Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

AlmiraGulch

Let's talk about money, shall we?

Recommended Posts

It may have started to some extent before corporations, but marketing has made it a way of life.

 

Not just marketing.

 

For quite a long time it was believed (because those in power and wealth liked to promote the idea) that financial wealth was a sign of God's favor -- if you were rich it was because you were good and God approved of you, and if you hit hard times you must have fallen out of God's favor.  Who would want to admit that God didn't like them?  Thus the societal habit of putting on a show for others gained great strength.

 

Did it start there?  No, I think no matter how far back you look in history you will find cases of people vaunting their wealth, or trying to give the appearance of wealth.  After all, that led to generally better health, better opportunities, and more social status (since you must be smart and doing something right).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is an interesting topic. I've been on a pretty wide spectrum. DH and I started out dirt poor. Due to his hard work and taking advantages of the many educational opportunities his companies have offered, we are now quite comfortable and live in a low CoL area on top of that. I STILL remember when DH bought me my first new car. We were traveling around the country and really needed something reliable. We didn't make much, but we didn't have to pay rent or utilities so we got the car. I had a friend say I was showing off and that when I come over to visit I should drive my old van so as not to make our friends feel bad. I had thought my friends would be happy for me. I always was for them. Years later I remember that rejection. I'm still a little embarrassed over what we have because of it.

 

Now, many years later, I don't feel rich. I still budget every penny we make. I used to pay for the kids' extracurriculars for the year up front. I like not having the bill. However, it brought attention I did not like and now I do the monthly payment plans. Similarly, a certain group of moms has welcomed me into their group, and the only thing that had changed was the vehicle I drive. I'm uncomfortable with this, but this group of ladies are very active in the parish youth programs so if I can make friends there it is a good thing. I'm still uncomfortable that it's pretty much based on what I drive and what that says about our income.

I get frustrated because people don't understand that I have a budget, too. Right now my FIL is angry with me because my budget for household projects is tapped out and he wants money for our joint garden. I told him I didn't have the money, which according to my budget, I don't. I'd have to take it from savings or my groceries, and I'm not willing to do either for something that is not an emergency.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I try not to judge people I don't know because I agree I don't know their circumstances. But I am judging some people I do know and I'm judging them hard.  :angry:

 

Rant ahead, but it feels good to get it off my chest. I just spent some time with the parents in the story below and they are so depressed and helpless I don't know what to do.

 

The bad people in this story, a married couple in their 30s, have moved back in with the husband's parents after living on their own and draining the parents dry, mostly by defaulting on a co-signed college loan. They had the money to pay it, were living in a $2200 apartment and enjoying a $300/month cable package during this time. Now the mother has 3-4 years to live as she is being ravaged by cancer. The father is in constant pain from his knees and disc problems in his back.

 

The parents allowed the son and daughter-in-law to move in as they have no where else to go and they thought the kids would help with housework, shopping, and medical appointments. Before moving the son worked retail at a national chain and the daughter-in-law waited tables, both easily transferable jobs. They have not applied for a single job.

 

The kids have hardly done anything and instead of renting a storage unit as they said they would, have dumped all their belongings in the parents' living room and garage. The parents can no longer park their car in the garage. But no matter, the car is hardly ever there because the kids use it to go to Disneyland several times/week, as they used their credit cards to buy 2 annual passes at a minimum of $519 each. (There's also a $599 option with no blackout dates; I don't know which they bought.) Why wouldn't the kids use their own car? Oh right, because the registration expired last year and they "don't have the money to register it." Why should they when they can use the poor parents' car anytime they like?

 

So yes, when they complain about their finances, which they do a lot, I judge them. When they buy Disney passes and fill the FB posts with photos of restaurant meals, I judge them. The parents are mostly eating frozen dinners or food my mom brings by.

 

I consider them lucky it's only judging because I'm keeping a close eye for any reason to call the police re: elder abuse.  :angry:  And btw these are not my friends; I would never have friends like these. They are now neighbors because they moved in with the parents, who I do consider friends.

 

Sorry for the rant; I just visited and am so upset.  :blush:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I try not to judge.  It is very difficult sometimes with family.  I have several extended family members who live off of the system.  They continue to make the most unwise choices.  It doesn't make me mad at them....it makes me sad for them.  They are in this hole and even when they have the chance to try to get out, they will squander it...every.single.time.  And they are on drugs.  We, as a society, are supporting their basics so they can be druggies.  I know that not everyone on welfare is on drugs or squanders what they make though.  So I don't judge.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is an interesting topic. I've been on a pretty wide spectrum. DH and I started out dirt poor. Due to his hard work and taking advantages of the many educational opportunities his companies have offered, we are now quite comfortable and live in a low CoL area on top of that. I STILL remember when DH bought me my first new car. We were traveling around the country and really needed something reliable. We didn't make much, but we didn't have to pay rent or utilities so we got the car. I had a friend say I was showing off and that when I come over to visit I should drive my old van so as not to make our friends feel bad. I had thought my friends would be happy for me. I always was for them. Years later I remember that rejection. I'm still a little embarrassed over what we have because of it.

