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any other scrooge mcdoctors here?

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  • any other scrooge mcdoctors here?

    my wife frequently laments that she married the cheapest man alive.  probably cheapest man ever. 

    we are on the same page for most decisions, but the two areas we are not include christmas spending and vacation spending.

    over the years, she just decided not to tell me how much we spend on vacations.  we have an account set up for that and a certain amount goes in and then i do my best to ignore any bills that crop up.  we take some fantastic, memorable vacations.  very blessed to spend time with friends and family.

    christmas however, different story.  she can't figure out a way to fix me.

    i grew up pretty poor so we didn't have gifts other than socks and underwear and shoes.

    i find it fascinating that my wife wants to throw hundreds of dollars every single year into decorations.  she must spend hundreds? on gifts but we decided a long time ago better if i don't know.  i get her a pair of socks every year so she has something to unwrap and to remind her i'm still the boss of me.

    but i can't seem to catch the christmas spirit.  we take the kids to volunteer at homeless shelter, and i give them an extra big hug (which has been apparently devalued over the years by the kids) and let them stay up late.   my lack of excitement over the commercialization of the holiday has always drove my wife crazy, especially as we started to accumulate some small wealth (more than i thought i would ever have), and donate close to six figures to charity most every December.  i think donating in December makes me tighten the purse strings even more, but increasingly this is a fictitious argument as the accounts have swollen over the years.

    anyone else never develop the holiday spirit? 

  • #2
    You should get her to read a few posts  on Mr. Money Mustache.  At the very least, you'll have conclusive proof that you're far from the "cheapest man ever".

     

    If for some reason that isn't enough, then point her to the extreme early retirement guy's blog.  Makes MMM look like a spendthrift.

    Also anyone who donates as much as you do has no right to call themselves "scrooge" anything.

    Comment


    • #3
      Life is too short to worry about this. I’m very cheap myself, but if your wife wants to spend $1k on Christmas gifts and decorations, let her do it. If she wants to spend $1k every week on gifts and decorations, that’s another thing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Let me get this straight...you give close to 6 figures to charity at Christmas while your wife gets a pair of socks and your kids get an extra big hug. And stay up late. Because you want to bring back your own childhood? This sounds like it goes deeper than a lack of holiday spirit. What is going to become of all of this money you're saving?
        Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

        Comment


        • #5
          I have no problem keeping Christmas under control.  My wife has come to my side about not spoiling the kids and each other around Christmas.  However, we still give very nice presents to each other and the children.  I think the compromise is to avoid giving multiple presents that are immediately devalued the second the next present is opened.

          If it is a true "Christmas Spirit" issue, try going to some plays or concerts about Christmas and don't let anyone convince you that Christmas is about giving and getting tons of stuff.

          About decorations, I will never understand blowing tons of money on tacky decorations for anything.

          Comment


          • #6
            Johanna sums up my feelings to the t.. but I can't tell if this is serious or not

            Comment


            • #7
              We are Jewish, so Christmas is not specifically an issue. I am selectively extravagant and am not a Scrooge...and neither is @q-school.

              Comment


              • #8
                Sorry I wasn’t clear. My wife has the freedom to buy anything she wants for herself at any time. It’s not like she waits for Xmas and hopes she gets something. After twenty plus years together we have accumulated tons of crap. Don’t need more clothes or shoes or purses or other stuff.

                I don’t buy anything for kids but the trees (yes more than one) are filled with presents she buys for the kids. Personally think it is way too much but we have compromised over the years.

                As to what happens to money, that is something everyone here will have to decide for themselves. we have focused on education, leaving something for kids, and charity, after of course retirement. It’s not like we don’t spend money—I bet we spend in the top 5% on the board at this point in our lives. Even excluding charitable donations as an expense.

                The one thing we have determined is that people on the board won’t be spending their money on luxury cars.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes I hate Christmas shopping.  I got sucked into buying a tremendous amount of decorations because of Christmas parties at my house.  I no longer feel like I have to go up in the attic to lug the stuff down and then replace it in the attic.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I could probably be considered a Grinch but fortunately my whole family is that way.  We don't buy each other gifts, kids often get a nice check from the parents, and that's all there is to it.  So much less stress and hassle.

