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Money and Class....and not the kind of class you think

October 10th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

So, the past few weeks have been a bit on the frustrating, aggravating, overwhelming side to put it mildly. And one of the factors that stood out in the zaniness of the past few weeks has been the topic of money.

One thing I have been noticing in regards to money is 1) when I have it, I am less stressed, and 2) when I don't have it, then everything seems even more stressful. I don't need to be a millionaire to be happy. I was aware at a part of the not so distant past that my having the 3-6 months of emergency savings could really ease my stress, even if I was somewhat broke during my average everyday type of life. But not having both is what makes me a bit more anxious.

I am thankful to have been able to work harder in order to have extra money for just basics that make me happy. But this extra work also makes me more cognizant of those who normally earn a higher amount, but may not have the same ethics. Lately, I have been finding myself saddened, upset, hurt, frustrated, dealing with issues of inferiority, by interactions with people who most likely earn more than I do (their house is in a better neighborhood, their car is european foreign made, they can shop at food stores I can only look far away at). In these situations, I found a severe lack of understanding on their part, and possibly mine.

By no means am I lumping everyone together or saying that all people act a certain way. That isn't what I am saying. I am describing that I have been running into the same type of person lately, who just happens to be a higher income. Living in a higher income city as I do, this isn't uncommon. Being a native who is not from such a high income may be a bit more uncommon.

Lately, I have had situations where people who had more, were not really cognizant or understanding, it seems, of the worth of value of a dollar. I feel there is nothing wrong with being frugal. I do find it sad, however, if you know something is worth a certain amount in fair trade, but you reduce what you will pay for it because you know that there is such a need for the sale, that the person will take almost anything. This has happened quite a few times, and it is so upsetting and angering, to be honest.

I get very sad and upset when I see people come out of our local gourmet store, bags filled to the brim with the usual high-fare foods (admittedly, some things in the store I would like to buy if I could), and they turn their noses down at the panhandler outside. Now, they aren't obligated to donate money. But they should at least give that person common respect. Instead, they say negative things to the homeless person, and that kind of thing just doesn't make sense to me in a lot of ways.

I have to learn how to ignore some of the things that people like that do. It is frustrating when I hear someone make a comment about how something isn't hard to afford, or that anyone can afford something, because it just shows that they are only thinking from their particular income and situation. Shrugging your shoulders and saying "Everyone could buy " " if they wanted to" just seems oblivious to what people in our country are going through right now. It is even more difficult when I hear some people complain about not being able to buy a designer item and how things are so difficult, yet, I also know people (sometimes myself), who are dealing with just being able to buy food and gas and pay their bills. It is all so frustrating and upsetting. In my city, I feel like I and others I know understand the recession and yet there is another group of people, no specific commonality except for income and habits, who are acting as if there is no recession. But this belief makes them very oblivious to the plight or suffering of others.

I am not sure how to react in this situation. Sometimes I feel like I need to just tune them out and ignore them. I feel like it takes a lot of energy out of me, because I often feel really overwhelmed at just trying to make it while dealing with usual life and work and family and relationship issues (sometimes to the point of tears) and to then have to deal with others who seem out of touch, or who just seem to be walking around without a care in the world, so quick to tell you how easy life really is, just upsets me. I do think that it wouldn't bother me as much if I was more stable financially, but it would still bother me because I know that I am very fortunate to be able to work and earn extra money, and you have families and people who haven't had income for a long while.

When you encounter things where it seems as if others are out of touch about finances, and not in a good way, how do you deal with it? When it is almost to the point of being ridiculously oblivious to reality, do you say something or just keep quiet?

4 Responses to “Money and Class....and not the kind of class you think”

  1. whitestripe Says:

    I have found that lately, a lot of those people who have the house in the better neighbourhood, the flashy car and gourmet groceries, are in fact not able to afford them at all. I have several friends who act as though they are 'entitled' to these things and seem to believe that their available credit is in fact, their money. I'm not saying all the people you come into contact with are like this, perhaps they really are wealthy, debt free and living within their means - but you would probably be surprised to find just how many aren't as 'comfortable' as you think they are. And the sad thing is that they actually do believe there's nothing wrong with the way they live either, they think it's normal. You, on the other hand, while stressing about money and bills, atleast have a proper idea of your financial picture.

    On another note, DF and I are often belittled by some of our friends (I don't think they mean it, I just notice their passing comments sometimes, and it irks me a bit) because we sacrifice some things that they think we should spend money on, in order to have other things, which WE WANT to spend money on. In the past, we've always been in on events or holidays with groups of friends that have required a lot of money to be saved. Now that we have a mortgage and other interests that require money (albeit a lot LESS money than the previous holidays and events) we no longer participate in the expensive group activities. We still see our friends all the time, but I feel as though they think we're stupid because we pursue other interests together instead of wasting thousands on holidays which are, basically, the same thing every year. *shrug*

  2. momcents Says:

    Ah, yes ... the joy of "others". You'll be dealing with them forever, time to learn to tune them out. Said from the POV of someone who in the past has done self comparisons and worried about what people should do with their money. It still rubs me the wrong way at times, but usually if it has to do with me directly (example which I said nothing about: lawyer brother gave his nephews gift cards to Target at $10 a piece - he said he's poor, that is fine, it is the thought that counts, right? Well, I read on FB that he gave his ex-gf's daughter True Religion jeans for her birthday for $160?!) Enough said. All that we can do it be good stewards of our money and resources. And we don't really know what motivates others. Keep your chin up, girl; you're doing fine!

  3. rob62521 Says:

    The people you describe I would say are "snobs". They act like they are superior because they have money. But, you are right, they don't have class. I think we all have days when it is a struggle to feel OK about ourselves when faced with these self-centered folks. I know I do. Then I realize how fortunate I have it -- I have a nice home and food to eat and clothes to wear and how wrong it is to feel inferior because I don't have the big fancy car and the even bigger fancier house. It's a part of human nature to feel this way, but I keep reminding myself to be satisfied with what I have and to be kind to everyone, not matter their status in life.

  4. baselle Says:

    Re: People who "kiss up and kick down" economically. They don't have class, its true, but I've made peace with this because I think that the "kick down" behavior is their conscience and their fear expressing itself. They are poor in spirit. As you say, if they were truly rich in both money and spirit, they would either give a little (money being no object) or at least say, "I'm sorry I can't or won't or a simple I'm sorry" (spirit being no object). One tends to denigrate others because one knows really how close he is to being in a bad situation and really do not want to be reminded of that fact.

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