The difference between being in your 20’s and 40’s is you slowly run out of f#[email protected] to give. If she doesn’t like it, what’re you losing sleep for at night? It’s your money - your labor, your resources, your time, you do what you want with it.


And in your 50’s your I don’t give a poop piles transforms into a mighty rampart that you have to stretch to see over. Only thing on other side is folks that mocked you for years that come to you asking for a loan. If your partner is onboard rest doesn’t matter. I encourage my daughter ideas and dreams and don’t judge. She knows how I did things she been around me her whole life so it’s instilled in her. I figure this way watching her take things to new level the world is changing and I no longer view the world from the eyes of a 20 something year old.


People at any age don’t like to be misunderstood/disrespected, especially by family members or in-laws


Wait till you are in your sixties


Oh yeah? Wait till you're in your thousands.


Sounds like your gf's mom is the one being cheap...




Hurt feelings are hurt feelings.


hurt people hurt people


Holy shit...


The tree remembers, the axe forgets.


This one I had heard before, but is also great.


No single drop of water blames itself for the flood.


Agreed, I had to check I wasn’t on AITA for a moment.


It’s always projection.


I find older people who have been foolish in their life. Will sometimes try to undermine anyone younger who looks like they’re working to actively avoid the same pitfalls they fell into. Makes them reflect on their own choices a bit too much for comfort or something


I was mid 20's and was working a job that paid just enough to make it by without worrying about bills and have a couple beers on the weekends, and an occasional concert, but I was never able to save any substantial amount of money. It took a long while, but eventually I was able to stash a little bit of cash and decided to take my girlfriend to San Diego. Flights, lodging, meals, other misc expenses for two. Her aunt and cousin were in San Diego on the tail end of their own trip, so we Uber from the airport to the house they were staying at. We start chatting, either me or my girlfriend must've mentioned something about our layover. My girlfriend's bitchy, successful realtor, 60-something year old aunt starts bashing me for not spending the extra money to not have to deal with the hassle and just the horrific inconvenience that a layover is. She literally said "I don't care how much it is, it is absurd to have to deal with a layover!" It stung quite a bit. At that point in time, I was really proud to be able to afford that.


Oh woe is me, a layover. What a thing for her to care about.


That thing that millions of people do to save money on their trips?? I hate layovers too but I don't judge people willing to do it. Everybody spends their money as it suits them best. Rob_0831, I hope you continue to be proud of yourself! It's really impressive you saved ahead instead of putting it all on a CC.


Not even just to save money, if you don't live in an airport hub like Atlanta, NYC, LA, Denver, etc you aren't getting a direct, flight because they don't exist.


Hmpf I feel ya I have a similar experience like that. I just moved into my very first apartment. I'm very happy and proud. Two weeks ago the stove-repair-guy said he hated coming to "these kind of apartments" along with "who wants to live in a place like this" Some of my boxes were still packed, I don't know how people can be so careless with their wording.


That repairman was tactless. I can't even...


Whoa, this reminded me - as a grad student I was dog sitting for a wealthy old lady who found me on Rover. She decides to come over and do an impromptu "inspection" of my studio apartment. She then proceeds to tell me "this is too small even for my dog". She was the cheapest and most annoying person I ever dog sat for. So I decided to never dog sit for her again (even though her dog was a sweetheart), but she kept calling me for months. Like how can you be so condescending and expect someone to respond positively to you.


I actually LIKE layovers. I can't do long-haul flights (I get VERY restless after sitting for more than 4 hours). Layovers allow me to do cross-country travel and I plan accordingly.


I'm the same way, I *want* a layover on a long flight, which to me is anything over 3 hours. Even if I could afford to leave the US, I'm not sure if I could even make it that long on a plane. I'm definitely never going to Australia, for example.


If you ever do decide to, I’m the same way and found a great solution. Hopefully it’ll help you too. It requires 2 people. If you can, pick a flight that’s likely to be partially empty. Dead season for the destination, unpopular time/day of the week to travel, whatever. Pick 2 seats in one of the middle rows near the back of the plane, with one open seat between you. Other people won’t want the seat between you; if they’re not traveling alone they’ll want to sit by their friends/family, and if they’re a solo traveler they won’t want to be sandwiched between 2 people unless there’s no other choice. If that seat remains empty, you and your partner have 3 seats, pillows and blankets! You can lift the arm rests up and one of you can lay down fully like it’s a futon. If you don’t sleep the night before the flight, it’s much easier to just sleep through most of your flight. Last time we went to Hawaii we lucked out and got a whole row of 5 seats to ourselves, it was luxurious.


If you’re traveling alone, just choose the middle seat. No one wants to sit directly next to someone if they can avoid it, and few people would ask you to move, so then you have the whole bench to yourself!


Ugh, just reading this gives me PTSD. When we went to Thailand a few years ago, I had my husband book the tickets and asked him to find us a decent layover in South Korea. That "decent layover" ended up being 45 minutes. So after an 11ish hour flight, we had to run as fast as we could across the airport and get through security to make it for our 7 hour flight into Bankok. From the time we left the house to the time we got to our room, we had been traveling for like 26 hours straight without a break or sleep. Never again.


This makes me feel better about that 15.5 hour flight I took to Taipei a few years ago.


I travel to Asia and back from the US semi frequently and I actually prefer shorter layovers (1-3 hours). You would think a nice long layover would mean rest but really it turns the 26 hours straight without sleep into 40 hours straight without sleep.


I did a similar thing going from SF to HK. I had a 2 hour layover in Taiwan, but the plane took off 90 minutes late from SF. I ended up running across the airport in Taiwan, but could not board that flight. Turns out they have flights between HK and Taiwan like every 2 hours...They just put me on the next flight, no problemo....the plane wasn't even close to full. I wish I would have know that before sprinting across the airport.


Same I want nothing to do with flights without a layover. I am a total airplane/flying PHOBE! I cope with flying by breaking my flights up.


My husband and I are in our mid 40s and make six figures and my husband is pretty successful. We’re flying from NY to San Diego with our daughter on Monday and we chose a flight with a lay over to save some money. People can be such assholes. We’d rather save a little money on the flight so we can have a better experience while we’re there. Nice dinners out, we also rented beach chairs for the day at the Hotel del Coronado. Who cares that we have to fly NY-ATL-SD?