                    I'm also very unsentimental and have never enjoyed giving or receiving gifts.  I see it as a big economic inefficiency since someone is more adept at choosing for themselves how to spend their $$ in a way to optimize their happiness than another person can, usually by guessing (kids are different though).  Gifts that the recipient doesn't want or need are a huge waste of $$.  I'm currently selling a nice flashlight I got for my birthday on the local craigslist for 30% of what it costs on Amazon.  I feel a little guilty but what else am I going to do with it?  It's just more clutter.  And what's the purpose of taping wrapping paper around a box just for it to be ripped up again?  Or put up a fake tree for a month just to take it down again and throw it back in the attic for the other eleven months of the year?

                    I know some may react by suggesting I tell people what I want, but I can never think of much, which makes me really hard to shop for.  I guess I need clothes, but why would I expect someone else to buy them when I can just pick them out myself and try them on first?  Who likes standing in line for returns after Christmas?  And on the rare occasions I can think of something I want I'd rather get it now than wait for a holiday.  More than happy to send someone a receipt, however   .  There are always gift cards, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to exchange cash for something with less liquidity but the same nominal value.

                    At least I know what an anomaly I am and am willing to accommodate how the majority of the population feels and keep this mostly to myself.  But spending Christmas by myself 2000 miles away from family, 12/25 is just another day at work!
                    I sometimes have trouble reading private messages on the forum. I can also be contacted at [email protected]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      K that makes total sense and seems more than reasonable. I also don't do a lot of gifts as wife also just gets what she wants when she wants too--

                      Great job on your success and charitable giving

                      Comment


                      • #12




                        my wife frequently laments that she married the cheapest man alive.  probably cheapest man ever.  ????

                        we are on the same page for most decisions, but the two areas we are not include christmas spending and vacation spending.

                        over the years, she just decided not to tell me how much we spend on vacations.  we have an account set up for that and a certain amount goes in and then i do my best to ignore any bills that crop up.  we take some fantastic, memorable vacations.  very blessed to spend time with friends and family.

                        christmas however, different story.  she can’t figure out a way to fix me.

                        i grew up pretty poor so we didn’t have gifts other than socks and underwear and shoes.

                        i find it fascinating that my wife wants to throw hundreds of dollars every single year into decorations.  she must spend hundreds? on gifts but we decided a long time ago better if i don’t know.  i get her a pair of socks every year so she has something to unwrap and to remind her i’m still the boss of me.

                        but i can’t seem to catch the christmas spirit.  we take the kids to volunteer at homeless shelter, and i give them an extra big hug (which has been apparently devalued over the years by the kids) and let them stay up late.   my lack of excitement over the commercialization of the holiday has always drove my wife crazy, especially as we started to accumulate some small wealth (more than i thought i would ever have), and donate close to six figures to charity most every December.  i think donating in December makes me tighten the purse strings even more, but increasingly this is a fictitious argument as the accounts have swollen over the years.

                        anyone else never develop the holiday spirit?  ????
                        Click to expand...


                        Okay, you need therapy. Just like me. Here are some tips that help.

                        # 1 Buy crap you need (well, not really need) but stuff that would be pretty nice to have. Just do it between Thanksgiving and Christmas and don't whip it out until Christmas morning. You know, maybe some furniture or some outdoor gear or whatever. Stuff that would have been bought anyway even if there hadn't been any Christmas morning. Make it a Christmas gift. Voila! Beats a pair of socks.

                        # 2 Use a credit card. It makes spending less painful. Maybe if you're lucky you can even convince yourself that it's a good idea because you're now getting rewards or miles or whatever. You know all that data that says spendthrifts shouldn't use cards? It works in reverse too.

                        # 3 Designate an amount to be spent on Christmas. Make it a game to see if you can spend it all. Think Brewster's Millions. If you fail, the remaining amount goes to charity too.

