Should you do something just because you can afford it? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
chalupamom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,844
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I started nursing my first born, my mom wanted to know why I wouldn't just buy formula since "you can afford it".

When my husband and I bought a 90 year-old house in an older suburb of Philly my mother-in-law asked why we didn't buy a bigger house for less money in a new subdivision because "you can afford it".

When we sold that house to move to Virginia and bought a small house well out of town and in the hills our friends asked why we didn't buy a new build closer to town because "you can afford it".

When my sister saw me hanging our laundry on an outside line she asked why we don't use our dryer more since "you can afford it."

My sister wants to know why I won't buy scrapbooking supplies from her (or, well at all) because "you can afford it".

My friend doesn't understand why I wait for books from a library instead of buying them from the mass market store down the road because "you can afford it."

My father in law won't stay with us when he visits town because we don't have cable or satellite even though "you can afford it."



Some of this stuff I would like to do, others not so much. Why should we do something just because we can afford it? Or just because we want it? Or both? Why is it so crazy to NOT spend money on stuff you may not even want, even if everyone else around you seemingly does?
chalupamom is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 02:02 PM
 
mermommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Stuck in the middle with you.
Posts: 1,532
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't know why everything has become an issue of what you can afford but I've been hearing that a lot more too. Usually I do what I do because I like it or feel that it is better ( for the environment, for me, etc) . My life doesn't revolve around what I can or cannot afford to do. I don't understand the whole idea of throwing money at something just because you can.

Myr: wife to John 8/98 and mommy to Willow 06/03, Rowan 04/07 and Linden 02/10
mermommy is offline  
#3 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 02:04 PM
 
KoalaMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: with a joey in the pouch
Posts: 4,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Why is how you choose to spend your money any of their business?

Why don't you try asking them next time if they've given to X charity lately because they can afford it. That'll stop most people! :LOL

slingboy.gifTaking care of 2 girls:energy.gifblahblah.gifb& a babyboy.gif born on his mama's birthday and a few chicken3.gif
KoalaMommy is offline  
#4 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 02:08 PM
 
mamatojade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Posts: 2,413
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mermommy
I don't know why everything has become an issue of what you can afford but I've been hearing that a lot more too. Usually I do what I do because I like it or feel that it is better ( for the environment, for me, etc) . My life doesn't revolve around what I can or cannot afford to do. I don't understand the whole idea of throwing money at something just because you can.
This so totally sums up how I feel about....we can totally afford to drive newer cars than my 23 yo Turbo-Diesel Mercedes or dh's 15 yo VW Jetta, but why should I - to have a car payment? Not

Could we have purchaed a bigger, closer to town house - absolutely, but why - to give the bank more money in interest? Not, as it is, we will be mortgage free in a couple of years.

Being debt-free is so much more important to us than doing things "because we can afford it".
mamatojade is offline  
#5 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 02:37 PM
 
jeca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Dark side of the Moon
Posts: 8,544
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No, not just because you can afford it doesn't the person have to actually want it. My mother told me that once about formula. Something like why not use it surely you can afford it. I said I couldn't and she offered to pay for it for me. Umm, well let's not forgt that I didn't *want* to use it.
jeca is offline  
#6 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 02:52 PM
 
tinybutterfly's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 9,821
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a favorite book by Elaine St. James, Simplify Your Life. It's a very tiny book full of great information and addresses this issue. It's not about what you can afford, it's about how you want to live your life.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
tinybutterfly is offline  
#7 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 02:55 PM
 
tboroson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Honalee
Posts: 6,187
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's part of this American mentality of buy buy buy, if you have money to spend, why on earth wouldn't you spend it? And try your hardest to get the most for it, too. Quantity *is* quality, after all, right? We should *all* want a larger house, even if it's a piece of crap. And then we have to buy all the furniture to fill all those rooms, even if we don't want to clean it all. Then we have to pay for a maid to clean all that crap we never use so we can run our kids all over town to one activity after another, for which we have to buy tons of specialized equiptment, in our new SUV, all the while complaining about gas prices. We need a luxury gourmet kitchen so we can show it off when we entertain, since as we know everybody migrates to the kitchen at a party, but since we're so busy busy busy we have to eat out or bring food in every night.

That's all part of being middle class, isn't it?

*sigh*

I read a statistic on peoples perception of middle class a few years ago. Based on what people felt they needed to have or be able to do in order to be considered middle class, they'd have to make... get this... $200,000 a year. This idea is promoted by television, where every middle class, or even poor, person can afford to have new, matching furniture, a nice kitchen, seperate bedrooms for every child, nice cars, take awesome vacations, hire help to clean or cook, throw elegant parties, go out to fabulous restaurants.

