Other people's perception of your finances

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BostonButterfly
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Other people's perception of your finances

Post by BostonButterfly » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:05 am

I’m wondering how folks handle other people’s perception of your financial wherewithal.

My spouse and I have been on a very long, difficult road to get to this point in our lives. We have worked our asses off, watched every penny, put a lot of thought into every decision we’ve made, and it is finally paying off. We can finally see the retirement light faintly at the end of the tunnel. We live in a HCOL area, and recently made the decision to cash in on our years of sweat equity in our home. We sold the house for a very nice profit and bought the house that we plan to retire in. It’s a nice house on the ocean. What’s bothering me is that ever since we bought the house, people are different towards us. I get the feeling that they suddenly think we are “loaded”, and we find ourselves feeling an unspoken pressure to pay for things we previously would not have.

Over the last month, we have had two separate family visits where they stayed with us for almost two weeks each. We ended up paying for essentially everything – on both visits. I realize they were our guests, but not once did anyone offer to pick up a dinner tab, contribute to the grocery costs, contribute to alcohol costs………………nothing. I honestly think it’s because they think we now have the money to foot the bill. The truth is, yes – technically we have the money, but any extra money we spend is money not saved for retirement. We live on a tight budget, and that’s WHY we have some money stashed away. Our goal is to retire in ten years. We have a plan to reach that goal. But that plan does not include footing the bill for people who suddenly think we should be.

This is really bothering me. I don’t want to be thought of as cheap if we don’t foot the bill. We are generous people, but we don’t want to be taken advantage of. All we would like is for things to be fair.

I’m curious how others here handle this kind of thing. I don’t have anyone to talk to about this kind of thing, and I’ll go out on a limb and assume people here on this forum have some sound advice!

JBTX
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by JBTX » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:17 am

BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:05 am
I’m wondering how folks handle other people’s perception of your financial wherewithal.

My spouse and I have been on a very long, difficult road to get to this point in our lives. We have worked our asses off, watched every penny, put a lot of thought into every decision we’ve made, and it is finally paying off. We can finally see the retirement light faintly at the end of the tunnel. We live in a HCOL area, and recently made the decision to cash in on our years of sweat equity in our home. We sold the house for a very nice profit and bought the house that we plan to retire in. It’s a nice house on the ocean. What’s bothering me is that ever since we bought the house, people are different towards us. I get the feeling that they suddenly think we are “loaded”, and we find ourselves feeling an unspoken pressure to pay for things we previously would not have.

Over the last month, we have had two separate family visits where they stayed with us for almost two weeks each. We ended up paying for essentially everything – on both visits. I realize they were our guests, but not once did anyone offer to pick up a dinner tab, contribute to the grocery costs, contribute to alcohol costs………………nothing. I honestly think it’s because they think we now have the money to foot the bill. The truth is, yes – technically we have the money, but any extra money we spend is money not saved for retirement. We live on a tight budget, and that’s WHY we have some money stashed away. Our goal is to retire in ten years. We have a plan to reach that goal. But that plan does not include footing the bill for people who suddenly think we should be.

This is really bothering me. I don’t want to be thought of as cheap if we don’t foot the bill. We are generous people, but we don’t want to be taken advantage of. All we would like is for things to be fair.

I’m curious how others here handle this kind of thing. I don’t have anyone to talk to about this kind of thing, and I’ll go out on a limb and assume people here on this forum have some sound advice!
The fact that you are frugal probably makes you more sensitive to guests that you feel are freeloading. But you are probably right to a degree.

Did these same people offer to share in costs before. And it is possible the guests are just oblivious to it. Frankly I don't always offer to pay for groceries and such when visiting relatives but rarely am I there 2 weeks. Also it can be awkward to bring up money and offer to pay. And they may think it would be insulting for them to so.

I agree as a gesture they should be more considerate but it is possible you are reading more into than what is there. And it would be unfortunate if you can't share your success with others without you getting anxiety that they are mooching on you. But I totally get where you are coming from.

At a minimum they should have offered to pick up dinner time to time. That is usually what I do when saying elsewhere. It's an easy was to partially pay back the accommodation being provided to me.
Last edited by JBTX on Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dottie57
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:23 am

Limit visits to your home.

If they show up at your door with asking you, give directions to a motel

Do not let visitors stay if you do not want them at your home. Set up the rules before invited guests stay.

Also, if you visit relatives and stay at their homes, stop it.

GmanJeff
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by GmanJeff » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:27 am

This sounds like a case where your guests' expectations and your did not align, and neither were clarified in advance. Now that you know how those guests behave, it's up to you to decide whether you want to continue to host them in the manner they apparently expect. If not, make future invitations more specific as to visit duration, cost-sharing for meals, etc., and/or wait and see if your hospitality is reciprocated with invitations to stay with your former guests at their expense. Or, consider suggesting joint vacations at another location, with cost-sharing for lodging, meals, etc, agreed to in advance.

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HueyLD
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by HueyLD » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:28 am

If your family members only visit you once in a while, just be gracious.

However, if the visits become regular and frequent, then you need to tell them to get a hotel room.

