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Net worth, weddings and other contentious issues. And people who need to STFU

Something has been irking me of late. I’ve noticed it almost exclusively in the personal finance blogosphere. This is possibly because by its very nature, money is a polarising topic. (Hence why many write anonymously.) This invites, whether we like it or not, judgement from others. Or maybe it’s simply because it’s a niche I spend so much time reading. Who knows?

Serendipity summed up much of what I have to say in this recent post. But I have a little more to add.

I’m lucky to have awesome readers. I can count on one hand the number of trolly commenters I’ve had on my money posts. Others… well.

Weddings

Swear to God, almost every wedding post I read makes me less keen on having one. Especially when the bar subject comes up. Open bar? No? What a cheapskate! Who do you think you are??

Weddings are not about you, the guest. It’s about the couple. Their union. If the provision or lack thereof of free alcohol is such a big deal, then RETHINK WHY YOU’RE ATTENDING. Cheap? Cheap would be not serving food. Or not playing music at all.

If you think it’s tacky, just don’t be a total ass about voicing your opinion. It’s when you suggest maybe cutting back in other areas so guests can have free booze…that’s overstepping the line. This is not your wedding. You don’t know the couple’s priorities. You don’t know if music, or amazing video, or a live band is more important to them.ย  Piss off.

Net worth

Quick backstory: Fig, in a very honest and slightly downhearted net worth update, confessed to sometimes feeling discouraged at her lack of progress in comparison to some (no fingers pointed or names named, just a frank statement).

FB, in her own net worth update, wondered if she should stop sharing hers. Although I did not follow the debate, I’m going to make a statement here. Apparently a bunch of people jumped on the slagging bandwagon and tore into…well, you can imagine what was said. This was not Fig’s problem or FB’s problem. Blogging is (or should be) a safe place to share. It is the snarky, smartass readers who form a lynch mob and turn near feral who are/have the problem.

I didn’t read the comments. I refuse to. I am always amazed at how rude some people can be on the web, and if I can avoid being disappointed once again in the human race, then I’ll snap up the opportunity.

Assuming you are not some kind of millionaire, can you honestly – in your heart of hearts – say you never feel slightly disheartened when you see others with net worths many, many times larger than yours? That you never compare yourself and come up short?

If so, then you’re a better person than me. In fact, that makes you a perfect human being. Congratulations.

Actually, no. That’s not quite accurate. To earn the title of “perfect”, you would be actually encouraging others, rather than ripping them to shreds without a second thought.

And more generally…

There are many, many bloggers out there on a quest to become debt-free, and are doing incredible things to get there. But they are human. They have emergencies that derail them. They need the occasional break, the occasional splurge. It’s about dedication, not deprivation. It’s only healthy. Again, as above – are you walking the walk yourself, every single day, never ever ever veering off the path? If not, then STFU.

We bloggers are, by nature, a reflective lot. When we write about and acknowledge our mistakes, we’re taking the first steps toward rectifying them. Your bashing there can be never be helpful.

This is not to say you should never voice a dissenting opinion. In fact, I sometimes think people are TOO sensitive about comments. A misconstrued word. A new reader who lacks background knowledge. Etc.

Haters will hate. But for the love of God, try to couch your critical comments constructively. If you’re genuine about wanting to help, take a little time to think about how you phrase it – we’re much more likely to take it on board. And have the balls to put your name to it.

I move that douchebag Anon comments should hereby be rejected. Who’s with me?

28 thoughts on “Net worth, weddings and other contentious issues. And people who need to STFU

  • Reply Amber from Girl with the Red Hair January 6, 2011 at 11:24

    Holy crap. I am pretty good with my money (not much debt, savings etc) but reading those net worth posts just made my head swim because I don’t understand them AT ALL! How do you even calculate that kind of thing? Yikes!

    Also, r.e. weddings, I was JUST thinking about this. I definitely do not want to have a traditional wedding. I will serve food that I ENJOY, booze that I ENJOY and only invite people I want to keep company with.

    I’ve also heard a lot of negative feedback from people when couples ask for money in lieu of gifts to go towards their honeymoon. Considering I’ve lived with my (hopefully!) future-husband for the past four years there is not a SINGLE household thing that we could possible need or want. So what is wrong with asking for money in those kinds of situations? Nothing! In my opinion anyways….

  • Reply theopinioniser January 6, 2011 at 11:25

    I think the rule of thumb is this – if you are not prepared to say something to someones face, (whatever the topic) then don’t say it at all….

  • Reply FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com January 6, 2011 at 11:28

    I’m surprised how quickly it got out of hand. I didn’t mean for it to get so.. wild and crazy, but I guess I should have just worded it better. Or more vaguely.

    I feel and felt awful. I even emailed Fig 2-3 times and commented on the post saying that I don’t think she’s any of those awful things, I just thought she was being honest.

