How should I handle someone who insists on dropping price tags??

stinky-gardenerJune 5, 2009

Someone in my life CONSTANTLY drops price tags! This has been going on for a few years (since I met her!). You know, remarks like, "The new Heating/Cooling system just cost me, $13,000." or "My new door was really expensive." "That awning cost $8,000." "I know where you can find X (something I'm looking for) but it is really expensive!" (She says this sort of thing a lot.)

I want to be friendly with this person but this habit is a huge turn-off to me. I have come to avoid her like the plague, but still must interact with her sometimes. I am cordial & friendly to her, but inside I feel so uncomfortable.

Chances are good that y'all have never met a person who does this to the extent that this woman does! I never have before! It's impossible to have even a brief conversation without money being brought up in some way, shape or form. I feel guilty for avoiding her. Otherwise, she has a lot of good qualities, but this worm really spoils the apple for me!

I know y'all usually talk about money saving tips here, but thought some of you could offer me advice about this. Thanks!

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The people I know who do this don't bother me. Sometimes I've gotten tired of it and said something like is MONEY really that big a thing to you? or something like that. Otherwise I've done certain conversions at times. You paid how much for that? Sheesh, that's 22 12-packs! Or something like that. Or drop something like, I guess you value a piece of plastic (or wood, cloth, etc) WAY more than I do! or No way I'd be stoopid enough to pay that.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 7:17AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

hmmm...she doesn't sound very smart, bragging about paying a lot for something. Chances are someone saw her coming and took advantage of her, knowing she would not care how much anything would cost.

Cynic's comebacks sound pretty good to me, but my motto isI refuse to have a battle of wits with someone who is not armed.

I think I would maybe think of some things that you could immediately change the subject to, whenever she brings up money. If she is saying such things constantly, is she repeating what she has told you before? If so, maybe politely (as much as you can) interrupt her and say, "Yes, I remember you told me that before. Isn't it a nice day? How about all those birds singing. or something else trivial.

I avoid a neighbor who is a very compulsive talker. You don't have a conversation with him, you just listen. It is very hard to even get in Well, I gotta go now and even if you did, he would not hear you or stop talking. BF says he just turns and walks away. I think I have heard that the neighbor is aware of his talking problem.

Oh, oh, oh...whenever it happens, just go off on her about something she is likely not knowledgeable about or cares nothing about, like composting. I had some pesky folks who would often drop by in the evenings, always drinking, and I hated them interrupting me from what I was doing outside (playing in my flowers and such). Life is to short too put up with drunks. Anywho they were gossips and had some radical views on some things that disturbed me. I decided whenever they stopped again, I was going to start talking non stop about Compost. I never got the chance to though, as they once stopped by, and I didn't answer the door, and they deduced I was ignoring them (and they were right) and they have not stopped since. If I am outside and they are going slowly down the road (near drunk or drinking probably at about 5-10 mph) I make it a point to not wave!

Can you tell these people upset me?


    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 10:08AM
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Thanks for your replies, Cynic & Chemocurl. I think you both have good ideas.

I do change the subject quite often CC. Like the other day when I asked her how she enjoyed a particular restaraunt she said, "Oh I loved it, the food was good the atmosphere was very nice." "Great!" I replied. "Of course it was very expensive" she added. Then as fast as I could, said, "It seems like all the interesting new places are in -town." I just didn't acknowledge the remark.

Anyhoo, I know when it comes down to it, this is my issue.
She has no problem with her spending habits, & in fact seems so proud of them that at every opportunity wants the world to know about them! I feel like saying (but never would) "Yes, you have an endless discretionary income. Yes, you are wealthy. Are you happy now that it's been acknowledged?" It seems she lives to reinforce this impression.

Thanks again for listening to me grumble!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 11:49AM
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I'd probably say something along the lines paid that much, they must have seen you coming. Either that or something along the lines of...funny my sister, niece, cousin just got the same thing for $15.00 at the (name thrift store), she got a way better deal than you. I know not witty but it would get the point across. If she didn't stop by or call again, how much of a loss could it be? Waving wealth in front of others seems a real insecurity to me.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 4:42PM
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It almost sound like she had some rough times and suddenly got enough money to not worry anymore. Inheritance? Sudden new high-paying job(s)? Almost like she has to reinforce herself that she's not "po folk" no more!

