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Do people still say "I can't afford it"
Old 10-14-2016, 05:24 AM
  #1

I grew up and have lived all my adult life saying/thinking, "I can't afford it." For me, there is no shame in it. I truly believe that if I really want something I can't afford, I have 2 choices: I can pass or I can save for it.

It seems to me that nowadays there is no passing. The Disney thread really got me thinking about this. It seems like many people feel entitled to a new car or a new refrigerator or a trip to Disney whether or not they can afford it.

I'm honestly not judging (and to the poster who calls me "smug," please leave me alone). I really want to understand the new meaning of affordability. Does it mean if your credit line is large enough, it's okay to spend?

Do you skip what you can't afford or do you get it anyway?


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Old 10-14-2016, 05:33 AM
  #2

I think people have different comfort levels and philosophies when it comes to money and budgeting. There are so many different factors in play. I don't think it's easy to say people in general feel one way or another.

My personal example is this... we are looking for a new home. The bank is willing to finance us at X amount. We think X amount is too much and are looking to spend considerably less because X amount would be over our comfort level. Another couple with the same incomes may choose to spend X amount.
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:33 AM
  #3

My dh makes a good deal of money. Not what I consider rich, but plenty of money to keep us doing what we need and want. However, there are things we still can't afford. We can't afford to buy 3/4 of the new cars on the market because we don't want to live with that kind of a car payment. There are other things we can't afford, because the end product isn't enough to make us want to give up something else. We do have debt (house, cars) but they are well within what we can afford to pay monthly and still be able to live comfortably. I think if we were rich, it would still be the same way. Unless the riches were unlimited, there would still be things we couldn't afford due to the trade offs.

We don't carry credit card debt, because we can't afford it.
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:34 AM
  #4

I was raised with my parents saying so, and I still do as an adult! I think maybe it has become a shameful thing to admit to, which is sad. There's no shame in saving up for something or passing on a want.

Today's culture spends and spends and spends, thinking if you have a high school bough credit limit, that means you can afford it. A family member recently hosted a birthday party at a local place that included two hours of video game play, laser tag, golfing, and of course food for over 30 people. We barely saw the birthday boy except when he opened our $25 gift. I can't imagine how expensive that party was! We tell our girls they have a $100 limit, which includes gifts. They always opt for a free party at the park

It's okay to splurge once in a while, but that seems to have become the norm, not the exception.
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Re:
Old 10-14-2016, 05:47 AM
  #5

Tough question our biggest mistakes in marriage have been money issues. Buying a new Oldsmobile on Airman 1st class income, selling our home in northern Maine (mortgage payment $70 a month) and DH going to graduate school. We did not seek wise counsel...

Many years we lived pay check to pay check which is very stressful!!! It is a good feeling to know that there is enough $ in the checking account to pay the bills for two months, the money market has about six months and is readily available if needed and no mortgage/rent payment. Granted the kids are grown and out on their own now.


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Old 10-14-2016, 05:48 AM
  #6

This has been on my mind recently.

I just saw a family of 4 traveling to dressed in all name brand clothing and carrying every expensive gizmo amd gadget imaginable. Oh great family vacation for the year! I commented on an item they had and was told they got it on a vacation earlier in the year.

WTH? How can people afford to vacation frequently and have the best of the best?
I get it, if it was a few people, but I see it all too often! Are they in debt up to their eyeballs or just lucky to have such wealth through work or inheritance?

My DH make good money and we are almost debt free, but that's because we haven't had many expensive vacations each year and do not have every expensive gizmo and gadget.

I'm not jealous because I am happy, but curious
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Daily saying around here
Old 10-14-2016, 05:50 AM
  #7

As a one income family (and that one income is a teacher's salary) with a special needs child, "We can't afford it" is often heard in our house. We're very lucky to have family that buy us practical birthday/Christmas gifts like a new piece of furniture we need or a new mattress because ours is 12 years old.

