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Ticked over "comfortable" and "money bags" remark


Janeway
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I just make a vague answer like "too much" [with a laugh] when asked how much my house cost.  It's no one's business.  

 

FWIW, anyone can look this up online if they are curious about any place.  They've no need to ask.  It's public record (assuming they know where you live).  They won't know if it's paid off or not, of course.

 

Otherwise, I'd rather have debt and live a little.  I think many people have that mindset rather than thinking all debt is bad - esp mortgage debt or leveraged debt (debt bringing in more money via investment than it's costing).  The folks you are talking with might be feeling sorry for you that you're scrimping and saving so much and passing up so many of life's valid choices that they are trying to help you figure out where to get more income rather than realizing you're quite happy being what they probably consider a miser.

 

NOTE:  I'm not calling you (or others with that mindset) a miser simply because we choose differently (sort of - we cut back a ton on basics to afford what we want too).  I'm just sharing the way it could easily be coming across.

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FWIW, anyone can look this up online if they are curious about any place.  They've no need to ask.  It's public record (assuming they know where you live).  They won't know if it's paid off or not, of course.

 

Otherwise, I'd rather have debt and live a little.  I think many people have that mindset rather than thinking all debt is bad - esp mortgage debt or leveraged debt (debt bringing in more money via investment than it's costing).  The folks you are talking with might be feeling sorry for you that you're scrimping and saving so much and passing up so many of life's valid choices that they are trying to help you figure out where to get more income rather than realizing you're quite happy being what they probably consider a miser.

 

NOTE:  I'm not calling you (or others with that mindset) a miser simply because we choose differently (sort of - we cut back a ton on basics to afford what we want too).  I'm just sharing the way it could easily be coming across.

 

 

I always wondered why people try to be secretive about how much their house cost when it is a matter of public record.  I look up houses all of the time.  Sometimes because I like the house, sometimes I am just curious. 

 

Of course knowing how much a house cost tells you a tiny fraction of someone's 'business'.  You still don't know how they paid for it, if it is mortgaged, if they can afford it or are living above their means.  And those are things that you can keep private if you so choose. 

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I do not think the comment "you need to get a job" in the light of your husband's long term unemployment necessarily stems from contempt towards homeschoolers or SAHMs.  For many families, this would be the normal solution for long term loss of income that the other spouse try to produce income, since many families could not weather six months without income of any kind. If you can, you are indeed comfortable. The fact that this is due to prudent financial choices you have made in the past does not change this.

 

 

But it *does* change whether she needs to get a job in light of the unemployment.

 

 

eta: that is to say, their previous conservative financial practices have allowed janeway and husband to take longer for him to find a job without worrying about her getting one in the meantime.  If they had not been living below their means, and paid off their house/etc., she wouldn't have that option.

Edited by ananemone
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I would make a fraction of what he makes, and then what? I apply to Walmart for that minimum wage job and tell them my husband is in the middle of interviews and as soon as he gets a job, I have to quit, so that could be today, or in six months, no idea. Not even Walmart would hire under those circumstances. And at any given point in time, my husband has been in the middle of interviews, had another one coming up. He is still flying to that one I mentioned in a previous post. What do I tell him? Sorry honey! You cannot go to interviews! I have to go work at Walmart today so you need to take care of the kids! And how can he really apply for jobs, AND he is also working on upping his skills during this time, if he has to also take care of the kids fulltime and home school them?

 

If you chose to get a job at minimum wage and your husband needed to go to an interview, you wouldn't have to quit your job. Most minimum wage jobs have policies about switching a shift with another coworker.

 

I'm not encouraging you to get or not get a job. I am trying to tell you that there is a work-around if needed.

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I have had relatives ridicule me about how frugal I am with my money - but then they ask me for $$$ gifts and loans.  :P  And then I've had the "it must be nice" comments because being frugal leads to more financial security and being able to pay for things you really want.  I cut that off with, "yeah, it *is* nice."  It is.  That's a fact.

 

I used to let it bother me, but really, it's their problem, not mine.

 

I hope you can let this roll off your shoulders.  You will never get other people to stop being jealous.  See it for what it is - their problem.

 

And I agree that if you can avoid talking about finances, it will save you some heartache.  Let people assume you're up to your eyeballs in mortgage payments like most people.  Let them assume somebody in the household is drawing a paycheck.  Switch the focus to things that are easier to talk about.  It will save you unnecessary grief.

