A 25-year-old woman recently moved into a wealthier neighborhood after graduating college, and her new neighbors have made her feel less than welcome. They feel her cost-cutting measures make her house an eyesore compared to theirs, ruining local property values, but she insists she’s done nothing wrong. Here’s what she had to say.
She worked hard for success
The original poster explained she only recently started making good money. She came from humble beginnings, attended engineering school on a scholarship, and got a good job after graduation. “My family was never that financially stable,” she said, but her fortune had finally changed.
Moving on up
With her college degree netting her a well-paying job, the woman bought a house in a residential suburb. “I wanted to be just slightly outside the city because the local taxes are a lot lower,” she said. It was just one of the many ways she sought to hold onto her newfound success by not overspending.
Conserving her new money
“The things I value most are saving and investing for the future,” she explained. The woman described the ways in which she cut her living expenses to save money. “I ride my bike a lot of places too. I’d rather have friends over for drinks and potlucks than go out to eat.” Having been raised under tumultuous finances, the woman felt it was important to protect the new money she was making and not spend it wastefully.
Despite making more money, she was determined not to let it change her. “I have an old truck, and I fix it up myself,” she said. She even acquired a broken-down truck of the same model so that she could use it for spare parts. “I keep the parts truck under a cover when I’m not working on my main truck.” But this is where she ran into problems with her neighbors.
“A bunch of my neighbors have told me that I’m bringing property values down,” she explained. The main culprit was the pile of truck parts on her property. But the complaints didn’t stop there.
Tarnishing the neighborhood image
Others complained about her friends locking up their bikes and electric scooters outside of her house when they came to visit, making the area look “trashy and criminal,” and, in their words, “nobody locks up bikes. Plus, the bikes look cheap.”
“Also, they have rules in the area about no street parking overnight,” said the woman, “and limited street parking in the day, to keep ‘big parties’ out, but we’re bypassing the intent of that rule by biking.” The woman stood her ground, but tensions ran high.
Her neighbors might be too uptight
The woman insisted her neighbors were being too harsh with her. “I feel like they ought to stay in their lane,” she said. “But they seem mad I’m not fitting in.”
Was she in the wrong?
She emphasized that she didn’t want to spend a lot of money trying to “keep up with the Joneses,” but she could also tell her lifestyle wasn’t welcome in her neighborhood. She asked the Internet for advice.
The Internet responded
Commenters were divided on who was in the wrong. “YTA—for some of it,” said one reply. “Being frugal is great. So is biking. But failing to keep your property tidy and keeping a junked truck visible is not.” Others disagreed. “NTA. Your neighbors sound like snobs and your lifestyle sounds awesome.”
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