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“Easy For Me to Say”

by J. Money on Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Every now and then I get told my advice is “easy for me to say” cuz I have a lot of money saved up. Well of course it’s easy for me to say – I’m the one living through it all! :)  It doesn’t mean you’re gonna have the same results as me, or that you’ll even like what I’m saying, but it’s still what got me from A to B. So why shouldn’t I share my experiences?

And let me tell you something, “B” can be a lot of things to a lot of people. While we can agree that A ($0.00) is NOT a lot of money, B (a lot of $) is definitely subjective. Remember last week’s article on owning a mansion?  That guy sure doesn’t think he’s rich, even though he brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.  And think back to when you were 5 and someone gave you a $20 bill.  I thought I could do anything!  (and now it only gets me 4 beers! haha…). So while I have “a lot” of money to some people, it’s still not enough for ME to just stop what I’m doing and relax.

But back to the “easy for me to say” jab.  Yes, definitely easy for me to say because I experienced it and know what works and what doesn’t.  But the point of BLOGGING about it isn’t to toot my horn and be all “look at me, look at me! I’m rich, bitch!”, but it’s to get the message out there in the open.  My ideas, my faults, my budgets that I like a lot – everything.  Sometimes it helps people, and other times I’m rambling into the abyss. But it’s 100% genuine, and 100% me. You’d be surprised how well some of this stuff works too.

And I have to admit, it DOES get a lot easier once you’re on track and really rolling with it – which is a GOOD thing! It means that as soon as you decide to make a change and pay attention to your finances, the better it’s going to get as time goes on.  Not right then and there (that’s usually the *hardest* part of the whole process) but def. once you’re consciously working on it and moving away from living paycheck to paycheck.  We were all there at some point!  Even Warren Buffet! (You think he didn’t work his a$$ off for his money?)

So yeah, easy for me to say but also easy for YOU to say too.
And that may even be worse.  Brushing it aside is a perfect excuse to not take any action at all, I don’t think I’d be proud of that.


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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tiffany September 22, 2010 at 8:49 am

I love how honest and open you are about your finances. You just can’t talk about this stuff in real life. I enjoy watching your net worth go up. It really fires me up to find ways to add more money to my retirement accounts.

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2 Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog September 22, 2010 at 8:50 am

Man, I cant believe $20 only gets you 4 beers. It’d get me like 7. That said, you make a good point about PF getting easier once you get on track. When you’re situated in you PF situation, there are fewer “emergencies” that you have to spend money to deal with, and that’s awesome.

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3 tom September 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

I agree, I think telling someone “easy for you to say” is a huge cop-out and excuse.

Man up, shut up and get it done.

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4 KaseyS September 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

@ Jeff. You must be drinking PBR dude.

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5 Abigail September 22, 2010 at 10:23 am

Well, I see both sides of the issue here. J, I’ve yet to see you give advice that makes me feel like saying it. But I’ve seen a helluva lot of bloggers who do.

Like when I read bloggers’ suggestions to sell the expensive toys that got you into debt. My husband had debt from defaulted student loans because he couldn’t steadily work a job due to health problems. Between that and increasing medical bills (including $8,000 of oral surgery) we were in debt and paying it off on less than $40,000 a year in Seattle.

As someone who was on disability up until April of this year, I know all too well just how much healthy people take for granted. “Get a second job” gets really old when you can’t even work a first one. And the only reason I have a job now is pure, blind luck. When I found out I was going to make $30,000 a year, I felt rich.

So I think it depends on the person saying those words. Sometimes it’s an excuse. Other times, there is some valid frustration behind it.

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6 Clare September 22, 2010 at 10:39 am

Stated so perfectly! I blog about other things in addition to personal finance but I’m not anonymous and every now and then my friends will be upset with something I’m “preaching” about money. Or they have different circumstances and aren’t able to save the same percentages that I am, etcetera. It gets old.

It’s like that old saying: If you plan for B, you will always get B. Plan for A!

