Saturday, July 18, 2020

Some controversial thoughts

I wanted to reply to one of the comments about my privilege, and after doing some additional reading (which, maybe wasn't targeted at me, but sure felt like it), it sounded a lot like there was an income threshhold for financial blogging, and I was somehow over it & needed to go away.

I debated not writing this, but ... well, happy Saturday! :-)

People of all income levels & race are allowed to be frugal. And, IMO, should be frugal. We should all be frugal. Frugal means reducing waste, saving for a rainy day, HELPING OTHERS. It doesn't mean being cheap. It doesn't mean hoarding. It doesn't mean overlooking things that brought you to the place where you have the option of choosing to be frugal, vs a requirement of your life. I understand that many people are not choosing to be frugal. They are required to be frugal. I'm aware of the significance and the difference of that.

I feel really lucky that we're in the financial position we're in. I grew up lower middle class. I'm lucky that I have never received an inheritance, both because my amazing parents are still alive, and my grandparents all lived frugally & left a bit (think, under $10k) to my parents. I hope my parents spend as close to the bone as they possibly can before they pass, to maximize their own money. Spending our money & time on family is one of our top priorities as a couple. We love that we can do that & make it a priority. We save our money to spend it on things that matter most to us - time with each other, experiences with our kids, and time with our families.

My husband grew up around the same income class, but was a political asylum seeker at 16 in Canada. He didn't speak English. And, because somehow white privilege came up in this discussion, my husband isn't white & had nothing when he left his home. He's worked pretty dang hard to overcome systemic racism, so I surely hope it's clear that I understand what that means, and I'm working hard through my own time, money & energy to change the future. For my own kids, as well as those who don't have the same advantages that we do. I gave up talking about politics after racist comments directed at my kids after the 2016 election, so I don't cover that topic here. That doesn't mean I'm not a passionate advocate of change & equality.

Do I need to sell things on eBay? Nope. Do we spend a large portion of our money on charitable donations & helping others? Yes, we do. I don't talk about it, because... it's really not relevant.

Not all blogs are relevant for everyone. I'm fine with that. I love reading blogs about people in situation other than mine, because it gives me great ideas. Maybe it's not enjoyable to read a blog about finances from someone who has plenty but still tries to optimize.






38 comments:

  1. Please do not let commenters bother you. Love your blog and your stories. Btw I’m much more on the conservative side, but am similar to you in many ways. Love hearing about the kiddos too! People can’t be civil anymore. Why can’t we all appreciate what we can about others and let it go at that. Good luck with the remodel. I’d be interested to hear how you chose the contractor.

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    1. I don't mind differing perspectives. They are welcome here. Totally agree with you - be civil & kind & listen to the perspective of others, even if it's not yours. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.

      With the contractor, we chose someone that we used when we first moved in for some quick work. He recommended a variety of people he's worked with on projects, and had a great network.

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  2. This hits close to home with me. We have been blessed more than we deserve, but it does not mean we don't have/need to be a good steward of our funds and time.
    Everyone Iives in different circumstances and everyone has a different comfort zone about how and what acceptable spending is. No one has the lock on right and wrong, because every life is different.
    I have always enjoyed reading your blog because you have never been anything but truthful retelling your resourcefulness with your day to day living as well as maximizing your savings with other aspects of your life.
    I remember reading some of the vitriol when your sons were attacked, but I also knew the source and dismissed it as the ramblings of a truly discontented woman who has nothing better to do than spew hatred.
    So I vote for you not having to justify your life or blog to anyone!

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    1. Thanks, I appreciate that. i do think it's important to call out that we are really blessed, and have lots of great options. But, no matter what income you're at, people should be saving, and being good stewards of their money. And, as you point out, their time!

      Have been thinking of you a lot, and hope the process with your mom's house & belonging is going as smoothly as possible.

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  3. That is nonsense. Everyone has a right to be frugal regardless of income. You do not have to apologise for having a saving mentality. Geez!!! There seem to be bullies on all sides of the spectrum of both Right and Left

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    1. A general lack of kindness & acceptance. To be honest, sometimes I find myself falling into that trap as well, and with all of the constant discussion everywhere around us, it can be hard to step back & ensure we're listening & being kind & respectful. These are tricky times!

      Thanks for your comment.

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  4. Brave post from a kind person. Your family sounds lovely and you have never been anything but gracious.

