Everyone judges other people’s spending habits at one time or another, but eventually the shoe will be on the other foot. Today the shoe was on my foot; my newly pedicured foot. And it was smelly.
Today I went and got my nails and my toe nails done; rare occurrences by themselves, practically unheard of at the same time. Sure I could do it myself, but my left hand just won’t paint worth a da… darn. Actually, today I just felt the need to take care of myself in a special way. This is my rationalization and I’m sticking to it.
Actually, I was treating myself big-time because I also got my hair done (I love Wal-Mart, you only have to make one trip and POOF! everything you need is all in one place). My stylist noticed the toe-separator-thingamajig and said to me with judging eyes, “oh, do you get pedicures often?” So, I may have misread said “judging eyes,” my own judgment clouded with guilt by my previous splurges, but I felt judged.
With my sensitivity on alert, my ears perked up when Stylist mentioned she was a smoker. Ah ha! What a hypocrite, judging me for spending just a few bucks on myself when she herself was throwing money down the tubes daily… Wait a minute. I realized the reason I was peeved was that she had stuck her nose into my finances without knowing me, and I was doing the same to her.
Perhaps this stylist was a multimillionaire who cut hair on the side to pay for her cigarettes. Likely not, but what the heck do I know? Also, if she was in fact judging me, she did have a good point; I was clearly judging me too (as a woman with self-assessed ugly feet, polish really doesn’t make too much of a difference).
The fact of the matter is that we all ‘waste’ our money on different things. Waste, however, is in the eye of the beholder. Different strokes for different folks.
In a similar, less dramatic, incedent last week, I was driving with a friend and he said, “So cars are your weakness huh?” I asked him to explain. He was referring to my Audi. “You’re good with money, but you choose drive this nice car instead of a cheap car.” He didn’t know that my car was paid off; due in large part to Husband’s and my frugal lifestyle.
You know what they say about assumptions: they are stupid.
Conclusions (Like Jerry Springer’s “Final Thoughts”)
Of course when I got home today, I immediately plugged the subject into the Google Machine and found this amazing article at I Will Teach You to Be Rich (read it, you’ll love it). Here are some of the conclusions that he reached about hypocritical spending judgements:
- When you judge other people for poor spending, you’re probably right, since most people are horrible at managing their money. This judgment is profoundly rewarding — and also wasteful — since we employ psychological techniques to distort our judgments in favor of our own spending.
- It’s easy to judge others, but hard to honestly evaluate our own spending.
- Judging others is toxic. It’s not enough for us to make money — as a University of Texas researcher writes Psychology Today, “What makes me happy is that I make more money than you. It isn’t enough just to make a lot of money, you need to make more than the people to whom you compare yourself.”
I’ll tell you my conclusion: $10 manicure, totally worth it; to me at least.
Article publié pour la première fois le 31/08/2010