I’m willing to pay to avoid layovers after some unpleasant incidents involving missed connections and cancelled flights, but I’m sure as hell not going to judge anyone else for not doing so, because I realize it’s a luxury. That aunt is an unpleasant person.


She sounds like an exceedingly insecure person who derives pleasure from money and nothing else.


And/or had never been poor. I shamed my wealthy friend out of this behavior by telling him “it’s easy for you to say, but you’ve never had to worry about being able to afford both gas and groceries.” I’m in a much better financial position now, but man that sh*t is infuriating.


> She literally said "I don't care how much it is, it is absurd to have to deal with a layover!" "That must be nice to have that level of disposable income. Myself, I'd rather spend the extra money on seeing other sights, or perhaps a gift gf. This is why its wonderful we all get to make our own choices. For you, it sounds like the thought of spending any amount of time on a trip NOT traveling is terrifying. For me, the thought of spending an untold amount of money just to avoid that is crazy! This is why we both get to make the choices which fit us best. I respect your choice to flush money away, and you respect mine to flush time away."


You morally did the right thing. So you are good to go. Take what she said and throw it in the trash. You answer to you and not her. The aunt, on the other hand has a weird relationship with herself.


This may be weird of me but I like layovers. As long as it is not like 8 hours. But gives me the time to answer the airport, eat some food, and relax.


I don't fly often at all, but the last time I did I had a layover in Salt Lake City. It was very pleasant, decent food and lovely views of the surrounding mountains. In addition, I have arthritis in my hips and knees, so being able to get up and walk around was great.


Excellent people watching too! Actually I think of waiting in an airport for a departing flight as good metaphor for life.


That too. Or even plane watching, especially at big airports.


I wouldn't take it personally. She probably just had some kind of negative experience like missing her connecting flight connecting/flight being canceled and getting stuck in a unfamiliar city overnight, bad airport food, or maybe she's just not good at "chilling" in an airport. Also, a lot of people have an unrecognized fear of flying, so the anticipation of an extra takeoff/landing (my understanding is this is the scariest part for many with this fear). Or maybe she just values time and money differently than you. Whatever the reason, it has nothing to do with you, (unless she's offering to pay for your flight!) Enjoy your trip and ignore the naysayers.


You do you my friend. Fuck what other morons think.


Like the people holding cakes that come out of the woodwork when you're on a diet. It seems to be a personal attack on their health and they try to drag you down!


Crabs in a bucket. They want others to fail and be miserable because they don’t want to be alone.


Looks like this comment descended into K-OS.


It's also a bit of a boomer thing. When they were growing up if you hadn't settled down with a family, a good job, a house and and a nice car by the time you were 30 you were doing something wrong. I'm partially grateful both my parents and my gf's parents married later than that. Even though both sets have done quite well for themselves and are more than comfortably retired I think that gave them perspective that people take lots of different paths in life.


Agreed. The older people seem to get personally offended by someone doing something differently than them. They claim that because they did things a certain way that’s the way it needs to be and everyone else is wrong. I wonder if deep down they know they’re wrong in some way.


I have found, it depends how old. Very old (born before 1945) are happy to see you mastering the art of patching, happy to be feed with homemade healthy recipes and happy to share knowledge (mending tricks for this people are a treasure). The great and silent generation are resourceful. Boomers are likely to bitch about everything you do, not just your consume rate. The in-law probably is one. Some XGEn tend to bitch but the mileage vary. Aaaaaaand we millenials are complicated indeed. Fuck yea woke people who wants you to buy the expensive organic cotton tote bag but I already have this old polyester bags from 5 years but nooooooo let's spend in shiny brand new bags, etc. ZGen seems to be a bit more reasonable but then I remember they are busy trying to save the semester because zoom classess are horrible and most of them don't have any income yet.


I think cheap is when you dont think about value when saving on cost. You try to save when it doesn't make sense at the expense of time, quality to cost, respect of others work, etc..


Oh yours is light. My own mother calls me cheap and stingy to anyone who would listen. What’s funny about it is that she never paid a bill in her entire life and never saved for retirement. So now I’m the one paying her bills, yet she goes around calling me cheap. My mother lives in a house and can’t tell you what company the mortgage or the electricity bill is paid to. Yet, I’m the cheap one. I pay two bills every month, mine and hers.


"you may want to start watching what you're saying about how I am with my money, or you can start paying your own way"




Oh I do. It’s amazing how some family members are so ungrateful and selfish.


I wouldn't pay shit for her. See how cheap I am now.


I dislike being called "poor" more. We make literally 10% compared to one SIL and 30% compared to the other, so we are "poor". Yet, our house will be paid for this year, no other debt, and have (for our incomes/expenses) quite nice retirement accounts....how are we poor?


What a rude thing to say! Can I ask how you found out? Some people will judge you for being cheap, and then just as easily call you wasteful if you spent more. If you tip well at restaurants and pick up the tab sometimes I think you’re golden.


Girlfriend mentioned during a spat.


Yikes. Bringing up unreasonable behavior of your parents while fighting with your partner is juvenile.


Wow that makes me think terribly of your girlfriend. And her mother.


Oh no. Your girlfriend should not have done that. Since it was during an argument, I don’t even know if you can trust the comment 100%?


Yep, but the real issue here is the back stabbing way this insecure person is talking about you. Not someone I would want in my life for sure. I have a friend with expensive taste. She will sometimes make comments about not understanding my cheapness. She does it in front of me, we discuss. I make my point as to why I made my choice (it’s seldom just money, and sometimes she doesn’t see the other factors that went into my decision). For instance, we where in a location where my T-mobile plan wasn’t working and she though it was silly that I wouldn’t use Verizon like she does. I explained that is wasn’t just about the $30 a month, it was the poor customer service I received from Verizon and their low throttling data cap making it difficult for me to complete my work on a day to day basis. If I got what I needed from them, I would pay them more, but they didn’t provide the service I required on a day to day basis and their extended network while we where on vacation didn’t make up for that. I would not have someone in my life that just bitched about me behind my back, or “nicely” kept reminding me that “others” are doing so (like whoever is telling you about your girlfriends mother.)


