Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 11th Oct 17, 9:44 AM
    • 1,953Posts
    • 6,391Thanks
    flippin36
    My in laws are snobs...
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:44 AM
    My in laws are snobs... 11th Oct 17 at 9:44 AM
    ..and it's starting to get under my skin.

    We are a professional couple with 2 children, we have a good income and live in a nice house in a nice street in a good catchment area. However, I have been raised to be frugal and I believe my frugality has given us a secure nest egg for the future and my children's future. We are not tightwads and when we have plenty of money saved up we will splurge on nice things like a luxury holiday or a new car etc.

    My in laws on the other hand mock and criticize us to the point that I cannot have them in my house anymore and really don't enjoy their company. It isn't gentle teasing (I don't mind that) it is actually derisory mocking and snobbery, looking down on us for our choices. Here are a few examples of things they have mocked me for;
    #making my own wedding dress and having the reception in the village hall - we did our own catering

    #accepting second hand baby clothes and pram/cot

    #furnishing my house with second hand mismatch furniture

    #using washable nappies/own brand disposables

    #cutting each other's hair

    #buying value/basic brand food (only a few items I think are ok)

    #buying my daughter's christening dress from a supermarket (blue velvet dress)

    #not having a tv

    #I shop in charity shops/love freecycle

    #running our old cars into the ground/sharing 1 car

    #Asking to just exchange cards for Christmas to keep cost down (he has a HUGE family where even extended family buy each gifts. We ended up just exchanging tins of biscuits which seemed silly)

    They basically look down on us as though we are riffraff and although I try and ignore it but its got to the stage where I am finding it incredibly hurtful and I feel under pressure. MIL recently told DH that he had changed since he met me and I had ruined his life . When I asked her why she had said that she said "Its the way you live your lives and the influence you have on him. He used to have very high standards".

    So wise people of MSE - how do I handle my in laws? Is my frugality that bad? Anyone else had a similar response to their frugal nature?

    Thank you in advance x

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!
    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 18-10-2017 at 1:21 PM.
Page 3
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 11th Oct 17, 4:59 PM
    • 1,953 Posts
    • 6,391 Thanks
    flippin36
    I think you need to get to the root of what their real concern is, listen and allay their fears, and mend this relationship.
    Originally posted by Quizzical Squirrel
    I think this is generally good advice, but we have had those conversations and nothing really changes. I don't think the relationship is broken as we are still friendly and in contact, it's just that she grinds me down and then I make myself feel guilty for not being good enough.

    She has on several occasions attempted to shame me in front of other relatives. It gets weary after a while.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 11th Oct 17, 5:25 PM
    • 3,273 Posts
    • 6,889 Thanks
    jackyann
    Well, you need to find a way not to let her get at you. Also, you are parents of young children, you will feel a bit sensitive, and so things that might not 'get to' us tough old birds my make you feel a little down.
    I hope you have other friends and family to make you feel better - and no, they don't have to approve of every aspect of your lifestyle - just recognise that all parents need encouragement, and respect your decisions.

    And I would not talk a great deal about how you spend your money - there is no need for her to know what kind of tickets you got - just don't mention it. It sounds as if you have got somewhat locked in to seeing your relationship through this lens. Aim to talk about other things; never ever bring up how you spend your money or your lifestyle decisions; if she does, then follow other posters' advice about deflecting it.
    In front of others, smile and shrug if you can, or look down at the floor. It is natural to feel uncomfortable if your life is dissected in front of others, but do try not to give her any ammunition. If she asks you questions about what you are doing / buying say 'oh we haven't decided yet / we'll see nearer the time/ I'm not sure'. That way she has nothing to go on about!
    It may also be helpful to you in the future. Not to have, say a TV is perfectly acceptable - it is also acceptable to change your mind. If you have had great discussions about why you haven't got a TV / have 1 car between you then she can make a fuss if you change that. If you don't discuss it, or say, if pressed 'it suits us at the moment' then you haven't painted yourself into a corner!

