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I agree it is a mindset thing for certain.

Dh’s sister refers to us as rich, and thinks we have done nothing to deserve where we are at in our station in life. She has it in her head I come from a rich family. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For several years my df was raised by his divorced mother in a one room log cabin with dirt floors. When she did marry the man I called Papa he was a traveling salesman that was out of work almost as much as he had a job. But they were determined to move up in the world, and eventually they did by working their ever loving backsides off. But they were far from rich. While my granny owed no one when she died, she also owned very little but a small brokerage account, but she was rich in her own mind and in my heart.

The first home I remember living in as a child was a two room (NOT 2 bedroom, but 2 rooms and neither of them was a bathroom) house. My Dad worked long hard hours and built on a single bedroom and a bathroom with a hall in between as he could with the cash he could scrape together. My brother and I slept in that hall on a set of bunk beds.

When Dad died he owed no one, he too had a small brokerage account, but he also had a great understanding of the importance of education. I’ve wrote about him often. I’ve worked all my life in one way or another and saved as I could. My first home as a married woman to my first husband was a one room efficiency apart with a Murphy bed. I paid $67.50 a month for it and the two of us shared it with cock roaches so big I called them Trojan horses.

I paid the down payment on my first house with U.S. Savings bonds that were purchased by buying savings bond stamps in school each week as I was growing up. I used my baby sitting money to do so. I started baby sitting at age 8. I also took in ironing, and sewing. I did the bonds because my mother couldn’t cash those in, and any cash I tried to save at home she would “borrow”, only it never returned. I was more like my Dad than my Mom for certain.

Each home after that the down payment was the equity from the first home. When I divorced my first husband he tried to take the house and leave me and my daughter homeless. Luckily I had a good lawyer and an understanding judge that realized that even though back then the man was considered the provider it was MY money that had paid the down payment and MY pay check that had made the monthly payments. It was a long hard fight to get to our home now. But all sil sees is the 3,300 square foot home on 90 acres and not the work it took to get there.
She lives off of others, and the US government, although she is perfectly able bodied and able to work. Is on a first name basis with her local pawn broker and pay day lender. And as I said, buys her household items from RAC. She has stolen from every family member more than once and at age 54 I do not see her changing her ways.

Her father died ashamed of her and could not see how he went wrong with her. While none of the other 3 kids are rich they all did get educated and learned the value of earning a living. She, on the other hand is not speaking to her brothers because both have refused to give her any more money. So she gets on facebook and calls her brothers thieves and selfish, while she takes her mother’s entire social security check every month. We have all come to realize that we cannot change her, and therefore refuse to enable her any longer. She has chosen her path, but it does not mean we have to put her in a cart and pull her down it.

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I just wanted to chime

in that your post reminded me for some reason of DR explaining the difference between broke and poor. Broke, he explained, is a temporary state where you lack some $$ but you know it’s temporary … and poor is viewed as a permanent situation with no way out … if I remember correctly.
There have been times I saw us a poor, especially pre-Dave Ramsey. My mindset didn’t change overnight just by taking FPU. It was a process that took at least a couple of years. Here’s an example. We do not have health insurance through work, we pay for it ourselves. I used to bemoan this fact and that we could do so much more financially if we didn’t have this expense, or if we had to pay only a portion of it. When you look at it on paper, yes, this was true. However, I should have been giving thanks that we could pay it because many others were not so fortunate. Now my mind set is pretty much changed but sometimes I do find myself back in that old mindset but it doesn’t last long.

We have some close family members who I believe see themselves as poor, not broke. It has been a series of choices over their adult life that has them end up in that spot. They are dh’s sister and her husband. Dh and his sister were biological sibs, raised by the same parents. Yet they have turned out very different.
Oh, I just heard a quote on tv …. “Through adversity comes opportunity.” (Drew Brees, QB of The New Orleans Saints). I believe we are given opportunites when things are not going our way, but we have to make the most of them or the opporutnity. For example, we have paid in full for dsil/dbil to take FPU but they chose to run from seem problems, literally and figuratively so they have never take it. I am not sure dh completely agrees with me but I believe these family members would rather run from issues than deal with them. However, I must stay there have been times I found it easier to stick my head in the sand too but I think I do it less often now than I used to.

Maybe your sister has never taken advantage of opportunities either, like when you tried to educate her. Here’s to hoping she’ll take advantage of what you try to teach her in the future. Maybe she will also learn the difference between “broke” and “poor”.

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We see it every weekend.

