Time to fess up

A few years ago, I decided to make a blog post that mimicked a very popular website, PostSecret.com. If you aren’t familiar, PostSecret is website in which random people like you, mail in post cards containing deeply personal confessions. My first post like this, “Share your secret”, remains one of my most popular articles. Since it’s been a while since we’ve done this, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to run this little social experiment again as my readership is always changing.

Here are some PostSecret confessions that caught my eye…

You can’t help but be interested right? There is something about being vulnerable that just feels good. So, I’m hoping you will, once again, participate in Post Secret PDITF style.

The rules are simple. Drop a comment in the section below with one secret related to finances, money, family, life, etc that you haven’t shared with anyone. I recommend you comment anonymously or under an alias, but it’s really up to you how you want to be identified.

Here are some of the secrets shared by my readers last time I did this…

  • I’m contemplating losing one of my part-time jobs so I can be eligible for welfare
  • I think people who complain about money are too lazy and stupid to make more.
  • I resent my mom because she abused my child support money and doesn’t pay for any of my expenses now, leaving it all up to my dad.
  • I never told my parents that I was so in over my head during my first few years of college I donated plasma just to eat. I had too much pride to accept help from anyone, so I sold plasma to put a few bucks of gas in the car for a weekend trip home and used the rest to eat out of vending machines for a week. Until the next week, when I’d do it all over again.
  • I secretly loath stay-at-home moms. Nothing about being cooped up in a house all day with kids sounds appealing to me. Problem: my husband expects me to do that when we have kids.

This really is a great opportunity to not only share your secrets, but to understand that you are not alone. Who’s willing to get a little vulnerable and answer the question…

What’s your secret?

(you can comment anonymously if you prefer)

42 thoughts on “Time to fess up

  1. I have been reading personal finance blogs for years. I am still in over my head. Maxed out credit cards, overdraft, loans.

    • I have also been reading blogs, WORK in finance, and am always giving people advice (when they ask) on how they should handle money. I have mountains of student loan debt, and a few thousand of credit card debt. I feel like I live two lives.

  2. Everytime I see my 52 year old brother-in-law, I want to tell him what a loser he is for moving back home 12 years ago and staying, when it was only to be for 6 months while he looked for a place to live after his marriage fell apart. He only gives about $300 month to my in-laws and does NOTHING around the house to help his 73 year old Mom and 75 year old Dad. My BIL’s a millwright; makes PLENTY of money to live on his own! I have zero respect for him.

  3. I worked very hard and supported us for years while my husband worked part-time and went back to school to get a degree he needed to change careers. Now we’re paying back his loans and trying to save money* while he’s in a different job than he was in before school (he’s happier but still vastly underpaid both for what he’s now qualified to do and for the loans we took out for his degree).

    The ultimate goal was for him to get the job he trained for so we could live on what he makes for one year while I went to a one-year trade school program (*using only our savings, no more student loans!) and start my own business after I’ve obtained a needed certification. That hasn’t happened yet. I’ve made a five year, ten year, and fifty year plan; I just need him to earn enough to cover our minimal monthly expenses for one year so I can finally go to school myself and get my business going (which I could and would begin a few months before classes ended).

    I plan to find part-time work during that year of school, too, but as we approach the one year mark after he left school, with few bites on any of the hundreds of applications he’s submitted, I’m finding it difficult to believe it’ll ever be my turn to get out of my miserable office job with a screaming, manipulative boss.

  4. My mother-in-law stole 40,000 from us when we were first married. Even though I say it’s ok because everyone makes mistakes, I secretly resent her
    🙁

  5. My long-term boyfriend keeps saying he doesn’t want to get married until he feels more financially secure (he freelances in programming video games in apps). The problem is that with a chronic medical condition, it’s hard to be steady in a position and have a constant paycheck. So I’m supporting us right now, and while we have enough and are not struggling, it doesn’t leave a ton of room for the bigger things that we want to do. But if we got married, there would be much more breathing room financially with being able to claim him as a dependent, health insurance isn’t taxable to me, etc. I am trying to not show it, but I am so worried that it will still be years before anything changes and we will miss our window for traveling, kids, etc.

