Skip to main content

Do you care when other people call you cheap? Or do you wear it like a badge of honor?

I recently got this letter from a woman whose aunt died. She hadn't seen her aunt in 30 years, yet she was being asked to chip in $500 for the funeral. https://www.thepennyhoarder.co...ed-for-aunt-funeral/ She's always been frugal, so she refused. Now she's worried that her family is mad at her.

I agree that $500 is a lot of money for someone you haven't seen in a long time. I think the letter writer made the right decision by not giving $500. But she's been losing sleep over the fact that her family might be angry at her.

This is a tough one. I'm proud to be cheap when I'm getting a good deal. I like to brag about my frugal habits, like driving cars forever and being several iPhones behind the world. But it's tough when someone is pressuring you to open up your wallet. I get why the letter writer feels self-conscious. When everyone else is contributing toward a cause or to help out someone else, most of us really don't want to look cheap.

Do your friends or family members ever criticize you for being cheap? If so, how do you handle?

Robin Hartill aka Dear Penny is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I could care less what my family members or anybody in this world call me, I've been called every swear word that you can think of and I just say thank you, who told you my name. I would not contribute $500.00 nor $50.00 for anyone's funeral expense. I did pay for my Mothers Cremation and never asked for any help. I did shop around at various Crematorimuns and only one place told me if you pay in cash I will give you a discount and that was from the owner of the place. When my mother's sisters and brothers found out about the discount, I got called lots of different names, so I told them FINE you pay her bill in full, and not a word was said nor did they offer money towards anything. I have not seen them nor heard from them since  January 2007 when that happened and it has never bothered me.

P.S. I work in U.S. Government Transportation so I've heard everything.

I find this one of the toughest questions presented here. Certainly not seeing an Aunt for 30 years gives me pause because that seems like an Aunt by circumstance only! However, I think I'd have to look further to see who else might be suffering a hardship. For instance, is there a bright young child of hers who might be a potential super-star but is struggling financially with further education? Or the fact that I didn't contribute $500 put another burden on my sisters/brothers who had to make up the difference? I think one also has to make sure contributing to someone doesn't cause a huge financial issue for themselves.  For myself, the adults in my family do not exchange Christmas gifts and we've agreed to donate that savings to a charity of our choices.  I don't think there is anything wrong with making  family part of that charity in a situation like this. Is there an obligation to help pay for the Aunt's funeral.........nope. Does the act generate a lot of good will and reap some emotional rewards? It would for me. This is one of those questions that likely needs more information, it can be complicated.

For the specific issue of chipping in for aunt's funeral - if niece was allowed a say in the arrangements and there was compromise from all for least expensive options where possible, I'd agree niece could chip in an amount she felt comfortable contributing.

Do I care if people think I'm cheap. Nope! When you care what others think of you, you are giving them power in your life. In the past I was bothered by the tag of "cheap" but I've grown to embrace it and claim it. I'm healthier for it because I can sleep at night instead of worrying about a pile of bills my salary can't cover. My house is about paid off and I'm saving for a new roof. I plan to have at least half the amount needed before I call a roofer. Am I cheap or smarter than the average bear?

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×