Most of the shadows in this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Question #92083 posted on 03/07/2019 6:16 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

For the last few years, I've been in school, and made very little money, but as of recently, my wife and I have been working full time, and we make a decent amount of money. We haven't really increased how much we spent from when we were students, so we're saving some pretty good money, all things considered. My problem is that my family and in-laws seem very convinced that we are impoverished due to the fact that we don't spend on things that other people might. Short of showing them our finances or buying many extravangant things (which I'd rather not do) is there a way to prove to someone that you aren't poor and destitute? We have tried telling them this message several times that we have money in our accounts, but it doesn't seem to work

-not a poor unfortunate soul

A:

Dear person,

Sorry, I can't think of anything you can do to prove that you are not poor and destitute without showing your finances or buying extravagant things.

If you and your wife are happy with how you are spending money, great! I get that you want your family and in-laws to understand that your spending habits are due to choice rather than necessity. It would be really annoying to not have them believe you. However, it's really not their business and you are not obligated to prove anything to them.

You are allowed to ask them to stop badgering you about your financial situation. You are also allowed to refuse to engage with them on the issue. And you are allowed to share with them your feelings about their behavior with them. ("I feel annoyed when you comment repeatedly about our financial situation because we are doing well financially." Or whatever.)

-Sheebs

A:

Dear not Ariel,

Not gonna lie, my initial reaction was "keep them thinking you're poor, because then they're more likely to give you money and other gifts." So I mean...there's one advantage of them thinking that!

One possibility is going on a vacation. You don't have to go to the most elaborate place in the world, but find a location you and your wife would enjoy visiting. Take lots of pictures of you two enjoying yourselves and send them to your family. Of course, only do this if really want to, but taking a fun trip could show them you're doing fine financially. And of course you can still save money on that trip - my family went on a ton of campouts when I was a kid just by driving a few hours to the nearest coolest camping/hiking site.

Unfortunately, if you've already tried to get the message through to them they may just be unwilling to see the truth right now. They may be so used to you being poor and destitute that one instance/show of wealth or buying a few fancy things may not even change their minds. It may just take time. And while that's annoying, you might as well take advantage of any extra gifts or help they give during that time.

-guppy of doom