We splurge here and there, but we try really hard to live within our means. My mom has what I would consider a significant retirement account. She refuses to take the monthly payout from it and instead lives on her state teachers retirement income. She could live a much more lavish lifestyle with that money (much like my in laws do with their additional retirement accounts) but she chooses to live within her means. That's been stressed to us all our lives.
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Like h0kie
Old 10-14-2016, 05:57 AM
  #8

We are a one income family. There are many things we can't afford. It must be a common expression in our house because DS (4) will often ask if a toy he wants is too expensive when we say no.
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I say that a lot
Old 10-14-2016, 06:06 AM
  #9

I have a private school salary, just paid a lot of debt off, and have a car note and student loan debt.

If I can't afford it from my bank account - I don't do it or buy it.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:16 AM
  #10

Although we use credit cards almost exclusively, they are paid off monthly. We are also on one income, and although DH makes a decent salary, there is always the possibility of lay offs. Retirement is in the not too distant future and we really want to know we will be ok during retirement years. Sometimes I look at the young people around me and think "how on earth did they afford that?" My nosy self asked a friend's son that question. His response was that you only live once. He has no savings, says he doesn't need to think about it because he has a credit card. I feel for him in a few years.


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Old 10-14-2016, 06:26 AM
  #11

I find I have an 'unwritten' limit in mind when I buy something. It can be something simple like a box of cereal (no way will I pay over 5 dollars!) or it can be big....like a vacation. I've been poor and I've been comfortable...not rich, but comfortable, but I know it's very tempting to go overboard with expenses...especially if I haven't indulged in anything for awhile. I, too am amazed at the people who will spend thousands at a theme park. I think a lot of folks today feel entitled to splurging....and credit card companies are making a fortune off them!
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Interesting thread
Old 10-14-2016, 06:41 AM
  #12

We have always lived within our means. My parents grew up at the end of the depression and saving was always stressed. They rarely spent money on anything foolish and I can remember them saying "That is too high" for the prices of many things.

Money is the one issue my husband and I agreed on the most. we are both frugal, house paid for, college for two sons paid for, no loans, savings and money markets, etc. We went to Disney when our kids were little and saved for 6 months. We always lived within our means and now that I am retired am finally to the point where we can splurge a little. Our children seemed to have picked up on our frugal ways, too. They don't have to have the latest phone, a new car and the fanciest gadgets. My brother was a banker and always said some of his richest clients came in in overalls and owned lots of farmland, while some of the richer looking clients didn't have as much money as they did. Right now I am saving for new kitchen appliances, even though we have the money in savings because we want to keep it there.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:57 AM
  #13

That's frequently heard in our house!
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:02 AM
  #14

I grew up very poor, so as an adult I am pretty careful with money. Even though my situation is very different today, I still think about what I spend.

The same cannot be said about a lot of people. I think there is that sense of entitlement. "I want it, so I should get it". We have seen and will continue to see the results of this kind of thinking. Think about the mortgage crisis. Many of these foreclosures were people who never should have bought those homes to begin with.

I do not live in a wealthy community, but it seems like everyone has an expensive new car, their kids all have the latest iPhone and an iPad (things I don't have). The future is not going to be pretty for these kids. They have never been taught delayed gratification.

When I read the post about Disney, my thought was do these kids have fully funded college educations? These are going to be the same people who say they can't pay for college and complain about huge student loans.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:07 AM
  #15

Definitely different money philosophies out there. I grew up with a very frugal mind set and came into my marriage with no debt (except car payment). Dh grew up in a very poor family and when they got money (a bonus, for example), they spent it. We had some serious differences of opinion. I frequently am the one saying we can't afford it.

That being said, we have taken some trips that we had to use credit for. I'm talking driving 2 days to stay with family, not resorts. We live thousands of miles from family. But we don't buy new stuff very often (says my 6+yo laptop who only works when she wants to). We can't afford it

(We are starting to resemble a 2-income family, though, so there is hope for us! )
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:15 AM
  #16

What's ironic is that if someone passes on the chocolate cake and says, "I'm watching what I eat" people tend to think, "Wow! That takes discipline."

There should be the same response when someone says, "I'm watching how I spend my money, so I'm going to pass on buying that."

