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User Topic: Financial Responsibility
Amazonia
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Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 8:41 PM, May 27th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was at dinner tonight alone and eavesdropping on the couple at the next table. They were planning their summer of travel, which he was hesitant about, because, in his words, they couldn't afford it. She blew off his concerns, said that the money would come back to pay for it eventually, and that she refused to die wishing she had done more. He accepted this with very little exception.

It reminded me of several friends my age who travel very regularly. Two friends in particular have similar salaries to mine. Both pay more than I do in rent, both go out more often than I do. I don't have extra money to travel every month or every other month, so I don't understand how they do. One has told me he pays for the trips out of his student loans. The other may have her parents helping. I don't judge how they choose to spend their finances, I just don't think I could live the same way.

Growing up, my parents didn't use credit. I mean, they had credit cards, but they paid them off in full every month, never carried a balance. They paid off their first mortgage early and then kept making "payments" to a separate account so they hardly needed a mortgage when they moved after 15 years. They buy their cars outright in cash.

I have, for the most part, been living the same way I was raised. I have some educational debt, but have worked my tail off to pay that down after I moved back to the states and anticipate paying it off in full soon. The only loan I have left has a lower interest rate than my savings account's interest rate, so I'm making minimum payments on that (it kills me though, because I have the money in the bank to pay it off if I wanted and I HATE having debt).

I feel like the odd man out in my social circle, maybe in our society? I'm not sure. Is the way I live really so unusual? I just ... I can't imagine taking vacations I can't afford or whatever. I understand that debt happens sometimes when people can't help it, because of life circumstances, but the frivolous stuff is what I struggle to understand. I mean, this couple was planning 4 trips between now and September, and his argument was that they only could really afford to take 2, based in what was in the bank. She was insisting in putting the others on credit and kept saying they would be paid off by next summer.

He asked, "what if...?" And her response was that worst case scenario one of them might get sick and end up in the hospital with a pile of medical bills and then there wouldn't be enough money no matter what, so what did it matter?

Am I too uptight about finances?


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13791 | Registered: Jul 2011
Amazonia
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Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 8:43 PM, May 27th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just talking aloud I guess


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13791 | Registered: Jul 2011
kernel
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Member # 27035
Default  Posted: 8:56 PM, May 27th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would say you are a rarity when it comes to finances, definitely not too uptight. You have to live your own values and beliefs, not those of the people around you. I think it's amazing.


"On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good."

Posts: 5243 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: Midwest
Whalers11
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Default  Posted: 8:58 PM, May 27th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Are you too uptight? That's subjective. But I do agree that being financially responsible in our age group is more unusual than it is not.

I have been to both extremes. I have been incredibly financially irresponsible, and have had to be incredibly financially responsible to dig myself out of that hole. Neither end of the spectrum was for me.

It took visiting both ends of the spectrum for me to find a reasonable balance. I do not want to spend my life pinching pennies. But I don't want to go into deep debt just to have "fun" either.


Me: BGF - 33
Together 11+ years - not married, no children.
D-Day: 2/9/2010
OC Born: 10/9/2010
Status: He chose OW/OC and left immediately.

Posts: 2252 | Registered: Feb 2010
Mama_of_3_Kids
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Member # 26651
Default  Posted: 8:59 PM, May 27th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

As someone who has a lot of debt you live the way I wish we would have started out as. If we could do it over, we would have saved more when we were first M, never bought our firs house, and would have had enough cash in the bank to pay for the large amount of medical bills we are currently dealing with. I think people live with too much debt and not enough saving, unfortunately


Me: FBW/30 Him: FWH/33 The kidlets: DS13, DS10, and DD8 The hounds: Four Shih Tzu's
Finally, completely R'd
Clothed in strength and dignity, with nothing to fear, she smiles when she thinks about the future.~Proverbs 31:25

Posts: 11583 | Registered: Dec 2009
Dark Inertia
Member
Member # 30727
Default  Posted: 9:12 PM, May 27th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Someone at work gave me an earful about this very topic the other day. Bear in mind, we were having a fairly candid conversation. We were talking about finances and I said something to the effect of "After paying my bills, buying groceries, putting money into savings, and gas I am barely scrimping by!" The person I was speaking with was offended, because he latched onto the part where I said "put money into savings". We put roughly 18% of our net income into savings every month. To him, because we are putting ANY money into savings, we are not living paycheck to paycheck.

