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Are They Typical?
Old 06-01-2015, 11:13 AM   #1
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Are They Typical?

I have acquaintances that I stay in contact with via FB. Two are female around 40ish. They post on FB about being broke and living paycheck to paycheck. Then the following week will post about a trip, or new toy or pet or new tattoo. One posted a couple of weeks ago asking FB friends for ideas how to get out of debt. (Last year she set up a "fund me" account to pay for some vet bills for one of her dogs). Anyway, two weeks later she is posting pictures of her new acrylic nails and spray tan to prep for upcoming trip to CA. One just quit her PT waitress job (too hard) and lamented about the impact to family income. Last week she posted a picture of a new tattoo (probably her fourth one...and they aren't small ones) and today a picture of a lake kayak she bought at a sporting good store.
I don't know why I care....but I can't see how they can't put two and two together.
Are they typical or outliers?



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Old 06-01-2015, 11:36 AM   #2
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Typical, I think.

We have acquaintances who take it to a whole other level:

They go quite lavish; weeks vacationing in St Barths, $4000 handbags, $8000 watches $500 dinners.

Three or four times a year, the electricity or gas or telephone on their (large) home is being shut off for non-payment. The cars (Land Rovers, BMW's) get repossessed again and again. They're always listed in the local newspaper for nonpayment of property taxes.

The sad part is that they do make really good money but for every dollar they make they spend two. They're not only flat broke, they're so far in debt that they end up running back down to St Barths just to "take the pressure off".

I just couldn't sleep if I had to live like that.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:58 AM   #3
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As I see it, these people and others like them, regardless of their chronological ages or their jobs/professions, are children........and should not run with pencils.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:00 PM   #4
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I think it's hard to tell.

A lot of people really DO live like that (ugh!).

And then there are those who "poor mouth" and act like they spend every nickel even when they have plenty of money. I guess they feel they get some sort of reverse status from it. I have known a few people like that. My dear F calls that the "prole-ier than thou" attitude. Sometimes comfortably well to do people want to represent themselves as truly members of the proletariat, having no extra money to set aside and struggling to make ends meet.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:01 PM   #5
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TYPICAL - we're the outliers.

Just think about the US economy when it crashed in 2008 when everyone stopped spending... we're definitely the outliers.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:11 PM   #6
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Typical IMHO. Seen too many otherwise smart people do the same crap. Even one family member, practices LBYM except new cars. Last two YO new vehicle had to be traded in because there was a very minor issue the dealership couldn't fix. :what:

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Old 06-01-2015, 12:14 PM   #7
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TYPICAL - we're the outliers.

Just think about the US economy when it crashed in 2008 when everyone stopped spending... we're definitely the outliers.
"A rising tide may lift all ships but when the tide goes out you see who's been swimming naked". Warren Buffet (I think)
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:14 PM   #8
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Typical. One friend from HS was a nurse for many years, was retired when I first made contact with her on FB, which would have been around age 58. She referred once to their "meager savings" on FB (complaining about medical expenses) but she's got an iPhone and an iPad. I know because she posts questions about how to make them work and jokes about her lack of technical skills. I have no idea why she retired if their savings were meager and why she buys expensive toys when clearly she's barely scratching the surface of their capabilities.


Then there's my sister. She and BIL SHOULD be fine because she's a doctor, but I don't know. They both drive nice newer cars and of course he has a truck. (He's been a househusband pretty much since she got out of Med school but has been a supportive husband and a great Dad- no complaints there.) He told me that on one of their Caribbean trips they bought $14K worth of tanzanite jewelry. I love jewelry but have never spent more than $1,000 on one item and would NEVER spend that much in the Caribbean. Too much mediocre, overpriced flashy stuff. They also seem to be supporting their 3 adult daughters a lot. All 3 are good women happily married to good husbands, but when they can't afford a "want", my sister and her husband frequently foot the bill. I sure hope it's not at the expense of their retirement. My sister turns 60 in a couple of months and has a job she loves as a Hospitallist- employed by the hospital, works fixed hours and just delivers babies. She really likes that but I suspect she'll be at it for awhile.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:14 PM   #9
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And then there are those who "poor mouth" and act like they spend every nickel even when they have plenty of money. I guess they feel they get some sort of reverse status from it. I have known a few people like that. My dear F calls that the "prole-ier than thou" attitude. Sometimes comfortably well to do people want to represent themselves as truly members of the proletariat, having no extra money to set aside and struggling to make ends meet.
Given the rapidly deteriorating socio-political position of people with money, I think that is not a bad idea, at least in many places.

I am a natural prole. although I don't try to run around stocking up on frozen food and toilet paper when Costco has it cheap.