I've been told by a relative who lives in a very popular (HCOL) area that people were known to show up at their friends' doorsteps unannounced and wanting free room and board. The uninvited family and friends were provided a list of hotels nearby.

Texanbybirth
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:31 am

I think the simple solution is to stop having people stay at your house if you don't want to have these situations anymore. Then the only awkward situation will be who picks up the dinner bill. (Hint: it sounds like it will be you.)

The problem with being a so-called "generous" person is that you will be taken advantage of. That's not why you do it in the first place. It sounds like you have the money for it.

We are much better off than most of one side of our family, where we tend to pay a heavier share of things when we're together, and much worse off than the other side of the family, where we tend to pay a lesser share of things when we're together. The only person whose ever seemed begrudged was me, when I was thinking like you, and it was a terrible drain on my energy. So I learned to let it go and stop worrying about the money so much. We always seem to have enough.

Lou354
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Lou354 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:33 am

Cut down on invitations to freeloaders. Don't provide alcohol; let someone else bring it or do without. If someone who hasn't contributed in the past suggests going out to eat without offering to pay, say "Sorry, we're on a pretty tight budget." It can be tough to say no and have people think you're cheap, but if you don't you'll continue to be taken advantage of and will grow to resent your family members--it's started already--and that's not good for anybody.

Dottie57
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:34 am

HueyLD wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:28 am
If your family members only visit you once in a while, just be gracious.

However, if the visits become regular and frequent, then you need to tell them to get a hotel room.

I've been told by a relative who lives in a very popular (HCOL) area that people were known to show up at their friends' doorsteps unannounced and wanting free room and board. The uninvited family and friends were provided a list of hotels nearby.

Thank you.

DomDangelina
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by DomDangelina » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:37 am

BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:05 am
... they were our guests, but not once did anyone offer to pick up a dinner tab, contribute to the grocery costs, contribute to alcohol costs………………nothing. I’m curious how others here handle this kind of thing.
I recently endured this same brand of barbarism. Because I find philistines intolerable and am in the process of cleansing them from my life to the fullest possible extent, I'll henceforth have nothing more to do with my former guests. Note that I didn't waste, and won't be wasting, any time trying to convince them to reform their barbarism. Barbarians will be barbarians.
"Often the remedy causes the disease. It is by no means the least of life's rules: to let things alone." | Baltasar Gracián, S.J., The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Maxim 121

BostonButterfly
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by BostonButterfly » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:41 am

I suppose we really do need to re-think how to handle these situations going forward. As you all said, if we don't, we'll be taken advantage of.
That's the fine line. I would like to be gracious, and my graciousness extends so far. But being taken advantage of is not something I want.

Luckily, summer is just about over. And no one wants to be at the beach in winter (except me!). So we have some time to be better prepared for next summer.

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Raybo
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Raybo » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:42 am

Have you ever visited their homes? Did they pay for everything? If not, start asking for separate checks. You also might ask them to go to the grocery store and pick up some food for dinner. If they ask for money, laugh at them.

Some people want to pay for others, some what to be paid for. It doesn't usually take much time to figure out which one someone is.

One way I deal with it is to be vegetarian. Everyone knows if they come to my house they have to eat what I eat. This usually convinces them to go out to eat on their own several times during their stay!

Maybe you should adopt some similar "unpopular" habits. Offer guests thin towels, worn sheets, uncomfortable beds, simple food. Not only do you save money, but no one will think you have much money, either.
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Nowizard
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Nowizard » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:43 am

This is a very common issue for anyone with a vacation home, a pick-up truck or who lives in a tourist or seaside area. It is a new experience when you are a very considerate person and discover others have different views from your own. Basically, you have the choices of either establishing your boundaries or erecting ones that others cannot penetrate. Either approach involves a period of time and some situations that are uncomfortable until the guidelines are established.

Tim

BostonButterfly
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by BostonButterfly » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:47 am

DomDangelina wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:37 am

I recently endured this same brand of barbarism. Because I find philistines intolerable and am in the process of cleansing them from my life to the fullest possible extent, I'll henceforth have nothing more to do with my former guests. Note that I didn't waste, and won't be wasting, any time trying to convince them to reform their barbarism. Barbarians will be barbarians.
I can't tell if you're serious, or if you're making a joke at my expense............

BostonButterfly
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by BostonButterfly » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:51 am

I really appreciate everyone's thoughts here. Interesting that they range from logical to wow!

FrugalConservative
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by FrugalConservative » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:53 am

You are doing nothing wrong and I feel the same as you.

I place the blame on the free loaders.

I no longer surround myself with individuals that wont reciprocate, either it be financially or emotionally.

All it takes is an offer to pay for a meal, or even a small token (a bottle a wine). But when individuals arms turn into alligator arms it rubs me the wrong way.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Da5id » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:54 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:23 am
Also, if you visit relatives and stay at their homes, stop it.
Obviously different families have different dynamics, but this is not the norm in many families. We stay with relatives when we visit, they do the same. They encourage us to visit more and stay longer, so must not be a burden. It is up to visitors to be helpful, be considerate, and be respectful. Sounds like OPs relatives aren't doing that. Hosting relatives for 2 weeks can be OK if the hosts want it and the guests are good guests. Doesn't sound like either is the case here.