  6. I occasionally meet people who I think would better serve the planet as ground up food.

    // Soylent green

  7. I hate working.

    Whenever I’m doing something, almost no matter what it is, I’d rather be doing something else.

  8. I make 30k a year. I live at home. I don’t have many bills. I’m 21 years old and am forced to pay my emergency room bill from several weeks ago, all of my insurances (health, dental, car, etc) and my parents are considering charging for rent and food.

    I understand that my situation, compared to some right out of college, is desirable. I need some perspective. PLEASE give me some.

    My boyfriends parents pay for everything – gas, insurances, etc. He literally has 30k a year at his own disposal.

    Not to mention my very best friend, in the world, is a millionaire. A straight up millionaire. This is not convenient or “cool” – its extremely, extremely taxing on me to be around her. Her parents purchased her an audi, pay for every single bill, never concern her with money, and she has a credit card (or several) directly linked to their account. She is also 21. They just purchased her a million dollar home (this is NOT a joke – she makes a point to tell me every single cost for every single thing she owns, she’s very braggy about her money and doesn’t even know). I resent her so much for rubbing it in my face, for living in complete luxury, and for living a life without bills and without worrying for money.

    I get so frustrated and frankly depressed when I have to shell out $500+ to my parents every single month, while my closest companions are living without much worry for money. At all. It makes me ungrateful and pretty down & out. I can’t imagine living somewhere with my salary where I need to pay upwards of $1000 for rent (DMV area), plus food, plus insurance, plus LIVING life, without being in debt! I thought graduating college and getting a job would mean liberation and fun, but its just…frustrating.

    Give me some perspective.

    • It’ll change. Just give it a few years. I was basically where you were at that age. I tried living on my own (in a lower cost of living area) but the little bit of money I brought in every two weeks was eaten up by my rent and I only had $5 a week for food and $5 a week for gas (thankfully gas prices were a little bit better 10 years ago!). I then moved home to my parents house (in the DMV area too), still paying them rent, paying for food and paying my car and health insurance.

      Fast forward 10 years and I’m making $70k+ per year, bought my own house (ok, it’s a condo, but it’s mine!) 4 years ago and am putting away 15% in retirement and saving 10% each month for the future. My best friend, (who’s parents didn’t buy her a million dollar house, but paid for all of her schooling and offered her and her husband $100,000 dollars to help them move up to a larger house) has finally learned that I cannot go out to dinner with her multiple times a week, and I cannot go shopping every weekend.

      You need to focus on what your priorities are (moving out of your parents house, moving up the ladder at work, finding a new/better job) and just keep working towards it. Things will fall into place as long as you keep working towards your goals.

      Good luck! 🙂

  9. My mother-in-law racked up thousands of dollars of debt using my husband’s SSN before he was 18, which I helped pay off the majority of when we got married because it was ruining his credit score. She has never once acknowledged this or thanked us for it. I secretly resent her for this, and hate going to her house to visit on holidays.

  10. I would like to be a stay at home mom but am scared to cut our household income in half and the belt tightening/not a lot of room for error that would come with that.

    • You may not miss the income as much as you think. Calculate the costs for you to work – car, gas, convenience food, fancier wardrobe, fancier hair and make up, etc. Sahms are not cooped up – there is so much to do with your kids and so many other stay at home moms you will meet. You can trade babysitting with a friend, get your husband to take the kids for an hour occasionally and go for a walk, coffee, whatever with a friend. We used to take turns going to a different stay at home mom’s house every week and we also have a lot of splash pad/play grounds near where I live to take the kids to for free. I live in about three pairs of jeans – Rock and Republic, Almost Famous and Seven for Mankind that I got for $13-$20 from Vanity Fair and Winners in Canada plus Old Navy or Joe Fresh tops. Honestly, it’s like living the dream and it’s a great lifestyle if you want it to be and have a positive attitude about it. If you love your job or it’s not for you, then simply go back to work. There are some bad days too of course, it’s a lot of work, kind of like being a nanny on double shift every day but it’s your own kids so you’re the boss and that makes a difference too! I hope you try it!