I think those who have jumped on the Minimalist Bandwagon are reacting to the overspending. I've started saying, "I'm simplifying my life," instead of "I can't afford that."
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Interesting
Old 10-14-2016, 07:28 AM
  #17

I wonder if it depends on your age? My husband and I definitely talk about the price of the new SUV
I'd love to have, and we say we 'can't afford it.' The truth is we CAN, we just choose not to spend so much money on a vehicle. But then we look around and see how many people in our community are driving those $40,000+ SUVs or pick ups, and we wonder how they can afford it. People have different levels of comfort with debt. And different priorities, and I 'm sure part of that depends on their age.

I wonder if younger, working people (late 20's, 30's, maybe early 40's) just see debt as a part of their life and they're more comfortable with it? Retirement seems a long way away, and they have many years of work ahead of them. Just a thought.

I looked up the average debit and found this information, which I am gobsmacked about:
https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/cred...ebt-household/
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:29 AM
  #18

We have no debt, no mortgage payments or rent, and no car payments. Our philosophy is that we don't buy it unless we can pay the amount in full immediately. We have a decent amount of money due to an inheritance. My husband is retired, and I am all but since my business has declined down to one day a week at one school.

We use our credit cards and make several payments a month so that everything is always paid off. We do vacation a lot, but live in a condo instead of a single family home, and buy cars that cost no more than $14,000, sometimes new, sometimes used. We use coupons when we eat out, and I am using a belt to keep pants on that are now too big for me rather than buy new ones.

My parents had the same amount of money as our neighbors when I was growing up, but the neighbors had way more stuff. My parents saved all of the money others spent on stuff. They sent me to college debt free from loans, and had a good amount saved to have a good retirement.

I think it sometimes depends on what each person views as a priority. Some want all the stuff now, others are willling to pass on it and save the money for further into the future.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:40 AM
  #19

I think it's important for children to grow up in families that sometimes say "We can't afford that" as well as "How can we make this happen?"

It's also important not to question folks. Maybe someone IS going deeply into debt to go to Disney. Maybe they won the vacation in a drawing or a rich relative is sending them there. Maybe they saved for 10 years to afford that or worked on a budget, cutting here and there, to afford that trip (or that fancy car or fancy refrigerator, or those clothes).

When DH was a teen, before I met him, his dad got a cancer diagnosis and thought he might die and they went into debt to take an amazing vacation with the family. Not much into debt, but debt that they wouldn't have ordinarily incurred on their blue-collar income. It was important to DH's dad to have that time (turns out he didn't die of cancer and is still alive today at 94). You just never know. I have another friend whose rich mom wanted to take the whole family to Italy before she "got old" and could no longer comfortably travel.

I guess on one hand if someone decides to go into debt to live high on the hog, that's their issue not mine. On the other hand, I don't like supporting people (I don't have a choice, taxes...) that waste their money and then end up on assistance only due to their poor decisions (I realize that that's not the only reason people end up broke).
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Affordablity
Old 10-14-2016, 07:42 AM
  #20

I grew in a home where my fathers favorite quote was " if you don't have the money for it, you don't really need it". I certainly understand when someone needs outside resources in the case of an actual emergency. Example; water heater blows. My DH and I will pass on things we cannot afford. We have older cars, affordable home, and live within our means. I find my sleep more peaceful knowing I don't have debts we cannot pay. Each person needs to decide for themselves what level of debt they are comfortable holding.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:52 AM
  #21

We take vacations we can't afford sometimes. My wife's battle with breast cancer changed my outlook a little bit. When things were touch and go, she realized that so much on the bucket list was left undone.

We did go on an expensive cruise and went on a road trip as soon as she went into remission.
We are still paying it off, but it was worth it. I will never forget that amazing trip.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:56 AM
  #22

Both DH and I grew up in families with limited income ( later in his parents lives they became quite well off, though) so we are conscious of our finances. We carry no credit card debt month to month, have no mortgage or car payments. Two vehicles have over 110,000 miles and the SUV is 14 years old with less than 40,000 miles (too old to bother selling and it runs fine when we need it). We don't go out to eat much--- I buy groceries and we both are pretty good cooks. We live within our means and are able to be generous to charities of our choice or to my elderly mother who doesn't have much money. We have a very nice home. IMHO and buy pretty much what we want and can afford. It is how we choose to live. Some of his siblings are counting on an inheritance from his parents for their retirement(because they love to spend beyond means) and it looks like his parents will be going into assisted living, so we have concerns for them.