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7 Brandon September 22, 2010 at 11:07 am

$20 will get you 5 Shiner Bocks.

But that’s beside the point. People will complain no matter what.

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8 MoneyMan @ FinancialOdyssey September 22, 2010 at 11:20 am

The reason you have money is because you took the time to care about what was going on and learn to improve it. I don’t think anybody blogs to “toot their own horn,” they blog because they love it and they hope to entertain and most of all inspire people. Aside from all the sexy randomness, this blog is about your financial journey and about tracking your progress. For me, it’s inspiring to read, not just a reason to make excuses. Everyone’s finance situation is different but I think every PF blogger’s hope is that we can inspire you to simply care.

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9 tom September 22, 2010 at 11:38 am

@Brandon… I love Shiner Bock! An excellent choice!

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10 J. Money September 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Btw, that’s too downer posts in a row, sorry about that. Guess we gotta go through some downs in order to appreciate the ups, eh? Tomorrow’s post will be more positive, I promise :)

@tiffany – I’m glad to hear that :) Keep working hard!
@Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog – Exactly. Plus, it all becomes habit over time – a “GOOD” habit!
@Tom – Haha… that would have been a more simple and to the point post ;)
@KaseyS – What’s wrong with PBR?! Old school goodness ;)
@Abigail – I could side with that. The hospital bill part is huge – and not something most of us bloggers talk about (mostly since I haven’t personally experienced it myself, knock on wood!). That really is scary/frustrating when you fall into debt because of these issues :( If you ever want to write about it more intimately, or if you have any ways you think could help others cope with it all I’d love for you to guest post! Maybe it’ll shed more light on the issue?
@Clare – Hah! Never heard of that saying before actually, but I like it :) In fact, I’m going to steal it and put it on twitter now, thx!
@Brandon – Mmmm those are good too.
@MoneyMan @ FinancialOdyssey – I like that :) It’s true – we want our readers to CARE! Pay attention to that money and love it like a little bebe, haha… it needs to be nurtured and watched over to grow! (and you’re right, been working my a$$ off saving and what not – it all takes time!)

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11 Jenna September 22, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Can I go back to being a 5 year old again? Great post. My mom always says “when you wait until the last minute, your options are limited.” I think money is the same way. When you wait and don’t plan ahead, last minute decisions can be costly (or might not happen in some cases).

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12 Briana @ GBR September 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

The people who may say could definitely be a little bit bitter, but like you said, who better to talk about YOUR story than YOU?! It’s possible for everyone to get in the same situation you’re in (with lots of money saved up) but it definitely takes time and dedication. It’s not easy, and you’ve told us about the hardships, it’s just how determined these people are. Soon, it’ll be easy for THEM to say

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13 Jaime September 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I think its great that you have a blog, I like your sassy writing, its different from most PF bloggers. Yes when you do post your networth updates I’m a tiny bit envious but not in a bad way, it just makes me say “hey he worked hard for his money, and I know I haven’t tried everything yet, I just need to work as hard as he is and I can get there.” So you definitely motivate me to be better.

I used to think that once I was out of debt that it would be easier, and yeah I do have a lot of options now that I’m out of debt but I realize the financial thing is a journey. I still have to build an emergency fund, I’m also trying to go to college at the same time, and I still need to open an IRA at my bank. It feels so overwhelming, but I know I can get there, your blog inspires me ;)

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14 StackingCash September 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm

A few days ago a coworker made a snide comment regarding my need for money. For some strange reason lately, many of my coworkers are jealous of my financial standing. They forget that I had to sacrifice so much just to have a little bit of money in my bank account. People always look at what you have and not what you had to sacrifice to get it. Granted I’m “lucky” in certain respects but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve what I’ve worked and saved up for.