The more I think of it, not sure you can do much. If she's really a friend you want to keep, maybe have a sit down and say, hey, do you know you really come across as bragging over money? See what her response is.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 9:15PM
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Thanks for your reply, Budster. I agree, there is definitely insecurity there, which is a shame. This person is witty, bright, & has a lot going for her. Also, our contact is not generated by her "stopping by" but rather by the fact that she lives next door to me! I bought my house 3 yrs. ago, while she is the original owner of her 21 yr. old house.

Cynic, you nailed it. Her husband received a gigantic promotion about 8 years ago. To go back to Budster's point, I think she believes that money=security+control over life. By constantly pointing out how she can afford things others can't, she feels more in charge and, I think, superior in a way. She also is obsessed with having the cleanest house & showiest lawn possible. These extreme efforts go hand in hand with the money thing I think, as she is dying to impress others.

I feel compassion for her when I remember that, but unfortunately I am not mature enough myself to always be in touch with that. I just wish she wouldn't do what she does because I don't like it! Silly huh? She is who she is. Thanks for helping me sort this out.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 9:46PM
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"I can't wait to get a look at the inside of your house ...

... for I said that I'll bet that at least half of the stuff in there has a sticker on it telling of the price that it cost ...

... and hubbie said, 'Oh ... surely not!'".

Or ... you could install some price tags on some of the things in her house and when she asks what you're doing, tell her that you realize how important such issues are to her and you're worried that you might forget some of the prices (getting rather old and forgetful), so you thought that it would save embarrassemnt for you if you installed some of the price tags as a memory aid.

Oh ... and, by the way ...has she figured out a price tag for her kid yet?

"We're having a seminar with a financial planner one of these days to figure ways to get the usual stuff ...

... for half the usual price. Sure helps to make the same number of dollars get a lot more work done. Would you like us to let you know the time and place when we get it set up?

They say that s/he has some good ideas about saving taxes, as well".

HTH: to keep you from getting too depressed over it, if nothing else!

o j

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 11:44PM
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That's funny Joyful Guy, thanks!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 9:03AM
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My husband and all his sibs grew up really, really poor. All grown now, and certainly old enough to know better, they judge everyone by how much money they appear to have.

Whether they can afford to or not, they all drive nice cars and dress nice. We don't get together much any more now that his mother and several of his older sisters, who were our anchors, have died. But during a get-together, the subject of money frequently dominates the conversation. They get into these little "contests" -- somebody will mention they'd like to have something and all the others will go out and buy it, whether they really want it or not, and flaunt it. I just hate that.

I've tried, throughout 40 years of marriage, to tone down DH's need to be like them. I tell him, "We're comfortable, we buy the things we really want. We don't need to be spending money just to show off." Still, he's more like them than I'm comfortable with, and nothing gives him a bigger bang than driving around a new (expensive) pick-up truck. *sigh* I guess if people could see stuff like this when they're young and "in love", they wouldn't be "in love" very long, and nobody would ever get married, eh?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 10:58AM
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At least she is telling you what SHE paid. We had neighbors who consistently asked what WE paid for things. I deflected the questions with "I don't remember" or "not very much, I think" until I got tired of it. Finally I told her that asking what things cost was rude, and I was very sure she didn't want to be rude. Well, I was wrong, she didn't care!
Have you tried telling your neighbor that you value things for their beauty or their usefulness, not their cost?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 12:44PM
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Wow, Ilene, sounds like you've "been there, done that" with your extended family! What a trooper you are! I like your attitude, "We don't need to spend money to show off." If you really value something, by all means get it. I really understand that zen-like austerity will never be for everyone. But spend your millions because *you* value the goods, not to buy admiration, right?

