A Lesson in Judgement From My First Hater…kind of.

I have been a bit absent in the past week or so.  I have been working (a little), but mainly, I have been obsessed with my latest outlet for money talk…the Rock Star Finance Forums.  I have been spending an extreme amount of my time chatting with other money minded peeps, reading all their blog posts, responding to comments.  RSF Forums is like having a new job – but a job I really really love and don’t get paid a dime to attend.  🙂

Well, yesterday someone on the forum asked a question in regards to debt:

“How necessary is debt to your wealth building strategy?”

I was the first to respond with “not necessary” in regards to my own tragic story of debt:

Screenshot 2016-12-01 at 9.12.35 AM - Edited.png

And, due to that link, I brought in a new reader and today received the first negative reaction to that post.  The reaction I have been waiting for since the day it was published…


Kind of.  You see, what this fine fellow wrote (I blurred his name to protect the innocent awesome) was exactly the way I would have reacted had I read only the first or second post in the series.  It is very easy to judge someone when you only see half the picture.  To build a case from one end of the line.  I appreciate his honesty and his willingness to admit his mistake in judging me – someone he has never met nor interacted with.  Here was my response:

I totally get your initial reaction! I am guilty of judgment when I read other peoples spending stories as well. I appreciate your kind words and I know, having read my story, they may have initially been hard to write. Believe me, those words are also hard to accept. I struggle with the character of someone who can go willingly into 500k of debt then walk away from it all in the form of a short sale (or 3) – but now that I have lived it I know better. I have found that many people go into debt trying to fill a hole that is often unfillable (apparently not a word but I’m sticking to it) with money or the things money can buy. Most of the time, that hole is a deep psychological wound. For me, I was trying to buy security. I was trying to buy the “home” I didn’t have growing up. I bought many properties before realizing that none of what I paid for could buy me the feeling I was desiring…or the childhood I didn’t have. Learning this lesson gave me a different lens to look through…

I now see how others buy clothes or pay outrageous prices for grooming to feel pretty when the main issue is their confidence. I see how people buy a bigger home or expensive car but what they are really wanting to prove is their success…but success doesn’t come in the form of a mortgage/car payment. I see it all now – but I no longer judge it. Instead of judging, I now root for every person I see that hasn’t yet realized that hole they are trying to fill. Debt is a crutch for many – but it will never be a lifeline to happiness and fulfillment. Those are the things that money can’t buy. When people realize that, their life tends to change drastically. Thank God mine did.

I tell ya, writing this series helped me to heal from it, but it also helped me to understand the true power that our words have.  I have been completely overwhelmed by the support of this community – of people who don’t know me from Adam but have reached out in various forms to thank me, encourage me, and inspire me.  I have also learned that because our words are so powerful and our time is so precious, I don’t want to take time from your day to fill space that isn’t necessary.  I don’t want to publish fluff just to have a post up.  I find I write best when it is an interaction between two parties – my comments are way more thoughtful than some of my posts because the posts are often one-sided.  So I plan, going forward, to bring you into my day to day interactions with others.  I plan to write about the people I am meeting (YOU), what the discussion is behind the scenes, and hopefully give this here blog a pulse beyond the black and white.  Don’t worry – I will protect identities the way I protect my own and have no interest in sharing your secrets.  Anything told in confidence will remain under lock and key.  I do, however, want to make this blog a conversation that we can all relate to.  Let’s make this journey that we are all on, no matter what stage you are in, one that makes a difference.

Until next time…

21 thoughts on “A Lesson in Judgement From My First Hater…kind of.

  1. Pingback: This week's Friday Feast: Two Cup House, Becoming Minimalist, High Fiving Dollars, Physician on Fire and more

  2. I heard Dave Ramsey once say if you’ve made a mistake with your money, congratulations it means you’re older than 12. I think we can all relate to money mistakes in our lives and it’s always interesting hearing the feedback that I get from those that generously comment.

    I know when it comes to the stock market that I am somewhat addicted and have to be careful not to throw good money after bad money. IE, I bought Chipotle and it’s gone down even more. I really am tempted to throw some more money towards the stock because it’s cheap and I want it to go back up. Wanting it to go up and will it go up are two different things. So I’ve been disciplined so far not to buy anymore but definitely know some of the feelings that you feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love that Dave line! It’s funny – I only recently stumbled upon Dave Ramsey. Like, in the past 2 months!! Can you believe it?! A PF freak who didn’t read the PF bible to many? I don’t know how I managed to never hear about him until now but I love listening to his podcast and the People who call in. He has some great one liners and you never know when he is going to slap them upside the head or be empathetic. Love it!

      Anywho, I am in the same boat with chipotle!!! Ugh. I bought in March at $458 and thought I was getting a steal!! I too am seriously considering buying more. I have justified it the exact same way a gambler would justify his last dollar – it HAS around go up!! But then I look at the semi sure thing of VTSAX and think it would be silly not to put the same dollars there. Such is the life of an investor. I have, however, curbed the gambling aspect by no longer buying individual stocks. I have 5 and have stopped there. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for both of us and CMG!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The reality is that we all make mistakes with money. As you say, it’s often to try and fill some kind of other need. Money is just the symptom of the deeper desire or problem. Maybe we want security and think a home will give us that. Or we think because we’re successful we need a sweet new car to prove it. Or because we’re bored, or tired, we go shopping to make things interesting. Maybe the student loan was taken out because you felt you had to have a certain education to be successful. It’s easy to fall into the “I deserve” or “I need” trap. The important thing isn’t to avoid all mistakes ever-we’re only human. We need to accept where we are (because we can’t go back in time), and move forward the best we can.


