Poor Money Judgment Loves Company
I read a lot of other personal finance blogs. Some of them write about their own poor money judgments. Others talk about the bad personal finance decisions made by readers who contact them.
Thank you for telling me about your [insert dumb money decision here]. I do the same thing. I feel so much better knowing that I am not alone.
Is it productive or even helpful to make people feel better about the bad decisions they make with money, debt, or credit?
Mr. ToughMoneyLove doubts that it is. People who engage in repetitive bad behaviors tend to hang out with others with similar habits. They don’t want their own poor decision-making to stand-out or appear different from the norm.
In the world of personal finance decision-making, the “norm” has been far less than ideal. This means that there are numerous opportunities to find people who are traveling with you down the same wrong path.
I can accept that folks who feel hopeless about their financial plight can benefit from knowing that others have been there and recovered. But that’s not what I am observing. I will give you an example.
Last week I read a post written by a 60 year old blogger who is pathetically far behind in her retirement savings. She wastes money constantly, including providing money to her adult children and grandchildren.
This time she wrote about purchasing multiple Christmas gifts for her sister’s family and having to spend (waste) even more for two-day shipping. The sister is, in this blogger’s own words, “rich.”
I left this comment:
I’ve been there, done that but no more. Next year, put the kibosh on intra-family gift giving. My four siblings and I did that last year and it was a great stress and $ reliever for all of us. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, shop at Amazon (if you can’t find it there, it’s probably not worth buying), sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime and get free 2 day shipping or next day shipping for only $3.99 all through the holidays. Respectfully, you are just bleeding money in the worst ways and at the absolute worst time of your life. You need to take control – now. Good luck.
Another reader took a different approach and left this comment after mine:
Don’t feel so bad …. I am notorious for doing that. It’s nice to know l am not alone.. ;o)
This lame cheerleading is precisely what I am writing about here. In my opinion, it is not helpful to anyone. It is enabling.
When it comes to correcting poor money judgment, the hard truth is better. I want them to feel bad about poor decisions. Don’t you agree?