I’ll Never Make Enough Money


I spent last week with my whole family at a cottage in Michigan. All 19 of us spent the week in a three bedroom cottage with one bathroom. Thankfully, we all love each other and get along pretty well, so things worked out. We cooked every meal at the cottage and spent most of the day on the lake in paddleboats and kayaks. It was an amazing time just spending time together and reconnecting. It also made me want to move back there even worse, but that’s something that’s been on my mind for quite some time.

Hermit Lake - Sanbornton, New Hampshire
Creative Commons License photo credit: dougtone

While I was there, my one aunt made a comment that I “should be taking college courses at night” to try to further my education. This is the same aunt that was telling me to go to school to be a CPA awhile back. I remarked that I have a different career path in mind than that. She made it seem like I was not as good as everyone else in her family because I am not making over $60,000 a year. Her nephew is going to school to be a surgeon and someone else just graduated college and is making $70,000 a year and just got married and bought a beautiful house. Needless to say, her little comment hurt more than she will probably ever know.

Does she think that I wouldn’t love to make $70,000 a year? Who wouldn’t?! There are times every day where I think that I’ll never be “successful” because my husband and I will probably never make tons of money. I feel like a loser. I worry about so many different things related to money. I think if I had my MBA that I’d have a better job and make more money and be happier. I feel like I’m not living up to my potential.

It just pisses me off that she tries to force her beliefs on me and in turn makes me feel like I’m a loser. The thing is, if I went to school to get my MBA that probably would be a waste of time and money for myself right now. I want to have kids and stay at home. What good would that MBA do for me?

I hate how money is a status symbol. I hate how people measure success in how much money one makes, or how many things they possess. It just makes me angry. Is that because I’m not super rich and probably never will be? I’m not sure. I would love to be on the other side, making the money and having all the things that would be fun to have. I just need to learn to accept my life how it is and make the best with what I have. My husband and I are happy with what we’ve created, and that is the most important point.

Could you ever make enough money? Do you ever feel like everyone else makes more money than you?

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18 thoughts on “I’ll Never Make Enough Money

  1. Becky R says:

    My one aunt is constantly telling me to go back to school and get a real job; and I can’t possibly be raising my boys right because they are not in all these extra activities.

    I chose to homeschool (as a single mom) so I don’t work that much (just enough to get by, but not enough for a lot of extras.)

    I am happy, and feel this is what God wants, but still sometimes I wish we had more money. And I especially hate feeling bad because of what my aunt said.


  2. Khaleef @ KNS Financial says:

    I have gone through the same thing, although from a different perspective. I have a Master’s in Economics and live near the world’s financial center (NYC), yet I work in accounting for a large university and I started a small business (financial advising) that isn’t making any money. And now the blog/website is taking more of my time than expected.

    Because of this, I have heard that I am wasting my talents and education because I could easily earn six figures working on Wall St. at an investment bank. While this is probably true, the amount of stress that the job would cause, and the amount of time it would require (working 80-90 hours/week) are not worth it to me!

    I would rather spend all of that time with my wife, family, and friends because money isn’t more important to me than that. At least when I work on my side business and the blog, I can be at home with my wife.

    As long as you are in a position to take care of your responsibilities financially, don’t let anyone tell you that you are wasting your life/time!

    @ Becky, I commend you for following what God wants rather than falling into the materialistic trap of the world! Being a mother is one of the most important “jobs” on earth and as long as you are able to provide the needs of your children, don’t worry about the rest (think of Matthew 6:19-34).


  3. Budgeting in the Fun Stuff says:

    I get this kind of thing all the time from my parents and a few relatives. They don’t like the company I work for, they don’t like how little I make, but at least they are really proud of me and my blog (I was actually surprised when my mom said I was a great writer…didn’t see that coming from a blog, lol).