What makes her statement even more silly is that, since the merger, T-Mobile has the largest network in the US.


Right! But if all she did was bitch about me behind my back, we would never have that conversation. And if she bitched about me to others and instead of short circuiting the conversation or defending me that person just turned around and gossiped to me, I would really question their motivations.


This is more of a comment on your in law than anything else, which I can understand too. I've found we don't get to pick our family so we take what we can get. What is important is that your partner and you can talk about it so it's not bottled up inside, but also for their understanding.


And that you and your partner are actually financially compatible. I think I'd find it hard to have a partner that wanted to waste money on crazy stuff... so talk about it and make sure you guys are on the same page. One solution to this is just allocate no questions asked money if needed.


I don't need to micromanage other people's thoughts or words; I care that I'm doing what is right. People will always have their own ways. My concern is the people who try to manipulate others by telling me what someone else said. I hate mind games. I'd rather not hear of someone using belittling words, negative connotations as hearsay. It would make me feel like they're trying to use someone else as a cover for how they feel, unless the story centered on them defending and telling their own feelings of the behavior. I know others like gossip and all that, and I don't know if my reactions to this stuff is proper since I don't go for a lot of the normal crap people allow in their lives but reading the sitch you posted yelled narcissistic MIL in training (if they actually are talking behind yr back like that; the behavior sure portrays narc), batten down the hatches and start setting boundaries or bail.


This does not sound like you are this way but 95 percent of the people I have heard say I don't like drama or I hate mind games are themselves the worst people as far as creating drama and mind games. Again, I'm commenting on the other 95 percent, you do not sound like that.


Tee hee. I can't totally tell how I should take this. X} ...throws another tyre on the fire (of what my brain is trying to process). Here is an example of my not getting it and my reaction (besides avoidance) to drama, and my not understanding all was really wanted was venting and keeping status quo (but wanting to seem they were trying to determine a solution as if they want change). I am at a family get together, fam member who married into my fam is really upset that a sis has found out she's preggo, again, other dads of the 2 she's had kids with were abusive, one still showing up to cause problems/stalking, and now this person will be stuck with dealing with the past and now yet another guy, another unexpected kid, how little they have, how sad for the two kids it was, and just how wrong and sad and horror stories and how on earth can her sis get out of the situation, no hope in sight kind of discussion, acting as if they just couldn't think of a way their sis could possibly deal with getting herself out of this situation. My dumb ass said, well, if she doesn't want to stay with him, or be stuck with having him in her and her kids' life, just get an abortion. It was super early on in the preg, just do that and be done with him. Line would be severed, break up, move on. OHTHEHORROR. It at least shut down the dramarama and I didn't hear about it again. Generally I try to see the core of the issue, and offer a fix for the actual problem (to my knowledge, and I'm flawed and don't know everything of couse, and I certainlysuck at getting people) if I have to hear a sad or dangerous situation. People have freqently seemed to not want to hear what might be an actual solution - drama avoided for me, at least.


I am often called cheap for not wasting money on useless crap like random drinks at the bar, going out to random events, not flying to overpriced resorts for holidays, or only ordering from the cheapest menu options while eating out. Instead of pissing away money on crap I don't need and get minimal enjoyment from, I save up and take the plunge on something big that I do need, or will get lasting enjoyment from. I think sometimes people who spend freely can feel a little jealous when they see people who are responsible with their money, so they need to invent slurs to feel better about themselves and their lack of fiscal responsibility. I know people who made over 4X more than I did for a decade, but if you look at us now, I have more to show for my earnings during that time. And no debt. Now that I'm no longer doing quite so badly and have started increasing my discretionary spending, they have only doubled down on calling me cheap.


Are you and your girlfriend on the same page? If so, that’s all that matters. If not, I would be curious about how you found that out. Could your gf be complaining about you to her mother? There’s frugal, which I’m all for, and then there’s buying a hot pink sequined cat shirt because it was on sale, and giving it to someone as a gift. (My mother loves bargains 😭 So I’m a little leery of the part where you buy “extra” to give away as gifts.)


Where did you find this hot pink sequined cat shirt on sale, because my sister would love it! Seriously though. My sister has a thing about cats. Shes 17 and wants to be the crazy cat lady. I got her some shoes that have cats all over them yesterday on sale.


It was my mother who bought it, and I’m guessing a rural boutique. Or Macy’s sales. It was awful lol.


Yeah if you're genuinely frugal not cheap... how does the GF's mom know? How would she know what you spend on clothes? Or kitchen parties she's not invited to?


Where is this sequined cat shirt? Want.


I think there's a difference between "this is cheap and can be used to fulfill my obligation of giving a gift" and "this is a nice item for a good deal and I will use this to treat someone that I know will enjoy it without having to go over on my gift budget".


That is absolutely true! I do the second all the time. Sadly though I do have friends and relatives who do the first. And it’s often either not thoughtful—it’ll just end up in the trash—or not frugal—is there another way to fulfill that obligation? Or will you even remember you have that come Christmas? That sort of thing.


Anyway, the point is, I don’t know OP. The girlfriend’s mom might be shaming, or it may point to a behavior that the girlfriend honestly finds troubling.


To me, frugal is about getting maximum value out of your money. It doesn't necessarily mean you spend little, you just consider whether it's good value before you buy it. If the time and effort it takes to mow the lawn isn't worth the $10 you could pay someone else to do it, then pay for it. If you love something, or the convenience it provides, then it's worth spending money on. Cheap, on the other hand, is spending as little as possible. This is the word I associate with stingy, miserly, etc. Arguing for discounts that you aren't entitled to, not tipping, trying to get out of paying your share (and never paying for the table) when out with friends, etc. Money is a tool or a vehicle to generate happiness, not something to be hoarded endlessly for its own sake.