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If someone said 'must be nice' to me in any tone....I would smile and say, 'it is. Thank you.'

My mother used to say this to me often in my twenties. Yup, I said my *mother.* She was often resentful that we could do things that she could not afford. She hasn't done this in many years, though.

 

My advice to the OP - turn 40. For me, that seemed to cure me of caring what anyone else thinks. ;)

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I always wondered why people try to be secretive about how much their house cost when it is a matter of public record.  I look up houses all of the time.  Sometimes because I like the house, sometimes I am just curious. 

 

Of course knowing how much a house cost tells you a tiny fraction of someone's 'business'.  You still don't know how they paid for it, if it is mortgaged, if they can afford it or are living above their means.  And those are things that you can keep private if you so choose. 

 

Sure, it's a matter of public record and people can look it up.  But I don't need to engage in conversation about it.  If someone is really interested, when they get home they can look up my house.  If someone told me they looked up my house and know how much I paid for it, I would ask them why they care how much my house cost.  'Cause it being a matter of public record and being any of their business are two different things.  It would never occur to me to look up someone's house unless I was interested in buying it, or if it sold in my neighborhood so I could get an idea of local values.

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So what if you get a job at Walmart? You'd do the same things millions of people do every day. You'd juggle your schedule as best you could to meet the family needs. Maybe you would take time off. Maybe you'd trade shift. Maybe you'd take the unexcused hit and hope it doesn't happen too often to cost you the job/income. Maybe he would get an interview time around your work. Maybe you'd be able to beg a friend for babysitting. Would it suck? Yep. So what? That's life for a majority of people regardless of income or family circumstance. And you aren't above that or too good to be dealing with that because of anything you've done or anything you want. It's sucks. It's difficult. That doesn't change much.

 

I get it. We have to make hard decisions every day that require trade offs and sacrifices. In our case, it's choosing to stay home bc we feel it allows our husbands to make greater financial contributions than otherwise and for other reasons too. But that's our choice even if it doesn't feel like much of a choice. And the problem you are facing in this thread is not about making this choice. It's acting like you are owed some kind of extra respect for it bc somehow you are better than those living differently, most of which probably don't feel it's much of a choice to them either.

 

Eta: to be clear. I don't think you should or should not get a job. I don't care either way. But again. I don't think that's the issue. It's presenting and attitude that somehow that work is beneath you and how dare other people not understand that. Especially when clearly they are also beneath you.

 

Whether you intend it or not, that's how you are coming across and I suspect why people are being so tactless with you as their defense mechanism.

Edited by Murphy101
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In my personal life, I've seen this kind of discussion come up when someone starts complaining about money.  What they can't afford, what their husband or in-laws won't buy them, how expensive xyz is to buy new, how small of a raise they got, etc. etc. etc.

 

Just don't ever go there, LOL. It brings out the worst in people.

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Places like Walmart and Target don't expect long-term employees.  They get students working there for a summer or a semester, hire a ton of extras during the holidays, have people come and go constantly.   They work very well for those trying to earn extra money around a spouse's job or kids school or anything else that limits when you are available because they have enough employees to offer some flexibility around hours.    If your husband needs to job hunt during the day and you need to teach the kids, you work evenings and weekends.  If your husband has a job interview where he has to travel for a couple days, you give them as much notice as you can or you call them to say you can't come that day.   

 

When dh was doing his own company and things were getting tight, the first thing I did was go work at Target for the holidays.  He had a couple of projects that he needed to go into the lab to work on (no working from home) so wasn't here during the day.   The most common evening shift around here is 6pm to 10pm.  Almost every retail place will hire for that shift.

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FWIW, anyone can look this up online if they are curious about any place.  They've no need to ask.  It's public record (assuming they know where you live).  They won't know if it's paid off or not, of course.

 

 

And with you teaching they can probably even find out how much you make, right? (I can't recall if you teach in public or private school). Here in Florida public servant salaries are, well, public. If you know how many years experience a public school teacher, state university professor, firefighter, police officer, city worker, etc. has, you can find out their salary. Of course that doesn't cover overtime for firefighters or police, or club/coaching supplements for teachers, etc., but you can get a general idea.

