In Ask Sherry

Ask Sherry: Have I thought about just burning everything (blog-wise) & starting over?

You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1DKFg6SD0Kmb_0U5yb4OTNfkvfmsf5dWxJJbZTzUtH7M/edit

You can ask any question using the form here.

Before we begin:

Thank you all. There were so many messages and emails I couldn’t keep up, frankly. I appreciate the sentiment.

I’m so sorry you were hacked and harrassed and doxxed. What a piece of shit. I’m really going to miss your updates. You’ve helped me take tangible steps with my finances that I’d been stuck on for years. Fuck that guy. I’m sorry he ruined it for you, and I’m sorry you were violated and have had to go through this.

Thank you. I am sorry too that it came to this, because 99.99% of everyone I have ever interacted with, has been positive, lovely and really not an issue at all.

Very encouraging for the most part, but as always, in every single place, you are always going to have THAT ONE GUY who is threatened for some obscure reason. Instead of moving on and getting therapy, he’s going to try and show false domination to regain the perception of power he has lost by me being who I want to be.

He did it as a way to show: Hey I am going to dox you to show you how dominant I am, when in fact, he spent countless hours trying to hack into my accounts (a criminal, chargeable federal offense here by the way), and then used his status at Facebook as an employee to log in and view DELETED, PRIVATE Facebook profiles, all the while claiming all of it was public because he knows what he is doing is illegal if it wasn’t public info (it isn’t, you literally cannot Google me with a superficial search) and he can get in a whole world of trouble once he is found.

Who goes to that kind of trouble? Seriously? Yes, he says he is doing it because I’m such a b*tch, but you know what that’s a code word for, when it’s used for women right? Independent.

Independent of money, thoughts, societal perceptions, and the like. I am definitely influenced, and guided by many of those I interact with, but I make up my own mind at the end. Just because someone tells me something about a topic, it doesn’t mean I accept it at face value.

Example of a blanket statement:

All electric cars are better for the environment.

Example of independent thought:

All electric cars are better for the environment if you can obtain said electricity in a green manner.

Unfortunately, very few countries in the world, actually generate green electricity (wind, water, etc). So really, all of these electric cars on the road? They are worse than gas cars because the means for the electricity, are obtained via burning coal for instance.

I didn’t know this at the start, but I know it now, and unless you can change my mind again with maybe an argument that if we had more electric cars, we would make infrastructure changes to obtain the electricity in an eco-friendly manner (so far, not seeing this happen in the U.S. for instance), and society would change.

I know it seems like I am going off tangent, but I know exactly what I am being targeted, and after much reflection, while I am making a few changes as not to get stalked IRL by petty, insecure men, I am still who I am.

This is who I am in real life, and I’ll continue being who I am. Everyone knows I am like this because I am always in their face about these topics I care passionately about.

I am still an eco-feminist, I am still against racism, I am still against the patriarchy, I am still a huge advocate for financial literacy and understanding, and everything else I have never wavered from because they are my values and beliefs.

Sherry, I read about your recent online troubles being stalked online and how they’re going after your colleagues and your little one. You’re really good at social media and blogging, have you thought about starting over from scratch?

Brand new blog and brand new socials. Don’t transfer articles from your old blog to your new blog, like start over from scratch even with articles. Like brand new identity and everything. Even change your writing “voice”.

Don’t even call yourself Sherry or anything in the S family of names. Call yourself Katie, or whatever nickname you would be okay with. I wouldn’t do the style and jewelry stuff either, right now you’re just too identifiable by your style.

I think in 3-6 months your socials could be right where are right now. This is what I would do if I were you. What you experienced is just really scary. I would also redo the book series, you have as well. I would pull them, rename them or rebrand, redo chapters, and use another pen name for your books to go by.

This is just what I would do if I were in your situation. However I am sad to see you go, I loved your perspective on money and you’re a nice breath of fresh air from all those PF blogs that are so cookie cutter.

I considered it, but decided it wasn’t worth it for a few reasons.

My voice is distinct

I know it sounds like an ego thing, but I remember starting this blog, and day one, someone messaged me to say: Hey are you X? They knew immediately just because of..  I don’t know. The way I write. I can’t hide how I write, my story, my personal details and who I am.

My story is believe it or not, real

You know how they say that liars are easy to catch because they can’t keep the details straight? Well it’s been over a decade and the details have stayed the same. I mean, it’s no secret that I had a lot of student debt and got out of it. It’s hard to fake details of your actual life in your writing when it’s real.

