Our Relationships with Money

Tubing

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!!  I can’t believe it’s been a year since my Independence Day post and my watermelon margarita keg!  It’s so great to be an American and we are so blessed to call this land our home!

We recently had some family visit for the weekend from Florida.  It was their first time in this city and we were super excited about their short visit!  One thing’s for sure, though… when you have visitors, you always end up spending a little extra dough ::sigh::  More interestingly, however, is that you can’t help but observe how others spend their money and how their relationship with money is so different than yours.

The last thing I want for this post is for it to come off like I’m just talking crap about my family.  That’s absolutely not my intention.  Everyone is different and everyone chooses to spend their money how they please, as they should.  However, there’s that side of you that’s just yearning to knock some sense into people and get them on their own path to FI.  You just have to know who’s ready for it and who’s not, who can handle it and who can’t.  Unfortunately, in this case, it just wasn’t that time and I had to bite my tongue.

Most of us here don’t like throwing money down the drain.  We don’t eat out excessively, and when we do, we order just enough.  We don’t waste ANYTHING.  Every last bite of food gets eaten, unless somehow some fruit gets moldy wayyyy too fast, but even then you salvage the portions that haven’t been destroyed.  Our kids are required to finish all of the food on their plates, but in the rare occasion they don’t and we allow it (because deep down we know we probably wouldn’t have eaten that as a kid either), we either finish the plate off ourselves, or we store it in the fridge for later or tomorrow.  It’s second nature, right?!  Things get reused, recycled, repurposed, reheated, etc etc etc.  Leftovers are the BEST!  And whenever we can get some kind of discount or better deal on something, you better believe we’re gonna take it (except for coupon clipping, we’ve just never really gotten into that in this house).  That’s just the way life is and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

So anyway, back to my family.  The different dynamic was interesting.  Here are just a few examples:

  • While ordering dinner at a fast-food type restaurant, there was a sign that said if you order online you get 25% off.  There was another sign that said military get 20% off.  I was fine with the 20% and didn’t feel the need to download the app and order online to save a few cents on what would be a pretty cheap dinner bill.  My brother, however, did order online and got 25% off.  My cousin could have cared less about any discount, she actually kind of made fun of my brother for ordering online (while standing in the restaurant).  She said, “I’m not that cheap.”
  • My kids drink water at restaurants, unless we decide on a kid’s meal that includes a drink and milk is an option.  You better believe I’m not paying extra for some overpriced, sugary fountain drink.  I don’t even think they’ve ever really tasted soda.  If they have, they don’t like it because they’ve never once requested it.  But I noticed my nephews were drinking soda.  What 3 year old needs soda?!?!  If you’ve been following me and know I’m a little food/nutrition crazy… then you’ll understand how much this bothered me…besides the fact that it cost extra to buy it.  I’m over here like, “Five water cups, please!”  Haha.
  • Just before leaving, we noticed my cousin’s plate was full of rice and beans, and there was an ENTIRE untouched taco wrapped in foil sitting on top that she was ready to throw away.  Say what?!  DTG and my brother had no shame at all… they took the taco home with my brother’s leftovers and DTG ate all of the food off of her plate.  Like straight up wiped the plate clean.  No shame!  I think she was surprised.  Maybe that was a good demonstration of how wasting food doesn’t fly around here.
  • She left the house just to drive to Dunkin’ Donuts to buy a small coffee… at 8PM!  I offered her instant coffee we had at home, but I guess it wasn’t good enough :/  And then by bedtime, half the cup of coffee was sitting cold in the cup.  She dumped it out in the sink.  What a waste of gas, time, money, and coffee 😦
  • While the coffee was sitting there, she asked about the wine we had.  We opened the bottle of wine, poured ourselves a glass, and watched a movie.  After the movie ended and we were heading to bed, the glass of wine was virtually untouched.  She had maybe taken one sip.  I asked her, “Woman, can you finish ANYTHING?!”  She kind of laughed it off… I don’t even remember what she said.  We all kind of teased her a bit.  Afraid she’d dump out perfectly good wine, I said, “Put it in the fridge, I’ll drink it tomorrow.”  And you better believe I did! 😉

Little examples like this just show how people’s relationships with money differ so vastly from ours.  So is it surprising that they’re knee-deep in credit card debt, probably have very little to no savings, and live back home with mom at the age of 31?  I can’t imagine they are thrilled with their financial situations.  So why are they okay with all this waste and excessive/unnecessary spending?

I think some people just really don’t believe that you’ll ever get rich by saving a couple bucks here and there.  Or skipping the lattes and packing your lunch.  But it’s not that those things necessarily get you rich, it’s having that mentality that gets you rich.  Simply being conscious of spending less and wasting nothing, believing that LESS IS MORE.

Besides those little observations, we had a truly wonderful time!  It’s always fun catching up with family and doing fun things together.  We took them tubing and they absolutely loved it!

So does anybody else witness wasteful spending with family or friends that makes you want to cringe a little inside?

20 thoughts on “Our Relationships with Money

  1. Julie@ChooseBetterLife says:

    It’s hard to watch others make decisions that I wouldn’t make. I try to be supportive, but if they ask my opinion, then game on. Around here there have been plenty of new cars at family gatherings. Somehow they always seem to belong to people who are always talking about being broke and a few who have even filed for bankruptcy. They had to get pretty creative with financing their new cars after filing, but they made it happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mrs. DTG says:

      Yeah, that’s always interesting! We notice that A LOT, as well. And their kids have Jordans and Nikes on while mine are wearing hand-me-down shoes or ones that were on 70% clearance at the nearby Skechers warehouse. We have no one to impress haha.