Marlingardener, you've got interesting neighbors too!
As for expressing my own values, I've tried in subtle ways, but she usually brushes my remarks off as efforts to "make do" with less because I have no choice. (Actually, however, how does she know whether I have a choice or not, is what I'd like to know!)

For example, she doesn't really seem to believe me when I tell her that I sincerely like & want to keep my 1999 vehicle. She thinks I just can't afford a newer car so I'm just blowing hot air about how much I genuinely like the one that I have.

Thanks for sharing your stories & feedback!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 1:52PM
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You can certainly cannot avoid this kind of people. I think you just have to ignore the "money" thing. You don't have please anybody just do what you think is right and everything will be just fine.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 2:25PM
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If this is a person you MUST be with often, why not simply tell her how you feel? For example,"I don't know why but when you tell me how much everything costs I feel very annoyed. This bothers me so much that it is beginning to get in the way of our friendhip. Are you willing to try to stop this habit?"

And if she still doesn't get it, you could yell "Ka-CHING!!" very loudly every time she does it.

At my age I have come to the realizaton that "life is short" so I have simply dropped some people who annoy me. Why have "friends" you don't like?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 3:26PM
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Hi Gardenlover, thanks!

Scarlett, you make excellent points. I guess I don't want to ask her to stop the habit on my account. When it comes down to it, the fact is, I feel it's *my* issue...why should I ask her to change for me? She's not my spouse. Even with spouses, we can only ask people to change but so much, I believe.

I have, as I commented earlier, avoided her, & see & speak w/her much less frequently. I guess you could say I sort of "dropped her" which I feel badly about. I think I got too close to her too fast too soon, before I realized this was going to be an ongoing issue. When I realized it was chronic, I took a big step away for my own sanity. There were other issues as well, such as privacy & boundary issues. She was in a word, quite intrusive at times. Inquiring about my whereabouts,guests, etc. Anyway,she probably has been very confused as to why I "went poof!" If she ever asked, I *would* say words to the effect of the ones you suggested. But, it's like you said, "At my age I have come to the realizaton that "life is short" so I have simply dropped some people who annoy me. Why have "friends" you don't like?" I can relate. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 4:31PM
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Please don't let it get to you to the extent that it really irks you.

As someone told me years ago - when you say about/to someone that "You/s/he makes me mad" ...

... you're giving them too much control over your life.

Take the view that someone can only make you mad when you give them permission ... you let them.

Be in charge of your own life.

If she wants to go on about how much she paid for stuff, so ... let her.

Let it roll like water off of a duck's back.

How would she react if you told her sometime about how much you appreciate several of her capabilities, that you referred to earlier and then were to go on to say that many folks feel that people's habit of crowing/boasting about the prices of stuff indicates to quite a few people that such people are feeling insecure, and feel the need to, they think, impress people by the prices that they pay for stuff. Which doesn't really impress people, it just leads them to consider the person boastful and rather insecure.

Is the person that I am predicated mainly upon the amount of stuff that I've accumulated around me? To me, the personal integrity that I've built is far more important than the amount of stuff that I possess. Also ... I value people - family, friends, members of my community (and that reaches out to distant parts of the world) far more than an accumulation of stuff.

Many of the folks being laid off in recent months, who are dependent upon each paycheque as soon as it arrives ... are now in deep trouble.

Even more so if they were owing large balances on credit cards.

I'd much rather have 3 months', or 6 or 9 months', or, even better, a year's income available that I can use to live on, if the paycheque stops.

I call that financial freedom ... and I don't like being a slave to a paycheque!

She sure wouldn't think much of my 21-year old car with about 130,000 mi. on it ... that gets me from here to there and back without hassle. Which is what I expect of my car.

I don't feel the need to impress people ... I hope that they'll accept me for who I am ... but if they don't want to, that's O.K. I can survive without their being impressed with me ... and certainly so, if those constitute the main reasons for their approval.

I hope that you have a reallly great week ahead.

ole joyful

P.S. If she doesn't believe your reason for driving an old car ... why should you believe her when she details the prices that she paid for stuff???

