It’s interesting how moneyless people think so many things are beneath them. They have such high standards. Standards that are in no way representative of their actual financial condition.
When we think of divas, we envision an over the top woman decked out in high-end clothing and gaudy jewelry. We think of a haughty shrew who walks with her nose in the air, dates men who are twice her age, and recoils in terror when sticky fingered children go near her.
But do we ever think of ourselves as the true divas? Men you’re not exempt. Just because you don’t spit on the homeless doesn’t mean you haven’t embraced a bloated sense of self that rivals that of Ocho Cinco or Manny Ramirez.
Over the years, I’ve witnessed people pass on products and services that could’ve saved them money, that should’ve saved them money, if only they would’ve stopped being divas.
I used to take a 15 hour train ride from Washington, D.C. down to Jacksonville, FL to visit my family. My willingness to use an alternative to air travel over a long distance drew a lot of puzzling stares. I’m still criticized when I opt to take a bus to New York instead of a plane. It can be so much cheaper, and at times, faster, than flying.
The most common reason for snubbing public ground transportation is that “time is money.” That’s not a compelling argument for someone who’s long on time and short on money. Besides, you don’t have to stare into space with your mouth agape when you’re stuck on a train or bus. You can, uh, I dunno, read.
The problem many people have with more economical modes of transportation is they feel entitled to better. Convenience is wonderful, and there’s nothing wrong with paying a premium for it when you can afford to do so. But when you can’t, I have to ask: Are you truly getting good value for your money or are you being a diva?
Instead of justifying your irrational decision to overspend, look for reasons to spend as little as possible while still achieving the desired result.
Before the weather changed, I would park close enough to the office to walk, but far enough from it so I didn’t have to pay for street parking. A friend of mine couldn’t understand why I’d waste my time walking a half a mile to the office instead of parking in the garage. It’s quite simple really: 1) It saved me money and 2) It was about all the exercise I’d get each day. The objective was to get to work safely and on time. To the extent I can reach that goal without spending money, I’m doing it.
When I suggested a friend scour Freecycle for a no cost baby bed for her pregnant sister, I was cut short with a smug “Oh, we’re not doing that used stuff.” Wha?! I held my tongue, but my thoughts were, “your sister doesn’t have any money, and you don’t either!” I reckon my friend could’ve found some really nice stuff for her niece on Freecycle if she’d abandoned her divaesque ways. I mean how much damage could a baby do to a piece of furniture?
I hope this still isn’t the case, but I have a family member who refuses to eat leftovers. She won’t even let her children eat them. Personally, I quite enjoy leftovers. The flavors have the opportunity to marinate overnight, and you don’t have to cook them. They’re delicious. If you’re financially well off, then I guess it’s okay to be wasteful. If you aren’t, the only thing more egregious than turning your nose up at leftovers is turning your nose up at leftovers that were purchased with food stamps.
One of my favorite sayings is “I ain’t too good.”
I ain’t too good to catch the bus.
I ain’t too good to accept free, yet used, stuff from perfect strangers.
I ain’t too good to eat leftovers.
But high pulp orange juice is where I draw the line.
What habits have you adopted that you were once too good for? Now that you know better, what can you give up that no longer offers good value for your money?