Save. Spend. Splurge.

Would these money microaggressions bother you?

Would these money microagressions bother you?


Money microaggressions as Michelle points out, are things like:

  • You go into a shop ( and have money) but the shopkeepers assume you don’t.
  • You live in a small home (even though you can afford more) people assume you don’t have a lot of money because you have a small home.
  • You use coupons to save money.
  • You bought a small car for cash people make fun of you.

I don’t really have a problem with not being served because of my race, but I do find that at car dealerships, women are not taken seriously especially for negotiations, which is why I end up having a bitchface on at those places to get my price (I’m used to it, with my having to negotiate for my contract rates).

Other than that, I don’t really care if people see that I drive a beater car.

Or that I rent instead of own a place at my age.


Or that I bring my own lunch to work because I don’t want to eat out.

Or that I don’t own a cellphone because it’s unnecessary, which really surprises and bothers a lot of people.

On the surface, to lots of people it looks like I’m frugal / poor / cheap… but if you read my blog, I am far from that.

In any case, it doesn’t bother me. I’d rather have people think I’m poor, than rich. You get less crap that way, and I’m the only one (aside from all you readers) who knows that I’m financially secure and couldn’t give 2 rat’s behinds about whether or not it looks good for my image.

The only thing I can concede where people might think I have money or at least, like to spend it, is that I dress very well, even casually, compared to what other people wear on a regular basis.

My funniest money microaggression story was when I walked into Chanel the other day in Toronto in Yorkville and was ignored by 2 saleswomen helping a rich Chinese couple. The lady was getting a Chanel sweater tailored to her body, and they were all sitting around chatting.

I am 100% convinced I was ignored even though I passed by them at least 5 times, for a few reasons:

  1. I am young
  2. I was not wearing designer anything or logo-ified anything from head to toe

(For the record, I was dressed in a simple dress with a light blazer and ballet flats.)

They were right though.

I wasn’t going to buy anything but I just wanted to try on a Chanel tweed jacket to see what it felt like and what size I was (US 4-6 with tailoring, apparently).

Mostly because Cate wore this jacket in Blue Jasmine that I fell in love with… and am OBSESSED WITH RIGHT NOW.


I had to actually go up and ask a Chanel saleswoman for help before they would help me, and it wasn’t until then that she realized I could potentially be an actual customer.

In fact, the security guard was the one who saw me repeatedly wandering around the store in a circle, and asked me if he should go get someone to help me. At least SOMEONE was being a professional at their job.

*shrug* Did it bother me? Not really.

She was at work, and I wasn’t, on a weekday by choice.

That pretty much says it all.


  • Bridget

    late replying to this..

    Sometimes it bothers me, sometimes it doesn’t. The shopkeepers have always confused me — it’s not really fair that they assume I don’t have enough money to buy things from there when they’re working retail for a living amirite???

  • Clare

    Help me understand this sentence: “She was at work, and I wasn’t, on a weekday by choice. That pretty much says it all.”

    • save. spend. splurge.

      She was being snobby to me thinking I didn’t have money being a young person, but I was the one with the money as I don’t really have to work, but she does.

  • Melissa

    Two things: 1) I LOVE CATE!! And that outfit! DYING! I don’t look a thing like Cate B though, and I’m pretty sure I’d like atrocious trying to pull that look off. But that jacket. Such a yes!

    2) I HATE when retail workers are rude because they think you’re poor! I was a retail worker and I never treated anyone poorly because of how they looked… but I also hated my job so… But yeah, I’ve had sales associates ignore me because I was wearing my sloppy clothes. Sometimes I like to just buy things on purpose to show I can afford it (and because I was going in to buy something anyway…) So there! 🙂

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Cate is an excellent actress!! Her outfits in this movie were drool worthy.

      I agree with being rude but that applies to life in general not just in retail I think.

  • Alexis

    I have felt like that a few times. Having people walk past you or not take you that seriously, just like in the movie Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts. No one takes her seriously because she is basically dressed up as a hooker (which that was her profession in the movie) but she actually had tons of money!

  • Lila

    “She was at work, and I wasn’t, on a weekday by choice. That pretty much says it all.”