We think before buying anything too "major" and will only buy it when we can afford to pay for it without incurring debt. I think everyone has their own comfort level with debt......
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:17 AM
  #23

We say it a lot (and I'm the Disney poster ). But more often when my kids ask for something we say "We don't have the money for it now, but how can we make it happen?" My kids know that we don't choose to spend our money on gadgets and new cars and stuff. But we will figure out a way for them to play the sport that they love, or take a family vacation, etc.

Quote:
We take vacations we can't afford sometimes. My wife's battle with breast cancer changed my outlook a little bit. When things were touch and go, she realized that so much on the bucket list was left undone.
I think this is so poignant. We almost lost my daughter (then age 12) in an ATV accident. We just lost my brother in law (age 49 with two kids the same age as mine) to cancer. We scrimp in a lot of areas but sometimes it's ok to splurge. You certainly can't take it with you and sometimes the memories and experiences are far more important.
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:29 AM
  #24

We were just talking about this last night. Our DD and her boyfriend live in Washington DC and make very nice salaries. She called us up to see if her Dad could make them a dining room table. They found one they liked at IKEA, but you know, it was $300. They know that my DH could make a great table out of old barnwood and it would cost $20 for screws and varnish.

We delayed gratification quite a bit when growing up. My DH and I still do so today. We want to go on a trip next summer. We know how much it will cost. We are going to sit down and figure out what sacrifices we will make in the short run to be able to afford this trip (well, we could afford it, but this is EXTRA!).
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Saving vs experiences
Old 10-14-2016, 08:29 AM
  #25

I'll admit I didn't read all the responses; but the post struck a chord with me. I respect a variety of philospophies on money. DH has always been a much better saver than I have been. I have always had a bit of the can't take it with you mindset. However, both of our perspectives changed a bit with my mom's sudden "out-of-the-blue" diagnosis that she had months to live & her quick passing at a very young age. (A few years ago.)

Not one of us know how many days we have on this earth.

One could live their whole life in discipline, storing away all their earnings for their end days & never live long enough to spend any of it.

We, personally, *try* to live with balance. Planning for the future. Yet, enjoying the present to the fullest.

Vacations & experiences are very important to my family.
We have the typical busyness associated with 2 working parents & teen children involoved in extra curricular activities. We cherish our family getaways.

Thus, we plan on vacations/expereiences & make payments all year towards those.

Breaking vacations into montly payments takes the sting out of the cost & gives us something in the near future to look foward to & work towards. We love to look back at the pictures & relive the experiences.

I always do extensive research to find the best "bargains/deals" but even the bargains add up with four people. I am very comfortable with our spending philosophy but certainly respect others' finacial thoughts. We each have our own lives to lead. Live them in a way that brings you joy & peace.

ShyMiss stepping down off her soapbox

ETA We don't pay for vacations with credit cards! I just mean we set aside money each month in advance.

Last edited by ShyMiss; 10-14-2016 at 09:27 AM..
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:20 AM
  #26

Jazzer and I grew up in the exact same type of household and we have the exact same mentality to a T (cars, clothing, everything). My only difference is that I took out a mortgage to buy a house, because in this area, it literally would have taken decades to save the amount for a tiny 2-bedroom and my mortgage payment isn't that far off of my rent. I figured if I was spending it to rent anyway, I might as well put it toward a mortgage instead of a landlord. I bought well below what the bank approved me for so I could pay extra on the principal every month.