So, people feel that they have money, they must spend it to further the impression that they are "middle class". And if they see something in your life that "needs improving", they feel sorry for you. They just can't understand that you don't have the same priorities. If you don't spend your money the way they'd spend theirs, well, clearly, you must not *have* money. But, just dare to tell them you spend it some other way, like on organic food. They'll gossip about you until kingdom come...
tboroson is offline  
#8 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 02:56 PM
 
Greaseball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 8,570
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Um, well, I can afford to go get a cup of coffee at 7-11 right now so I guess I should run out and get that!

I don't understand the mentality.
Greaseball is offline  
#9 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 02:58 PM
 
mirlee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: next to the snoring bear
Posts: 3,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I guess it never occurs to them that it is because of your financial choices, that you have to option to afford something or not.

Congratulations on living outside the box.
mirlee is offline  
#10 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 03:00 PM
 
tinybutterfly's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 9,821
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


One of the reasons I like to watch the old Amityville Horror movie is the house looks like a REAL house that a REAL family lives in...it's not so perfect and everything doesn't match and the paint isn't even all perfect. Oh, and there is a dusty chandelier.

Bet the remake has the house all perfect. I'm afraid to go see it...not to mention how they have probably messed with the story.

Sorry for the tangent. tboroson just reminded of the whole perfect house in tv and movies thing.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
tinybutterfly is offline  
#11 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 03:03 PM
 
~*max*~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Where The Wild Things Are
Posts: 3,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, the whole "you can afford it" thing gets pretty tired. I agree w/you mamatojade, living debt free (ideally) is very important to us. I also agree w/having a simplified, and thus peaceful, life. Lots of our friends live in really nices houses, go on expensive vacations, etc. But, at what price? They usually have both parents working, have no savings and/or have a lot of debt. No thank you!

Happy mama of four Wild Things
"And now," cried Max "let the wild rumpus begin!"
~*max*~ is offline  
#12 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 03:10 PM
 
Elowyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Midwest USA
Posts: 1,773
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd rather have simple things that I love, than a bunch of mass-produced crap that I don't.

I grow my veggies, even though I could afford to buy them.

I cook at home (well, when my kitchen isn't being totally overhauled like it is now) even though I could afford to eat McCrap every night.

I'll CD, even though I could afford sposies.

Ditto BF & formula (gee, because BF's better? wouldn't *that* be a reason?)

I want savings to put the kidlet through college and allow me to retire. I want my house paid off before I'm 55. I want peace & a good book (preferably from the library, if they have it.)

The same thing happens to me, as I work a contract job, so could conceivably work at least twice as much as I do (and make twice as much) - but then I'd have no time to enjoy it, so what's the point?

crafty mama to Chloe and Emma (10/08) and Piper
emergency medicine PA and single mother by choice
Elowyn is offline  
#13 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 03:13 PM
 
Junebug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The Real O.C.
Posts: 696
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
But, just dare to tell them you spend it some other way, like on organic food.
Oh, I get this one all the time. DP's parentals are constantly harping on us, " My gawd! You spend a fortune on organic food and still use cloth diapers. So gross & inconvenient, why would anyone use cloth anymore?"
They will never get it! I just tell them "I promise, I'll never ask you to do my laundry"
Junebug is offline  
#14 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 03:29 PM
 
huggerwocky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 5,396
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That is stupid....do because you can?

Tell her that doing soemthing just because you can is not an argument for anything..in the end she doesn't quit giving unwelcomed advice even though she could.

( yes, I'd be pretty sour in your place)
huggerwocky is offline  
#15 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 03:30 PM
 
Mom4tot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pemberley
Posts: 15,236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tboroson
It's part of this American mentality of buy buy buy, if you have money to spend, why on earth wouldn't you spend it? And try your hardest to get the most for it, too. Quantity *is* quality, after all, right? We should *all* want a larger house, even if it's a piece of crap. And then we have to buy all the furniture to fill all those rooms, even if we don't want to clean it all. Then we have to pay for a maid to clean all that crap we never use so we can run our kids all over town to one activity after another, for which we have to buy tons of specialized equiptment, in our new SUV, all the while complaining about gas prices. We need a luxury gourmet kitchen so we can show it off when we entertain, since as we know everybody migrates to the kitchen at a party, but since we're so busy busy busy we have to eat out or bring food in every night.

That's all part of being middle class, isn't it?

*sigh*

I read a statistic on peoples perception of middle class a few years ago. Based on what people felt they needed to have or be able to do in order to be considered middle class, they'd have to make... get this... $200,000 a year. This idea is promoted by television, where every middle class, or even poor, person can afford to have new, matching furniture, a nice kitchen, seperate bedrooms for every child, nice cars, take awesome vacations, hire help to clean or cook, throw elegant parties, go out to fabulous restaurants.