      Like

  2. MrFireStation says:

    Good post & observations. I’ve been early retired (@age 49) for 3 months now and had lunch with a former boss who can’t seem to get there. She said she didn’t have the advantages I had – we only had one child & I made it a bit further up the executive ladder. At the same time, they have a nice “lake home”, both her & her husband work (my wife stayed home), and they are 5-6 years older than us (more years to accrue). I’m always surprised how easily people can rationalize away the advantages they have.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. upnorthinvestor says:

    Yes We saw it this weekend too!!! my Sister and Brother-In-:Law earn about 2/3rds to half of what we make (guessing knowing what they do) they have a nice home, a new car and truck, and just got a New 27+ foot camper, they stay at private campgrounds, and spent plenty, we have older vehicles, and a nice home (though modest) we have a camper too, but ours is 16′ and Paid cash at Auction for it. Being in the Northwoods of wisconsin we get to see all the Excess, it seems like everyone in Minocqua WI for the 4th has a new $50 truck and a $60K Wake Board Boat. eat every meal out, and rent a $2500/week cabin. We make our self rich by making our wants few. I’d rather buy income producing things (assets) than toys for instant gratification. no Debt = Freedom!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mrs. DTG says:

      Exactly! Isn’t it so frustrating, all the keeping up with the Joneses?! Sounds like you guys have fun over there in WI, though! We’ve only been there once! Keep spending money on those assets!

      Liked by 1 person

      • upnorthinvestor says:

        We are fortunate enough to live in vacation land. But winter is long here. I’m hoping I can work my rental and flip mix to create enough cash flow to winter in a warmer climate once the kids are done with high school, 7 years to go.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. mdbyfire says:

    I absolutely sympathize with you! A couple I know has a preoccupation with “toys” — new shoes, kitchen gadgets, hiking gear, exotic vacations, adding a pool, etc. Meanwhile, they worried when one of them was out of work due to illness, because of the loss of income! It drives me mad, because I can only imagine the possibilities with that kind of expendable income.

    Also, that tubing looks an awful lot like south Texas, but then, I may just be imposing my own views on the setting.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Graham @ Reverse the Crush says:

    Nice post Mrs. DTG!
    I always find it interesting to see others relationship with money too. It’s also a touchy subject for most, especially family. And although I use to provide financial advice for a living while working for a bank, I steer clear of talking about it with family unless they ask me first. It essentially comes down to values. Several of my immediate family members are car fanatics and will constantly recycle new cars. I always want to tell them they could be financially free if they would only give up their new, expensive cars…but they probably think I’m crazy for not driving at all. In the end all you can do is live your own way and help them when they ask. That’s my strategy because it’s far better off than questioning them, at least in my own experience. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mrs. DTG says:

      Yep, you are so right! I bite my tongue all the time. There are some people that bring it up and really want to learn, and others you know you just shouldn’t even get close to the subject. Hope you have a great weekend!!

      Like

  6. our next life says:

    I never really care how people choose to spend their money, but man, waste makes me CRAZY. I don’t care if you have all the money in the world, it’s not okay to waste resources like that. So I don’t blame you for letting that get under your skin a bit, and even speaking up! I’ve been known to tell people, when watching them about to purchase bottled water at an airport, “There’s a water fountain right over there!” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mrs. DTG says:

      Seriously, waste is my biggest pet peeve. Besides horrible spelling hahaha! I am the same way. On the rare occasion I go out to lunch with coworkers, I’m always cringing when they only eat half their plate and leave the rest there to get thrown away. Meanwhile I’m basically licking the plate clean lol

      Like

  7. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor says:

    My husband and I were just talking about this topic–how differently people view and handle money. Waste is a huge pet peeve for me, which isn’t to say I never waste anything, but I try not to! I’m always quoting the old “waste not, want not” to my family and close friends. I love this quote from the article: “But it’s not that those things necessarily get you rich, it’s having that mentality that gets you rich.” It really is a larger mindset that moves you toward financial goals, or further away from them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mrs. DTG says:

    Yep, totally agree! So true! Some waste is inevitable, but avoiding it as much as possible and not making it a habit is key. I don’t even waste my meat bones…. chicken bones, pork bones, beef bones, etc… they all get re-used to make bone broth with vegetable scraps, that way I never have to buy stock/broth either! 🙂

    Like

  9. Ellie@frugalitygivesusoptions.com says:

    “But it’s not that those things necessarily get you rich, it’s having that mentality that gets you rich”

    Absolutely agree with this. I also have a friend who burns through so much money it makes me feel ill. Like, £700 a month fritter money. I don’t say anything because she earns so it’s up to her how she spends it…. but WOW!

    Good luck with the move from a Brit. You do know it rains here all the time, don’t you?! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mrs. DTG says:

      Yeah that’s a good chunk, yikes! It almost really does physically hurt sometimes, huh? Hahaha

      Thanks so much! We’re super excited. We do know it rains a lot, but we’re fully expecting it and planning to embrace it when we arrive. I’ve met so many people stationed there and every single person says they absolutely loved it. They just tell me, “Once you get passed the weather, you’ll love it!”

      Like

  10. joneytalks says:

    Sometimes I bite my tongue as well when I hear some friends bragging about possessions or high income 🙂 but I made it clear I am interested in better usage of money so now and then a good conversation comes up!

    Like

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