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Support for encountering people who have money don't remember what it's like NOT to have money

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 

I was thinking about this the other day.....I recently read an article that said 50% of Americans do not have access to $2,000 if they need it in an emergency.  So, needless to say, there are a lot of people without a lot of money out there.  But, in my day to day life, I periodically come across people who don't remember/know what it's like not to have money.

 

I had a very poor friend (disabled) who was invited to go on a cruise with her rich cousin.  Rich cousin was paying for the cruise, which is a very kind gift.  So my friend Amy is thrilled for the cruise, but her rich cousin (mistakenly) overlooked that they were leaving from New Orleans very early, so Amy had to spend the night in a hotel in NO before the cruise.  Well, Amy didn't have the money for the hotel and rich cousin thought, "I'm paying for the cruise and all you have to do is cover the hotel."  So Amy struggled and I suggested that she just tell rich cousin, "I can't even afford one night in a hotel!!"  It all worked out fine, but tough situation.  

 

I have a very rich aunt/uncle.  We were going on vacation near them (vacation was paid for by another friend of ours) and I emailed to visit.  They said, "Great, let's meet for lunch."  Now, if you were REALLY rich, wouldn't you pick up the tab for your struggling niece family?  My aunt picked a very fancy restaurant, when I would have been fine w/ subway.....well, she had arranged for separate checks!!  I about fainted.  So we ended up w/  a $50 tab for lunch, which about killed me.   

 

And rich friends always say, "Hire someone to clean your house Adele".  Well, gee, should we not eat that month??  

 

Or when I was lost and called a friend and they're all, "Plug in the address to your smart phone."  Well, I have a dumb phone, not a smart phone!! 


And I'm not begrudging rich people.....all the people I know that are very rich work very hard---all sacrificing time with their families for work and travel etc.  I quit a job to raise my children which paid me handsomely (and I did not save enough of my paycheck before kids, regrettably), but required 8+ weeks of travel per year.  I love staying home with my children, even though we don't go on vacations and drive old cars and never go out.  It's all ok.  

post #2 of 62

If it is OK, why are you posting?

 

It was your choice to quit your job and stay a home. So,  you life is what your life is. They did not, so their life is what it is.

 

You not make other people responsible to remember what your money situation is, to cover your hotel or lunch.

 

You can always refuse the cruise, lunch invite or what not.

 

I do not not relays understand why everything has to be so black and white, sacrifice  everything or have no money.

 

There jobs that do not requires you to travel 8 weeks a year or work tons of overtime.

I work. I take of my kids. It does not pay tons of money and I am not rich but vacations are nice. I can't afford a cleaning lady but going out once in a while is good.

 

 

My only advice would be, to prevent feeling of hurt and envy, do not hang out with people who have money.

 

 

 

post #3 of 62

This happens to me all time, and it drives me crazy. DH's parents have money, and for his 40th birthday they "treated" us to a cruise. What they didn't tell us, and what we didn't realize (having never taken that kind of vacation) was that we would be responsible for coming up with a mandatory gratuity that is paid out at the beginning of the cruise ($200) plus cab fare at every port ($40 a pop). I was livid by the end of the cruise, because we had to put everything on our emergency credit card and carry a balance because we couldn't afford to pay it off.

 

My boss and coworker also like to have lunch meetings. I am constantly begging them to eliminate this. Our budget is so tight I literally cannot afford a once-a-month lunch out for $15. The last time I begged off, saying I didn't have a penny to my name. My boss said she would pick up the tab, and at the end of meal, as we were walking out of the restaurant, I thanked her profusely for lunch, and she said, "You can treat next time!"

 

Friends are constantly inviting us to concerts and plays, or out for a glass of wine, none of which we can afford. Or, people will say all the time, "You should really go on a date night once a week!" We can't afford a movie or dinner a week, let alone a babysitter.

 

Don't get me wrong, we have a good life and we're very happy, it's just the assumptions and lack of consideration that bug me.

 

 

post #4 of 62

Well, people generally hang out with those in or near the same circles.  I wouldn't be surprised when your co-workers or neighbors assume you're in similar financial situations as they are.  If you do similar jobs or have bought similar houses.  Of course people all have different situations, but unless they know your financial details they'd just assume you're average. 