  11. After my parents divorced when I was four, mom moved to another part of the country. I only got to see my dad once a year while I was growing up. He paid child support, but it wasn’t much very much. Mom spent the bare minimum while I was growing up and I missed out on most of the things that children/teens get to experience.
    My half-brother got the benefit of my dad’s money in a way that I never did. He got a classic car for his 16th birthday, I had to save up to put a down payment on a car at age 23. Buying my first car didn’t make me feel proud and self-sufficient, it just made me feel resentful.
    To make a long story short, dad should help me out financially. I really need it now. I can’t find permanent work and will have to move before the year is up.

  12. I came from a family where debt is seen negatively (What? You don’t know how to live within your means???). I knew my then-fiance had student loans but I didn’t know the exact amount until a letter came in the mail saying forbearance was up. My reaction was “Really? You didn’t have an idea how much you owed and couldn’t tell me?” It’s not that he couldn’t tell me, he just didn’t think much of it as though it was “normal” to have debt. We’re married now and I “help” pay for his student loans because I bring in 2/3 of our combined take-home pay. My MIL is coming to visit and I secretly resent her for the way she (single mom) selfishly lived her life and didn’t do her absolute best to give the best life to her kids. I somehow feel, as a parent myself, that if she had done all she could that my husband would’ve had better opportunities.

  13. I make more money than my partner. We paid off $80K of student loans after we got married with the money I made freelancing. While I know we’re in it for the long haul, I secretly resent his poor money management skills from before we got married. I love him, just not his financial sense.

    • This would also be my confession! I secretly resent that I’ve had to pay for my husband’s past money mistakes. We got married a year ago and were recently almost unable to get an apartment because of a past judgment on his credit report. My fantastic credit and income saved us, again. He’s a wonderful man, but boy did he make some poor decisions! Hopefully it will all be behind us soon.

  14. My mother-in-law is 55 years old and has MS (she’s still walking, albeit on a cane for support), lives on disability in my mother’s home in a basement apartment, paying $600 a month for rent in the Northeast, which includes all utilities (heat, water, electricity). She brings in $1200 a month doing absolutely nothing but sitting on her fat ass and playing on her iPad and sleeping most of her days away (with all the lights on, driving up my mother’s electric bill). She gets food stamps, and other means of assistance, and is on state health insurance that pays most of her expenses.

    The MIL pretends to be a financial expert yet can’t live within her means, smoking most of it away with cigarettes and buying things she cannot afford (she spends her entire grocery “budget” during the first week of the month). She buys the premium $12 a pound coffee when she really should be buying the store brand, for example. She cooks for 6 people when she really should be cooking for one, and throws out most of the food when it goes bad, even though I’ve suggested she freeze individual portions. She buys scratch tickets every week, and yet cannot afford a 50-cent greeting card (and won’t make her own) for her son’s birthday. But has no trouble buying herself an 18$ dinner entree out the very next week. Her only expenses are gas for her car, cigarettes (2 pack a day habit; refuses to quit), food, and entertainment. She has absolutely no savings and thousands in credit card debt.

    I resent her for driving up my mother’s utility bills when my mother is struggling to afford the house my father (who passed away) built for our family when I was 1. I resent her for her bad financial habits and her shitty attitude. I resent her for asking for my husband’s help several times a week when all she really wants is company and steals him away from me for hours at a time. I resent her for acting like a know-it-all but not being able to live within her means. I resent her for the fact that eventually she’ll either have to move in with us or go to a home (which she refuses to do). I resent the fact that I have to be nice to her and invite her over every Thursday (and usually Saturday and Sunday) for dinners because she has no one else. I loathe her meanness (she’s a pretty nasty woman and loves to put people down) and her stubbornness and her absolute refusal to confront reality.

    I secretly wish she would just go away.