OP, make limits and stick to your guns. Say "we'd love to have you for the long weekend. If you want to stay in the area longer, here are some local hotels". Say "how about we go out for dinner on Friday". Go to a place you are happy to eat at. If they don't pick up the check (which they should!), tell the waitress to split it.

Not sure if it is the money, rude relatives, different expectations/values, or what. Mind you, who pays is often also a generational thing -- my dad until recently always insisted on picking up the check, and he still usually does. Often older relatives will want to treat the younger generation. But it still is polite to make the offer.

student
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by student » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:55 am

I agree with others about not offering alcohols. Another idea is maybe going to less expensive places to eat.

DomDangelina
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by DomDangelina » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:56 am

BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:47 am
DomDangelina wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:37 am

I recently endured this same brand of barbarism. Because I find philistines intolerable and am in the process of cleansing them from my life to the fullest possible extent, I'll henceforth have nothing more to do with my former guests. Note that I didn't waste, and won't be wasting, any time trying to convince them to reform their barbarism. Barbarians will be barbarians.
I can't tell if you're serious, or if you're making a joke at my expense............
Quite serious!
"Often the remedy causes the disease. It is by no means the least of life's rules: to let things alone." | Baltasar Gracián, S.J., The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Maxim 121

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InvestorNewb
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by InvestorNewb » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:58 am

It sounds like you are being taken advantage of. Nice people offer to pay their fair share. Even nicer people insist on paying their fair share.

Could it be possible that they simply can't afford it?
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ResearchMed
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:59 am

BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:05 am
I’m wondering how folks handle other people’s perception of your financial wherewithal.

My spouse and I have been on a very long, difficult road to get to this point in our lives. We have worked our asses off, watched every penny, put a lot of thought into every decision we’ve made, and it is finally paying off. We can finally see the retirement light faintly at the end of the tunnel. We live in a HCOL area, and recently made the decision to cash in on our years of sweat equity in our home. We sold the house for a very nice profit and bought the house that we plan to retire in. It’s a nice house on the ocean. What’s bothering me is that ever since we bought the house, people are different towards us. I get the feeling that they suddenly think we are “loaded”, and we find ourselves feeling an unspoken pressure to pay for things we previously would not have.

Over the last month, we have had two separate family visits where they stayed with us for almost two weeks each. We ended up paying for essentially everything – on both visits. I realize they were our guests, but not once did anyone offer to pick up a dinner tab, contribute to the grocery costs, contribute to alcohol costs………………nothing. I honestly think it’s because they think we now have the money to foot the bill. The truth is, yes – technically we have the money, but any extra money we spend is money not saved for retirement. We live on a tight budget, and that’s WHY we have some money stashed away. Our goal is to retire in ten years. We have a plan to reach that goal. But that plan does not include footing the bill for people who suddenly think we should be.

This is really bothering me. I don’t want to be thought of as cheap if we don’t foot the bill. We are generous people, but we don’t want to be taken advantage of. All we would like is for things to be fair.

I’m curious how others here handle this kind of thing. I don’t have anyone to talk to about this kind of thing, and I’ll go out on a limb and assume people here on this forum have some sound advice!
Did you ever have guests stay for several days (maybe "more than overnight") before you moved?
Did any of these issues arise?

You mention having guests for 2 weeks. That can be a long time, for hosts and guests alike.
(The old saying, "Fish and house guests smell after three days"... There's a reason for that saying...)

Perhaps you could cap the length - and frequency - of stays to a number of days where you feel comfortable hosting them without any expectation of their giving something in return.

If you cooked and fed them at home, that's one thing. We'd never expect any guest to pay for any of that, except maybe for a truly extended stay, which we'd be disinclined to do for a variety of reasons.

Eating out? That gets tricky, whether in town or out of town or with "guests".
How to choose the price point, for one thing. Is there a chance you are selecting places that are pricey for them?

When we have houseguests, we assume we are hosting them the entire time.
But we are always appreciative of a special bottle of wine they show up with, or such.
However, if we eat out, we've never had guests who didn't offer to pay, or to alternate.
In your case, along the lines of "price point of restaurant", one time at a pricey restaurant, per their finances, is one thing. Several or many meals out can become a burden for some, and perhaps more so if they've paid a lot to fly in, for example.

A situation, not overnight, that reminds us of something you wrote: One of the couples we socialize with had "hit it big" with a start up.
When we go out to dinner, we ALWAYS offer to split the bill. We INSIST, and interestingly, they do not "argue" much.
We don't do this often enough to "alternate", and even then, the choice of restaurant could have a strange "effect"...
We do NOT want there to be any even subtle sensation of what you are describing, that they might wonder if we are somehow freeloading.
[Oddly, we'd prefer to alternate, because when "we pay", we can choose a nicer bottle of wine. If we are splitting the bill, we feel a need to dial it back a bit in discussing "which wine". We suspect they do the same so none of us get the wine we'd really prefer. Odd incentives/concerns sometimes.]

