We have been living a frugal life since we were married. In fact, my husband started before we married. Saving money and living debt-free is something we enjoy. It doesn’t come without a price though. Believe it or not, it makes some people mad. Today I’m going to give you 8 reasons why your frugal life makes people mad and what you can do about it.
I have noticed that for so many Americans, it’s hard to understand frugal people. Many Americans just aren’t naturally frugal. That’s why credit card companies are so wealthy. People spend their paycheck to the max then get a credit card. I have heard so many stories of people who have/had seven or more credit cards. Honestly, I can’t even fathom that. I don’t understand why people don’t see the warning signs when they max out the first credit card.
Spending money is just a way of life for so many people. Consumerism is at an all-time high. Someone is always wanting you to buy something.
Most often, when a person buys something, they then post about it on social media. People like to brag about what they buy even though they know they shouldn’t have bought it. This causes a ripple effect. When people see their friends spending money, it often causes them to want to spend more money themselves.
8 Reasons Why Your Frugal Life Makes People Mad
1. They get mad when you don’t compete.
People have a need to “keep up” with each other.
Here is where the rubber meets the road. This is where we separate the men from the boys.
Frugal people are different.
Frugal people aren’t concerned with keeping up with others.
Frugal people march to the beat of their own drum.
Frugal people are often frugal because they want to be; not because they must be.
And I’ll be the first to tell you that it annoys people to no end.
The world does not understand when you aren’t impressed by their manicure, new car, big mortgage, expensive vacation (that they paid for on their credit card), endless trips to restaurants, and theme park season passes.
Honestly, it makes them mad which leads me to the second reason why your frugal life makes people mad
2. They get mad when you aren’t impressed by overspending.
Over spenders want you to be impressed. After all, that’s half the reason why they bought all that stuff in the first place. They just wanted people to look at their social media posts and say, “Wow. Aren’t they cool?!”
I’m a frugal (and debt-free) person and I can honestly say, “No.” I’m not impressed.
Here is what is impressive.
People who live below their means (on purpose) to they can achieve something greater than credit card debt are impressive. People who are confident driving their same old car because there is nothing wrong with it are impressive.
3. They get mad when you put up boundaries.
Recently, I was reading an article about boundaries on Psychology Today. The author was talking about something I know to be very true. People don’t like it when you set boundaries.
Perhaps you are a person who previously enjoyed shopping days with your friends or frequent nights out on the town which left your bank account drained. Maybe your friends overspend on their fishing or hunting hobbies and continually seek out the newest gadget. What happens when you pull back and set boundaries?
What happens when you say,
“Let’s meet at my house for dinner instead of going out.”
“I can’t go on anymore expensive hunting trips, I need to cut back.”
“I’m going to skip the ‘girl’s weekend’ this time because I know it will cause me to overspend.”
Hopefully, your friends/ family will understand that you are setting boundaries so you won’t be tempted to spend money that will push your financial goals farther away. However, sometimes, you might be met with anger. When you set boundaries and change your course, people can get upset. They want you to continue the path you were on because it makes them comfortable.
If you are overspending with them then they know they aren’t alone in the poor choices.
So, what do you do when your boundaries make people angry?
Psychology Today explained it perfectly.
The first thing you need to learn is that the person who is angry at you for setting boundaries is the one with the problem…Maintaining your boundaries is good for other people; it will help them learn what their families of origin did not teach them: to respect other people.Psychology Today
You are setting boundaries so you can improve your life and there is nothing wrong with that. You aren’t shutting people out. You are simply saying that you need to change the way you are spending money and being involved in the activities that you previously enjoyed is too tempting on your wallet.
4. They call you cheap because you are different.
People are going to roll their eyes when you show up in your minivan with only three rims (that’s me and I do it on purpose).
People are going to assume you’re a snob when you bring your lunch to work and you don’t join the rest of the crowd for an expensive lunch out.
And people are going to think you must have a very boring life.
They are going to call you cheap even though you aren’t.
