Pressure from 'Friends' and people you know

edited 19 April 2011 at 6:34PM in Debt-Free Wannabe
116 replies 19.2K views


  • quanticquantic Forumite
    1K Posts
    This is a great post. We are also trying to be frugal and become debt-free and I also am fed up of being labelled as 'tight' just because I wish to spend my money on different things, or don't wish to spend money in some cases. In particular when going out with work colleagues who are seemingly very well off, they think nothing of choosing expensive places to go, booking taxis etc that not only can I not afford, I don't want to spend my money on those things. I was actually out with work last week and a colleague's OH implied very directly that I was tight. I was so embarrassed, and could not believe anyone could be so insensitive, and this particular person has no idea about my financial situation and while I know nothing about hers, I get the impression she is very fortunate in financial terms.

    The problem I have found is that people will not discuss money issues, even small ones, with the people in their lives, which is why I think so many people get into trouble with debt, and so many people make assumptions about others' wealth, when in actual fact, somebody who appears wealthy could have £50k of debt, while somebody who appears poor could have £50k in the bank.

    Well done for sticking to your principles and for finding someone who agrees with them as your partner. Please don't wait to get married because you feel you have to have an expensive wedding (of course if you do want that that's fine, it's up to you!). My OH and I got married last year and it cost hardly anything in comparison to what you hear about. We had literally the day of our dreams (abroad) and it was not expensive. For us, like you have said, it was about BEING married, not GETTING married, and our day was perfect, even if we didn't spend a fortune on chair covers, a £1000 cake, an expensive dress for OH etc. Our guests all said how lovely it was. We were fortunate in that we wanted a small wedding abroad so we could get married outside in lovely weather, and we had a big party in the village hall when we got back for everyone, and this worked for us. However I know some people like the thought of everyone being at the actual wedding, in which case it will be more expensive. Whatever you decide, good luck!

    This sounds very similar to the kind of wedding we would like, something with our most intimate friends. Weddings throw up all kinds of politics...

    You have hit the nail on the head with what you said about not spending money on things because you don't want to. Its almost as if people assume that if you don't want to do something its because you can't afford it. It seems like sometimes everything becomes a !!!!ing contest of who will just say yes to anything.
  • dorisdaydorisday Forumite
    299 Posts
    quantic wrote: »
    This sounds very similar to the kind of wedding we would like, something with our most intimate friends. Weddings throw up all kinds of politics...

    You have hit the nail on the head with what you said about not spending money on things because you don't want to. Its almost as if people assume that if you don't want to do something its because you can't afford it. It seems like sometimes everything becomes a !!!!ing contest of who will just say yes to anything.

    Just got to put my two pennyworth in here. It seems like your OH comes from a family that like to spend money as before when asked by her mum what she was getting for a neice for easter and she said a egg - her mum appeared shocked - I do think this is where most of it comes from. But you on the other hand come from a different perspective.
    She likes to keep up with the Jones although you are trying to put her on the right track. These are her friends and there seems to be quite a lot of them each trying to keep up or better one another. These are NOT true friends but your OH is one of them.
    Just keep trying to instill your financial ways into her (may take a long time) Think she needs to see some examples of what being in real debt means and how it can destroy your life. Example 1. Me - im just about 65 and shall have to work until I drop - Why - because I enjoyed myself far too much, spent far too much and now Im paying the price. Wish I had had a crystal ball when I was 25!!
    If someone wants to get married abroad and wants to have guests then I think its up to them to pay for the guests especially when its so expensive. Let them go themselves, how selfish of them to ask people to be paying £1900 just to see their wedding.
    Look after the pennys and the pounds will look after themselves:money:
  • quanticquantic Forumite
    1K Posts
    Well, you might assume that because my OH and her friends are pretty lousy with money that it comes from her parents, and thats partly true, but I think the reason mainly is because we appear to be doing so well for ourselves that other people make assumptions that we have cash to throw around but don't.

    Her parents have worked all their lives in pretty average jobs, they have lots of holidays and stuff but they do a lot of overtime to pay for it, they have very little debt and are mortgage free (aged 52). That said, I don't think they fully appreciate that it costs quite a bit more to get on the property ladder then it did when they first started out. They splash out now but I think they forget that they didn't always have it this good, before they where mortgage free and maybe forget that we can't do the same as them even tho they don't earn as much as we do.

    By contrast, my parents have been in pretty average jobs all of their lives until about 15 years ago, my dad started his own business after being made redundant in 1996, since then he has earned around 100-150k a year, which in the north east is quite a large wage. Even still, they seem to live outside of their means (I think this is where I learned I don't want to be like them), they have a lot of money coming into the house but still have a large mortgage and lots of car finance etc.