We felt really uncomfortable about our car when we went to visit a set of friends that were not doing well financially. We were closer to their economic status prior to dh getting his job and us moving away (which is when we bought the car as we really needed it).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found people with financial difficulties are often very forthcoming about their income and desire for help. My husband helps people all the time with reducing their expenses, getting credit cards under control, and other income related decisions.

 

I cannot imagine making $65,000 a month. Holy moly. That's normal?? One of my kids sees a specialist doctor of a not very common specialist, and he makes just over $100,00 annually (salaries are public information).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just throwing a thought out there.  Some people who are not on welfare are spending themselves into bankruptcy/poverty and may well end up on some sort of relief paid for by the rest of us.  So does that give us a right to judge them too?

 

Then there are people who could afford to give more to family members or employees or charity, thus keeping people off the welfare rolls, but instead they choose to buy a bigger house or car or get a facial and manicure.  So do they deserve judgment too?

 

Maybe everyone who isn't frugal should be judged.  Or not?

 

 To me, it's fine that they live with the consequence of their choices. Demanding the handout is where it gets judgemental.  Should I cancel my kid's calc class this fall (which I have to pay for since the voters deem math beyond Algebra 2 at a compelled student's instructional level to be nonessential) in favor of giving that $$ to Granny for a tank of heating oil, as requested?  How about when I know Granny makes more than we do, pays nothing for health insurance other than transportation to get there, and has a spare house plus six figs in the bank? How about when I know she'll continue her pratice of cranking it up to 85F, and leave every window in a 3000 sq ft home open when doing so? In all honesty, you could give some of these people everything they ask for, palace, yacht, etc and they will still need more of your cash to pay for the necessities they ignore while they buy luxuries. There has to be a line drawn. That line is between needs and wants.

 

My inlaws are judging me negatively for providing college for my sons. They are mad that we had to drop out of the family Christmas exchange, as we needed that $1000 in the early years of our marriage. Not one of them (all dinks) would provide any funding toward the college costs, or sell our sons a used car to start with, etc. They think we are stupid for not having the boys take a union gov't job instead, as providing an education impairs our ability to join their cruises and parties.

 

The most hilarious judgement I have received was from a school board member. I stood up at a budget meeting and said that since the district policy is full inclusion, cancelling the AP classes certainly meant that the needs of those children were not included.  The board member that responded told me that only elities need those classes, and they are all rich enough to buy them on their own dime.  Later that year the board member was out asking for votes, in my neighborhood (which is considered poor as many of the people that live here now only live here because the grandparent died and gave them the house, and do not work beyond survival odd jobs). While she was picking up her jaw, I pointed out that my kids' friends who also want AP Physics (which they aren't going to get) live in this neighborhood or the trailer parks.  I do believe I changed her concept of gifted children, away from gifted-in-the-pocketbook to gifted-by-necessity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I try not to judge people I don't know because I agree I don't know their circumstances. But I am judging some people I do know and I'm judging them hard.  :angry:

 

Rant ahead, but it feels good to get it off my chest. I just spent some time with the parents in the story below and they are so depressed and helpless I don't know what to do.

 

The bad people in this story, a married couple in their 30s, have moved back in with the husband's parents after living on their own and draining the parents dry, mostly by defaulting on a co-signed college loan. They had the money to pay it, were living in a $2200 apartment and enjoying a $300/month cable package during this time. Now the mother has 3-4 years to live as she is being ravaged by cancer. The father is in constant pain from his knees and disc problems in his back.

 

The parents allowed the son and daughter-in-law to move in as they have no where else to go and they thought the kids would help with housework, shopping, and medical appointments. Before moving the son worked retail at a national chain and the daughter-in-law waited tables, both easily transferable jobs. They have not applied for a single job.

 

The kids have hardly done anything and instead of renting a storage unit as they said they would, have dumped all their belongings in the parents' living room and garage. The parents can no longer park their car in the garage. But no matter, the car is hardly ever there because the kids use it to go to Disneyland several times/week, as they used their credit cards to buy 2 annual passes at a minimum of $519 each. (There's also a $599 option with no blackout dates; I don't know which they bought.) Why wouldn't the kids use their own car? Oh right, because the registration expired last year and they "don't have the money to register it." Why should they when they can use the poor parents' car anytime they like?

 

So yes, when they complain about their finances, which they do a lot, I judge them. When they buy Disney passes and fill the FB posts with photos of restaurant meals, I judge them. The parents are mostly eating frozen dinners or food my mom brings by.

 

I consider them lucky it's only judging because I'm keeping a close eye for any reason to call the police re: elder abuse.  :angry:  And btw these are not my friends; I would never have friends like these. They are now neighbors because they moved in with the parents, who I do consider friends.

 

Sorry for the rant; I just visited and am so upset.  :blush:

 

I'd be mad, too. How sweet of your mom to bring some food over and for you to try to keep an eye out.

