I'm very close to two of my colleagues, so I told them about my new car. One replied: "Wow, you must be rich!" and the other "You make no sense. You won't buy a 10$ top or a 1$ coffee, but you'll buy a new car."
The first gal doesn't realise that being debt free really increases your buying power. I asked my dealership what the price of the car would be if I paid cash vs. financing it and was told it was the same thing. Whether I paid cash today or gave them 60 equal payments at 0%, I would not save one penny. Why not finance and keep my cash in my investments where it's making money? Since I have no debt, getting approval for financing wasn't an issue. I'm not rich, but I have financial flexibility.
The other gal doesn't get that little purchases add up, that by not buying the top or the coffee I'm keeping my monthly spending at a low enough limit to live within my means and afford luxury items like cars.
But that wasn't my favourite bit of financial cluelessness for the day.
I treated myself to lunch on Friday as I normally do and decided to splurge since there was a lot of really nice fresh fruit being offered. My total was 7.10$. I gave the teller 20.10$. She gave me back 17.00$ I told her she'd made a mistake and was about to hand her back the money when she said, and I quote: "I don't make mistakes, the cash [register] tells me what to give back." Then, seeing that I was about to protest, "I'm too busy to deal with this, go see the manager if we owe you anything."
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."