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Weekend Roundup — Affording It Edition

In order to get in my 16 hours this week, I’m off at work right now. But that doesn’t mean I can’t magically post this roundup with the power of timed posting!

This is the “affording it” edition because of a series of posts which began on Monday when Paid Twice asserted that there was no shame in not being able to afford everything–dental surgery in her case.

That really struck a nerve with me, because I’d just been feeling bad about not having more clothes.

Ryan of Uncommon-Cents responded to both of us by discussing clothing as the ultimate want vs. need item. So true. I mean, I need to be dressed for work today, but…

I could be like Lynnae, whose family only had three good school outfits when she was a kid. As long as they’re clean, neat, and in good shape–does it matter? Psychologically, it seems to. At least, it does in a context where other people have far more outfits. I’m sure I wouldn’t care as much if the average person had 3 outfits.

Meg at All About Appearances agrees that when you don’t have the money to spend, you shouldn’t be spending it in order to appear richer. It doesn’t fit in with your long-term goals.

Deepali reflected on meeting the man who has no feet. In the grander scheme of things, my 5 work shirts and 2 work pants are not just adequate, they’re the sign of a very rich person.

Compared to many people and places, we are very rich and able to be quite comfortable even as we struggle with debt and desire.

And lastly, I participated in the Money Matters group writing project this week. Madison of My Dollar Plan provided a great closing review of all the posts! If you want a nice reference or you want the content without all the reading, definitely check this out!

{ 2 trackbacks }

Frugality, Friendship, and Feeling Left Out | Mrs. Micah: Finance for a Freelance Life
January 27, 2008 at 8:58 pm
Not by Bread Alone | On a Quest To Be Debt Free...
August 14, 2008 at 9:12 pm

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Meg from The Bargain Queens & All About Appearances January 27, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Thanks for the link!

And thanks for writing such great posts! You give me a lot inspiration when I can’t think of what I want to write about : )

RacerX January 27, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Beyond the personal feelings of “Affording It” there is the social aspect as well.

When your friends talk about the lastest movie or their awesome vacation, it is easy to feel left out.

Simple Tam January 27, 2008 at 5:13 pm

I would like to know what you all think of the social aspect. I like to save. But my work buddies usually hang out after work or on weekends. They have expensive choices and invariably end up going out to eat or to the movies. I can avoid it for some time, but if I continue to, I am deemed a social outcast. Any thoughts on how this situation can be handled ?

deepali January 27, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Thanks for the link, and the other links as well (more to explore!).

And RacerX brings up a really important point – we tend to measure happiness and success in subjective, present terms. Perhaps we should be more mindful of looking forwards and backwards instead? Like, this time last year, I had 4K in debt, and now I only have 3K. I’d much prefer that measure of success. 🙂

mrsmicah January 27, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Unfortunately, being frugal can definitely have social downsides. Some options I can think of for dealing with it (things that have worked for me) include:

1. Having frugal friends. You probably don’t prescreen your friends, but it helps to know if your friends are frugal. That way you’re not both assuming that the other person wants to spend money.

2. Planning the activities yourself. For instance, if I want to have dinner with friends but don’t want to do a restaurant, I can invite them over. I can also provide a DVD that I borrowed from the library.

Obviously, it doesn’t work in every situation.

Bita January 27, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I will read all the posts as soon as I can, but I wanted to comment on two things. Simple Tam I agree with mrsmicah, depending on how close you are to your friends just be honest with them with how much you can afford. If they go out get an appetizer and water. It’s really about enjoying the company in the limits of what you can afford. If you’re not that close since they are just work buddies, then just do what I said above.

dave January 30, 2008 at 6:03 pm

I would rather have piece of mind that a houseful of junk that I have to worry about paying for every month. I’m debt free now and plan on staying that way. I’m done trying to impress anyone. I may have done that in my younger days, but I’m much wiser now.

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