Don’t Judge a Person by their Cabinets (or style)

As you all know I spent some time this month at my sister’s house helping her out with her kids and her new baby. There were 2 adults, 4 eating children and a baby.  That’s a lot of people to feed!

The first two days I was there my sister was in the hospital.  I quickly made myself familiar with her cabinets, fridge and pantry.  Now, my sister is a military wife and grew up in the same home I did.  She may not take frugality to the extreme I do but she does not spend over the top on much of anything.

So, it was to my surprise that most everything she had in her pantry was a “name brand” so to speak.  However, as I started making meals and feeding our large crew I began to see a pattern.  She had multiples of items, items that didn’t go with a ‘regular’ meal she would cook and some singlets of items.

After some snooping around I realized that my sister is a coupon shopper.  She uses both manufacturer and store coupons to buy most everything in her kitchen.  She can fill her pantry with the items she does because she takes the time to search out a deal, stock pile and is willing to buy items her family will eat, even if they seem a little “off” from her usual cooking style.

I confess, I absolutely judged how she was spending her grocery money.  Shame on me!  I definitely don’t want people to judge my family for our frugality, I should practice what I preach!

You would think by this time in our week I would be over my judgmental self but no, I apparently need to be hit over the head with a pan.

My sister has always had a much desired sense of style.  She is very “cute”.  I always figured it was because she spent an outrageous amount of money on clothes.  I have always thought it was crazy that she always has a “new” dress, outfit or bathing suit.  I mean, I would NEVER spend that kind of money on clothes.  (Seriously, can someone get a hold of their pride already!)

However, one of the other things I was doing to help out was laundry.  I saw a lot of both my sister’s clothes and my nieces clothes. I was really surprised to notice that very few of any of the clothes were expensive brands.  They were bought locally, inexpensively and some were even trades or hand me downs from friends.

I applaud that my sister carries on her really fun and relaxed sense of style without breaking the bank.  And as I was thinking about this (and feeling guilty for placing so much judgement) I was thinking about this 100/100 project and you, the readers.

Frugality is not something that can always be seen on the outside. This goes for those that don’t look frugal and those that do.  Unless you really know someone it is nearly impossible to tell from a first glance if someone is or is not a spender or a saver.

In that light, frugality is not something to be judged.  I am one of the biggest offenders of this, and I myself do not want to be judged on how I save or spend my money!  Frugality and spending are both very personal choices.  It is unfair to judge someone based on how frugal or spendy they are.  It really is a matter of the heart and everyone’s thought process is different.

Neither of these things are a license to be irresponsible with money or to ignore financial irresponsibility in yourself or others.

It is a reminder that finances are a personal and relational matter.  How you choose to treat your money is, in the end, your own decision.  If you have close personal friends that you share your financial journey with listen to what they have to say and take it to heart.  They are the people who you have chosen to share with and they may have great insight into what you can do better or differently to achieve your goals.

The same applies to you.  If you have a good relationship with someone who is sharing their financial journey with you be encouraging.  Ask their permission to speak truthfully and only give true answers when asked your opinion and input.

As for me, you can all keep me accountable to not be judgmental of others and their finances.  Those that choose to share their financial journey’s online (like myself) are opening themselves up to both praise and criticism.

People who I see in passing or don’t know closely deserve my unconditional respect!

Do unto others absolutely applies to me!

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~ by Rachael Judd on July 20, 2010.

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