 

Sadly I think you'll have to distance yourself from your rich relatives or friends.  They're not required to pay for your outings just because they're rich.  Most of our friends stopped hanging out with us when we had our children.  They assumed that we wouldn't have the time or money.  They're mostly professionals and make very good money and like to go out to expensive places.  That's OK with us, though as we're usually frugal regardless of our income.

post #5 of 62

That was a thoughtful reply...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

If it is OK, why are you posting?

 

It was your choice to quit your job and stay a home. So,  you life is what your life is. They did not, so their life is what it is.

 

You not make other people responsible to remember what your money situation is, to cover your hotel or lunch.

 

You can always refuse the cruise, lunch invite or what not.

 

I do not not relays understand why everything has to be so black and white, sacrifice  everything or have no money.

 

There jobs that do not requires you to travel 8 weeks a year or work tons of overtime.

I work. I take of my kids. It does not pay tons of money and I am not rich but vacations are nice. I can't afford a cleaning lady but going out once in a while is good.

 

 

My only advice would be, to prevent feeling of hurt and envy, do not hang out with people who have money.

 

 

 



I get what you're saying.  We had monthly Women Who Lunch lunches and they just kept picking more and more expensive places to eat.  It got ridiculous.  I got to choose last month and we went to a really cheap place.  I make a lot now but I still have to make up for what I didn't make that last 3 yrs.  DH stays home and because he stays home we don't have to pay for daycare or other work expenses.  We were at one time paying 1300 a month on daycare and that was subsidized.  On top of all that we had gas expenses that totalled close to 500 a month at the height of the high gas prices. 

Public transportation was out of the question,  the schedules did not run at times that worked for us at all!  Totally sucked because I love taking the bus!  

 

We're digging our way out of our debt now but I still want to have money set aside.  I don't use credit anymore and now when I notice somebody shying away from an event that would cost money I work to change the venue or find something less expensive for all.  DD1's holiday party, a lot of parents couldn't afford even a bag of chips because it would break into their holiday or food budget, so I covered the whole party.  I did it because last year the party for DD1's class was a sad affair and the mom in charge didn't know what to do when parents couldn't help so she just did without.  I had approached her numerous times to ask if anything was still needed and she wouldn't tell there were needs.  So this year I said screw it I'm doing the party.  I started three months out and had everything ready to go.  When the party came around we only needed to spend 10 bucks on perishables and that was covered by the PTA.

 

I think it's fair for others to realize not everyone can manage all the financial crap that comes at them.  Inviting people to lunch is sometimes very tricky.  I don't do it anymore because I know that so many people are on a tight budget.  I only have two kids but I work with people that have 2 in college 2 at home.  I can't imagine what they're dealing with. 

post #6 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

If it is OK, why are you posting?

 

It was your choice to quit your job and stay a home. So,  you life is what your life is. They did not, so their life is what it is.

 

You not make other people responsible to remember what your money situation is, to cover your hotel or lunch.

 

You can always refuse the cruise, lunch invite or what not.

 

I do not not relays understand why everything has to be so black and white, sacrifice  everything or have no money.

 

There jobs that do not requires you to travel 8 weeks a year or work tons of overtime.

I work. I take of my kids. It does not pay tons of money and I am not rich but vacations are nice. I can't afford a cleaning lady but going out once in a while is good.

 

 

My only advice would be, to prevent feeling of hurt and envy, do not hang out with people who have money.

 

 

 




No, it isn't someone else's responsibility to remember a tough financial situation.  But is it a struggling person's responsibility to meet the spending level a person with enough money thinks is called for?  I don't think the issue is about those who don't realize that money's a problem, but those who've been told and overlook the implications.  Or, especially, override the implications.  If I were in a bind and someone else arranged a situation that cost me more after I'd been clear about my $ limits, I'd be exploring whether they were merely human and forgot or whether they were indifferent and/or controlling.

 

 

post #7 of 62

I think it is also hard to judge a person's situation by looking.  I know many people in worse situations than I Have nicer cars, clothes, phone, etc.  you just never know.

 

I think the only way to deal with it is being up front.  People can adjust to the lowest common denominator but it really depends on everyone's priority.