But an awful lot of people seem to blunder through life without thinking about these details, not necessarily out of selfishness. More a lack of sensitivity/awareness, perhaps?

Best suggestion is to cap the length of visit, and expect to host everything, graciously, and perhaps don't eat out at all or as much.

Do they offer to help with the dishes or such when at home? That's an indicator of whether it's "you can afford it" or "they aren't such great houseguests" from the start.

RM
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BostonButterfly
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by BostonButterfly » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:01 am

DomDangelina wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:56 am
BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:47 am
DomDangelina wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:37 am

I recently endured this same brand of barbarism. Because I find philistines intolerable and am in the process of cleansing them from my life to the fullest possible extent, I'll henceforth have nothing more to do with my former guests. Note that I didn't waste, and won't be wasting, any time trying to convince them to reform their barbarism. Barbarians will be barbarians.
I can't tell if you're serious, or if you're making a joke at my expense............
Quite serious!

Wow.....barbarian?

Katietsu
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Katietsu » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:04 am

I understand that there were alot of days with guests over a small time frame. However, I am not sure anything drastic like providing a list of hotels is needed at this point.

Don't have alcohol available when the guests come next time. If they want alcohol, they can pick it up. Ask for separate checks when you go out. The first time you do this it needs to be a cheaper restauarant and the second time it needs to be the guests choice of restaurant. Do not stock up on steaks or shrimp for dinner. Stock up on basics and have a discussion about what you will have for dinner. Then, ask the guests to pick up the items. This can all be handled in a natural way while still being a gracious host.

Maybe these guests behaved this way because they think you have the money. On the other hand, they may have just watched you serving as a gracious host and had no way of knowing how you felt. Personally, I would be bothered if someone offered me money for food or alcohol in my house that I had bought. ( It happened once, so I know.). I was also a little hurt when a family member came to town and chose to stay in a hotel. Similarly, I once planned to stay in a hotel when the relative I normally stay with had 4 other guests at the same time. This person actually started crying because they were so upset I would not be staying with them. On the other hand, when I visit someone I do bring wine and offer to pay for dinner at a resturant. My point is that maybe you were right to think that your guests were taking advantage of you, or maybe there are other explanations, attitudes, or alternative approaches that could explain or aid the situation.

DomDangelina
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by DomDangelina » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:05 am

BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:01 am
DomDangelina wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:56 am
BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:47 am
DomDangelina wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:37 am

I recently endured this same brand of barbarism. Because I find philistines intolerable and am in the process of cleansing them from my life to the fullest possible extent, I'll henceforth have nothing more to do with my former guests. Note that I didn't waste, and won't be wasting, any time trying to convince them to reform their barbarism. Barbarians will be barbarians.
I can't tell if you're serious, or if you're making a joke at my expense............
Quite serious!

Wow.....barbarian?
I do consider the scenario you described, and what I endured, to be a form of barbarism, total barbarism. I'm idiosyncratic, it's true.
"Often the remedy causes the disease. It is by no means the least of life's rules: to let things alone." | Baltasar Gracián, S.J., The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Maxim 121

BostonButterfly
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by BostonButterfly » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:11 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:59 am


A situation, not overnight, that reminds us of something you wrote: One of the couples we socialize with had "hit it big" with a start up.
When we go out to dinner, we ALWAYS offer to split the bill. We INSIST, and interestingly, they do not "argue" much.
We don't do this often enough to "alternate", and even then, the choice of restaurant could have a strange "effect"...
We do NOT want there to be any even subtle sensation of what you are describing, that they might wonder if we are somehow freeloading.
[Oddly, we'd prefer to alternate, because when "we pay", we can choose a nicer bottle of wine. If we are splitting the bill, we feel a need to dial it back a bit in discussing "which wine". We suspect they do the same so none of us get the wine we'd really prefer. Odd incentives/concerns sometimes.]

But an awful lot of people seem to blunder through life without thinking about these details, not necessarily out of selfishness. More a lack of sensitivity/awareness, perhaps?

Best suggestion is to cap the length of visit, and expect to host everything, graciously, and perhaps don't eat out at all or as much.

Do they offer to help with the dishes or such when at home? That's an indicator of whether it's "you can afford it" or "they aren't such great houseguests" from the start.

RM
ResearchMed - good points. I think capping the length of visit would help tremendously. I would be able to host graciously and not feel any of this angst that I do right now.
Interesting that you comment on helping with dishes and such. Nope. The first guests, very little. But the second guests - not once. No help with prep, no help with cleanup. I felt like a waitress. Again, I feel terrible for saying these things, but its true. And I don't want to feel this way about family.

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goingup
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by goingup » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:12 am

I knew there must be a down-side to retiring to a house at the ocean. :wink:

We live in Seattle so we get a fair number of summertime guests. As hosts we expect to pay for just about everything, especially when guests are younger, less well-off, etc. Frankly, it was a joy to have them and be able to afford to show them the city.

Two weeks would be too long of a visit, however. One week is plenty. Since we are hosts, we were in charge of the menu and could make relatively inexpensive meals--think spaghetti and meatballs, chicken on the grill, etc. We also picked the restos and had slow enough reflexes on occasion wherein the guests grabbed the meal tab. We stocked the bar with beer and wine but when it ran out we allowed guests to make a beer run or two.