    I do hope you have found some of this helpful.
    • MrsLurcherwalker
    • By MrsLurcherwalker 11th Oct 17, 5:29 PM
    • 11,177 Posts
    • 154,020 Thanks
    MrsLurcherwalker
    YOU ARE MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH!!! the lack is in your MIL love, she cannot see the good that is YOU and that's not your fault it's total lack of empathy in her. When my MIL 'explained' me to her friends and relatives either they were cut from totally the same cloth as she was and I was irredeemable or they were used to her 'vitriol' and I'd get a sympathetic and conspiring half smile when she wasn't looking at them. In the first instance it didn't matter because they were people I'd not want dealings with and in the second, I wasn't the arch fiend I was made out to be and they knew it. You can't and shouldn't have to change who you are, certainly not because another human being decides you should to please them and their ideology, you have the right to be you and have your own ideals and aspirations, no guilt necessary!
    Go forward with the vision even if no one else can see it!

    No amount of regretting can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future!
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 11th Oct 17, 5:49 PM
    • 11,427 Posts
    • 219,622 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    Wise words, jackyann.

    One of the enormous unsung upsides of ageing (I'm in my fifties now) is that you develop a marvellous ability to do your own thang and never (or very seldom) give a rat's arris what anyone else thinks about your choices.

    Sounds to me as if the OP's in-laws are insecure. Why else would they feel the need to deride her and their son's lifestyle choices? Why else would they feel it necessary to bolster their egos by buying and displaying the emblems of conspicious consumption? These are not the attitudes of emotionally mature and confident people, they are the attitudes of the immature and easily-led. Such behaviour is commonplace among teenagers, who know no better, but most folk outgrow it.

    I am an intensely materialistic person. I love materials and love buying them secondhand for pennies on the pound. I am also a designer and even have a piece of paper from a leading academic institution to say so. Therefore, every thing I make is a Designer Something; Designer Allotment, a Designer Patchwork Bedspread, a Designer Homemade Artisanal Soup, Designer Darned Sock..... This may even be a Designer Post..........

    Humour can be wonderfully effective at derailing the neg-ferrets. Want to sneer at my old N0kia dumbphone? Go ahead, if we're face to face, I'll chuckle and tell you it's a great improvement on its predecessor - two yoghurt pots and a piece of string. Want to play one-up-womanship about hair salons? I'll grin and tell you I hack mine off with clamshells ........... one can have endless fun at the expense of those who wilfully and spitefully try to put a person down.

    Folks can try to put you down but they only succeed if you give them a helping hand. Laughter is always the best medicine and a universal remedy for all sorts of annoyances.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • MMF007
    • By MMF007 11th Oct 17, 5:51 PM
    • 1,034 Posts
    • 23,252 Thanks
    MMF007
    I'm sure someone famous said, Never explain. Never apologise' !
    So long as you, DH and kids are happy then that is all that matters. If in laws make snide remarks simply ignore them, no explaining needed! You have no need to justfiy your successes just because your achievements weremade by saving with the odd splurge!

    The biggest snob I know is an inlaw. He makes it very clear that he thinks I am inferior to him. He is public school educated and did have a job in The City. Do you what? He is ill mannered, lost his house because he couldn't pay his mortgage, lost his job because he was rubbish at it, and even while he was unemployed he still looked down on us. We, like you, are mortgage-free (but it is a tiny house ), have several holidays a year, one in the Caribbean with friends , and are, most importantly, HAPPY. He is not.

    Do your own thing, wonder why MIL feels the need to belittle people, then carry on having a good life. Yep, it is hard to bite your lip, but why give her the satisfaction, just blank her when she !!!!!es!
    I have changed my work-life balance to a life-work balance.
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 11th Oct 17, 5:53 PM
    • 10,029 Posts
    • 107,744 Thanks
    LameWolf
    ROFL @ Designer Darned Sock.
    GQ you've just reminded me, I need to darn a hole in the finger of my left-hand glove; eight years of dog-walking, lots of it with flexi-leads with a very thin "lead" part, have worn a hole.
    Oh, and I too have a N0kia dumbphone.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 11th Oct 17, 6:02 PM
    • 11,427 Posts
    • 219,622 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    ROFL @ Designer Darned Sock.
    GQ you've just reminded me, I need to darn a hole in the finger of my left-hand glove; eight years of dog-walking, lots of it with flexi-leads with a very thin "lead" part, have worn a hole.
    Oh, and I too have a N0kia dumbphone.
    Originally posted by LameWolf
    Dumbphones rock. And only need charging once a week, as opposed to every day, as so many smartphones seem to require.