 

post #8 of 62

I am not well off, but I am frequently better off than some of my friends (who I am NOT dumping because they are not as well-off as I am, FYI). I DO keep in mind what other people's financial situations are. I also have a very strict policy: if I invite someone to do something, I either plan on picking up the whole tab (unless they volunteer) OR I tell them up front we will be going dutch. No muss, no fuss. They can say "no" to the invite if they can't afford it, but I'm not "expecting" anyone to do something WITH ME unless I am willing to cover the costs of my FRIENDS who may be in a tighter situation.

 

BTW, we all do this, so when we get together, someone is always covering for another, and it goes around, so no one is stuck all the time. But I want to go out to eat with my friends. I know they are not all rolling in money, so that is part of my "cost" of having the pleasure of that night.

post #9 of 62
My husband and I have never been well-off as adults due to health issues and through choosing family over career. (Let's just leave it at that.) I grew up with a set of people who, for the most part, are now very well off, generally speaking. There's a definite disconnect there and a lot of my previous peers have dropped me because, well, I don't know. People DO tend to hang out with people who have similar money situations, but that's made things hard for me. I didn't change as a person just because we don't have spending money. I still have interests in common with them. We still have memories we could share. We have a common set of experiences. I don't see why I'd have to cultivate a completely new set of friends. I wouldn't say we had to be BEST friends and do everything together, and that they couldn't enjoy fun, expensive things on their own time... but a lot of them just got this awkward, almost pitying attitude towards us and then they by and large disappeared altogether. Don't tell me that "rich folk" can't come up with a few inexpensive things they can do sometimes to hang out with people who don't have those resources.

I feel almost snobbish for saying so but a lot of the people in our income bracket have had different upbringings, have different interests, etc. That's not to say they're bad, but I can't always relate to them. A lot of them don't have college educations, haven't traveled, have different hobbies, interests, tastes in music etc. Gosh, that does sound snobbish. But it is what it is, I guess. I do have some people who are not really well off that I do relate to, in the end, but the gulf really is widening as we get older, and they make more and more money and get more and more invested in that "money lifestyle" to the point where they just talk about their job and their cars and their new gadgets. As kids/young adults it didn't really matter, friendships were based on interests and the like, now more and more it is dependent on where you can have lunch and what car you drive. In that way I feel a bit lucky for not being swept away in that world, though it's kind of strange to not have them be able to relate at all. I can see their point of view but they can't see mine, sometimes.

I was also going to say that I agree with a lot of the posters above in their anecdotes about the richer people just ignoring what reality is like when you don't have disposable income.
post #10 of 62

My boss was complaining to me one day about her cracked tooth.  I told her I had the same problem and it really sucks.  She asked me what they did for my tooth.  I looked at her kind of funny and asked "Who's they?  I can't afford to go to a dentist!"  She got really quiet and then turned around and walked out without another word.  She's knows I work 30 hours a week, making $9.50 an hour, trying to raise two kids by myself AND the company does not offer dental insurance!  She has dental through her DH, who makes really good money.  She talks all the time about how her house is already paid off, she drives a decked out BMW and has no sympathy for her employees who are living paycheck to paycheck, refuses to buy the teachers supplies so they have to buy them themselves, on their $10 an hour, etc.  It's kind of sickening.  I mean I get temporarily forgetting that someone doesn't have access to affordable healthcare, but it's an ongoing issue.  I'm quitting that job in a couple of weeks, thank goodness.  I've been there 18 months with no pay raise.

post #11 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by seawitch View Post


I was also going to say that I agree with a lot of the posters above in their anecdotes about the richer people just ignoring what reality is like when you don't have disposable income.


It's not because they're richer.  It's because they're thoughtless, indifferent, or worse.

post #12 of 62

We make decent money, more than most Americans.  So, I have a slightly different perspective.  We also have 4 children and help support my disabled mother and have an very focused approach to saving money.  So, while a lot of money comes in, it is budgeted very tightly.  

 

So, what I can add is that people handle money very differently no matter their income bracket.  I know very, very frugal folks who have high incomes and I have good friends with very low incomes who spend foolishly.  There are fools at every level.  

 

Be honest is all I can say.  And don't take money personally.  Everyone chooses their own approach.  

