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Thread: Keeping up with the Jones--I mean my Family

  1. #1
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    First, let me say I love all my extended family members. I love getting together with them and being with them.

    What I don't love is trying to financially keep up with them. They spend money that on things that they can't afford and yet talk about all the things they do and have, if that makes sense. I kinda feel bad that I don't keep up with them in some ways, but reality is I just can't see myself spending money on stupid things that are so not necessary. I do feel the financial pressure from them all too often and even though I tell them I am can't afford it or I don't need it, it somehow does not seem to matter to them.

    I realize we are not all on the same page when it comes to finances, but you know, it sure would be nice from time to time to be in agreement with my family when it comes to money.
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    Canadian Guru macw1960's Avatar
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    I'm curious as to why you would want to keep up with them financially. It sounds like they may all be in debt because of their wants. Why would your family members want you to waste your money on things you don't need or can't afford? From the sounds of it I would not want to agree with your family when it comes to money.





    No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever forgotten...Aesop

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    Senior Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    People find ways to rationalize spending on things they want to buy. We probably all do that, just to different degrees and in our own ways. Trying to understand rationalizations that aren't similar to one's own is a waste of time partly because having to rationalize something effectively means it wasn't completely rational in the first place.

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    OP, maybe, when the family gets together, and they start to brag, just nod and smile & say ooh and ahhh
    I think that's what they want to hear.

    All this as your bank account goes cha ching as you add more money at great interest rates.

    My neighbour kept buying a new car every 2-3 years and then kept asking us why we didn't buy a new one. We congratulated them on their new car, told them it looked great and told them our old car still worked. When it was time to get rid of our old ~300000 km car, we bought a modest car (they thought we would buy something flashy). The neighbours still can't figure us out.

    As Dave Ramsey says, now you should live like no one else [ saving and building wealth] so one day you can live like no one else [calling the shots, not worrying about money, not worrying about retirement etc]

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    Some of my family have a way to make me feel guilty when I don't walk on the same page with them financially. At times I guess I feel "left out" when they are buying all kinds of thing and going to all sorts of places.

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    Contradiction in progress sweet sparrow's Avatar
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    I think sometimes (and I'm not saying it's true in your case, but I know some of these people), people just want to be liked, and it's easy to start conversations with people when you can tell them about that newest thing you just bought or what your plans are. Then there are those people that you see so rarely that anytime you do see them, you can tell them about that next big trip/car/house, even if you save and only buy something big every three or five years.

    Plus, when people buy things, if they don't mention how much it cost, they might have even have picked it up as frugally as you would have. Maybe that trip was paid through Air Miles, or they flew standby, or went to the cheapest trip possible (it was cheaper for us to travel to the Caribbean than to Montreal - we didn't go, I just priced it). Maybe they got the car for free in a contest. Maybe they won the lottery last week. Maybe that piece of jewelry came up at a police auction. You never know.

    The last trip I went on, I went on a road trip all over Alberta. I crashed at my old university roommate's half the time, then she got a super sweet corporate discount at all the hotels we stayed at, corporate discount for gas, we split the cost of meals, etc. and I basically had to pay the airfare there and back.

    My first car, the car I'm driving now, was free. An elderly couple was getting rid of their vehicle and their only stipulation was that they wanted it to go to someone who needed it and they wanted nothing for it. It was really DD2 who giggled and laughed with the lady in the nursery on a few occasions, so perhaps it's really her car. The lady asked me how I got DD1 home from daycare and I told her I pushed an old stroller through snowstorms, snowbanks, freezing rain, etc. When the front wheel fell off, I stuck it back on and kept on going. DH fixed it with a $0.20 pin from Home Depot. Then the other one kept falling off. I thought I was telling her how resilient DD1 and I were, but maybe she just felt sorry for us. What isn't free is the high cost of maintenance, insurance, and gas. If it wasn't for two children at two separate daycares and my work at a third location, I'd probably still be taking the bus.

    Our house we bought with a mortgage in the GTA, but I've always been careful with money, so I could have paid for half outright. DH was not as lucky and a bit of a spendthrift so he had nothing to contribute. We paid a mortgage for a few years, but my mother heard me stress enough about interest rates so she just lent us the rest of the money, and we paid her back within a year or two. She said the only reason she gave it to me and not her other children was that she knew she'd get her money back fast.

    If you caught me at the right time, maybe I would tell you about my last trip (over eight years ago now), or our little home in the GTA that is completely paid off, or my new car. I don't think I would talk about my money saving habits to family I haven't seen in years if they didn't ask though.