My parents actively taught us about spending and saving. They taught us only to borrow money for an appreciating asset (house, education in a solid field) that will become more valuable over time and never a depreciating one (car, vacation) that becomes less valuable. The only time I would ever, ever spend on something I didn't have the money for would be if it were a true basic 'need' like housing, basic clothing, food, healthcare, the most basic transportation to a job to earn more, or safety. If I already don't have the money for a vacation, why would I take out a loan and then end up paying 1.5x what it would have cost because of interest? Same for a car - If I truly can't afford to buy it up front, I need to be looking for a cheaper, older car.

I don't usually say, "I can't afford it." I just say no or don't buy it. It's nobody's business but mine how much money is in my account
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:04 AM
  #27

I am taking two vacations that I probably can't afford this May 2017 and Oct. 2017. We are taking an Alaskan cruise this May. We are also treating my MIL and taking her with us. She has never been away ANYWHERE. She just turned 70. Life is unpredictable. You are not promised another day here. She deserves this vacation. Sorry everyone, but I won the jackpot when it comes to MILs. I can't wait to take her. Next October we are taking DS to Disneyworld. We are staying at the Grand Floridian. We really want him to experience Disney as a little boy. To be completely honest the grand total of these two vacations is a five digit number. We kind of have the money
Dh and I both have secondary retirement accounts. We have tons of money put away for retirement and cost of the two vacations is just a small percentage of what we saved. We are on a repayment plan to pay it back within two years. To me this is totally worth it even though I had to borrow money to pay for it (borrowing from myself though).
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:25 AM
  #28

We never say we can't afford it because we don't feel like our finances are anyone else's business. We do budget though and have pretty much the same philosophy as LastMinute 123.
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Skip it if we can't afford it
Old 10-14-2016, 10:50 AM
  #29

I didn't read every response, but we try to budget. Many times we can afford it, just choose not to spend it on that particular item. It's priorities for us....spend a lot of money on certain things. I think many of our friends/relatives confuse wants with needs. We went through many lean years, but have been able to save some for awhile now. We enjoy spending money on our daughters and their families. We also use credit cards, but pay off the balance every month. We have been blessed with a good work ethic, which helps. Thankfully, we don't equate money with contentment.
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:21 AM
  #30

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Which explains our 15+ year old television, the 28 year old small TV in our bedroom, light switches that may or may not work, used cars, a living room/dining room carpet that's at least 35 years old, the harvest gold kitchen floor, "Brady Bunch" wallpaper in the attic...

Our major expenses were Catholic schools for the kids and travel every few years. Our choice so no complaining here. We're not buying tickets for Indians playoff games. We'll be watching on the really old TV set that doesn't get a great picture since it's not a flat screen.
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I was raised poor, and I still have somewhat
Old 10-14-2016, 01:09 PM
  #31

of a poverty mentality. I rarely buy ANYTHING that is not on sale. I hunt for bargains in the super market and ALWAYS visit the clearance section first (set aside in a little room in our supermarket). They often have $12 coffee for $4 or other really amazing deals. The other day, I was so proud of myself for buying organic butter lettuce in a big container for only 99 cents. It was dated five days ahead, so I have no idea why it was on sale, normally $3.99, which I would NEVER pay.

I buy clothing on sale or use coupons and have always visited thrift stores. I drive a car that I got new, but now has 200,000 miles on it. I figure it will be good for another 100K. Why not?

If I cannot afford something, I simply don't buy it. That goes for vacations, vehicles, dining out, clothing. I don't feel that I deny myself, because things generally come to me one way or another. I recently argued about paying $40 for a bottle of cough syrup under my medical plan and they magically found a way to charge me only $19.95.

If there was ever a dire emergency, I have lots of unused credit on various credit cards, and I would certainly charge things if necessary. Meanwhile, living within one's means is a great idea, but very difficult in this world.
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:24 PM
  #32

I say it and have no shame in it.
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:55 PM
  #33

I don't typically say, "I can't afford it." I don't think it's a particularly useful phrase. "I'm choosing not to spend my money on that" makes more sense to me.

There are plenty of things that I choose not to buy that someone else making my income with my required bills would say I could afford. There are some things I choose to buy that someone else making my income with my required bills would say I could not afford.

