Thursday, April 19, 2007


Okay I was reading another message board when I came across a thread about how people are
"productive" because they earn $150k. The tone of the post was very jealous, nasty, and envious. I couldn't help but wonder, is it so wrong to earn money?

What is the problem people seem to have with others being successful? I have no issues with other people making good money, I just hope that I am as fortunate. I also am happy for people who earn 6 figures, I think "Wow they work hard, good for them." I thought that when I was making $20k/year, except I also thought "I can't wait until I make that much."

So to me it's not about what others have, it's about what I have. I also refuse to be ashamed at the money we make, because we work hard for our money. And we've made sacrifices. The person who wrote that is 24 with 3 kids. Am I jealous, you bet, I am choosing to not have children at this time to financial secure our future. I could easily have had kids by now, but I am making a conscious decision and sacrifice to not have kids. But I can't let my own decision, influence making her feel bad for her decision. Yet she doesn't see the other side of the argument, that perhaps to make that much money other sacrifices had to be made.

I guess that's the maddening part, is that people only see what they want to see. They see the high income, but don't think about maybe it took years of schooling. Or it took years of working long, long hours starting your business. Or that the person works 90-100 hours a week. All they see is the money. But there must be reason to earn that sort of money, some sort of sacrifice that the person earning less is unwilling to make. Would they take on that job? Would they work that many hours?

I guess the thing is whether you earn a lot or little, it's what you keep. Meaning that you are able to spend less than you make is the main thing. When we earned a lot less I thought earning more was the answer. Not true, our needs changed. But now earning more, do I think earning 2x what we make would be the answer? No, because I've learned that it doesn't matter as long as you are happy with yourself and your earnings.


Wanda said...

I agree with this post. I have many friends who make 100k+ a couple years out of college. But they work nights and weekends, or travel weekly for out-of-state projects, or miss weddings and birthdays to finish a report before a deadline. They don't complain because this is the choice they've made.

Everything takes choices. Some people have more choices, some less. But that doesn't disregard the fact that choices must be made.

Anonymous said...

I post on that BB :)

Living Almost Large said...

Wanda and anonymous, absolutely. Out of college my best friend made $100k+, and I wished I did too. But something she never said but implied was how many hours she worked. She was paid by commission, so the harder she worked, the more she made. There was a huge trade off, of time for money.

But in life nothing comes easy. Guess you can waste your time wanting what others have or you can focus your time doing what you love.

Living Almost Large said...

Okay I was going to feel empathy for that PERSON who was jealous of people earning that much $$$. But then she went and B&*$(% that she's not jealous, but that people who earn 6 figures chose their careers because they wanted to earn 6 figures. NOT because they like what they do.

She also said that people who earn 6 figures don't deserve it, and will never be ahead like her and her husband because they don't know how to live within their means.

I just want to punch her in the face. Not nice I know, but I hate when people are so envious and can't admit it, and justify every reason why they are right. But it's obvious she's just envious of people making more money.

PF101 said...

Great post. It comes back to keeping up with the Jones' mentality. Some people think they deserve everything others have even though, for whatever reason, they don't that the ability to have it. Instead of being happy for the people who are lucky (skilled, talented, whatever) enough to afford the good stuff these people get bitter and jealous.

IMO, it shows a lack of confidence. Their life isn't good enough unless it's the best. It's an unfortunate way to live life and I feel sorry for those people because they'll always want something more than what they have.

Thanks for the thoughtful post.

Smarty said...

I think some people can be very ignorant. People who make high income usually have a story behind it. You're totally right, people only see the money. Who knows what these high income people went through. I use to wonder how people make so much money and I've talked to many high income people. Some of them sacrificed a lot -- time, friends, love life, family, etc. Behind every fortunate, there comes a price. It's wrong to blame someone on the fact that they're making six figures or more. That's their business.

I've seen people who just sit on their lazy butts and complain and complain - day and night. Does complaining ever get your more money in your pocket? I've never heard of a person who complained to his/her riches.

By the way, I like your post, I'm going to link to it.

Anonymous said...

Many people who earn $15,000 or $20,000 also work very hard, sometimes at two jobs. I met a woman who worked as a cleaner in an office building and hardly ever got to see her kids because she didn't get home until 11:00 at night. :(

Living Almost Large said...

I agree and I've worked for almost as little money as a grad student. And they do not treat you nicely nor do you get paid very well. So I understand not earning a lot for many, many hours of work. But I never was jealous of others because why waste time wanting something you can't or don't have? They are successful, good for them, I want to be successful too and have always felt that way.