Dad used to say that it's people who tend to be liars who are inclined to disbelieve the stories of others.

o j

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 11:58PM
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Thanks for your thoughtful response, Joyful Guy. It was nice of you to share. I agree with your perspective on things too.

You have a nice week as well!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 8:58AM
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I wonder what she would say if you jumped in and said something like "you told me you paid (x number of dollars) for that a lesser number than what she quotes.....just to see her reaction.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 1:07PM
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Hi again malodourous gardener,

I was thinking of an idea somewhat along the line of Budster's response - that could be construed to be a bit odouriferous on its own.

How about getting a small notebook to take along when you expect to meet her?

When she comes off with one of her financially-related stories, how about getting out the notebook and writing in it.

If she asks what's going on, tell her that she seems to have such a vast knowledge of the value of things that you thought it wise to take a leaf from her notebook, but your memory not being as good as hers, you thought that you should keep a more permanent record.

Maybe do it on the quiet for a time, then later when she talks of something, you check it out and report to her that, yes, she'd told that story to you before - once in April of '08, and again in October of that year. And quoting varying prices, if in fact there may have been such.

Do you figure that she's perceptive enough to pick up on your game?

If not ... I think that I'd not try it, for fear that she might construe the situation as having her be doing you a favour in contributing to your rather needed financial literacy by her activities!

Good wishes for a bright future - with fewer experiences of being favoured by the receipt of reports of the price of things provided by financially literate, and somewhat obsessed, acquaintances/friends.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 2:28PM
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Thanks again, Budster & JG. I appreciate & enjoy your suggestions!

In reality, I will probably just continue to ignore her remarks as much as possible & change the subject as quickly as I can.

If I may add some more info, I think it bugs her that 3 yrs. ago I paid quite handsomely for my house. (It bugs me too but not for the same reasons!!) Remember what the housing market was like in '06?

Since she's the original owner of hers, circa 1987, she paid a small fraction of what I did. If *I* were in her shoes, I'd just feel really good that I bought when the market was low & values later soared. But no, I think she *needed* for me to know that she was really sitting pretty!!

So, within the 1st 3 months of my living next door to her, I knew the cost of virtually everything she would purchase in the months shortly after I moved in: $13,000 for heating/cooling, $22,000 for one landscape project, $12,000 for another, $8,000 for an awning, $8,000 for a pair of sofas, $12,000 for a custom-made coffee table, $32,000 for new windows. I'm sure I'm forgetting something; it's been 3 yrs. now.
Plus I heard about a few other items acquired in the more distant past such as her $75,000 ring & $10,000 drapes. In addition, I was regaled with stories of the delivery/repair men who would always say "Mrs.-your house looks like it's out of a magazine!" Blah,blah,blah.

I don't mean to beat a dead horse here. I appreciate y'all listening & realize there are serious matters to attend to here, such as generating those money saving tips; an admirable & helpful service to so many.
I hope my post wasn't too self-indulgent, & that in some way it was helpful to others who come to this forum. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 4:04PM
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Hi again malodourous petal-pusher,

So ... she got the same semi-fancy car that you got ... but much earlier ... and at a much lower price.

So, now, with nose slightly out of joint ... she has to impress you with the price that she pays for tires ... super-duper carburetors ... custom-tuned mufflers ... and, recently, a G.P.S!

(Comparison sort of breaks down, in that it's hard to get cars, early in their life, at super-low prices).

Caution; *Don't* go out and get yourself a G.P.S. for your car ... or she'll be forced to become more strident! And carry on in similar fashion for longer.


ole joyful

P.S. Some time ago I heard a story (and I must confess to switching genders, here).

A fairly well-to-do widow, in talking to someone that she'd known for a while, asked whether he'd marry her if she had a million dollars.

Getting a big smile on his face and doing a bit of a jig, he replied, "Sure would, dear ... name the day!".

Actually, I heard the story some time ago ... now, I think that the fund'd need to be at least a couple of mill ...

Then she asked whether he'd be willing to marry her for a couple of thousand, to which he replied, "What do you think that I am?".

Her reply: "We've already decided that ... now we're just discussing price!".

