Living in a world few understand
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  1. #1
    Registered User pammy's Avatar
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    Default Living in a world few understand

    Sometimes it just gets to me. My tiny little world consists of constantly being around people, mainly family, that live so different than I do. I always feel like the outsider, the black sheep. Most of the time I could care less. Sometimes it's fun being the oddball and I get a kick out of it. Sometimes, though, it eats at me.

    I've been around here a long time. Times have been good, times have been bad. As it is with most people. Really enjoy reading on here and learning from like minded people who share things I'm interested in. Seems, for me at least, it is hard to impossible to find people like that in real life. In real life I feel bombarded by the world so totally opposite of how I want to live. It's wearing me down and sucking the joy out.

    Can't help but do comparisons, we all do it at some point, intentional or not. What I want to know is, why do I feel like I'm the one that did something wrong?? A small comparison which is in my face all too much, is with my three sisters. We are close in age, and everyone is in everyone's business all the time and we see each other all the time, this can be good and bad. Here is some comparison of us 4 girls ranging in ages 47, 45, 43 and 42.

    Sister1- 47, 3 kids, one at home, grandma of one, single but living with someone, doesn't make a lot, boyfriend does, they just bought house together but it's constantly bigger, better, house/car etc., has to have the latest gadget, hair, clothes etc., likes to gossip, doesn't mind debt, nothing for retirement. All for show.
    Sister2- 45, 2 grown kids each with grandkid, still supporting them on everything, married, owns a business which does very well, spends like there is no tomorrow, payments on everything, likes to go go go and buy buy buy, always pushing others to get deeper in debt and not interested in living below your means, does not think ahead, gives a lot, nothing for retirement.
    Sister3- 43 (me), one grown self sufficient child, widowed, zero debt, even sold the house, living rent free with someone but have backup cheap housing if needed, likes to save money, count myself lucky that I was at basically zero at 42 when hubby died from his 2 year fight with cancer that is not cheap, but that means I have nothing in retirement either (I lived on what low amount we did have after he passed and I was injured).
    Sister4- 42, 3 kids, one at home, married, husband makes a lot, SAHM, very much in to the 'look at me!' mentality, huge expensive house by the beach, status high dollar vehicles, buys status stuff to show off and impress everyone, gossips in a bad way, nothing for retirement.

    Stand all 4 of us together, none of us have anything saved for the future. And I, by all appearances, look the poorest of the bunch. That part doesn't bother me. But... what does?? The fact that I've killed myself over the years trying to do what was right. Saved and scrimped and paid off stuff and avoided debt and got made fun of for my money saving ways and bought used or did without... and I'm still standing here at zero. I feel like I was the only one of us that was doing the right thing. They did the complete opposite. In most people's eyes, the one's that are not like minded to living frugal or simple, which are most everyone I know in real life, I am the failure. It sometimes really just bums me out.

    Sometimes I just wonder what it was all for. So if you have read this far (and bless you if you have!!), if you can impart any little bit of encouragement, I would honestly be very grateful for it right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pammy View Post
    Sometimes I just wonder what it was all for.
    No matter what you've done in your life, lived it the way you did or completely different, this question could still come up. What is anything for? That's not an answer I can provide to you. I can only say that you should do what you feel is best in your situation, and be as nice as possible to everyone else.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    You're not at zero if you have no debt. Just remember, your sisters don't own those homes and high dollar vehicles, the bank does. You may be driving a used car, but it belongs to you.

    Maybe you don't have savings right now, but you also don't have to fill a hole before you can get ahead, like your sisters will. That puts you ahead of them financially.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future. KH

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    pb
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    Agree with Contrary Housewife, also you have the skills and fortitude to advance!!

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    So your being criticized by a bunch of people w/ no common sense? People w/ questionable values regarding self worth (or they wouldnt need all that stuff). Why are you the loser and not the winner.
    I am at zero debt and have less stuff but always feel I have secret knowlege others have yet to catch on too.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    You're on a solid foundation. They're living in houses of cards. One good blow and they are going to be in huge trouble. You, on the other hand, would already have the skills you need to get through.