 

When was teaching and owned a townhouse, anyone who wanted to could find out my salary and how much I paid for my home. It kind of sucks, but it's life as a government employee.

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Sure, it's a matter of public record and people can look it up. But I don't need to engage in conversation about it. If someone is really interested, when they get home they can look up my house. If someone told me they looked up my house and know how much I paid for it, I would ask them why they care how much my house cost. 'Cause it being a matter of public record and being any of their business are two different things. It would never occur to me to look up someone's house unless I was interested in buying it, or if it sold in my neighborhood so I could get an idea of local values.

Same here. When we built our first house, a friend asked me outright what my house cost. I was dumbstruck! Also, I didn't really know how to answer because the cost of the building loan and the market value of the house were two different things. So I stuttered for a couple minutes while I tried to figure out whether she was asking about the amount of our actual loan or the value of the house; what she would need to pay for a house like that in that location. Another friend heard her ask and said something to offset the awkward moment. I don't even recall what now. But I did think that was a very gauche question to ask. There are reasons it would make sense to ask (i.e., you're in real estate classes and trying to leatn market values, you are interested in buying a similar house and need a ballpark figure, etc.), but generally, this is not ordinary discussion with others.

 

I don't talk to people about our finacial situation, even though there are things about which I am proud. I would tell people certain things under certain circumstances, or say, if I were trying to instruct kids about topics like debt or investments, but not just as a subject to discuss on the whole.

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I don't mind people asking the cost of my house.  I assume they are trying to get a feel for what it would cost them to buy similar.  It doesn't seem any more personal than asking the cost of milk at the grocery store, to me.  But maybe it depends on where you live.  :P

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My kids have a friend at school who asks them if we are "rich."  Makes me wonder, not only where she got the idea that was something to ask a person, but also what my kids have been saying to make her think that.  :P  I answer "we are comfortable," and explain that means we are able to buy what we need and some of what we want without a lot of stress.

 

I don't mind people knowing we are comfortable.  And frankly, I don't care if people think we're rich.  Or poor for that matter.  I just really don't care.  As long as they don't ascribe personality traits to that, such as greed, selfishness, boastfulness, ignorance (of what struggle is), laziness, slovenliness, etc.

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Sure, it's a matter of public record and people can look it up.  But I don't need to engage in conversation about it.  If someone is really interested, when they get home they can look up my house.  If someone told me they looked up my house and know how much I paid for it, I would ask them why they care how much my house cost.  'Cause it being a matter of public record and being any of their business are two different things.  It would never occur to me to look up someone's house unless I was interested in buying it, or if it sold in my neighborhood so I could get an idea of local values.

 

 

Oh I probably wouldn't do that.  I do look a lot because I like to keep an eye on the market....I always wonder why houses bring and it helps me as we plan to sell and move to town.

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Same here. When we built our first house, a friend asked me outright what my house cost. I was dumbstruck! Also, I didn't really know how to answer because the cost of the building loan and the market value of the house were two different things. So I stuttered for a couple minutes while I tried to figure out whether she was asking about the amount of our actual loan or the value of the house; what she would need to pay for a house like that in that location. Another friend heard her ask and said something to offset the awkward moment. I don't even recall what now. But I did think that was a very gauche question to ask. There are reasons it would make sense to ask (i.e., you're in real estate classes and trying to leatn market values, you are interested in buying a similar house and need a ballpark figure, etc.), but generally, this is not ordinary discussion with others.

 

I don't talk to people about our finacial situation, even though there are things about which I am proud. I would tell people certain things under certain circumstances, or say, if I were trying to instruct kids about topics like debt or investments, but not just as a subject to discuss on the whole.

 

 

Maybe she was wondering if they could afford a similar house. 

 

I don't know, I just don't get the big secretiveness about how much things cost. I mean it is just a house. 

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I am just ticked. And this has gone on before. This happened today, but I will give examples of it happening before.

