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Would you consider it to be....

(70 Posts)
Butternut Thu 08-Dec-11 09:40:23

.......downright rude to be challenged on whether you could or could not afford to do something? This happened to me last night and I am still seething angry. How much (or how little) we have and how we chose to spend it is no one's business, surely!

bagitha Thu 08-Dec-11 09:42:16

Yes. Very rude. Seethe away! angry

glassortwo Thu 08-Dec-11 09:51:16

How rude you have right to be annoyed.

MrsJamJam Thu 08-Dec-11 09:51:59

Definitely very bad manners.

My grandma never allowed us to say that we 'couldn't afford something'. She said that the correct attitude was that 'we don't choose to spend our money on that.' I do actually think that having that drummed in from an early age has given me a positive attitude during times of penury.

jingl Thu 08-Dec-11 09:59:22

Well, I think it would depend on the circumstances.

If it was, say a doctor saying "Ten week delay on NHS but you could have it done tomorrow if you could manage privately", then that would be ok.

But, as you say "last night", I would guess it was a social occasion. Again, it would depend. If it was a friend showing well meaning concern, then that would probably be ok.

But if it was someone being a bit envy, then no, I would probably laugh. Tbh.

Am I over-thinking this? hmm

Annobel Thu 08-Dec-11 10:10:56

Your finances are nobody's business but your own and it's certainly very rude of someone to poke his/her nose into them. I rarely admit to not being able to afford something (except to my nearest and dearest); I agree with Mrs JJ's grandma.

HildaW Thu 08-Dec-11 10:31:23

Very bery rude Butternut....seeth away, but not for too long it only spoils things smile

HildaW Thu 08-Dec-11 10:32:43

OOps have just realised I've put almost the same as is 'great minds' or 'fools seldom differ' wink

grannyactivist Thu 08-Dec-11 10:40:33

I think the clue here is in the word 'challenged'. Sounds like very bad manners to me and worthy of a put-down.

Charlotta Thu 08-Dec-11 10:48:21

That really depends on the cicumstances. I wouldn't be upset about this. If I couldn't afford it then I'd say so. I suspect that people who are struggling might feel upset, in this case it is the fault of the questioner in not being sensitive enough to grasp this fact.
You have seethed about but did you tell the questioner that you found his question rude or told him/ her to mind their own business? Perhaps they were trying to be considerate.
Life is too short to go on seething.

Butternut Thu 08-Dec-11 11:03:50

Jingl grin

On the whole, I don't have a problem about saying I can't afford something, but have no intention of going into the ins and outs, and being verbally prodded to explain and being told Oh, surely not......gets me riled!

Thanks all for your posts.

Feeling calmer......... a

JessM Thu 08-Dec-11 12:03:58

Can be even ruder to assume that someone can.
Before I was married DH took me to visit some of his friends for the weekend. Instead of cooking they suggested we go out for a meal. They did not offer to pay. I coughed up my share which I could ill afford.
Had a similar experience in Netherlands where someone asked us round for the evening, then muttered that he did not really want to cook, DH ended up paying for meal.
My DIL has had a problem the other mums in DGD's class. Last year there was a large and insensitive fuss made about a pressie for the teacher. (their academic year is just ending now)
This year's teacher tried to pre-empt with an email a few months back saying please, no present, if you must, donate to charity.
Big hoo ha, group suggesting individualised donation of bikes to poor children in third world. One for each child in the class!!! With their names on!!!(I think one would have been fine.) DIL fought back I am proud to say and pointed out that not everyone could afford lavish and very public donation of that amount of money at this time of year. Very insensitive and rude on the part of the wealthier mums.
I would not mind being asked if I could afford something, as long as the request was made in a discrete way.

Carol Thu 08-Dec-11 12:23:48

There are some things I cannot afford because their price is exhorbitant, some things because I don't actually have that much money, and other things I can't afford because buying them would have negative consequences. All of that is my business and no-one else's. I'm surprised you weren't tempted to tell them to bog off Butternut!

Butternut Thu 08-Dec-11 12:34:34

Carol grin - now I wish I had!

Good for your daughter-in-law, JessM - It's that sort of collective assumption that can be difficult to say 'No' to.

JessM Thu 08-Dec-11 17:39:07

Yes huge social pressure not to appear either poor or mean! Social pressure is very powerful.

snailspeak Thu 08-Dec-11 18:19:37

Never had any friends be so rude to me but when my eight and a half year old twin grandsons were visiting I asked them not to jump and walk all over the furniture as "we could not afford a new three piece suite". The response was open-eyed amazement from them and one asked if that meant that we did not have any money. My reply was "yes we do have some money but don't wish to spend it on new furniture". Problem solved.

Why they are still allowed to jump on furniture and beds is another matter entirely.

HildaW Thu 08-Dec-11 18:22:29

....and the whole matter is complicated by our own personal choices. What is an extravagance to one household is vital to another. I was singing the praises of some locally made jam to a neighbour who has a very beautiful home full of well chosen antiques and expensive soft furnishings etc etc. She baulked at the price I paid for said jam and recommened something from Aldi at a fraction of the price. Now, I much prefer to spend my money on what I consider to be high quality goodies and have them once in a while whilst others see that as pure indulgence and buy, what I consider to be cheap and cheerful. They, on the other hand think nothing of spending several thousands on one set of curtains whilst I knock mine up myself for much less. needless to say I would not criticise their choices and would hope they would have the good manners not to do so either. We both might raise an eyebrow in private but, as the french say, 'Vive la difference'.

Carol Thu 08-Dec-11 18:54:58

HildaW spot on!

bagitha Thu 08-Dec-11 20:35:06

Yes, hilda, well said.

supernana Fri 09-Dec-11 12:22:56

I'm with HildaW

granto7 Fri 09-Dec-11 12:53:29

Hilda Well said.

Butternut Fri 09-Dec-11 14:06:52

Yep, bang on, HildaW.

riclorian Fri 09-Dec-11 14:29:58

I think, it is incredibly rude to assume that someone can or cannot afford something . If someone sugested that to me I would put on my ''Queen of Endland '' face, as my children call it and tell them in no uncertain terms that what I CHOOSE to afford is my business and no one else's . I am on my high horse for you butternut !!!

susiecb Sat 10-Dec-11 08:08:53

I was brought up not to discuss money with people outside your immediate family. I have several very rich friends because I play golf and it attracts people with money. They talk money all the time and I just don't join in. When invited to go to something I go if I think its worth spending money on and if it fits in with the budget. I really dont like the habit of discussing money other than in a macro sense - e.g. how much prices have risen that kind of thing. Is this an unusual attitude?

bagitha Sat 10-Dec-11 08:15:22

Feel the same as you, susie. I only discuss money with my husband. It's nobody else's business. I don't expect or want to be told about other people's money either and I think it's disgustingly rude to make assumptions about others' finances. Maybe it's a sign of 'breeding' to talk about money, but it isn't a sign of good manners.