Here’s a mild little rant to end the work week. It’s about people judging other’s spending habits. Let’s start off with those who think there are some who save too much. Take this comment received by MyTwoDollars:
You always talk about saving money and making sacrifices, don?t you ever spend any money? Don?t you have stuff you want or things you want to do? What good is money if you don?t spend it?
As it turns out, David likes to travel on vacation and eat organic food. Or this one found by The Simple Dollar:
What?s the point in making money if you?re going to live your life like a miserable miser. All this money that you?re ?saving?, what do you do with it? Take it to the grave?
Seriously, I can’t name a single blogger that is a “miserable miser”. Not even close. Does anybody out there really even know any bona fide miser at all? The only people I know that are miserable are the people who spent more than they had, and are now digging out of consumer debt. They’re stressed. My friends who are frugal – they all seem pretty happy!
I have my own theory about why people attack other people’s choices. It’s because they get defensive about their own spending habits. They take advice such as “How brown-bagging your lunch saves you money” and read it internally as “You dined out for lunch today? Ha! What a waste of money. What a stupid, uninformed decision.”
But at the same time, at the other end of the spectrum, sometimes the culture of anti-consumerism goes too far as well. For example, I often think twice about writing about some toy I want to buy, or the international trips I want to take, because inevitably there will be the comment asking “Why are you buying that crap if you’re trying to save money?”. Perhaps they take my writing to say “Why don’t you spend money on travel? What, are you too cheap to widen your horizons?”
I think what I mean to say is – Don’t misinterpret words to be at one of these extremes unless it really says that. Be comfortable in your own “financial skin”. As long as you are making your desired progress towards your financial goals, why feel guilty about how you spend any excess income. If you’re not, perhaps some changes are indeed in order.