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Anniversary, friends, and finances

June 15th, 2018 at 01:14 pm

Today is our 28th wedding anniversary. We are going out for supper and that should be nice. We get each other a card and have a great meal and we are satisfied with that. At this point in our lives, we basically buy what we need and want so a gift is not needed.

Last night we went out with friends. Egad, two meals out in two nights...well, we were supposed to have gone out over two weeks ago, but we had an out of town funeral and then they had an out of town wedding so it kept getting postponed. We were celebrating a birthday of the other lady. Two of us are retired educators. Our retirement system in Illinois sent out an email that there was an article about certain people in Illinois getting over $100K in pensions and how so few actually get that much. So, we were discussing that and the article said the the average pension is $54K. I know he makes more than that in pension and he was carrying on about how he couldn't believe anyone would get that little as a pension. I quietly said, I get less then $50K a year for pension. He didn't know what to say. I agreed to it so I could retire early. It was totally worth it to me. DH retired from the public library and his pension is less than mine. He does also get Social Security which helps, but neither of us make huge amounts.

But are we poor? Not really. My friend has made lots more money, in fact he probably made more than what DH and I made for many years. But he is so poor in handling money that is almost ridiculous. He lives for now and then grouses when he can't do things because he owes so much money. I think it is a balancing act each month when he and the wife pay bills. They have, in the past 4 years, taken two huge vacations, both of which they borrowed money for. They have a home here and a small residence in a Southernstate. They eat out every day. He has all sorts of expensive collections and is continually adding to them. His home isn't paid for because he continually borrows from the equity. He has personal loans. I rather doubt if his place in the south is paid for. He keeps throwing up to us that he has this second place and how it is they vacation during the winter months.

It all came to a head the other day. We take bus trips, most of them day ones, and an upcoming one is to see Carol Burnett. It is in St. Louis and we are going to have a meal at a restaurant on The Hill, and then see the program. It costs $249 each. I asked DH if he wanted to go, he said he did, and I immediately wrote out a check to pay for it and secured our spots. I told our friends and his response was they can't even think about it right now. In other words, they are so overextended it isn't possible.

It really doesn't matter how much one makes if one doesn't know how to handle it. He may draw far more than I do, but spending every penny isn't helping him because the wants keep him broke. I know when he found out that I don't make what he makes pension wise, he was shocked. I could see him thinking how in the world do they do what they do?

We do it by cutting back on other stuff. We do eat out, but not every day. Often times we eat out at lunch -- cheaper, less crowded (we go early), and we don't do a huge meal, usually soup or a sandwich or if early enough, breakfast. I cook. A lot. Most of it from scratch. We buy an incredible amount of our groceries at Aldi. I can tell you he wouldn't be caught doing that. He prefers Wal-Mart and Sam's. He especially loves Sam's to buy in bulk. I make things we have and we buy things at rummage sales and thrift shops. I found two curtain sheers, new in a package, that I just knew would look great with DH's curtains in the den. I had white sheers, but these were tan and his curtains were brown. The sheers were $1 each. I ironed them and hung them and they matched great. When I mentioned doing this, he looked at my husband and said that I must not care for your because I spent so little on the sheers. He then went on to brag how they spent $1500 for two valances and 4 tiers for their kitchen windows...they were custom made! I recently made two sets of cottage sets for my bathroom and kitchen windows. The material was $9 and I made other things with the leftover material and I still have material left. I'm sure my friend would turn his nose up at this. I liked the material.

So, I might make less, but I think we get more bang for our buck.

Had a nice surprise and a disappointment today. DH had what looked like 6 cherry tomatoes almost ripe. He said to go ahead and pick them so I bent down and did...2 of the 6 had already been bitten by a chipmunk. Oh, well, at least not all of them have. They should be full ripe by tomorrow and we will enjoy them with our supper.

We have ar

10 Responses to “Anniversary, friends, and finances”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    Happy Anniversary! I'm totally with you on the money-handling thing! People who just have to have everything make themselves poor, no matter how much they earn.

  2. Butterscotch Says:

    It sounds like you don’t have much in common with these people. What is this friendship based on? Do you actually enjoy each other’s company, or is this relationship some kind of obligation? Do they really tell you all about their finances like that? I find it so shocking as none of my friends know any kinds of details about our family’s financial obligations. They actually said they borrowed money to fund their vacations? How does that even come up in conversion? I can’t remember the last time I discussed anything financial with friends...maybe back in our 20s when we were just starting out.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    Those darn chipmunks!

    Wow. Your friend would be a perfect candidate for reading the Money or Your Life book, the part about calculating how many work hours it took to purchase something and assessing its value from that perspective.

    I'm with you...I enjoy lunches out probably more so than dinners.

  4. Wink Says:

    Happy Anniversary! I had a casual friend once who was a big spender and always complained about being broke. We eventually drifted apart and I haven't seen her in years.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Happy 28th anniversary!

  6. LuckyRobin Says:

    Happy Anniversary. Your friend sounds like kind of a donkey hat. Insert Biblical word for donkey. I hope your husband looked at him like an alien when he said that about the curtains.

  7. shiela Says:

    Happy Anniversary!

  8. rob62521 Says:

    Thank you for the anniversary wishes. It was a fine day and we had a lovely meal.

    Butterscotch, believen it or not, these folks do tell us all these things...they complaint about not having money and then talk about how they have to borrow money to do things.

  9. Debt-free by Thir-ty Says:

    Happy Anniversary! It definitely sounds like you and your friends value money very differently. I actually think it's great that you all maintain your friendship, but hope he learns a bit more tact in discussing such things. It sounds like he still doesn't realize the frugality you all embrace and continues putting his foot into his mouth.

  10. rob62521 Says:

    Hi, Debt-Free! Yes, our friends doesn't understand our frugal ways. He is of the mind set of he deserves to live well and too bad about the consequences. Yet, he gets jealous when DH and I do things like take the bus trips we do. We have the money; we don't overextend ourselves. Over a year ago we spent two weeks on Tybee Island, GA, in a condo. We had saved up the money to rent the condo and for the trip and I took some food with us and we bought some food and I cooked a lot of meals there to save money. He couldn't believe it when we said we owed nothing upon our return. Yet they eat out every day and both face a myriad of health problems because of their poor meal choices.

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