Comments on: Reader Suggestions On How To Handle Expensive Family Expectations http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/19/reader-suggestions-on-how-to-handle-expensive-family-expectations/ Financial independence and simple living Fri, 25 May 2018 17:38:58 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 By: Cheap Yuppie Mom http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/19/reader-suggestions-on-how-to-handle-expensive-family-expectations/#comment-119156 Wed, 25 Apr 2018 01:44:25 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16440#comment-119156 I usually try the soft approach first, but anyone who doesn’t get the hint then gets The Hard Approach. Like the extended relatives who demanded that I drive long distances to visit them every year and participate in a gag gift exchange that I and several others in my family hated, but never once reciprocated by coming to visit me or do anything my family was interested in. I and several other relatives finally just cut them off. We said, “We have spent many years and dollars adhering to your way of doing things. You are welcome to visit or call upon us in our location 400 miles away from you at any time.” Never once have they come to see us, or called, or done anything even remotely considerate. That shows you all that you need to know. It’s not about me, it was never about me, it was always about THEM and their unhealthy/one-sided way of doing things. The mom of this family unit is a bank vice president who got a weekend job at Macy’s to support her shopping habit, and she is still always broke. (This entire sub-wing of my family is always broke, too, and constantly complain about how I should be able to come see them because I have more money than they do)

Hmm. I wonder why that is . . . I continue to wish them well, and hope that perhaps one day they will discover the secret of frugality and intentional living for themselves. Hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t preach to them. Great post!

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By: Cindy Brick http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/19/reader-suggestions-on-how-to-handle-expensive-family-expectations/#comment-97882 Mon, 12 Mar 2018 20:11:15 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16440#comment-97882 You can still do something about this — if it’s bothering you that much. Send your daughter a check — close to what you think the reception cost, or what you can actually afford. Include it in a card with a nice note, saying you were never told how much, you want to help out, blah blah.
She’ll cash it…and probably feel a little guilty for how you “got talked about.” Oh well. At the least, it should help in the future.

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By: Lani http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/19/reader-suggestions-on-how-to-handle-expensive-family-expectations/#comment-88818 Fri, 02 Feb 2018 09:25:19 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16440#comment-88818 These principles can also be applied to other resources, such as our time. Our extended family all tend to be pretty frugal, but a few like to come up with group gift/activities that we don’t always want to give our time too. This past Christmas, someone assigned everyone parts to sing for every family so she could string them together in a video. Fun idea, and cheap, but singing is not something we all enjoy, we had a lot of sickness, and traveling going on, it was an unusually hard month for us. We made it happen (we felt obligated because assignments had been made already) but it wasn’t very good, we didn’t enjoy it, and there were some feelings of resentment that an assumption had been made that everyone would participate. So, I sent a message, that while it was a cute idea, we wouldn’t always be able to participate, and would appreciate their understanding if we decline future invitations. I may have ruffled some feathers, but the experience made me realize that my immediate families needs and circumstances really should take priority over those of my extended family.

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By: Alice http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/19/reader-suggestions-on-how-to-handle-expensive-family-expectations/#comment-88362 Sun, 28 Jan 2018 12:25:55 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16440#comment-88362 Great post, thanks! Just thought I’d add my experience, which isn’t maybe that much about spending money, but about spending time.

When my parents got divorced (in my early 20s), my mum kept asking me to go on weekend getaways with her. I wanted to support her, but a) I was on a tight budget, and b) I was working really hard to earn more money, and wanted to spend the little time I had off with my husband. A similar situation happened with my gran, who at one point wanted me to drive over to her place every week and help her out with her chores.

The solution is very similar to the money-spending scenario: it’s your life and how you spend your time is up to you. Your family has no business to dictate that. Off course, they can ask for help, but you have every right to decline or offer an alternative. In my case, I explained the situation to both my mum and my gran and said that I’d be happy to see/help each of them for one afternoon a month. It wasn’t easy and they didn’t like it, I can tell you that! But I was firm and in the end, they accepted my decision.

It also helps to remember you’re not responsible for other people’s happiness. You can get a friend to go with you on a getaway, after all, or ask some of your other grandchildren to help you out with chores. Incidentally, this is exactly what happened – mum found herself a group of girlfriends (yay!) and my gran outsourced a lot of the stuff she needed help with to other family members (double yay here!).