What a shame that so many people in our society feel the need to place such a high proportion of the value that they place on things and people depending on their price tag.

Many of the people who've felt the necessity of fleeing for their lives, leaving every piece of their possessions behind, and starting over with nothing but the clothes on their back ... and their offspring, for whom their stories have been part of their growing up, would give many of us a far different perspective on life.

If you don't boss your money, there's a good possibility that it'll boss you - and money makes a great servant ... but a horrible master!

My life ... my health ... my integrity ... my loved ones ... treating others as I'd like to be treated ... treating the world and its resources with respect ...

... are more important to me than a pile of cash - or the stuff that it buys.

I hope that this week becomes great for you and yours.

o j

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 6:05PM
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easy... just say " you paid how much.... you got screwed... what a dump a__"

thta should shut them up

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 6:23PM
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Thanks again, JG! Well-said! Yes, our culture wants us to confuse our net-worth with our self-worth.

But you know, in addition to the deeper, philosophical, theological issues, it's just plain bad manners to so blatantly talk about money. Especially, I think, with people one is barely acquainted with.

It was highly inappropriate for her to share the details about her finances that she divulged merely weeks after meeting me! My dear southern-belle mother would roll over in her grave if I carried on in such a fashion.

I went to private school & was surrounded by the offspring of some of the wealthiest people in our community. "Old money" is what they had, & the right last names & privilege & power. But you know what? None of these individuals EVER spoke about money or their latest acquisitions. It would have been considered the worst kind of rudeness; really bad form.

Manners & dignified behavior have gone the way of the cotton gin I suppose. But this lady is 11 years older than I. She should know better!

Anyhoo, hope you have a nice week too, JG! Take care. Thanks again for sharing your insights.

Greif,thanks for your reply!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 9:00PM
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I guess we all have our own ways of handling a situation like this...some have more social skills than others, some rush in like a bull in a china shop.....whatever you feel is the best way that you can handle it is the way to go. In any case, it certainly gave us all something to think about, thanks for posting your question. Budster who awaits other answers ........anyone else?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 9:04PM
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I'm enjoying all the suggestions for handling this situation. Thanks everyone. All of them are very inventive, but, if I had a "friend" who irritated me every time we met, I would quietly distance myself from them to the point that we would never come in contact. That little irritating feeling you get is a form of stress and after many years of living with stress I've come to realize that it is detrimental to my overall wellbeing. My health costs today would be a lot less if I had realized this years ago.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 1:11PM
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Hi again, stinky gardener,

If, having gathered data, after careful study and evaluation, a skilled investigator were to report back that this issue were the most serious on your street ...

... or in your town or city ...

... I think that many of us might feel justified in concluding that you live in a pretty happy, carefree place.

Whadda ya think?

Enjoy what's left of your spring ... it's been slow and chilly, here ... only a little over a week until the days shart getting shorter again.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 3:35AM
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i have found that some people are much more comfortable talking about salaries, money and costs, etc than others. i grew up in a family that didn't discuss it... my husband is much more comfortable talking money---but he's also in finance, so maybe that's part of it. men, in general, seem on the whole more interested in talking about the cost of things/money. it does seem to me that for some people it really isn't boastful... they just don't give it a second thought, as some of us cringe... i also used to cringe if i were looking for a job and needed to list(salary negotiation) what i thought i was worth ($ wise) to the company-whereas my husb has no trouble with that either...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 2:46PM
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Hi Budster, thanks for stopping by again. Yes, I love hearing what others have to say about this. Thanks!

Pris, you make a good point about stress. It *is* stressful for me to be around her!! I know I need to learn to deal more effectively with this issue. Thank you.

Joyful Guy! Hello! Yes, indeed. In the light of the universe this little problem is less than microscopic. That does provide perspective!

I know that I have my own issues regarding money or else her stuff wouldn't be pushing my buttons to the extent that it does. It seems like such a big deal to me I think, because I feel my own conflicts about money, status & yes, though it may seem unrelated, love.

