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Ticked over "comfortable" and "money bags" remark


Janeway
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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.  :)

 

<snip>

 

 

Right. There are times to talk about housing costs, etc., in a specific way, and times to talk about them in a general way.  

 

Talking about someone's financial status - high or low - with near-strangers at a park vs. talking about financial matters for the purpose of instruction - completely different.  

 

Of course talking about it in a judgmental way is never good.  

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I would never tell anyone else, other than a very trusted, older, wise mentor who would be ecstatic for us (and has children who "do well") whether our house was paid off, whether we could/could not afford private school etc. And would certainly never give a family member any idea of what our family income is, especially if it could even potentially lead to jealousy.

 

I've sat and watched friends of mine literally well up with anger and resentment in a millisecond when they realized what a mutual friend of ours makes (it is public knowledge). I don't ever want to be on the receiving end of that.

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I would never tell anyone else, other than a very trusted, older, wise mentor who would be ecstatic for us (and has children who "do well") whether our house was paid off, whether we could/could not afford private school etc. And would certainly never give a family member any idea of what our family income is, especially if it could even potentially lead to jealousy.

 

I've sat and watched friends of mine literally well up with anger and resentment in a millisecond when they realized what a mutual friend of ours makes (it is public knowledge). I don't ever want to be on the receiving end of that.

Coming from the military I honestly can't even imagine that. If you know I don't work, and don't have a boss dowry or something, then you know our finances!

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Money is a topic that will almost always go wrong.  You will either be too rich, too poor, too comfortable, or too tight.  People love to judge others financially and you won't win.  I think what we make, how we spend or invest it, etc is so personal with so many factors involved and we simply can't accurately judge another's motives.  You need to make your best choices and not care what others think while at the same time not caring what others do with their own money either (unless they are asking you to care for them).  

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Coming from the military I honestly can't even imagine that. If you know I don't work, and don't have a boss dowry or something, then you know our finances!

 

So, I get that military pay is a matter of public record (just as the price of a house is).  But, most people don't have any reason to look for that information, right?  I have a few relatives in the military, so I guess I could find out their pay, but why would I do that?    Are people really that interested in how much other people make?  I think I'd rather not know, unless there is a reason I need to.  Why would I want to dedicate brain space to someone's income level, if they aren't supporting me? 

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So, I get that military pay is a matter of public record (just as the price of a house is). But, most people don't have any reason to look for that information, right? I have a few relatives in the military, so I guess I could find out their pay, but why would I do that? Are people really that interested in how much other people make? I think I'd rather not know, unless there is a reason I need to. Why would I want to dedicate brain space to someone's income level, if they aren't supporting me?

I can honestly say I have never spent a millisecond of PI time trying to find out how much money somebody makes*. The only income I care about is my husband's (or mine, such as it is). Also, speculating on how rich someone else is is futile. They may live opulent lives but are drowning in debt. They may live modest lives but have well-stocked investments and be set for life. Maybe they have wealthy parents who regularly subsidize their lifestyle. Maybe the have all the trappings AND have no debt - they are just so wealthy it doesn't matter if the designer chose $10,000 drapes for the Dining Room. You just never know, as the book The Millionaire Next Door pointed out.

 

* does not apply to perspective tenants of our rentals. ;)

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In my former life, my co workers said I was as curious as a cat. I just HAVE to know stuff. I have learned to control my curiosity because of the people of the world like the ones on this board who think it isn't proper. But it is how I figure stuff out.

 

I need frame of reference.

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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!>

 

 

There is so much venom coming across in these two paragraphs. It makes me cringe.

 

I think you are under tremendous stress. Or maybe menopause? I'm not there quite yet, but my mother talks about the intense anger she felt during menopause, and it's come up lately in a few threads where a person gets furious and becomes a monster to the people around her and it's like she's not able to control it.

 

I honestly think that you're either under tremendous stress from your dh's job loss and it's coming out as this intense, venomous anger, or you are menopausal or have some other physical issue going on.

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In my former life, my co workers said I was as curious as a cat. I just HAVE to know stuff. I have learned to control my curiosity because of the people of the world like the ones on this board who think it isn't proper. But it is how I figure stuff out.

 

I need frame of reference.

See, I think that's just nosy. Why do you need frame of reference on, say, how much money your neighbor makes? Or how much your SIL's house cost? Seeking to find out stuff that has no effect on your life just because you're "curious" is just nosiness.

 

The one money-related thing that I wish was not so hidden is expected salary when job-hunting. I'm not even job-hunting in a serious way, but I don't know why so many jobs are not forthcoming about expected salary. Maybe I'm filtering the past, but it seems to me that classified ads for jobs in the old-fashioned newspapers of my youth almost always put expected salary. If it didn't, it was commission-based.

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So, I get that military pay is a matter of public record (just as the price of a house is). But, most people don't have any reason to look for that information, right? I have a few relatives in the military, so I guess I could find out their pay, but why would I do that? Are people really that interested in how much other people make? I think I'd rather not know, unless there is a reason I need to. Why would I want to dedicate brain space to someone's income level, if they aren't supporting me?

The point is just that itd take seven seconds online to find out if you were inclined, so I've never had any sense of it being a private thing at all.

 

ETA also ppl can get pretty mean about how much dh makes OR say really ignorant (in the neutral sense) things about military pay. So it comes up--certain ppl very much feel like it's their business since it's a public sector job.

