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Peer Pressure and Spending

February 18th, 2012 at 04:51 pm

We went to the library and on the new arrival shelf was a book about being debt free by Gail Vaz-Oxley. One chapter talked about how our friends influence the way we spend.

I would say to a certain extent that could be true. I think it also can be said that some of us no longer bow to peer pressure. I would think that many folks on the SA site have chosen a different route.

Years ago it was tough when my friends in high school, most who had parents who had more money than mine, would tell me about this and that their parents bought them. Or the trips they were going on. I couldn't keep up with the Joneses so to speak then, and I choose not to now.

Yesterday we had a teacher inservice day and although we had an hour for lunch (unheard of for teachers), part of that time was also travel time because we came from different schools in the morning, to a larger school in the afternoon to all meet together. I packed saltines, peanut butter, apple, and a Thermos of water. Most of the folks who had to travel and set up stopped and bought sandwiches and soda.

It was interesting because one person watched me slather the peanut butter on the saltines and then said that she was jealous of my lunch...it seemed that I was getting an intrinsic joy of putting the peanut butter on the cracker in such a way.

I thought about it for a moment and realized she was right. I like saltines and peanut butter. I remember in college when my snacks were that and when I ran out of peanut butter (and money), it was just saltines. But, I also thought this little exercise gave me some control - not only of my spending and eating, but I "controlled" how I would spread the peanut butter.

Pretty weird for such a simple lunch!

Someone asked me why I brought my lunch and I just said I was trying to save money and the conversation then went to how overpriced "fast food" sandwiches were.

I don't ever think I'll be the one giving peer pressure to the spenders, but for one brief moment, I was the one they were jealous of with my simple lunch!

6 Responses to “Peer Pressure and Spending”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    I like to think we have our own brand of peer pressure here. We have the pressure to be accountable for our spending and saving and our purchasing choices. By "surrounding" ourselves with the people on these blogs, it gives us the positive pressure we need to stay on the road we've chosen.

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    Oh, and yes, there is nothing quite like peanut butter and saltines. It is a comforting food that goes back to three years old for me. And it's really hard to eat too many crackers.

  3. baselle Says:

    I loved peanut butter and saltines when I was a kid. Snack of champions. Big Grin

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    I don't really identify with the peer pressure thing (probably for many reasons), BUT I am sure it is much harder to stick to your guns when you are getting a lot of outside pressure.

    That is one thing I have really come to appreciate here with the blogs - that all my family, my spouse, and pretty much all my friends are on the same financial page. I think in particular when trying to make a positive financial change. IT's probably a lot like AA. You need to have that support to succeed. If you hang around all your spendy/debt friends it's going to be hard to make any progress. whereas, not only do I not have spendy/debt friends, but this has been working for me for my whole life. So when someone (as often happens) tells me I have it all wrong and I need to spend more, my only reply is: ??? "I'm good, thanks!" Wink
    I think I Also get a huge free pass for the "spouse out of work thing." Though it's kind of funny because some of my worst experiences of this kind (mom's group when I had newborns) was really unkind and disrespectful about our financial situation though we were both out of work (maternity leave). I think the problem there was "if you can afford to take this long maternity leave while your spouse is not working, then why the hell are you so cheap? Clearly you are just crazy." Wink Because I remember everyone telling me they couldn't possibly afford maternity leave and finances seemed to be a pretty frequent discussion (how hard it was financially with babies, daycare, staying home, etc.) I don't know. You would think the same kind of thinking could be applied today, but then again the economy has changed. So, that might be more of the reason the "out of work" thing gives me more of a pass than usual. (In the past it was a sign of wealth? These days not so much?)

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    When I eat peanut butter, I think of the work it would take to grow the peanuts, to harvest them, to shell them, to roast them, to hand grind them into such a fine paste. Then, I think peanut butter in a jar in the cabinet is an incredible, magic luxury. Peanut butter-- Am I so lucky, or what?

  6. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    Love saltines and peanut butter. Just a heads up that peanut butter is going up in price right now due to poor weather conditions. So stock up if you see it on sale!

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