                        # 4 Get involved with an organization that buys Christmas presents for really poor families. It's way easier to justify spending when you realize what they're asking for (bedding, socks, underwear, shoes etc.)

                        # 5 Let your wife help you. If it is less painful for her to spend, then let her do the spending. Problem solved. You feel no pain and you're not a Scrooge McDuck.

                        BTW- Thanks for not making me feel like I'm the worst about this. I thought I was.
                        Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

                        Comment


                        • #13




                          Sorry I wasn’t clear. My wife has the freedom to buy anything she wants for herself at any time. It’s not like she waits for Xmas and hopes she gets something. After twenty plus years together we have accumulated tons of crap. Don’t need more clothes or shoes or purses or other stuff.

                          I don’t buy anything for kids but the trees (yes more than one) are filled with presents she buys for the kids. Personally think it is way too much but we have compromised over the years.

                          As to what happens to money, that is something everyone here will have to decide for themselves. we have focused on education, leaving something for kids, and charity, after of course retirement. It’s not like we don’t spend money—I bet we spend in the top 5% on the board at this point in our lives. Even excluding charitable donations as an expense.
                          Click to expand...


                          I'll ask Santa to cancel that lump of coal...but I'm still on the fence about the socks.  
                          Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

                          Comment


                          • #14







                            Sorry I wasn’t clear. My wife has the freedom to buy anything she wants for herself at any time. It’s not like she waits for Xmas and hopes she gets something. After twenty plus years together we have accumulated tons of crap. Don’t need more clothes or shoes or purses or other stuff.

                            I don’t buy anything for kids but the trees (yes more than one) are filled with presents she buys for the kids. Personally think it is way too much but we have compromised over the years.

                            As to what happens to money, that is something everyone here will have to decide for themselves. we have focused on education, leaving something for kids, and charity, after of course retirement. It’s not like we don’t spend money—I bet we spend in the top 5% on the board at this point in our lives. Even excluding charitable donations as an expense.
                            Click to expand…


                            I’ll ask Santa to cancel that lump of coal…but I’m still on the fence about the socks.  ????
                            Click to expand...


                            those socks are $15 a pair.  when i say $15, i mean american dollars.  i let the kids pick out the pair they want.  and ps she knows who she married. 

                            my wife tried all kinds of ways to make me better than i am.  she just laughs and laughs now.  we are in a good place overall.  she laughs while i try to sew the holes in my socks shut.  she laughs at the holes in my twenty year old t shirts. she's purged many over the years but i have some that are strictly on the never to be purged by anyone but me list.  i truly appreciate all the suggestions, as i recognize that i need to work on this ... because it is important to my wife.

                            to wci

                            #4)we usually volunteer to provide christmas for needy families at church.

                            it's kind of gut-check-- the stuff on their lists.  toilet paper, paper towels, toothbrushes, diapers.  how am i supposed to feel good about buying stuff for our family that we don't need?  we usually include some gift cards for local restaurants, and couple gift certificates for toy stores.   usually we do about $500 for 4 families.  they only ask for $40 per family but my wife wants them to have a little better christmas.  i'm more like-just get them extra socks and underwear, not toys.--sometimes you are your parents 

                            you guys never have equivalent of holiday survivor's guilt?

                            #3)maybe we are not donating to the right charities.  we've focused on women in transition and adolescent suicide prevention.  we have had multi year commitments, but theoretically could do more.  are there other charities we should consider that might serve the purpose of improving the holiday spirit?  maybe the ones we pick are not creating holiday spirit?  maybe we shouldn't wait till december to donate.  ha ha.

                             

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Live. A. Little.
                              We are in positions that as long as we don't make huge financial mistakes, we should be able to partake in almost all comfort measures (yes, including what your wife wants assuming she is sane). A few thousand dollars one way or the other is not going to make a dent in your long term financial health. It does, however, have the potential to make a dent in your relationship health. Unlike many docs, you are lucky to still be married...don't jeopardize that! ????

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