Wednesday, March 05, 2008

People thinking you're Weird?

On a Dave Ramsey message board, people were discussing in a thread, whether others thought they were weird. If they were sharing with people in real life about becoming debt free. And a lot of people said yes they got weird looks. Or that they didn't share about it.

So I decided to contemplate do people think we're weird? Honestly, NO. Most of our friends are not in financial trouble. They are pretty secure financially and pretty responsible. My two best friends, neither have credit card debt or car loans. They both had car loans out of college, but it got them good jobs. They both had student loans, but they got great jobs because of it.

DH's best friend has no credit card debt, student loans, or car loans. He thinks people are crazy. BIL has no car loans, credit card debt, student loans. And yes while he did cosign for his girlfriend's car loan (long, long story) and pay her CC bills (stupid tax), he never actually got himself into trouble.

And the rest of our friends? I know our MBA neighbors carefully calculated the cost of having student loans, but are against CC debt. And more than a few acquaintances don't have CC debt, but have massive student loans (they mentioned it). That seems to be a theme, we're not weird, we're normal for not having car loans or CC debt. And student loans is a part of our circle it appears.

Granted this might be true because we've been in school for so long that frugality is trait you need to survive. But it might also be true that not really having a "good" income for long also makes it harder to rack up CC debt because you don't qualify, or car loans because you don't qualify without a stable income. But student loans, well they just hand it out left and right.

But I haven't really found people who say CC debt is okay or you'll always have a car payment. More people tell us student loans are necessary evil. Or they couldn't pay for college, graduate school, professional school without it.

So I guess we're lucky. We don't have much pressure to be "normal". We're fortunate that our circle is pretty anti-consumer debt. I feel we fit in well. Now if only we could change how much colleges cost, then perhaps people could afford schools without so much student debt.


change is a good thing said...

I'm not really sure where my friends fit in with the whole CC debt or student loan thing. I don't think many of them ever had student loans, but as far as CC debt, I have no idea. I don't have a car loan or CC debt and hope to never have either ever again. I know they all have car loans, for sure! I just don't see the need or want to have such a car. I guess it comes down to a matter of priorities at some point.

Anonymous said...

I think you're running with a unique group of peers. They are upwardly mobile, yet seem to be well grounded.

Most of the people who get in trouble fall into a couple of categories:

1) They have had an unusual set of circumstances that simply doesn't allow them to not keep out of debt. I'm thinking primarily of huge and ongoing medical expenses.

2) The wanna be folks. They want to give the appearance of wealth and good times and their income doesn't support it. This can happen at any income level.

Those upwardly mobile, but their income hasn't aligned with their current lifestyle. Chances are they will have the means to dig out if they can discipline themselves as the income becomes greater.

Mom said...

Some people just don't understand the value of getting out of debt or having savings. So when someone has that for a goal they think they are "weird".

Living Almost Large said...

I have not found my friends thinking I'm weird. I think that not having CC debt or car loans is quite normal in our circle. However 6 figure student loans is normal.

No Debt Plan said...

My friends admire me, but co-workers think I'm weird. That's because they are all out clubbing on the weekends burning money away...

Finally Frugal said...

I definitely get the blank stare when I mention my frugal lifestyle (washing plastic baggies, visiting the library to get free coupons from the newspaper there, etc). Most of my family and friends think that you work to spend. Because you spend, therefore you work. I don't want my life to be like that. I want to work for the joy and fulfillment of it, not because I have CC debt to pay.

So, yes, I'd say my friends and family think I'm a bit 'weird', to be working two jobs and talking about planning for retirement.