 

------------

 

I just remembered a time when I was embarrassed because I told my MIL I needed to go to the dollar store. I needed to get some greeting cards. She pipped up that I could go to CVS (which was only slightly closer) because they have a great selection. It wasn't about the selection. It was about the prices. I can usually find 2/$1 or at least $1 each cards at the dollar stores, but it was easily a few bucks in other stores. I think I finally blurted out that I needed to get a few and I didn't want to spend $4 a piece. But then I felt really bad for saying that because maybe she buys her cards there. :o

 

ETA: If I had more money I probably wouldn't even think about a few extra bucks but I'm kind of frugal most of the time so I don't know, I might always shop at dollar stores, even if I was a millionaire lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because we haven't had quite enough controversial topics lately.   :)

 

Specifically, I mean the taboo about it, and the value judgments made because of it, and the shame associated with it.  

 

It seems to me that we judge each other based on what we think is someone's financial situation, and I cannot figure out why we do that.  It also doesn't matter if you think they have money, or if you think they don't.  The judgement comes, regardless.  I can't think of anything else that causes that response so quickly and so universally.

 

I also find that people have a tremendous amount of shame and guilt tied to their own financial circumstances, regardless if you have a lot of money or are barely making ends meet.  

 

For example, my husband is a salesman.  He was telling me that a man came in to buy and in the process of the credit app he listed that his income was $65,000.  My husband asked if that was annual, and the man looked away and down and very tentatively said that it was actually per month.  Why would that cause someone to be embarrassed?  The man was an anesthesiologist. That salary, while more than I'll ever make in my lifetime, is within the range of what is normal for an anesthesiologist to make.  On the other hand, the next person will come in, perhaps making $65,000 per year, and will still look down and away, because.....what?  Somehow that isn't enough money to be making this sort of purchase? 

 

I don't know why people care so much about what other people do with their money, or why we feel we need to defend our riches or lack thereof.  I don't know why I sometimes feel like I have to justify a vacation, for example, in anticipation of someone else saying they wouldn't take the vacation because they don't have X months of savings in the bank first.  It's none of their business what I do with mine, and none of mine what they do with theirs.

 

So....the questions:

 

Why do we make those judgments?

 

Where does the shame/taboo come from?

 

Where did we learn to be this way?

 

Let's discuss.  

Fascinating topic, I agree! 

 

I think most of us do have psychological difficulties attached to money, whether we have a lot, a little, or something in-between. In your example, perhaps the anesthesiologist was from meager means originally. I do think many people have a feeling of deep embarrassment if they far surpass the financial means of their family of origin. This is something I can relate to. 

 

Growing up, we were poor. Not in a desperate, eat-potpourri-for-dinner way, but the constant refrain of my childhood was "We can't afford it." Nice clothes? Can't afford it. Repair the washing machine? Can't afford it. Vacation? Out for ice cream? Horseback-riding lessons? No, no, no. Can't afford it. When I first got married, my mother would take "shots" at me about luxuries we could afford. Dh is a private pilot (not professionally; it is a hobby). I remember her saying once, "Must be nice to just hop in a plane and fly to Ocean City for the day." Well, yes, actually. It is nice. It seemed like she was very annoyed at me for not barely scraping by as they always had. This attitude did not continue in a pronounced way, but it was heavy for the first few years of my marriage. 

 

When I was a teenager, I was uber embarrassed about the home I lived in. It was so not nice. I was always very reluctant to have any friends discover my home. Like Molly Ringwald in the movie, Pretty in Pink. I would daydream about what it would be like to live in a nice, pretty, clean home that people would admire, that would make people say, "Your home is so nice!" 

 

So now, I do. My home is nice. Dh built it. It is big and beautiful and appointed with fine finishes. Only now, you are right - I have some level of embarrassment about my house being nice and big and beautiful! I don't feel this way when I have guests who are around the same financial "level" as we are, but I do feel this way if I'm having guests who are barely scraping by. One homeschooler I know makes endless comments about my house. She is clearly bothered by her own very humble home compared to mine. I stopped by her home once and she shut the door abruptly behind her, saying she didn't want me to see her home. This makes me feel terrible! I could not care less if a friend has a nice home or a tiny shack. If they are my friend, that is all that matters. But I have also been on the other side of this coin (although as a child, I'm sure it is a bit different than when it is your own adult home) and I know that I was always shy about my parent's home. 

 

