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To tel SIL they are not broke

(295 Posts)
Toodlehoooo Sun 15-Sep-19 19:08:36

I will cut a long story short, I’m very close to DB and DSIL. I know that they have two properties mortgage free and also that as we both had an inheritance that they have 50k of investments. They both work, her part time.But here is why I am starting to have issues. SIL acts like they have NO money, she is constantly “on a budget” she sets herself budgets for food, clothing etc and will NOT budge. She turns off lights and tv when ppl are practically still in the room. If I suggest going to a new place for dinner she will go and have a look at the menu and then say “oh it’s too expensive shall we just go to wetherspoons?” She is always saying oh that’s a lot of money, oh I couldn’t spend d that. She got her dc’s school uniform all second hand from a friend and even shops around for school socks!!
Now I know a lot of you will think oh well she’s being conscious etc but it’s verging on obsession, if we meet for a coffee she will have one in her take way cup from home with her and let me purchase my coffee! 😬 it’s embarrassing.
Is this her being tight or frugal? I’m all for saving money but I feel like she is taking it all to another level. There’s not a minute in a conversation where money down get mentioned. They have never been poor so it’s not something that came from childhood either 🙈 I am preparing to be flamed here but should I say something or just distance myself because I just can’t watch it any longer!!

Uniformuniformuniform Sun 15-Sep-19 19:10:18

I don't know if yabu or not. I want to be like that though...

Lockheart Sun 15-Sep-19 19:11:21

It's up to her how she spends her money. I'd personally find it a bit odd but it's not my business.

If it annoys you so much stop going for coffee and dinner with her.

Babyroobs Sun 15-Sep-19 19:12:33

I am a bit like this . We spent years struggling for money and I'd lie awake at night worrying how the mortgage was going to be paid. Then Dh inherited a significant amount of money and we paid off the mortgage and still had quite a lot left over. However I still feel anxious about money and I think maybe it's from years of struggling. I still buy yellow sticker reduced bread and try to be frugal, would never dream of spending loads of having my nails done or anything like that. I still worry even though I have no reason too.

Purpleartichoke Sun 15-Sep-19 19:13:39

I know what you mean. I have a family member whose frugal nature goes so far as to be financial abuse to the children. There is a difference between being extremely frugal and being obsessed with not spending money. Until you have met a person who does the later, it can be hard to wrap your head around.

Aquamarine1029 Sun 15-Sep-19 19:14:04

I find it very odd that you are so emotionally invested in how your brother and his wife spend, or don't spend, their money. It has nothing to do with you.

woodhill Sun 15-Sep-19 19:15:30

Yes really tight.

narkedinNI Sun 15-Sep-19 19:15:47

YABVU. How she spends her money is entirely up to her. Why on earth would her shopping around for school socks be of an annoyance to you? hmm

mclover Sun 15-Sep-19 19:16:48

I'm very fortunate to not have to worry too much about money as my job pays well and I get everything second hand. Can't stand to buy anything new, doesn't make any sense to me. So maybe it's just because she is very practical/ logical person?

saraclara Sun 15-Sep-19 19:19:13

I would be very embarrassed to go for coffee with someone who brought coffee from home and drank it in the cafe.

Surely that's not normal behaviour?

thecatinthetwat Sun 15-Sep-19 19:19:58

I think being emabaressed is ott. You could say something but I doubt it’ll work. Just do things that are suitably frugal when you’re together.

Tbh you’re being a bit inflexible by wanting to do costly things. But she tries to make it work.

thecatinthetwat Sun 15-Sep-19 19:20:50

I would be very embarrassed to go for coffee with someone who brought coffee from home and drank it in the cafe.

I’d be so impressed!

JoxerGoesToStuttgart Sun 15-Sep-19 19:22:23

She’s tight. And a borebag. How weird to turn every conversation to money. Every time she does it, change the subject. Don’t worry about being subtle, let her realise what you’re doing.

x2boys Sun 15-Sep-19 19:22:30

My dad can be a bit like this ,he wouldn't dream.of getting a takeaway or spending money on something he didn't have to ,my parents are very comfortable and in their late 70,s I guess it stems from it be years when they struggled it's his money though he can do what he wants with it .

user1493413286 Sun 15-Sep-19 19:22:59

Have you asked her whether money is something she worries about as she seems quite preoccupied with it. It might be your perception that she’s never been “poor” but you don’t really know what money was like for her growing up

DrizzleKicks Sun 15-Sep-19 19:24:14

I'm like this! I can't help it - it makes me happy to save and not spend. It was a habit when I did have to budget every penny. I'm financially very okay now but I'd still choose Spoons over an over-priced gastropub. I don't spend any money on make up, hair or clothes; it's in-built now and it would feel uncomfortable if I did, as personally I see a lot of ways money is utterly wasted.

