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to think that frugality is the new way of bragging about how much money you have

(68 Posts)
hungrierhippo Thu 10-Sep-09 10:27:43

I know this has been done before but I am stealing myself to see some friends at the weekend.

Everytime we see them they make a huge deal of how much money they are saving. Basically this is by earning lots of money and being cheapskates. This made itself apparent when we invited them round for dinner before Christmas (a long held tradition from our 20s) and they bought a bottle of wine they had opened the previous evening and bought DH a £2.50 present with the price still on after we considerably more on their presents and had cooked them dinner. They also stopped buying rounds in pubs as 'we're trying to see if we can live on one salary' (said to a friend who was unemployed). Anyway, I digress, it's not that I'm bitter or anything angry.

I am currently on maternity leave and before that worked part time (after DS1). They have no children and make 3 times the money we do.

I'm fine with people spending (or not) however they like but increasingly saving money appears to be some new exciting little hobby to people, along with reducing their carbon footprint by not flying to the Maldives even though they could if they wanted to you know.

rant over.

EleanoraBuntingCupcake Thu 10-Sep-09 10:29:44

i don't buy adults christmas presents, it is a waste of money but teh open bottle of wine is rude. you should have taken it and said 'oh that will be useful for cooking, shall i go and open a proper bottle?'

womblingalong Thu 10-Sep-09 10:30:31

They sound very mean and not very friendly TBH. |I don't think I'd bother with them much if that was their attitude.

AntdamnTheDM Thu 10-Sep-09 10:33:25

I've noticed this sort of attitude with couple we know.

Being frugal is about saving money and reducing your carbon footprint not about a competition to see who can do it best or who has the most money at the end of the month/week/year.

I dont understand it

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Thu 10-Sep-09 10:34:30

Oooh that would annoy me too. We have to be frugal cos we are skint. We try not to go on about it tho!

claricebeansmum Thu 10-Sep-09 10:35:58

I agree with wombling - it just sounds mean.

Even when we have been saving money and been a bit broke we've always tried to be generous - sometimes this means taking homemade fudge to dinner rather than swanky chocs.

It's about the spirit of the thing rather than monetary value.

It's like people who get all ratty about splitting the bill in a restaurant - don't go if you can't afford it and see the enjoyment of other people's company as part of the deal.

AntdamnTheDM Thu 10-Sep-09 10:37:07

Exactly Kat, people who are frugal (not by choice) are not about to tell everyone they know that they have saved x amount of pounds this week/month/year - by eating less and going without new clothes for 6months+ and only turning on the heating when they can no longer feel their toes.

Laquitar Thu 10-Sep-09 10:38:06

But for many people is not a 'new exciting hobby', it is an 'old hobby' that cant or don't want to get rid of grin

I can afford many things but being poor before has left me a legacy. I can overspent on holidays or theatre and then walk around tesco trying to find the cheapest reduced price bread! Old habits die hard!

But i would never do what your gusts did. That's rude.

nancy75 Thu 10-Sep-09 10:41:47

your guests are rude, and i agree its an attitude that really annoys me, i noticed it alot on here christmas with people boasting how they had managed to do their xmas shopping for 10p by getting their child a broken toy out of the bin or somesuch, only to see the same people later deciding whether to buy themselves the £200 dress or £300 coat!
in fact i hate all this downwardly mobile bragging - there is nothing good about being mean, living in a dirty house or never washing your children!

after that rant i think i had better go and have a lie down grin

wasabipeanut Thu 10-Sep-09 10:42:23

I have some synpathy with the OP. Competitive frugality does seem to be rather in vogue. I do agree that in a lot of cases people who have probably done rather well out of the recession in terms of vastly reduced mortgage payments, cheaper petrol, food, clothes etc. have been "playing" at this whole make do and mend mentality. You only have to see all these pretty, sepia tinted books on the shelves about how to save money to see how fashionable it's become.

DH and I have discussed whether such attitudes will remain in place when things start to perk up economically. Will thrift remain fashionable or will we go back to "because I'm worth it" spending for those fortuate enough to splash the cash?

We suspect the latter. I get the impression that a lot of people are just bored with the recession and have decided to go shopping again. Recent economic data would back me up on that point.

laweaselmys Thu 10-Sep-09 10:43:55

Urgh. Glad they are not my friends! It would be maybe okay if they had told you in advance that they wanted to down grade the Christmas event, but if you're really sure they're not running out of cash they're living frugally by getting what they want off other people.

Stop inviting them round.

