It seems like all personal finance bloggers have to have a condescending post where they speak to the masses as if they are children and have no clue why they are poor or struggling. It’s the thing to do, so to be a real bonafide personal finance blogger, I decided to write one.
Here Goes my Condescending Post
Make coffee at home.
Don’t eat out.
Don’t buy things you don’t need.
Get fewer manicures.
So reads the lists of “50 ways to save money and become a millionaire overnight” that every personal finance blog and website has. The theory behind this clickbait article is that everyone is really secretly rich, but they live in poverty because they misspend their money. After all, poor people are poor because they don’t know anything about personal finance. If you stopped subscribing to every subscription know to man-kind, you would become as rich as Bill Gates.
After all, Bill Gates makes his own coffee. (I don’t actually know if this is true, but it seems like the type of thing I would read somewhere). The condescending tone of these posts implies that you (yes, you!) are spending so much money on silly things that if you stop, you become a millionaire! (Overnight!)
And I guess maybe these lists are suitable for some people. If you do all those things and don’t have enough money and aren’t saving, then you should stop. Seriously. Stop. It’s stupid. (And maybe one day I will write one as well to get some clicks and perhaps also help someone save a dime) But what if you are one of those people (like me!) who read through those lists (avidly) and don’t have one thing to stop spending on?!
I don’t buy coffee; I don’t eat out. I don’t have subscriptions. Because here is the problem with the “blog” mindset. They want you to believe that everyone can be rich. Everyone really is rich, and here are a few simple ways to make that happen. The thing is that if you were genuinely making “rich” money, then the coffee isn’t making or breaking you. And the thing is that a lot of people are not earning a “rich” salary. And it’s not necessarily because we don’t hustle enough.
Some people just aren’t going to be rich. And that is OK. You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to make it big. What you have to do is make it OK. And that means doing the best you can with what you got. And what you got is the middle-class salary that most of us are earning. Or the big paycheck in a big city where you can’t afford housing.
Now, don’t get me wrong- don’t buy coffee too often (I really never do, unless I am in an airport), and when you do buy something, make sure that it is within your budget. We are very strict about budgets. But stop looking to get rich. Stop thinking that all it takes is a little willpower and fewer manicures to make that happen. Live within your means. Spend what you can. Save WHATEVER you can. Work towards meaningful, achievable goals (Emergency Fund, Homeownership, Retirement Account) and stop feeling bad that you aren’t one day going to be super-rich. It is OK. Really.