Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jealous? Envious? Why they can have what I have if they want it

I have two close friends, "C", and "J".  Love them to death, even though they can drive me nuts....particularly J.  But seriously, they have been there for me through some really bad things, and they are the ones I know I can call at 2 am if I had to.

We talk finances all the time.  And they want to be out of debt, or so they say.  But they don't take any steps towards it.

C and her hubby have a financial advisor, who has told them over and over that they should have enough money to do all the things they want, and pay stuff off, and still be ok.  The problem?  They completely underestimate what they are spending.  They haven't tracked what they are doing, and honestly I am surprised that the FA hasn't had them do this exercise.  I am guessing they are overspending at least 50% in some categories, mostly in groceries, eating out, entertainment.  And that is being kind.  I wouldn't be surprised if it was closer to 100%.

She said she is envious of what we are doing.  I told her that she has to have the AHA moment where you just buckle down and do it.  And you have to be willing to give some things up in the short term to have what you want in the long term.  No...they are I WANT IT NOW people and that is what they do.  They vacation.  They eat out ALOT.  She smokes (not condeming smokers, but it is an $$ habit).  They both drink.  All of this plays into things. 

J on the other hand.....*sigh.*  She is jealous.  She wants to be debt free, but she also wants to be Mrs. Jones and have it all and be the IT family.  She doesn't want to give anything up.  She buys Starbucks for her and each CHILD at least 3 times a week (she is on the phone with me, so I know that the drive thru is $12 each time).  And girls night out.  And boys night out.  And hobbies.  And , and , and.  She claims they are sooooo broke, but bought a $2000 swing set on credit.  She is so broke...but can go out to dinner and movie with her friends all the time.  She is so broke that they want to take a 401k loan to pay for preschool.  But has no problem paying for the gym and pool membership.

Love them to dearly, but they just aren't willing to change their ways. 

When I had my AHA moment, it all became clear.  You have to spend less than you make.  You have to be willing to do what it takes to get to that point where you can see the light.  You have to be willing to WORK for what you want.  It isn't going to magically happen.

They can be jealous and envious if they want.  But they can also do what we are doing.  If they are willing to just do it.

We are far from ending our journey, but I feel in my heart and soul we are on the right path.


  1. I completely agree with you. Anyone can do anything if they focus on their goals.

  2. A 401K loan to pay for preschool? Really?! Wow! Do you guys have really expensive preschool or something!

  3. @Mrs. M - you can do anything that you truly want to do. It is amazing how people don't have money for food but do have money to get their hair or nails done.

    @Anon - she actually lives in another state. Add in that she lives in a lower cost of living area and they make more money than we do....I don't feel bad for them. They are choosing to spend their money elsewhere. They could afford preschool if they just stop all the friviolous spending. Preschool is $250 a month.

  4. Amen! I have relatives who act like I'm an extremist because of my selling things, giving up on the going out every night thing. But then they want to talk about how envious they are of my budgeting "skills." Budgeting is something anyone can do. You just have to be honest with yourself about your spending and decide what is really important.

    Of course, I think having children makes it that much harder. Parents who are able to live frugally and instill those values in their children are rock stars in my opinion.

  5. @Red - having kids doesn't mean you have a license to spend. I think if you and Mr Red ever do have won't lose your frugal ways.

  6. I know it. I have friends who are spending themselves into the grave. Family, too. My Mother in law has gone through a $250G inheritance from her sister who saved every penny she ever earned and she spent it all on crap from QVC!

    It's maddening, because these people are so convinced that they know what they are doing, they don't want to hear the words budget or saving.

    Another friend of mine just took out a loan at CITI bank (the devil, as far as I am concerned) to pay back another loan that she took out somewhere else.

    They are not on a budget, and can't pay the monthly bills. I listen, put in my two cents worth and try not to be upset when my advice is just completely passed by.

    I understand it because I was there. Until it's time for you to grow up financially, you can't do it.

  7. some people are silly with their decisions... at that point you just tell them that when they know that they are really ready & have had that aha moment that you can help them by telling them your story of how to do things... until then, I think it is just a waste of time :(

  8. J is the kind of person that KILLS me. My parents are like J. I always say you can bitch about money when driving a brand new leased car. Just like you can't bitch about the price of gas if you bought an SUV!

    Have you shared this blog with them? It might help them see that "AHA" moment. If you don't want to open your books up to your friends, you should suggest a different blog that you haven't commented on a lot.

    Between this and the LC Idea - I think I am batting 1000!

  9. @ Evan - well....I will give you 900/ did stir up trouble with your teacher entry. ;) But love ya anyway.

    My IRL friends know I have a blog, but I have not shared it with them. It isn't like they don't already know about the numbers....just want to keep the separation of Church and State. KWIM.

    J has much bigger problems than what I have posted here. Trust me. I am waiting for her to get wapped upside the head with the stuff she is choosing to look away from.

  10. Come on throw me 950....we got that loan funded!

    That being said, only 2 people in my life other than The Wife (yup there is a woman out there that deals with my shit) that knows my domain. I as do you have lot of private stuff.

    I'd give J some site...something like Hey I found xxx site (destroying debt might be a good one). Isn't it good?

  11. @Evan - 923 is my final offer.

    Giving J info is a waste of time. This is part of the larger problem. Her hubby is an accountant, and he takes care of everything and only tells her what he wants her to really know.

    J has let him transfer all of HIS debt into HER name and wreck her credit. The working theory among our friends (minus J) is that 1) he has someone on the side, 2) he has transferred all the money into her name so that WHEN they get divorced, he isn't responsible for it, and 3) he has a side bank account that he is hiding from her.

    Plus, what if I give a friend a site, and eventually they track it back to me? While I am not using our real names, there is just enough info that they they would figure it out.

    I am just waiting for both of their AHA moments, then will swoop in and help them pick up the pieces. I am far from an expert, but once we hit AHA, we have paid off almost 6k, plus the 3k we stupidly charged when we THOUGHT we were being good.

  12. Folks like that also drive me nuts. It is too bad they have financial problems, but I wish that they would just SHUT UP about them if they're not going to do anything to fix them. The ones who alternate between complaining about having debt and bragging about their purchases and their huge income are the worst.

    Have you tried complaining about each set of friends to the other set? That might give them a clue that you don't want to hear it anymore if you're not close enough to tell them directly.

  13. Great post. It's helpful to remember we weren't the craziest idiots out there before we had our "ah-ha" moment.

    I recommend against sharing the blog with them. Friends of ours found our blog on their own while searching for a budget worksheet, figured out it was ours, then got PISSED about a post we wrote about them (very much like this one). It was awful and took the wind out of my sails (for blogging) for about 6 months. I don't regret anything I wrote about, but I learned something new about people...


  14. The journey is a lot slower and longer for some folks than others. At least they are talking about their finances, and they are watching you. It's a first step. I remember when I first started my blog three years ago, NCN at No Credit Needed asked me why I just didn't settle down, throw every dollar at my debt with gazelle intensity and get rid of it. My excuse is that life intervened. But it's also true that my journey is fated to be a lot longer than his, and my lack of focus will always play a part in that. Nonetheless, we ARE all on the same path. Annoying as your friends can be, you are an inspiration to them (and probably a niggling annoyance as well!)

  15. Everything we do is a choice. Of course, being raised in a financially conservative setting helps curtail the spending. Each of us has to commit to the life we want, and live with the consequences.