Preface by J. L. Moneyseed: Mrs. Moneyseed and I have just returned from our week away from Real Life, where we were basking in the sun in beautiful Orlando, Florida. Well, actually we spent most of the time inside since the weather was more like a monsoon than the tropical climate we were hoping for.
I decided to leave my blog untouched for a week, so I could really appreciate our first real vacation together (even though, we’ve been married for almost three years). While the time off from Real Life and blogging has given me the incredible recharge that I needed, I didn’t feel quite ready to start blasting posts out the second I walked in the front door. That’s where Erin comes into play.
Erin is a fairly new blogger, who writes a quirky little blog called “Red Debted Stepchild“. She easily became one of my favorite bloggers because of her awesome sense of humor and the fact that she’s as egotistical and narcissistic as I am. She’s currently in the debt-struggle and working her way out of it; telling her story as she does. Without me wasting anymore of her floor space: Internet, meet Erin.
What’s up, Johnny Moneyseed readers? I’m Erin from Red Debted Stepchild and I’m guest posting today. WAIT! DON’T GO! I’m not trying to sell you a product or give you ten generic tips on how to save 16 cents per year. I’m just here to ramble incoherently about money stuffs and make new nerdy PF friends. Disclaimer: if you feel like you are learning something, disregard it. I’m in a ridiculous amount of debt so I clearly have no idea what I’m doing.
Why do people get into consumer debt? I’ll tell you why. We are masters of deceit. We have an innate ability to lie so much to ourselves and to other people, we eventually get to the point where we cannot distinguish between what is true and what we pretended was true.
That doesn’t sound good, does it? Only bad people lie, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes we lie because we want something else to be true. We want to be the people who can afford to keep up with the Joneses. We want to be the people who can afford to buy lavish gifts for our friends and family members. We want to be the people who can buy our kids the nicest clothes and send them to the nicest schools. We lie because we want acceptance in a society of over spenders – to say that it makes us bad people is spitting in the face of the majority of Americans.
Over spenders are not bad people, they are just generally misguided. They try to buy love and happiness. And they ignore the severity of their financial situations by lying to themselves and those around them. I would know, I used to still kinda lie to myself all the time.
Lies I told myself
- “I ONLY spend like $200 a month of food and alcohol.” Track your food spending for a month – you’ll never want to eat again.
- “I can pay off this debt EASILY after college. I’m not going to succumb to lifestyle inflation anyways.” No matter that I tripled my income, I was totally going to continue living on Ramen noodles and chatting on my prepaid flip phone.
- “I can TOTALLY handle credit cards responsibly now. I just want to use them for the rewards.” I do not possess this type of self control – not yet, at least. God knows I’ve tried, several times.
- “As long as I can pay all my bills, I am handling my money just FINE.” No, being able to make three $50 minimum monthly payments does not make me financially savvy.
- “No, I didn’t buy a Coach purse or my Ray Bans for the labels! It’s the QUALITY.” *hangs head in shame*
- “I’m doing as much as I possibly can” - Has anyone ever said this and actually meant it?? (added by Johnny)
So yeah, I’ve lied to myself and others a time or two. I wasn’t trying to be deceitful or shady, I just wanted to be someone that I’m not yet and might not ever be. But I’m in a more honest place now. A place where I can’t afford to do everything that society wants me to. Even if I could, I realize I probably shouldn’t. And you know what? That’s okay. I’m way cooler than most people anyways, labels or not.
What money lies have you told, Johnny Moneyseed (and future Red Debted Stepchild) readers?
Erin can be found on Twitter: Follow @reddebted