 

My sister has to have new luxury SUVs (she refuses to drive anything older than 2-3 years so she leases). She also must have her fast food and her vacations. Her children had iphones by grade school. Her children NEED brand new clothes all the time, every holiday every school year, every change of seasons. They even get brand new coats every year, even though we live in the south and they barely get used as it is. She and her husband make close to what my husband makes, but less, but close. My husband and I drive old cars, got married at the JP, and our children do not have any sort of cell phones, not even the 15 yr old. Our older children do not own winder coats and our younger children wear handmedowns, that were not even new when we acquired them. My husband and I made paying debt a priority. So we do not take vacations or buy new clothes and we drive our cars for a long time. One is coming in on 200K miles. The other one is 13 yrs old, but was just a commuter car so had less miles. Ok, so my sister calls me "Miss Moneybags" and tells me how easy I have it and I should HAVE to get a job and it is just wrong that I am not working. Ummm..I do not spend like her. AND, she keeps her student loans on forebearance just because she does not want to pay. Oh, and now she tells me she is defaulting.

 

It is about priorities! Our mortgage is paid off because instead of eating out or getting my nails done or buying the newest and greatest smart phone, we rounded up our payments on the mortgage. And everytime husband got a bonus, we did not go shopping or eating out, we applied it toward our mortgage.

 

Now, I get told today by a complete stranger who was just there when at the park and visiting that my life is so "comfortable" because my house is paid off. (the course of the conversation had led to stuff about Dave Ramsey and such, this person seemed to not even know who Dave Ramsey was). The person went on to tell me that I need to get a job, even if it is for minimum wage at Walmart, because it is not right that I am not working when my husband is out of work.

 

I actually tore in to the women, never raising my voice, and pointed out her nicely done nails and nice phone and her nice clothes and gee, her hair looks great too, and all that comes with a cost and her financial priorities are not mine and perhaps if she were to cut out the extras, which expensive hair dressers, color jobs, and manicures are not neccesities, they are just wants, then perhaps, her home could be paid off too.

 

Really..it just ticks me off when some entitled brat has the nerve to act as if I was just handed anything, while they clearly are spenders and the product of their own choices! I am well aware many people have simply not earned enough to be able to pay off a house, and that is fine too. But when someone who looks 15 yrs younger than me and clearly is living that life style has the nerve to say anything at all to me....It just really bothers me. I know I shouldn't let it get to me. But I am sick of the aggressions toward at home parents and home schooling parents as if we are non-essentual and need to "just get a job." I HAVE a job! <scream!>

 

edited to add: an older relative told me last month or the month before that I need to get a real job instead of the volunteer work I am doing. The fact that I continue to do volunteer work was brought up. She asked me what I was doing with it, and then asked if it paid. When I said no, it is volunteer, she said I need to get a real job and stop messing around with that stuff.

I hear you . We are very similar. We don't do loans. We built our own house as we could afford it. We even lived for over a year without electricity. We don't buy new clothes and all our cars are 20 years old. We are debt free completely. Dh had a workplace injury and is on a disability pension. I work out of home very rarely. We grow our own food and live way below our means so we can put aside for rainy days.

 

DH's sister lives way way beyond her means, her mortgage gets bigger every year as she rolled her credit cards over into it. She eats out all the time, gets newer cars every couple of years, new clothes every season etcetera etcetera....... according to mil sil is so poor and has had such a hard life that dh should give up his inheritance as we are so well off.

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Maybe she was wondering if they could afford a similar house.

 

I don't know, I just don't get the big secretiveness about how much things cost. I mean it is just a house.

It's not that it's such a big secret, but a house is often the most expensive thing a family owns. So, it clearly says a lot about a person's financial position to know how much their house costs. Asking seems gauche in most situations. Also, it is more awkward when the person asking seems "starstruck" and then asks. If it were two wealthy people of similar means talking about it, well, that would be less awkward. Or two people with little money talking about it - also less awkward. It's when there's a disparity that it becomes uncomfortable.

 

Think about it the other way - say you scrimped and saved for years and finally, at long last, you bought a little fixer-upper on the edge of town that was cheap but still at the limits of your budget. Your friend comes over. What if she exclaimed, "Wow! This place looks like it must have been very cheap! You must have really paid pennies to find such a diamond in the rough! It will be fantastic once you do renos." There's a value judgement happening here and it's not a comfortable place to be.

 

In my specific scenario, I doubt she could afford a similar house based on the woes she had at the time. She was asking like, "Wow! This place is a castle! How much did it cost?!" Which yeah, that's pretty uncomfortable.

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It's not that it's such a big secret, but a house is often the most expensive thing a family owns. So, it clearly says a lot about a person's financial position to know how much their house costs. Asking seems gauche in most situations. Also, it is more awkward when the person asking seems "starstruck" and then asks. If it were two wealthy people of similar means talking about it, well, that would be less awkward. Or two people with little money talking about it - also less awkward. It's when there's a disparity that it becomes uncomfortable.