So, people feel that they have money, they must spend it to further the impression that they are "middle class". And if they see something in your life that "needs improving", they feel sorry for you. They just can't understand that you don't have the same priorities. If you don't spend your money the way they'd spend theirs, well, clearly, you must not *have* money. But, just dare to tell them you spend it some other way, like on organic food. They'll gossip about you until kingdom come...

ITA

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
Mom4tot is offline  
#16 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 03:33 PM
 
loving-my-babies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: From Chile but live in Pgh, PA
Posts: 6,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I got this once with cloth diapers. Some people would think I use cloth because disposables are too expensive, and wonder why I wasn't using them because "I can afford it" (now, everyone that knows me will know that I cloth diaper.. because I can afford it because for me ofcourse it doesn't stop at buying 2 dozen flats and that is all.
loving-my-babies is offline  
#17 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 03:54 PM
 
Louma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: home
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We get that a lot about cable or a second car or a nicer first car, all of which are well within our grasp, but I generally just tell the person (usually my brother) that we would rather put that money into our IRAs. We're super cheap because we want to be globe-trotting retirees.
Louma is offline  
#18 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 03:58 PM
 
HoneymoonBaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,590
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Did they ever stop to reason that maybe the reason you CAN afford all that stuff is because you didn't already spend all your money on it?
HoneymoonBaby is offline  
#19 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 04:01 PM
 
HoneymoonBaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,590
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirlee
I guess it never occurs to them that it is because of your financial choices, that you have to option to afford something or not.

Congratulations on living outside the box.
:

I guess I should have read the whole thread before posting.
HoneymoonBaby is offline  
#20 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 04:02 PM
 
MotherEden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: nyc
Posts: 402
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can afford to go to the supermarket and buy 20 bottle of Clorox and pour them all down the drain!
MotherEden is offline  
#21 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 04:36 PM
 
Lucky Charm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: brett favre's house
Posts: 7,478
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My attitude is, just because you can doesnt mean you should.
Lucky Charm is offline  
#22 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 05:10 PM
 
Wabi Sabi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,985
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Should you do something just because you can afford it?
Sure, if it is something that you *want.* Why not?

On the other hand, it would be silly to spend money on something that you *don't want* just because you can afford it.

If I could afford it, I'd love to trade in my car for something more fuel effecient, take more vacations with my family, have a nicer stash of cloth diapers, buy all organic food, give more money to charity, eat out at awesome restaurants, buy more books and even have a different house than the one we live in now.

However, I wouldn't formula feed by choice, buy a new SUV or enourmous home, or any of the other examples previously mentioned just because I could afford it simply because those aren't things that I want in the first place.
Wabi Sabi is offline  
#23 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 05:22 PM
 
PadmaMorgana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Where the snowflakes are paper
Posts: 2,526
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sure you can afford it, but why should you waste your money on things you don't want or won't use.

Yup...we could afford a bigger house, another car, maid service, eating out, nice holiday, bigger TV, more cable, new computer....etc. Why don't we? Because. We. Don't. Want. To.

That is our answer to "why don't you do blah blah blah...you can afford it?" Because we don't want to, plus we would like to retire some day. And DH is the tightest tightwad I have ever encountered :LOL

Plus, how is it anyone's business if you can afford stuff? For all they should know, you *can't* afford it, kwim? No one in our families knows how much DH makes.
PadmaMorgana is offline  
#24 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 05:39 PM
 
MamaMonica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: lalalala life goes on
Posts: 12,862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinybutterfly
It's not about what you can afford, it's about how you want to live your life.


Fortunately my parents and dh's are super cheap (frugal to the extreme) and hence in good financial shape in their old ages.

I hope to be the same way!

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
MamaMonica is offline  
#25 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 05:48 PM
 
girlndocs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: discreet, my @ss
Posts: 4,131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabi Sabi
Sure, if it is something that you *want.* Why not?

On the other hand, it would be silly to spend money on something that you *don't want* just because you can afford it.
I agree, but I really think most people (at least in the US mainstream) don't bother thinking about whether they want something or not. KWIM? You're "supposed" to have X, Y and z, so they dutifully trot out and get it, mortgaging themselves to the hilt if necessary. And :censor the environmental impact!
girlndocs is offline  
#26 of 26 Old 04-27-2005, 05:58 PM
 
Viola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Nevada
Posts: 22,553
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
My answer is No. I've often not done a lot of things I could afford just because I had issues with it.
Viola is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off