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Old 08-31-2009, 11:20 AM   #21
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A number of our friends are not employed at the moment, so socializing has become closer and more casual (potluck & BYOB parties) which I enjoy immensely. Restaurants & sports pubs are fine, but home gatherings are better!Football games are back in season, so will see the group regularly in DBF's "dirty basement" - lots of fun to come!
That is what I like too. I am close to my BIL's entire extended family. I wish I got out there more often. They like to sit around a backyard fire and have a few beers, maybe have the ballgame on in a shed. Totally comfotable nice group. All the kids stay connected too as they mature and move out on their own. Just recently the older generation has passed on; now we are the vanguard. Always lots of kiddies too.

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Old 08-31-2009, 12:14 PM   #22
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Wow... this thread brought back a memory of a guy I knew...

His family (not rich) tried to give him the best... he went to a private school and became friends with a number of the guys (all rich)... they went off to college and all got degrees... while we were working at a major accounting firm getting paid buptkiss he was still socializing with his rich freinds... they were out playing golf when one guy talked about an investment... the others were interested and they talked about how many units they were going to buy... they asked my co-worker if he was going to invest... he asked how much a unit cost... well, $25,000!!! Since he had no money and this was more than his annual salary... he declined... but as he said, he was taken down a few pegs on that golf outing...
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:35 PM   #23
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If that took him 'down a few pegs' in the eyes of his friends, they weren't friends.
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:01 PM   #24
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If that took him 'down a few pegs' in the eyes of his friends, they weren't friends.
I think it was in his mind... but I agree with you... they were 'contacts' in his mind... not true friends...
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:42 PM   #25
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I had one friend who spent extravagantly. We drifted apart because being with her made me uncomfortable. It was also very expensive.

Other people from whom I've drifted apart have tried to pressure me to invest in their businesses, prescribe sedatives for them, or join their religious sect. Any pressure or manipulation and I'm outta that relationship!
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:51 PM   #26
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One couple in particular, who we became good friends with, has been on an increasing expense trajectory over the years while we've been on a decreasing expense trajectory. The gap has become so wide that we're uncomfortable hanging out with them as often as we used to. While they're expanding/remodeling their house (literally almost doubling sq footage and lavishly appointing) we're decluttering and looking forward to buying a smaller house. . . .
I'm in a similar situation with my circle of friends, but have never had a problem with it. I think its because I'm very comfortable with the choices I've made and I simply value things differently than my friends do. One couple has a living space that is literally 6x as large as ours. They just finished a basement (a "man den") that is as big as our entire place. But every time I visit them I leave thinking the same thing . . . "It's nice, but I really, really don't want it."

Meanwhile, I just told these same friends about my plans to quit my job and travel around North America indefinitely. To express his disbelief he says to me . . . "I'm still waiting for the punch line." I guess the punch line is that he's still got 20 more years of work in front of him to pay for all of his stuff.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:37 PM   #27
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We love to treat other people when going out to dinner - especially if it's on the pricey side. For us it's just so much fun to visit over a meal that we are delighted to pay for the privilege.

If any of us ever meet in person and join for a meal you can expect the same treatment!

Audrey
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:52 PM   #28
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Regarding your sister's behavior, I am very very sorry to hear about that. I hope she finds a 'happier' place. I would have died if a relative of mine had an outburst like that
Her actions are such that my and my brother's families avoid her.

It is my belief that people with wealth of spirit and resources do not concern themselves with petty behavior. However large her purse her understanding of others is small.

Need I say that there is much more to her life story but nothing justifies her attitude about others.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:16 PM   #29
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We have a select few of family who spends more. The rest do not. So we have a happy medium. We spend a bit more with the spendthrift folk. The folk who cant spend as much we meet the same level. For the people we care deeply for. We do not let money be a hindrance if it means a higher spending amount or a lower one.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:17 PM   #30
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Well I too can relate to this ... althought many say that you have different interests does not hold any water with my situation... my DW and I had a couple we were very close with until we were on divergent paths on the economic ladder... our spending in no shape or fashion could keep up with theirs... different interests ..NO.. different incomes YES.. it is funny as we drifted apart and now after 10-15 years it seems they are trying to befriend us again...
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:28 PM   #31
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I wouldn't say that having richer friends costs more...it really depends on what people spend and the toys they like to enjoy. For example, we have some close friends who we love to visit with, and we have similar interests. Their spending on those interests though is slightly higher than ours, even though our income is several times higher than theirs. But our spending patterns are close enough that it isn't a bother.

On the other hand, another couple we know, the wife has really attached to my wife and wants to do things with her all the time (mostly shopping). My DW has had to turn her down in invites to go shopping about 7-8 times in the last three weeks. The lady went herself anyway, and spends a bucketload every time she goes. DW does share some of the same interests (quilts and crafts) but this lady buys and buys and buys and seems to never complete her projects.