But, adding to my feelings about my home, I can also tell you that I have been pretty quiet about the fact that we have been finishing our basement. I have told few people. I am afraid of being judged by those with small or not amazing homes. I even had my witty answer ready if someone would say, "Why would you be finishing your basement?" I would say, "Because my house is so very small, obviously! *sarcasm*" Trying to deflect their condemnation by admitting that it is absurd, at least from a "need" basis. Do we need more finished square footage? Not at all. Do I like the basement finished? Yes! Dh built an aquarium into the wall. We always did want that! It looks really pretty. But I'm not showing if off because I am imagining someone going, "Wow. What an unnecessary thing to do! Do you know how many wells you could dig in Africa with this money?" 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't get me started about family and education expenses!  :P  I was hit up for a lot of $$ so my niece could go to an expensive university.  Her parents had saved nothing in her 18 years of life, and she herself had never had any kind of job.  (Of course there were all kinds of good reasons for this.)  They had much nicer cars than me etc. etc., and I am a single mom with 2 [then] preschoolers to raise.  Do I have more money than they do, yes, but I'm going to be 60 when my kids are in college and where is their college fund supposed to come from?  And don't tell me it is a "loan," because I am aware of your bankruptcy history, and you have no idea where you are going to get the money to pay me back.  Furthermore, how dare you say the school she will otherwise get stuck in is a "piece of shit school" when that happens to be my alma mater, you dummy!  I love my family, but gimme a break.  (FTR I did give them money and put aside the same amount for my other 3 nieces/nephews - an amount I could feel comfortable giving as a gift.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Furthermore, how dare you say the school she will otherwise get stuck in is a "piece of shit school" when that happens to be my alma mater, you dummy!

 

:lol: 

 

Maybe I shouldn't have, but I found this hilarious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fascinating topic, I agree! 

 

I think most of us do have psychological difficulties attached to money, whether we have a lot, a little, or something in-between. In your example, perhaps the anesthesiologist was from meager means originally. I do think many people have a feeling of deep embarrassment if they far surpass the financial means of their family of origin. This is something I can relate to. 

 

Growing up, we were poor. Not in a desperate, eat-potpourri-for-dinner way, but the constant refrain of my childhood was "We can't afford it." Nice clothes? Can't afford it. Repair the washing machine? Can't afford it. Vacation? Out for ice cream? Horseback-riding lessons? No, no, no. Can't afford it. When I first got married, my mother would take "shots" at me about luxuries we could afford. Dh is a private pilot (not professionally; it is a hobby). I remember her saying once, "Must be nice to just hop in a plane and fly to Ocean City for the day." Well, yes, actually. It is nice. It seemed like she was very annoyed at me for not barely scraping by as they always had. This attitude did not continue in a pronounced way, but it was heavy for the first few years of my marriage. 

 

When I was a teenager, I was uber embarrassed about the home I lived in. It was so not nice. I was always very reluctant to have any friends discover my home. Like Molly Ringwald in the movie, Pretty in Pink. I would daydream about what it would be like to live in a nice, pretty, clean home that people would admire, that would make people say, "Your home is so nice!" 

 

So now, I do. My home is nice. Dh built it. It is big and beautiful and appointed with fine finishes. Only now, you are right - I have some level of embarrassment about my house being nice and big and beautiful! I don't feel this way when I have guests who are around the same financial "level" as we are, but I do feel this way if I'm having guests who are barely scraping by. One homeschooler I know makes endless comments about my house. She is clearly bothered by her own very humble home compared to mine. I stopped by her home once and she shut the door abruptly behind her, saying she didn't want me to see her home. This makes me feel terrible! I could not care less if a friend has a nice home or a tiny shack. If they are my friend, that is all that matters. But I have also been on the other side of this coin (although as a child, I'm sure it is a bit different than when it is your own adult home) and I know that I was always shy about my parent's home. 

 

But, adding to my feelings about my home, I can also tell you that I have been pretty quiet about the fact that we have been finishing our basement. I have told few people. I am afraid of being judged by those with small or not amazing homes. I even had my witty answer ready if someone would say, "Why would you be finishing your basement?" I would say, "Because my house is so very small, obviously! *sarcasm*" Trying to deflect their condemnation by admitting that it is absurd, at least from a "need" basis. Do we need more finished square footage? Not at all. Do I like the basement finished? Yes! Dh built an aquarium into the wall. We always did want that! It looks really pretty. But I'm not showing if off because I am imagining someone going, "Wow. What an unnecessary thing to do! Do you know how many wells you could dig in Africa with this money?" 

 

I don't think you should feel any guilt about having a nice home.

 

I remember growing up and "going on visitation" with my church (that's another topic entirely!) in what I considered "upscale" areas. Looking back, they were average middle class homes in a safe neighborhood. I live in a comparable home now. I remember thinking what it would be like to live in a house that wasn't a mobile home or didn't have broken toilets, doors, holes in the walls, etc.

 

I understand where you are coming from though.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How ironic that I started this post today, and then just found myself having my own "moment" about money.

 

My husband and I just bought a new car today. It's for him.  It's a nice, brand new car.  I went to post a picture on Facebook, and I hesitated.  For that minute, I thought about my brother and sister-in-law, who have no money at all to do anything, and who want us to come to where they live on the opposite side of the country but I just told them I can't afford it (because I really can't).  What would they think?

 

I thought about my dad, who I was just talking to about some expense I have coming up that I am (was) a bit short on, and having to move some money around in the budget to figure out.  What would he think?

 

I thought about someone else, who actually owes me some money.  Even though the first payment hasn't even come due, and I'm sure she'll pay it as expected, I wondered would she be thinking that we can't really need the money if we bought a new car, and then be late paying?  That damage our relationship!