Try to plan accordingly next year. Shorter guest visits, and encourage more guest participation in the meal prep and beer run departments!

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Cyclesafe
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Cyclesafe » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:14 am

Life is short and if it is still in your best long term interest to maintain good relations with these people, you should continue hosting as before, but restrict access to perhaps a long weekend rather than a couple of weeks.

Observe whether there is reciprocation when you are in turn visiting your guests. If there is not voluntary or even (at best) enthusiasm for an accelerated hospitality (in relative terms), I would frankly start thinking about whether your concern about the relationship is perhaps too one-sided.

As disparity between perceived net worth widens, envy inevitably surfaces. Whether your relatives channel this envy into something more positive remains to be seen. You might need to make some tough choices down the line.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:20 am

Da5id wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:54 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:23 am
Also, if you visit relatives and stay at their homes, stop it.

Not sure if it is the money, rude relatives, different expectations/values, or what. Mind you, who pays is often also a generational thing -- my dad until recently always insisted on picking up the check, and he still usually does. Often older relatives will want to treat the younger generation. But it still is polite to make the offer.
Actually, it's a cultural thing. When my long distance relatives come to town I will pick up the check. They will offer to pick up check, but I will beat them to the waiter. :wink:
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Saving$
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Saving$ » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:21 am

This really depends upon whether the same issues happened before you moved to this new house (guest for 2 + weeks?) and if it reciprocal (do you visit these family members at holidays and stay in their house the entire time?)

I agree that going out to dinner and not offering to pick up the tab may be boorish, but again, it depends upon who it is. If it were someone who exhibits behavior in other parts of their life that indicates they have disposable income, yes, they should offer to pick up the tab, they should show up with flowers or a bottle of wine, etc.

If, on the other hand, it is a young family, or a lower income person, maybe they cannot pick up the tab. I have had relatives who otherwise could not afford a vacation stay at my house for a week as their spring break vacation. I know they stretched the budget driving to my city, and I see them trying to stack coupons to get the best deal on the family visiting local attractions, and seeking local attractions that are free or low cost. I went shopping for ingredients for easy to prepare meals before they arrived, and suggested they make the meal for all of us one night. Another night, I suggested we all go out and I had no problem footing the bill. I did have to remind them to clean up a few times, but they complied, all was well, and they came back for a few years in a row.

Lots of folks picked up the tab for me when I was a broke college student, and my first few years out of school when I was saddled with loans...

Da5id
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Da5id » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:23 am

BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:11 am
Interesting that you comment on helping with dishes and such. Nope. The first guests, very little. But the second guests - not once. No help with prep, no help with cleanup. I felt like a waitress. Again, I feel terrible for saying these things, but its true. And I don't want to feel this way about family.
Huh. I was brought up to be a good guest. To make things as easy as possible for my hosts. To clear the table, offer help cooking, strip the beds and carry down the linens to the laundry when leaving. To offer to take them out to dinner. If non-family, to bring a gift of some sort as well (we don't do that inside family). I don't think money is the issue, it is the guests values :(

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by BostonButterfly » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:25 am

Katietsu wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:04 am

Maybe these guests behaved this way because they think you have the money. On the other hand, they may have just watched you serving as a gracious host and had no way of knowing how you felt. Personally, I would be bothered if someone offered me money for food or alcohol in my house that I had bought. ( It happened once, so I know.). I was also a little hurt when a family member came to town and chose to stay in a hotel. Similarly, I once planned to stay in a hotel when the relative I normally stay with had 4 other guests at the same time. This person actually started crying because they were so upset I would not be staying with them. On the other hand, when I visit someone I do bring wine and offer to pay for dinner at a resturant. My point is that maybe you were right to think that your guests were taking advantage of you, or maybe there are other explanations, attitudes, or alternative approaches that could explain or aid the situation.
Point taken. This is helpful.

To be clear, I would never ask a guest for money for something I've provided. Its more when there is a visit to a grocery store or package store or restaurant, it would be nice if someone else's credit card was put forth......not always ours.
Last edited by BostonButterfly on Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:25 am

Cyclesafe wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:14 am

As disparity between perceived net worth widens, envy inevitably surfaces. Whether your relatives channel this envy into something more positive remains to be seen. You might need to make some tough choices down the line.
Envy can surface in a number of ways - the knowing look, mooching, verbal comments or silence, physical gestures. People express themselves in many ways. Best way to nip this in the bud is to simply say you are on a tight budget and can not afford to host for more than x days - you set the tone and the limit, much like a credit card once the limit has been reached further transactions are denied until advance payment has been made. If they ask how can you be on such a tight budget, be creative and come up with something. Not an outright lie, more like a subtle reasoning of your priorities as opposed to theirs.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

Kuznec
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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Kuznec » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:29 am

Simply enough to talk, and explain the situation, if you do not understand - then why do you need such guests, drive them away.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by JBTX » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:31 am

DomDangelina wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:37 am
BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:05 am
... they were our guests, but not once did anyone offer to pick up a dinner tab, contribute to the grocery costs, contribute to alcohol costs………………nothing. I’m curious how others here handle this kind of thing.
I recently endured this same brand of barbarism. Because I find philistines intolerable and am in the process of cleansing them from my life to the fullest possible extent, I'll henceforth have nothing more to do with my former guests. Note that I didn't waste, and won't be wasting, any time trying to convince them to reform their barbarism. Barbarians will be barbarians.
I liked this post. :D not quite the way I'd handle it but it did make me laugh!