There is a fine line between cheap and frugal. We are frugal.
People who are cheap think of only saving money no matter the cost. They won’t leave a tip at a restaurant even though the waitress did an excellent job. They will buy a product that is poor quality simply because it’s cheap instead of spending a few extra dollars to get a better product that will last for years.
“Cheap people are driven by saving money regardless of the cost; frugal people are driven by maximizing total value, including the value of their time.”USNews
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5. They believe the lies about money and you don’t.
Many people believe that you can only be happy if you are spending money.
I think that is so sad.
Money can give you financial security, but it cannot make you happy. People shop and buy things for the thrill of having something new. But, at the end of the day, they are deeper in a financial hole and that “new thing” that they bought won’t seem so new in a week.
Have you ever bought a new car and been thrilled with the new car smell? Have you ever noticed that the wonderful smell doesn’t last very long?
Once that new car smell wears off, your new car doesn’t seem so new anymore.
Then what do you have?
A very expensive “old” car.
Frugal people know that money doesn’t buy happiness. They know how to rise above the feeling that they need something new to satisfy themselves. They know that a shopping spree won’t make them feel better.
6. They don’t see the point.
Frugal people respect money. That is the key difference between people who overspend and people who are frugal. If you work to earn that dollar then why don’t you respect that dollar and the time it took to get it? When we consider making a purchase, we think about the cost of the item and if it’s worth our money. Most of the time, it just isn’t. Frugal people have a completely different mindset that allows them to think clearly about their actual wants and needs instead of buying out of impulse.
Here is the point for us; we want to retire early. We want to retire very early.
I think a lot of people roll their eyes when I say this, but we will be able to retire when we’re 45.
We live the way we do because we work for our freedom, not stuff. We like to spend time with our kids, travel and explore. We don’t want to pile payments on ourselves and push our freedom further away.
We have never slacked in saving for these dreams. We have always put the max into our 401ks, made sound financial decisions, and lived frugally (and happy).
Understand that people will see they point eventually. In time, all over-spenders look back at us frugal people and they understand everything. Things will become clear to them when they see that you have paid off your debt, saved money, built up a hefty 401k and parked yourself on the beaches of Grand Cayman.
7. They know they can do better.
When people see you living a frugal life and achieving your goals, they naturally start looking at their own lives. They know they can do better with their financial choices but they won’t. They see the irresponsible decisions they make everyday and it hurts.
So, instead of addressing their issues, they get mad at you because you are the one who (unknowingly) shed light on their problems. If you would overspend like they do then they wouldn’t feel pressure to do better.
This is not something you can change. If they ask for help, be ready with kind advice but don’t get upset because they are mad at you for something that is not your fault. Their poor personal finance choices are their poor personal finance choices.
And, last but not least, one of the main reasons why your frugal life makes people mad is…
8. They have “woe is me” syndrome.
When non-frugal people see the accomplishments of their frugal friends and family, they often get “woe is me” syndrome.
They say things like,
“Well, I could have saved money if…”
“I would have been closer to retirement but…”
and my all-time favorite
“Obviously you are financially independent because you got an inheritance.”
Here is the fact: most people can save something, but they don’t choose to. They piddle their money away one dollar at a time on useless things they don’t need then they get mopey when they see your accomplishments.
I don’t have an answer for this one because that’s just not something you can do anything about. Personal finances are personal, and everyone must make their own choices.
So, what do you do when your frugal life makes people mad?
You keep on living your life anyway. It took me a long time to learn that you can’t control when people are mad because you are doing something right.
Remind yourself of your goals and why you live like you do. Continue being kind to people and inviting them over for coffee instead of going out.
Maybe reconsider who you hang around. If your friends can’t get over your new frugal self, maybe it’s time to consider spending more time with people who have the same goals.
Shine on frugal people. You might be misunderstood sometimes but it’s still worth it and you know it. Eventually, people will want to know how you have achieved everything that you have and then you can tell all!
You are holding the golden ticket.
Faithfully frugal and extremely happy,