 

All of that in a split second.  What nobody knows, or probably even cares about, is that because DH works there, he gets great employee pricing.  The manufacturer has a ton of rebates and other incentives.  There was an additional incentive because of how many days the vehicle had been on the lot.  The payment is less than what we were paying on the car he traded in.  We ended up getting cash back that will make up for the difference in that expense I said previously I was a bit short on.  You get the point.  So many judgments, even of myself!   

 

And yes, I did post the picture.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(I couldn't decide which to post, so I posted both.  Which do you like better?)

 

#1 Unrepentant:

 

I've got family on welfare.  I've got family making 6+ digits.  I judge them all.  It makes me feel better about myself.  B)

 

 

#2 Repentant:

 

I JUDGE!!!!!  (sobbing)  I'm a judgmental SNOB.... and a hypocrite! 

 

I used to think I was a "real Christian" until I clicked on this thread.  

 

I'm going to

 

 

H

 

E

 

L

 

L

 

:svengo:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(I couldn't decide which to post, so I posted both.  Which do you like better?)

 

#1 Unrepentant:

 

I've got family on welfare.  I've got family making 6+ digits.  I judge them all.  It makes me feel better about myself.  B)

 

 

#2 Repentant:

 

I JUDGE!!!!!  (sobbing)  I'm a judgmental SNOB.... and a hypocrite! 

 

I used to think I was a "real Christian" until I clicked on this thread.  

 

I'm going to

 

 

H

 

E

 

L

 

L

 

:svengo:

 

Wait, so you're going to hell and you're not a Christian because  of this?  We haven't even talked about that!  That conversation could bring a whole new dimension.   It could also get us shut down, so....let's not.

 

So the question is, do you judge them because of their money, or because of something else.  If it's the former, please share!  If the latter, well....I think there was another thread about that recently, too.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have those thoughts before posting on Facebook. (And, don't think I'm a strange stalker, but I thought your DH sold pianos.)

 

How ironic that I started this post today, and then just found myself having my own "moment" about money.

 

My husband and I just bought a new car today. It's for him. It's a nice, brand new car. I went to post a picture on Facebook, and I hesitated. For that minute, I thought about my brother and sister-in-law, who have no money at all to do anything, and who want us to come to where they live on the opposite side of the country but I just told them I can't afford it (because I really can't). What would they think?

 

I thought about my dad, who I was just talking to about some expense I have coming up that I am (was) a bit short on, and having to move some money around in the budget to figure out. What would he think?

 

I thought about someone else, who actually owes me some money. Even though the first payment hasn't even come due, and I'm sure she'll pay it as expected, I wondered would she be thinking that we can't really need the money if we bought a new car, and then be late paying? That damage our relationship!

 

All of that in a split second. What nobody knows, or probably even cares about, is that because DH works there, he gets great employee pricing. The manufacturer has a ton of rebates and other incentives. There was an additional incentive because of how many days the vehicle had been on the lot. The payment is less than what we were paying on the car he traded in. We ended up getting cash back that will make up for the difference in that expense I said previously I was a bit short on. You get the point. So many judgments, even of myself!

 

And yes, I did post the picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have those thoughts before posting on Facebook. (And, don't think I'm a strange stalker, but I thought your DH sold pianos.)

 

 

Ha!  He did, for more than 20 years.  He moved to cars a couple of months ago and cut his commute by more than 60 miles a day. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How ironic that I started this post today, and then just found myself having my own "moment" about money.

 

My husband and I just bought a new car today. It's for him. It's a nice, brand new car. I went to post a picture on Facebook, and I hesitated. For that minute, I thought about my brother and sister-in-law, who have no money at all to do anything, and who want us to come to where they live on the opposite side of the country but I just told them I can't afford it (because I really can't). What would they think?

 

I tend to do this with FB too, though. It was actually after reading some posts on these boards that I started to feel more reserved about posting certain things on FB. I don't want to seem like I'm flaunting a vacation or car or whatever.

 

I am going to go ahead and reveal my human-ness - are you ready? ;) I have a friend who is a wonderful, lovely, interesting person. Now that her kids are older and they are comfortably well-off, they have taken a LOT of very nice trips. I am a little jealous. Okay, sometimes very jealous. She is taking a multitude of trips that are exactly the trips I want to take, but for me, each would represent saving and planning for years. Admittedly, when I saw a recent FB staus of hers, I thought, "What?! Now she is in ___________? But just a few weeks ago, she was away in ____________! Does she ever stay HOME?" That was green monster rearing its ugly head. But it does make me not want to do something similar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to do this with FB too, though. It was actually after reading some posts on these boards that I started to feel more reserved about posting certain things on FB. I don't want to seem like I'm flaunting a vacation or car or whatever.

 

I am going to go ahead and reveal my human-ness - are you ready? ;) I have a friend who is a wonderful, lovely, interesting person. Now that her kids are older and they are comfortably well-off, they have taken a LOT of very nice trips. I am a little jealous. Okay, sometimes very jealous. She is taking a multitude of trips that are exactly the trips I want to take, but for me, each would represent saving and planning for years. Admittedly, when I saw a recent FB staus of hers, I thought, "What?! Now she is in ___________? But just a few weeks ago, she was away in ____________! Does she ever stay HOME?" That was green monster rearing its ugly head. But it does make me not want to do something similar.

