For most of my life, I felt like we were swimming against the tide of consumerism. But now, the currents have changed. I have found my tribe. And I think that will make all the difference.

I’ve been spending money, real money, for about 20 years. I found a direct correlation between how much people praise my choices and how detrimental those choices are to my goals and dreams.

Their Up is My Down.

If I spend $150 getting my hair cut, colored, and styled, they love it. They will say it looks amazing. Everyone will compliment me. I should do that more often because, really, I deserve it. My Twitter picture will be flooded with little red hearts.

But I can’t add anything to my kid’s college fund that month. They won’t notice that.

If I buy a new fancy car, they will go wild. All my coworkers will come outside to check it out. Ask 100 questions. A few test drives. Admiration.

But I can’t take a year off work to do these amazing things that I really do value. They won’t notice that.

If I go out to an expensive restaurant and take pictures of the amazing food I ate, they will like it on FB. And talk about it at the office when I bring in the leftovers.

But I might not be able to add any money to our “Next Rental Investment” fund. They won’t notice that.

If I take a luxury vacation, they will be green with envy.  My Instagram pictures will show beautiful hotels and hot stone massages. Everyone will ask about it when we get home. They will wish they had our perfect life.

But that year, we won’t be able to save the IRA max. Or maybe anything. They won’t notice that.

If I buy a huge gorgeous home, everyone will love it. They will like every picture I post. They will think I have really made something of myself.

But I will be tied to a paying job for the next 30 years, with little hope of living the life I dream of. They won’t mind that. I’m just being “normal,” right?

Their Up is My Down.

If I cut my hair at home, they might not notice. If I drive an older car, they might tease me a bit about my hooptie. If I cook simple meals at home, there isn’t much to talk about. If our vacations involve a tent, no one will think much of it. If I paid cash for my modest home, they will ask when we are going to move into something bigger.

But in reality, I’m killing it.

I’m saving for my kid’s college, and this tribe thinks that’s awesome. I’m taking a year off work, and this tribe sees that I’m living intentionally- fully. I’m buying investment properties, and this tribe loves passive income. I’m maxing out my IRA, and this tribe sees that I’m setting myself up for success.

You can’t pay too much attention to “them.” The ones who love every choice that keeps you in debt and over-committed in payments.

They can only celebrate choices that steal your freedom.

It’s easy to see consumption. It’s easy to show off money spent. All of our best money choices are hidden. We can be making huge gains behind the scenes, and our friends might never know.

You have a different tribe!

It’s ok if their up is your down.  They can celebrate whatever they want. You have a different tribe. And I will celebrate with you. Every choice catapults you closer to your goals. We will celebrate that together. Every choice buys you more freedom instead of less. We will throw confetti into the air together. Find cheaper housing, pay off your mortgage, keep driving that old car, kill your credit card debt for good: And we will rally behind you! Cheering you on. Just so blasting happy for you!

Because we understand what those things really mean and how powerful those choices are. We are living on purpose.

We know what we want, what we value, and will do what it takes to get there even if we can’t share it on Facebook.

More freedom. More choices. More opportunities. More time for things that matter.



Discussion questions:

  1. Have you ever wanted more celebration for your hidden wins?
  2. Have you ever wanted to shout at the coworker who took out a 6-year car loan on a $35,000 car, “I actually HAVE $35,000, but you don’t see me wasting it on some stupid car!” Oh, course not. That’s not nice. Maybe I have thought about it in my head.
  3. How do you like the changes on my homepage? Who else noticed that I miss-spelled financial? Duh! It was a Homer Simpson moment for sure! Big thanks to Harmony for catching that. =) Truth be told, I’m a truly horrendous speller. Spell check often has no idea what I am trying to say.