10 Ways To Handle Critical Family Members Insisting You’re Being Too Frugal

Are you tired of hearing criticisms from your family members about your frugal lifestyle? It can be frustrating when others don’t understand your financial goals.

Here are ten effective ways to handle critical family members who insist you’re being too frugal. Say goodbye to the nagging and hello to financial freedom with these simple tips.

Family Being Too Critical

Recently a woman explained that she has been having trouble with her family being critical of her frugality.

They say things like, “You deserve to spend more.” It was frustrating, and she asked for ideas to handle the situation. Here is how the frugal community responded.

1. Stop Telling Them About Your Finances

What you do with your finances is your business. Unless you are seeking advice, stop discussing your finances with other people. One user says, “If they ask you, say something like I’m not comfortable discussing my finances.”

Related: Should We Talk About Shame and Money? 

2. Tell Them You’re Happy With Your Life

Another explained, “Shrug, and says I like my life and have what I need. I’m happy!” That is the perfect answer. You being happy should be all your loved ones want for you anyways.


Refrain from letting their lack of understanding of your lifestyle and financial choices decide how you are with your money. You earn it and are free to spend or save it how you choose.

Related: Living Your Best Life: Practical Tips To Live Your Best Life

3. Reinforce Your Decision Without Discouraging

Your frugal habits seem strange to someone who is not frugal. Try and see their perspective and show agreement, then reinforce your perspective. You can compare the item to one you already own that is similar. Why would you need two?


Somebody suggested, “Try and use language that validates someone else’s mentality when trying to encourage you to see reality their way. For example; You’re right; that is a nice shirt. I already have one, just like it, but I bet it would be cute on our friend. Redirect the conversation without discouraging their defenses of your no.”

Related: Living a Frugal Life and Enjoying It 

4. Don’t Engage

When someone questions why you won’t buy something, nod, smile and walk away. It’s not their money, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation. “Not engaging Is the way to go. Let them think whatever they want. Live your life.”

5. Leave It With Simple Answers

If you need to explain yourself, give a short answer, something close-ended. Please don’t allow them to retort a reply about why you should be spending more money.


For example, “It bothers me when the house is too cluttered, so I’m pretty careful when I buy new things to make sure they’re something I will use every day and leave it at that.”

6. Explain to Them Why

Sometimes people reject what they don’t know and understand. For example, to them, spending $20 on a new shirt just because it’s cute doesn’t seem unreasonable, but to a frugal person, why spend the money if you don’t need the shirt?


Somebody said, “If you think these people can be reasoned with, then take them aside one by one and hold a general conversation about differences in values. Then, put as much positive spin on it as feasible.”


“You realize that’s a different path, and you’re glad to hear about their purchases if that’s what they enjoy. However, when you’re looking for opinions about prospective purchases you might be making, you’d prefer they wait until you ask them.”

Related: Always Remember the Why

7. Blankly Stare

Many semi-jokingly noted how they would stare. No expression, just a blank face. They elaborated, “No reaction. No thanking. No acknowledgment. Just a blank stare.” This would throw a person off and sway them to topic change simply because they are now uncomfortable.

8. Make It Boring

Make it boring. “It works for me,” confirmed one. Every time a friend or family member tries to persuade them to buy something they don’t want. Being a broken record gets tiring and boring. This approach may cause a person to give up, knowing you won’t argue the topic.

9. They May Be Uncomfortable

One may ask why someone would care so much about their frugal friend not participating in shopping. Their frugal friend will walk alongside them and window shop while they are purchasing for pleasure and not need.


To them, purchasing just for need is not an option. They often feel purchasing something fills a void in themselves, so they become uncomfortable that a frugal person does not have that same need for comfort as them.


One person commented, “I think when people understand you’re being intentional and deliberate with not consuming, they tend to back off. Eventually. Because they realize that you don’t need to fill any unhappiness with material things.”

10. Get Firm

Finally, set your boundaries and get firm. It’s not anyone’s fault but their own, if you’re frugality bothers them. “Tell them that unless they want to start paying your expenses, they can mind their own business.”


We hope you enjoyed these Reddit suggestions for how to handle family all up in your frugal business.

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This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved.

Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.