Achieving financial freedom should not, I repeat SHOULD NOT, be a competition. Unfortunately, I often find myself making it one. Sure, financial stability/freedom/security is important, but shame on me if I lose sight of my journey and become distracted by jealousy, envy, or excuses.
Have you ever thought something like “If only I had a larger income I’d be financially happy” or “Bob is putting 5% in to his 401K, so I should too”? There is nothing wrong with earning a larger income or contributing to retirement, but if you are only doing it for bragging rights or to “keep up with the Joneses” then you are…how shall I put this nicely… an IDIOT!
You shouldn’t be comparing your financial situation to mine, or anyone elses for that matter. Yes, I post all of my financial stats (income, expenses, net worth) on this blog, but let me be clear. I do not do this so you can compare yourself to me. I do it for one reason and one reason only: To share my journey. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Usually I talk finance, sometimes I talk wedding, and occasionally I just talk life.
PDITF is not a pulpit from which I preach great wisdom. I’m probably stupider (err more stupid?) than you anyway. Please don’t let my blog (or any other PF blog) become a crutch for you. Maybe my monthly expenses are lower or income higher than yours, but don’t you dare begin saying “If only I had Ninja’s income, life would be so much easier.” You have to make due with what you got and play the cards you were dealt.
It took me about two years to go from the red to the black. FB at FabulouslyBroke fought her way out of $50k of debt in one year. Maybe you won’t be able to get out of debt for another 5 or even 10 years. Guess what? That’s okay! It’s not a race. There is no prize if you pay off your debt before me (at least I don’t think there is).
Don’t be confused, I’m not saying you shouldn’t attack your debt and get rid of it quickly. I want you to get out of debt, but I want you to do it at your own pace. Much like I want you to save for retirement, but only when you think you are ready and at whatever rate you want.
While I want to be an example of how a little financial insight can drastically change one’s life, I NEVER want this blog to become something you use as a metric to measure your financial success. I’m not really interested in how fast (or slow) you can turn your financial life around. All I care is that you turn it around. I’m pretty frustrated right now because I have so much I want to say, but for some reason can not communicate my thoughts. Instead of rambling on, let’s get some dialouge going.
Did this post make any sense to you? Have you found yourself focusing on “the competition” only to lose sight of “the journey”? At what point does comparing your situation to your peers go from healthy to crazy? Have you ever felt like someone else was competing with you (i.e. rubbing their xmas bonus in your face, etc)? And most importantly, Did you have a good weekend?