 

Think about it the other way - say you scrimped and saved for years and finally, at long last, you bought a little fixer-upper on the edge of town that was cheap but still at the limits of your budget. Your friend comes over. What if she exclaimed, "Wow! This place looks like it must have been very cheap! You must have really paid pennies to find such a diamond in the rough! It will be fantastic once you do renos." There's a value judgement happening here and it's not a comfortable place to be.

 

In my specific scenario, I doubt she could afford a similar house based on the woes she had at the time. She was asking like, "Wow! This place is a castle! How much did it cost?!" Which yeah, that's pretty uncomfortable.

 

 

Ah I see. 

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I agree with your bottom line -- SAHM'ing is totally out of favor in my neck of the woods and I also get tired of the lack of respect for it -- but....

 

you could avoid nearly all comments on your financial decisions if you just didn't tell anybody how much you make, what your debts are, whether your house is paid off, etc. That is r-e-a-l-l-y personal information.

 

While I'm giving totally unwanted advice (I'm sure): I've learned not to comment on other people's decisions, either, because then they feel defensive, and take up the implied invitation to do the same. Again, that conversation is just too personal.

 

This. All of this.

 

You do you and let everyone else do the same.

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   If your husband needs to job hunt during the day and you need to teach the kids, you work evenings and weekends. 

 

Evenings and weekends are needed for networking. Most decent-paying positions these days are never advertised to the general public so the only way to find out about them is to know the right person. Your fraternity brother has a friend at Employer X so the three of you go out to dinner to make the introduction. Is the job-seeker supposed to pass that up so that the spouse can work a shift at a dead-end job?

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Evenings and weekends are needed for networking. Most decent-paying positions these days are never advertised to the general public so the only way to find out about them is to know the right person. Your fraternity brother has a friend at Employer X so the three of you go out to dinner to make the introduction. Is the job-seeker supposed to pass that up so that the spouse can work a shift at a dead-end job?

 

 

Obviously not if there is not an absolute need.  But if there is NO INCOME and the savings are depleted then yes get a  job to feed your kids.

Edited by Scarlett
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Evenings and weekends are needed for networking. Most decent-paying positions these days are never advertised to the general public so the only way to find out about them is to know the right person. Your fraternity brother has a friend at Employer X so the three of you go out to dinner to make the introduction. Is the job-seeker supposed to pass that up so that the spouse can work a shift at a dead-end job?

Maybe. They have to decide the risk assessment for themselves. Bottom line is they'd be risking income in hand for potential income that might not be. Obviously one hopes it will be when they take that risk. But many people are stuck in so called "dead end jobs" bc otherwise they'd be risking the roof over their head. Income in both directions can be a visicous cycle like that. Those with the luxury to decide to not do the dead end job get opportunities those who can't make that risk miss out on. But when they take that risk and it does not pay off our society says they were stupid and irresponsible. The only apparent difference to whether it was supposedly smart is based on the luck of positive outcome, not really the decision itself.

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Janeway's husband is at the point where unemployment is starting to become long term unemployment if a job is not secured quite soon. He also has a resume that fits in to a difficult spot (IT management with somewhat out of date technical skills).

 

Everyone needs to be flexible in these situations.

 

There are a lot of threads that have been started with Janeway narrating a very rigid view of things and a general unwillingness to take responsibility for her reactions to others. Bluntly, I doubt that the narrative matches the unvarnished truth. It sounds like someone is spoiling for these conflicts to be quite honest. Sometimes when people feel put upon they put words and intentions on others that do not really exist. If nothing else, I think that if it is all true that there is WAY too much oversharing going on. No one at the park cares one iota about if you rent, own or have a mortgage on your personal dwelling.

Edited by LucyStoner
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I don't mind people asking the cost of my house.  I assume they are trying to get a feel for what it would cost them to buy similar.  It doesn't seem any more personal than asking the cost of milk at the grocery store, to me.  But maybe it depends on where you live.  :p

 

More likely it depends on how once was raised.  I was just raised that that stuff is not a polite topic of casual conversation.  That's it.  There are other things to talk about. How much I paid for my house doesn't seem like a very interesting topic.  Nor does my husband's salary, or how we can manage on one income given the industry he works in, etc., etc.  

