So - yeah - I will be wearing wal-mart sneakers over the very expensive ones.
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blue2000

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2010, 04:58:51 PM »
Some brands of runners don't wear out fast. I have a pair of New Balance that I have had for years now - they have outlasted at least five or six pairs of work shoes.

Which is pathetic when you think about it, really. Those things are made for hard construction jobs, and yet they can't stand up to anything.
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Suze

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #35 on: December 26, 2010, 05:02:40 PM »
I had a pair of New Balance -- they gave out faster than the $20.00 Wal mart pair of sneakers.

the sides wore off the heels and the whole sole on one shoe almost fell off.

And I had them too long to take back
I guess I am just "hard on shoes"
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Alboury

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2010, 07:57:23 PM »
Quote from: blue2000
Even if they wear out, sometimes it is better to pay for the good stuff. I have to buy steel-toe work shoes. Some of them wear out in about six months. I still don't buy with price or wear-time as top priority - I buy the ones that fit the best, because if I don't have good-fitting shoes, I get more injuries and joint problems. It is worth every penny to me.

People at work think I'm crazy for spending several hundred dollars a year for shoes when I make so little money. And then they go on about how much their feet hurt at the end of the day, and mine don't...

That's definitely true, too. I don't buy my working shoes myself (it is included in the standard job contracts in Finland that the employer provides the necessary work equipment), but I have stuck to the steel-toes from my first employer other than my father, exactly because of they fit well and allow me to work 14-16 hours mainly outdoors and yet walk to the food store and back home after I've finished my day. It's really important to have a properly fitting working shoe. As for "civil" shoes, I count good fit as part of quality.



And as for Suze being "hard on shoes", I am that, too. I tend to walk distances under 5 km or so every time I'm not in a hurry, and I have a rather heavy walk (or, as some say, not a walk but a march). And I tend to take the oddest of shortcuts when I spot them, which means that any of my shoes might end up on forest soil or solid rock or coarse gravel or field soil or anything of the like. I demand a lot, which means that I can only save money in my footwear bargains by paying some extra for something I can trust for years. Luckily, several Finnish companies make high-quality shoes for heavy use. They're uncool, untrendy and nondescript, but comfortable, and they'll walk through Hell and high water (provided that the water is not high enough for the boots to slurp, of course).

But hasn't this gone a tad OT already?
« Last Edit: December 26, 2010, 08:09:31 PM by Alboury »
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blue2000

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #37 on: December 27, 2010, 08:00:36 AM »
Quote from: blue2000
Even if they wear out, sometimes it is better to pay for the good stuff. I have to buy steel-toe work shoes. Some of them wear out in about six months. I still don't buy with price or wear-time as top priority - I buy the ones that fit the best, because if I don't have good-fitting shoes, I get more injuries and joint problems. It is worth every penny to me.

People at work think I'm crazy for spending several hundred dollars a year for shoes when I make so little money. And then they go on about how much their feet hurt at the end of the day, and mine don't...

That's definitely true, too. I don't buy my working shoes myself (it is included in the standard job contracts in Finland that the employer provides the necessary work equipment), but I have stuck to the steel-toes from my first employer other than my father, exactly because of they fit well and allow me to work 14-16 hours mainly outdoors and yet walk to the food store and back home after I've finished my day. It's really important to have a properly fitting working shoe. As for "civil" shoes, I count good fit as part of quality.



And as for Suze being "hard on shoes", I am that, too. I tend to walk distances under 5 km or so every time I'm not in a hurry, and I have a rather heavy walk (or, as some say, not a walk but a march). And I tend to take the oddest of shortcuts when I spot them, which means that any of my shoes might end up on forest soil or solid rock or coarse gravel or field soil or anything of the like. I demand a lot, which means that I can only save money in my footwear bargains by paying some extra for something I can trust for years. Luckily, several Finnish companies make high-quality shoes for heavy use. They're uncool, untrendy and nondescript, but comfortable, and they'll walk through Hell and high water (provided that the water is not high enough for the boots to slurp, of course).

But hasn't this gone a tad OT already?

LOL! Only slightly. Even with shoes, sometimes you get "Oh, you always have such new/expensive/whatever things! You must have money to burn!"

No, I don't. I just don't spend my shoe money on cheap junk.
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Venus193

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #38 on: December 27, 2010, 08:24:27 AM »
I currently have about 18 months' take-home pay as ready cash to live on while I look for a day job and try to get my site noticed.  That doesn't make me rich, but I could afford to get decent Christmas gifts for the few friends I exchange with.

I also don't want this money to get down to nothing.  That's what Blanche doesn't understand.

iridaceae

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #39 on: December 27, 2010, 08:40:20 AM »
I had a pair of New Balance -- they gave out faster than the $20.00 Wal mart pair of sneakers.

the sides wore off the heels and the whole sole on one shoe almost fell off.

And I had them too long to take back
I guess I am just "hard on shoes"

You probably need shoes meant to be worn by someone who walks the way you do and you aren't buying them.  I supinate when I walk- my feet tend to roll out- and I buy shoes that are meant for people who do this. This cuts down on the amount of damage that gets done to my feet. Get thee to a shoe store that will find out how you walk and fit you with shoes that are meant for how you walk. 

boxy

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #40 on: December 27, 2010, 03:08:21 PM »
POD to iridaceae.