The response anyone should have to what someone else buys is this: "It's none of my business."

I agree with Alicia

Quote:
It's also important not to question folks. Maybe someone IS going deeply into debt to go to Disney. Maybe they won the vacation in a drawing or a rich relative is sending them there. Maybe they saved for 10 years to afford that or worked on a budget, cutting here and there, to afford that trip (or that fancy car or fancy refrigerator, or those clothes).
It's nobody else's business why/how someone else is "affording" something.

For most of my life, people who made the same amount of money as I did at any given moment (it varied widely over the years), would say "I can't afford to own a horse." Yet I had one for 25 years. I also didn't always have vacations, dinners out, new clothes, new car, etc. Someone else in my income bracket might choose a vacation, new car, going out to dinner occasionally, and new clothes 2-3 times a year. How I choose to spend my money may make absolutely no sense to you; but how you choose to spend your money probably makes no sense to me.
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:13 PM
  #34

Dh and I both grew up lower middle class. His family was better off than mine. We had no extras. We both work and make good money. I am the frugal one, and I always will be. His outlook changed when his dad passed away two days after he retired. He never got to enjoy any of it after working for over forty years. His mom had a lingering illness that drained whatever she had. They really never enjoyed their life or retirement. My dad died young and my mom's savings/house went to her care due to a long term illness. They all passed away in their 60's. Dh does not really spend extravagantly, but if he wants something he will buy it. He also has had two brushes with death which does make you appreciate life more. If we can afford it, we will do it or buy it. Will we spend ten grand on a vacation? No. But we will probably spend five grand. If someone wants to spend it, that's their business. Life is too short.
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:52 PM
  #35

first of all I continue to be amazed at the people who send pms "correcting" someone over a post. How dare someone tell amiga13 she is smug Drop the teacher hat

about the "I can't afford it" term...we used to say that when we were younger and found no shame however these days I don't hear young people say it. I do see out of place spending with some acquaintances and family members but I don't think about it beyond just noticing it.

DH and I enjoy our income on occasion but do not overspend or live on credit. I hate frugality because it speaks of not enjoying what I work so hard for so I tend to be on a middle spending ground realizing that retirement lifestyle is important for me and it is on the horizon.
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:35 PM
  #36

My philosophy about fun spending is, to spend sensibly after paying all bills & other necessities. So you definitely don't want to spend up all the rest that you have so that you're living paycheck to paycheck.

If there's something expensive one really wants, they should first try to save up for it, but if the person doesn't have that kind of time, has to get it right away, etc. then I don't see anything wrong with using the credit card, as long as they don't buy something else big too soon if they can't afford it.

I don't think having a debt of $5000 on a credit card is so terrible...just as long as the person had a job to make the payments. When that's paid off, they can charge on it again.

Life is meant to be enjoyed, NOT always scrimping one's entire life.
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:43 PM
  #37

For me, it is about priorities. For my own reasons, I want a luxury SUV and I have it. But, to offset that sort of spending, we don't have giant flat screen TVs, satellite/cable, or smart phones/data plans (just a few examples). We rarely eat out and, when we do, it is actual, gourmet food.

So to answer the question:
Quote:
Do you skip what you can't afford or do you get it anyway?
We can afford what we want because we skip on what we don't.

We take big, month long trips to Europe every other year. We do not go to Starbucks daily (or ever, actually).
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I can't afford it
Old 10-14-2016, 05:17 PM
  #38

When DS was little I quit my job to stay home with him full time. We were tight with money, but we had enough to pay our bills and have some fun. I was always careful to not tell my son that we couldn't afford something, because the truth was we COULD afford lots of things if we wanted to. Instead I always told him that we were choosing to not buy something because we were going to use our money differently. I still think that's an important difference.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:44 PM
  #39