 

And, unless someone recently bought, I'm not sure how it would help anyone anyway.  We bought our house in 2007, at the peak of the market.  Then, as folks might remember... house prices fell.  Some by a lot.  The price I paid for my house has zero to do with how much a person would expect to pay for a similar house today.  Of course it can work the other way too, when housing prices go up quickly.  

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It really MUST BE NICE to own your house.

 

Is it not? Then why do people do it, Janeway?

 

It sounds amazing to me. Lord have mercy, and if dh lost his job???! It would be so amazing to have a near-garunteed roof over our heads and own something valuable!!!! Do you know how soul deadeningly stressful it is to be housing insecure?!

 

Geez when we paid off our last car, I couldn't get over how nice it was!

Edited by OKBud
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More likely it depends on how once was raised.  I was just raised that that stuff is not a polite topic of casual conversation.  That's it.  There are other things to talk about. How much I paid for my house doesn't seem like a very interesting topic.  Nor does my husband's salary, or how we can manage on one income given the industry he works in, etc., etc.  

 

And, unless someone recently bought, I'm not sure how it would help anyone anyway.  We bought our house in 2007, at the peak of the market.  Then, as folks might remember... house prices fell.  Some by a lot.  The price I paid for my house has zero to do with how much a person would expect to pay for a similar house today.  Of course it can work the other way too, when housing prices go up quickly.  

 

This. :)

 

I've only asked two people how much they've paid for their home.  One was my sister, and it was because she was relieved to sell it for a profit.  We were just buying at the time so I wanted to know more about the process.  It was a highly personal question to someone I had that relationship with.

 

The second was a friend who moved here a few months before us.  She mentioned her mortgage was down to a third of what ours was and that weighed heavily on their decision to stay and not move yet.  My jaw dropped and I blurted out the question before I could stop myself.  Mostly I admired them for being so savvy with the market when they bought, and she knew that.

 

For the most part, no, it's not a topic of polite conversation.  It's certainly not something you discuss with strangers.

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On the other hand, people won't learn about money if no one talks about it.

On the left foot, if you can't talk about it without putting people below you down, you should just keep your mouth shut. They're already *below*...

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On the other hand, people won't learn about money if no one talks about it.

But in the park, Rosie? Or when someone is looking at your fingernails and hair color to assess how much unneccessary $ you must be spending?

 

I will happily help someone learn savvy financial strategies if they came to me asking for help. My MIL helped me tremendously in my early 20s because my own parents are money avoiders and I learned nothing about money management from them. But there's definitely a posture that has to do with learning from a wise person vs. someone who just wants to brag/complain/be nosy about money.

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True. But there's sharing knowledge, and then there's judging others...not the same thing at all.

 

Yes

 

My family is open with money, but we don't judge each other.  It's clear that the minister/sahm-homeschooling family has way less than the lawyer/dept of ed family.  Maybe b/c of the disparity, it's easier to be open b/c there is no way to judge?  We all had the same educational opportunities, types of families, etc. but made different choices. I do my end by not complaining about being "poor" (although I DO complain about the cost of crazy things like college--but freely admit he could go local or I could go back to work).

 

My bff and I discuss house prices and stuff like that and tips for being frugal.  she wants to be better with her money and I'm pretty good at it.  She knows I don't judge her choices so she is free to ask me for advice--and then go and make the choices that make sense for her and her family.

 

I think it's the non-judging environment that makes a "safe" place for learning about money.  there can't be lectures or "shoulds".

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Agreed.I don't understand cultural objection to it. It might give people some perspective if it was discussed more openly.

 

 

I do not agree with being judgemental over it, which is what always seems to happen.

 

I did a short business course recently with a women's organisation. It was kind of liberating for some to be sitting around talking about making money. 

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I'm teaching a financial literacy course to teenagers.  I teach them how things work and how different choices impact the bottom line.  I never tell them what THEIR priorities should be.

 

(I do encourage certain priorities with my own children, but I'm their parent, not some random person in the community.)

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Lol, I bet they weren't telling you how irresponsible you'd been till now!

 

Remind me to share a micro business course with you (free). I'd do it now but I can't link on phone.

 

No. They were commending me for having shown up. Nice people.