Folks on SSi or AFDC who need a computer… we can sell them one that will get on line, play DVDs cds free anti virus…. but it doesn’t have a built in web cam… soooooo they can buy from us ( 90.00) and spend 15.00 on a webcam from walmart or go to rent a center and pay 10 times as much or more when they are finished… if it lasts that long….

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It truly is very crazy.

My sil and I had a discussion on this very same subject one time. She buys EVERYTHING through these people and I cannot get her to understand that if you do the math you are paying 300% higher for the item than if you save up and pay for it.
At that time she needed a washer and dryer. She had access to her daughter’s next door and had been using that. I suggested instead of running out to RAC and paying three times the price she continue to use her daughter’s units while she put that $29.99 back in a jar or something to save up for a used washer and dryer (which often is what you are getting from RAC—she even admitted that) and in the mean time watch Craig’s list for a used unit, CHEAP!
You would have thought I was asking her to kill her child! She just went bonkers. NO she needed the unit now and they would deliver it tomorrow. I asked her what the price of the units would be and she told me, I nearly fell over in a faint. First of all their list price was higher than any retail store for new units, for a used unit. Then when I showed her the math on the “easy payments” totaled more than that list price, plus there would be the “buy it now price” at the end of the payment period. All in all it worked out to be a 300% mark up at new unit price for a used unit.
She wouldn’t listen. Even when I showed her on Craig’s list much nicer models people had listed for less than half the original price. It was sad. Her excuse was she couldn’t keep using her daughter’s machines for a month or so while she saved up because it was “inconvenient” to carry her laundry next door once a week. She also told me I didn’t know what it was like to be poor—don’t even get me started on that one. That they were the only place she could buy on time because they were so poor. My tongue was so bloody that day from biting it. Just remember she and dh had the same parents and had all the same opportunities in life. She came so close to getting my “choices” speech that day. But I knew she wouldn’t listen.
She has seriously furnished her entire house through these people, including computers, appliances, riding lawn mowers and everything else. Then wonders why she has no money.

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the ex-football player wouldn’t work for me..

..I live in Jacksonville and our players are known for drug/DUI, assult, domestic violence arrests, a few have filed bankruptcy and they are not very community friendly. Only 1 or 2 have actually stayed here and contributed to the community.We joke about being Luddites at our house – even though my husband works on a computer all day. He says the last thing he wants to do when he gets home is get on one. We have been getting more and more high tech around here – but I am trying to filter all the outside crap (my view anyway) that tries to sneak into my life (ie. TV, news, advertising, websites…)

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Funny you should bring this up. I don’t know what ds going yesterday for certain. But he announced he was ready to “disconnect” from the world and go back to writing, drawing, reading and walking on the farm for entertainment. He even mused about selling all “toys” in the house. Now this is a young man who is an electronics junkie. Something really wound him up for certain. Jan who knows he’ll calm down and tell her eventually in OK

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Guess I’ll keep hiking.

you’re using your brain. RAC and folks like them are very much hoping that most folks won’t bother with making so much effort. And just do what the hunky ex-football players tell them to do. After all, aren’t hunky ex-football players our best possible advisors for personal finance?

Sorry if that sounds cranky. I’m going through Quicken and setting up monthly budgets based on our spending this year, and let’s just say that I have a new level of respect, awareness and (honestly) disgust for how much money flies out the door of this household. Some days feels like we’re doing good and some days, not so much. Today is one of those latter category days, darnit. And yes, I’ll confess to buying two Powerball tickets last night. I wasn’t one of the two winners. So I’ll keep on working in Quicken, and try not to get even more annoyed.

But here’s a very bright spot – we have approx $25K left in all debt other than the house. That’s the remainders of my credit card, our IRS bill, and one more credit card which is probably not even on the books anymore but I want to pay back that debt. A big enough total, to be sure. But while setting up Quicken this morning, I saw that our mortgage is even lower than I expected. I was figuring $75K and it’s actually only $69K. A few years ago that number would have seemed un-reachable. Now, that seems very do-able. We’ll hopefully finish off the consumer debt in 2013, and then our guns will be aimed at that mortgage. If we do nothing, we’ll pay it off anyway in 2018. But with the snowball, wow we could have it by our house’s 100th birthday – 2015. If I stand on my tippie-toes, I can actually look far enough down the DR road to see that day when we won’t have debt. Any debt. Wow, that’s quite the attractive landscape, stretching out behind the hills we’re currently climbing.

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