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  5. I didn't see the comment but the thought is pure nonsense. No one is making them read your entirely free blog and no one is hurting them with their frugality, whatever the income level.

    We're the most well off now than I've ever been in my life but I will never entirely shake the careful frugal habits and instincts that got us here, and I do not want to. I will continue to be careful with our resources so we don't become excessively wasteful and destroy our planet and so we pass on good habits to the next generation and possibly most importantly, so we can give back to others less fortunate the way I was helped now and again as I tried to make a better life. To suggest you can make too much or have too much and therefore must "age out" of frugality is tripe and suggests to me that someone is simply jealous that you have the choice and you're making the responsible choice of your own free will. People get really strange out here.

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  6. I went through several periods where I really didn't have a lot. I did have a safety net of family I could tap into in a true emergency, which many people do not have.

    I'm with you. I want to be frugal. I want to teach our kids that you should be thoughtful with your money, time & energy (and material possessions). Should I be teaching them that if we make plenty, we don't have to worry? Sounds like some pretty tragically spoiled kids who won't know how to be successful or manage their own finances later in life.

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  7. You go, girl. Take that you bullies!

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  8. So. I have read two blog post with similar inferences in the past week and commented on at least one. Since that I have more time to reflect and have a blog post coming at the beginning of the wee. t give me more food for thought, I have dealt with real poverty lately and people who need to go beyond frugal to subsitence (which in my mind is a different thing. I've always considered frugality to mean choosing how to use your resources well and making tradeoffs in the process). I've learned many frugal and money saving tricks on my blog from people who have much more income than I. We should be using our money wisely at any income level, especially to be an example to our kids and to help the planet. While I am a terrible commneter on other blogs than mine, I love reading about all the money saving,grocery budget thoughts and all the rest.

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  9. Oops, Iwent to early. The people I do have a problem with are the early retirees you can retire at thirty five and forty and support multiple kids. becaue they're often not retired they are just working mobile like much of the world now. But that just me.

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    1. Thanks, Barb. I appreciate your comments. Agree on frugality - it's about choosing how & where to use your resources. I learn so much from people who are approaching frugality in a totally different way than me. Do I do everything they do? Nope, and vice versa, but we can all learn from each other.

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  10. Frugality is a lifestyle choice, a lovely one at that. I choose it for a number of reasons, though I have no need to live a frugal life anymore.
    My father was not fully Americanized, so I confess to having a hard time with the American view of "need." You NEED food, shelter, clothes and AN EDUCATION. My parents gave the half dozen of us the latter, in spades, no questions asked, as my grandparents did to my parents. In return, growing up, we took 3 minute showers, couldn't use a hairdryer or curling iron, weren't allowed to drive anywhere we could walk, never ate out, etc., etc., etc. Yet, like you, I am accused of living a life of "White privilege." Due to my married name, it's easy to not realize I had hurled epithets at me well into my college years. (Sorry, Rachel at "Living Better," but Ohio was a terrible place for a minority at the time I was there.) Yet, because I have, and value a higher education, I am accused of having "privilege."
    I will continue to live as close to the bone as possible in the hopes that I will bestow upon my kids an ability to transcend the lesser artifacts of this life. To that end, I read your blog for inspiration.
    (On a nasty, unbecoming level, I so wish you'd publish those nasty comments, and let us at 'em.)

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    1. I am so sorry to hear about that experience. I personally have had a limited view into that, as it's come through being with my husband & seeing what he's been through. And we live in a very diverse/liberal part of the country. It happens here as well.

      It sounds like your parents raised you with very clear values, which is fantastic. I always like your comments, because they do represent a different perspective than mine, and we all need that, right? Otherwise, why bother blogging.

      On the comments, the comment on my blog stood out but wasn't a big deal. The person's blog was where the other stuff was.

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  11. Privilege? My hunch is you worked very hard to get where you are in life. And as for how you choose to spend or not spend your money, that is your business! If a reader doesn't like what you write, they are welcome to move on. Good grief. Some people! When it comes to getting an inheritance, I'd rather have my parents than any money they left me. Money can never fill the void of losing them.

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    1. We've definitely worked hard, gotten lucky, made good choices (oh, and so many missteps) & been in the right time. We're also all about prioritizing about the things we value.

      You are so right. No amount of money would be an exchange for my parents!

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  12. I started reading a few years ago and at that time there were things you posted that didn't seem relevant to me, but I liked your general upbeat nature. I decided I needed to keep reading and think outside "my box." Then low and behold you posted things that I could strive for. I feel like ideas are all around us. I love that you cover things others don't.

