PDA

View Full Version : Are your friends financially-minded like you?


PattiPB
07-09-2006, 09:50 AM
We are on our fourth bbq in two weeks tonite, and seeing our friends and their other friends made me wonder: Are we the only "weird" ones except for the DIS??

In terms of our financial dreams/goals/priorities, we are very different from the majority of our friends and co-workers. We are the only ones who vacation, and everybody has new cars and lots of "toys". They have little or no savings, contribute little or nothing to 401/403bs, and know little about stocks/bonds/mutual funds.

Just curious if the rest of you are the "oddities" of the neighborhood, too! :confused3

NY Disney fan
07-09-2006, 09:55 AM
I have no idea what my friends/families personal financial situation is since they don't share 401K balances with me.

ETA: My in-laws are notorious spenders. They are working class people who spend $1500 on designer Louis Vitton handbags. They don't seem to be in any crises in all the years I have known them so what do I know.

pearlieq
07-09-2006, 10:04 AM
We're in the middle of a whole bunch of different types.

On one side we've got your typical consumer, who is up to her eyeballs in debt and really worried about it. I worry about her, but keep my mouth shut.

On the other side we've got a family with 3 kids who are struggling to make ends meet. From what I can tell, she's doing a great job with the resources available. She's the one I go to to hear about great sales and fun free events!

Our other friends seem to have plenty of money and have a great entrepreneurial spirit. I love hearing about new business opportunites from them. One day they might even convince me to take the plunge!

My best friend is just starting out with her fiance. She's been working her behind off since she was 15 and put herself through school. She doesn't have much formal knowledge about money, but she's got tons of street smarts and knows how to make it work.

I love knowing so many different "types". I learn something from all of them!

babiesX2
07-09-2006, 10:05 AM
Nope, not even close. My closest friend (a fellow RN) works 2 jobs while her husband only works one. They live in an old trailer, drive an older car, and they are still broke. Their most recent drama was she found out her husband (who does their finances) had not been making the payments on a Zero % interest credit card. Of course the interest rate had soared to 16.9% retro to the day they put charges on the card. Plus, the $120 in late fees that were racking up interest. :sad2:

Our other closest friends are at the other end of the spectrum. They use the Dave Ramsey methods and have a brand new house that they used cash as they built. It only took them a year. They also own about 10 rent houses that bring in a nice chunk of income.

We have some more friends that we don't really hang out with anymore, but they were always poor mouthing about how much money they didn't have. Every time I went to Wal-Mart I would see her and she'd have expensive, useless items like a 4 foot tall dancing, singing animatronic Santa Clause. :rolleyes1

nbodyhome
07-09-2006, 10:10 AM
I dont' discuss finances with friends for the most part. I have some friends who spend a fair bit on vacations and I'd be probably have no savings - but again, it isn't something we discuss.

Family members I know more about - at least some. My extended family in California are all money-savvy (much more than myself, and they got an early start), which is great. Some other family members, not so much.

vegasnative
07-09-2006, 10:10 AM
I'm in the middle of reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover right now and he talks about just this thing. He even says that you may get laughed at from friends and family if you choose to "not" live like everyone else is living right now. I have to admit, we used to be that family with the toys but we still went on vacation too as I love to travel and can't stand not to do it. However, we are in the middle of getting serious "gazelle intensity" Ramsey calls it. We have always contributed to our IRA's even with the toys, but now we are focusing on other things like making a better life for us and the kids and toys with payments is not one of them!

NY Disney fan
07-09-2006, 10:15 AM
My dear friend is about $200K in non-mortgage debt but I am just sick about it for her. I really hope she pulls through. :guilty:

babiesX2
07-09-2006, 10:18 AM
I dont' discuss finances with friends for the most part. I have some friends who spend a fair bit on vacations and I'd be probably have no savings - but again, it isn't something we discuss.

I only knew about my friend's credit card drama because she came to me crying and asking for advice. My advice was to take the checkbook away from her husband and highjack all of their accounts and change passwords and start doing the finances herself because he isn't doing a good job of it. There is no way I'd be busting my butt working 12 hour shifts 6 and 7 days out of the week every week and my "reward" be unpaid bills and an "empty" checking account. Nursing is hard work (mentally, emotionally, and physically).

barkley
07-09-2006, 11:10 AM
don't talk too much about finances with friends, but sure know some have/are headed for a major crash and burn.

know of 3 (separate from each other) all of whom have life-time history of mom or grandparent always bailing them out (or helping them live beyond their means). in 2 of the cases we know they are 'banking' on inheriting money when the time comes (so no savings, retirement funding-heck never had a reason to take a job that did'nt suit their extracurricular scheduals), one already inherited. the one that inherited blew through over $200,000 in about 2 years (decided he didnt need to work, just partied and gave 'loans' to every fair weather friend who hit him up)-has nothing to show for it (when the liquid money ran out he sold the one intellegent purchase-a mobile home-at well below value to free up funds). of the other 2 one's done several bankruptcy's but does'nt 'worry' about it cuz everything of value she 'owns' is in grandparent's name and she'll inherit it anyway.

