February 15, 2010 at 9:35 am #251432
Let me start by saying I am no frugal or eco saint, and I am not judging, just wanted to get this off my chest, really! I was a bit shocked, a bit disappointed but mostly it made me realise that an ecological revolution to help ‘save the planet’ and encourage a lower impact economy, is probably closer to impossible than I was thinking!
My husband and I do work hard & earn a good income, but we try to live frugally, we are trying to break any ‘nasty’ consumeristic habits :lol:, live a more ‘simple’ life, as such… and so while we do have things we need,and we have savings and financial security to a certain degree, it’s because we have worked at it… we’ve changed our perspectives and make sacrifices too.
But (and here comes the 😮 part) a friend was over today, complaining about how ‘broke’ they are at the moment, living week to week, with their credit cards maxed out. They got into a mortgage last year, and at that time had ten’s of thousands of $$ of debt (??) but they were already planning on purchasing a new car, and renovations to the house. And they still managed to go away on a weeks holiday over Christmas, and she told me before they left, she only just had enough to cover the food to take with them, nothing else… but was still buying prawns and a ham!
Now, they have just bought a new car, because one of their other ones stopped working, so they just thought, ‘dash it, let’s get a new one now, although it will put us in heaps more debt’. I believe it is a $40,000 odd dollar car (it has leather seats, apparently, so I don’t doubt it)! Maybe it was second hand, so less than that, but still… I am not sure how they even got a loan for that, considering the other debts are not paid off yet?
So, now they are broke and she hates not having savings for ‘just in case’ but then proceeds to tell me all the things she has bought recently, and none of them are what I’d call necessities! Fancy clothes for their child, homewares, plus she was telling me about her plans for several different paid activities this year for their child, and she was describing the clothes shopping she ‘had’ to do for Winter! Later when there was more talk of recently purchased items, I couldn’t help but say,” Gosh, no wonder your credit cards are maxed out”, she said “Oh, no, I paid for those things with cash.” (I felt like saying to her that if you had resisted buying those things and saved the cash, you could have used it to pay some off your credit card bill!)
I did talk about how we make do with Winter clothes/ shoes, and cheap ways to extend the kids wardrobe, as well as about the great bargains you can find at op shops these days, and how much you can save growing your own vege’s… but I don’t think any of that registers. It seems like it’s OK to live on credit and continue buying ‘wants’ even if it puts you in a very vulnerable position if the smallest of unexpected things should happen. OK, having savings is not something all people can do, but my friend ‘wants’ to have some, should be able to have some, but just doesn’t seem to realise that they are doing it to themselves.
You know this friend is a nice person and who I am to say they should not live that way (hey, plenty of people out there would consider my lifestyle unneccesary indulgence, I guess), but sometimes it really made me shake my head and wonder if I’m the deluded one for thinking that societal change can happen, that we can make a difference in the state of the world…February 15, 2010 at 9:47 am #453714
Welcome to the real world i know dozens like thatFebruary 15, 2010 at 10:01 am #453715
Yup I know plenty of people like this too. So caught up in the consumerist world they can’t see beyond it.
But U still think that there is hope. While there is life there is hope.February 15, 2010 at 10:09 am #453716
Oh Dixiebelle! If there were a magical cure for people like that I think we’d all be…. rich 😆
It’s so weird, it’s like they are totally incapable of self-reflection but want your pity anyway? I don’t understand it.
I had a friend like this (ex-friend now for obvious reasons), and although she was on a much lower income than me she would spend so much money on, well what I would call utter shit: magazines, crappy jewellery she’ll never wear, oh and the food and water wastage! Incredible! Then she’d see me in a ‘new’ (probably op-shop, gift or replacement) item of clothing and say something along the lines of ‘well it’s good if you can afford it’… used to *xxxx*me to tears.
I’ve never been one to keep my mouth shut, so I always offer advice if anyone comments about how much money they don’t have (or how much money I have). As I’ve grown older and hopefully wiser, I turn these comments into ‘well you know, I’m good at prioritising and things like magazines don’t get a look in’ or ‘we take weekend holidays closer to home because we can’t justify spending any kind of money on a week in the tropics’ (no I don’t mention that would be like pulling teeth without an anaesthetic for me hahaha). Sometimes I would wait until she whinged about something (never had to wait long haha!) and just tell it like it was: she either had to quit the whinging or make better decisions as far as I was concerned.
In the case of the ex-friend, I just couldn’t hold my tongue any more and it was causing me a lot of heartache every time I had contact with her. We just didn’t have any shared interests any more. Not saying this is the path that you and your friend are on; maybe your friend truly has no idea about how to budget, prioritise, plan or lean towards frugality, and this is her way of asking for help?