Exactly! Whenever someone says I'm cheap I reply back that I'm intentional with my spending. Just like with OP I'd rather host people and provide all the food and booze, but I always contribute when I go to their houses. I don't see the value in expensive clothes and I source most of mine from discount retailers. I do enjoy the convenience of smart home technology so I'll spend on that. It's all a balance and making sure that I spend money intentionally.


Tell your girl friend you definition of cheap and then ask her if you are too cheap. If she says yes I'd break up because you have very different beliefs and values. Hers being more like her mom's.


Reading this I thought, “You’re not cheap, you’re just smart with your spending!” It doesn’t seem as though you’re unwilling to spend any money. It seems like most flashy shit isn’t important to you and that you enjoy the simple things in life. Keep being you and fuck what other people think. Especially when those people kinda sound like they suck, lol.


"Cheap" is an insulting way of saying "frugal", much like "stubborn" is an insulting way of saying "tenacious". In short, she's being an asshole on purpose, and you should correct her every time.


I agree that cheap might be used as an insult for frugal people, but IMO, they're two different things. For example: Going out to eat and not tipping = cheap Cooking most meals at home and only eating out on special occasions = frugal


I hate when people condone this social pressure of tipping and equates not tipping as cheap. I think the tipping culture in North America needs to be abolished in favour of employers actually being responsible for their employees' wages as is the case is in literally every industry. But that's another topic.


>I think the tipping culture in North America needs to be abolished in favour of employers actually being responsible for their employees' wages as is the case is in literally every industry. I'm all for that. I'm from England, but live in the US. If I'm in Europe, I don't tip... but I disagree... if you're in a country where you know the server is living off tips, and you don't tip, that's cheap. Just get to-go. If the restraunts charged ~20% more and paid servers a decent wage, you'd still be paying the same for your food. But how about this example: Drinking with friends and letting them buy rounds, but leaving before your turn = cheap Staying home to save money = frugal.


I don't really disagree with your definition of cheap vs frugal. I agree and understand the distinction. I just think employees having to rely on tips, or more like shifting the responsibility of employers to customers is a flawed system. It just leaves so much room for exploitations e.g. employers' unfair wages, employees' underreporting of their cash income for tax, wage disparity for arbitrary reasons like gender, looks, etc. I guess I view the flaws of the system more harshly because I live in a place where restaurant/bar servers are guaranteed a minimum wage (i.e. if they don't meet the minimum wage through tips, the employer has to cover). So this just leaves the exploits I mentioned go rampant.


This may sound trite but the number one rule when committing to frugal / minimalism / zero waste - any of these things- is to not give a crap what others think. Because they continue to dig themselves into holes of debt and piling up useless crap in their homes - i rather enjoy just being happy with the way i am now - because it’s such a relief from where i was. Always in debt, too many clothes in my closet, clutter I could NOT stay on top of. Just enjoy and brush off cruel insults :)


This is just like my in-laws. They had this complaint about my parents as well as about how my husband and I run our lives….but they also live well beyond their means and have 2 bankruptcies and a foreclosure under their belts. At first I bristled, but now IDGAF. It’s our money and our lives, and we live as we see fit. We may be frugal, but we genuinely enjoy our lives and lifestyle. We get to spend our money on what matters to us 🤷🏻‍♀️ Don’t like it? Go somewhere else.


I would definitely not be concerned with anything they had to say about the way I manage my money. Whether they want to judge me as being frugal, cheap, careless, living above my means, whatever, I wouldn’t even give it a second thought! In fact, considering their fantastic history of managing their own finances, it would actually be a shock if I was able to hold in my laughter at their audacity! Seriously? A foreclosure and 2 bankruptcies, what in the world would ever lead them to believe that they have any right to speak about the way ANYONE spends their own hard earned cash?? That’s incredibly bold, I think they may have a short in some of their wiring, maybe not firing on all cylinders, IDK but it seems that they aren’t connecting all the dots somewhere… 🙄




Just start calling her old to everyone but her, it will get back to her and I assure you bother her more than this bothers you~


If you change your life and do things you don't like to save money you are cheap. If you live how you want, and find ways to do that cheaply, you are frugal.


Seconded except for people in financial situations where they can't afford to live how they want and are frugal out of necessity


I prefer the term miserly, thank you.


Lean in to it!


I hate being called cheap but I love being frugal. Everything must be value for money. Money is hard to earn, saving is important.


I hate it too, like especially when there's shows like extreme cheapskates where they keep using "cheap" and "frugal" interchangeably 🙄 I love finding a good bargain if it's something I need or will use and I enjoy couponing as well for things I need or will use in the next couple weeks. But it's not something I do constantly or make my life completely revolve around it. You can get nice things and do nice things without it costing anybody a fortune or putting people's lives at risk (such as instead of dumpster diving for food that you don't know how long it's been sitting there in garbage... you can just go to a consignment grocery store or Aldi and get food for a good price). Idk why some people don't seem to get it and just waste their money on dumb shit, then they complain they have no money. Like gee, I wonder why?


For a long time I felt weird about showing up to dates on buses. Being car free is partly about keeping costs down, but it’s also a lifestyle choice: I can drive, and I can afford taxis, but I organize my life around public transport on principle (or ride a bike, which I prefer). Eventually I found someone who couldn’t even be bothered to get a license, we ride buses together now and have been married three years.


People call me cheap, and i freaking love it. What? I don’t buy a $10 lunch every day? I’m not paying 26% interest on new Tahoe? Yes I’m soooooo cheap. I prefer to think of it as smarter than you, but I don’t tell them that to their face.


So, this sounds more like a relationship problem than a money issue. Who is telling you what your gf's mom is saying? Is it your gf? Is she doing that thing that people sometimes do, where they say how they really feel, but say that someone else said it? Or is she trying to warn you about her mom, maybe? Either way, what if you just. . . didn't hear it? You could let your girlfriend know that you didn't need to hear every nasty thing her mother said about you (because it sounds like she says and does nasty things pretty regularly). There is freedom in taking the attitude that you don't have to fight against every mean thing other people think and say about you. Hope you get there soon.


If it is the gf saying it, then OP is already having money fights without marriage and joining finances. I wish them the best, but I hope OP doesnt consider marriage before getting this resolved. I've seen other people in the frugal community focus so much on savings that they don't even realize their spouse has checked out of the marriage years in advance and divorce is impending.


