It did not happen all at once, but rather it happened over time.
I stopped going out to work lunches as often as I used to. I stopped going to coffee shops with co-workers. I started to bring my own lunches and my own coffee to work.
Surprisingly enough, I do not miss the fancy lattes that I used to drink at least twice a week. I also don’t miss my lunches with colleagues. My work responsibilities doubled within the last year or so, and time-wise I cannot afford a two-hour lunch outside of the office. Of course, I still get out here and there. Just not as often as I used to.
I have to admit that I like these changes. First, my bank account is much healthier. Second, I lost four pounds just by bringing food to work. Third, my work became more efficient.
However, I also noticed that some people think that I became anti-social. Curious enough, they started asking me questions that they never bothered to ask me before:
“Are you saving money for your next vacation?”
“Do you have a lot of bills to pay?”
“Are you in debt? How much do you owe?”
People’s quick curiosity blows me away. First of all, I don’t think I should explain myself to anyone (well, maybe my mother if she asks me about it.) Second, I am surprised that people, who are not even my close friends, feel that it is okay to question someone else’s financial choices.
What makes it okay for them to intrude into my financial life? No one asks me if I had sex with Beaker over the weekend, so why is it okay to ask me if I am saving money for my next vacation or if I have a lot of bills to pay? I cannot imagine myself asking someone whom I barely know these type of questions.
Lunches run quite expensive in downtown Salt Lake. If you are not a fan of street vendors and tacos, your lunch options will range from $15 to $20. Two lunches a week add up to $40. You do the math!
I don’t think I have to defend my decisions. I am not a frugal person. I am definitely not anti-social. I enjoy good company and fun conversations over delicious food. I enjoy the experience. However, it doesn’t mean that I will do it with everyone who hovers over me in my cubicle and asks if I want to go out to lunch.
I found it fascinating that people tend to get very judgmental when it gets to socializing and financial life of others. I guess when people don’t understand someone, they tend to make up things to fill in the void created by non-comprehension.