Sorry, I thought it was linked in the OP but it was the first response from palmersq:
It’s not … because VERY few people are like that.
Thanks. It’s a long thread, I missed it.
the use of irony to mock or convey contempt: his voice, hardened by sarcasm, could not hide his resentment.
That’s a good thing…more people should be content (and not trying to keep up with the Jones). Heck, many of us drive out of our way to fill up at Costco or the like (10 miles is nothing, especially if you get a hot dog for lunch at the same time!). Perhaps they enjoy the game of free gifts for sitting through a presentation, knowing they won’t succumb to the hyper sales pitch. Sounds ok to me.
But splurging doesn’t have to affect their general contentedness. I would start with those Inside Cabins - see if you can convince them to splurge, just once, on a balcony cabin. You’re not asking them to splurge on a suite or concierge level, just a balcony. Yes, there are all the arguments about ‘we just don’t spend that much time in the cabin’ but if you phrase it as a one-time purchase just for fun, maybe they’ll go for it. If not, give up and be happy you have parents in a good situation.
As for frugal vs cheap…I think of frugal as what helps get us to our financial goals and a good thing to be. Cheap is an insult. (but that’s just me, I’m sure others have different thoughts)
Until I bought a Tesla I just about always bought gas at Costco. I didn’t need much of an excuse to go to Costco, and yes, I always bought a couple of hot dogs too. Now I have one less excuse. (One strike against driving a Tesla!)
From the podcast above:
[00:00:00] Mindy: He never spends any money. What does Lisa call you, Carl? El Cheapo? Mr. Cheapo?
[00:00:05] Carl: Yeah.
[00:00:50] Ramit: I think it’s really hard for us to look at ourselves and how we’re spending money and acknowledge that– this isn’t really what we want to be doing. We don’t want to just keep throwing money on the pile and keep being cheap. I do look at everything based on how much it costs, and I don’t need to. I shouldn’t.
[00:01:21] Mindy: I don’t know how to change.
Would you say we’re cheap, Carl?
[00:03:31] Carl: Yeah. I’m thinking about the restaurant in New York City with our friends a month ago.
[00:03:36] Mindy: Yeah.
[00:03:37] Carl: So we had good friends who had agreed to come up to visit us when we were in New York City, and I wanted to pay for the meal. They were going to travel two hours. And the first thing I did after he suggested the restaurant is I pulled up their menu and looked at how much everything costs.
And, uh, the thought I had after I saw this is, holy crap, I have to tell Bob that we need to pick somewhere else. This is too expensive. And I thought better of it. I never did that, and I felt ashamed for doing this. This is a really good friend who was making a big journey to come see us.
Ramit: At the core, you’ll find a pattern with cheap people and even ultra frugal people. They’re often terrified of tripping and falling and then having to eat in a Michelin-starred restaurant every night for the rest of their lives. I’m actually serious. This is how the thought process goes. If I go to that restaurant and I spend money on it, I might actually like it, and then I have to eat out at those kinds of places for the rest of my life. You’ve heard this before. You’ve heard people say, I’m not the kind of person who needs to stay at a Four Seasons every time I travel.
Let me tell you how I think about it. I’ve eaten at very nice restaurants, and I’ve eaten at taco trucks and pizza places. I trust myself enough to know that I can eat at a nice place once in a while and not suddenly become addicted to seven-course meals. I have control over my spending. And just because I try something nice occasionally doesn’t mean I’ll lose all control.
That’s one of the things going on with cheap people. They are deeply afraid of losing control.
Can’t recommend this podcast enough. Great stuff.
I listened at least as far as that point in the podcast. To me that particular observation seems like a load of fertilizer. But he’s the one with the claim of expertise.
I honestly see this all this time. One of the more common goals I have with clients is to encourage them to spend the money they have.
#1 fear of retirees is running out of money (outliving assets). Unfortunately, many, probably most, of those that have achieved financial security continue to fear to spend any money. I often have to tell clients to go spend their money - to not only give them permission but to push them to do it. I could name dozens of couples and little old ladies that have hundreds of thousands or more in excess savings (assets that they are still accumulating and not spending even the dividends/income) and they won’t pull out a few thousand for a home or car upgrade that would result in a noticeable improvement in their standard of living.
I don’t know why but people do indeed behave as if buying new carpet (as one 90 year old client refused do even though her 30 yr old carpet had mold), means that they somehow lose control of the rest of their spending. They are content (settled).
People often save all their lives for some retirement dream (or dreams) and then fear to ever spend money on that dream. May not be reflective of people here on TMF but I can say in my nearly two decades of experience, it is exceptionally common.