    I lied about the clamshells btw - it is what I tell folks who admire my self-administered haircut, but I actually use the sewing scissors.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 11th Oct 17, 7:11 PM
    • 1,953 Posts
    • 6,391 Thanks
    flippin36
    You've all made me laugh and given me some perspective. Thank you all!
    • monnagran
    • By monnagran 11th Oct 17, 7:39 PM
    • 3,185 Posts
    • 40,082 Thanks
    monnagran
    So, my darling, you are a family of real people living in a world of insecure fakes. Those poor people. If their lives ever hit the financial buffers they will be completely lost. They may even be forced to crawl to you seeking help with how to cope with day to day life. Dwell on that delicious scenario next time they catch you on the raw.

    It was the "he used to have such high standards," that made me giggle.

    I know a creed that begins, "I am not what I do. I am not what I have. I am not what people say about me." You are obviously living that creed. Carry on the good work. Anyone worth knowing will love and appreciate you and your way of life.

    The best response I have found to rude comments is a gently amused, ever-so-slightly patronising, pitying smile. There is no answer to that.

    For every shallow, self promoting in law you will find a dozen deep, loving friends.

    x
    I believe that friends are quiet angels
    Who lift us to our feet when our wings
    Have trouble remembering how to fly.
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 11th Oct 17, 7:41 PM
    • 23,353 Posts
    • 90,756 Thanks
    Jojo the Tightfisted
    I think your trouble is that they wanted their children to be people who felt a sense of worth and, in their eyes, that is being 'worth' spending a lot of unnecessary money upon them. So she thinks that, by 'settling' for a small wedding, having a quick buzz over the head with the clippers instead of a seventy quid snippety-snip session at a hairdressers and driving a battered motor around instead of rolling up in something straight off the production line every couple of years, he's been convinced by you that he and the children aren't 'worth' anything else.

    To her, you've beaten him down from a position of high esteem - even though it isn't true. It might be that they grew up without money and swore that their kids would never be The Poor Kids in school, it might be that they've always had money and can't understand why anybody would have less by choice, it might be that simply that she does genuinely believe that she and her offspring are 'better' than others and the only way that can be proven is to make it visibly so by conspicuous consumption. In the end, it's all just Stuff.


    It's interesting that your one ally is a teacher - he will probably have to deal with senior members of staff going ballistic over kids having jumpers in the wrong shade of black and sending them home, rather than being taught for the day - and parents who will refuse to provide materials for homework/allow their kids to do useful activities on the grounds of cost whilst turning up at parents' evenings in a two year old Mercedes sporting a £500 set of hair extensions, a full set of false nails, the latest phone and the baby is wearing £80 shoes when it can't even walk.


    You won't change the MIL, but you don't have to deal with it if you don't want to - frustrating though it must be, trying to let it wash over you is the only thing to do if you wish to maintain contact.


    Having said that, you do need to give yourself permission for treats from time to time - and not just things like 1st Class Seats (although that is the sort of thing I'd do if in the position to because I can't think of much worse than being left to sit on the train floor because people have ignored the Reserved cards - it's happened , whereas at least with 1st Class, any git who tries is likely to get slapped with a hefty fine for doing so), but things like trimming your hair yourself most times and having it properly cut and styled occasionally, as it makes the trims in the intervening period look better.


    People like that, such as the OH's ex, are permanently dissatisfied with life. They just don't get to be happy other than the superficial buzz of having something flashy and new, as they're always looking at what others have and deciding that their partners don't love them as much as x's partner does her because he's bought her a more expensive car or a ring with a bigger diamond, or went to a posher holiday resort.