Edited by OKBud
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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.

 

Yep, the first time my husband was laid off, I trundled over to the big old theme park next door and took the first retail job I was offered. I worked mostly afternoon/evening and weekend shifts, which allowed me to continue homeschooling the kids (who were young at that point) during the day and left my husband free during most business hours to job hunt and do interviews. 

 

I gave fairly limited availability when I was hired but was then able to pick up additional shifts as they fit into our lives. Sometimes, I was able to squeeze in the equivalent of a full-time week (or more -- overtime!).

 

I took naps when I could get them.

 

Sometimes, I had to call in when my schedule would have prevented my husband from doing an interview or picking up extra or short-term work that paid more than my hourly rate or could result in worthwhile connections for him. But, since we didn't consider my job a "career," I wasn't worried about dings on my internal employment record.

 

I ended up keeping the job for three years, covering our groceries and gas for the van and assorted small expenses while my husband took a pay cut and then worked his way back up. (A nice bonus was that the job came with free theme park admission several times a year, providing access to cheap entertainment when we couldn't afford much out of pocket.) I finally quit when we felt secure that my husband was solidly back on track. I left on good terms, knowing that, if things went south again I was eligible to be re-hired quickly, which provided me much appreciated peace of mind.

 

So, sure, the job was "beneath me," in the sense that I was working a straight-up retail job that didn't require even a high school diploma, let alone my four-year degree, for a paycheck that was literally 10-20% of the salary I had made in my last pre-kids position. And I was tired and stressed more often than was ideal. But I felt good about pitching in to keep our heads above water and about the small luxuries and treats I was able to provide that kept all of us from feeling deprived during a challenging time.

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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 suspect your definition of "decent-paying" may be somewhat different from what I and many others would put in that category. And my husband has never had dinner with the wife as part of the job-seeking process. (He also has no fraternity brothers or any similar relationships, so maybe that's another indication of vastly differing social/employment circles.)

 

As I mentioned in my post about our experience, I simply traded a shift with a co-worker or called in when necessary to make it possible for my husband to network or job hunt or interview. Because my job was just a temporary means to a paycheck, not a career in which I needed to invest a lot of effort in maintaining a sterling reputation, I had a fair amount of freedom to juggle as necessary.

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This thread got me thinking - do I even care how much *I* make?  Historically, I cared when I worked in a big company and it was sort of an indication of how I compared with the other employees.  I happened to know pretty much how others were compensated - for one thing, billing rate was based on salary.  And raises were always part of the review process, i.e., a direct communication of my value as a person (from the employer's perspective).  So yes, I cared.

 

Now my work situation is so different.  People are valued so differently.  So no, I actually do not care what I'm "making," as long as I am paying my bills.  And I don't care what anyone else is "making," as long as they aren't asking me to pay their bills.  :P  I actually have no idea how much any of my 5 siblings earn.  I don't even know who is making relatively more or less.

 

I may be giving my kids a completely warped view of finances.  :P  Well, this summer we are going to do the financial management badge (or whatever it's called), so maybe I can correct their misconceptions.

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See, I think that's just nosy. Why do you need frame of reference on, say, how much money your neighbor makes? Or how much your SIL's house cost? Seeking to find out stuff that has no effect on your life just because you're "curious" is just nosiness.

 

The one money-related thing that I wish was not so hidden is expected salary when job-hunting. I'm not even job-hunting in a serious way, but I don't know why so many jobs are not forthcoming about expected salary. Maybe I'm filtering the past, but it seems to me that classified ads for jobs in the old-fashioned newspapers of my youth almost always put expected salary. If it didn't, it was commission-based.

Well you apparently aren't alone in your opinion. And like I said I do curtail my curiosity. But I just don't get why money is so secretive. I guess because people get jealous and mean about it. I dont know.

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I actually have no idea how much any of my 5 siblings earn. I don't even know who is making relatively more or less.

If you ever want to find out, arrange to meet them at a park somewhere. I understand people get very chatty about their finances at the park. ;)

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If you ever want to find out, arrange to meet them at a park somewhere. I understand people get very chatty about their finances at the park. ;)

 

If money comes up, all my family members (including in-laws) will go on about how poor they are.  That's one thing that's totally predictable.  Sometimes it's a putdown of the husband who doesn't bring in enough $$ or the wife who spends too much $$.  (Even though the wives work and the husbands spend too, somehow it's always the husband who doesn't make enough and the wife who spends too much.)  Maybe I don't have anything to add because I'm not married.  :P

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We have no relatives to help and public school is not an option.

 

And when my husband has an interview next week that I would need to quit my job if he got it, wouldn't that be morally wrong to not tell Walmart this? Or any place else? I even called the two local school districts and asked about subbing (I applied online first) and was told that the applications are still out there, but they are not hiring anymore for the school year.

I have not read this whole thread, but wanted to comment on the bolded part.

It's not morally wrong not to tell Walmart that your availability might change.

Stuff happens.

Life happens.

Unfortunately bad stuff happened to your husband and you all had to roll with it.

If your availability changed, that would be bad stuff happening to Walmart, and they would have to roll with it.  They are not particularly committed to any of their employees, and although I absolutely think you should make an effort to give them two weeks notice when you quit, beyond that things are too up in the air to feel guilty about not filling them in about your family circumstances in detail.