I had myself convinced I could only afford cheap shoes.  Over time they caused my knees to go bowlegged because there wasn't good support for my ankles.  So now I'm bowlegged.  Permanently.  As in knee replacement surgery.  What a mess.  Didn't happen overnight, but it happened.

The only shoes that help me now are running shoes.  They have extra cushion and have helped.  I wish I had done better homework and avoided the cheap shoes because they've cost me more long-term than saving a buck.  Sigh.

Minmom3

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #41 on: December 27, 2010, 10:55:16 PM »
ahh - steel toe shoes.....I hate the cruddy things

I wear shoes out fast (I walk "crooked?") and by the time I can get another pair off the shoe truck (once a year)

my feet hurt bad because I have run over the heels and am walking sideways.

which is why I don't buy "very expensive" shoes otherwise - I can get "fresh" shoes more often  and not have so much foot pain

and it doesn't matter how expensive they are they all last about the same amount of time.   So - yeah - I will be wearing wal-mart sneakers over the very expensive ones.

I've never had ANYTHING from Walmart last as long as the same kind of product, but  higher quality, bought elsewhere.  That goes from little kids jeans to adult T-shirts.  So, I'd have to restrict my disagreement to clothing from Walmart, not any other kind of product.  I can't get shoes at Walmart, they don't fit my feet at ALL, so I have to spend some serious money to get shoes that fit my feet reasonably.  I've gotten cheap shoes at times, only to have them wear out at the toes, or come unglued, or some other deterioration that means that day by day, the purchase price wasn't any lower than my more expensive shoes, and quite possibly was much higher.  Most of my shoes last me at least 5 years (except sneakers, which I don't purchase much anymore) - but I have very short toes, very wide feet, high insteps and high arches.  Finding shoes for my feet is murder - I can get some South American brands, some Italian, and some Scandinavian brands.  Most other shoes won't even go ON my feet...  Little Swedish duck feet are a nuisance!

That said, I bought a nice pair of leather flats at a high end store many years ago.  My husband about had apoplexy at the cost (just over $100, not bad for good shoes) and complained for months at the price of my shoes vs. the price of his shoes.  Well, he has to buy new shoes about every 6 months, because he destroys them.  So, his $15 shoes, multiplied x 2 per year, time 10 years - works out to $300 on sneakers.  My $100 flats, resoled 5 times and reheeled 2 or 3 times, lasted me 10 years.  I probably spent over $100 in getting them repaired, but I had a lovely pair of flats that I could wear to any event at which flats were suitable footwear, and they were comfortable as well, not just pretty.
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padua

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #42 on: January 03, 2011, 07:52:31 PM »
i think it's about getting what you want. if you know you'll enjoy the smaller, impulsive buys, go for it. but don't gripe about what someone else is getting because they chose to save up instead. when i was in college, i chose to work straight through. i worked two jobs and paid for all my classes so i wouldn't have to take a break. after college, i decided to travel. i found little jobs at resorts, stayed in the cheapest hostels, and survived on noodles and oranges. i'm glad my dad taught me to budget. it's saved me a lot of grief, and given me a lot of positive life experiences.

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2011, 11:35:42 AM »
Ugh.  I used to have a friend like that.  She didn't have a job, lived off her boyfriend who paid over $600 a month for her to have a stupid sports car and her only income was when her mother would send her money.  She would immediately take that money and spend it on cigarettes, pills off the Internet and then things like massages and jewelry.  Then she would cry poormouth constantly.  If I happened to mention that my DH and I were planning to do something (go to dinner, a show, whatever), she would start acting terribly sad and complaining how unfair it was that she couldn't afford to do that.  I made the mistake one time of suggesting that she tuck away a little of the money her mother sent her so she could do something like that once in a while she looked at me like I had lost my mind.  Apparently the idea of not spending every cent she could get her hands on instantly was just incomprehensible to her.

That isn't the reason I ended our friendship, but it was a factor.  I don't care that she had no $, but I got tired of the constant complaining.

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tjika

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Re: No, I'm not rich. Please stop insinuating that I am.
« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2011, 04:20:48 AM »
i think it's about getting what you want. if you know you'll enjoy the smaller, impulsive buys, go for it. but don't gripe about what someone else is getting because they chose to save up instead. when i was in college, i chose to work straight through. i worked two jobs and paid for all my classes so i wouldn't have to take a break. after college, i decided to travel. i found little jobs at resorts, stayed in the cheapest hostels, and survived on noodles and oranges. i'm glad my dad taught me to budget. it's saved me a lot of grief, and given me a lot of positive life experiences.

It's hard to spend your money the way you want when other people tell you to spend it on something else. My sister does this to me. This past holiday I choose to spend most of my money on non food items and she got upset with me every time I didn't want to spend a lot of money on food. I was perfectly happy to eat a sandwich or something like it, while she wanted a meal at a restaurant with a glass of wine (I would have joined her for company but that, in her words, would have spoiled her dinner). This all while I spent about the same amount of money on food in 10 days as I do in 6 weeks a home. Just different priorities.