    I’d feel the same way if I were in her shoes which is why I was (or I thought I was) asking if it was worthwhile to keep doing those posts, especially if they’re just going to make others feel bad. ๐Ÿ™

  • Reply Jane January 6, 2011 at 11:45

    You summed this all up wonderfully. I mostly lurk on PF blogs, because, well… people get weird about money. Weddings too; I myself went a little nuts about stuff that was (in hindsight) absolutely not important when I got married.

    I really believe in acting online as closely as possible to the way I act in real life (although, ideally, with a touch more wit). People who are rude, who prank others, who actually go out of their way to be mean online — well, I wonder if they are the same way away from their computers, at least in their hearts. We should be kind and forgiving to one another.

  • Reply Kara January 6, 2011 at 11:53

    Ahaha, I sure hope my wedding posts aren’t making you stabby, lol! We’re definitely having an “all about us” wedding. $2 bar! Not open, but not expensive, with enough choice in booze to please everyone.

    And sometimes I just can’t read comments for some posts because they just make my blood boil, more-so for news storys and Craigslists “Rants and “Raves” than anything. Anonymous posters are a bunch of douchebags.

  • Reply payingmyself January 6, 2011 at 12:59

    YES. Thank you for saying this! It’s all so true. I get so irked by people who think that their way is the right way with “personal” finance. Especially the wedding thing!

  • Reply SS4BC January 6, 2011 at 13:08

    So say we all.

    • Reply payingmyself January 6, 2011 at 13:34

      So say we all! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Reply Red January 6, 2011 at 14:18

        Hear, hear! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply Jeremy January 6, 2011 at 13:09

    great post! I am a wedding DJ and I actually now discourage open bar.

    *If* the couple feels they’d like to have one, I suggest a token bar… like $1 or $2 drinks… only to discourage waste. People get dumb when booze if “free” to them. Just my little opinion.

    Great blog!

  • Reply youngandthrifty January 6, 2011 at 13:33

    Thank you for posting this ๐Ÿ™‚ Well written, couldn’t have said it any better!

  • Reply bumbles of a bee January 6, 2011 at 13:36

    People who leave those anonymous comments should mind the fact that the blogger doesn’t have to share anything with them…wedding plans, net worth, etc. I love reading about these things because I love watching their progress, small or big, and learning about things I never knew about, such as a toonie bar. It makes me sad when people threaten to quit blogging or stop sharing certain things because of these hateful comments.

  • Reply Fig January 6, 2011 at 13:40

    Well said. I completely agree with everything you wrote.

    The thing with me and FB just got out of hand quickly when other people started chiming in. She was honestly questioning the practice of posting her net worth just like I was honestly expressing my frustration from comparing my net worth to many other bloggers. Once other people got into the conversation is when it became something negative. But that’s what happens on the internet sometimes.

    And weddings? Everyone has an opinion on them. Believe me, once you start planning a wedding you will hear the word tacky more than ever. It’s frightening.

  • Reply Daisy January 6, 2011 at 13:46

    The thing that REALLY gets me when I see the critical comments on some blogs, is that we only know a sliver, a fraction, of each bloggers life.
    They don’t live, breath, eat money. Theres a whole life that each person lives outside of thier blog. Things happen daily to each person that they don’t blog about, especailly if we’re all trying to keep to a comment, relevant topic: Personal Finance.
    In addition, I doubt everyone who blogs about personal finance discloses every.last.detail of thier financial situation. I am sure there are a few things that they leave out, that are too personal, or whatever. I could be wrong. I can’t think of anything I personally leave out, but then again, there are always things that slip my mind. So then, who are we to judge? right? Red, on the Girl with the Red Balloon asked in a post if she was “obsessed”. Nobody can really judge her, because we don’t know the whole story. We weren’t there. & on top of that, I have gotten one (only 1!) email that said that I need to loosen up and have fun. Well, how is that person to know that I don’t have fun? I mean, i blog about money, not what I do for fun. Just because I dont spend copious amounts of money on fun, doesn’t mean that all leisurely activities cost money.
    So, yes, I agree. People need to mold thier critisms & judgements into contructive thoughts. Not attacks.
    But then again, I have not had any haters, yet. Other than the one email, I’ve been lucky ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Insomniac Lab Rat January 6, 2011 at 14:27

    Really well said! I agree completely.

    But weddings…people in real life think they have the right to comment on them too. I had several “friends” ask me if we were having an open bar, what we were doing for favors/music/food/etc., then tell me to my face that this or that wasn’t going to be good enough, and I should definitely spend the extra money to do this other thing instead. Crazies! (In the end, I thought our wedding was great and we stuck to our budget, so boo on them!)

  • Reply SP January 6, 2011 at 14:56

    I hate when anyone labels other people’s decisions tacky (re: weddings). It isn’t just not having an open bar, but nearly every step of the way, someone is ready to tell you it isn’t good enough.

    Money is a difficult topic generally, but most of us in the pf community handle it with grace. Then there are a few that feel the need to judge and hate that are ruining the party.

