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Judge Not, Lest Nobody Like Ye

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:

  1. 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.
  2. It’s easy to judge others, but hard to honestly evaluate our own spending.
  3. 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