I think people can confuse copius amounts of attention & admiration for love. In my neigbor's case, she gets lots of attention for her things & house. Marilyn Monroe on the other hand, confused fame for love. At the ripe old age of 36 she committed suicide because her beauty was starting to fade (pre-botox era!) I'm just saying, we all want to be loved & feel a sense of acceptance. We all want status in our group (even if that group is a noble band of Salvation Army bell-ringers & not a Fourtune 500 company!) We also all want wealth, though we each may define wealth differently. Even agrarian, pre-industrial & Native American cultures aspired to having wealth, though it was not necessarily measured in currency as we use it.

I guess I'm trying to sort all this out for myself & have some peace. I'm kind of an odd mix of a person who lives a comfortable life who also values the simple living movement & cares about addressing poverty & injustice. I believe in a "spirituality of enoughness." I believe less is more.

But guess what? Monday I'm having a week-long construction project started in my backyard. It won't be cheap, though I did shop around & get the best price I could find with a quality contractor. But, is this really necessary? While I have a new pond, patio & walkway built, there are homeless children in my own city.

It's been hot here since May, but I haven't turned on the air conditioning. I come from a long line of heat-intolerant folks. My mother used to wear shorts & a tank top on Christmas day with the air-conditioning blasting away.

I haven't turned the ac on because I want to be less dependent on it. I want to save a few pennies. I want to be in solidarity with the poor who can't afford ac. I want to do something that challenges my comfy, cushy lifestyle. This is one small thing I can do right now.

Whew! Sorry if this was way too much info. You can see how complex this all is for me. Yes, it's trivial to the max on one hand, & yet, it has deeper layers of meaning if you think about it (& boy do I think about it!)

Busybee...yes, different strokes for different folks!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 3:48PM
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Hi again stinky,

We seem to have quite a lot in common, from the sound of your report.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 6:17PM
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busybee3-"i have found that some people are much more comfortable talking about salaries, money and costs, etc than others. i grew up in a family that didn't discuss it..."

Same here. Our family lived within our means, had little if any debt, but always found ways to entertain ourselves that didn't cost much. It was the experiences, not the things that I remember.

Now times are different. I have more than two nickels to rub together but no desire to share just how MANY nickels I have. It doesn't seem prudent in these times. Times are getting tougher. Many people are being forced to work second and third jobs just to keep their heads above water. Why rub it in?

Also, why blab and make yourself a target to have your home broken into, be robbed or over-charged because someone else thinks you can 'afford' it?

Those people who feel the need to one up others with their conspicuous consumption seem to be deficient in other ways. Otherwise, why would they need to brag?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 11:01AM
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Could one call such boastfulness quite likely, for a number of people, something of a crutch? To support a knee that feels pain when walked on?

Many of us have interesting spots in our psyche where we feel such pain.

Good wishes for keeping your priorities in good order (one that works for you ... without injuring others).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 4:16AM
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We're blessed with good neighbors, for which I am eternally thankful, LOL.

If I had a neighbor like yours, I don't think I'd want to be overtly rude, however. She isn't being malicious, just obtuse and insecure. I'd just look at her quizzically and reply in an offhanded tone (which is what would make it clear I'm not at all interested), "That's nice," and then direct the conversation into something more interesting.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 11:59PM
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I've noticed that members of my generation (I'm an X-er, 34 years old), tend to be very comfortable talking about money, relative to some other generations.

To me, personally, talking about how much something cost or asking someone how much they paid is just a normal part of conversation. If the cost of something seems like an important part of whatever I'm talking about, I bring it up. So do all my friends.

This generational mindset is very much one of learning about the power of money from each other. If I paid too much for something, I want to know. Conversely, if I should have paid MORE for something in order to get a better product and greater ROI, I want to know that too. And I want to share what I know with others.

And I won't hesitate to ask you what you paid for something if I'm interested, unless I know that you personally have an aversion to it.

Of course, there's a difference between bragging and "discussing," but it sounds to me like some of the people in this thread have some hangups about money.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 9:12AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Although I am older than you, John- 45- I like to discuss and share the cost of things too. It's interesting and a normal part of converstion, never as one up manship. I do try to temper my leanings when I am with people I don't know or older than me.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 9:35AM
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Well, and that's the rub. I don't mind being asked how much I paid for something from time to time. And if I've gotten a great deal on something I don't mind saying so. But I think the OP has a neighbor that does this sort of thing constantly, and I feel like that would get a little old a little quick.