You can’t help but say what the truth is eventually, and it all comes out because most of my readers are astute and sharp. One reader even commented how YEARS AGO she read a small detail about what I wrote, and caught me out being hypocritical by doing the exact opposite in a post. She wasn’t wrong! I had completely forgotten I had even written that, and I acknowledged the hypocrisy.

Anyway, my point is if that’s the case that my life is real and it is hard to fake, it means I’d have to pretend that Day One would be today as my money situation, and I cannot talk about how I got here.

The problem is what is interesting about how I reached here, is the journey itself, not necessarily the results. I understand that it is easy to say “I am/have _____“, it is harder to explain how you got there without details and information, and it’s THAT information that is the most valuable to most readers, I would imagine.

Putting myself in their shoes, if I were starting out, I’d want to devour exactly how this person did it. What did they do? Say? Change? Mindset? Who did they talk to? Read? …. all of this is how I’d learn how to use what I’d learn from them, to teach myself how to reach a similar situation. Or stay motivated, to see the journey over time.

I am not leaving

I am not leaving, I am going to stay where I am, but I won’t be giving PERSONAL updates of any kind, that’s all. The voice stays the same in the sense that I am still going to write what I want to write, but I won’t draw on my experiences. I will still give personal updates on my life in general, but no specifics.

I am not ashamed of anything I have written or done

Sure, I have done some stupid articles in the past, some even dumber when I look back and think: I said that about children LOL? … but I’d imagine the people in my life are kind enough to say: It’s okay, we’ve all had dumb ideas at one point or another. The point is we have changed for the better.

And I can say that’s absolutely true. I have changed for the better over the years, in no small part to everyone I have interacted with via the blog and so on. I have evolved to be someone a lot less extreme, more mellow, less combative, and open to varying opinions, differences and situations just because people have written in to say: Respectfully, I disagree with what you are saying because of ________ ….. I listened, and while I may not have taken their point 100% to change my view, I definitely altered the way I see things.

I am just taking extreme measures to not get my family, my son or myself stalked IRL because above all, that is all that matters.

If that means I cannot show what I am wearing or making any more (surprisingly something people actually followed and messaged me about), so be it.

If that means I cannot show you my new lovely home aside from small snippets, so be it. I am sorry I won’t be able to, but this is the world we live in now.

The trolls who think they’re doing something by burning energy in trying to “reveal me” and “end my career” and dox me, don’t realize it’s all an empty threat. Even if everyone knew my money situation today IRL aside from my family and friends and more people like my colleagues, classmates, etc … it changes nothing fundamental for me.

Some of my colleagues know my situation as well, and they don’t care because…. they are equally as successful and are HAPPY to share tips / information on how we could learn from each other. So what really happens at the end if people know who I am?

Do I get fired? No.

And I don’t even care. I even told my interviewer Day One before I took my recent contract that I couldn’t give two figs if I worked or not. He was a bit surprised but I meant it.

Do I lose friends and colleagues? No.

So I have money. Big whoop. They can kind of tell already by what I wear, what I drive, and how I act (not stressed at all about anything when everyone complains about bills etc).

The only thing that it does that I don’t love is two-fold:

A) New people are either going to judge me first with first impressions I had no control over because they’re using extra information they know about me.

It’s not ideal, but it isn’t earth-shattering. It’s like they know about me in detail and I know nothing about them. And you know how that goes, just look at ANYONE IN THE media. ANYONE. Literally any person. Then check the comments about how they’re being perceived. Even the best stories, get trolls. That’s what I want to avoid, IRL. It’s not worth the hassle, trouble and general nonsense, but it isn’t earth shattering.

B) They are going to treat me differently and give me extra attention (good or bad) which I want to avoid.

I am a private person in the sense that I am pretty chill about my situation. I am not mad if you find out about it, I am just not going to actively them to you. I am for lack of a better term, missing that ego and need to brag to people I know. I can count on 1 hand how many people actually know my situation down to the details with numbers IRL. But all you people I have never met? You know far more about my money than they do.

I have met plenty of guys (always men, I am sorry to report) at work, who like to brag about everything from what their house is, to their newest car, to their vacations, to the fact that they just pay their full thousands-of-dollars credit card bills without checking a single line (this one made me shudder), and I am literally aiming to be the opposite of that.

Quite a few guys (colleagues and strangers alike), upon seeing my car, have asked me all about it. Even what it cost, etc. I hesitate before saying anything, I do a quick 10-second creeper once over check, and then if they’re genuinely interested gear heads, I will happily tell them all about it, because it’s fun to geek out about mutual things you love.

I’ve even as I said before, had people IRL who saw what I was driving before and what I am driving now, and have treated me completely differently (nicer, post-car change), and I am not really receptive to that because I am the same person as I was before; you just think differently of me because of my car? That seems shallow. I don’t want that kind of interaction and false judgement IRL.

