Don’t Compare your Finances to Others

Posted by Mrs Money on November 12th, 2008

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sad.jpgI’ve been having a bad couple of weeks.  First I find out there’s a good possibility I’m going to lose my job, and with that comes losing my health insurance. I am a little stressed and I’m worrying a lot about money right now and what the heck I am going to do about health insurance. I’m going to sign up through my current employer, but I’m really sweating what I’m going to do if I lose my job because I have to have health insurance.  But not only am I worrying about those two big things, I’m also worrying that I’m not saving enough money and paying off debt fast enough.  I read all these blogs and it seems like everyone else is saving more than me and paying off debt faster than I am.  We’re doing the best we can right now, and in all actuality I think we’re doing well, but I can’t help but doubt whether or not we’re doing the right thing.  This leads me to believe something important that I not only need to talk the talk, but walk the walk as well.

I need to stop comparing myself to others.  Not everyone can pay off all their debt in a year.  Everyone can’t have a year’s worth of emergency fund, save tons of money for retirement, and plan everything.  Things happen that we can’t control.  When I start something, I go all in.  It’s all or nothing in my books.  I started knitting; I have tons of needles and yarn.  I started making soap; I’ve got many different oils.  I started home renovation, and now I have my living room torn apart, walls primed and trim painted.  I get antsy when I don’t have anything to do.  I want things done, and I want them done now!

I get this way with paying off debt and saving.  I want all of our debt gone now.  I want to be mortgage free, student loan free, car loan free, and living comfortably with $$$$$ in the bank. I want it all right now.  I need to sit back, relax, and realize that I am making progress, I’m doing the best I can, and that’s all I can do.  I need to stop comparing us to others because: 1. their income versus our income is different, and 2. the debt we’re paying off is different too.  I need to realize that this is not a race.  Hopefully I’ll calm down a lot soon! :)

Do you find yourself comparing your financial situation to others?

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9 Responses to “Don’t Compare your Finances to Others”


  1. Tiffany says:

    I have a tendancy of doing this a LOT! I know that it takes a long time to get done, but for some reason that “instant gratification” part of it is what I want in the end. I bust my butt to try and make my debt slowly dwindle down, but I have to realize that it’s a process and will take a while.

    Plus, the “instant gratification” part of my brain was also what got me in a lot of debt in the first place. Perhaps patience is what we need first. :)

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  2. Miss M says:

    I definitely feel I’m behind the game and oh no, what will I do to catch up. I want it all now, money in the bank, a big 401k, a house I’m not upside down on…The problem is, I’m comparing myself to other pfbloggers out there and many of them are net worth superstars. They’re amazing, my age and have half a million in the bank. I have to realize that they are the exception, not the rule. By taking charge of your finances you are already ahead of most americans. No two situations are the same, you have to do the best with what you are given.

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  3. I feel your pain!! I read all these bloggers tell about how they just live below their means and now they’ve got all this money in the bank. Unfortunately for us, it takes tons of effort just to live WITHIN our means, and even more effort to live below our means. Our saving progress is slower than others, but at least it’s progress, you know?

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  4. Profsilver says:

    The “P” in PF is the most important part! It is nice to see others reach the goals we have set for ourselves, but each of us will get there (if we commit to it) at our own pace.

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  5. Mrs Money says:

    Tiffany- Patience is definitely something I need! What a great point.

    Miss M- Doesn’t it seem like we are so far behind others? It makes me wonder HOW they’ve gotten that far. I know I make pretty good money right now and I am still working hard to get out of debt.

    Kristen- I think it’s important to take into consideration where people live. For instance, I live in the Midwest right now and I know it’s a TON cheaper than when we were in Colorado. Practice makes progress. :)

    Profsilver- The “P” is the most important part! I just need to learn patience and good things will come! :) Thanks for your comment!

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  6. Jennifer says:

    it is so hard not to compare. I know it isn’t best for us, but I do it anyway. It helps me to realize that how I spend my money and save my money are my choices. other people make different choices. These are my choices and I could choose to live differently if I wanted to, but right now I am not. good luck!

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  7. Mrs Money says:

    Jennifer- I have learned a ton by reading other peoples’ blogs and am thankful for that. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

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  8. Sue says:

    I couldn’t help but comment on this topic Mrs Money. I’ve always felt just as you do about getting rid of debt and getting ahead at the same time.

    That attitude placed too much pressure on my first husband and contributed to our divorce, which wasn’t part of my plan!!!

    Now I’m 53 and finally debt-free (and happily married again). It’s taken a long time to be debt-free. I had to learn that not everyone can cut back as much as I can and that it’s very important to enjoy life along the way as well.

    I also had to learn to accept that things don’t always go according to plan. Now I leave some money aside every week for ‘incidentals’ so we can just go and blow it on anything we want. Sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t.

    As for patience… I still struggle with it, but it gets easier as the years go by.

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  9. Mrs Money says:

    Sue- Thanks for your insight. I know that saving money and getting out of debt is important, but also that living life and enjoying it is pretty important too. I am trying to find a nice balance.

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