Another good camouflage that I still tend to resist is to mispronounce, misuse or misspell any
word over four letters long. Most of the words that I get wrong come from simple ignorance. It's amazing how much owning a smart phone and a few apps will do for one's speech and writing. I think I have learned more about accurate speech in the past year with my phone than I learned any other time after 4th grade.

Ha
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:19 PM   #10
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And then there are those who "poor mouth" and act like they spend every nickel even when they have plenty of money.
My oft-mentioned grandad's brother wouldn't smoke cigars in public because he didn't want people to think he was wealthy.

(But he wasn't fooling anybody)
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:32 PM   #11
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I've always been curious about people that seem to have a thought disorder like described. Is it just personality? Level of intelligence? Seems like such a mental disconnect.

I'm also curious about people who embezzle huge sums of money and live these mega-expensive lifestyles. How do they do that? The idea that people see themselves as entitled seems similar in both situations. Where does that come from?
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:49 PM   #12
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I think that for some people, it's what they grew up with. My parents made it clear that they were putting money away (the bank used to provide little cardboard folders that had slots of dimes or quarters and my mother used to deposit the money in a savings account when she filled one. She also opened a Christmas Club every year. She used layaway and "90 days same as cash" payment plans. Dad started buying stock in his 30s and I used to go through little booklets of stock charts in fascination. All 5 of us (my 4 siblings and I) are in good financial shape although I mentioned in another discussion my concerns about my sister and her husband overdoing it a bit.


I suppose that if they'd charged everything, taken out big car loans and had no reserves, we would have grown up with parents who moaned about how they just couldn't get ahead because of the system and we might have figured that's just how life is. I'm forever grateful to my parents.
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:17 PM   #13
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I wouldn't say typical, but certainly not unusual either. These type of spenders are at one end of the spectrum, and many people here would be at the other end. Typical people would likely be somewhere in the middle.
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:27 PM   #14
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A significant part of my budget is for tattoos. Seems typical to me.
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:37 PM   #15
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Three Relatives each got $250k inheritance and it was all gone, and more in a couple years. Wow! The parents who did well never let the kids manage their own money early and bailed them out. I bite my tongue.


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Old 06-01-2015, 01:57 PM   #16
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I must admit, I don't know any people like the OP describes. Of course, as I am 60, these folks are considerably younger than I. My peer group of friends and relatives are remarkably similar to myself: debt free, mortgage free, fairly conservative in dress and outward behavior and any luxuries they allow themselves they can well afford. I suppose if I got out more or participated in social media I might broaden my horizons a bit.
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:12 PM   #17
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(Last year she set up a "fund me" account to pay for some vet bills for one of her dogs).
I think that makes her a-typical.

Lots of people live paycheck to paycheck. Some of them complain. Some have actually set up 401k deductions, but then spend the rest of the paycheck and and complain and don't mention that the 401k account is growing.

But, I think looking for donations from friends and strangers for living expenses is a ways out of the norm.
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:37 PM   #18
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I've always been curious about people that seem to have a thought disorder like described. Is it just personality? Level of intelligence? Seems like such a mental disconnect.
I've been puzzled about that too. We're acquainted with a couple like that, I've posted about them before, they're friends of a SIL & BIL. She's a retired math teacher, which says she has at least a master's degree so she's neither uneducated or stupid. Parents requested her to teach their kids math, she's that good at it. He's a carpenter, and a very good one in high demand so he can do some math.

They've lived beyond their means all their lives and are now so deep in debt with credit scores so bad they can't get a loan for anything. She's even taken out a car title loan to go on a trip. Now their only "trips" are to friend's houses because they can't afford a hotel anywhere. But when the electricity is about to be turned off she'll stop on the way to pay it (on the last possible day of course) to get her nails done.

Behavior like that is simply beyond my comprehension. Thankfully!
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:47 PM   #19
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I was acquainted with a young woman who always managed to find considerable cash to pay for studio pictures of Junior with Santa, Junior dressed as Cupid, Junior with the Easter Bunny, and so on throughout the year -- after all, you're buying MEMORIES! She had her nails done in a different fancy design every few weeks, "because I deserve a little pampering."

But she was always desperate for money to pay the rent and utility bills. Her attitude, until things became dire, was one of "never mind those silly old bills, those are just big greedy landlords and utility companies who don't really need little people's money."

Some people take a very long time to grow up.

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Old 06-01-2015, 04:12 PM   #20
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I don't see hardly anyone like this on my facebook page. There's a feature where you can block all posts by annoying people, and I use it frequently. I love facebook as a result.

Seriously, begging money to pay for a routine expense like vet bills for your dog? Sounds like someone can't afford a dog. Instablock on facebook for me.

In real life I tend to avoid people like this. Not that I don't think they have a right to exist on this fine earth of ours, but we just don't have a lot to talk about if their life revolves around digging out of self-created debt and rolling around in their own pity.
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