    Personally, I suspect that my OH is a lot happier knowing that come Hell or High Water, our rent will be paid and there will not be any bailiffs knocking on the door, even if it means we eat beans on toast for a week. It makes my life easier too, as it means we get to spend any spare cash on things that are important to us - such as choosing shoes that last and are comfortable, getting a cab back from a gig if it's tipping down, spending a night away in a cheap hotel - or not having to worry that the machine might reject my card in the supermarket because I haven't spent the food money for the month on getting my nails done and three expensive eyeshadow palettes that I'll only ever use two individual colours in.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 11th Oct 17, 9:15 PM
    • 3,273 Posts
    • 6,889 Thanks
    jackyann
    So glad you can laugh OP! And how lovely that at least one of us on this forum has a designer-darned sock!
    • Nargleblast
    • By Nargleblast 11th Oct 17, 9:47 PM
    • 9,433 Posts
    • 55,689 Thanks
    Nargleblast
    There is a saying (I think it might have been Quentin Crisp) - Why bother keeping up with the Jones's when you can drag them down to your level?

    Just plough your own furrow and let the nonsense wash over you.
    Debt free date.....3 August 2015
    Now building up a Doomsday Cash Stash
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 11th Oct 17, 11:39 PM
    • 10,029 Posts
    • 107,744 Thanks
    LameWolf
    Well, you'll be pleased to know I darned my glove. What has that to do with this thread?..... simply that it's £10 to a dog biscuit it would still be awaiting darning next spring if this thread hadn't been here (with the illustrious GQ's Designer Darned Sock).
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 12th Oct 17, 12:43 AM
    • 827 Posts
    • 20,988 Thanks
    PollyWollyDoodle
    People usually mock something when they feel slightly threatened by it or don't understand it - perhaps she feels that your choices imply a criticism of her own lifestyle.

    I've always found the best response to criticism is just to laugh at the critics; they are usually looking to provoke a response and then you can have a nice, pillow-swinging, he said-she-said row. Hard to do, but the next time she says something critical, try and just smile sweetly and say something like 'oh, you know me - not one to spend it if I can save it' or similar. It allows you to keep face without going into lengthy explanations, and it will annoy her like hell.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 12th Oct 17, 4:49 AM
    • 24,193 Posts
    • 50,865 Thanks
    VfM4meplse
    #making my own wedding dress and having the reception in the village hall - we did our own catering

    #accepting second hand baby clothes and pram/cot
    Second hand is brilliant for kids, esp as they grow out of everything so quickly, much of the stuff you find is v good qualities and barely used. I have bought most of my neice’s wardrobe this way and she loves it. Yesterday I bathed and dressed her in the evening and she was a vision in second hand pink, and looked amazing.

    #furnishing my house with second hand mismatch furniture
    As long as it’s functional and stylish to you, it’s the right choice. My many bookcases for example are similarl in style and shade, but not quite the same as each other. Who wants boring furniture?

    #using washable nappies/own brand disposables
    If you’ve got the time and patience for washable, go for it! So much kninder to the environment.

    #cutting each other's hair

    #buying value/basic brand food (only a few items I think are ok)
    Try adding YS to your trolley to really p*ss them off

    #buying my daughter's christening dress from a supermarket (blue velvet dress)
    Unreasonable when such things are to be found in charity shops!

    #not having a tv
    Your kids may be better off without it.