That said I've never had somebody stay 2 weeks other than parents who were invited to do so and even they won't do that any more. Our life is too chaotic for comfort.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by DomDangelina » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:39 am

JBTX wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:31 am
DomDangelina wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:37 am
BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:05 am
... they were our guests, but not once did anyone offer to pick up a dinner tab, contribute to the grocery costs, contribute to alcohol costs………………nothing. I’m curious how others here handle this kind of thing.
I recently endured this same brand of barbarism. Because I find philistines intolerable and am in the process of cleansing them from my life to the fullest possible extent, I'll henceforth have nothing more to do with my former guests. Note that I didn't waste, and won't be wasting, any time trying to convince them to reform their barbarism. Barbarians will be barbarians.
I liked this post. :D not quite the way I'd handle it but it did make me laugh!

That said I've never had somebody stay 2 weeks other than parents who were invited to do so and even they won't do that any more. Our life is too chaotic for comfort.
:sharebeer
"Often the remedy causes the disease. It is by no means the least of life's rules: to let things alone." | Baltasar Gracián, S.J., The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Maxim 121

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by stoptothink » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:44 am

BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:05 am

Over the last month, we have had two separate family visits where they stayed with us for almost two weeks each. We ended up paying for essentially everything – on both visits. I realize they were our guests, but not once did anyone offer to pick up a dinner tab, contribute to the grocery costs, contribute to alcohol costs………………nothing. I honestly think it’s because they think we now have the money to foot the bill. The truth is, yes – technically we have the money, but any extra money we spend is money not saved for retirement. We live on a tight budget, and that’s WHY we have some money stashed away. Our goal is to retire in ten years. We have a plan to reach that goal. But that plan does not include footing the bill for people who suddenly think we should be.

This is really bothering me. I don’t want to be thought of as cheap if we don’t foot the bill. We are generous people, but we don’t want to be taken advantage of. All we would like is for things to be fair.

I’m curious how others here handle this kind of thing. I don’t have anyone to talk to about this kind of thing, and I’ll go out on a limb and assume people here on this forum have some sound advice!
Welcome to the club. We are far from wealthy, but the fact that we are able to buy cars in cash, cashflow my wife's education, and save makes us fabulously wealthy in the eyes of our family members, especially on my wife's side. Her parent's lived with us for most of 2016, never contributed a penny to utilities or groceries (both which tripled during their stay) and her father drove our spare car and never paid for any maintenance and probably paid for the gas he used once or twice. The car thing got so prevalent - they moved out, but he still was borrowing the car almost weekly- that we just gave it to him a few weeks ago; at least the maintenance is on him now. During the time they lived with us, they would even would plan family parties (at our home, without our knowledge) and then ask us to take them to stores so we could purchase all the food and decorations. Her parents and sister will invite us to activities, and then when we get there, expect us to cover the cost for everybody. Her cousin has also done the same thing on several occasions. I could go on and on and on.

How we handle it? I am very blunt and have no problem telling people it isn't OK, but considering how over-the-top giving my wife is, I've just accepted that it will never totally stop. A few of the people (ie. one specific cousin), we have mutually agreed that we won't spend much time with, but I just choose my battles

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by pkcrafter » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:54 am

Bostonbutterfly, you should look at this from your guest's side--a two week all expenses paid vacation! It's nice to have family visit, but it does not feel good when you realize you are being taken advantage of. Two weeks with any guests would be more than I could take. Whether the guests pay or not, your entire schedule, personal plans, and normal lifestyle routine are thrown off.

Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by BostonButterfly » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:55 am

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:44 am
BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:05 am

Over the last month, we have had two separate family visits where they stayed with us for almost two weeks each. We ended up paying for essentially everything – on both visits. I realize they were our guests, but not once did anyone offer to pick up a dinner tab, contribute to the grocery costs, contribute to alcohol costs………………nothing. I honestly think it’s because they think we now have the money to foot the bill. The truth is, yes – technically we have the money, but any extra money we spend is money not saved for retirement. We live on a tight budget, and that’s WHY we have some money stashed away. Our goal is to retire in ten years. We have a plan to reach that goal. But that plan does not include footing the bill for people who suddenly think we should be.

This is really bothering me. I don’t want to be thought of as cheap if we don’t foot the bill. We are generous people, but we don’t want to be taken advantage of. All we would like is for things to be fair.