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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.

 

I keep an eye on what sells in my own school district (where we own our place) and the one where we have our rentals.  I like to see how things are selling and how prices vary - from foreclosures to "Buying ALL Houses" rehabbers to normal interactions.  Occasionally I see a transaction from someone I know.  Occasionally I see where someone did VERY well for themselves - like the company that bought one lot for 200+K in 2014 and just resold it for 1.5+ million a month or so ago...

 

I'll even admit to drooling over that investment choice, but checking into it more, they added a small store to the lot so it wasn't all profit.

 

Well you apparently aren't alone in your opinion. And like I said I do curtail my curiosity. But I just don't get why money is so secretive. I guess because people get jealous and mean about it. I dont know.

 

Remember the Hive is a subset of people and we don't always accurately represent the population.  When we've bought rental properties others came up to us and talked about it - thinking we were moving at first since we bought "a new house."  We're not the only ones who look.  I don't think everyone does, but esp among investors or those looking to buy/sell or just see what values are in the neighborhood or checking out the strength in the economy, it's fairly common.

 

Finance-wise (in general), the only ones who know our whole financial situation are our kids - mainly because they inherit it all if something happens to us.  No one else needs to know.  When folks get envious of our trips and wonder how we can afford them, I'll be honest and refer to three things.  First, hubby does make a decent income - not a high income, but above average for where we live, and he can work remotely meaning we aren't going without income while we're gone.  Second, we subscribe to "Perfectly Good Homes and Gardens" rather than "Better Homes and Gardens."  Essentially, we scrimp elsewhere.  Third, we keep most trips inexpensive.  We were able to camp on a waterfront site for 2 weeks in FL for the price of 2 nights at a waterfront hotel.  That sort of thing.

 

People are curious.  We share - sort of.  We also don't have a mindset of needing to have debt paid off - esp leveraged debt - so we're not putting every penny toward it.  I like that it earns us more than it costs.  We've had several of our more expensive trips (like the month in HI) 100% paid for by the proceeds of leveraged debt (bought property with a mortgage and resold it choosing to splurge with some of the profit).

 

I can't buy into the "no debt" philosophy, but we do tend to (usually) go with the fewer frills philosophy - fewer because we do splurge on some trips. 

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In my former life, my co workers said I was as curious as a cat. I just HAVE to know stuff. I have learned to control my curiosity because of the people of the world like the ones on this board who think it isn't proper. But it is how I figure stuff out.

 

I need frame of reference.

 

Frame of reference for what?

 

I don't mean to pick on you.  I guess I just don't see why it would be important for you to know how much Mr X paid for his house, and how much Ms Y gets paid at her job.  Unless you have some involvement with their finances, why does it matter to you?  Does it help you to determine how you will relate to people? Is that what you mean when you talk about figuring stuff out?  

 

I do think money in general is a private matter.  I never knew how much money my father made till he died long after retirement and I found a cache of pay stubs.  He still taught me about managing money, staying out of debt, how to write a check and balance a checkbook, etc. etc. 

 

So I don't get it. 

 

I do get looking up house pricing in an area one is interested in moving to, or when planning to sell a house, etc.  I do get it that one might divulge some information to others in the interest of education, when specifically asked for advice/help.  

Edited by marbel
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Frame of reference for what?

 

I don't mean to pick on you. I guess I just don't see why it would be important for you to know how much Mr X paid for his house, and how much Ms Y gets paid at her job. Unless you have some involvement with their finances, why does it matter to you? Does it help you to determine how you will relate to people? Is that what you mean when you talk about figuring stuff out?

 

I do think money in general is a private matter. I never knew how much money my father made till he died long after retirement and I found a cache of pay stubs. He still taught me about managing money, staying out of debt, how to write a check and balance a checkbook, etc. etc.

 

So I don't get it.

 

I do get looking up house pricing in an area one is interested in moving to, or when planning to sell a house, etc. I do get it that one might divulge some information to others in the interest of education, when specifically asked for advice/help.

I wouldn't say it is important. I don't really Need to know to continue living my life. But yes it helps me understand specific people and it helps me understand how some people can do certain things...like Creekland.....her post above isn't the first time she has given details that help me know her better.....they like to travel, they are frugal in some ways so they can afford to travel.

 

And when I was younger it helped me figure out the world and I liked to look at various situations and figure out the best approach for me. For instance the bank told us at age 23 that we could afford a MUCH bigger payment than what we wanted. We didn't go that high....but I started looking around and listening to people ( honestly people tell you a lot without any question being asked) and I started to see that many many people lived above their means. So I learned a lot from that.

 

Like most people my age we mostly keep our income a secret. But I do wonder why. So I am being very up front with ds17 about our income and it is really helping him know what a reasonable income is to have a dignified life.

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We only share our income with very close friends.  I have a few friends who are more like sisters, and we talk about incomes, house prices, etc....

 

But I would never even share it with DH's family.  They do the whole "one upsmanship" thing and we want them to think they are winning because it isn't worth the competition.  They talk about house size, house costs, income, grades of their kids in school, brag, brag, brag.

 

We just smile and say, "Isn't that wonderful for you?" and inside we have major eye rolls going on.  We simply DON"T CARE!   You want to feel big and important, sure, there ya go, you win.