    I agree you're not at zero. You're way ahead by not being deep in debt. And because of your frugal ways, at some point you're going to be much farther ahead than they are.

    I'd say you're also more healthy mentally. If they're buying all that stuff for show, then for some reason they need to seek the approval of others. If you are happy with yourself, you don't need to put on a show in hopes of getting the approval of others. That's another huge way you're ahead of the game.


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    You might think you're at zero ( I don't) but they are in the RED

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    One small bump and they will be in a world of hurt. You can endure anything that gets thrown at you, obviously. I think it's extremely risky for families with one income to be in debt with no savings.

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    Registered User CPA-Kim's Avatar
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    Pammy,

    First, I want to say how sorry I am that you lost your husband at such a young age.

    You really can't compare yourself to your sisters because they have different values, different living situations, and a different way to attain happiness. It would appear senseless to frugal people but they are living much like many people who have good jobs with good income streams. Just listen to Suze Orman and look at the mountain of debt that doesn't seem to concern many of the callers.

    You just have to settle with getting the good looks gene and the common sense out of the bunch

    You might not realize it but you are a role model for THEIR kids. You might not see results now, but I bet you will later. Despite their outward appearance, it must bother them to not have anything put away for retirement despite their money coming in.

    I agree with Russ and Spirit Deer.....you are not at ZERO. You are taking the hand that you were dealt and making the best possible financial decisions given your circumstances.

    You have already made an impact on your SELF-SUFFICIENT child. That's a HUGE return on investment. Don't think your sisters don't notice that.....and so do their kids.

    Kim
    Kim
    The Lord will provide

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    Registered User Ayanka's Avatar
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    A very big hug Pammy.

    I am sorry to be so direct but the thought that crossed my mind: if they would have been through what you have been through, namely a 2 year fight with cancer, losing their partner, where would they be now? Even if we just take the financial consequences, their house of cards would be blown. I don't want to make an assumption on where they would be now, because I have no clue how social services there work. But it would be pretty bad for both them and their families.

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    Just wanted to let you know Pammy that you are a lot further ahead than you think or realize. Just not being in debt and knowing how to be self-sufficient are big bonuses for you...especially if any economic storms pass your way.

    I used to feel this way around my sisters. I'm #3 of four as well. My sisters are all very well off. But we are about 10 years older than you gals. Funny thing is...one sister is now frugal for the fun of it, one sister is seriously trying to be frugal, and the other sister still couldn't care less because she's got lots of money to burn. Her life focus is on earning more money. That's kind of sad. There's so much more to life than money.

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    Registered User Incognito's Avatar
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    The prevalent attitude nowadays seems to be, in the same sentence:
    "This is the stuff I had or have, this is the stuff I just got, and this is the stuff I'm still going to get".
    And this denotes a true unawareness or denial of the facts of life, which are really not all that stuff-related.
    You know what it is to deal with life and death situations, and are still standing. Everyone else will deal with them too, it's just a matter of time.
    So hold onto the truths that you have learned, and proven... in the real facts of life. God bless you!

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    Registered User pammy's Avatar
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    I'm crying right now. Thank you guys so much!!!! It's hard being an outsider all the time. Many thanks and hugs!!

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I'm sure your sisters love you very much. But sometimes people can do things, even subconsciously, because your solid financial position makes them feel insecure because they're not as financially secure. It's like overweight friends who push desserts on their dieting friends because they don't want to face the reality of what they themselves need to do and the sacrifices they would have to make to do them. They're not ready to face that yet, so they try to get others off track.

    As long as you are doing what makes you feel secure, then it's the right thing for you, regardless of what others may be doing that's different.

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    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    You had life throw you a heck of a zinger your sisters have not had to face- losing a spouse. You need to hold your head up high that you are where you are in spite of the circumstances you have lived through. You are obviously a strong, bright woman and there is GREAT pride in that!

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