  15. I sometimes think about throwing in the towel. Quitting my job, and moving to the country, where life is a little slower and a whole lot simpler. I get overwhelmed with all the pressure for success, financial security, and providing for my family. Sometimes I just want to forget it all and run.

    • Honestly, my best advice would be to just run…not run away but run. Don’t take a watch, don’t set an expectation, don’t worry about who’s watching but running sounds exactly like what you need. I’ve been pretty blessed in this life and a lot of it has to do with outlook (everything is relative) but everyone is human and in my darkest days and in dealing with my darkest thoughts, running has often gotten me through to the brighter days, I promise to you and everyone else, tomorrow is always just a day away and “Change can be so constant you don’t even feel the difference until there is one. It can be so slow that you don’t even notice that your life is better or worse, until it is. Or it can just blow you away, make you something different in an instant.” So in that regard, you never really know what tomorrow will bring, a great change that turns everything around instantly or just another small step to something better…running to me is just the same way but more immediate, sometimes I finish a run and forget about all the problems in the world, have an epiphany, or somehow everything justs gets put in perspective…and sometimes it really does feel like blah but at least at the end of it I feel like I accomplished something and that’s always better off than before. Whatever you, or any of the commentors on here are going through don’t despair and lean on whoever is a rock in your life to get you through the tough times and if you don’t have that rock, rely on whatever inspiration you can find (and a helpful bit, if you cant seem to find anything, do something nice for someone and be the inspiration in their life that you cant seem to find in your own for that moment in time). Chin up! I think everything will turn out alright for ya and I completely understand the overwhelmed feeling but life’s a bit like a roller coaster with high’s and lows and everyone seems to be on a bit of a different ride (funny thing is that sometimes the nice fast and flashy ones aren’t all that well put together so trick is to focus on your own ride and enjoy those highs, ride out the lows and whether you’re up down, or upside down, life is one hell of a ride no matter where you go). Wishing you and everyone all the best! P.S. I hope you take time at some point this week and give yourself a break and go for a run 🙂

  16. When it comes to personal finance, my biggest secret is probably that paying off debt and living frugally are often very, very hard.

    There are lots of days where I really wish I could just do things an easier way that might cost more

  17. I secretly resent my mother for being a homemaker. I’m 27, single, with no income to rely on but my own. My mom hasn’t worked in over 30 years (since she was younger than me), yet somehow, when I talk about my job, she thinks she should give me advice that is both naive and unprofessional. I recently made a very extreme lifestyle/career change just so I can afford to support myself, while she complains if she has to clean up after my dad. Hello? That’s what homemakers do! You live off someone else’s income, so the least you can do is MAKE the HOME! I think it’s ridiculous that I’m wiser, harder working, and more independent than my own mother, and her immaturity is a direct result of her never working, never being accountable to a boss, etc.

  18. When I got divorced, I got a disproportionate amount of the debt. My ex wouldn’t have been held responsible, because most of it was in the form of student loans in my name – even though it was for cost of living while we were together. Probably 80% of the marriage debt fell to me. But I’m totally OK with that, because I know I’ll have it paid off in a couple of years and ex will likely never, ever be out of debt. I probably have more disposable cash each month than ex has in a year.

      • I don’t make that much more than he does. He’s just mired in new debt and payments and I now have no mortgage, no car payment, etc. He wouldn’t have qualified for alimony.

  19. Some days I hate work so much that I want to literally hide under my desk. The pay is good, so I try not to think about doing a job I might like more that pays less (if I could even figure out what I would LIKE to do).

