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?