Frugal Living In A Family Of Overspenders
Frugal living and being cautious with everything you spend is as much a lifestyle choice as a financial one. It shows that you have been thinking and planning for the future, always keen to ensure that you keep total control of your finances.
Sure, it might occasionally mean that you miss out on something or go without a luxury purchase that no one else seems able to resist – but you’re sure that frugal living is worth it.
Family & Friends
The same cannot be said for your friends and family. The world, at large, is consumerism; too many people go even further and spend more money than they make. Whereas being careful with money used to be the standard way for someone to be, there’s no doubt that considerable ground in the “what’s normal” chart has been ceded to those who are more likely to spend than save.
This difference can lead to problems if you are into frugal living and your family and closest friends are spenders. They can constantly be suggesting exciting days out and new things to try. They show off their purchases, marvel over the items they covet and try to involve you in their excitement.
Meanwhile, you are saving every penny you can, buying clothes with coupons and more than happy to haggle on a price if you don’t like what it says on the ticket. You have one eye on retirement rather than existing for the things that you can possess in the here and now.
You might find yourself on the receiving end of a few comments that are meant to be lighthearted, but somehow achieve little other than highlighting the difference in your attitude. You might be called a miser; a Scrooge; all with the subtle implication that because you aren’t spendthrift you somehow are missing out on life.
Then, there are the occasions when the comments stop being lighthearted and begin to verge on outright criticism. If there is a family holiday planned, for example, you might do your thing and try and exercise some control on the budget. Yes, you want to go and for everyone to have a good time, but you don’t see why that has to involve an endless parade of expensive excursions.
The family you are planning with can push back, maybe even going as far to say that your frugal living choices are impacting their holiday. Of course, this is often said with no acknowledgment that the reverse is also true – that they are encouraging you to spend more than you feel comfortable with, just because they want to.
So how do you deal with it?
The unfortunate reality is that… you can’t. Aside from ignoring or dismissing these kinds of comments, there’s very little you can do. It’s important to try and remember to stick to your frugal living ways even when others are encouraging you to spend wildly alongside them; you have made the choice to save money, so you should do it for the sake of your happiness. Just smile and shrug off any criticism, all the while knowing that while the moment might be unpleasant, you have been busy making the right decisions for the future.