 

So, I am saying, I would just ignore.  Seriously.  I hate the comments and the competition and I just don't play.  Sure I get mad and irritated, but I don't show them any of that.

 

Dawn

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Weird conversations. 

 

I live a pretty easy life by most standards, and I don't work (much -- just a little bit at our family business), and how we pay for all the nice things we have are nobody's business, and certainly whether we deserve to live the way we live, or whether I work or not, is nobody's business at all (outside of me and dh). I can't fathom anyone, ever, saying anything like that to me, ever. I am 100% certain that should anyone ever say anything along those lines to me, I'd be done with that relationship, so it'd be a once-and-over sort of interaction.

 

I feel similarly when someone comments about friends or relatives dissing their homeschooling/parenting choices. Never happens to me . . . 

 

I think I put out a vibe that says mind-your-own-business, confident-and-comfortable-in-my-own-shoes, not-open-to-your-commentary . . .

 

Maybe there are specific things I say/do that send out this vibe, but I can't really know what those things are. Best guesses would be that I just feel very comfortable in my own shoes and I also feel very grateful for the state of my life . . . I openly acknowledge how lucky I am, and if the topic of me working comes up, I comfortably state, "no way, no how, no need" . . . dh's earning power is easily 5x mine, and he'd much rather work a bit more or a bit longer than have me work . . . Lucky me!!  

 

On this topic, as on homeschooling, I really don't leave room for anyone to question me or criticize my family's life choices. The list of people who are entitled to give me their opinions on MY/our life choices is very short, and they know who they are, lol. Anybody who is not on that list and who brushes up against the idea of critiquing my life choices gets very clearly rebuffed, BEFORE they cross the line, and that's that.  

 

I'd suggest working on putting out a mind-your-own-business vibe. Something is wrong in your life that (multiple) people give you this sort of attitude. Maybe talk to a therapist for ideas/insights on better ways to respond that will shut this sort of thing down, and perhaps a therapist can help you work on your "vibe", too. 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 was thinking more about this.   Networking is certainly valuable but unless you know a lot of people in the position to do the actual hiring, how helpful is it really?

 

Dh is a pharmaceutical chemist - an executive level, skilled position.  His jobs have almost always come from head-hunters.

He does get calls from past employees asking if he has positions open and most of the lab people that work for him were hired based on having worked for him in the past - some called him, some he called to see if they were looking.  Not exactly networking but definitely a "who you know".   

 

All of my executive assistant positions (which are decent-paying/higher than average paying based on things I've seen on here in the past) have come from recruiters/agencies.  

 

Neither of us has ever had to go out to dinners in order to get a position.   Are there certain industries where this is more common?

 

ETA:  More common that someone will ONLY be able to get a job by networking on a daily basis by going out to dinner with people?  People really know that many others that are in a position to make decision about hiring?   I generally contact old employers when I need a reference for a new job.

 

Edited by Where's Toto?
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Weird conversations. 

 

I live a pretty easy life by most standards, and I don't work (much -- just a little bit at our family business), and how we pay for all the nice things we have are nobody's business, and certainly whether we deserve to live the way we live, or whether I work or not, is nobody's business at all (outside of me and dh). I can't fathom anyone, ever, saying anything like that to me, ever. I am 100% certain that should anyone ever say anything along those lines to me, I'd be done with that relationship, so it'd be a once-and-over sort of interaction.

 

I feel similarly when someone comments about friends or relatives dissing their homeschooling/parenting choices. Never happens to me . . . 

 

I think I put out a vibe that says mind-your-own-business, confident-and-comfortable-in-my-own-shoes, not-open-to-your-commentary . . .

 

Maybe there are specific things I say/do that send out this vibe, but I can't really know what those things are. Best guesses would be that I just feel very comfortable in my own shoes and I also feel very grateful for the state of my life . . . I openly acknowledge how lucky I am, and if the topic of me working comes up, I comfortably state, "no way, no how, no need" . . . dh's earning power is easily 5x mine, and he'd much rather work a bit more or a bit longer than have me work . . . Lucky me!!  

 

On this topic, as on homeschooling, I really don't leave room for anyone to question me or criticize my family's life choices. The list of people who are entitled to give me their opinions on MY/our life choices is very short, and they know who they are, lol. Anybody who is not on that list and who brushes up against the idea of critiquing my life choices gets very clearly rebuffed, BEFORE they cross the line, and that's that.  

 

I'd suggest working on putting out a mind-your-own-business vibe. Something is wrong in your life that (multiple) people give you this sort of attitude. Maybe talk to a therapist for ideas/insights on better ways to respond that will shut this sort of thing down, and perhaps a therapist can help you work on your "vibe", too. 

 

I must have that same vibe because I've NEVER had a negative interaction about homeschooling or staying at home. I don't know what it is. But commentary on personal decisions and lifestyle just don't happen to me.

 

 

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See, I think that's just nosy. Why do you need frame of reference on, say, how much money your neighbor makes? Or how much your SIL's house cost? Seeking to find out stuff that has no effect on your life just because you're "curious" is just nosiness.

 

The one money-related thing that I wish was not so hidden is expected salary when job-hunting. I'm not even job-hunting in a serious way, but I don't know why so many jobs are not forthcoming about expected salary. Maybe I'm filtering the past, but it seems to me that classified ads for jobs in the old-fashioned newspapers of my youth almost always put expected salary. If it didn't, it was commission-based.