  • Reply Investing Newbie January 7, 2011 at 02:37

    As a good friend of mine would say, “Shots to that.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    However, I think the point needs to be stressed that if you are going to put your information out there, be prepared for backlash. We are a society of human beings. There’s always going to be an Angry Andy (or Ann) who has to say something negative. Encourage them in the discussion to see your side and if they are just out there to say something mean, then ignore them.

  • Reply Kim January 7, 2011 at 05:59

    I’m glad that you wrote this article so I didn’t have to.

    I’ve stumbled upon both posts that you referred to and they didn’t seem that controversial to me – I understood where both bloggers came from and no one seemed to mean any harm with their words. The drama seems to have been caused purely by the commenters.

    I try not to read toxic comments but couldn’t help myself but browse on FB’s post. What really irked me were these “hollier than thou” commenters who said things like “well if people get annoyed it’s their own problem, they should fix their own shitty attitudes instead of getting jealous” – ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? The persons who wrote this either 1) have never met anybody richer than them, or 2) are just better people than most people I know, or 3) are judgmental liars. My money is on #3.

    We humans are natural competitotrs, both biologically and now socially. To attack someone for having an honest human emtion – one which wasn’t directed at anyone in particular and certainly without any kind of bitterness or attitude, is unhelpful, judgmental, condescending and unwelcomed, period.

  • Reply Jessie's Money January 7, 2011 at 08:27

    hear, hear!

    This is very well written, thanks to Not-So-Frugal for sending me over to read yours. I recently did a post about the having a $2 bar at the wedding and was shocked by some of the comments!

  • Reply First Gen American January 7, 2011 at 09:18

    I was a commenter on blogs way way before I started a blog of my own. I specifically waited over a year before making the plunge because of exactly this. People get nasty and assume things about bloggers that are just odd sometimes. I do like to debate topics at times, who didn’t debate GRS’s swimsuit article, but I do want it to be a productive discussion, not just a rant.

    I’m lucky that I have a pretty funky and fun group of readers on my blog and I have not regretted starting one. I guess I’ll know I made it when the nasty people start joining in on the comments.

    I personally don’t share my net worth, my salary, or anything beyond general statements like “I make a decent salary” or “I try to save 20% of my income.” It just opens the doors to too much negativity.

  • Reply twentysomethingmoney January 7, 2011 at 15:34

    I find most people in life, are more willing to ‘vent’ online (or comment), and in real life would never act or behave the same way. Even think of customer service people at companies — could you imagine the emails they get when the customer ‘complains’, versus what would happen if they ACTUALLY stood face to face with them?

  • Reply Sense January 7, 2011 at 18:31

    boo-yah! kill it, lady! I’m totally with you.

  • Reply Serendipity January 9, 2011 at 15:35

    Thanlks for referencing me. You brought up some great points too that I totally agree with. People need to get to steppin if their gonna be rude!

  • Reply nicoleandmaggie January 10, 2011 at 15:36

    Wow, looks like we missed some drama.

    We at Grumpy Rumblings will never disclose our networths unless we suddenly gain 10 million dollars. Then the post will go something like this:

    “Yeah man, ended up with a really valuable old quarter that I sold. Got 13.8 million, paid taxes, moving to Cali.”

    Only we wouldn’t really say “Cali” because that’s something only Southern Californians say and we’d be moving to the SF bay area where they don’t do that.

    I don’t complain about the lack of open bars at weddings, but if you’re going to force a long wait between the ceremony and the reception without warning, please provide food.

  • Reply Mid-Month Link Love « Grumpy rumblings of the untenured January 15, 2011 at 21:53

    […] Here’s some drama we missed last week… play by play from eemusings. […]

  • Reply Dylan January 16, 2011 at 15:17

    No more douchebag Anon comments. Some civility would be nice, too.

    Very well written. I couldnโ€™t have said it any better.

    Thanks for writing it.

  • Reply Someone January 25, 2011 at 11:09

    haters gonna hate.

    I would suggest that there are likely a lot of people out there on the web and certainly in real life who greatly exaggerate their net worth. It doesn’t take a genius to see that there are a lot of people living beyond their means in a lot of cities these days. Is it prudent for a 25 year old to be driving a German car? Probably not. I think the problem is that our society has taught us to live in the moment and not to worry about our future. As a result there are lots of people posturing out there. In that light, I wouldn’t be too discouraged or embarrassed by someones reported net worth. Probably it’s exaggerated and besides you will never know where the money came from anyways.

    In life, worry about yourself and friends not the others creating noise around you.

  • Reply Financial Samurai May 8, 2011 at 12:35

    It’s tough to take ugly commenting criticism sometimes. Many of my posts are very polarized, so I’m ready for some hate. But, if you dare to hate on me, I will likely rip you one right back! After time, I’ve noticed people have stopped ripping me as a result lol.

    Also, we should have no problems deleting unconstructive crap comments. It’s our site!

    Sam

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