    I think they just wanted to see a glimmer of personal achievement – little do they know that I like fun way more than money and will probably never have a “winning” career. I don’t want to give that much time to a job – I want easy with great coworkers. Thankfully my husband just wants me to be happy, so I’ll find a better job (I’m looking now since I no longer like this one) and keep up with BFS. ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Carol@inthetrenches says:

    There will always be people like this in the world. You have one in your family to practice with. Can be even more difficult when it’s your parents.

    Are you happy? Than you are ahead of most people. I’m reading Jeff Yeagers The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches. The book might give you some snappy comebacks ๐Ÿ™‚

    One of my favorite sayings is “Water off a ducks back, water off a ducks back.” I repeat it to myself when others thoughtlessly say things that hurt. It’s really not your problem. It’s theirs. It called being tactless and often a busy body. (Does your aunt read your blog ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Abigail says:

    Well, if she points to things like a doctor making $70,000, I’d point out that his debt level means he’s a pauper in comparison to you. Going back to school to make more money is great… if you plan to use it to get a degree and make more money. Since you have other priorities, you’ve seen it would actually WASTE money to try to make more money.

    That said, it’s amazing how easily we all slip into money-as-status, isn’t it? When I met my husband, I was on disability. We made a whopping $40,000 a year combined, about $30,000 of that was him. I told people I would just love to make even $30,000. I figured $60,000 combined income, once we paid off debt, would be pretty comfortable living.

    Fast forward to two-year unemployment for him, and increasing employment for me. Now I found a job I can do from home and my salary is about $30,000. And I’ve more or less been promised a raise at the end of the year. Plus I even have some contract work. At the moment, in fact, I make a crap-ton of money (from my perspective) — almost as much as I hoped my husband and I could make combined.

    But I’m still freaked about money. Mainly, because we’re eating fast food/take out/convenience food too much now that I’m busy. But also because we still have a little debt to go before I can breathe a sigh of relief. Also, I don’t want to keep up this workload forever.

    So, no, I think I’ll always want to make just a little bit more. Of course, partly that’s because my husband also has chronic conditions, one of which makes it very hard to work. So there is always the chance that we’ll be an on-again, off-again two-income household. It makes me want to hoard money.

    Well… that and I have gadget-lust recently. I suppose that doesn’t help.

    This is a long way of saying, I think everyone would be pretty happy to make more. But I think the question becomes how much that extra money costs you, emotionally, physically and even financially. Going back to school for something you don’t ultimately want to do seems like a waste of time, energy and money. All of which are quite dear. And only one of which can be replaced.


  6. Heather says:

    You’d have more money, but you wouldn’t be happier because you’d be spending half your life doing something you don’t want to do.

    Fortunately, most of the people we spend most of our time with are in roughly the same income bracket (as far as I know!). We only have one relative who makes scads more money, and we don’t see them often (and they still complain about money…).

    The problem isn’t money as status symbol โ€” it’s people who think the status is the most important thing. I’m guessing your aunt keeps bothering you because you’re on a path she might have liked to be on โ€” or some story like that โ€” and not because of what’s being stated.

    She might envy you…


    Becky R Reply:

    Yeah, that is true. Once the same aunt from above comment said “Homeschooling is nice, but not everyone can afford to do that.”

    If it is God’s plan (whatever the plan is), He will make a way. I think many people who are working want to be home with kids, but feel like they can’t. Because of society, debt, etc.

    So awesome that you already know where you are called to be!~ He will bless your efforts!


  7. JoeTaxpayer says:

    You are happy? That is the only point. Not much else really matters.
    When my daughter is sad over something I try to talk it out with her and ultimately explain that she chooses how to react, she can choose to be sad. There are debates going around about whether money can bring one happiness, and while the numbers are up for debate, your own happiness shouldn’t be. Your title “I’ll never make enough money.” Enough for what? To get others’ approval? Don’t let other people convince you that you are not actually happy, that’s pretty silly, isn’t it?
    Take a peek at http://www.globalrichlist.com/ and see how you compare with the rest of the world, not your neighbor next door. I had my daughter (12) ad up her allowance, baby sitting money, and holiday gifts. This alone has her ‘income’ higher than 2/3 of the world.