i feel sorry for their kids-there's no way they have a clue about money, finances and budgeting. in one case i think the teen daughter was very surprised that although she'd never been refused any toy, designer clothing item...there was not a cent for her to go to college. so she started working minimum wage jobs while the family member continued to pay for the 'fun stuff' :sad2:

when i look at the friends who seem to share our rather conservative financial practices-i see people who were all raised in comfortable but modest lifestyles, raised with the expectation in highschool that if you wanted any extras beyond what the parents thought was reasonable you got a part-time job, were involved in self-financing their educations (most with some financial support from parents either through tuition assistance or staying at home rent free), bought thier homes with their money-no downpayment 'gifts' from mom/dad...they all grew up knowing the value of a dollar and the hard work that went into earning it. and while their kids enjoy alot more toys and vacations than they ever did as kids and young marrieds-the kids see the hard work that goes into earning it, know the things they 'go without' to fund them (wait until the newest movie is released on video vs paying a chunk to see it at the theatre, get good serviceable clothes vs designer, mom cooks great meals at home vs going out to fast food all the time)-and now that they are teens (some close to adulthood) they seem to have a good handle on finances as well.

barbeml
07-09-2006, 11:13 AM
We are very close to two couples with whom we often discusss money "strategy," mostly because they were under the false assumption that we are "rich" because we go to WDW every year and pay cash for cars, etc. and were constantly asking why we don't buy a BMW or a McMansion.

When one DF got a job in finance, she started hounding us to invest with her. Sorry, I'm happy to talk money as long as specific amounts are not involved. Besides, her personal finances are a disaster and I wouldn't trust her with a dime.

We all finally came to the realization that all three couples had roughly the same income, DH and I just happened to make different choices that have resulted in no debt (aside from a mortgage that will be paid off in 7 years) and good savings.

It's funny, I would never dream of critizing my friend who has folded the balances of two previous car loans into her current loan (she gets bored quickly with cars), taken expensive vacations while unemployed and has 24 active credit cards (now she wants a pool and asked us to pay for half until she could pay us back in a year... :lmao: ), but so many people feel free to rag on us because we live within our means.

ducklite
07-09-2006, 11:24 AM
We're about in the middle.

We've got some friends that spend money like it grows on trees, have rotten credit, no savings--short or long term--and seem to have a compulsive need to spend every dime in their pocket without regard to the future, usually on "junk."

We've got other friends who pinch every penny, never vacation, never eat out, haven't bought new clothing in years, one is so frugal that she washes her clothes in her bathtub, she won't even go to a laundrymat and thinks the washer and dryer that came with her place are a waste of money because of higher water and electric bills!

But I'd say that most of our friends are about on the same track we are. Some might drive more expensive cars but eat out less often, others might vacation more but spend less on clothes, still others have a second home but no kids (so no college fund). In the long run most of our friends have a nest egg for the future and short term savings for emergencies, and are carrying maybe a mortgage and car loan (or two), and I know most have little or no credit card debt.

Anne

staceyfe
07-09-2006, 11:47 AM
When one DF got a job in finance, she started hounding us to invest with her. Sorry, I'm happy to talk money as long as specific amounts are not involved.

This is so smart...I learned the hard way it's best not to have even acquantainces handle your money.

I would say most of my friends live within their means, as do DH and I. But there's no doubt, I'm definitely the most frugal of anyone I know, except for my grandmother, bless her!

kinntj
07-09-2006, 11:59 AM
Most of our friends are like minded with finances. We don't have friends that we know are seriously in debt.

I'm just concentrating on our situation, so I don't keep up with everyone elses.

DawnM
07-09-2006, 12:11 PM
HA! We are the POOR FOLKS on our block apparently. We went to a BBQ of our cul-de-sac and (4 families) we were the only ones not discussing our home up at the lake, our new boat or our new motorhome with 3 pop-outs!

I have no idea what kind of money they actually have.

I have a gammet of different friends. Some are great with finances and talk about it, others have money but spend like they have even more than they do, and some are just plain foolish when it comes to finances and their future.

I will admit that although we have always paid into 401K for DH and into the State Teacher's Retirement plan for me, we haven't always been great about spending what we had left over.

It is only recently that we started getting really serious about living frugally, paying off the car and the one student loan we have left, and saving money.

I actually have fun living on a shoestring and not telling everyone about it (other than those like minded folks like on this board). I buy used, go to thrift stores, shop at discount grocery stores, etc....