 

 

 

Forbes had an article about this.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidburkus/2016/02/02/why-do-we-keep-salaries-secret/#18010a674df8

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I wouldn't say it is important. I don't really Need to know to continue living my life. But yes it helps me understand specific people and it helps me understand how some people can do certain things...like Creekland.....her post above isn't the first time she has given details that help me know her better.....they like to travel, they are frugal in some ways so they can afford to travel.

 

And when I was younger it helped me figure out the world and I liked to look at various situations and figure out the best approach for me. For instance the bank told us at age 23 that we could afford a MUCH bigger payment than what we wanted. We didn't go that high....but I started looking around and listening to people ( honestly people tell you a lot without any question being asked) and I started to see that many many people lived above their means. So I learned a lot from that.

 

Like most people my age we mostly keep our income a secret. But I do wonder why. So I am being very up front with ds17 about our income and it is really helping him know what a reasonable income is to have a dignified life.

 

 

The way we live right now reflects almost 15 years of financial and life choices we've made, as well as a boatload of undeserved good providence. I don't like trying to explain why we can afford the house we have while I don't work outside of the home because, honestly, a lot of people see it as judgement on their financial choices.  I guess that sounds snobbish, but I also try not to judge what people are wearing or doing if they complain about being broke.  Maybe they aren't really broke and just talk in hyperbole.  Maybe they had a lot of nice stuff before they ran into trouble.  Maybe they are really bad with money but they are grown adults and don't need me butting my nose in.  Who knows?  Who cares?

 

Our income is public record like some of the PPs.  But in order to look at someone's life for a "frame of reference" you have to know a lot more about people than just their income or even saving and spending habits.  It often veers into very personal territory.  What you're talking about above is just basic financial good sense -- not borrowing too much, how much things cost, what is a good income, the average pay for certain jobs, etc. This information can be gotten without knowing other people's specific personal incomes, and income is just going to be one pieces of a hugely complex and personal puzzle.

 

If someone is coming and asking how much of their income they should spend on a mortgage payment, that's very different than asking what I make and how much I pay in rent in order to get some kind of "frame of reference" that would be all but useless unless they have the same circumstances and make the same choices we do. It's also very different to ask how much I'm paying in rent if you're actively looking for a house to rent in this area, rather than come into a someone's house and look around incredulous or in dismay and say, "How much are you paying for this place?".

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Neither of us has ever had to go out to dinners in order to get a position. Are there certain industries where this is more common?

 

ETA: More common that someone will ONLY be able to get a job by networking on a daily basis by going out to dinner with people? People really know that many others that are in a position to make decision about hiring? I generally contact old employers when I need a reference for a new job.

Not on a daily basis and depending on region, international business and international law are two areas that end up with me getting lots of employer paid dinners and a clothing allowance add on to my annual paycheck as I was required to attend. It is a see and be seen industry in many places.

A friend from middle school owns her own law firm (international shipping) and she goes to dinner events to socialize and get clients as well as potential employees. She is always on the look out for potential employees.

 

For example a friend and my BIL were unemployed around the same time and they are both sales engineers. My friend got a job fast through his TGIF drinking buddies while my BIL does not have those kind of connections and was unemployed for a much longer time.

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I'm glad to work in an organisation with publicly-posted salary bands.  Everyone has a grade, and the grades are pretty easy to infer from titles.  The salary levels per grade are shown on the staff website.  They are also specified in hiring advertisements.

 

There's a little leeway, in that there are five bands within each grade, so a more qualified person could start at a higher band.  Hoever, everyone moves up one band each year (absent serious problems) and then stalls - apart from inflationary increases - at the top of the grade.  Thereafter, one can gain extra days of holiday (vacation) for long service, but the only way to increase salary is to get one's job regraded or to move job within the organisation.

 

 

 

 

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I'm glad to work in an organisation with publicly-posted salary bands. Everyone has a grade, and the grades are pretty easy to infer from titles. The salary levels per grade are shown on the staff website. They are also specified in hiring advertisements.

 

There's a little leeway, in that there are five bands within each grade, so a more qualified person could start at a higher band. Hoever, everyone moves up one band each year (absent serious problems) and then stalls - apart from inflationary increases - at the top of the grade. Thereafter, one can gain extra days of holiday (vacation) for long service, but the only way to increase salary is to get one's job regraded or to move job within the organisation.

I'm also a fan of published salary tables; I think it would help with the problem that is common in the States at least where people in the same position with the same responsibilities often have vastly different salaries--a problem that frequently negatively impacts women.

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The way we live right now reflects almost 15 years of financial and life choices we've made, as well as a boatload of undeserved good providence. I don't like trying to explain why we can afford the house we have while I don't work outside of the home because, honestly, a lot of people see it as judgement on their financial choices. I guess that sounds snobbish, but I also try not to judge what people are wearing or doing if they complain about being broke. Maybe they aren't really broke and just talk in hyperbole. Maybe they had a lot of nice stuff before they ran into trouble. Maybe they are really bad with money but they are grown adults and don't need me butting my nose in. Who knows? Who cares?