    I am so happy to have the cheapest car on my street (and worst looking lawn). If a neighbor ever said a word, I just reply “those things aren’t important to me.” Know what is? I’ve never missed a dance recital, basketball game, soccer game, or school function. If there’s just one dad there, it’s me.


  8. jen says:

    I have a friend who I love dearly but she always makes me feel bad because I am a stay at home mom. We used to work together and she makes me feel bad that I am no longer in the corporate world. I think she is a little bit jealous because she never stayed at home with her child. She has no idea the sacrifices that I make in order to stay at home. I don’t have a new car and lot of the luxuries that she may have but I am happier than I have ever been. For me the best things in life are the simple things that money can’t buy.


  9. Rebecca says:

    I get this a lot from aunts and uncles who didn’t go to college, who still think a college education is worth anything. I have a bachelor’s degree in finance and after 2 years in the banking field I am making a whopping $22,000 a year, I have to work a 2nd job just to stay afloat. Knowing what I know now I do plan on going back to school, not to get a master’s to make more money, but to become a vet tech and do something that I love that will be emotionally fulfilling. The business degree has proven to be worthless unless I want to sell insurance. My boyfriend and I decided we would rather be happy than wealthy. We are cutting expenses as much as possible, making plans to return to school to make OURSELVES happy not our parents or family. What really matters is how you feel about your life, not everyone else. I don’t want to sell insurance or be a CPA. I want less stress and more time doing what I love. Being happy is much more important than making lots of money and having lots of things.


  10. Frugal Babe says:

    Sorry your aunt made those comments, but please please don’t feel like a loser for not making big bucks! I can truly say that staying home with our son is far more rewarding to me than any fat corporate paycheck could ever be. Wanting to be a stay at home mom is a great goal if that’s what you want to do. Sure, money makes life easier, but most of us don’t need as much of it as we might think. Have you been to Tammy Strobel’s website? http://rowdykittens.com/ She and her husband live on $24,000/year and have enough left over to contribute to family members’ college funds!


  11. Kacie says:

    These kinds of things frustrate me SO much. Some people didn’t get the memo that it doesn’t so much matter how much income a person makes, but what their priorities are and how they SPEND their money.

    My FIL is always going on about how you need a high income just to “make it” in the world. False. You need a moderate income and a whole lot of common sense.

    There’s a reason why some low-income people die with large estates, but some high-income people leave the world with not much to give away. It’s because you’ve gotta be good with your money, no matter how much you make! ARG!


  12. Nicole says:

    All money is is a tool… it is a tool to buy goods and services, and most importantly, time (and peace of mind). If you have enough money that you are able to align your goals and your values with what you are spending your time on, then you HAVE achieved the pinnacle of success. At least, that’s the Your Money or Your Life philosophy of money.

    It isn’t about making more money than everybody else or some optimal amount. It’s about having “enough” and then a little bit more.

    So if you have kids and stay at home with them and are able to pull that together and that’s what you want to do. Well, then you win the money game, no matter what your aunt thinks. And if you get an MBA and a higher powered job and that’s what you want to do, then that’s success too. Heck, if you get the MBA for the learning and then don’t get a higher powered job and that’s in line with your values, then you haven’t wasted a thing either. There are a ton of choices out there, a ton of ways to “win” or at least to enjoy playing. Which is what’s important anyway… since nobody cares who “won” when they’re dead.


  13. liz says:

    Your stress regarding money will keep it from flowing to you. Anyone, no matter what age, education, title or status – has the capability to allow lots and lots of money to flow to them over the course of their life.

    It’s called currency because it’s a living current. Money flows like a current and is always abundant in the Universe. There is no shortage. Stress, frustration, fear, and anger about your bank account keeps money from flowing to you.

    However, hopefullness, optimism, “trust”, and visual affirmations of being affluent one day…..will allow it to flow to you.


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