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By: Caitlin http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/19/reader-suggestions-on-how-to-handle-expensive-family-expectations/#comment-88113 Wed, 24 Jan 2018 19:55:40 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16440#comment-88113 I love this post, as this is something I struggle with as well. With friends too, as some commenters have mentioned.

A few things that have worked for me:

*Don’t just shoot down the suggestion, but have an alternate idea (as mentioned in the post and by many commenters). I think this is huge because not only do people take it as a personal insult but as someone else mentioned above it makes it seem like you are shooting down spending time with the person, as well.

*Be positive–don’t shoot down the idea at all, actually. 🙂 Don’t be negative about the suggestion or about your reasons for not participating. Really, we are making a choice, and we also control our perspective about that choice, and can influence the perspective of others. I think saying “I can’t afford it” is kind of negative (although I also see the arguments for it, especially if you really can’t afford it!), but “I would really rather just see you for a few hours than go jet-skiing!” is more positive. Also, “How about this activity instead?” solves a problem, it doesn’t create another one. Mrs. FW modeled this in her post with some of her suggested phrases but it’s important to keep in mind in your own thoughts, too. If you feel deprived other people can sense that and may try harder to convince you.

*I often keep the quote “good for you, not for me” (from Amy Poehler) in my mind when having these types of conversations. It kind of relates to the mindset of not converting anyone. Other people can do those things and it’s fine but it doesn’t mean that I have to.

*The most important thing is that I remind myself that I am the one who will have to live with the consequences. I will have the headache or nervous stomach if I’m overspending/spending outside my values (and won’t enjoy the activity anyway!), I am the one who will have to pay the bill, I am the one who will have to handle all of the logistics for myself. You are the one who will have to drive your child to the lessons, you are the one who will be frustrated when you don’t reach your savings goals for the month, you are the one to deal with the consequences. This helps me step back and realize whether I really want to do something or not, and gives me confidence in my decision and the strength ignore what others say (or more often, what I imagine they are thinking about me).

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By: Caitlin http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/19/reader-suggestions-on-how-to-handle-expensive-family-expectations/#comment-88112 Wed, 24 Jan 2018 19:38:06 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16440#comment-88112 I think a reasonable response is “We’re doing fine because we say no to these types of spending.” 🙂

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By: Cindy in the South http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/19/reader-suggestions-on-how-to-handle-expensive-family-expectations/#comment-88044 Tue, 23 Jan 2018 21:21:16 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16440#comment-88044 My so-called work friend borrowed money from me, one to the tune of $600, said she had it and would pay me back the next morning. Well, she did pay me by noon. Never again………yea, I was stupid. The bad thing is, she will try again, and that will be a complete total ruin to our friendship.

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By: Caitlin http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/19/reader-suggestions-on-how-to-handle-expensive-family-expectations/#comment-88027 Tue, 23 Jan 2018 19:10:47 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16440#comment-88027 Yes! Definitely bring it up before the heat of the Christmas season–people get emotional and assume things will just be done as they always have been and sometimes have started shopping already, and sometimes this starts in November. I would have the conversation one more time, in October, and suggest the wonderful charity idea Caroline mentions.

After that, as Laura mentions below, accept the gifts they give you graciously but also hold your own line. Other people are free to act as they wish.

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By: Potimarron http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/19/reader-suggestions-on-how-to-handle-expensive-family-expectations/#comment-87986 Tue, 23 Jan 2018 13:01:11 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16440#comment-87986 Oh, families. My husband and I are keen on living well within our means (we’re calmer and happier that way as we know we can weather any storms) but I routinely get told by my parents and sister that I’m being tight. The current issue is “when are you going to visit your sister?” (said sister moved to the other side of the world just over a year ago and now has a baby). I miss my sister- horribly- and really would like to see her, but I feel really irritated that my family are putting the squeeze on us to do the running (I mean, she was the one that moved).

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By: Jess 4D Frugal http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/19/reader-suggestions-on-how-to-handle-expensive-family-expectations/#comment-87219 Mon, 22 Jan 2018 01:47:32 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16440#comment-87219 Thanks. That first step is the hardest, like most stuff, but it snowballs from there. It is hard to not be as frugal as we are now when before it seemed impossible. Baby steps towards our freedom.

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