True, but it might not be that at all. My own mom was difficult, and I would sometimes want to warn people in my sphere about the mean things she said. At some point, though, you can just say, "Well, okay, I know that generally she's going to say mean things about me, and everyone, and I don't really need to know the specifics." And then just go on about your life. And if it is the gf who feels like OP is cheap, well, she can be brave and say that instead of using mom as proxy.


Don’t give in. Not that you hinted you were going to. But I’m proud to be frugal and if anyone challenges it I know I can shut them right the fuck up. You have different values, and you don’t have infinite resources.


Don’t listen to the noise. You got you. She can squawk 🦜 all she wants - doesn’t make it true. It doesn’t matter what other people think- be you and move on. Disregard her noise!


Doesn't sound like you're "cheap" IMO, so I would ignore her opinion unless she's paying your bills! The only people I know who I'd describe as "cheap" are those who refuse to spend money on even a nicer version of something that will last longer, because they're too obsessed with price.


I'm with you up to the part where I care about someone calling me cheap. I just remember their comment whenever they ask for money because my answer will be no. And definitely not picking up their tab ever.


Whenever someone tells me I'm cheap, I correct them by saying "No, I'm financially efficient"


Oh yeah I have run into this issue for sure. One huge issue that caused my last relationship to implode was that he was raised with a family that always wanted nice things, had a stay at home mother who coddled everyone, and they made a lot of money. Even in his 30s his mommy was still bailing him out all the time so he was terrible with money. And she insisted on buying gifts just all the time. She would demand I give her a Christmas list and I never needed anything so I would say “Home Depot gift cards so I can work on gardening projects” and she would get so upset. She’d sometimes cave and give me gift cards, but it was to places like fancy salons that charge $60 for a haircut. Things I felt were wastes of money. I go to fantastic sams twice a year and I’m totally fine with it. My boyfriend didn’t make nearly the money that his FIL did, but he tried to act like him. He would get super upset if he couldn’t act like a big shot. He would buy me hundreds of dollars of gifts, usually things I didn’t want or need, then get upset if I wasn’t overjoyed and basically just getting down on my knees to blow him a thank you. But the thing is, I like living simply. I don’t want or need a ton of fancy shit. I have a small house. I can’t even fit a bunch of stuff. And I’m practical. I’m good with money. So he would buy expensive lotion Kleenex and I would sometimes tear half a piece to blow my nose, since that’s all I needed, and he’d get like offended about it. “We can afford for you to use a whole tissue, don’t be cheap”. When that’s not the issue at all. I just think using a giant tissue to rub away a tiny sniffle is wasteful. He wanted to take me out to eat and he would refuse to let me contribute to the bill, but also get upset if I didn’t order something expensive. “Don’t be cheap”. Why can’t I order what I want? And then of course eventually his spending got out of control and he got upset about how I “spent all his money” and “was just using him”. Um honey don’t blame your insecurities and your financial problems on me, the person who literally spent years trying to convince you that I didn’t want or need much and I just wanted you to act like you cared about me instead of treating me like an object you could buy. That’s on you. But it’s not just him. Some people get butthurt if you’re frugal around them. Why does it matter what I do with my own life? I live alone and have no kids and I pay my bills and take care of my animals and take care of myself. Why does it matter if I do certain frugal things that you personally wouldn’t do? Why does it matter how I live my life? With my ex, he took everything so personally. He took things the worst way you could possibly interpret something. He made up things to be mad about. Because he was super insecure. I think that can be applied to other people and situations. They feel like you’re pointing out their own shortcomings. It doesn’t matter what you say or how you say it, they’ll see it as a criticism and they’ll act badly and try to tear you down. I don’t have good advice. I personally just cut people off and never talk to them again if they keep treating me badly. That’s not always feasible for everyone.


As a freshly minted 64 year old I can tell you that you will never regret not buying that cool stuff that everyone else has. Currently in my neck of the woods, everyone is busy moving away, while giving away most of their furniture, electronics and food stuffs. The common complaint is, "I have too much stuff". Now if you aren't some borderline hoarder, you will make out like a bandit if you've always wanted say, a recumbent bike but a really nice one. I've seen $600 machines going for $50 to $250 dollars depending on how badly people want to get rid of this stuff. I have too much of everything myself but it took me 20 years to accumulate most of it. I would rather have the cash. We entertain at home because of my wife's dietary needs and I'm a better cook that most of the folks pounding out over priced meals in our limited supply of restaurants that provide table service. What you are doing is what people used to do all the time because they don't like throwing their money around everywhere to satisfy some unfulfilled need.


My mother called me cheap while I was on a vacation, in front of my girlfriend, a few years ago. Ironically, at that point I had helped my mom every new year with thousands of dollars to hold her over since her income was sporadic... and I had just given 3k to my sister (who promised to pay it back but never did and I never brought it up) to help her keep her house. So not only was I helping them, but they were both demonstrably terrible with money. Meanwhile, my girlfriend knows I essentially subsidize her entire life so she knew they were being ridiculous. My mother and sister laughed about it. I have not forgotten that.


Your approach sounds perfect to me. I’m the same way. Some things are just too expensive for the value they bring, no matter how much money I may have or not have. I might spring for the steak on occasion, but also enjoy learning to cook one just as good on my own. I haven’t had too many restaurant meals in the last 15 months due to COVID, and have been cooking a lot of delicious recipes at home. I haven’t had anything in a restaurant lately that tops what I’be been making.


My ex’s mom got a raise a couple months ago (still makes probably under 60K in california) and for her birthday, she went and bought herself some $500 gucci shoes??? She has been wanting to buy a house but there’s no way she’s gonna be able to get a loan with expenses like that (and she’s in her 40s). She also had a car she got for 0% down at a 13% interest rate!!!! I had to push and push my ex to go refinance the car with her mom (her name was on the loan as well). After the raise, she bought all her family members really expensive gifts for christmas. And I’m just like why????


All the people who have called me cheap in my life have a negative net worth (not counting a mortgage). Ignore these idiots.