 

Our income is public record like some of the PPs. But in order to look at someone's life for a "frame of reference" you have to know a lot more about people than just their income or even saving and spending habits. It often veers into very personal territory. What you're talking about above is just basic financial good sense -- not borrowing too much, how much things cost, what is a good income, the average pay for certain jobs, etc. This information can be gotten without knowing other people's specific personal incomes, and income is just going to be one pieces of a hugely complex and personal puzzle.

 

If someone is coming and asking how much of their income they should spend on a mortgage payment, that's very different than asking what I make and how much I pay in rent in order to get some kind of "frame of reference" that would be all but useless unless they have the same circumstances and make the same choices we do. It's also very different to ask how much I'm paying in rent if you're actively looking for a house to rent in this area, rather than come into a someone's house and look around incredulous or in dismay and say, "How much are you paying for this place?".

Right. I have never done that. But I am interested. And I listen to people when they talk. It isn't just about how much they make. It is the whole picture.

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Comparison kills.

 

This!  I tell my kids this all the time.  Comparing never ever made anyone happier; it just breeds discontent, whether you think you're better or worse off.

 

When my kids ask why we can't have this or why someone else doesn't have that, I tell them different families have different priorities bla bla bla.  Of course it's easier to say that to my kids than to adults, but some version of it pretty much holds true for everyone.  Different priorities are not judgments about other people.

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I was thinking more about this.   Networking is certainly valuable but unless you know a lot of people in the position to do the actual hiring, how helpful is it really?

 

Dh is a pharmaceutical chemist - an executive level, skilled position.  His jobs have almost always come from head-hunters.

He does get calls from past employees asking if he has positions open and most of the lab people that work for him were hired based on having worked for him in the past - some called him, some he called to see if they were looking.  Not exactly networking but definitely a "who you know".   

 

All of my executive assistant positions (which are decent-paying/higher than average paying based on things I've seen on here in the past) have come from recruiters/agencies.  

 

Neither of us has ever had to go out to dinners in order to get a position.   Are there certain industries where this is more common?

 

ETA:  More common that someone will ONLY be able to get a job by networking on a daily basis by going out to dinner with people?  People really know that many others that are in a position to make decision about hiring?   I generally contact old employers when I need a reference for a new job.

 

None of this happens with the more "high end" careers in my family or among my friends.

 

It might a little more with those I know in trades or admin type jobs - often those people seem to get connected to jobs in a more personal way.

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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!>

 

 

 

Why? Why would you do that? I get that you were angry and hurt at her comments but striking back like that sounds vengeful - because it is. I'm not going to pretend I've never wanted to tear into someone over a comment they made (in my case it probably would have been about how to properly discipline my child with severe ADHD), but doing so only makes you feel good for a short time. If it actually worked you wouldn't feel the need to come here to vent/rant about it. And it does nothing to help either you or the other person. 

 

By calling someone an entitled brat and deciding that their spending choices are wrong (they are choices and they're no more wrong for her family than yours are for your family), you did to her exactly what you didn't like her doing to you. That's pretty much the definition of vengeful.

 

Revenge. Grudges. Anger. They hurt the person holding on to those feelings much more than they hurt the target. They're poison. 

 

Let go. Pass the bean dip. Laugh it off. Whatever you find works for you. Then turn around and do what you and your dh determine is right for your family. 

Edited by Lady Florida.
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Here is the thing, if what you are doing is working, is quit talking about money to anyone outside of your immediate family.

 

If what you are doing stops working, you need to quit telling yourself that you can't earn money while your husband is out of work.

 

There are options. Are they a pain in the behind? Yes, but that is how the other 90% of the population live day after day.

 

I agree that at minimum wage jobs there is no issue hiring on when you need quick cash and putting in your notice when it is no longer needed.

 

I know a family who raised $30,000 with a gofundme tale of woe. When people questioned why none of the 7 adults in the family could get a job, they said how unethical it would be to hire on just to quit when their fortune changed. Donors didn't buy that excuse, so they just started lying and saying that they all had gotten jobs. They just didn't mention that the jobs were an hour every other week. Yeah, you can tell that ethics is their strong suit.

 

When I want something that isn't in our budget, I quickly find a way to make money. When my older kids were in private school, I worked at a daycare changing diapers during the time they were in school. When I started homeschooling, I had preschool at my house 2 days a week. We did crafts and cooked, read books and the kids played. I made the money for my kids extracurriculars that way. I also homeschooled a neighbor's child full time. This gave us the financial cushion to live the lifestyle I wanted without going into debt.

 

I have an acquaintance who complains about money all of the time. Society is so unfair. Life is so expensive.

 

She has one child who is in school. She never wants to hear it when I suggest working retail during the Christmas rush or walking down the street to the local daycare to work while her kid is in school. There is always a reason why she can't do it. Fine. Live in poverty, but don't expect people to feel sorry for you when you can't pay your bills or your van breaks, or you can't find a house.

 

It isn't fun, but there are options.

 

If your situation is not dire enough for you to need a job, that is good news. Just don't talk about your situation to people, because when you do, they are going to want to point out what you could be doing differently.

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I don't understand the defensiveness. If someone said to me, "It must be nice to be so comfortable," I would agree. If they were more than a casual acquaintance, I might say something about having luck. I wouldn't take it as an insult at all - it IS nice to be comfortable enough to not stress about money!