    My parents hang around in a big group of friends, that they have been in since they where about 20, very similar to the dynamic of my group of friends actually and I can see a lot of similarities, they too have friends who are on average wages and one or two who are very rich (millionaires), I have grown up seeing them compete with each other for no apparent reason, and I guess I see from the outside that there are no winners in this scenario.

    I see the stress that my dad has on his shoulders on a daily basis, and I don't want to follow in his footsteps. I could have joined the family business at 16 if I had wanted to but I would rather do something I love then get an easy ride. So I went to uni and did what I enjoy doing. I really don't get people sometimes though, my parents could quite easily sell up now and never work again but they slave themselves to debt to pay for £80,000 cars and holidays in the maldives etc. I just don't think its worth it. I guess thats their own decision to make though.

    My OH has now changed massively in her attitude to money as a result of what her friends have been like over the past 6 months, she is not a material girl she just gets easily led, she has a good heart though and she deserves to be happy. I think she was just in the wrong group of people for a while who have been making her confuse things for happiness.

    I agree with what your saying about people paying towards their guests for holidays abroad, we have factored in the cost of paying for people who will not be able to pay for themselves into our budget as we really want everyone close to us to be able to make it.
  • ILoveEoinILoveEoin Forumite
    258 Posts
    Just a quick note 2 say, it comes across that u seriously love this girl! she is very very lucky! :):) well done 2 u both 4 gettin on the property ladder! keep doing wat u r doin and i think u both will b very happy and lucky in life, just remember 2 enjoy it and love doesnt cost anythin :) x
    marriage is finding that one special person that you can annoy for the rest of your life:)
  • What a fabulous thread!
    Other people's demons CANNOT be allowed to rule YOUR life. We only get one shot at it, and we owe it to ourselves to do the best we can.
    I have recently fallen out of friendship with pretty much my whole social circle - we enjoyed each other's company but it always seemed to revolve around spending money. Following the death of one of us (just before her 40th birthday :eek:) we've all just drifted apart.
    On the positive side, I'm getting married on July 1st to the father of my 2 youngest. The most expensive part of the day is the register office(£270). My outfit has cost about £100, he's making do with a suit he already has - although I've seen a great t-shirt for him saying "Never mind the wedding, let's go to the Pub":rotfl: We've said to all the aunts/uncles/cousins/anyone else who cares that they're welcome to join us for a drink at our local, where we'll buy a meal for the wedding party (15 all together). We've always felt like the poor relations, so now we'll act like it, although we're in a better position financially than we've been in years.
    Hope everything works out for you OP, you ARE doing the right thing - for YOU and your future.

  • quanticquantic Forumite
    1K Posts
    Thanks both of you's. I do indeed love her very much and it breaks my heart to see her friends make her and me feel inadequate when I'll I'm trying to do is give us both a secure future. Sorry to hear about you drifting away from your friends and I hope your wedding is lovely.
  • snookeysnookey Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    I dont know if its been mentioned as Iv not read all the posts but Iv heard so many people say they can not afford to start a family. Wait until your mates get into their thirties and realise that a family requires money and they are in debt up to their ears .
    Nobody can sustain the lifestyle of credit cards forever. At some point the money has to be paid back.
  • quantic wrote: »
    Someone even said, your 20's is for having fun, and your 30's is for paying it back.

    Just had a wry smile at that quote! Spent my 20s being irresponsible and having "fun". Facing the consequences and paying it back in my early 30s made me realise that it wasn't that much fun getting in to debt and having to pay it all back certainly wasn't fun at all!

    Stick to your guns and spend what you want and not what others xpect you to.
    LB moment March 08 - 11k debt,
    Debt free March 2010 :)
  • mooominmooomin Forumite
    13.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Stick to your guns and spend what you want and not what others xpect you to.

    :T :T :T

    That's the key of the matter really, isn't it?
  • Just been reading through all the replies and I'm finding this such a shame. I'm sorry to say it but I cant help but feel that true friends would just be focused on quality time with all their friends rather than flashing the cash.

    Half of my 'group' earn a similar low wage to me, half a lot higher. Some have a lot of debt, some (well really just me) save a lot. We always respect each others financial position- to us it's the quality of time spent with pals that matters, it doesn't matter what we're doing. A night away camping, an inexpensive night out in our home town where no one has to get a cab home and drinks are inexpensive, dinner at a friends house, a murder mystery or board games evening etc

    I hope it all works out for you and your OH- friends should value you, not your wallet.
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