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15 Molly On Money September 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Over the phone yesterday talking to a friend I had to bit my tongue. She was talking about how much debt she was in, how lucky I was because I was on the outside edge of my huge debt (in her mind a big ole financial fairy came down on me and waved her magic wand to make my credit card debt disappear) and how she got a great pedicure the other day, a little pricey but worth it.
I bit my tongue for several reasons:
1. I use to get overpriced pedicure (OK, really it was going out to fancy resturants) while racking up credit card debt.
2. When I try reasoning she gets more set in her position.
Just keep walking the walk and blogging the blog and readers will come around in their own time. Chin up, dude!

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16 Jen September 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Well, J., I’m in no way close to your situation, but I still REALLY appreciate your blog and your advice! My husband and I have made a very difficult decision to live off of my income alone (I carry the benefits), so my husband can stay home to raise our babies. We have ZERO EXTRA MONEY…but do we get by? YES! We have what we NEED, and that’s why I enjoy your blog. You help me to stay focused on budgeting and trying to stay focused on our goals…even if that goal is having one parent to stay home! :) No, I don’t have all these wicked cool 401(k) thingies and Roth IRAs and a savings account with $10,000 for emergencies and all that awesomeness, but am I currently meeting our family’s goals? YES! And do I look forward to taking ALL your advice once my husband goes back to work and the kids go to school? YES!

I guess my point is, I could sit here and say the same thing…”Oh, yeah, easy for you to say, J.; you have $10,000 in the bank!” But I don’t even remotely feel that way. The fact that you’re making it gives me hope that my broke little family can do the same some day with a lot of hard work…and I think all your true fans feel the same way :)

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17 sarah September 22, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Man $20 bucks in this part will get you 7-10 beers, depending on what you order. And if you drink the cheap stuff, then add a couple more to that!

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18 Techbud September 22, 2010 at 7:39 pm

I use blogging to help me stay on track with my own budget, it keeps me focused. If I help some people along the way, so be it.

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19 J. Money September 22, 2010 at 10:03 pm

@Jenna – “when you wait until the last minute, your options are limited.” YES! SO true!!! Love that.
@Briana @ GBR – Lots of time and lots of dedication, you got that right ;)
@Jaime – Yayyy! Never heard my writing was “sassy” but I’ll take it! Thanks ;) and keep on workin it!
@StackingCash – Yeah, and the funny part is even if you were blowing it all on fancy cars and houses, they’d still think you were really well off! even if you were broke! haha… people just want all the good parts of things w/out thinking of the bad parts.
@Molly On Money – Hehe, well done biting that tongue! I sometimes slip and speak my mind but you’re right, sometimes it makes it worse. At least you can feel like you’ve mastered the art of debt-killing! We all appreciate that here :)
@Jen – LOVE that idea!! I think living off 1 income is def. the way to go for most family situations, so I’m in awe :) We kinda sorta do that now (Mrs is in grad school) but she does bring in a good $15k+ so we’re not there all the way. Once we are, it’ll really be like me working @ home (aka blogging/writing) and her going full-time ;) haha… but in theory either of us could quit at any time and be financially stable. So well done making that a reality over there! And glad I help in your journey!
@sarah – Are you inviting us over for drinks? :)
@Techbud – I think all blogs help someone out whether we realize it or not. Only like 0.01% of readers actually comment and let us know, which makes it really crazy if you think about it. Who knows who else we’re affecting everytime we post? for the good or the bad?

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20 Brad Chaffee September 24, 2010 at 10:39 am

Great post J! I admit, it is a lot easier to say when you have done the hard work. I think when people say that something was easy for you to say, they are ignoring the sacrifice and hard work it took you to get there. I think most of “those” people are sitting back waiting for the good life to fall out of the sky or something. How do I know? Because I used to be that guy.

It wasn’t always easy for me to say, but most of the things I say now, are things I’ve done. If I can do them so can almost anyone. It’s mostly about attitude and taking action to provide the life that you want. With the wrong attitude and a lack of action, life will not just hand you greatness!

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21 J. Money September 26, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Amen brother! I remember you being that guy – but no longer! It’s great you can now pull from those experiences and motivate people to go down a better path :) Keep up all that passion!

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