 

I post most everything. If people know me, they know that it would never be my intent to brag or show someone up or make people feel anxious.  That's not what I'm about.  But I'm on social media to share my life, and it's fun to share things that make you excited!  

 

I want to see what my friends are doing, and I want to share my excitement with them, so I do.  I figure I'd want to see it from them, too, no matter what it is.  

 

But yeah, I know what you mean.  For sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I can't be the only person wondering---- what kind of car was the $65,000 per month doctor needing to finance!? :svengo: :leaving:

 

 

That's the same thing I asked!   It was a VW Tourag (or however you spell it).   Not  a cheap car, but I'd still think he could just write a check.  Apparently it was a "running around car" for his wife, and they just leased it.  

 

Again, whatever floats their boat.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice! I cut mine by about 30 miles last week. So relaxing!

 

And then I feel bad for bragging about that, or my new job, or...

 

Ha! He did, for more than 20 years. He moved to cars a couple of months ago and cut his commute by more than 60 miles a day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice! I cut mine by about 30 miles last week. So relaxing!

 

And then I feel bad for bragging about that, or my new job, or...

 

 

He was driving 33 miles each way, in horrible traffic.  Now he works less than a mile from home.  It's nice.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad you posted the picture. I probably would have made a comment about the cheaper payment and incentives actually saving me money, because I'm all about a good deal. :lol:

 

 

So, I can't be the only person wondering---- what kind of car was the $65,000 per month doctor needing to finance!? :svengo: :leaving:

 

Maybe he has his savings in something with a higher return than the financing interest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So....the questions:

 

Why do we make those judgments?

 

Where does the shame/taboo come from?

 

Where did we learn to be this way?

 

Let's discuss.  

 

 

OK, having calmed down about my neighbor's situation I'll try and answer some actual questions from the OP.

 

Why do we make these judgments?

 

It helps us understand how we are doing and where we fit into the hierarchy. This can make us feel good or bad.

 

Where does shame/taboo come from?

 

Family of origin, I suppose. There are certainly wealthy people who flaunt it, others who are embarrassed by it, and some who are not ashamed but think flaunting wealth would be unseemly. People can be embarrassed by lack of wealth because others associate it with being lazy or unskilled.

 

Has anyone here read Dorothy Allison?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, having calmed down about my neighbor's situation I'll try and answer some actual questions from the OP.

 

Why do we make these judgments?

 

It helps us understand how we are doing and where we fit into the hierarchy. This can make us feel good or bad.

 

Where does shame/taboo come from?

 

Family of origin, I suppose. There are certainly wealthy people who flaunt it, others who are embarrassed by it, and some who are not ashamed but think flaunting wealth would be unseemly. People can be embarrassed by lack of wealth because others associate it with being lazy or unskilled.

 

Has anyone here read Dorothy Allison?

 

I haven't heard of Dorothy Allison.  I'll go look her up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

So, I can't be the only person wondering---- what kind of car was the $65,000 per month doctor needing to finance!? :svengo: :leaving:

 

 

But here's the thing.

 

On paper someone can have a great income. But they may have massive business expenses (malpractice insurance anyone?) an ex-wife who gets half of his income, a pile of medical debt or student loans,

 

Just knowing the monthly income tells you nothing about his financial status.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't really talk about it, except to say that I 100% reject the concept that wealth arises only from an individual's hard work.

 

And that I'm 100% in favour of redistribution of wealth through the taxation system.

 

These things obviously affect how I view the wealthy and the poor.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and I'd venture to say that embarrassment at revealing wealth is based on an understanding - denied or not - that inequality is not a good thing.

 

I mean, I'm embarrassed that I have enough money to buy myself a FitBit, when people are dying and starving all over the world. If I was a truly moral person, I'd have foregone the FitBit and donated that money. And I'm poor by my culture's standards.

 

If I was earning $65 000 a month my embarrassment would be magnified x 100.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People also lease because it's easier to switch out when you're done with a car.  (I've never done it myself, but people do.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There could be all kinds of religious origins at play too.  Some less charitable ones were mentioned above.  But if you think about Jesus himself, and the apostles, they de-prioritized building up wealth and were, by some interpretations, communal / communist.  The attitude that having wealth is not important is comforting to Christians and also inspirational.  It is a reason for the "give until it hurts" ideal that many espouse.

 

Other religions also include a philosophy that helping others has a higher priority than building personal wealth.  Also the idea that giving helps build your wealth.

 

I'm sure some people will say that is why religion is the "opiate of the masses," but some people do find joy in following these principals even when they have the ability to earn / save / control a lot of money.  An interesting little book I read many years ago was "God is my CEO," and it is full of interesting examples.

 

However, on the negative side, one could use religion as an excuse to vilify people whose only "crime" is being wealthy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

If I was earning $65 000 a month my embarrassment would be magnified x 100.

