Frugally Awesome…or Awkward: Vacation Edition

Awkward VacationFor this post, I thought I’d change things up a bit. Think of it as the awkward vacation edition. Generally, these posts are a recap of how people in my life question our money-saving choices. Since I’m writing this cozied up to the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica–seriously, our hotel’s wifi stretches all the way to the beach–I thought I would share some recent comments that I encountered while planning and taking this trip. A few focus on splurging. A few focus on frugality. And all of them left me feeling more than a little awkward.

“Wait, you’re going to pay for wi-fi?”

When I detailed our travel plans to a friend, I commented on the fact that we could probably connect online. “Wait, you’re going to pay for wifi? Isn’t that like $10?” I’m still not sure if that was a dig at how little I spend in my day-to-day living or if it was a comment about being too self-indulgent. Either way, I looked him flat in the eye and said, “It’s $8. For the day. There are worse ways to waste $1 an hour.” Boom. I was so proud. Normally, I’m all tongue tied in the discount produce aisle of the grocery store when exchanges like this happen.

“We could never afford a $10,000 trip.”

As we recounted our travel itinerary to Mr. P’s coworkers, we didn’t even get far enough to name the province in Costa Rica because they replied, “We could never afford a $10,000 trip.” You know the cartoons where the characters’ blinks become audible? Blink, blink. Blink. That was the exchange between my husband and me. What do you say to something like that? Our two friends quickly joined the blinkfest. After some uncomfortable shifting in which the only noise was the tug of the pleather chair on the back of my legs, I let out a weak, “It wasn’t even close.” And before I could say, “Southwest vacation package,” the conversation mercifully shifted.

“I recognize that bikini.”

I tried to honor my friends’ unwritten code of conduct for Facebook posts and limited my vacation photos to two so far. It’s not that they post sparingly. It’s just that these aren’t photos of food or babies or Crossfit. Much to my amusement, a friend commented that she recognized my bikini. Probably because we bought it together at least two years ago. And probably because as long as it still fits, it is going to be the last swimsuit I buy. Since, you know, finding a decent suit took nearly three decades. My reply? “I don’t think the monkeys minded.” Because seriously. There are monkeys just off the beach, and who cares about fashion when there are more pressing questions like, “Do monkeys bite?” and “How do you say rabies in Spanish?”

“I can’t wait to turn up the air conditioning.”

No sooner did we flick the lights on in our room than did my husband let out a bold declaration: “I can’t wait to turn up the air conditioning.” My initial reaction was the defend the decision to keep the temperature between 76 and 78 degrees in our house. But really, there’s no real defending it. It’s cheap. And it’s better for the environment. Did I mention it’s cheap? I opened my mouth and then promptly closed it. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? I did the honors and cranked that thermostat down. Little did I know, but 72 now feels downright chilly.

So Tell Me…What is the most awkward situation you’ve found yourself in as of late?

Note: If you haven’t already done so, check out the interview that I did with Andrew at Family Money Plan. You know, in case you need more proof that I’m awkward.

Frugally Awesome…or Awkward: Vacation Edition

17 thoughts on “Frugally Awesome…or Awkward: Vacation Edition

  1. Haha these are pretty funny. On one hand you have someone doubting your spending of $8 for internet, and on the other hand you have people assuming your spending $10,000! You know what they say about people who assume things, right?
    Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

  2. “How do you say rabies in Spanish”. Thanks Penny. You provided my Monday laugh. You need to carry bananas along with your sunscreen. We’ve had no awkward situations recently regarding money but may have some next weekend after seeing my family. Our cousins will find out we’re quitting our jobs. Then again most people we know are so self involved they don’t even ask questions.

    1. Me too – lol’d at rabies line (and my husband’s awkward glance can count as my awkward move of the day…to start with at least!) So why don’t more people want to know how we do things. The Southwest package isn’t that hard to understand – is it that they just won’t do the work to figure it out – or do they really think we are in some “money scheme”…can’t figure this one out.

  3. Hey, I’m with you on paying for Wifi. I usually do so when I fly, like on a Southwest flight when it’s $8. I can crank out a few hours of work when I fly and make a whole lot more than $8, so it’s worth it. You have to pay for stuff sometimes!