    I loved this comment! I used to work in retail and I HATED rude customers. So it annoys me when I hear or encounter rude customer service reps. My bf worked for years as a software developer and decided he wanted to take a break, he has been working since he was 18/19.

    So he quit working and has lived off his savings since April 2012. One of my girlfriends thought it was gross that he wasn’t working at all and said, “When is he going to get a job?” Then she made a face and it was clear she didn’t approve.

    My hairstylist asked me if I was supporting us. My parents thought he should at least get a part-time job. A male friend of mine thought my bf was depriving himself and our relationship because my bf is the frugal type.

    People could not believe that he had that much savings to pay his share of the bills and that I wasn’t supporting us. Even when I explain to people that he’s very frugal and good at saving money, people just can’t believe it.

    I think its because most people are poor savers and when they encounter super savers they think we are depriving ourselves. Many people equate frugality with deprivation.

  • Anne @ Money Propeller

    Your second bullet point about the house. This one happens to us ALL THE TIME. It’s nuts. Now I counter with “we own it outright” in varying degrees of bluntness.

  • J. Money

    I actually LIKE it when people assume I’m just a poor slacker – they leave me alone and then are pleasantly surprised if/when they find out I’m a money lover 🙂 Which isn’t hard to impress upon them, what with my mohawk and smashed up (literally) ghetto caddilac, haha… Sometimes it’s hard for adults to take me seriously like in a meeting or serious convo at first, but other than that doesn’t bother me much. Interesting to think about though – good post.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I’m the same way, minus the Mohawk 😉

      People assume that I spend a lot of money if they just see me as-is with my outfits because I tend to dress up. Then they’re surprised when I bring my own lunch, have a cheap car, etc. I get both ends of that stick.

  • Gia T.

    The rest of it doesn’t really bother me, except being ignored in a shop. That really toasts my cookies. But then again it’s really the company’s loss for two reasons:

    1. If I had money and was planning to buy something then and there, they just lost a sale.
    2. Even if I wasn’t planning on buying anything, I’d remember their attitude and avoid patronizing that shop in the future when I did have the money.

  • Cindy

    I loooooove bringing my lunch to work. No one judges at work (at least I don’t think they do), but even if they did, I wouldn’t care. There’s comfort in eating my warmed up meal in front of my computer while I read Save Spend Splurge. hahaha
    I’ve never actually calculated it, but I’m sure I save a gazillion dollars by not spending $10 a day on lunch.

  • Debbie M

    I rarely experience money microaggressions or when I do, I’m too clueless to notice. It probably helps that I live in a super casual town.

    Like you, I’d rather people think I’m not rich so that I get bothered less. This is why I’m a little worried letting people know when I retire (I’ll be 52 years old and thus looking a little too rich and like I’ll have a little too much free time).

    Most people aren’t shocked by my lifestyle–except my co-workers. They can’t believe I don’t have kids or even pets. I must be some kind of sicko. At least some of them also take the bus to work and bring their own lunches.

    A friend of mine has the invisibility problem. Everyone else gets helped before her. She has taken merchandize to the door to set off an alarm to get attention! I only have the problem where people can’t hear me well, so they just guess at what I am asking for.

  • Charlotte

    *shrug* Did it bother me? Not really.

    She was at work, and I wasn’t, on a weekday by choice.

    That pretty much says it all.

    Ha!!! Great attitude.
    I also pack my lunch almost every day and although I have a cell phone, it’s a clunker old Android that I just can’t be bothered to upgrade.

  • Michelle

    Oh yes, I used to always bring my lunch to work (now that I work from home, that doesn’t really apply anymore). I brought my lunch to work when I was a retail manager, and I also brought it when I was a financial analyst. I just hated wasting my lunch break in my car, so I would eat in my office and enjoy that more. People always thought I was crazy because I would only go out for lunch a few times a month and that was usually only because I forgot to bring my lunch (there were numerous times when I would leave it on the kitchen counter and kick myself all the way to work).

    LOVE that jacket 🙂

  • Kate @ Money Propeller

    Glad to hear about that good security guard, this is why sometimes I hate going out to department stores even if some sales staff saw me already, as if I’m invisible. That Chanel tweed jacket is really beautiful!

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