Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
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Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by C40 »

Do you lie to your family or friends about things you do related to ERE? If so, what? Why?

** I'm talking about intentional, clear lying - telling a person something about yourself that is absolutely not true. (For example - NOT things like saying "I just want to take some time off" when you quit - that is technically true, it's just not the whole story)

** Exclude co-workers here.. we've talked through that a lot and there are different reasons for lying or not sharing info at work

Why I'm asking: (what made me think about this)

I traveled last weekend. I used couchsurfing to make arrangements for a place to stay, but I realized the day before leaving I had used the wrong dates - and thus didn't have a place to stay. While making the couchsurfing plans I decided that if it didn't work out, I'd sleep in my car. I've done it before but it's been 5+ years since, so I thought it'd be good to do. So I slept in the car. It went fine. I have a gym membership with a national chain so I had the ease of showering there. Some parts of it were significantly better than staying in a hotel (it's way simpler, no hassle of reservations/checking in/paying/carting my stuff around).

I was talking with my mom on the phone while driving down, and when she asked me if I was staying in the same hotel I had other times, I told her I had couchsurfing arrangements and would do that. I think I just didn't want her to worry about me doing something strange.

Now that I've thought about it afterwords, couchsurfing really doesn't seem any less strange than sleeping in my car, and also not any less safe. My mom knows that I do things differently than most people, and she knows these are thoughtful and intentional decisions. But for some reason, I just didn't feel like telling her.

If I had been talking to my Grandma, I would've just lied to her and said hotel, and not though twice about it. She worries a lot. She'll still worry about me even when she knows that I have everything under control and that I'd be able to handle any problems. With my mom, I didn't really have a need to lie to her. She wasn't going to worry, or think I was crazy, or anything like that. I just didn't feel like giving an explanation at the moment. So when I considered it afterwords I thought it was kind of stupid to lie to her, and was contemplating why I did so.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by RealPerson »

There are different kind of lies. I know, because my teenagers lie to me all the time. One kind of lie that I think would be unacceptable is lying to get something you otherwise would not receive. For example, telling someone that you are sleeping in a car because you are out of money, and then asking for money to stay in a hotel. That is a form of stealing.

Lying to diplomatically keep somebody out of your personal affairs is commonplace. If your neighbor asks "how are you doing?", they prefer to hear the untrue "just fine" as opposed to the honest answer that you had a terrible day and want to explain it all.

Without spouse and kids, and providing for your own needs, you are not required to let anyone in on your personal affairs.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by bibacula »

My friends and family already know me, so I tell them the truth.

I lie to strangers frequently, though. If I tell people that I don't have to work anymore, they think I'm loaded with money. Some try to borrow money or find a way to take advantage.

The ERE way is so unusual that I can't explain it in just a few words, so lately I've been telling strangers that I'm a freelance writer. They understand why I watch my expenses that way. :)

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by DutchGirl »

Since I have a little niece, I can understand how older people worry about you. She was so small and is still so dependent on others; hard to believe that one day she'll be allowed and able to travel all through Europe on a youth holiday railway ticket. I guess that's what your grandmother still remembers, C40. :D

I'm considering not talking about my finances or even lie about it. I read somewhere: visualize your ERE plans. And I did and all I could think was: oh dear, people will know I have money, and time, and will guilt trip me into spending it on them. Imagine my parents get ill or handicapped, I can imagine my sister (especially, but maybe also my brother) thinking things like "Oh, Dutchgirl has all the time in the world, she should go to the hospital with them for their checkup / clean their house / do their shopping. I'm busy, she's not.". Maybe it's mean from me to think this, but I think there's a chance it'll go like this. And while I actually also envision using some of my free time to be meaningful to other people, I don't want to ERE for the sole purpose of doing the dirty and boring jobs for free :-) .

I don't know what will happen, of course.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by riparian »

Tricky question.

I tell people I'm just frugal and do odd jobs, which isn't completely untrue.

I definitely lie about sleeping in my truck - people feel obligated to Do Something.

I lie about my writing cause I don't want people in real life to read about my sex life - but I tell them I write freaky porn they wouldn't wanna read.

It seems like I'm always either trying not to act too rich around my poor friends or trying not to say things that would worry my richer friends.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

I tend not to, for two reasons. First, I'm realizing more and more that--probably to my own detriment--I seem to be the idiotic idealist type who's constantly proselytizing the benefits of this lifestyle. I seem to have little problem countering everyone's arguments with a smile on my face and a calculator in hand. (Of course, I only bother to do this with people I actually want to help. Coworkers, my girlfriend's wealthy family, and other lost souls don't warrant the effort. For them, it's more of a smile and a nod, like, "You got me, I'm just soooo crazy, ain't I?" But I still generally tell the truth, I just don't care about their opinion.)

The other reason is that in my experience lying in general is not a good idea. Then you have to keep track of all your own lies. Psychopaths are good at this. Surprisingly, I am not.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by lilacorchid »

I tell *a* truth, just not 100% of the truth. I normally tell people we are "doing okay" or our expenses are low. I imagine they think we are spending a lot because I definitely have some luxuries in our little house. They don't realise all the thought that goes into those purchases.

