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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I think about how good my husband and I are at being frugal, I sometimes feel superior to people who are not frugal.

There are probably people here who save more or save a larger percentage of their income. And there are certainly people here more frugal than me. So I don't think I would win a competition here.

But compared to people I know in real life, I sometimes feel like I am "winning". Like a coworker I know who makes more that me and is still working over age 70. Because we have enough saved that my husband and I can retire at age 60 with around the same income we have now.

I am not sure if it is healthy to think that way. But maybe it is okay. Why not feel good about making choices that seem better than other people?

I was raised in a family that valued "being humble". But sometimes it feels like that teaching goes too far.
 

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I think it's OK to enjoy meeting our own goals. I sometimes feel a bit "holier than thou" toward the non-frugal, but mainly when they are grousing about not having something that they could have saved for. I try to remember that everyone has his/her own goals and we each are at a different stages in our lives and started with a different set of gifts and challenges. I fail at being magnanimous most of the time, but I try. I do enjoy knowing that if i lose my job, I'm OK. Most of my close friends are in the same boat but many of my acquaintances are not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are lots of complex things going on with how people spend and how they save.

Priorities are a big part of it. And I try to remind myself that just because someone has different priorities than me does not mean they are wrong.

I remember once looking at posts on a retirement planning forum. Some people had enough money to live off if they retired now. But they choose to work extra years because they wanted to be able to travel internationally during retirement and have more money available for luxuries and entertainment.

Similar decision were made about their current life. They knew they could retire earlier if they cut back on spending for travel, entertainment and luxuries. But they would rather work longer than give up these things.

Both of these are conscious decisions. But I think a lot of people choose things without thinking about it. Like the spend a lot without thinking about how it will effect them in the future.

The people who don't think about spending and saving are the ones who will envy me when I retire and complain that they don't have enough money to retire. And they will probably say I am "lucky" to be able to retire easily. Umm ... Luck had nothing to do with it.
 

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Funny....I thought of this thread as I read an easy in the sun magazine last night (I got the magazine from the free book/magazine exchange bin at the local library). The essay was by a person who lived frugally in a small home and welcomed all guests with simple meals and good conversation. One friend asked to bring someone for the weekend because she had lost money in the Bernie maddoff scam. This woman shows up, likes the house, food and company but still manages to whine "I'm down to my last f- - - - 4million$". !!!!!! I would judge her and feel superior
 

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I think people have different things they are willing to spend on that others wouldn't or had different life choices or experiences so just depends. . now if your house was bought for out outright and you are going on how come other people can't afford to buy one.. or always with the hand out saying gimme. If they aren't bitching at me taking my energy about the situation of their own making all the time or asking me for handouts, then fine. Know your audience too.. like my sil years ago (single) was complaining $69k a year wasn't enough (also had other work so add 10k more a year) so looked at her and said your brother supports a family 2 sm kids on less then that. well last we heard about it thankfully lol

I think you find your like minded tribe .
 

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well I AM superior, don'tcha know!! LOL. All I can say is, years of frugality have paid off. I feel bad for people who live check to check, and especially if they make bad choices. We're sent into this world without instructions, good parenting makes a world of difference. One of the things that was instilled in me from an early age was savings. Except for a few years where I had to pay for my own college, and a new-to-me car, I have always had something in savings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I suppose it sounds horrible to say I had bad parenting. But my parents were really horrible with money. No savings, high credit card debt, often running out of money before the end of the month, questionable priorities for how money was spent.

I tried to make an effort as an adult to do better. I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I am doing pretty good now.

I think their is an awkwardness when you are doing better than other people in your family. It feel like it is not acceptable to talk about. So I kind of skirt around the issue a bit.

When my husband and I retire at age 60 it may be a bit more apparent. But I will still keep quiet about how much is in our retirement fund.

W
 

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After thinking about it some, I don't feel 'superior' for being frugal. I feel satisfied I have accomplished my goals and have financial stability. My parents were a bad example, too, and barely reached financial stability before dad retired. DH and I worked really hard at paying off debts and got there around the same time, but ~20 years ahead of my parents. That will make a huge difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes I think satisfied is a good word.

Perhaps I could I feel good about my accomplishments.