    #I shop in charity shops/love freecycle
    Come and join us on the chazzer thread

    #running our old cars into the ground/sharing 1 car
    I use my vehicle as sparingly as possible. I love the convenience but cabs would work out cheaper. I’ve been known to go car-free at times, and share my brother’s car when necessary as he only uses it once a week. However, it requires a journey to his place first, which is enough to make me think hard first

    #Asking to just exchange cards for Christmas to keep cost down (he has a HUGE family where even extended family buy each gifts. We ended up just exchanging tins of biscuits which seemed silly)
    Read MSE Martin’s thoughts in this if you need any validation.
    Originally posted by flippin36
    Recently, I came across a comment on the t'interweb somewhere; You don't have to turn up for every argument you're invited to.
    Originally posted by GreyQueen
    Brilliant quote, P’inned.
    Last edited by VfM4meplse; 12-10-2017 at 4:53 AM.
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 12th Oct 17, 4:55 PM
    • 3,273 Posts
    • 6,889 Thanks
    jackyann
    A thought about the Xmas biscuits - I was, a long time ago, in a present-go-round that for many reasons it was difficult to step away from. This is what I did:

    if you can be 8rs3d with young children, and a job, do home-made ones - actually not that difficult if you choose the right recipe, make a weekend afternoon of it, get the kids to help, pack up prettily. I do that anyway, but for people who appreciate it!

    If not, then get Fair Trade ones. That way someone is benefiting, and you are keeping the moral high ground!
    • Mr_Singleton
    • By Mr_Singleton 12th Oct 17, 9:17 PM
    • 733 Posts
    • 1,541 Thanks
    Mr_Singleton
    We are a professional couple with 2 children, we have a good income and live in a nice house in a nice street in a good catchment area. However, I have been raised to be frugal and I believe my frugality has given us a secure nest egg for the future and my children's future. We are not tightwads and when we have plenty of money saved up we will splurge on nice things like a luxury holiday or a new car etc.
    Originally posted by flippin36
    Having read your post & subsequent replies it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that your the opposite ends of the same piece of string.

    As I’ve said before when people use the word “frugal” 99.9% of the they actually mean mean.

    “We are not tightwads” your opinion has been noted.
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 12th Oct 17, 10:17 PM
    • 24,193 Posts
    • 50,865 Thanks
    VfM4meplse
    “We are not tightwads” your opinion has been noted.
    Originally posted by Mr_Singleton
    I don’t think the OP is, her post suggests she’s sensible. Genuinely mean people are joyless.

    if you can be 8rs3d with young children
    Originally posted by jackyann
    I’m glad to see someone is getting on with IOS 11!
    Last edited by VfM4meplse; 12-10-2017 at 10:19 PM.
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 13th Oct 17, 8:48 AM
    • 18,560 Posts
    • 47,776 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Funny thing is...we went to Edinburgh over the summer and decided to splurge on first class train tickets. When he told her about it she scolded him for wasting money . She doesn't seem to understand that we can do these things because we save on day to day things.
    Originally posted by flippin36
    I'd stop telling her anything that she can use as a stick to beat you with.
    All you are doing is giving her ammunition to fire back at you.

    I think this is generally good advice, but we have had those conversations and nothing really changes. I don't think the relationship is broken as we are still friendly and in contact, it's just that she grinds me down and then I make myself feel guilty for not being good enough.

    She has on several occasions attempted to shame me in front of other relatives. It gets weary after a while
    .
    Originally posted by flippin36
    It's probably me but I couldn't remain in friendly contact with someone who made me feel like this.
    And I wouldn't be happy with a husband who allowed his Mother to continue to do that.

    But maybe you do it more for the children.....
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 13th Oct 17, 3:05 PM
    • 1,953 Posts
    • 6,391 Thanks
    flippin36
    Having read your post & subsequent replies it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that your the opposite ends of the same piece of string.

    As I’ve said before when people use the word “frugal” 99.9% of the they actually mean mean.

    “We are not tightwads” your opinion has been noted.
    Originally posted by Mr_Singleton
    Can someone please explain what this means? Too cryptic for my tired brain today.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,607Posts Today

8,795Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @mmhpi: REPORT PUBLISHED: We reveal how #regulators of essential services can level the playing field & better support consumers with #m?

  • RT @mmhpi: "I have massive #anxiety about talking to strangers on the phone" - Regulators must improve the accessibility of essential serv?

  • RT @itvMLshow: I know you may be sad that we have no more shows this year BUT you wont have to wait too long for our next LIVE SPECIAL whic?

  • Follow Martin