When I do spend, I spend big, though. blush

NoSauce Sun 15-Sep-19 19:25:46

Is she cash rich?

AllFourOfThem Sun 15-Sep-19 19:26:16

Maybe they don’t have much money available to spend on a day to day basis though and, whilst they are well off in terms of assets and properties, they are cash poor.

I’d be embarrassed by someone going to a cafe with their own coffee. If it was a chain coffee shop, I’d be slightly more ok about it but not an independent place that relies on custom to keep going.

breaconoptimist Sun 15-Sep-19 19:31:40

I’m jealous at the level of control, organisation and planing that level of frugal takes! If her not buying things in cafes bothers you, suggest meeting at home instead. I wish I had the energy to always have a flask of coffee/tea on me!

LakieLady Sun 15-Sep-19 19:32:14

People have different attitudes to money, OP, and you and your SIL are very different. YAB a bit U to judge her for being different!

Given her reluctance to spend, why don't you meet at her home or yours, so she doesn't feel she needs to spend any and then it won't wind you up?

Toodlehoooo Sun 15-Sep-19 19:34:04

Yeah she was in my year at school, quite a well off family. My DB is a high earner (hence why she works part time) she has a card for his account so is not being financially abused. Tbh it’s more because I KNOW they are very well off, (as am I do it’s not jealousy) that I cannot understand her obsession! 🙈I know I know I shouldn’t let it bother me but I just am starting to get tired of the constant talk of budgets. There was a situation a few weeks ago where myself and dh and dc were invited round to their house for a cuppa and our dp’s Turned up too. We sat for ages chatting and then all the dc got hungry. She said oh I have dinner guys but I don’t have enough for everybody. DB said “ oh I’ll pop to the shop and get more chicken shall I?” She got all flusters and said that she had set the weekly budget and this wasn’t planned for!” He was a bit confused and said “ I don’t think 4 pound on a few chicken breasts will break the bank and he went out. She was not happy! That to me seems odd?? I’m starting to think maybe she is suffering from anxiety or something?? Should I ask??

Runningsmooth Sun 15-Sep-19 19:34:14

The coffee thing is bad. You can't do that in a coffee shop. Do you mean you buy coffee from a stall in a park or somewhere and she brings her own? If so, it isn't that strange.

I'm not sure what you mean about turning the TV off when people are practically still in the room. We only have our TV on if somebody is watching something. I hate being in a room when the TV is used for background noise and everyone keeps staring at it even though they aren't watching it. Ours would never be on if we had people round. We would be chatting.

Secondhand uniform is a good thing. Consumerism is destroying the world and is unnecessary and sickening. If someone can make themselves a bit less of a consumer then it's not a negative thing.

I wouldn't want to talk about the same thing all the time with someone so if she talks about money all the time that would bore and irritate me. But other than if she is actually bringing her own coffee into a coffee shop I see nothing in your description of her that is terrible.

Happypelican Sun 15-Sep-19 19:34:16

Lots of people are like that lots of money but not wanting to spend which is fine. Odd that it bothers you so much. I had a family member like that pots of money wouldn’t spend it but the annoying thing was they pleaded poverty it’s was embarrassing because other people who didn’t have a lot were offering them money, they’re the most selfish person I ever met.

MachineBee Sun 15-Sep-19 19:36:28

I’m careful with money and my DH has a childhood where money was very tight. I guess between us we may be considered over careful extremely tight but we both feel uncomfortable spending a lot of money for the sake of appearances. Perhaps your SIL has a similar mindset?

OneRingToRuleThemAll Sun 15-Sep-19 19:37:34

Could it be that they have to budget and allocate money to different pots? I live like this because otherwise I would rack up debt (again).

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