I'm always reminded of a neighbor we once had, who, no matter what we bought and no matter what we paid for it, his retort upon learning that information would be, "Tsk, they seen YOU comin'!"

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 2:03PM
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I suppose then that I should add that I tend to deal with personality issues with the same directness I use to discuss money.

I think I'd point-blank ask my neighbor why she was always mentioning the price of things, and I'd listen to her answer with an open mind. Of course, I gotta be honest, I find it quite unlikely I'd be bothered by the behavior enough to bother. The only way I can see myself being truly bothered is if I suspected the behavior had some sleezy, alterior motive (such as trying to belittle my own financial decisions), in which case I'd cut right to the heart of the issue and deal with it directly.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 6:34PM
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One SIL insists on telling me how much everything they have costs. And sending photos of completed "projects". This summer her husband re-did a bathroom. She sent me photos of the step-by-step progress and included a note "It only cost us $11,000". This after we had a contractor come in and re-do our bathroom for $26,000. Also bragged how her DH had b uilt a brick patio. We saw the patio, it's a mess. Bricks at all angles, he didn't dig deep enough or line it with sand, I know he didn't do it "right". I know because my DH and I built a brick patio several years ago and it was a lot of work! Then there are their cars. They insist on driving only cars two years old or younger. And they lease one of their cars right now. My family owns four cars outright. All between 2002 and 2004 models, but the great thing is we own them and don't have car payments. I dread her next DIY project. I have to go now, must practice my phomy smile and saying "Uh-huh. Yes." Like I care. By the way, her kids are both trainwrecks. Son lives at home and can't hold a job. Her daughter ran away from home at 16 and now has three kids and no husband.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 10:29AM
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I have a bad habit of mentioning how little I pay for things, what a good deal I got. I say it meaning they too can get this for less, at whatever place. But it comes off bad sometimes, so when someone compliments us on our car, furniture, etc. I just say thank you now.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 4:27PM
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I love the person's suggestion who said you should just yell "ka-ching!" whenever she mentions a dollar figure!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 4:23PM
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Since you say she is a otherwise nice person, I don't think a smart retort or put down will make you happier in the end. Just discuss it kindly.

When she mentions the price of something, just reply something like, "no prices please! I'm going to be needing one soon and I don't want to be reminded how overpriced they are!" Or, "I gave that much for mine too and I feel so guilty, because I could have fed 100 starving families in ____ for a whole year. Better to be sad and resigned than try to look impressed.

Sometimes I boast when I get a super great price - I'm Happy. Sometimes I look for sympathy when I feel like I've been scalped. Other wise I really don't like to discuss my finances.

It's a habit and I think a person who is not a great conversationalist will rattle on out of nervousness. Her home is probably the limit of "her whole little world".

It doesn't bother me for someone to give the price for something but when they continually only say "top dollar" I want to strangle them. That I consider to be out right bragging.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 9:26PM
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Well thats it! I have gone crazy, I could have sworn you said she was a nice person, I must have read a similar post and replied to the wrong one.
If she is in fact, bragging, tell her to wait until you get your notebook (kept especially for keeping track of her purchases) when she asks why, tell her you need to keep things straight because the IRS is so nosy you need exact figures in case they come snooping on her.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 9:45PM
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quote Oscar Wilde at her.. he was a man who knew the price of everything and the value of nothing..if she's too dim to get that then you could arrange an intervention with thrifty friends and take her to the cheapest places and point out the best bargains..

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 1:26PM
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if she was annoying the crap out of me all the time, I think I'd have to say something.

I suggest saying something like, "WOW! You're really wealthy, aren't you?" And I'd try to use almost those exact words EVERY TIME she mentioned money. So that even the dimmest bulb would start to get the picture.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 10:16PM
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"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants."

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 6:39PM
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