:hug:February 15, 2010 at 11:10 am #453717
nup no hope lolz
i think we just have to keep pluggin away or we would go mad …
i keep trying to get the gardens going and keep the trees producing here (we have quite a few fruit trees) and such and hubby doesnt help cos his opinion is * he would chop all the trees down and have it all lawn * if i want to do that then dont waste his time.
he just doesnt get the self suffucency thing 🙁
but u know , i cant give up, i just have to keep going and encouraging change in little ways.
we have to do that in others all the time. show them by example.February 15, 2010 at 11:29 am #453718
Thanks for your comments & support. This friend is mainly a friend through our kids but they don’t got to same daycare/ school, so no strong ties to have to keep the friendship going, as such, but oh no, recyclingdiva, I feel for your situation because that is your husband you have to deal with! Can’t just stop replying to his emails!February 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm #453719
make better decisions ..
Thanks NavChick….I have a similar friend who is constantly whining she has no money, yet lives extravagantly wasteful lives…what annoys me is when she rings her sister and family she is always saying she’s gotta go now because the 20 mins is up and its costing her a fortune!!!
She even whines to friends/family who are unemployed and living below the poverty line!!!
I get so annoyed and it seems she understands nothing and whatever I say gets me more annoyed and she wants to argue with me. I think I might just use the line “make better decisions” and leave it at that.February 15, 2010 at 9:47 pm #453720
My cousin is somewhat like that! They owned their own farm 1007 acres, and have credit cards up the whazoo! Have sheep and cattle, and complain they don’t get enough at market for them, and when you open their freezer, it’s full of prepacked Coles meat!!! :jawdrop:
So I said, hey!!! stop bloody wingeing, you go to the supermarket to get your damned meat, and there it is in the paddock!!! go get it!
When I was there we also built (on a 46oC day I might add!!!) a big vege garden in the only fenced off bit of her property from the cows!!! And I am now happy to say, they have the vege garden thriving, and have made a few kills so are almost seeing the benefits of being self sufficient.
Now to nag her into stopping buying everything they want!!! and making the descision as to if they really need it or not! 😆 think that one’s going to be the hardest one of all! But I’ll do it… Im determined. My love for them is endless! like my patience with them! :hug:February 15, 2010 at 10:22 pm #453721
It never ceases to amaze me that people live from pay day to pay day, with nothing in reserve for emergencies.
I have a sister who is constantly needing my financial assistance, even though they earn far more than I do. Of course, they have all the latest gadgets, two flash cars etc. Sometimes I even consider going from part time work back to full time just to support her. 😆
It’ll never be any different. If she was a friend, I would distance myself, but she’s family. :shrug:February 15, 2010 at 10:29 pm #453722
I don’t believe there is any hope, the world is stuffed and all the small things that people do will not make one iota of difference in the long run.
Excessive consumption is so ingrained in the population that I don’t think peak oil, global warming or food security will make the majority of the population change their ways.
Just live your life in harmony with what you believe and stay happy, the planet is doomed anyway.February 16, 2010 at 12:08 am #453723
Since my Daughter in Law has given up work her so called best friend hasn’t gotten in touch with her. Why she was helping her out, She’s a druggie and needed the money to pay for rent etc. My son found out just recently and went off his tree at her. So I have DIL saying S2 won’t give her money unless its for food till she realizes that her so called best friend should go to work like they did.
A friends daughter is very much like the one described. Spends $400 on a handbag that will last 6 months then she gives it away. Just bought a holiday home up the gulf and had to have everything in brand new. to spend 3 weeks a year there. I have seen my friend try and compete with her daughter in buying things and has gone into $50,000 for a new car and they are in their 60s now.
I paid $1000 for my little car it gets me from A to B and back. Does the same as the expensive car cheaper.
We have almost paid up our debt and are loving telling the bank to drop the BC every time it drops $500, they don’t like it but we do:DFebruary 16, 2010 at 1:27 am #453724
Agree with all of the above – have a family member who is unemployed, lives at home, inherited $70,000 and spent it in less than 6 months :jawdrop: What can you do?February 16, 2010 at 1:35 am #453725
Affluenza…. it’s rife 😉
Just enjoy the good life you’re creating
SonyaFebruary 16, 2010 at 5:16 am #453726
I live in my own simple-living bubble and try to knock about with like minded people. Saves a lot of explanations to silly questions, like “why do you grow your own food when you can afford to buy it?” Or, how about this one. Yesterday I declined an invitation to a function because I’d just spent $394 on a set of new tyres for my 9-year-old car. I’m a pensioner, by the way. The response, and he wasn’t joking, “You could reverse mortgage your place and get a brand new car.” Like, every time I need new tyres I go into debt big time and buy a new car?February 16, 2010 at 5:25 am #453727
“You could reverse mortgage your place and get a brand new car.”
Wazza this is exactly why I believe the earth cannot be saved from human stupidity.
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