    Thank you,
    Amy

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you found topics that you related to. And, since I don't think you've commented before - welcome!

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  13. I finally found the comment, and have to admit that my father very well may have said something similar to us if we whined about having to wait for a sibling to finish up in the bathroom before we could take a nice, hot shower in wintertime...could it have been meant that way, perhaps?

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    1. There was a post dedicated to the topic on the person's blog.

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  14. Sounds to me like sour grapes. You have what you have because you are frugal. You have worked very hard and use your resources wisely. So you get to go to Hawaii, and on ski trips and to the coast. You work to do those things. My Hubs great grandmother was from the south her name was Tennessee Brumfeld and she always said the worst people to deal with were the poor white trash as they had all the privileges of being white and didn't use them. I see a lot of trash talk and behavior coming from these people and shame on them. Now am I a little jealous of your life style sometimes? Yes but I also admire you and we all know to want to be like someone is the best kind of admiration.

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    1. Thanks. Hope you are getting through the move!

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  15. Please don't feel you have to justify yourself. Some commenters seem to think they know all about us bloggers & often have no idea of our various backstories & challenges. I read blogs that I find interesting & helpful & yours is both for me, just keep being your lovely self & ignore the trolls.

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  16. You do not have to justify your blog to anyone. It's a free country and you are able to write about anything you want to right about. What's wrong is for someone to come on YOUR blog and criticize YOU for something YOU'RE writing about. No one is forcing them to read here. If they don't like it they don't have to read it.

    Belinda <--- Sticking up for my friend.

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  17. I am the blogger who wrote the comment 'first world problem, white privilege' to hawaii planner. I apologize for the comment. It was inappropriate and judgemental. First, I am not a troll. Second, all of us have the 'first world'problem since we have running water, a roof over our heads and food in our cupboards. It was unfair to place that on HP when it applies to myself as well. white privledge is also judgemental. I apologize. I know you're husband is non white and you probably have had racist issues. But socioeconomics also play into the 'white' metaphor and I am just as guilty even without being privileged financially. Also, concerning the frugal post I wrote, I was again judgemental about selling on ebay. I have removed the post and it's references since I do believe it is wise to be frugal even while having money. Also it is good stewardship for our planet. You have always been transparent in your goals and lifestyle so my lapse of good judgement with those comments are inappropriate. As an aside though, perhaps some of the commenters should look at their own judgements as well, as a point of interest.

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    1. I really appreciate your response & apology. It takes a lot of courage to come forward when things go wrong & admit you've made a mistake. I appreciate that very much. I also think we all deserve a bit of grace in the current situation (our world, the pandemic, etc), as many of us are on edge & it's easy to quickly respond to something without thinking of the impact on others.

      Wish you nothing but the best.

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  18. I am in a similar position as you. This is one of the reasons why I keep our personal lives private. It's very easy for people in cyberspace to judge when they don't really know you personally. Stay proud of who you are & what you've achieved. You don't have to justify it to anyone. I enjoy reading your blog.

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    1. Thanks, Ms. Goose. These are hard times, and I feel very lucky we are doing well. But, always want to work hard to ensure we're being good stewards of our money.

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  19. I am pleased to see the correspondence above between you and Tahoe Girl. This is what the world needs more of. We all have bad days when we do or say things we wish we had not. The key is to learn from our mistakes and do better going forward. Wishing you both better days ahead, heck wishing that for me too!

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    1. Sending good thoughts your way! We could all use some positive energy these days. :-)

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  20. There are a lot of negative people in the world. When I get nasty comments I just delete them (I learned that from Oprah, after she let a racist comment on her show she said she then decided that it was her platform and if people wanted to spread hate they could do it elsewhere which is perfectly sensible IMHO). I read your blog and am very happy for your successes (and learn from your frugal posts as well)! Keep blogging and liberally use the delete button without feeling like you owe mean people anything :)

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  21. I'm very late to this party but I'm glad I stumbled upon this post. I don't have a high income but I've recently been realising how privileged my lifestyle is. I'm a newbie to frugality and definitely have some way to go on this journey, but I'm working hard to adopt a less consumerist way of living and it's great to know that there's room in this community for people from a variety of lifestyles and backgrounds to share stories, information and ideas.

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    1. Welcome, Katrina! Glad to have you on this journey. :-)

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