I have a huge problem with my husband’s family. They don’t understand there is a difference between being frugal and being cheap. They constantly complain at how “cheap” we are and badmouthing me as a negative influence because my husband “was never cheap” before we got married.
We are not spending any extra money when not needed because we hope to buy a house in the next 2 years and want to have a good down payment for it. That means that we balked at going to visit his family this Christmas because we knew that doing so would mean that we would have to buy everyone there (13 people in all) gifts of $50 or more and we don’t want to waste that much money.
When they were disappointed that we declined to go this year, they became very worried as to why we couldn’t make it. I felt it was best to be honest and explained the situation. I said we’d love to go if we could skip the gift giving. They in turn told me that I do not value their family traditions at all and I’m nothing but a cheap and petty daughter-in-law.
I am trying to figure out a way to explain the difference between being cheap and being frugal to them that they will understand. How do you show this to people who seem not to understand? What should I say to them? I’m looking for any example that might get through to them so they can understand our situation and why we are trying to save money – G. H.
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