 

I would like to hear about your free micro business course. At the moment I'm searching for intellectual property protection, which is tricky stuff even for people who like paperwork, I'm told!

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Agreed.I don't understand cultural objection to it. It might give people some perspective if it was discussed more openly.

 

 

I do not agree with being judgemental over it, which is what always seems to happen.

Getting away from the op...

 

I totally get the cultural objection to it.

 

I grew poorer than poor. Super poor, ok. BUT surrounded by relative (and outright) wealth. One does not talk about money except with people who equally have (don't have) money. First because less thans will expect you to spread it around and more thans will expect you to emulate them. If we aren't talking about it, more thans are perfectly charitable and do not have unreasonable expectations and less thans aren't bitter or expectant in any way and indeed, they are happy for their more-thans.

 

But the second anyone starts talking about it....!

 

My dhs family is solid lower middle class ***but everyone around him was the same more or less.*** Now, I maintain that they take it too far but they have absolutely no compunction about talking about money. Anything that could possibly be said is just met with "yep."

 

Note that both factions are equally generous, well-meaning and even, really, equally "good" with money... In their way.

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Evenings and weekends are needed for networking. Most decent-paying positions these days are never advertised to the general public so the only way to find out about them is to know the right person. Your fraternity brother has a friend at Employer X so the three of you go out to dinner to make the introduction. Is the job-seeker supposed to pass that up so that the spouse can work a shift at a dead-end job?

 

 

I'm not buying that the job seeker has to be available 24/7. Surely there is some way to reserve certain hours of the week for the spouse (or job seeker himself, for that matter) to work a part time job. If he needs to network in the evenings/weekends, then maybe do have him babysit the kids 2 days in the week during work hours while the wife works. 

 

Anyhow, I don't think you have to tell Walmart etc that you might leave the job next week if you husband happens to get hired (especially since he's been looking for quite a while, so you might be working at Walmart for 6 months or w/e just as easily as 6 days). But, if you can't get over some sense of moral wrongness, then how about a temp agency like Manpower? I've done that, and they had me call each morning to see if they had a shift for me... but that also meant that I'd only call if I wanted a shift that day. If my spouse had an interview or w/e, I'd just not call. I mean, sometimes I'd be told that they wanted to see me again the next day, so I wouldn't have to call, but it was always my choice. And hey, it even paid more than minimum wage - $8/hour when the minimum wage was $5-something/hour. Now, I'm sure that it varies regionally as to whether this is really an option (whether there's actual work available like that), but it's worked for me both in NL and in TX. 

 

Of course, not saying you have to get a job if you don't need one. Just saying it's not necessarily as impossible as you're making it out to be.

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Honestly, you're just as judgemental going by your OP.

 

Perhaps you are reaping that which you sow, both positively - house paid, sahm - and negatively - hearing back the judgement you have no problem heaping others.

 

Yes, this is how I read the opening post.

 

There are different ways to be financially responsible. And different views about having a mortgage. I do wonder sometimes about people I've known who choose to work longer hours in order to provide things I simply don't value. But that's the end thing - I don't value those things and they do. They probably think the way we've chosen to live is absurd. The important thing to do is to recognize that different values are okay.

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The touchy part about discussing money is that so many people assign morality to choices.

 

it's not a moral choice to have a car payment or not.

 

It's not a moral choice to have a 15 vs 30 year mortgage.

 

It's not a moral choice to get your nails done, go out to eat, or buy a cappucino.

 

And it's not a moral choice to stay at home vs. work full time vs. work part time.

 

All of these decisions have pros and cons. None of them are inherently good or bad.

 

And sometimes in conversation, people complain about their life choices, just making conversation.

 

"I've wished I could spend more time at home with my kids."

 

And in general, when they say things like that, they're not wanting a dissertation on "Here's how you could do that...Don't buy coffee, get your hair colored, shop at the mall...."

 

I guess in conversation, you can accept that some people don't like somethings about their lives.

 

In the case of the OP, it IS kinda scary when the main breadwinner at home is out of work. That's one of the negatives to SAH parenting. She should be able to mention to relatives that it's a little unnerving to have dad out of work, just like the working parent should be able to mention that they wish they had more time with their kids.

 

People aren't always looking for advice in normal conversation.