He said the vast majority of people in our age bracket truly are barely making it, and the idea of having anything left over to sock into a savings is a stretch for many. Needless to say, I ended up feeling bad, because I knew he was right. We are NOT scrimping by. We have not paid a dime in interest in so long I couldn't say when, and we use our credit card every single day. If we want something we save for it, and then buy it. It's just I have grown into this mentality that I AM ALWAYS BROKE because I feel like if I don't have that thought process then I will spend.

I just recently got this new job and went through this excruciating background check. The recruiter basically told me that if anything is in open collections they cannot employ the person. I have been fortunate in that I have never gone negative in my checking account, much less have anything in collections. But I know when it comes to my friends the majority of them are either in serious debt or are scraping by.

Oh, and another story, lol... the woman who sits next to me at my temp job told me that she has filed for bankruptcy TWO times!! And she said as soon as this one is up she is FILING AGAIN.


[This message edited by Dark Inertia at 9:16 PM, May 27th (Monday)]


"If I listened earlier, I wouldn't be here. But that's just the trouble with me. I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it."

Posts: 1280 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: The Ohio
Williesmom
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Default  Posted: 9:14 PM, May 27th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Money was a huge issue with wxh and I.

He was the spender, I was the person paying for it all. I think that you're unusual in that you're frugal at your age, but your spending habits won't come back to bite you in the ass later!


You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister. -George Costanza
There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women. - Madeleine Albright

Posts: 7761 | Registered: Feb 2009 | From: Western PA
Dreamboat
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Default  Posted: 9:23 PM, May 27th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I used to be the man in that couple that you spoke about. My X ALWAYS wanted to take more vacations, do more, etc etc. I gave in in order to have "fun" (and note that in the end he said I was no "run" -- asshole).

I grew up in a houosehold similar to yours -- my parents were fiscally responsible and we only did things that we could really afford. They had no credit card debt but they put 6 kids thru college. They had their heads on strait. Meanwhile, my X's family had lots of stuff and lots of debt that they often could not pay.

I left my M with awful credit and a huge boatload of debt. But I had a good job and I leaned on what my parents taught me. Now I have no debt and great credit. And no vacations -- go figure.

Ama, you are doing exactly what you should be doing. You won't have to wrry about paying the electric bill because you decided to go the the beach (BTDT). When you are ready to buy a house then you will have the money to buy what you want and need. When you are ready to retire, then you will be able to do so without having to get a lousy job as a Walmart greeter or something equally disagreeable.

Sure, vacations are fun. But in the end they do not matter. We took all of those vacations but I only remember the really bad ones (funny, those all seem to involve his family...). Now I don't take vacations but I will be sending my DD to college which is what my parent's would have wanted. No question, I am doing the right thing. And you are too


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17679 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
Amazonia
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Default  Posted: 9:40 PM, May 27th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is more of a NB topic than OT, but finances have been an issue in my romantic relationships. My mom is the frugal one and gives my dad a limited allowance every month. He's never seemed to mind, but I don't want to be that woman if I ever get into another relationship. Most guys my age are ... well, they're less frugal than me. I don't want to be the one always saying no, but that's honestly how I live my life. I don't say yes to myself, how could I ever say yes to someone else? But I don't want to be that person, you know?

It's funny, I don't even have a budget. I just don't spend money. It goes into savings and I feel guilty every single time I go out, or buy a pair of shoes at Payless, or groceries at target, because I feel like I'm wasting money.

I have grown into this mentality that I AM ALWAYS BROKE because I feel like if I don't have that thought process then I will spend.

I can relate to this.

I think what I struggle with is the extent to which I stress out over money. It seems like I'm losing out on all fronts - I'm not having fun and I'm crazy stressed over money, meanwhile the "irresponsible" (I know how judgmental that is, and I hate that I even feel that way) people around me are having fun and don't seem to worry at all.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13791 | Registered: Jul 2011
WakingFromADream
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Member # 33934
Default  Posted: 10:18 PM, May 27th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

people around me are having fun and don't seem to worry at all.