LoveBeingAMummy Thu 10-Sep-09 10:46:25

Nex ttime they come round brag about how much money you've saved on their dinner and give them a supermarket own brnad version of a pot noddle, they might get the message then.

NoahAmin Thu 10-Sep-09 10:47:15

I call them "seagulls"

swoop into bargin shops adn squawk loudly about how CHEAP it is = thereby patronising the regular shoppers who have no choice.

ib Thu 10-Sep-09 10:48:08

Who cares why they do it? We all spend about 3x the resources the world can support (in Europe, even more in the US).

If we buy less and waste less there is just about a snowflake's chance in hell that our children will not have to live through an environmental crisis of epic proportions.

If they earn loads and save a whole salary, good on them. We did it the entire time we were both working and that enabled us to get out of the rat race before we had ds.

Worth losing any friends who are too snooty to sympathise imo.

mollyroger Thu 10-Sep-09 10:51:02

oh ffs, frugality is not a hobby, tis a new and unwelcome fact of life for some of us. angry

try living for 5 months on 1 person's p/t wages with a depressed self-employed dh who cannot find any work and worrying about repossession and bills and being really glad it's blackberry season so your kids can have plenty of fruit and picking windfall apples off your neighbour's lawn after dark, and going hungry so your children can eat properly....

Stigaloid Thu 10-Sep-09 11:06:01

YABU How do you not know that they are suffering financial drains elsewhere? We are having to be frugal because we bought at the peak of the market (when i was 6 months pregnant with DS and we needed to move and therefore bought) and our fixed rate ran out so we had to remortgage. We did so 2 days before the interest rates started tumbling down so we are now locked into a fixed rate mortgage at a high level of interest whilst others are able to pay as little as 1%. We therefore have to be frugal elsewhere. Whilst i appreciate that the open bottle isn't brilliant, at least they brought something along. Many people don't these days. You could still drink it and it was still good. Appearances can be deceptive and whilst they may earn more than you they may have financial commitments that are crippling them elsewhere.

mazzystartled Thu 10-Sep-09 11:14:51

yanbu to be irritated by ungenerous friends or recession-chic types

WebDude Thu 10-Sep-09 11:34:13

YANBU. I'd feel very angry at their handling with the opened bottle of wine.

If they're making such a fuss over how much they are saving (when for so many being 'frugal' is forced rather than choice) then perhaps you should satisfy yourself that what savings they've put away are earning limited interest, and they cannot take it with them when they die.

Sorry, they'd be off my 'friends' list and not be invited for a meal, or anything else.

(Before someone has a go at me, I've been in the situation where I've only enough for cat food, or my food, and yes, the cat gets her food every time. I'm getting over bankruptcy where I lost house and contents, so have been very 'frugal' for quite a while now.)

Pikelit Thu 10-Sep-09 13:08:43

Down here in DownfromLondontown, there's a particularly irritating habit of outward "frugality" being practiced by people who could actually repay the National Debt. I have no objection to - indeed I have huge support for - anything that reverses the descent into total materialism but so many of the outward gestures towards frugality that I witness are affectedly precious. If not downright mean.

So no, OP, YANBU to think that your guests probably needed a rather better excuse for fetching up with a half drunk bottle of wine.

cory Thu 10-Sep-09 13:22:12

On the one hand, competitive frugality can be intensely annoying. On the other hand, being around friends can be extremely difficult if you are never allowed to refer to the fact that your circumstances have changed and that you can no longer live in the way that they take for granted. We always used to find it difficult to go for a day's walking holiday with our friends because they assumed that you would be having lunch out somewhere and then you would drop into a teashop during the afternoon and then maybe end up in the pub, and we simply couldn't afford that on one income. But we couldn't really talk about it either. Awkward.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 10-Sep-09 13:39:46

YANBU and they are not being frugal, just tight!

Pikelit - grin at "affectedly precious"

1dilemma Thu 10-Sep-09 13:49:54

They sound mean not frugal TBH

Do you think they value your friendship?

hungrierhippo Thu 10-Sep-09 14:10:31

I really meant this to be a general discussion rather than specifically about these friends but, now you mention it, I don't think they do. She has been my best friend for years but, since getting together with her husband, seems to have found more interesting friends that they make much more of an effort for.

I'm sure they still want our friendship but tend to assume that they have it without actually making any effort.

Carrotfly Thu 10-Sep-09 14:25:37

A friendship only exists when both sides make the effort.

They sound awfully obnoxious.

bibbitybobbityhat Thu 10-Sep-09 14:28:09

Aside from criminality I think meanness is the most unappealing human trait there is.

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