I suppose I should be more truthful and stop contributing to the cultural lie, but like others have said, I don't want people taking advantage of me. If someone wanted to discuss what I'm doing, I'm all up for it, but I have yet to find someone who actually wants to know, vs look at my life like it's a freak show.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by rube »

Mostly I am pretty open about it to family friends, coworkers. Some friends have the same view on money, so they get it (and partly follow ERE lifestyle also).
My boss (who I hardly see/talk to) and some others (like neighbors) I just don't tell anything about the plans. I don't see it as lying, I don't ask (or care) about their finances either.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by champ0608 »

My form of ERE isn't really all that extreme in most visual aspects. an outsider looking in would note that I live in a 440 square foot home, and that my wife an I have no car. That's about all they would note. The house is the cutest cottage you ever saw and requires no explanation, and when people ask about the car simply saying "man, gas is just damn expensive" usually gets agreeing grunts and nods.

Other than that, we look pretty normal. We dress nicely and have normal hobbies. I golf, play guitar, and brew beer. We eat well, and have some signature dishes we serve guests that they would never guess was bought on a extreme budget.

Personal finances is the only obvious area where the 100% truth gets altered. My sister-in-law is always hounding us to go out and do things that cost money. Restaurants, bars, concerts, movies, etc. There's enough in the budget to go occasionally, but usually its one excuse or another to hide the money issue.

My parents are highly supportive of the issue. They were very bad with their finances (foreclosure, IRS audits, no savings, etc) and like to see that I have money in the bank, a disciplined understanding of budgets, no debt, etc. They often call me for advice, not to tell me they're worried about my lifestyle.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by Magda »

I try not to lie about my daily choices and actions. If I lie, then I start to feel ashamed of my ERE, because it's different. That's really not a good sign. I want to be proud of my ERE and maintain that state.

I know that my parents are frightened by the idea that I rarely use car or public transportation. I try to walk as often as I can, even to a destination that is 5 kilometers from the starting point. The public transportation is not expensive, but I prefer walking because of the health reasons. I work as a webmaster so I sit on my ass for 8-9 hours a day. So instead of buying a gym membership or exercising at home (that never happened !), I choose to walk.

I also try to remember the fact, that I don't always have to feel responsible for somebody else's fear. I could do the things that my family want's me to do, but sometimes that brings me a huge disadvantage. An example: daily food. My family eats mainly polish cuisine food. I like that too but it can be quite heavy for the stomach, so I eat a lot of veggies and salads.
The problem is that they think that I'm constantly on a diet. I'm skinny so they are afraid that I will become anorexic. That's how they imagine it and I really can't do much about it.
If I feel good, strong and energetic thanks to my food choices, then I won't hide it or lie about it.

I also see that people usually get used to your ideas over some time. My parents might be afraid of my daily walking routine and food choices now, but that will become a part of my image in the future. They will eventually get used to that after seeing so many proofs of my health improvement.
So instead of lying, I try to show them the advantages of my choices. I see that my immune system got better thanks to the walking routine. I get ill once or twice a year, at most. My muscles got stronger etc.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by Felix »

I am usually pretty upfront about not caring much about pointless consumer overspending. I tell people that it just doesn't give me much, which is true. Also, regular backpack-travel has helped to justify this. Saying I'd rather go travel on a low budget for several months every few years than go to starbucks every day tends to get people's understanding. I don't see the need to lie about that.
I also tell them that the math is pretty simple, if you live on half your income, you can take every other year off if you get the employers on board. It's hard to argue with that, too.
So people just know me as this hippie-type and that's fine with me.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by djc »

White lies. For example, when people ask what I do I used to say retired and they would start to spaz out saying I was too young and who would pay for college for our daughter yadda, yadda, yadda. Also if people think your loaded with money you set yourself up as a target for lawsuits. So now I say I substitute teach--which I used to do (but don't anymore because I got sick of it after a number of years).

Only if I really want to freak people out do I just say I'm retired.


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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by CS »

It does seem prudent to not advertise it and gain unwanted attention and jealousy.

Also, feel (sometimes) bad for those with 30 years of soul sucking work ahead of them.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by akratic »

I am traveling "using savings until I run out of money". Little do they know I won't run out. We'll see who catches on first after a few years.

I do share mostly openly with people who I think will get it, it's just that those people aren't that common.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by retiredat47 »

I just feel that it's none of their business. I've known several other people who retired early (i.e. in their 40s like me) and the people who need to know the truth, do.

My parents have asked me how I'm doing financially, and I have told them, "See how aggressively I'm looking for another job?" That answers the question. Other people have asked me what I live on, and I tell them, "My old house was paid off, and I have the money safely invested." (Also true) Never mind that most of it is in long-term CDs, purchased before the interest rates tanked.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by Jpsilver »

I swear that if I told my parents my current (ERE) views on spending money/savings they wouldn't sleep for a few nights.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by James_0011 »

Yes, I lie about many of my behaviors even those not relate to ere.

It's too much work/effort to explain these sorts of things to people.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by Jean »

I virtually never lied to my parents, now my mom doesn't worry to much about what I do. She just wan't to know that I'm fine regularly.
That's very nice.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by FrugalFred »

I went out with colleagues one night and we got talking about money. I told them I save 90% of my pay check. "What are you saving for?" one girl asked. "A vacation?"

"Financial freedom."

"What do you mean?" another girl asked. "Do your parents control your finances or something?"

"No." Then my voice got really solemn. "What I mean is the freedom to not work. To spend my time however I choose. To not have to answer to anyone ever again."

Silence and blank stares.

"I mean I have my eye on this wicked new Cadillac and shiet lelz."

Nods of approval and chuckles.

I've become extremely adept at blending in.

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Re: Do you lie to people about your ERE/Frugal behaviors?

Post by BRUTE »

damn 90%

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