As I mentioned before, my parents overemphasized being humble. More to the point, I feel like their was not a distinction between being proud when you did something good and more negative things like being conceited or arrogant.

Now I admit to having somewhat shakey social skills so telling people about my accomplishments might have come out wrong. Specifically, I sometimes have an issue with tone of voice.

This is getting a little bit into therapy territory, but sometimes parents have trouble with kids that are more successful than them. It is like they are proud but also resentful and jealous. I tended to get very mixed messages and I think this may be why.
 

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Kathy that can be. cus really nothing wrong with knowing your worth. But they maybe they were told not to do that either. Both of us had not great childhoods and parents who didn't deal with money 100%. But owning a place, good job etc is all normal behaviour. I mean I am sure we all know our audience..like not going to complain about house repairs to a homeless person.
Life does happen and derail plans so you do what you have to do to try and get on track. Of course depends on what you think is enough. Or things you decided years ago but now will haunt you.. family thing going on which will make me bite my tongue but lord if pushed by bil..will be what afraid your meal ticket will be gone. as my moms says lol. We made mistakes with money too plenty of times but on track and know what big ticket items in the house need doing before we get too old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I feel like the nice thing about life is that you can mess up and still be able to turn your life around.

I was in a bad situation, so I don't look down on others in bad situations. But even at that point, I was trying to make things better. Not always succeeding, but still trying.

Even when I didn't have success getting more money, I tried to make the best life I could with what little I had.

I guess I don't feel much sympathy for people who don't seem to be trying. Of course maybe they are trying and I just don't see it. Or maybe the "lazy" person is actually struggling with health issues I don't know about.
 

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No Kathy I don't either or hand is always out or complaining but not doing. I know people who have health issues and are trying.. but if you are lying about things or can afford to smoke a pack a day $15 min a pack here. or as someone I used to know if a toy didn't cost $50 not worth it from xmas free from service. I was I don't get $50 toys for my kids at that age but then well still that way.
 

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When I think about how good my husband and I are at being frugal, I sometimes feel superior to people who are not frugal.

There are probably people here who save more or save a larger percentage of their income. And there are certainly people here more frugal than me. So I don't think I would win a competition here.

But compared to people I know in real life, I sometimes feel like I am "winning". Like a coworker I know who makes more that me and is still working over age 70. Because we have enough saved that my husband and I can retire at age 60 with around the same income we have now.

I am not sure if it is healthy to think that way. But maybe it is okay. Why not feel good about making choices that seem better than other people?

I was raised in a family that valued "being humble". But sometimes it feels like that teaching goes too far.
It seems to me that everything is learned by comparison. There is no absolute indicator, this indicator is individual for everyone. When comparing yourself to someone else, do not think negatively of yourself. When noticing someone's strengths, point out to yourself that you can work on it.
 

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The only times I come close to feeling superior is when people I know complain about easily fixable issues. They say they don't have enough money to cover a blown tire, but just got done buying a bunch of new clothes and bought tickets to three more concerts. First couple times is one thing, except it goes on for years and years. I'll feel a little superior in knowing that situation likely will never happen to me and my family since we put more effort into sacrificing some unneeded wants in order to be more prepared for unexpected expenses.

Other than that, I don't feel superior. Everyone is in different situations and places in life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, I had a coworker who was always having financial issues. But she was always buying new clothes, going out drinking, going out to eat. And she acted like she wanted sympathy for her financial problems.

But I think, as one poster said, it is probably best not to compare yourself to anyone.

I think perhaps compare your self to where you want to be. Or ask yourself if you are happy with your current situation. So from a financial situation, I am happy with my current situation. And projecting into the future, based on current spending and saving, I think my future looks good.

And I think my financial future is good based on my wants. So someone who wanted to live a more wealthy lifestyle than me could be unhappy with what I have. On some sites I have visited people have way more than me, but don't think it is enough.

On a related note, it is maybe not good to tell people about your financial situation, especially if you suspect you are doing much better than them. For example, if you have relatives who are struggling financially.

I have never lied about my financial situation. But I avoid mentioning it to people. I think people may assume I don't have much based on outward things ... wearing the same clothes for years, rarely eating out. And I don't do anything to change that perception.

I think it may be better that way. If relatives in bad financial situations find out I have money, there might be pressure to share the wealth.
 
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