  20. My husband is convinced all I care about is money. I try to explain its not about having money but having freedom. He thinks I’ve bought into America’s forced capitalism mindset?! We barely just got through residual feelings and resentment from our last time with one of us unemployed. Now we have to do it again after another layoff and I don’t know if we will make it through as one…

  21. I’m actually pretty good with managing my money. I’m often prodded by friends for financial advice. The problem is that I’m under a tremendous amount of student loan debt. So much, that I will likely never pay it off. It feels awkward to be asked what to do and I can’t even do certain things myself. To add to that, my boyfriend of 4 years is chronically ill and doesn’t want to get married before he is back on his feet. I can understand this but like a previous poster mentioned, I feel like by the time this happens we will miss the window of traveling, buying a home, or having kids. To be honest though, I doubt we will ever be able to afford marriage, a home, or kids. My debt will surely diminish the likelyhood of any of those possibilities. Yea, I feel pretty hopeless and I’m starting to get used to the feeling.

    Never Getting Out!

    • I’m with you minus the medical problems. Just hitting 30 I have to tell myself the dream of a home and/or kids is not in my reach. Just not happening with the cards we were dealt.

      I love my parents but I do wish they (and everyone’s parents at the time) never uttered the phrase “choose where you want to go and don’t worry about money”. I’m all for less government in people’s lives but sometimes parents aren’t the wisest for advice no matter how great they are otherwise. There is no way I as a junior in high school and 17 should have been allowed to sign loan papers for 30k a year setting a precedent of 100k debt, regardless of a cosigner or not.

      Along the same lines, I’ve always felt like I am a lower class than my engineer peers. They get to live the dream of having a comfortable income, go on vacations, buy materialistic junk while we were paying more than half our salaries to pay back those damn loans.

  22. I’m still in the relationship I’m in partially for financial reasons–mostly that I don’t feel like I could do as well out on my own. Sometimes it seems like all the PF blogs I read are written by people in happy monogamous relationships, and I wonder if my lack of finding one will hurt me long term.

  23. I got a promotion and still want more. More of everything. Nothing is good enough. I am afraid my ambition will destroy me and my relationships. I don’t know if I will care if that happens. Does that mean I am unhappy?

  24. Never before in my life have I wished that someone were ill before now. I’ve discovered that my great-aunt’s Financial Power of Attorney has stolen upwards of $100,000 and see’s NOTHING wrong with it. I’m working with my aunt, her lawyer and her executors to try to get it to stop and change the POA before there is nothing left.

    The person who stole it…I actually hope she has gambling problem, or is a hoarder; because I can’t see any other reason why she would put this poor old-lady (my aunt) at risk unless it’s not a choice due to mental illness.

  25. I make 90% of the money in our house and resent my wife being upset that I have to travel for work a few days a month. My job pays all of our bills and all of her hobbies. I’ve gotten us almost completely out of debt, but all I get is anger from her.

  26. When I was laid off 2.5 years ago due to a site closure, I took the income from unemployment to live on for 4 months to test the waters of being a SAHM (along with my husband’s income). I probably could have lived that way for 12-18 months, off the government, but felt guilty and got another FT job (with the health insurance we needed.) But with childcare, our monthly cash flow is actually slightly LESS than my income on unemployment. While not the honest or ethical way, I wish I would have mooched off the government as long as I could have.

  27. I have contempt for the way my sister has led her life. She and her husband probably owe more on their mortgage than the day they bought the house, as they act like it’s one big line of credit. My mother gives them money and they go buy new lawn furniture and appliances. They have two cars even though she doesn’t work. She hasn’t had more than the occasional part-time, temporary job in the past 20 years and she yet constantly complains about not having any money. Worst is that the oldest child at 20 is neither in school nor working – what a horrible example. “You think I’m stupid”, my sister once said. I now have to agree with her.

  28. I am a nurse. I hate my job because I hate people. I especially hate fat people, and have an extra-special hate for fat people that can’t wipe their own butts.

    But… it pays well and it’s not that hard. :/

  29. I became debt free at the age of 24 after paying off my college loans and a car loan. I resent other college graduates with mountains of debt complaining about the 1 percenters who are debt free. I worked hard and made sacrifices so that I could pay off those loans. I am proud of what I have accomplished but I feel that I have to hide this fact when I am around the majority of people my age. I have offended people because of my vocalization of wanting to pay for everything on my own in cash so now I jut nod and give a pleasant smile when people talk about money.

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