I’m curious how others here handle this kind of thing. I don’t have anyone to talk to about this kind of thing, and I’ll go out on a limb and assume people here on this forum have some sound advice!
Welcome to the club. We are far from wealthy, but the fact that we are able to buy cars in cash, cashflow my wife's education, and save makes us fabulously wealthy in the eyes of our family members, especially on my wife's side. Her parent's lived with us for most of 2016, never contributed a penny to utilities or groceries (both which tripled during their stay) and her father drove our spare car and never paid for any maintenance and probably paid for the gas he used once or twice. The car thing got so prevalent - they moved out, but he still was borrowing the car almost weekly- that we just gave it to him a few weeks ago; at least the maintenance is on him now. During the time they lived with us, they would even would plan family parties (at our home, without our knowledge) and then ask us to take them to stores so we could purchase all the food and decorations. Her parents and sister will invite us to activities, and then when we get there, expect us to cover the cost for everybody. Her cousin has also done the same thing on several occasions. I could go on and on and on.

How we handle it? I am very blunt and have no problem telling people it isn't OK, but considering how over-the-top giving my wife is, I've just accepted that it will never totally stop.

Oh my, stoptothink! That is brutal! I can't imagine that, on so many levels! But, like you, we do not consider ourselves wealthy. Others evidently think otherwise. This is a first for us, and I find it difficult to deal with. It sounds petty, given what's going on in the world, I know. I think this is the only place I could ever say these things.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by BostonButterfly » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:01 am

pkcrafter wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:54 am
Bostonbutterfly, you should look at this from your guest's side--a two week all expenses paid vacation! It's nice to have family visit, but it does not feel good when you realize you are being taken advantage of. Two weeks with any guests would be more than I could take. Whether the guests pay or not, your entire schedule, personal plans, and normal lifestyle routine are thrown off.

Paul
Exactly! We are so exhausted. An entire month of our summer, which is short to begin with, has been consumed by entertaining. Everything is out of schedule - everything. The second family visit ends tonight. They are heading home tonight. I feel like I will turn to my wife and say, "So, how are you? I haven't seen you in a month!" Not good........

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:03 am

Magical thinking. People who don't know how to manage their own money don't know how you manage yours. Really, it is just a mystery to them so they assume you have special magic money powers and they don't think any more about it.

Your job is to do 3 things, now that you know family will act this way:
- Decide how generous you can be, and where to draw the line.
- Communicate that decision before the next guest shows up
- Remind them/enforce the decision, or quit issuing invitations

You might also consider posting a chore list and assigning chores to guests that stay for more than a day or 2.

And remember that even if you get maneuvered into paying more than your fair share of the bills, it's better to be in your position than theirs.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:05 am

BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:01 am
pkcrafter wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:54 am
Bostonbutterfly, you should look at this from your guest's side--a two week all expenses paid vacation! It's nice to have family visit, but it does not feel good when you realize you are being taken advantage of. Two weeks with any guests would be more than I could take. Whether the guests pay or not, your entire schedule, personal plans, and normal lifestyle routine are thrown off.

Paul
Exactly! We are so exhausted. An entire month of our summer, which is short to begin with, has been consumed by entertaining. Everything is out of schedule - everything. The second family visit ends tonight. They are heading home tonight. I feel like I will turn to my wife and say, "So, how are you? I haven't seen you in a month!" Not good........
I'll ease my earlier comment to say that it's understandable that you feel burned out. That is a lot of hosting, and I think it's quite rude to not offer to help with anything. Even when we do carry more of the financial load for a trip, everyone pitches in with dishes, cleaning, even watching the kids so my wife and I can go out.

I hope you've found some helpful points in this thread, and that you're able to recuperate. Take some breather time before you really address things going forward, as the wounds are still "fresh" - and possibly still being inflicted!

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by General Disarray » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:11 am

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:03 am
Magical thinking. People who don't know how to manage their own money don't know how you manage yours. Really, it is just a mystery to them so they assume you have special magic money powers and they don't think any more about it.
This and, in my experience, people who are financially irresponsible (and irresponsible in other ways too) simply lack consideration for others. And they lack overall class. They go on vacation and end up mooching off of people, including relatives, without even thinking about reciprocating. They may even feel entitled. Yet, they don't realize how much effort, work, energy, and $ are involved in hosting people, even if for a short time. All of those resources and energies expended multiply when it is not just a single person visiting but a whole family.

I would limit invitations to them in the future.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by prudent » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:14 am

Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by runner540 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:21 am

Da5id wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:23 am
BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:11 am
Interesting that you comment on helping with dishes and such. Nope. The first guests, very little. But the second guests - not once. No help with prep, no help with cleanup. I felt like a waitress. Again, I feel terrible for saying these things, but its true. And I don't want to feel this way about family.
Huh. I was brought up to be a good guest. To make things as easy as possible for my hosts. To clear the table, offer help cooking, strip the beds and carry down the linens to the laundry when leaving. To offer to take them out to dinner. If non-family, to bring a gift of some sort as well (we don't do that inside family). I don't think money is the issue, it is the guests values :(
+1 makes life a lot easier and more fun

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by DomDangelina » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:23 am

BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:01 am
We are so exhausted. An entire month of our summer, which is short to begin with, has been consumed by entertaining. Everything is out of schedule - everything. The second family visit ends tonight. They are heading home tonight. I feel like I will turn to my wife and say, "So, how are you? I haven't seen you in a month!" Not good........
Now that it's over, it's time for some serious self-reflection. Ask yourselves, "What is it about us that made them feel they had license to treat us that way?" People treat us as we teach them to treat us.
"Often the remedy causes the disease. It is by no means the least of life's rules: to let things alone." | Baltasar Gracián, S.J., The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Maxim 121

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by freebeer » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:27 am

Nowizard wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:43 am
This is a very common issue for anyone with a vacation home, a pick-up truck or who lives in a tourist or seaside area. It is a new experience when you are a very considerate person and discover others have different views from your own. Basically, you have the choices of either establishing your boundaries or erecting ones that others cannot penetrate. Either approach involves a period of time and some situations that are uncomfortable until the guidelines are established.