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    maggiespice-you don't fret over what the other family members are doing - my grown kids are in their 30's each with a higher mortgage and I have 3 grandkids

    hubby and I lived in an apt for 2 years when first married 38 years ago we paid 320.00 a month but saved every penny and I was working at burger king (fast food) and hubby was in a factory we saved 10,000 in 2 years time put down on our first house which cost 35,000 paid that house off(after many home renovations mind you) and moved into a bigger 2 storey 3 bedroom house which is now paid off we have lived here 20 years

    -over the years we have seen family give their kids way more toys for xmas than our kids ,way more trips etc then found out later they had a ton of debt which we never had we took one family trip with our kids to myrtle beach -south Carolina cause we couldn't afford Disney land-we never lease a car always buy used (nope we actually bought 2 new vechicles in our lifetime -mistake that was) -our car is paid off and we are in our later 50"s and we are down to one car -its all when you put everything in perspective whats important -I worked 24 years and in later years was working and had my elderly mom live with us -so now I choose not to work (babysit my grankids and that is a job in itself)hubby retired early so less money for us(he works partime thou) -but I try to be frugal and sometimes splurge on a few things in life -the trips we have taken in life are out west ,Alaska and European boat cruise -now I am happy taking a 3 day trip with my grown kids and grandkids up north in ontario

    -so don't worry what others may have as you don't know if they got it frugally or are in debt as sweet sparrow had said
    Last edited by coupon girl; Mon, May 28th, 2018 at 12:01 PM.

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    Senior Canuck Arjon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maggiespice View Post
    Some of my family have a way to make me feel guilty when I don't walk on the same page with them financially. At times I guess I feel "left out" when they are buying all kinds of thing and going to all sorts of places.
    Life isn't a contest, at least not against anyone else. It can be easier said than done, but they can't make you feel guilty if you don't let them. Comparing what you have and what you spend against other people is almost certain to be non-productive. And since there will always be someone you know who spends and has more than you do, it can be worse than just non-productive; it can be increasingly counter-productive the more you try to keep up.

    Like me, you've probably seen people who tried to keep up with someone. How often did it work out well for them?

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    Thank you everyone for all your help. It is much appreciated.

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    I hear your story. I had a sister-in-law tell me that only poor people use coupons! Her brother (my husband) calls me his coupon queen lol. We have live very frugally but chose to spend our money to support our 3 kids education. Thankfully hubby and I completely agree on this spending.
    My sister, on the other hand, spends her money on complete CRAP (knick knacks, over stuffed closets and jewellery) does not value her kids educational dreams.
    I remember a quote from USA president saying politicians will tell you what they value - but their budget will show you what they value. So true!!!

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    Maggiespice ..dont listen to those family members sweetie..you do what makes you and your family happy ..if you cant keep up with jones dont worry .. Do this make you different person then what they are ..i dont think so ..at least your not going get calls from collection agencies and you can sleep peacefully at night ..wont have worry.. how your going pay for those trips or fancy cars etc.it just materials things sweetie and happy life is lot better ..im sure half things their purchasing .. is their just trying keep with jones themselves ..Their letting their friends and family think they have lots of money ..but they maybe in debt and cant get out it ..have No saving for retirement or even help their kids with education fund ..me personally . Longs i got good health .. i got roof over my head and it does leak, food on table ..that were not hungry ..and bed to lay my head down at night .. and dollar in my pocket ..so what else do we need ..everything else is only wants and not needs .take care yourself sweetie ..Please dont let your in laws family down you ..Always say your just as good as these people ..You dont need keep up with anyone only ..have yourself wonderful weekend ..Be happy
    Last edited by Newfiescreech; Fri, Jun 1st, 2018 at 09:37 PM.

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    Smart Canuck kiwis-mom's Avatar
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    The ones that crack me up are the ones who whine about not having any money, though they seem perfectly able to buy an aweful lot of "rewards" for themselves but suddenly cash strapped for things for their kids or their house. I don't buy myself stuff (my clothes, car, and even shoes are well loved second hand) unless it is really needed and on sale or I have a coupon or points. Those who know me know I don't waste money on myself....hell when my Birthday or Christmas comes around I almost always ask for practical stuff or gift cards(which I use to by stuff for house or our daughter---- don't NEED anything). I always get flack for being practical though. I guess I make others feel bad cause I don't want anything for myself...just stuff for house or for someone else😝. I would rather buy my daughter new clothes or essentials than for myself!

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    Dancing bean paste bun Ciel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maggiespice View Post
    Some of my family have a way to make me feel guilty when I don't walk on the same page with them financially. At times I guess I feel "left out" when they are buying all kinds of thing and going to all sorts of places.
    You are not alone in hearing about the same conversations regarding who bought what and when and how recently. What is irksome is that family is not changing the topic or realizing they are monopolizing the conversations at family events. I ask you, when will you say no more to attending events where people are not listening to you and your contributions to conversations? I had the same issue and don't attend family gatherings anymore.

    I have the perfect book to help you see how some people struggle to keep up with their relatives or social set-Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. It will set you up for the summer movie release this year.
    macw1960 likes this.
    2019 #Gold

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    A point to add to this conversation is, “What are you teaching your children?” Mine were taught the value of money and to use their income wisely. Last night I mentioned to my youngest son (24 yrs old) that we, as parents, would contribute $6,000 for a wedding or house down payment and it would b the couples choice. (Did this 8 yrs ago with oldest child). He was very excited and said “of course a house” - (that is what his oldest sister chose too).
    My niece is driving a broken down car and spends $200 a month on makeup! She is following in her mother’s footsteps (my sister) for sure. No end of Knick knacks and clothes either.
    My husband and myself have approached my sister about her spending but she gets quite defensive, “my money - my choice”. And for sure it is her choice but she is also teaching her children what she values.
    kiwis-mom, Tweets77, Ciel and 3 others like this.

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