 

 

post #13 of 62
I think.... I don't want to be starting a fight here, but I think "And don't take money personally. Everyone chooses their own approach." sums up the issue here quite nicely. Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you were trying to say, but maybe people who have more money CAN choose to have various approaches. But people who just don't have the money, at all, are NOT making choices - there's no choice to make. It's not a matter, sometimes, of HOW to spend your disposable income if there IS no disposable income. I think that sums up the difference in mindset. If you know people who "spend foolishly" even though they're in a lower income bracket, I don't know for SURE what their situations are, but chances are they might not make as much as your family, but they still make enough money to have some leeway on what purchases they make, even if you don't approve of how they're spending their money. I think a lot of people are talking about people who have absolutely no room in their budget - if an unexpected expense arises (like having to treat their boss to lunch), they're going to have real issues on how to pay the utilities that month, or something like that. People who don't have to make choices like, "do I put gas in my car this week or do I get to buy my kid a pair of shoes that they need" don't really "get" that... And yes, I've been on both sides of the fence, and I'm not villainizing "the evil rich" or anything.

It's the same thing, too, when the poor in our country often do not "understand" that the poor in other countries have it a lot worse. On some level they do realize they're lucky not to live in a slum and literally be starving and watching your kids starve to death in front of you and not be able to do anything about it. And some people get all up in arms that the poor in the U.S. often have cell phones or adequate clothes or a microwave, or whatever else... I think we're ALL a bit myopic about other people's situations that we genuinely don't know enough about. Because we can't know about how other people really live because we're not them.

Alright, I'm starting to get rambly now...
post #14 of 62


Interesting post. Since you are having trouble relating to both sets of them, I am wondering who actually has the issue. You or 'them'.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seawitch View Post

My husband and I have never been well-off as adults due to health issues and through choosing family over career. (Let's just leave it at that.) I grew up with a set of people who, for the most part, are now very well off, generally speaking. There's a definite disconnect there and a lot of my previous peers have dropped me because, well, I don't know. People DO tend to hang out with people who have similar money situations, but that's made things hard for me. I didn't change as a person just because we don't have spending money. I still have interests in common with them. We still have memories we could share. We have a common set of experiences. I don't see why I'd have to cultivate a completely new set of friends. I wouldn't say we had to be BEST friends and do everything together, and that they couldn't enjoy fun, expensive things on their own time... but a lot of them just got this awkward, almost pitying attitude towards us and then they by and large disappeared altogether. Don't tell me that "rich folk" can't come up with a few inexpensive things they can do sometimes to hang out with people who don't have those resources.
I feel almost snobbish for saying so but a lot of the people in our income bracket have had different upbringings, have different interests, etc. That's not to say they're bad, but I can't always relate to them. A lot of them don't have college educations, haven't traveled, have different hobbies, interests, tastes in music etc. Gosh, that does sound snobbish. But it is what it is, I guess. I do have some people who are not really well off that I do relate to, in the end, but the gulf really is widening as we get older, and they make more and more money and get more and more invested in that "money lifestyle" to the point where they just talk about their job and their cars and their new gadgets. As kids/young adults it didn't really matter, friendships were based on interests and the like, now more and more it is dependent on where you can have lunch and what car you drive. In that way I feel a bit lucky for not being swept away in that world, though it's kind of strange to not have them be able to relate at all. I can see their point of view but they can't see mine, sometimes.
I was also going to say that I agree with a lot of the posters above in their anecdotes about the richer people just ignoring what reality is like when you don't have disposable income.


 

post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by seawitch View Post

But people who just don't have the money, at all, are NOT making choices - there's no choice to make. It's not a matter, sometimes, of HOW to spend your disposable income if there IS no disposable income. I think that sums up the difference in mindset. If you know people who "spend foolishly" even though they're in a lower income bracket, I don't know for SURE what their situations are, but chances are they might not make as much as your family, but they still make enough money to have some leeway on what purchases they make, even if you don't approve of how they're spending their money. I think a lot of people are talking about people who have absolutely no room in their budget - if an unexpected expense arises (like having to treat their boss to lunch), they're going to have real issues on how to pay the utilities that month, or something like that.

 

I think this is key. I know people who say, "We eat out too much," or "I need to stop spending so much money on shoes." I also know people who don't know where their next meal or tank of gas is coming from. It's a different perspective, and not one that everyone has experienced.

post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post



Interesting post. Since you are having trouble relating to both sets of them, I am wondering who actually has the issue. You or 'them'.

 



Wait, what?

I'm not really having an *issue* that I think about normally, it's just the reaction I had when reading the OP's post.