Tim
Maybe it's common... but when I stay with someone for more than overnight I always try hard to take them out to something and/or shop for and cook at least a meal, and I would be quite surprised if I had house guests who didn't do likewise (and have never had that happen, barring for example very young nephews/students ... and even then a feeble check grab by them has been de rigeur even if I end up paying always). But maybe there are cultural factors at work here and in some cultures it is typical for hosts to cover everything and rude to even do the pro forma check grab. So if OP's guests aren't from such a culture I would think something is amiss on the part of OP's guests.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by BostonButterfly » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:29 am

DomDangelina wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:23 am

Now that it's over, it's time for some serious self-reflection. Ask yourselves, "What is it about us that made them feel they had license to treat us that way?" People treat us as we teach them to treat us.
Well said. Thank you. I'm sure there will be much discussion. Thankfully, I know my wife feels the same way.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by stoptothink » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:40 am

General Disarray wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:11 am
NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:03 am
Magical thinking. People who don't know how to manage their own money don't know how you manage yours. Really, it is just a mystery to them so they assume you have special magic money powers and they don't think any more about it.
This and, in my experience, people who are financially irresponsible (and irresponsible in other ways too) simply lack consideration for others. And they lack overall class. They go on vacation and end up mooching off of people, including relatives, without even thinking about reciprocating. They may even feel entitled. Yet, they don't realize how much effort, work, energy, and $ are involved in hosting people, even if for a short time. All of those resources and energies expended multiply when it is not just a single person visiting but a whole family.
I have a wealthy aunt who owns a multi-million $ home on the beach in San Diego. She is a pretty recent widow and lives in the home alone, naturally, a lot of family members stay at her home when vacationing. And she does enjoy their company. We recently spent 9-days visiting family and friends in California, and stayed 3 days with her. We asked her nearly a year in advance, insisted on paying for her ticket when she accompanied us (and her daughter and grandchildren) to the zoo, brought groceries with us and cooked all meals for us and her, and brought her several hundred dollars in product from my employer (which she normally buys retail). She was overjoyed, and delved quite a bit of dirt to us about other family members. She said that a few of them have literally shown up at her doorstep , with no prior notice, and asked to stay for extended periods (my stepsister did this just a few months ago, and brought two friends), and that we were the first to provide our own food, let alone provide for hers as well. We received a thank you note in the mail from her saying how much she enjoyed spending time with us. I left a little angry at a few of my family members; definitely proved your statement.
Last edited by stoptothink on Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by Gnirk » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:40 am

I understand your situation, as we have a similar one. We are retired and have a snowbird house in the desert, and often host couples from home, some of whom visit us every year. And at times we feel some of our friends really take advantage of our hospitality and generosity, but that may be partly our fault for not knowing how to speak up. Although we have finally put a limit of one week for house guests.

For example, we pick them up at the airport, and from then on become their cook, bartenders, chauffeurs and tour guides during their stay. One couple always wants to take day-long trips every day, and seldom, if ever, do they offer to fill the gas tank or buy a meal. Plus, it's exhausting for me. I have no problem hosting meals at home, or being a tour guide for infrequent visitors. However, when we go out for meals, we now ask for separate checks. I told my husband I think we should our annual visitors to rent a car when they come to visit from now on, so that they can do some exploring on their own, which would give us a little quiet time. Haven't figured out how to do that nicely since we have two cars, and I'm not comfortable with loaning them our cars.

By the way, whenever we stay with friends or family, we always rent a car, and offer to take them out to dinner every night.

My thoughts are:
Limit stays to one week.
Ask them to rent a car, if they're flying in.
Take turns hosting dinners, we provide dinner one night, they provide it the next night and so on. Doesn't matter if it's dinner out, or dinner in. Oh, yeah, I like that idea!!!

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by BostonButterfly » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:47 am

I had a feeling I wasn't the only one dealing with issues like these. The amount of responses to my original post is comforting in a way, yet sad that so many can relate.

I really appreciate all of your responses!

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Re: Other people's perception of your finances

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:02 pm

BostonButterfly wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:47 am
I had a feeling I wasn't the only one dealing with issues like these. The amount of responses to my original post is comforting in a way, yet sad that so many can relate.

I really appreciate all of your responses!

It's definitely a common concern. You've received a lot of good advice. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you are consistent and follow through. If you set up rules and don't follow them consistently it may get worse: you will still be exploited and people will hold grudges.

Victoria
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