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On Being Weird

July 5th, 2012 at 08:59 pm

The older and wiser I get, the more I think being "weird" plays a large part in succeeding financially. Of course, one would not have to be "weird" if the culture was all about saving for a rainy day and living below one's means. But since we live in such a consumer society, all that stuff is just "weird."

4th of July is a day for us to be extra weird. We moved from a pretty anti-firework city to kind of the polar opposite. So to watch the firework culture feels almost as if we moved from an entirely different country. This year was extra interesting because we had the super fun block party (LOVE it - so simple and yet so fun!). But all I hear is how financially screwed everyone is. So I kid you not - I have never seen so many fireworks in my life. Seemed to me there was probably a lot of "putting on an image." Instead of maybe some, "I can't afford my house payment so maybe I shouldn't be blowing hundreds of dollars on fireworks."

Needless to say, we had quite a fireworks display. Though we of course spent $0.

{In fact, all I spent money on was a whopping $3 of corn on sale - to feed about 30. The rest we gathered from out pantry - I offered to bring things we already had on hand}.

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My second thought of the day on being weird? Both my sons' birthdays are within the week and the thought did not even cross my mind to buy them a birthday present. HA!

Dh brought it up, and I was just, "Oh - I hadn't thought about it."

IT's not that we don't buy our kids gifts. Frankly, it's really the only time we buy them much of anything. BUT, they get so spoiled rotten by their friends and family and such, that whatever we buy is hardly noticed. So, it's just kind of a *shrug.* Usually dh gets free books and free video games and all that jazz, and we made out pretty well the past year with credit card rewards. This year I think we will buy them a couple of bigger gifts. Actually, one is coming from credit card rewards. Dh already picked out a $50 gift for LM (pre-rewards). Well, I am glad dh thought of it because not sure when I would have.

5 Responses to “On Being Weird”

  1. Swimgirl Says:

    Yep, we're weird, too!

    I'm amazed at the crazy spending that people do at the very same moment they are telling you about their money issues.

    An acquaintance just moved... she said they had to move to a cheaper house because their daughter is starting college. They are renting. So they posted a million pictures of the move on Facebook. New couch, new microwave, new washer and dryer. I kid you not! All because they needed to save money. THEN, the next week they're posting pictures of their vacation in Tahoe. No sitting on the beach or swimming (which is what we would do! Cheap!)... they're out playing mini golf, going to dinner, renting kayaks... And today? Eating out at a very expensive restaurant which they said, "wasn't very good."

    And of course, people get to make their own choices, and I shouldn't judge. But it's frustrating to hear the long stories about all their problems and also see them doing everything to make their situations even worse.

  2. rob62521 Says:

    It is interesting how folks prioritize things like fireworks instead of house payments, then mew how they are financially strapped. I guess that is the case with any holiday. As for your being weird, I think it is the others who are...you are sane.

    And swimgirl, don't you just love it when they "move" to save money and then buy all these new things that they rationalize as necessary? We have friends like that...usually their comment ends with, but we deserve it.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Kiplingers had a pretty interesting article this month about how just spreading financial literacy won't help; many people's relation to money is far more emotional and less logical than even they realize, so some would need to address underlying psychological issues before they'd be able to successfully implement that literacy.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    That is so true ceejay.

  5. frugaltexan75 Says:

    My family's never done the boughten fireworks - I think we have a very healthy fear of them. But we have gone to many, many fireworks displays. This past 4th we went to a display where for $3/person you could get seats inside a stadium --- or --- you could stand outside the fence surrounding the stadium for free. Guess what we did? Big Grin
    I've been more than okay driving around in a car that has definitely seen better days - not caring at all that my car is probably in the worst outside shape of any in the relatively poor mobile home park I live in. Now of course I have a car that is probably going to be one of the nicer ones.... not quite sure how that is going to go over in the neighborhood. (My grandma is trying to talk me into building a car shed --- there is only ONE car shed that I've seen between the two mobile home parks.)

    --
    Those people moving into a smaller home, and buying new furniture ... could they possibly be using the money they saved by NOT moving all that furniture from their previous home, and getting furniture that better fits the size/space of their new home? Maybe on the Tahoe vacation they had some really good coupons for miniature golf, etc.? Or it's something they'd been saving up for as a last hurrah before their daughter goes to college? Probably not, I know, but possibly?

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