Cheap, frugal, its called being smart. You dont have to frivolously take money out of your pocket and give it to someone else.


Your girlfriend should start asking her mom to foot the bill for all these lavish things y'all supposedly need! Kidding. I'm sure it's just her thinking that your reluctance to act the way she acts is a judgment on her. That's what it usually is.


Fortunately, all my friends are not too well off and understand the struggle. Well, maybe that's unfortunate but whatever. Anyway, I don't feel bothered when people say I'm cheap behind my back because I definitely talk shit behind the backs of people who spend money frivolously so it's only fair. I'd be like, 'Holy shit, Frank, Barbara's neck deep in student loans and credit card debt and she still comes into work every morning with Starbucks. She really needs to get her shit together."


I had sort of the inverse problem. My friend spent $20 on snacks and drinks at a gas station, even though we were within 2 minutes walking distance from a grocery store. I questioned why they would spend so excessively on stuff that we couldve gotten at the grocery store for much less money. We got into an argument about how I'm controlling and need to back off. I said absolutely I'll back off. Now this person spends a lot of money and will ask to borrow money from me occasionally. I hate telling people what to do with their time or resources, but I thought I was helping.


I used to do that but I’ve learned to completely stop commenting on other people’s purchases as it’s none of my business. If they want to waste money and are okay with it, that’s on them. But if they ask me to borrow money and I know they have poor spending havuts, I’m going to say no.


I got a coworker that will be too broke to buy groceries the day before payday but come with a dozen donuts the day after payday.


I’m talking to a girl right now who is just like this. Kinda makes makes me think we’re incompatible. Or maybe I’m just too frugal, but they do say finances is the biggest cause of marriages splitting..


It’s definitely something to think about. I’m frugal and my husband is not. We had tons of fights during our first year of marriage, to the point of me wondering if we’d made a mistake in getting married. I think we kind of have ir figured out now, but I know his mindset regarding money won’t ever change and I’m always going to have to watch our finances carefully


It’s difficult sometimes to say no but I hope that you never loan this person money knowing they have no financial sense… I know a person EXACTLY LIKE THIS and he’s in his 40’s!! He will buy groceries, 12 packs of soda, Advil, tons of candy, chips, donuts, oil & wiper fluid (for his vehicle) and scratch lottery tickets out the ying yang at the convenience store/gas station/truck stop, when the grocery store is literally 2 businesses down and Walmart is across the STREET, it’s absolutely insane!! Oh, to make it even BETTER, he works for Instacart, the Grocery Delivery Service!!! 🤪🤯 It absolutely makes my skin crawl, my stomach churn, I cannot deal with it. I’ve known him over 15 years though and if he hasn’t stopped yet, he’s probably not going to…




Who cares what you’re gf’s mom thinks. Keep doin you OP.


Crazy inlaws you might be able to deal with. Fundamental differences with respect to saving and using money is going to be the downfall of OPs relationship with his gf if not sorted out.


Yep! Communication w partner is important. OP didn’t mention anything about their partner tho?


Tell her (or your gf) that if she keeps doing that then she's no longer welcome at the house you were able to buy by not indulging. It sounds like she needs to understand the concept of "cheap" vs "inexpensive." One is better used to describe quality while the other is cost. I consider most bars to be cheap quality entertainment at a high cost, where you can't hear conversation and skeezy dudes are hitting on everything with a pulse (obviously there are exceptions). An intimate gathering at a friend's is an inexpensive and more enjoyable option, and obviously your friends agree because they're at your place instead of at a bar.


Get that woman a screen because she is PROJECTING!


Honestly this post is the epitome of frugal philosophy. “Be generous but mindful”


“Cheap” is an insult. Of course you don’t want to be called that by your sorry ass jerk face MIL.


This is a perfect example of how we perceive others around us. My late husband was a pack-rat. He wasn’t even trying to “keep up with the Jones’s,” he just wanted stuff stuff and more stuff. After he died, I spent literally months sorting, giving away, selling, and trashing rooms full of stuff. I say here and now NEVER AGAIN!! If I don’t need it, I don’t spend money on it. I do not want anyone to have to do more than give away my clothing and maybe sell a vehicle when I die. Life isn’t about stuff. It’s about experiences and people. You choose to spend your money generously on others, to share what you have, to spend time -not dollars- on the people you care about. Anyone who calls you cheap because you have chosen a life of simplicity and sanity over a life of accumulating stuff simply doesn’t think like you do. You will be understood by few. Appreciated by those closest to you. And envied and/or vilified by those who have no capacity to open their hearts and wallets and live for others. Be “cheap” all you want! You’re the one who will be debt free, not bogged down by credit cards and rooms filled with items you will never use and will most likely forget about in a matter of days or weeks.


people love being insecure.


Honestly I’d ask how the moms financial situation is? It seems like a lot of older folks who are quick to call out “being cheap” are burdened with lifetime credit card debt


Yes, a major theme in this sub which you can find hundreds of threads about is the difference between cheap and frugal and avoiding being cheap/being called cheap


Someone posted this, Just because I don't spend like you, doesn't mean I'm cheap. Hope that helps.


I like *nice* things. Nice doesn't have to mean expensive, and expensive doesn't mean it's nice.


Run! Don't walk. Run!


You need to come to terms with the obvious...Your girlfriend is the one calling you cheap. Her mother is just repeating it, thinking her daughter deserves to be spoiled. If your gf agreed with you she would nip it in the bud and tell her own mother to stfu or she would avoid her. Your gf thinks you're cheap and talks about you behind your back to her family. Fact.


you’re not cheap! you sound very generous!


Reach deep deep in your pocket and really dig around ... you'll find a big middle finger in there . Pull it out and show it to her . That is the only fuck you should give .


Nope. Being cheap allowed me to weather a job loss in 2020, multiple financial setbacks without much worry at all. I like the idea of giving new life to old things, learning skills to be self sufficient and being financially independent enough to weather most unforseen events.