They've invited us over this weekend, I hesitate and DW hesitates, but we don't want them to feel ostracized, so we will probably go. The frequency of these visits will be pared back a lot though, as DW can't stand to go shopping and go eat at a fast food place afterwards 3-4 days each week. (He and I have little in common except that our wives share interest in crafting). Don't know exactly what their income is, but it from the level he is at in his company I would say that they overspend.

In the latter case, the lady expressed her shock that we don't have a mortgage on our home, and wished she didn't have one. Judging by the amount of money she spends on her hobbies though, she could have paid it off long ago, if she really wanted, by cutting back on the craft expense and by seeing each project thru to completion rather than tossing it (when she gets bored with it, and before it is done).

Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, I guess.

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:40 PM   #32
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Many of our closest friends are older and richer. They drive luxury cars and live in large houses located in exclusive neighborhoods, but they have remained simple, unfussy people and we don't need the feel to keep up with them.
We are fortunate with the same.

Guy I met the other day had a theory about the "3 phases of life":
  1. Stuff phase: your primary goal is "stuff" - certain car, house, etc
  2. Experience phase: your goal is certain "experiences" - travel, activities, etc.
  3. Time / Relationship phase: you value most relationships and simply the gift of time
Interesting (at least to me). I skipped the "Stuff phase" and have always valued experiences. As I get older, more and more relationships are increasing in importance.

If your friends are in a "different phase" - hard to have a good time.

I saw a guy last week whom I have not seen in 5 years. He's still in "stuff phase" - he told me the same bragging story about his $1,000 stainless steel grill and "monster deck" on his house the last time I saw him...

But I was OK and acted interested - probably won't see him for another 5 years...
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:48 PM   #33
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The richer your wife's friends are, the broker you are !!
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:47 PM   #34
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Back when I was younger I was the overspender, spent way above my means (no that didn't work out well). I didn't pressure others to spend more than they wanted and always liked plenty of lesser expensive stuff. But it was probably obvious to them that I was overspending.

I think that part of my error at the time was really not looking at things as a whole. I would see a co-worker that I knew had a similar or lesser salary to me spend $X on expensive clothes. I thought then that I should be able to do the same. And I probably could. So I did.

But then I had another friend who spent $Y on a hobby I shared. So I thought I should be able to spend $Y. And I probably could and I did.

The difference though was that the person spending $X on clothes was prioritizing that and wasn't spending $Y on the hobby. The person spending $Y on the hobby wasn't spending $X on clothes.

But I was doing both and couldn't really understand why I was going in debt (dumb, I know but there it is).
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:47 AM   #35
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Interesting how the thread has split in two. Some folks are commenting on their relationships with other folks who spend more despite not having appreciably more wealth or income. Others are commenting on their relationships with folks who spend more and can easily afford to. That is, folks who simply have a lot more income and despite living LBYM, live in a larger house, drive a nicer car and travel much more.

I find that relationships with folks in the latter group are easy to maintain. They're people whose philosophy on life is similar to my own. They just wound up in a much more lucrative career, inherited money or whatever. Folks in the first group think differently and it's hard to find much in common.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:41 AM   #36
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Youbet - very well said!

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Old 09-01-2009, 09:10 AM   #37
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I don't necessarily notice a drift away from any friends we already have who may be bigger spenders or wealthier than we are, because the foundation of those friendships was generally formed before any of us had any money. But I definitely notice that, due to avoiding certain social spending that's not valuable to us, we generally don't form new friendships with people who are substantially wealthier or much bigger spenders than we are. But it just seems to happen naturally.

In the back of my mind, I do try to remember that the people/things we surround ourselves will affect our view of what's "necessary" and "normal", and it's something I factor into my life decisions. Humans have a tendency to quickly adjust to their circumstances, which if you're careful can result in an unceasing escalation of standard-of-living in pursuit of happiness.

It's much easier to be the wealthiest guy in a blue collar town than to be the least wealthy guy in a wealthy town.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:34 PM   #38
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We have some friends that used to dine at expensive restaurants frequently. I was honest with them and told them I'd love to go out with them more but we were socking away as much as possible for retirement.

They accommodated us and we started meeting weekly for cheap food. It became a game as to who could find the best place to eat for cheap.

We have a lot of fun with this couple, I'm really glad they accommodated us.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:49 PM   #39
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Helen, we have friends (one named Helen, no less) who love to find cheap eats and share the experience with us. They are always the ones up for a hike and a picnic, too. Good friends.
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:08 PM   #40
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I've experienced the drifting away of friends as our priorities in life or world view changed over time. Friendship is not always forever, unfortunately.
What works for me lately is my mantra, "Don't take it personally."
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