Dawn

shamrock30
07-09-2006, 12:11 PM
We are on our fourth bbq in two weeks tonite, and seeing our friends and their other friends made me wonder: Are we the only "weird" ones except for the DIS??

In terms of our financial dreams/goals/priorities, we are very different from the majority of our friends and co-workers. We are the only ones who vacation, and everybody has new cars and lots of "toys". They have little or no savings, contribute little or nothing to 401/403bs, and know little about stocks/bonds/mutual funds.

Just curious if the rest of you are the "oddities" of the neighborhood, too! :confused3

I have no clue about my neighbors' investment situations or knowledge, but we're certainly the oddity that would rather travel than have "toys".

mamalle
07-09-2006, 12:27 PM
not really sure- we have a vast amount of friends in all different tax brackets I believe. I may talk on occasion with a close friend of mine regarding things but otherwise Im not interested. I have no time to worry about others and how they spend their money, etc. I mind my own business..

jeankeri
07-09-2006, 12:27 PM
Most people in our community live within their means and are pretty conservative with $$. In my friend/family circle, I would have to say I am the oddball of my family. I come from an assorted group of chargers and impulse buyers. My mom, sister and godmother have no retirement savings to speak of. (Having moved away when my DH relocated his job, I am out of the family gossip loop, but cannot imagine the tigers have changed their stripes in my absence.) As far as friends go, one of my 3 closest friends is also a charger; the other 2 are financially sound and closer to my own money habits.

arminnie
07-09-2006, 01:21 PM
In terms of our financial dreams/goals/priorities, we are very different from the majority of our friends and co-workers. We are the only ones who vacation, and everybody has new cars and lots of "toys". They have little or no savings, contribute little or nothing to 401/403bs, and know little about stocks/bonds/mutual funds.

Just curious if the rest of you are the "oddities" of the neighborhood, too! :confused3
Probably because of where I went to school and worked many of my friends are very, very, very wealthy. They are not in debt and many of them live in multi-million dollar homes and drive very expensive cars.

Yes - I am very different in terms of financial dreams and goals, but maybe not in priorities. We are older so I really don't find any one up manship. Probably 2/3 of the people that I know have way more money than I do, but I don't feel that they treat me any differently. I try not to treat others "differently" if I have more money.

PattiPB
07-09-2006, 02:10 PM
Interesting responses!!!

I didn't mean to ask if you openly discuss financial numbers with the neighbors! We don't discuss numbers, but since we are teachers our salaries are public knowledge :rolleyes: .

Let me replay the conversation from last night that led me to post this topic:

We are looking at portable DVD players. So, we were asking the other people at this party if they used them, because they all have kids, and I thought they might have some ideas in terms of price/suggestions/where to shop. I was just making conversation!! Anyway, I kid you not, this was one of the things that was said:

"Well, your van is 3 or 4 years old, right? Why don't you just buy a new minivan and have the headrest DVD players factory installed."

THAT is the mentality I'm talking about! :rolleyes:

katerkat
07-09-2006, 02:47 PM
I don't discuss finances with my neighbors but one discusses hers with me. I know she had a lot of trouble with credit cards in college and they just recovered from that debt. She thinks she knows everyone's finances just by looking at them and will gossip about it.... Thanks to her I know what most of the neighborhood paid for their cars. :rolleyes: Honestly, I'm sure she thinks we're doing poorly because we do have a big TV and a couple computers and two cars - but she'd be wrong. (Although, since her husband helped push one car off the street when it died, I'm sure she knows Car#2 isn't worth much! :roftl: )

Of course, living on a military base, I do know how much all my neighbors make - however, I don't know the rest of their financial circumstances. Everyone seems to be fairly well, though, since extreme credit card debt can get your security clearance yanked and the pilots won't risk that. (Admittedly, I know mostly officers, but my few enlisted friends are doing OK as well.)

mjbaby
07-09-2006, 03:17 PM
We discuss finance and money in generalities with our friends and we find that they are money-minded, too. We don't all have the same goals, of course, but I *think* each couple is on track for where they want to go. One couple is "broke" but investing in real estate, one has a lot of cash but little "growth", one has a lot in non-liquid assets specifically set aside for retirement, another makes it just fine day-to-day with some cushioning but doesn't save much because they've chosen private schools for their kids.

So, yeah, we're all on top of things, I'd say. As far as being financial responsible in terms of financing our own priorities, I think our friends are on good shape.

arminnie
07-09-2006, 03:23 PM
I love knowing so many different "types". I learn something from all of them!

I know what you mean. A lot of different kind of friends is a good thing.

arminnie
07-09-2006, 03:38 PM
since extreme credit card debt can get your security clearance yanked

I worked for Visa International for many, many years - bad credit and you were out of there.