    1. Absolutely! I think an important part of the learning process is being able to forgive yourself and move on. A few years ago I met a friend who told me to be kind to myself. You always hear you should treat others the way you want to be treated but I never heard that I should treat myself that way too. Those words really gave me the power to let a lot of my perceived failures go.

      Nice to see you here – thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m with Julie. I was ready to throw a face punch to uphold your honor. The thing about real estate some people don’t realize is the addictive hold it can have over you. Especially if you feel like you’re failing you just want to keep it going with more. It’s like wanting to play just one more hand, take one more toss of the dice, or make one more bet on a horse. For some people it’s never enough. Quitting is the most logical thing to do and in your case, the most sensible, after you figured out you were trying to fill a need that would never be filled with real estate.


    1. So right! It’s also like eating only one potato chip! Never going to happen!! 😉 I’m happy to be forced into a real estate diet. No loans mean no properties unless I pay cash. Not likely at this stage!

      Thanks for being on standby…I think you ladies should form an official FI hater gang. You know, Warriors style. 😁


    1. Your debt has nothing to do with your heart. We know a good egg when we see one! 😘 But it is so true, everyone is very supportive no matter what phase of the journey they (or you) are on. If I can help in any way just let me know! 😁


  5. Congratulations! You’ve “made it” in the PF world! lol! Sometimes it’s hard to see how people react to what we went through, even if something was a “mistake” or a hard time. I think the key thing, and he pointed it out, is how much you were able to recover and rebound from the situation!


    1. Yes! He was awesome. We chatted on the forum since this morning and I had a chance to thank him for his honesty and “reversal” of judgement. I’m still waiting for the official first meanie to come along but until then I’ll consider this my half badge of PF street cred. 😜


  6. You are so right. I used to buy clothes to fill a hole in my life. There was a time when I had no hobbies, no passion for anything outside my work, and I spent a lot of my ‘free’ time browsing stores and buying things for no particular reason. The moment I found something else to keep my brain busy and motivated and happy – well, I can’t remember the last time I browsed an online mall.

    I look forward to reading more about the ‘discussions behind the scenes’.


    1. I hear ya! Useless spending just because you have nothing better to do. I have been victim to that as well. I started itching that scratch by going to movies instead…matinees helped. $6 and my hands are tied for 2 hours! Sometimes you just have to busy yourself until you have (or create) a better option!


  7. ChooseBetterLife

    I’m so happy to read that this wasn’t a true hater on the RSF forum, but I was ready to have your back! You have a meaningful story to share, and we appreciate your time and efforts in sharing it.


    1. Haha – glad to know you got me, girl!! The RSF forum is the best and I am so happy to be a part of it. I am still waiting for the first TRUE hater and will make sure to send their crappy comment your way! 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to pop over and comment!


  8. Ha, I feel the same way, in that more of the story gets explained in the comments ometimes than in the post. Noone wants to read 1800 words, lol. I think you hit the nail on the head with spending and trying to fill that unfillable hole. For me, it was associating, “I can’t afford it” with abject failure. We grew up poor, and I wanted to not be “that” anymore not that I ever was, I just didn’t realize it. In my mind I was “that” and that’s all that matters. Trying to make up for me thinking I was less than good, I drove myself into ~$18k of credit card debt and $64k of student loan debt. The student loan debt did cover tuition, but mostly I maxed it out to subsidize my lifestyle that was above my means… Ironic isn’t it? 🙂 It wasn’t even a glamorous lifestyle is the really funny part. Oh well, lessons learned.

    I’ve gotten a lot better about that stuff and have reached the point that I don’t need other people to know I’m successfull to feel successful or good about my life. I’ve also taken a page out of Stuart Smalley’s book and realized, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, People like me!” Granted, I did go thru about 4 yrs of therapy, some stretches twice a week, but hey, whatever it takes. 🙂

    Like Ellie, I look forward to the reader stories, but do like what you’ve already been publishing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – that’s exactly it! I have a really hard time being concise so my posts get edited from 5000 words to 1200…I feel like the whole message isn’t conveyed and the emotion gets lost. Something to work on in 2017!

      Scarcity Fears are some of the hardest to overcome. People tend to over compensate for what they didn’t have by spoiling themselves (and their kids) indulgently in their adult life. We “deserve” it is a common phrase used to justify living outside your means. That is a very hard cycle to break though it looks like you made it through. And don’t you worry…You ARE good enough and people do like you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ellie @ The Chedda

    It’s hard to acknowledge or include every side of an issue when you’re blogging about it! You’re right–it takes some discussion to really understand more of someone’s intentions or background.

    I’m excited to see you tell more reader stories on your blog, but I also like what you’ve been posting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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