  4. LMAO oh my god the blink blink blink moment is gold. Pure gold.

    And as someone who is unintentionally awkward on Facebook all the time, do you think your friend might have meant the comment as more of a “Look, a memory of us shopping together!” and less “You still have that suit?” I just find it so hard to believe that any human who has ever bathing-suit-shopped would call into question the longevity of a well-fitting, flattering suit. (If I ever need to replace my one tried-and-tested bikini I’m going to have to go back to Australia because they don’t sell the brand here. That’s how much better it is than literally every other suit I’ve ever owned. It will be with me until my dying day.)

  5. “We could never afford a $10,000 trip” – blink, blink. Love this 🙂

    Though this wasn’t recent, I’ve gotten the comment, “Well, at least I don’t have a car payment” (obviously assuming I do). To which I reply, “I know, it’s great not to have that expense each month, isn’t it?”

  6. The amount of people that told us they could NEVER afford to go to Europe… especially when their 3 kids were little was huge! Sheesh people. Now everyone thinks we’re rich and frivolous. Meanwhile, I’m over here calculating how to UP my vacation budget and STILL work toward FI. 🙂

  7. Thanks for the laughs. The title made me think of the Awkward Family Photo series, which is also gold and you can Google on your fancypants wifi 🙂

    I might have been guilty of an “I recognize that bikini” comment to my friends, but more in the spirit of “I remember the fun we had and trouble we got into that day we went shopping, thanks for the memories! And BTW it looks fabulous on you!” sense, which is how I hope you friend meant it too.

    Have a fabulous vacation!!!

  8. Ugh so many awkward moments. How about friends reading my frugal wedding series and either being offended because my views seem aggressive towards their own spending or thinking we’re being cheap. Both situations came up recently. Awkward wedding turtle.

  9. Gosh, money sure can get awkward! I think it’s great that you’re keeping your responses short—I get in trouble when I start over-explaining. For example, a friend recently noticed my two-year-old daughter’s boys’ underwear. She asked if we need girls’ panties and then made a joke referencing our blog title. It was all in good humor so I didn’t mind a bit, but I still start over-explaining: my son never wore them, they fit her, and she likes the characters on them. Then I added that I wouldn’t make my son wear girls’ panties. Awkward!

  10. Your friends get antsy if you post more than two vacation photos? I post more photos when my girlfriend and I go to the city over for a day trip. Just doing city things. (I love baby photos, too, but dag)

    It is fascinating to watch people’s assumptions. None of my coworkers know that I want to retire early, but they definitely comment negatively on me working so diligently on my skill-building. One asked what I was doing on Friday, and I responded about my plans to get so much closer to mastering this skill that will double my income. She blanched and said, “That sounds like work. Gross.” She came in on Monday exhausted, because she stayed out drinking and dancing until 5 two nights in a row. A fine choice until she wanted sympathy.

  11. Yay Costa Rica!

    Can’t speak for your friend, you know how she meant it I assume, but I would totally have called it out if I recognized your bikini but not because I thought it was weird you still had it, but rather because I’m always gonna pat myself on the back if I manage to recognize ANYTHING anyone wears. Or if it was from a shared shopping trip because I never do that and it’s a memento to me 🙂

    Heck it’s a semi-miracle if I recognize that someone got their hair cut from the last time I saw them. PiC spotted a friend’s haircut before I did and I spent the rest of our visit wondering what length it was before because I seriously can’t remember hair from four months earlier.

    I had an awkward moment when a Big Spender Type called out that she liked my (new to me) purse and I really didn’t know what to do with that because we do not see eye to eye on anything in this universe so I said yeah thanks! and shoved it back into my ratty old backpack because that’s really how you carry around a nice new purse, don’t ya know? ;D

  12. That sounds like a great vacation! I had to laugh at the end with the comment on turning the A/C on, my wife makes the same comment to me when we travel. But it is expensive to run it all the time at home and fans do an alright job! 🙂

  13. Hope you’re enjoying your time away (and not giving too much thought to the various comments). Good for you for having the right answer to your friend in the grocery store aisle. I always think of what to say about 5 hours after the conversation. My only recent encounter in which my eyes went blink. blink. blink. is when my daughter told me she couldn’t talk because she was busy watching Netflix. The prior week I had to help her pay her electric bill after she paid her cable bill instead. If she doesn’t have enough to pay her basic bills, why does she even have Netflix (in addition to cable)?

  14. Hahaha — I love all of these! Especially the “turn the AC up!” I totally do all the things in hotels that I don’t do at home — long, hot showers, cranking AC in the summer or heat in the winter, cable TV. Especially cable TV. 🙂

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