We choose to live comfortably since we can't take it with us. We have a nice house and a new car, and take vacations every year. We are helping 2 girls pay for community college at this point, and 2 boys soon to follow in a few years. We have some in savings, and some in retirement. We try to live within our means, though we spend freely and usually don't have to look at our bank account to buy something we want. If we want it, we buy it...within reason. But, I comparison shop, and wait for sales or 30% off coupons, and never pay full price for anything. (I waited to get 40% of my new top loader washer and dryer last month.) We don't feel the need to keep up with the Joneses, but, there are times that we say "we can't afford it". It's not worth paying $800 for the car we really would of liked to of had the last go around. Also, I have no desire to spend over $100 per person to go to Disneyland ever again. We did that about 6 years ago on Christmas day. I told my husband then that it would probably be the last time I would spend that much money to ever do that again. (By the way...we literally stayed right across the street from Disney, and it was a nice hotel, and something like $100 a night if that.) We like Knotts better anyway. I think that there are a lot of people out there who buy things that they can't afford, then worry about paying for it later...or worse yet it builds up and they file for bankruptcy. I know a couple of people who have done this. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that concept.
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:56 AM
  #40

If we can't afford something we do one of two things: Skip it, or save for it.

DH currently wants to buy a new truck (He has an '88 Silverado) but, he got a new car just over a year ago. We really can't trade it in now (with the old truck) because we will take a loss. So, DH has been working overtime and saving so he can buy a new truck in the spring.

When we first bought our house and money was tight, we went without some things: older cell phones, no cable or dish, etc. As we became more comfortable we were able to eventually get these things.

We have never really had a "vacation" away because we have never been able to swing it. While we are at the point now where we are not living pay check to pay check, we are not to the point where we have a huge savings.

I do understand what you mean when you refer to the Disney thread. I have a coworker who has the mind set "She deserves to live", meaning she relies on others to help pay her bills, etc so she can go out and have drinks without her kids when she wants.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:31 AM
  #41

I say that a lot.

Typically, though, it's not that I couldn't afford it, but that I don't think that's the best use of my money. For instance, DH and I saw a truck we liked the other day, and I commented that I would like to have one. Yes, I could afford it, but I don't need it because my current truck is 8 years old, way less than 100,000 miles, and in great shape. I'll go to the matinee at the movies instead of at night. I don't eat out a lot.

I do have expensive taste, and I grew up with parents who bought nice things but we're not overly indulgent.

Recently someone commented on my handbag, which is a Coach. She made a snarky comment about how it must be nice to not have kids and have a husband who is also a teacher. Some things don't deserve a reply. (The bag was $39 at a designer brand consignment store. )
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:07 AM
  #42

Another "I say it but mean I don't want to spend it" here. I also consider myself "unable to afford" interest and avoid debt. We own our home outright and our cars so we have zero. Home and car debt are the only interest we consider ourselves able to afford, so we say no to ourselves a lot.

We're pretty comfortable at this point in our lives, (we're in our 50's, dual income empty nesters) but we still pick and choose like we always have. For example this year we're doing some remodeling in our bathrooms so our annual vacation will be a budget friendly drive to see family. We're trying to concentrate on boosting retirement $$ after many years that were more financially challenging due to kids, less income, more expenses, college costs, etc.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:18 PM
  #43

I'm in my 20's and there is no shame in saying "I can't afford that" amongst my friends. I think maybe just because of our ages there is no expectation yet to be really "established" with a really well paying career or tons of money saved up.

I also agree with the pp's that said people have different priorities. I am single and live in a very high COL area. I choose to spend about half of my net pay each month on rent so that I can have my own place instead of living with a roommate. To some people, that's absolutely crazy. They think it's ridiculous that I'm not willing to get a roommate to cut my rent/utilities in half. To me, it's something I'm willing to spend the money on. I think teaching can be a stressful job and when I come home I want to relax. I don't want to have to worry about being stressed at home too. Personally, I think buying expensive shoes/clothes/purses is a waste of money, but that stuff is extremely important to other people. I think it just depends on the person.

I think I'm doing "okay" with money because I have no debt (pay off my credit card in full every month) and have a little saved up for an emergency. However, my parents are extremely frugal and save over two thousand dollars every month. It always sounds ridiculous to me when they say they can't afford things; IMO of course they can. To them, my spending habits are probably "crazy."
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