 

I have had good friends ask how we are able to live on our income, since my dh is not a high-level professional and I don't work. I just say something about keeping our expenses low, and having good luck. For us, this means we buy much of our stuff secondhand and look for deals, we are frugal about food and entertainment, dh has volunteered for deployments to keep us afloat, and we have things like inheritance and rental property which are kind of invisible sources of income, but I don't share any details. They don't really want details. When we sold rental property I did post on FB about paying down our home mortgage, thereby saving us like $125k in interest, but I was giddy about the savings and wanted to share. I had never done the calculations so I hadn't known what a difference it would make to pay so early - and if any of my FB friends were jealous about it, then oh well. Maybe some of them did their own calculations and decided to pay more on their mortgages if they could.

 

My sister & her husband have a very different financial history than I do (despite all of the adults involved coming from frugal upbringings). I wouldn't want their debt, but they wouldn't want my austere lifestyle. They have always been dual income, but have invested more in their home, cars, and entertainment - and you know, I think it works for them. Their kids got to do lots of stuff my kids didn't. We saved and invested, and maybe that will make a huge difference when we retire, but maybe things will even out somehow and they will be glad for the memories they created. We don't talk about money unless it's very non-specific.

 

I get that it can be kind of bewildering to see someone choose to spend a lot of $$ on non-essentials and then complain about being broke, but unless they are actually asking me to give them money, I just sympathize and MYOB. And no one asks us for money - we live modestly enough that I'm sure everyone assumes we are barely scraping by. That's fine with me - I'm not trying to impress anyone with visible wealth. I'd rather them think we are stretched tight, because then their expectations are more in line with our actual spending.

 

 

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Here is the thing, if what you are doing is working, is quit talking about money to anyone outside of your immediate family.

 

If what you are doing stops working, you need to quit telling yourself that you can't earn money while your husband is out of work.

 

There are options. Are they a pain in the behind? Yes, but that is how the other 90% of the population live day after day.

 

[snip]

It isn't fun, but there are options.

 

If your situation is not dire enough for you to need a job, that is good news. Just don't talk about your situation to people, because when you do, they are going to want to point out what you could be doing differently.

 

Right, I think this is what I was trying to get at with my story. 

 

If the OP doesn't need a job or judges the hassle not worth the reward, that's a entirely legit position. We all make choices for ourselves and our families. 

 

I mean, really, if I had been worried about getting ahead financially, I never would have opted to quit working and homeschool my kids. I once made the mistake of adding up how much we "lost" in salary -- even assuming no promotions and no raises other that cost of living adjustments -- in the 20-ish years I was home/mostly home. It was staggering. Now that I'm on the other side of it and facing having to rebuild some semblance of a career, I am forced to admit we will never catch up to where we would have been, financially, if I had kept working. 

 

But we made the choice that it was worth it to us to have me here raising and teaching our kids. 

 

Other people made different choices, based on different priorities. I respect their right to do so, just as I expect they respect mine to do my thing in the way I deem appropriate for my own situation.

 

So, sure, no one has the "right" to tell OP she "needs" to get a job. That decision is clearly up to her and her partner. 

 

But I react badly when people start suggesting that they "can't" do things that are, in fact, done by tons of other people all the time, things that may be difficult -- and may not be the best choice for a given family's situation -- but that are far from impossible.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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Things are fairly tight for us due to our life choices (like homeschooling) and my chronic illness which limits my choices as well as costs a lot of money.  But it is so relative.   Because honestly, we could move into smaller housing in a less nice part of town etc.  All of my friends whether they are worse off than us or better off than us (which again is so hard to tell) complain at times about times being tight and right now because it is tax season, about how much we have to spend in taxes.  We all commiserate with each other.  No one is actually trying to one-up each other in how bad we have it (which can be just as much a game as the "how good we have it" game).  And if someone complains a bit too much, then someone might want to provide some perspective by pointing out the good things we have as well.  And I would agree with that. 

 

Edited to say that I wonder if the OP has been playing the "how bad we have it" game again.  That would certainly make some people want to point out solutions like getting a job because frankly, people get tired of constant complaining when people aren't also looking for solutions. 

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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Weird conversations.

 

I live a pretty easy life by most standards, and I don't work (much -- just a little bit at our family business), and how we pay for all the nice things we have are nobody's business, and certainly whether we deserve to live the way we live, or whether I work or not, is nobody's business at all (outside of me and dh). I can't fathom anyone, ever, saying anything like that to me, ever. I am 100% certain that should anyone ever say anything along those lines to me, I'd be done with that relationship, so it'd be a once-and-over sort of interaction.

 

I feel similarly when someone comments about friends or relatives dissing their homeschooling/parenting choices. Never happens to me . . .

 

I think I put out a vibe that says mind-your-own-business, confident-and-comfortable-in-my-own-shoes, not-open-to-your-commentary . . .

 

Maybe there are specific things I say/do that send out this vibe, but I can't really know what those things are. Best guesses would be that I just feel very comfortable in my own shoes and I also feel very grateful for the state of my life . . . I openly acknowledge how lucky I am, and if the topic of me working comes up, I comfortably state, "no way, no how, no need" . . . dh's earning power is easily 5x mine, and he'd much rather work a bit more or a bit longer than have me work . . . Lucky me!!

