Home > People Who Aren't Frugal, Part I

People Who Aren't Frugal, Part I

April 17th, 2016 at 08:58 pm

My good friend, Bad Money Man, called me on Thursday to say "I hate my job; I'm quitting. Call me back." Bad Money Man (BMM) took this job because of the money, and it's a terrible job, and I don't blame him for wanting to quit. He told me all sorts of stories. It's a nightmare job.

It paid $20k more than his last job (wow!) but his paycheck was somehow the same. I am not sure what happened, but I think it was forced savings (401k) which is a good thing, and a very expensive health plan, and some other things. I told him to get his pay stubs and we'll analyze it together. He was going to come over yesterday, but when I called him he was out doing some errands with his daughters, so he decided to reschedule.

Here was the errand: one of the daughters needed (wanted? not sure) origami paper. He was at Artisan, the very expensive art supply store. There are a lot of artists here, and they sell gesso and very expensive brushes, and things that professionals need. I am not sure his five year old is a professional origami-ist.

I said "You're buying origami paper at Artisan?!" And then I went into a whole tirade about how they do not have the income to buy their kids' art supplies at Artisan (and then I texted him a 50% off Michael's coupon). I said that they are not Whole Foods people, and his wife isn't a Lululemon person. But that's how they shop. Maybe they're trying to keep up with a socio-economic group they are kind of-sort of part of. Maybe it's how they grew up - they both had privileged childhoods, and they haven't revised their spending habits to align with the reality of their income.

He says they don't buy a lot. But there is some kind of mis-match.

Did I mention that with the raise, they make the same as us? We save $780/month in our IRAs, $265/month into D's profit-sharing plan. We pay down our mortgage $150/month. We pay for private school tuition ($850 from our salaries each month).

He says that they have no money left at the end of the month for savings or anything else that they want, and that they buy very little.

When we do get together to figure some of this out and create a budget (and he does want to which is very encouraging!), I will let you know how it goes.

6 Responses to “People Who Aren't Frugal, Part I”

  1. Kiki Says:

    Wow i am fascinated already. I hope tou ate able to help them.

  2. Laura S. Says:

    I agree with Kiki. I can't wait for part 2!

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    My husband doesn't think he spends much either....but he does spend more than he talks about. Your friend believes the story he tells himself.

  4. crazyliblady Says:

    He sounds like one of those people who is completely oblivious to the fact that he probably spends in excess of $5.00 for a cup of coffee. And don't be mistaken that there is nothing wrong with paying $5.00 for coffee if you an afford it, but if you can't even afford to put money into savings, you can't afford to buy coffee or origami paper at that store. You definitely can't afford to quit your job. Your friend is probably going to have to hit rock bottom before the reality of his problem hits him and unfortunately, his daughter is going to suffer for it.

  5. My English Castle Says:

    I also think people often spend their gross income, not their net.

  6. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Oh, dear. That origami paper can be expensive. At the teachers store I used to go to, they sold most of it by the single sheet, as it was so precious. Hope this family can reorder its priorities and learn resourcefulness. For example, I'd get some inexpensive watercolors, some cotton swabs, and some office paper in need of recycling so that a 5 year old could have the joy and discovery of making her own origami paper.

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