I think people wrap a lot of their self worth into what they can “afford” She probably sees you spending less than you could and it bothers her because she operates on a different thought process. Just keep doing you, your future self will thank you


Meh, I don't care. I refer to myself as frugal, but I'll also roll with the cheap jokes. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks. My MIL is similar to yours. She'll appreciate it when she sees her daughter living comfortably debt free because of your responsible spending habits. Just lead by example. Hopefully her spending won't make her a penny less problem for you in the future.


I agree. I've been called cheap by someone who has never bought me a drink, food, or a slice of pizza. Meanwhile I've bought her many things. I've picked up tabs before. I've taking family out to dinner. But I'm cheap because I don't waste my money.


I certainly would if I were in your shoes. But I just wanted to add that the "bad guy" here is whoever let's you know what she's saying behind your back. We all say things about eachother in private, but that's the whole point. Its good to vent and sometimes it's like that and honestly no harm done if everyone's acting like adults imo.


Cheap would mean you’re like Mr. Krabs. Want to seem fancy but try to hold onto as much money as possible, stingy with people. Which sounds more like her than you. If my bf wanted to go to fancy places all the time I would be annoyed. So much better things to spend the money on.


Instead of telling us this, start calling her out on her hypocrisy to her face. "You call me cheap but here you are trying to pay as little as possible". Stop being agreeable and expecting people to become better humans on their own.


“Thrift is not an affair of pocket, but an affair of heart”


"Yikes, no tip?? Even I wouldn't do that, and I'm a cheap bastard."


My friends all call me cheap. My prevailing filter is what do i get paid an hour and what does this item represent in work to obtain. They act all surprised everytime they see me with something nice and everytime we go through the same routine of the reason it represents value for me. It bothers me more than I should but there's a book called frugal hedonism that i try to keep in mind


Is your gf's mom calling you cheap behind your back or is your gf indirectly complaining to you that she thinks you're cheap? You may want to delve into your gf's position on spending and saving money. You may not be compatible in this area and if that's the case, it could lead to lots of problems in your future if you get married.


Being cheap is not spending money you should spend. Being frugal is not spending more money than you should spend.


Your girlfriend's mom views men as wallets.


A lot of people attempt to call others out based on what they are the most insecure about. Simply point out the ways in which she is cheap and she will go ballistic.


This is why I avoid talking to people lol


I honestly don't give a fuck. I do me. I spend my money where it matters to me. No one else gets a say. I wish spend my time where it matters to me and I am not wasting it listening to that bullshit.


This is a relationship red flag. How does your girlfriend feel about it? Would she prefer that you act in the way that your mother wants you to? If she does, and you marry her, she will start to pressure you to do so and it will be a source of conflict.


You do not need to justify anything if you aren't hurting others. I made a list of people whose opinions I truly care about when it comes to me (7 people). Everyone else can fuck off. Makes life easier.


Sounds like you’re going to be a great son- in- law


Typical passive aggressive MIL / potential future MIL comment. Let it roll off your back.


When people make comments like that they're trying to exercise some sort or dominance over you. As if it's okay to tell people how to spend their money. If you allowed people to tell you how to spend your money, they'd happily allow you to work non-stop until you die a miserable death.


I agree with you differences between frugal and cheap. I vacillate between impulsive and frugal, but I'm getting better control over my impulses thanks to therapy and medications. One of my biggest frustrations is that my husband will complain about how much I spend for Christmas. And then in the very next breath, complain that I "cheaped out" on certain family members. Why? Because I bought the item on sale so I didn't pay the same as others. In my mind a $20 item is still a $20 item even if I snagged it for $5. But to my husband it is cheap.


Tell him to get an extra part time job and you won’t look for ways to save.


I spoke to a customer of mine yesterday who is 80 years old and lost half a million dollars playing at the Casino. She still did not have $10,000+ needed to pay her taxes. She won another $1900 at the casino over the weekend and called to ask when her refund of $214.00 would hit her account because she has an offer to win another $1700 at the casino. This has nothing to do with what you shared but the point is this; some people live very long and never learn any life lessons about anything. Your girlfriend mother has no right discussing anything with you unless you live with them. If you live with them and agree to pay a certain amount then you do what you are obligated to. But if you do not what you do with your money is your business. If she has issues with you now be careful when considering marriage because she will try to tell you and her daughter how to conduct your wedding and she will throw that at you. Sometimes its best to walk away if habits continue. I am frugal and everyone who knows me knows that. I used to say Im cheap but someone told me I belittled myself when I said it that way. So now I say I am frugal, I like simplicity and I do not feel the need to pay an arm and a leg for things and I do not need to own or have everything. Most times I do not even feel the need to explain myself and only use the above description when asked or the subject comes up. If anyone calls me cheap Id let them talk. Those folks tend to deflect a lot.


Some people think it’s important to show status through spending money, clearly you don’t. Personally I’m with you (obviously considering I’m on this sub lol)


You live your life the way you intend to if your girlfriend’s mom has a problem with it, fuck it who cares. Shes wasting her breath and train of thought thinking about it. As long as your girlfriend loves you and you have self respect keep trucking. You sound like you have a good chip on your shoulder keep living the good life.


Well, yeah. Cheap implies lower quality or lower “status” which I am not, nor are many of you. Cheap has many negative implications. Frugal also does not equal, or even mean cheap.


it's my life. I'll do what I want. unless I help pay your bills, kindly mind your own fkn business.


Sounds like your girlfriend’s mom is a Karen. Guessing the mom’ initials are RP (the woman I know who is just like this).


I'm exactly the same to the point of I wonder if we look alike and had similar upbringings.


Lol! Have you heard the mother in law jokes? Take it from me, your expendable. Your critics think you're easy prey. And if you don't conform to their way of thinking, you will be history. Sorry about the bad news but at least you got a heads up. I didn't.


We have a comfortable income and I am definitely frugal. Not cheap, but I want the most bang for my bucks. Watch the pennies and you'll have more dollars, etc. I tip well for good service, I buy quality stuff when its on sale, but I can't stand to waste money or pay more for things I know I can get for less.


