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Frustrated at conversations about money

May 2nd, 2011 at 06:01 pm

Or, to be precise, frustrated at the lack of financial communication with family and friends. I'm sure everyone here can guess what this will be about.

For the record, I haven't had many (... if any) role models of good financial standing among my friends and family. So, I'm not surprised that I've managed to keep the flame of uncontrolled spending burning brightly since I've reached adulthood. It would have been very hypocritical of me to point fingers.

But I really thought that I would've received a little more support from everyone when my wife and I decided to change gears. Well, okay ... maybe not a ton of support at first (we weren't entirely sure ourselves that anything would change). But it has been almost exactly a year now of paying down debt while adding absolutely nothing to it. And guess what? Still no support.

Perhaps the ridiculous taboo of not discussing personal finance with others is to blame. Maybe it is just pure embarrassment. But to get nothing but blank stares when bringing up the progress we've made is disappointing. Mostly because I know my family and friends are in similar circumstances and could really change things around if they'd only try.

Oh well ... /shrug

7 Responses to “Frustrated at conversations about money”

  1. skydivingchic Says:

    I can certainly understand how this can be frustrating. But the people on this forum will gladly celebrate all successes with you, no matter how small. You say that many of your family and friends could benefit from implementing debt reduction plans. The problem is, each individual person/couple has to come to that decision for themselves before anything will change. People don't change until they themselves are good and ready to do so no matter how badly other people would like to see them change. Maybe seeing you be successful will eventually be the inspiration they need, but for your sake and the sake of your family you just have to keep going with your plan. Do what you know is right for you. We'll be here to enthusiastically cheer you on!

  2. Petunia 100 Says:

    I am very tight-lipped about my finances in real life for the most part. Partly because most people don't get it (as you are discovering), and partly because I don't won't to be viewed as the rich person others can come to and ask for money. I'm not rich, but to someone who is constantly broke without a dime to their name, I can sure seem like it.

    It's OK, you and your wife are the smart ones! The day is coming when you will begin to enjoy the fruits of your labors.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    This is why a forum like this is invaluable. Because there are few out there who will support you.

    I can relate to your feelings even with having an extremely supportive and "on the same page" type of family. I can't say the same for most of our friends.

    But having the support and having that reminder that you aren't crazy, is pretty invaluable. On a day to day basis, I find it here.

    I was raised in a 90% Ramsey kind of way, and most people think we are weird. People feel uncomfortable with weird. I really think that is a LOT of it. I find that people on first impression think that I am lying and thus untrustworthy. It's impossible to live that kind of lifestyle, and be happy, and out of debt, on that income. So there is something *off* here. Plus, much of how we live our life is opposite of everything they have been told their whole lives.

    That said, give it time. Fast forward 10 years with some of our relationships since moving to the city we live in now. Time has proven that we can really do it, we are really happy, we are really out of debt, and that we must be doing something right. In the past year, several people told me that I had really helped them financially. (Which was important to hear, because the feedback I usually get is pretty negative from others. & I am pretty private with my finances and not in-your-face in the least, but I am open and honest that I can't keep up with all the Jonesing going along - and that upsets and intimidates people, for whatever reason). You are *alone* now, but with time, some people will come around.

  4. mskills Says:

    skydivingchic,

    I know I should try and be more patient with my family, since it didn't exactly happen overnight for me. However, I really thought that a year's worth of progress ($16,000 paid off) would open their eyes. Thank you for your support!

    Petunia 100,

    I haven't had to worry about it yet, but I can easily see a few family members or friends coming to us for money once we're breathing easier. Ironically, I'm much more of a pushover with my kids compared to my wife; however, when family asks for "financial aid", my wife is the softie.

    MonkeyMama,

    I think the "Ramsey kind of way" is what is turning off others to doing something about their money issues. Appearances count so much for a lot of people that the idea of living like you make very little doesn't seem worth the trouble.

    Something tells me you are right about giving it time. Perhaps once we've hung in there long enough for my family and friends to realize our new financial position is here to stay, they'll finally show some interest.

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    My feelings about family and finance is that if you at least have your spouse on the same page you are doing very well. To expect more than that with people as funny about money as they are...well, it's just never going to happen on your terms. It might one day happen on their terms, but in most cases probably not. That's why this forum and especially the blogs here are so invaluable for support. I don't think my husband and I would be so far along if I hadn't this place to come to when I needed encouragement and people to celebrate with.

  6. whitestripe Says:

    I can relate as well, with some of our family members. I have been berated for having more money in the bank than another family member (not really my fault I don't like gambling!), whined at by my mother because she can't pay her bills (maybe slowing down the wine consumption would help?) and told I was selfish for wanting to hold off having children for a few years until we were financially stable! Big Grin Some people have their ideas, and they will never accept any others. You just have to find people on the same wavelength.

  7. mskills Says:

    LuckyRobin,

    It took me a few months to transfer some of my enthusiasm to my wife, but ever since then she has totally been my partner in fighting debt. I'm not sure I'd even be here blogging right now if she hadn't jumped in with me last year.

    whitestripe,

    Wow, you know money is a silly thing when others will put you down for having a little in the bank.

    We waited until I was nearly 30 to have kids, so I've certainly heard plenty of questioning about why it took so long. Eventually, I came to the realization that being called "selfish" or whatever is just projection.

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