 

Maybe not, because maybe if you were earning $65,000 per month you would have reason to believe you'd done nothing wrong to earn that money.

 

A person could earn $65,000 per month, pay $35,000 in taxes, pay $20,000 in educational debt and business expenses, support his wife and kids, and give $5,000 per month to charity.  Is he still a creep?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to have to zip my lips on this topic I think.

 

I don't think I'm up for defending socialism today :)

 

Have a good chat!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to have to zip my lips on this topic I think.

 

I don't think I'm up for defending socialism today :)

 

Have a good chat!

Ah,well. I guess we can't agree on everything. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a big fan of wearing/driving whatever floats your boat.

Some people can be negative enough to vandalise the relatively expensive cars (break windshields but nothing stolen) in my neighborhood.

 

It is also the million dollar single family homes that get eggs or yucky stuff thrown at their front doors but the cheaper townhomes are spared.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe not, because maybe if you were earning $65,000 per month you would have reason to believe you'd done nothing wrong to earn that money.

 

A person could earn $65,000 per month, pay $35,000 in taxes, pay $20,000 in educational debt and business expenses, support his wife and kids, and give $5,000 per month to charity.  Is he still a creep?

 

Amen to this.

 

I've not known many people who were very wealthy.  Most of those I have, though, have been very unassuming but kind and generous people.   (Of course I have known some who were not so nice.)  Such as, an attorney who did a lot of free work to help out people in trouble.  Same guy also bought a house from someone who was in desperate need of selling.   (Have no idea what he did with it.)  There are others.  I know of their good works only because of others telling about them.   They don't brag on themselves.

 

How about people who give money to build hospitals?   Recently a family paid for an extensive remodel on a public library in a town near mine.  That library is beautiful now and a great center for the community.  

 

I can't think of any reason people like that should be embarrassed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't heard of Dorothy Allison.  I'll go look her up. 

 

 

She's a feminist lesbian author from the South. She's now known more for her writings on those topics, but earlier she was better known for her writings (fiction and non-fiction) on poverty, class, and the myth of the clean poor. ("They were poor but they were clean and noble" as a myth to help Americans deal with poor whites.)

 

Here's a link:

 

http://departments.knox.edu/catch/2002sp/docka.htm (halfway down)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was actually thinking about this today.

 

My parents struggled for many, many years. I probably have no idea how much thy struggled, but it was compounded by my mother not working and choosing to have a large family. They no longer struggle and are actually fairly well to do now.

 

My mother seems to take it personally that DH and I have not struggled financially. The reasons we haven't were a combination of getting married later in life, limiting the number of children we have and having both parents work. When DH got injured I was able to go to work full time within days, and we cut expenses down to where we don't notice any real effect from his limited work hours. We are not rich or even upper middle class, I think, but we make a little over six figures in a low COL area and we don't struggle.

 

And the fact that I am not pinching pennies at this early part of my marriage with two small children drives my mom crazy. I suspect strongly that she wants to bond over shared war stories of early motherhood, and my experiences as a full time working mom of two at the age of 32 are very very different than her stories as a stay at home of 6 at the age of 32. Neither situation is better or worse but they are very different, and that seems to create some tension

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe not, because maybe if you were earning $65,000 per month you would have reason to believe you'd done nothing wrong to earn that money.

 

A person could earn $65,000 per month, pay $35,000 in taxes, pay $20,000 in educational debt and business expenses, support his wife and kids, and give $5,000 per month to charity.  Is he still a creep?

 

Creep is your word, not mine. And yes, if I was making that amount of money, knowing the amount of poverty that exists in my society, I'd feel bad.

 

Increasing the amount of money I gave away would help. Working for policies that redistributed wealth would help.

 

Note the 'I' in this statement ? This is how 'I' would feel.

 

The circumstance you describe do not put someone on that income into the hardship bracket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe not, because maybe if you were earning $65,000 per month you would have reason to believe you'd done nothing wrong to earn that money.

 

A person could earn $65,000 per month, pay $35,000 in taxes, pay $20,000 in educational debt and business expenses, support his wife and kids, and give $5,000 per month to charity.  Is he still a creep?

 

 

If I had come by that money legitimately I would not feel I had done anything wrong to earn or even inherit it. Why should I? If I inherit a million dollars that's up to the person who left it to me, not me. If I earned it because I came up with a great idea and people threw money at me to buy my product, go me!

 

But once it was mine, I would feel like there are more or less ethical ways to deal with that money, beyond what the law provides for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Creep is your word, not mine. And yes, if I was making that amount of money, knowing the amount of poverty that exists in my society, I'd feel bad.

 

Increasing the amount of money I gave away would help. Working for policies that redistributed wealth would help.

 

Note the 'I' in this statement ? This is how 'I' would feel.

 

The circumstance you describe do not put someone on that income into the hardship bracket.

 

So you have to be in the hardship bracket to not be embarrassed about what you earn.

 

I'm not going to argue with you because it will go nowhere.  I personally doubt you would be so hard on yourself if you someday find yourself earning an above-average compensation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Creep is your word, not mine. And yes, if I was making that amount of money, knowing the amount of poverty that exists in my society, I'd feel bad.