They don't worry because they haven't had to deal with the consequences yet. Spending money that someone is seemingly giving you is easy. You get the reward now and don't see the consequences for years potentially.


Me(35) XWW(36) DS(7) DD 11/16/11 EA(PA?) M 11y D 9/3/13

Don't make anyone a priority when you are only an option.


Posts: 1148 | Registered: Nov 2011
IRN2006
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Member # 23717
Default  Posted: 6:43 AM, May 28th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Amazonia-

We also live like you. We pay for cars in cash and have no debt other than our mortgage. My parents told me with the exception of a house, if you didn't have cash for it, you couldn't afford to buy it.

We were fortunate that we had help for college, and our children will have the same.

But we also did our part. We lived in crappy apartments, drove old cars (I think a 15 yo car is old), and worked.

Our family lives a very a-typical life. No cable. We eat out once a month, twice at the most. I spend $100-150 on my kids for Christmas and birthdays. We don't have cell phone plans (We do prepaid.) My DH finally bought a tablet. It's the first in the household. We still are using some of our college furniture. We started college two decades ago.

Now, we really do behave like we are a "have." Our kids go to private school. We do vacation every year. Some years, it's 4 weeks. But, it's only because we don't spend.

I know it was unsexy, but one of my criteria for marriage partner is that he had to be a saver. Avoiding fights about money was that important to me.

We live in a higher MCOLA. It's not as bad as DC, Boston, but it is pricy. Daycare for an infant runs 1500/month and our property taxes are closer to NJ than flyover zone.

If we had to, we could strip down our budget and support a family of 5 on 2K/month. My night job income covers half of that. We've got enough that we'd never, ever lose our house. Even if I was unemployed at my day job for over 3 years.

I derive great comfort from knowing that we can weather most storms. I know we are not the norm. That's OK. I can live with being abnormal with finances.


Posts: 1296 | Registered: Apr 2009
phmh
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Default  Posted: 6:44 AM, May 28th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm also way more like you, which IS very odd for our age.

I grew up poor, and refuse to be poor as an adult. It can be difficult to strike the right balance where you are enjoying life now but also saving enough to enjoy life in the future.

There is a great book "Your Money or Your Life" that talks about the trap most people fall into, and while the authors are a bit extreme for my taste, the general theme of the book sticks with me.


Me: BW, divorced, now fabulous and happy!

Married: 11 years, no kids

Character is destiny


Posts: 3402 | Registered: Dec 2011
Bobbi_sue
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Member # 10347
Default  Posted: 7:01 AM, May 28th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I believe in financial responsibility and it actually pisses me off that many people just buy on credit and have no worries...like somebody who has filed bankruptcy more than once! One of my step-DDs went bankrupt and they make double the money we do. I think it is likely going to happen again. You have never seen someone with so much stuff they don't need. But they buy everything under the sun and they sure as heck don't "deprive themselves" of any vacations or any other spur of the moment thing they want.

I was also raised to be responsible, and I figured out early in life that the less debt you have, the better. Even "0% interest" loans can be a catch...if it encourages you to borrow for something that you might be better off without...and without the payment.

My H and I have had some serious issues over differences in the way we spend and manage money. I fully believe he would have gone bankrupt if I had not come into his life when I did, because he had no clue his credit cards were out of control and would NEVER say no to his DD whenever she wanted something...he bought it on credit. He did the same for himself, and would have for me too, but fortunately for him, I saw that was not a good thing, especially if we were to be married.

And whenever I brought this up he would say: "I work hard for my money and I deserve to get what I want." It took me many years to get him to finally understand that no matter how hard he works, he does not "deserve" to spend more than he makes on a regular basis. It just does not make sense to do that and it is irresponsible.

My H loves to travel and I have learned to enjoy this quite a bit too, but he now understands that if we don't have the money saved up in the bank for the travel, we are NOT going to take a trip.
The idea of borrowing money for a vacation is a huge turnoff for me and I would not do it.