Once in a philosophy class our teacher put out the idea that people who grow up in two different countries (this struck home with me, as I did) can never really feel at home in either country, even though they might be able to be fluent in both cultures. That's the case for me, I think. I've lived in one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, in a 5500 square foot house for the three of us, etc. Then I've also lived in a roach infested slum where the police didn't even bother coming out when we had break-ins, and the home health care nurse said she wasn't going to come out because she didn't feel safe there. I've also lived in a lot of income brackets in between. Right now we're much more comfortable than we have been in a long time, and I'd say we're about middle class, but it's still a bit shaky as we have a lot of years of troubles to recover from.

But I stand by my point. I don't have trouble relating to both sets of them, per se, but the people that have a lower income bracket TEND to be harder for me to relate to since they grew up in a very different environment. I also have trouble relating to the "grown-up" versions of the people I used to know. I don't see how that's me being problematic and fussy, it's just the fact that as adults they have different lifestyles and daily experiences than I do.

When I was little and NOT living in America, my family was like the majority of other families - pretty poor, in American terms. However our family friends, relatives, etc., were all well-educated and enjoyed more... highbrow? interests. Social classes weren't really based on how much money one made (cos no one made any, really) but rather on different factors. There was no disposable income, but that was the case for the majority of the country at that point. I suppose they would have been considered middle class there, considering, but the middle class had much less money to work with than the middle class here had. I also grew up in an upper middle class area while in America, and as kids you don't really care how much money your family has, because you're worried about things like school and homework and while you may register that your family is going to vacation to Hawaii and the neighbors' kids are going to vacation in New Hampshire, it's not really a huge deal, because in the end you're all playing tag in the backyard anyway. Our family was fairly average in the community so it never stood out to me to worry about money. However, since growing up they have stayed at a similar income / lifestyle and it's more THEM - not me - who have decided that staying friends with us was not something they wanted to pursue. I still see the other people are hanging out together, going to weddings, going on trips together, and the like. I'm just, well, not invited. There are a couple of other people that are in similar situations as my DH and myself and they are also kind of shut out, not really maliciously but just, hmm. I don't know how to explain it, really. It's just that we don't have a whole lot of things in common anymore and we've kind of grown apart. And to me that's sad, not because I wish that I was still in with them, but rather because it's hard to grow apart from friends in general, I guess.

I have friends from all walks of life, from all different corners of the world, etc. And online I know plenty of people who I relate to and have mostly online friendships with. It's just my day-to-day life, neighborhood, etc., that I have trouble relating to the people in our income bracket who (with exceptions!) have different interests, experiences, etc., than I've had. I try to find common ground more often than not, obviously. Shrug. It complicates things when say, I meet a lovely lady from a LLL meeting, and we're getting along great, and then when they realize that we don't have money to spend on playgroup things or daily coffee or something, it throws a glitch into things. We do often agree to meet at a park or something but the kind of situation the OP brings up sometimes does happen.

I don't want to hijack the thread, I just wasn't sure how to respond to that comment that I have an issue.
post #17 of 62
I have folks in for dinners and lunches. Or if pressed to go out, I check menus online and find a nice restaurant with entrees I can afford. Its always your own personal responsibility NOT to spend more than you make.

After two decades of doing well, my hubby and I are a bit pinched but we eat at home, entertain at home and only choose the occasional evening out that is affordable.

I also have friends who have more and friends who have less. They tell me our home is very warm and inviting.
post #18 of 62

People need to take more responsibility for themselves…no one can make you spend more money then you have. If you don’t have the money don’t go on a vacation that you can’t afford or eat at restaurants that you can afford…pretty simple. People that have money aren’t bad people, just like people that don’t have money aren’t…I don’t think one makes you smarter or better then the other. Live below your means and hope like hell that you have enough money to pay all the bills and have a little fun every once in awhile.

post #19 of 62

I simply say "its not in the budget." We are lower income but because of the choices we've made have a 6mos savings and continue to contribute to it. That doesn't mean its free money to me that means its money to be saved KWIM???

post #20 of 62
I didn't see anyone expressing an opinin that people with money are bad people.

But.... what exactly do you mean that people should live below their means? What about the people who literally spend every last dollar they make on their bills and still don't have enough to pay all the bills? How exactly are they supposed to live below their means? headscratch.gif
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