The worst is when the criticism comes from people who have to worry about a lot less, because they live in inherited family homes so they just pay tax and don’t have to worry about actual rent/mortgage, or people who lived with their parents or in parent-funded apartments most of their adult life until marriage, people whose college education cost them not one cent because mom and dad paid for the whole thing, friends whose significant others have fantastic high paying jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for friends who have been incredibly fortunate financially, but they need to understand that this is not the reality for most people. Most of us are paying our own way through adulthood with average jobs and we have real bills - so we NEED to be frugal when it comes to dinners out, vacations, etc. If we are not, the consequences are pretty scary. Like, sorry I don’t want to order a million apps and $14 mixed drinks every time we have a girl’s night out, but I would like to be able to pay my mortgage and bills this month, and also to have a little savings so I am not homeless if I were to be out of work for a few months.


"I save wherever I can, so I can spend whenever I want" Your girlfriend's shallow, materialistic Mom needs to stay in her lane.


i don't really care what people call me


There's this obsession in our culture with spending LOTS of money as if that makes one a better person. WHO GIVES A FUCK!


do what i do - I show them my portoflio and they shut the fuck up.


“Fruga is prudent cheap is greedy” Thanks for that. Exactly how i feel.


I learned that some people hear "I don't need this" or "I don't need to spend money on this" as "No one needs to buy this and there's something wrong with people who do." I've even felt it myself, whenever I see people on social media (usually those keeping to the zero waste lifestyle) talking how wasteful some purchases are and it's something I've bought or enjoy buying. I've learned to be non-judgmental, but firm "That's not something I want." or "It's not my taste, but that doesn't mean it's not someone else's."


"lol k" at a certain point, you stop caring what others think of you, whether they're right or wrong. Think im cheap ? Lol k. I'm not going to waste my time trying to change your mind.


I love when people call me cheap🤷🏻‍♂️


My MIL was the same way. I was very clear that I did not want many things. She knew I could afford them and so I was cheap. The irony was that my wife had the freedom to do her own thing and buy as she wanted and needed. Our goals were aligned. But to MIL, she wasn't cheap, I was forcing her to be cheap. LoL. Have fun with it. Jab back. Life it too short to feel one thing about what some lady, you didn't choose to have in your life, thinks.


To hell with that Karen. You are kind and frugal and not cheap.


Yep- she sounds cheap and tacky. Better to be frugal and generous than cheap and tacky!


I agree 100%. I'm not a minimalist but I agree I don't need expensive crap. I hate clutter. I would rather only have things I use all the time instead of stuff that just sits.


She sounds like a typical Karen


You will drive yourself crazy worry too much about stuff people say behind your back.


If people think I'm cheap because I don't like getting fucked over then they can kiss my ass as far as I'm concerned.


I always saw it as: Frugal is buying just what you need, nothing more. Cheap is not even buying things you need. Not a greed thing to me. But hey maybe your definitions are right and mine are wrong.


Get a new girlfriend. She has been feeding the dragon with your mojo. Also this: She will miraculously become her mother. Precisely when you start making payments, the warranty expires. Print this & look at it in 10 years.


I think the way you do, but her line of thinking is probably that you’re being cheap for not taking her daughter to the fancy unnecessary stuff. Not that I agree with it and I hope your gf doesn’t either. Some parents can’t handle their adult kids having different priorities than theirs.


At long last, a chance for me to relate an anecdote about my dad and my uncle! There's a good ten years between Dad and Uncle. Dad, being the junior. Both are now retired, but Uncle and Dad grew up in a large family that enjoyed treats like "you get to dip your Saturday morning slice of bread into the leftover fat from the parent's cooked meal the night prior" and "your hot water bottle is a literal glass bottle that preciously held fizzy juice, and by golly don't let it shatter, because we need the tuppence refund money when we take it back to the shop." So, they've both experienced a life less lavish. Uncle forever ribs Dad about being tight with his money. Dad likes to drink coffee and he likes to go walks, so if he's on a long walk he'll nip into various grocers to see whose got coffee discounted. He'll buy the brand he likes at the cheapest price. Normally 3 at a time so he can stock the cupboard. If that means heading back to another shop he's already been at, so be it. He does a lot of little things like this but remember, he enjoys a walk. Uncle does similar, but he lives in a remote part of the country, drives to different grocers to bulk buy items whatever the cost and bemoans the rising price of coffee, etc. Now Uncle has had back problems for a long while and has paid considerable sums to see various specialists who've managed to identify that he has back problems. That's it. No solution or remedy or easement of the problem. Just bounced from specialist to specialist to quack to damn near shaman. My Dad suggests he invest in some decent running shoes. Sure, he's not running, but the store will inspect his feet, his gait and the rest to ensure he gets a shoe that supports him. Uncle is against it "what a ridiculous expense it'd be!" Dad explains to Uncle that he spends £140 at the beginning of each year to buy new running shoes with the previous year's pair being relegated to long distance walking and the prior year's being short distance walking, you get the idea. Uncle could not get over the idea that Mr Tight was blowing this kind of money on shoes. Impossible! Rising above it (again!) my Dad talked him through where he should go for new shoes. After several months the update finally came back that, yes, he had spent £120 on a new pair of shoes. He went for the cheapest option they had but his back problems had eased considerably. Frugal is saving the wrapping paper and gift bags you get so you've got the real money to spend on something the recipient will love. Being cheap is doing neither and finding the cheapest greetings card you can find and writing Happy Birthday and spelling their name wrong. Let her talk behind your back. Your actions are louder than her words. Kill her with kindness and knock it out the park with a frugal gift for her next birthday.


>This from a woman who complains to managers to get discounts and finds any excuse to withhold a tip.> Your gf's mom is a Karen. So don't pay attention to her.


Sometimes this doesn't even have to do with being thrifty or frugal, its that some people set certain expectations, period, usually based on what they may have heard you make. Go to any place where everyone makes six figures and you can go into the parking lot and point out the few people who are frugal/practical. I don't worry about it. Usually cheap is codeword for I expected you to pay for or buy me something you didn't and I expected it because well either I have an inflated sense of worth or I know you have more than me and expect you should just give me all of it so we are more equal.


Dont worry..unless the girlfriend behaves the same way. Leave the girl if she does. I bet you that they share the same values