 

Increasing the amount of money I gave away would help. Working for policies that redistributed wealth would help.

 

Note the 'I' in this statement ? This is how 'I' would feel.

 

The circumstance you describe do not put someone on that income into the hardship bracket.

 

I know you had said you were done with this thread, so feel free to ignore me.  I'm just having a hard time understanding a need to feel embarrassed by earning a certain amount of money.  Obviously people who have high earnings have been determined to be worth it, either by their employer or their clients if they are self-employed.  

 

I could understand feeling embarrassed to spend a lot of money on myself.  But simply earning a lot?  That makes no sense to me. The more people earn, the more they have available to give away.  I can certainly attest to the fact that when my family had more income, we gave more.  I know a lot of people like that. We are not unique in that regard.

 

So what should a person do?  Should a highly-talented doctor or engineer or financial manager refuse the salary the employer wants to pay, thus saving the employer money but helping no one else?  Should a highly-skilled attorney lower fees for all, or charge the fees most people are willing to pay, and thus enable him/herself to do more pro bono or reduced-fee work for those in need? 

 

I'm not being snarky at all.   I just don't understand.

 

ETA: I get that you said giving a lot of money away would help, but to me that indicates you would still feel embarrassed, just less so.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But here's the thing.

 

On paper someone can have a great income. But they may have massive business expenses (malpractice insurance anyone?) an ex-wife who gets half of his income, a pile of medical debt or student loans,

 

Just knowing the monthly income tells you nothing about his financial status.

 

And this, I think, is the entire point! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the same thing I asked!   It was a VW Tourag (or however you spell it).   Not  a cheap car, but I'd still think he could just write a check.  Apparently it was a "running around car" for his wife, and they just leased it.  

 

Again, whatever floats their boat.  

 

For what it's worth, I know of a lot of people that lease cars. It's almost (not quite) like renting a house. You enjoy it, but when you don't want to take care of the maintenance or if you just want to drive something else, you trade it in. You also don't have to worry about tying up assets you'd rather invest, use for business, or simply donate/give away. Quite a few of them tell me it's a good financial choice for them, but I haven't done the math personally to see why they say so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to have to zip my lips on this topic I think.

 

I don't think I'm up for defending socialism today :)

 

Have a good chat!

 

I completely get your point of view.  I remember you've said some things similarly previously.  

 

What I'm really curious about, though, is where it came from.  Not just yours, but everyone's.  We all came into the world naked and crying, and then things happened to us, and we witnessed things, and here we are as grown people, some of us with completely different perspectives on the exact same issue.

 

And the thing is, money is a shared experience for most of us here.  Meaning, most of us were born and raised in developed countries, or live in them now, so we at least have that as a common denominator. Some were raised with money, some weren't; some have money now and some don't, but from what I'm reading neither of those things necessarily have resulted in the same shared point of view today on this issue.

 

So what is it in all of your life experience that got you to where you are today, and others here have come to a completely different conclusion.   The general "you", I mean.  You, me, all of us. 

 

And, since you brought up socialism, I find it even more interesting that your perspective seems to be quite different from the actual people I know living in a socialist country that I referenced earlier.   

 

Not looking for answers, really.  Just thinking about it all.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I know of a lot of people that lease cars. It's almost (not quite) like renting a house. You enjoy it, but when you don't want to take care of the maintenance or if you just want to drive something else, you trade it in. You also don't have to worry about tying up assets you'd rather invest, use for business, or simply donate/give away. Quite a few of them tell me it's a good financial choice for them, but I haven't done the math personally to see why they say so.

 

Yeah, I know people who do as well.  I don't really care one way or the other.  I've just never actually come across someone who makes that kind of money before, so of course I made judgments about what they could/should afford, and why they weren't doing it a different way.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know you had said you were done with this thread, so feel free to ignore me.  I'm just having a hard time understanding a need to feel embarrassed by earning a certain amount of money.  Obviously people who have high earnings have been determined to be worth it, either by their employer or their clients if they are self-employed.  

 

I could understand feeling embarrassed to spend a lot of money on myself.  But simply earning a lot?  That makes no sense to me. The more people earn, the more they have available to give away.  I can certainly attest to the fact that when my family had more income, we gave more.  I know a lot of people like that. We are not unique in that regard.

 

So what should a person do?  Should a highly-talented doctor or engineer or financial manager refuse the salary the employer wants to pay, thus saving the employer money but helping no one else?  Should a highly-skilled attorney lower fees for all, or charge the fees most people are willing to pay, and thus enable him/herself to do more pro bono or reduced-fee work for those in need? 

 

I'm not being snarky at all.   I just don't understand.

 

ETA: I get that you said giving a lot of money away would help, but to me that indicates you would still feel embarrassed, just less so.

 

Thank you for asking these questions really nicely. I know mine is not a popular opinion here.

 

If I get time later, I'll come back and answer to the best of my ability.

 

For now, maybe it clears things up a little that my embarrassment would be about the system that rewards some and tears down many.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...