 

On this topic, as on homeschooling, I really don't leave room for anyone to question me or criticize my family's life choices. The list of people who are entitled to give me their opinions on MY/our life choices is very short, and they know who they are, lol. Anybody who is not on that list and who brushes up against the idea of critiquing my life choices gets very clearly rebuffed, BEFORE they cross the line, and that's that.

 

I'd suggest working on putting out a mind-your-own-business vibe. Something is wrong in your life that (multiple) people give you this sort of attitude. Maybe talk to a therapist for ideas/insights on better ways to respond that will shut this sort of thing down, and perhaps a therapist can help you work on your "vibe", too.

I have never had people do me that way either....questioning my choices or be judgy with me. I feel like you do....I am confident in my life decisions and happy with things and I just wouldn't care if anyone disagreed.

 

I don't mind sharing some details about money....but if I didn't want to I would not feel bad shutting them down.

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 So, sure, no one has the "right" to tell OP she "needs" to get a job. That decision is clearly up to her and her partner.

  

 Edited to say that I wonder if the OP has been playing the "how bad we have it" game again.  That would certainly make some people want to point out solutions like getting a job because frankly, people get tired of constant complaining when people aren't also looking for solutions.

 

Here if someone's spouse is still unemployed after 6 months, friends and relatives would start asking the employed spouse to supplement their income with a freelance/weekend job or for the SAHP to pick up a job. So it depends on whether the person asking/commenting is aware of how long OP's husband has been unemployed and is just genuinely concerned.

 

When a friend was unemployed with no mortgage and they don't have any children, people did ask his wife (also our friend) to try to get a part time job after her husband wasn't able to get any job offers after 6 months. California's unemployment benefit was $450/week and the COBRA quoted was around $550 per person. She did get a part time job as her husband was unemployed a year before getting a job offer.

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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.

 

 

 

Ok, I have not read all the responses, but I agree with you, and I disagree with you.

 

Parts I agree with- What the stranger said was rude. I would not go back to work if my dh was out of a job. It would not be worth it for us, so I understand where you are coming from. I truly commend you for how wise you have been with finances.

 

Parts I disagree with- You shared too much. How a stranger knows that your dh is out of a job, and you don't work, I do not understand. Since you were so open the stranger probably felt they could be just as open (it still was rude of them). You were rude to the stranger, too. You said she assumed things about you having your house payed off. Well, you did a lot of assuming about her as well. You don't know if someone gave her that nice phone, or got it refurbished, etc...You don't know if she shops second hand stores, great sales, or Walmart, but just happens to know how to put it all together to look more expensive than it is. She might do her own nails and hair or have a friend that does them. People think I look "put together". I do many of the above things. Little do people know that the amazing ombre effect I have in my hair ;) cost me only $6 to do myself. 

 

I understand your frustration, and right now things are very stressful, I'm sure. You should maybe just refrain from money conversations, especially right now. 

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I wouldn't say it is important. I don't really Need to know to continue living my life. But yes it helps me understand specific people and it helps me understand how some people can do certain things...like Creekland.....her post above isn't the first time she has given details that help me know her better.....they like to travel, they are frugal in some ways so they can afford to travel.

 

And when I was younger it helped me figure out the world and I liked to look at various situations and figure out the best approach for me. For instance the bank told us at age 23 that we could afford a MUCH bigger payment than what we wanted. We didn't go that high....but I started looking around and listening to people ( honestly people tell you a lot without any question being asked) and I started to see that many many people lived above their means. So I learned a lot from that.

 

Like most people my age we mostly keep our income a secret. But I do wonder why. So I am being very up front with ds17 about our income and it is really helping him know what a reasonable income is to have a dignified life.

Well...but you said, "I just HAVE to know stuff." 😉 not to quibble. But that's what you said.

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I can see why 'It must be nice' is hard to hear, because it discounts the very hard work and sacrifices that created the result that 'must be nice'. 

I wouldn't go off on someone who said it to me, but it would be a difficult conversation to continue at that point.

 

'I'm so happy for you' is not the 'ring' of that kind of comment.

 

ETA:  The ring of that kind of comment is snark, resentment, and/or jealousy. 

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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I must have that same vibe because I've NEVER had a negative interaction about homeschooling or staying at home. I don't know what it is. But commentary on personal decisions and lifestyle just don't happen to me.

 

Ditto.  I get comments of envy - folks wishing they could do what we do whether it's farm life, homeschooling, part time working (for me) and/or travel, but I've never had anyone condemn my choices IRL.  I think my vibe stops it.

 

Comparison kills.

 

Not only that, but it's our differences in priorities that keep our world running so smoothly.  I'm not supporting any clothing manufacturer or sales outlet by myself.  I'm not even doing my share (what an average person buys), but I want something to buy when I DO shop.  Folks buying more than average help with that.  Someone else might barely travel or camp or eat out, but if they needed a motel/campground or restaurant they'd want one to be open.

 

Folks who have loans from banks let others with savings earn money.  Folks who invest in properties help others have rentals.  Folks who buy (anything) help those who make/ship/sell those things - from new cars to used cars to trinkets.  Folks who use services keep those folks employed.

 

I could go on and on.  Our differences in priorities keep all sorts of choices out there - and affordable.  If we all wanted the same thing, not many of us could afford it.

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The link did not work for some reason. But that would be interesting to look at.

The link works on my phone too. Forbes webpages generally works on my kids windows laptop too but we are not using any ad blocker.

Edited by Arcadia
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