Stop Bitching & Save Already

I really do try to sympathize with others, but if I read just one more comment on a financial website about someone complaining that  ‘they just can’t do it, it isn’t realistic‘ I just might have to scream.

Come on people, let’s call a spade a spade and realize you screwed up. Perhaps you picked a crappy career with limited income prospects or perhaps you bought way more house than you could realistically afford.  Or maybe you had some crappy investment choices with 2.5%+ mutual fund fees.  I don’t really care what the reason is, but stop bitching about it and start saving already.

You know all that time you spend bitching you could be making your life better easily.  How you may ask?  Well here are just a few ideas.

1) Work Harder (or Smarter) – If you really want to earn more than work for it.  Go beyond your job description and be valuable to your business.  Then you stand a chance of getting noticed and promoted. Or if that won’t work, look to start your own business.

2) Turn Off the TV – According to a 2008 survey the average Canadian watched 1497 hours of TV that year.  That is 28 hours a week!  Even if you cut that in half you could easily pick up second part time job and earn more with almost no loss to the rest of your life.  Your TV ‘friends’ in the screen won’t even notice: I promise.

3) Don’t Go for Sainthood with Your Kids – I love my kids, but I don’t give them everything or try to turn them into super kids.  Thus they cost a fraction of what most people spend on their kids.  A reminder: an iPod Touch or iPad is not a NEED! Basic clothes, food, water, a place and love are NEEDS.  When in doubt less toys and more time together at the park rather than the mall.

4) Get Educated – No one on the planet cares more about your money than you.  If you leave that to your bank they will approve a higher than required mortgage and sell you over priced mutual funds.  This makes you poor and me as bank shareholder richer.  If you want to change that you have to learn about money and that doesn’t cost you a cent.  See the library (click on the book review category to find some titles) or read some blogs (see the blogroll sidebar on the right).

5) Spend Less Money on Crap – People often say to me “I would like to retire early, but I just don’t have the money.”  What they should be saying is: I would like to retire early, but I already spent the money on crap.  If you don’t use it daily, you should think about for at least a week before buying it. Better yet, just go shopping less often.  Get some exercise instead and take a cooking/writing/….insert your hobby here…class instead.  Buy experience over stuff the majority of the time and you will be able to save more and be happy doing it.

All of the above is easy to do and also easy to determine if you are doing it well.  Are you happy with your life? Are you meeting your long term goals? If you answered yes to both then you are likely on the right track.  If not, stop bitching and start saving already.

12 thoughts on “Stop Bitching & Save Already”

  1. Ahh, you gave me a giggle today! Quitcherbitchin.. a wonderful word. I’m lucky enough to practice #2 by planting/maintaining a garden. Not only I have time outside but a whole lotta good food for free (saved the seeds from last year’s harvest). And if anyone is looking for a good cardio workout, try digging up potatoes!

  2. Love this post. People always talk about what they can’t do, instead of looking for what they CAN do.

    “People often say to me “I would like to retire early, but I just don’t have the money.” What they should be saying is: I would like to retire early, but I already spent the money on crap.”

    You are my hero.

  3. There are so many examples that come to mind and other things I’d like to write, but, really, all it takes is one loud chorus of “Amen!”

  4. Thanks for the comments everyone. I was a little worried I was pushing this post a little too far, but then I realized: some people do need a kick in the ass once in a while.

    @Krystal “You are my hero” Really?!? I thought you were mine for doing so well with your freelance work this year. I’m utterly blown away how great you are doing.


  5. I find the same thing reading on many (not all) blogs about debt reduction. The contortions people will go through to explain why they HAD to spend $1,000 to repair the swimming pool or give their kids a $400 birthday party and in the next post are talking about how nice it would be if they could declare bankruptcy because they’re NEVER going to pay this off is crazy making. The thing is though, people – very occasionally – will come along and say quite nicely – “errr, drain the pool?” and will get shouted down by the blogger and all the enablers.
    If I see one not even considering this kind of thing in a rational way then I know they’re still going to be working at 75. End of story.

  6. Wow, this is one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read.

    Great job writing this. I wish every Canadian would read this and follow the steps, because I couldn’t possibly agree more with each point.

  7. One of my favorite posts – I will be sharing this everywhere I can. Here is a quote I use in my upcoming book How To Eat An Elephant – One Day A Month To Financial Success

    The man who never has money enough to pay his debts has too much of something else.
    ~ James Lendall Basford

  8. Excellent post and so practical. ALL of the suggestions were so sound but I liked #2 the best for lots of reasons other than saving money. Just yest. a grandma proudly told me how her 18 month old granddaughter saw an adult purse in the shape of a poodle and liked it (don’t kids see LOTS of things they like?). She bought it for her even though it cost $64! Greez … by the way, this grandma makes lots less money than her pharmacist daughter.

    The grandparent competition and spending astound me … it now seems to be the ‘thing to do’ in the US. I KNEW my grandparents loved me but it surely had nothing to do with poodle purses or other crap.

  9. I completely agree. I always think, “Man if people today, lived what they considered a luxurious lifestyle 50 years ago, they could save a ton of money.” We don’t work as hard or as long (I guess I’m referring to North America in general), and certainly “need” WAY more stuff. I guess we can call our debt-obsessed generation, “the greatest…” greatest spenders/whiners that is!

  10. Nicely Put, Mr. C. Dream!

    I agree that sometimes the bloggers need to get a bit bossy to get their points across. To counteract the soft coddling of mainstream financial publications which tell people it is OK to borrow money for cars, and oh, maybe you should set aside 5% of your paycheque to pay off those 24.9% interest credit cards over time.
    ENOUGH!! If you make anywhere close to the median income in Canada or the US, you are surfing on a TSUNAMI OF INCOME – YOU ARE RICH!!! – SO SAVE MOST OF IT!!!

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