11/21/09 - Why is it so bad to be different?

I have mentioned finances multiple times on this blog. I've mentioned the envelope budgeting method my wife and I use, how buying in bulk isn't all that great sometimes, and how some products/services are ripoffs. This last week has really upset me a bit about the whole frugal mindset.

My wife has a wonderful job, I just feel bad for her in regards to the people she has to work with (another post is upcoming on this). Multiple times, my wife during conversation has mentioned how some of her coworkers think she is weird for being so "cheap" and "tight". I'm not going to say they attempt to insult her, but she is almost frowned upon for the way she and I manage our money.

Likewise, my sister-in-law has ridiculed me on multiple occassions for simply price checking items at the grocery store. If I can save $.50 by looking at two price labels and using a little bit of elementary math, why not? Even on this very website, I had a self-proclaimed "super cheap" person say they would not do the things I do to save a little bit of money. Just like my wife, I know that these people (I think both of the people I mentioned read this blog) mean no harm in their comments, and honestly, I am not offended by them. These are just two examples, and I could provide more.

Here's my point, espeically for those people my wife works with. Many of her coworkers are in their 50s and 60s. They are still working with no sign of retirement in their future and still paying on debts that they still manage to accumulate. When my wife and I reach our 60s, we will be retired with absolutely no debt whatsoever (unless we decide to take a loan to purchase our Class A RV), and will have been retired hopefully for quite some time.

Yes, we save where we can. My wife doesn't feel like spending an extra $200 to get a new phone just because she "wants" one. We haven't bought a new car even though our current Accord has over 230,000 miles on it and needs a paint job. We don't eat at Sonny William's Steak House twice a week. For that matter, we don't even eat at Casa Mexicana but every other month or so. Our only major downfall is taking vacations where we tend to spend a lot more for nicer accommodations.

But, neither my wife or daughter have ever gone to bed hungry. We have a comfortable place to sleep at night and we can get to and from wherever we need to go because our cars run. We are always clothed, and typically with very nice clothing.

However, within the next year, more than likely we will be completely debt free with the exception of our house which we will then be able to pay off in about 10 years (on a 30 year mortgage which was a mistake and is a lesson for another time). That's assuming that neither of us ever receive another raise or bonus from our jobs. I should also mention that if we change nothing about about the way our retirement is setup, we'll retire with somewhere between 1 and 2 million dollars in sound investments. We'll be able to live off the interest of our retirement, and pass on the balance of our accounts to our children. As far as I'm concerned, that is some kind of a legacy to leave to your kids.

With that knowledge, someone explain to me why being so different is such a bad thing. We are sacrificing nothing of importance today, to gain everything later so we can continue to enjoy ourselves with no worries. Dave Ramsey has a motto that recently I have really begun to understand better: "Live like no one else, so you can live like no one else."

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6 Comments - Leave one yourself

Wow, house paid off in 10 years is AWESOME! I think it's great. A lot of people just aren't that disciplined and live for now instead of later.

By Blogger sdhorton, at November 21, 2009 at 9:10 PM  

You've written the blog defensively so obviously this stuff bothers you.

I think you need to live a balanced life. Spend a bit more on the things you enjoy. Like getting your wife a new car.

After all you could die tomorrow... and where has all that scrimping and saving got you?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 23, 2009 at 9:11 AM  

It bothers me that others think I'm a bad person because of the way I spend (or don't spend) my money. People that don't have an open mind are frustrating to me.

As for a new car, there's no reason to get a new car, other than it looks pretty. If we wanted to drive to Seattle right now, I would load up the car and leave, it is reliable transportation, so getting a new car, and adding a monthly payment, we'd be paying a credit company so we could look nicer in front of everyone.

As for what I have gained? If I died right now, my wife and child would be taken care of, my wife if she wanted to, could sell our house and move into a smaller living space, and then using the money from my life insurance and other investments, might never have to work again so she could raise our child comfortably as a single mother. Sounds to me like once again, I win.

By Blogger DJ Walker, at November 23, 2009 at 11:24 AM  

There is nothing wrong with being different. I enjoy reading your financial related posts. Keep it up.

By Anonymous Ryan Kessler, at November 25, 2009 at 5:44 PM  

So even if you die you win?! What the hell kind of logic is that. I think you missed the point of the previous comment.

Maybe the moral of the story is, not to give a crap about what other people think.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 26, 2009 at 9:34 AM  

Something I heard once that pretty much rings true: "If you don't watch your money, you won't have any money to watch."

By Anonymous Jason, at November 30, 2009 at 11:24 PM  

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