Smirking, "I can't afford it"?

So, I have heard, "I can't afford it," from one of my early bosses when he was talking about him wanting to replace his old Hyundai Elantra car. And also from my father-in-law after he asked me where I got my sweater since he'd like one like it. The thing is we all worked in government--so I know their pay grades and they definitely can afford anything that I could afford. 

Context points to implying I'm a spendthrift in the second instance, but not in the first. Also my boss used it all the time besides. Is this some Christian Radio or Dave Ramsey mantra that is for their benefit, or is it a diss? (These are the kinds of guys who don't answer direct questions when asked).

4 Answers

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  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    just tell them you can afford it

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    It's always better to save than to spend as long as you're spending enough to have a decent life. But if either of these guys has any children or isn't independently wealthy heading into retirement surely you can see that they have other things they need to spend their money on. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Maybe they prefer to bank; maybe they don't feel a need to explain to you why they drive a make/model of car; it's all about the standard of living.

    They will retire with ease.  You will retire with nothing in the bank, but you WILL be driving a new car AND wearing a nice sweater.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    No, you have NO idea what his expenses are.  For all you know, he is paying off huge medical bills for his mother.  Or some other expense.

    More likely ... no matter what our salary is, we raise our lifestyle to consume it .. bigger house, better vacations (except now, with covid!), nicer cars with bigger monthly payments.

    If he says he cannot afford it, believe him.

    Also, sometimes people raised in poverty or just feeling poor, end up needing to save a lot and do not think they can spend money on whims.

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