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Evenings and weekends are needed for networking. Most decent-paying positions these days are never advertised to the general public so the only way to find out about them is to know the right person. Your fraternity brother has a friend at Employer X so the three of you go out to dinner to make the introduction. Is the job-seeker supposed to pass that up so that the spouse can work a shift at a dead-end job?

 

If this is the type of thing that is frequently required for the type of positions that are available, then mom works a 4 hour shift in the morning, 8 am to noon say, and dad watches the kids during those times.  Mom comes home at noon, teaches and watches the kids in the afternoon and evenings while dad fills out applications, sends out resumes, and networks.    Or they agree that mom won't work Thursday and Friday evenings because that's when the network opportunities are there, and she'll work Saturday through Wednesdays.

 

It's really not that complicated if people are motivated.  Making sure you don't foreclose on your mortgage or your family has health insurance can be pretty motivating.

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I did a short business course recently with a women's organisation. It was kind of liberating for some to be sitting around talking about making money. 

 

But you weren't talking specifics about what was in your bank account were you?  I would expect specifics to be done privately with a financial counselor or someone.  Back when I had my own business, I did some Small Business Association classes.  We talked in general about how to manage our money and business but no one looked to see what percentage of money I was spending on food vs. books.  :)

 

I am upfront with people about money but I don't provide them specifics.  For example, I've told people that the only reason we were able to move into our current neighborhood from our former house smack in the middle of gang territory was because this house was a foreclosure.  I'm not bragging about our financial prowess or what was actually luck more than anything.  It is just simple fact.  But because I'm not judging others in the neighborhood for buying non-foreclosed houses at (presumably) full price or at least close to full price, no one begrudges my good fortune or is shocked because we needed that good fortune in order to move here. Instead they tell me stories about other people they know who bought foreclosures.  And no one asks specifically how much we spent and if we have a mortgage and what the rate might be etc.  

 

ETA:  I don't just go up to people - friends or strangers - and volunteer the fact that we bought a foreclosure or anything about home ownership.  But if people are talking about foreclosures or how they came to buy a house in our neighborhood, I'm not ashamed of the fact that ours was a foreclosure. 

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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Depression for me recently has looked like anger. I'm also confused how you got into these conversations with your relatives. They just randomly said "you should get a job." That seems very strange.

 

Just following this little bunny trail: 

 

I can totally see my family asking if I would be getting a job if dh was unemployed.  My grandma would probably be going a step more and insisting that I get a job.   I'd probably  tell most relatives that we're getting by okay but would share more financial info with my MIL  and grandma just to reassure them.  

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On the left foot, if you can't talk about it without putting people below you down, you should just keep your mouth shut. They're already *below*...

 

Below you, above you, or equal to you.  Whatever that means.

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I'm also confused how you got into these conversations with your relatives. They just randomly said "you should get a job." That seems very strange.

 

 

This isn't strange to me. We are very tight-lipped about our money. We have what we need but live modestly, and I never complain about money or any other part of my lifestyle to relatives. I have a relative who has, regularly, for at least ten years, told me that I should get a job. It is not necessarily OP's fault that her relatives don't know what is their business and what is not.  If that seems strange to you, I am happy for you.

 

Also, three of my teens have been hired in entry-level jobs in the past year, and in each case the interviewer asked for an honest commitment to stay with the job for six months. One of my kids turned down an offer because that commitment couldn't be made.

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I am thankful I don't have people saying it's not fair I don't need to work. That said, "Loose lips sink ships" is our motto. We look like we have much less than we do and I'm just fine letting people believe that. I think it helps avoid the irritating conversations.

 

The book "The Millionaire Next Door" found that most people with money (not the glittering rich, though) live in modest houses and drive cars like used Camrys or Civics.

 

all of this.

 

Millionaire Next Door was such a helpful book. It just confirmed exactly what we'd been doing along in our marriage.  

 

It's actually kind of funny because it's partly why I feel so out of place in our current neighborhood. It's too upscale and too concerned with all the new shiny whatever.   I'm not like that and I feel so out of place. With the exception of one other neighbor, we have the oldest cars on our street by about 5 years (at least).  But, yeah,  we keep our mouths closed about it...well I do.  My dh talks a little too much, IMHO.  It's getting harder though, since we're moving 5yrs after we moved here.  I can't wait to get out of this neighborhood and back with my people.   :laugh:  

Edited by PrincessMommy
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