The one thing many people don't understand is how a married couple can have separate finances, but to a great extent, we do, and I don't think our M would have survived the first year if I didn't get a separate checking account. We have some shared bills and share our property, but when he buys "stuff" and vehicles and borrows money (which he does) I make him pay for it out of his own money. I save up for my vehicles and pay cash rather than borrowing. Most people in the same income range as we are see this as impossible, yet it just takes a little planning and discipline in my opinion.

In some ways we live modestly and in other ways, I'm sure some think we live "well." (This is on two teacher's salaries and I am not talking high end teacher's salaries).


Posts: 5760 | Registered: Apr 2006
StillGoing
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Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 8:21 AM, May 28th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's funny, I don't even have a budget. I just don't spend money. It goes into savings and I feel guilty every single time I go out, or buy a pair of shoes at Payless, or groceries at target, because I feel like I'm wasting money.

I'm not sure this is the same as frugality. It took my wife awhile to get past feeling guilty buying something for herself even when we could afford it. It can definitely help save money, but IMO it's like the difference between establishing a healthy diet and just scaling back to 500 calories a day because even looking at a cake makes you feel guilty.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7469 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Betrayal
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Member # 9898
Default  Posted: 8:31 AM, May 28th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have grown into this mentality that I AM ALWAYS BROKE because I feel like if I don't have that thought process then I will spend.

I also relate to this statement. Maybe, the guy at the table thinks like this as well. I learned alot from my xh about financial responsibility, and almost everyone I know are of a similar mindset(most of them in their 40's), you may just be ahead of the curve and that's a GOOD thing. I love Dave Ramsey, save, give, spend. There are not enough parents teaching their children financial responsibility, mine didn't, and my now H's didn't again could be generational, in these times you cannot afford NOT to think about your future, and make the necessary sacrifices now


Me,38 BS
Divorced
Married
DS Born 9/6/10

Posts: 2220 | Registered: Feb 2006 | From: IL
Amazonia
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Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 8:39 AM, May 28th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

StillGoing, I wasn't always like this, with no budget. Just since the D. I hit double digits in my bank account after XH left, and since then it's been an uphill battle to rebuild savings. The day I hit 3 months living expenses in the bank my bff and I went out to celebrate. I can't seem to shake that panicked feeling that I got from those several months following the D now.

I have a tuition savings account (I took loans for the program I'm in now, but plan to pay them off in full the day they come due, and have the money in the bank) and even transferring money out of it to pay for tuition last week made me feel like I was going to throw up.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13791 | Registered: Jul 2011
Amazonia
♀ Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 9:07 AM, May 28th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I know it was unsexy, but one of my criteria for marriage partner is that he had to be a saver. Avoiding fights about money was that important to me.

I think I need to think long and hard about this. All of my significant romantic relationships have been with spenders. In one way, having been brought up in a household where we were constantly told "no" it feels really good to let someone take care of me financially, and it's easy to put blinders on and assume that because a guy spends freely, it means he can afford to do so responsibly. On the other hand, it has inevitably caused conflict in those relationships in the long term, because the free spending was rarely done responsibly.

I think it may be time to break out my budget spreadsheets and start tracking what I'm spending, where, and why. Maybe what I'm struggling with so much is feeling like I'm not in control of my own finances, just kind of willy-nilly saving if you will. (who would have thought that being an impulsive saver could cause me so much stress? )

[This message edited by Amazonia at 9:07 AM, May 28th (Tuesday)]


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13791 | Registered: Jul 2011
idiot85
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Member # 38934
Default  Posted: 9:55 AM, May 28th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I love spreadsheets!! I have incoming and outgoings on excel... =SUM is my friend.

I think because the Mrs and I work on commission is so important to be careful. My wife says it's like an allowance because I give a drip feed salary- that's right, not allowance- a drip feed salary!!

Some months we could both bring 9 grand in but then maybe only a few hundred quid the next.. so... it's sensible to give ourselves a a salary. Then I started a sweep so when the balance hit's a certain point it gets automatically swept into our savings account.

Our credit cards get paid off in full each month because- why should I line some wanker's...ahem... I mean Banker's pocket!!

