Not Everyone is Going to be Happy for You (Podcast)

You would think that once you decide to take control of your spending and make a plan to demolish your debt that you’ll have the full support of your family, friends, and co-workers.  However, you may find that some people are NOT going to be happy for you and may even subtly or not-so-subtly attempt to undermine your financial progress.  We’re going to discuss why this happens and how to handle it with minimal drama.

  • You might have experienced this phenomenon in other areas of your life with your relationships. You get a great new job with twice the pay in another state, or you finally get in shape and lose 25 pounds.  You expect the other people in your life to be as elated as you are, yet some of them are downright negative about your positive changes.  Why is that?  We could write it off as “Haters gonna hate,” but chances are there’s something else going on under the surface.

  •  Most people do NOT like change. When we make a positive change financially, we start acting differently. We’re spending less and saving more.  We may not go out with “the gang” as often because we’re choosing to cut some expenses so that we can achieve the money goals that we’ve put on our Vision Boards.  These changes are certainly positive for us, but can be perceived as negative by others in our lives.  Especially if this means that we are spending less time with them.  When we change, others can feel threatened because their world also changes.  The natural response is to try to persuade us to return to “the way things were.”

  •  Some people may feel like we are judging them because they are not making the positive changes that we’ve chosen. When others see us choosing to go out on the town once a month instead of once a week so we can pay off our student loans, they subconsciously realize that they should also be making better money choices.  You might hear them say things like, “Oh, you think you’re too good to go out with us now,”  “I’m worried about you; you’re being too extreme with your budget.”  “Live a little!  You can’t take it with you.”     And certainly, I’m a believer in having some fun money in your spending plan.  But don’t cave into pressure to change your Financial Road Map because of what other people say.

  • As you move down this path to becoming financially healthy, think about how your positive choices might be affecting the other people in your life. Should you just say, “Haters gonna hate,” and ignore them?  No, I actually think there is a better way to handle these situations.  Let’s look at an example.

  • Let’s say that you’re a woman who is struggling with credit card debt. You and your husband have put together a solid plan to tackle the issue.  In the past, you and mom have always spent lots of quality time at the mall shopping together.  Now, you’re choosing to operate a cash-only basis for budget categories like clothes, shoes, and eating out. This means that you’re not going to be able to meet your mom at the mall every Saturday for Mother-Daughter bonding over the sales racks at Macy’s.  You know you’re going to get some backlash from your mom about it if you only choose to meet her at the mall once a month.  What do you do?

  • I would suggest inviting your mom over to your house to have an honest conversation with her. It should go something like this:  “Mom, John and I are choosing to spend our money differently now because we have a goal to pay off all of our credit cards.  The debt is causing us a lot of stress and we’re ready for a change.  I would really like your support in this.  I’m choosing to go to the mall only once a month instead of every week.  What are some other ways we can have our Mother Daughter time together besides going to the mall?”  If you come to the conversation with some suggestions for free or inexpensive excursions that you think your mom would enjoy, even better.

  • You notice in all of the examples, I recommended reducing the frequency versus cutting out the fun activity altogether. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have room for some portion controlled fun, especially if it’s something you enjoy. Have the honest talk using positive verbiage “I/we are choosing to spend our money differently now.” Don’t say things like, “I can’t go out this week, because it’s not in the budget.”  You’ll just depress yourself and give the other person ammunition to talk you into spending money that you’ve earmarked for your goals.  By focusing on the fact that you are proactively making a positive choice to work towards your goals, you’ll keep yourself motivated and you could even inspire the other person to do the same.  Ask for your friend or family member’s support and discuss some alternative ways to spend time together that won’t derail your financial goals.  Most people will get on board and applaud your positive changes.

  • Unfortunately, some people will not be appeased by this conversation and will continue with their negativity. It’s important that you stand your ground in a positive manner.  Do NOT compromise on your money goals!  If you fall into the trap of people pleasing, it will make you broke and miserable.  I know, because I’ve lived it.  Keep your eyes on the PRIZE!  Seek out support from like-minded people who are financially healthy.  They will be happy to cheer you on to success.

Ready to rescue your financial dignity? Schedule a coffee chat with me to see if we’re a good fit to work together one-on-one!