I enjoy managing my finances and feeling productive. God I sound like the inland revenue advert "tax doesn't have to be taxing".


BH-29 (me)
WW-28

Multi famam, conscientiam, pauci verentur.


Posts: 575 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Old Blighty
Crescita
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Default  Posted: 12:01 PM, May 28th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Itís different for me, I donít see spenders or savers, I just see different priorities. For me, travel is a big priority; eating out with friends is a big priority, saving is also a priority, I just cut other corners. Putting a few thousand on a credit card doesnít panic me if I can see the payoff date. I still have money in savings, I have a super low APR, I can cut back on daily spending to help absorb it quickly. My WXH would panic; he didnít like to stop the bleed, the trips to the convenience store, the fast food, spending on entertainment, etc...

It actually really aggravates me when people make assumptions about how irresponsible I am or think I make so much money based on how I spend on just a few things. Itís my money, my debt, my priorities. Itís tough sorting it out in relationships, it seems Iím a bit atypical in my spending habits.


Posts: 3441 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
Weatherly
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Default  Posted: 2:07 PM, May 28th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It actually really aggravates me when people make assumptions about how irresponsible I am or think I make so much money based on how I spend on just a few things. Itís my money, my debt, my priorities.

This! My family is ALWAYS broke, all of them. My dad makes the same amount as my husband (or close to it). My parents started buying their $40k house 20 years ago, with a 10 yr mortgage, and since then, have remortaged it a couple times, to pay bills, and recently just refinanced to get a lower interest rate...with a 30 yr mortgage. My siblings are much the same way. I learned to be frugal, and my husband is VERY responsible with money. We took 9 trips last year. No debt for any of them. We both got "new" to us vehicles with in the last 2 years. Aussie's Jeep ended up being almost free after we traded in the Rav4, and my truck...everybody assumes is new or close to it. It's 12 yrs old. Our savings account is doing well.

We purposely chose recently not to get a bigger house, because more space to clean was not a priority for us, but traveling was. Doing fun stuff was. So, we keep our little house, with the payments cheaper than most rent, and the kids share a room, and Aussie's office is in our bedroom. I have the smallest house out of everyone I know, and we get picked on for it, since we are so "rich" but don't have a bigger house.

i don't have a credit card, but Aussie has a dozen, most of them paid off.

And, we deal with a lot of assumptions, a lot of my family assuming we are either rich (we're not, again, rich us and poor dad have the same income.) or that we are irresponsible with money. Again, not true. I mean, I bought a Coach purse, second hand, quite inexpensively. My sister saw it and got mad at me for being irresponsible and spending $200 on a purse. I spent $20. When I had a recent problem with the suspension on my truck and a $1500 bill, I got told maybe I should have bought a used car.

I don't think you are too uptight, and the guy using his student loan money for trips is being stupid. If the other people have parents who want to finance their lifestyle, well, more power to them, I suppose. I wouldn't be happy either of those ways. But, we are pretty happy to make double the minimum payments on our bills, rather than triple and still go places and do things. Just because you see a portion of someone's life doesn't mean you see it all.

The person I was speaking with was offended, because he latched onto the part where I said "put money into savings". We put roughly 18% of our net income into savings every month. To him, because we are putting ANY money into savings, we are not living paycheck to paycheck.
He said the vast majority of people in our age bracket truly are barely making it, and the idea of having anything left over to sock into a savings is a stretch for many. Needless to say, I ended up feeling bad, because I knew he was right. We are NOT scrimping by

I have to be careful with this too, so I'm not offending people. A lot of times I feel like we are broke, but, like I said, that is because we save a good portion, and make double payments on things. So, when my sister has a Mary Kay party, I just don't go, because she gets mad at me when I say "I can't afford that." However, saying "I choose to not make make up a priority in my life and am happy with the $6 Cover girl stuff." it opens the door for the "why isn't your skin a priority?" lecture.

[This message edited by Weatherly at 2:08 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)]


Me-29,Two boys, 10 and 9

It will all be ok in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end

Happily remarried to a wonderful man (Aussie). I think I found the right guy and the right finger this time.


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