It is why on the blog, I just wanted to just talk about my money, some shopping, clothes, and geek out about it with other likeminded people who then teach me things I can use in my own life.

So long story short, no I am not starting over.

I am not changing anything about how I feel or think. Everything stays, frozen in time, and I no longer give updates or changes but I have nothing to be ashamed of. The internet can save anything, and I have done so many podcasts and interviews, it’s like trying to get the genie back into the bottle after she’s escaped.

But thank you! Thank you for taking the time to write in and suggest this. I did consider it, but *shrug*.

The other thing too, is that how would I weed out who is interested in following the new blog versus this one? I’d inevitably get a troll hiding somewhere who will follow me and threaten to dox me again. It’s the same stuff, more work.

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.

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13 Comments

  1. Maria

    About the Facebook private account etc, there is possibly an explanation other than a Facebook employee.
    A few months ago I used the free version of brandyourself.com to check my social media profile and they had flagged some posts as dodgy for containing some specific words; what freaked me out was that some of these were “only me” posts, in theory not visible publicly. Brandyourself wants sell you their cleaning/monitoring $ services, but I found their tactics off putting.

    I suspect that if someone pretended to be you and created an account (on brandyourself or similar) with your website and possibly one email or some other detail, they might have uncovered your old social media profiles and private posts without actually working for Facebook.
    Just a thought.
    Keep fighting!
    Do you think it’s the same person who caused you trouble on instagram?

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Interesting.. but doubtful. I deleted my profile a long time ago, and even before then, it was private. Facebook is supposed to delete all profiles within 30 days and not keep any photos. Clearly, they are archived somewhere in a bin on their directory which is how this guy logged in with his access and found it.

      I also do not mix personal and private anything. I literally have no personal presence online, save for that one Facebook profile which was to send photos to family/friends without emailing them each separately.

      And yes it’s the same person.

      Reply
      1. Maria

        yes Facebook is supposed to delete the photos but some of the posts and images I found on brandyourself were old, one was more than 8 years old…

        Reply
        1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          Hmm. I still think it was someone who works there. I am from Canada, and a lot of what I see on those kinds of sites, only crawl U.S. individuals.

          Reply
  2. steveark

    Sorry you have been victimized by a hateful person. I am from an entirely different background, age, gender than you but your values and opinions are well founded and very clearly presented. It is hard to imagine anyone taking great offense from your posts, but obviously that person did. I find it very valuable to read things that don’t reinforce all of my own beliefs but rather challenge some of them intelligently. Your posts have shown me places where I was wrong and wrongly judgmental in the past, and I’m at least a little better for that. I appreciate your voice, it is a very good one.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I appreciate it. I am not changing my views or my values. I am definitely always open to hearing what other people are saying but I make up my own mind at the end because sometimes, I cannot see the logic/rational that some accept so freely. I do however, acknowledge there are good points in everything, as there are bad points. The key is to pick the balance where there is more good than bad, and not to focus on what is 20% wrong when 80% of it is good. At least, that’s been my approach thus far.

      I am still going to post on my views and my attitude never changes. I am like this in real life, I just prefer to not be pre-judged, but I will definitely defend what I believe in.

      Reply
  3. Anne

    As I mostly read your style related posts, I had completely missed the discussion on EVs. Saying that they are worse than gas cars sounds like a blanket statement to me. I am married to a person with great interest in EVs and we’ve been driving one for many years now. We often get questions about electric cars and I have noticed that there are a lot of misunderstandings about them. Media love conflicts and often report results from studies that were funded by fossil energy companies, which I think can be the origin of many myths and misconceptions about EVs. It is not a simple subject either: electric cars have not been around for so long and it is not easy to calculate environmental impacts of different options. Electric cars are definitely not the perfect solution, but so far, it looks like it is the best available one.

    Let me offer some points of view with links to articles (some of them linking to independent research).

    It is true that in some coal-powered states in the US, the global environmental impact is similar:
    https://evadoption.com/electric-vehicles-have-lower-well-to-wheel-emissions-in-all-50-states-and-dc-than-gas-powered-vehicles/

    But it is a very complex calculation with many factors, for example where the car is built and if you compare with an average gas car or a fuel-efficient gas car:
    https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-how-electric-vehicles-help-to-tackle-climate-change

    The most important thing for CO2 emissions is to get rid of coal – luckily it is no longer profitable so the decline is very steep. So, during the lifetime of a car, things will change:
    https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/us-coal-generation-plunges-30-in-first-half-of-2020-eia-says

    In many places, you can already choose to charge your car with greener electricity – or perhaps you can install solar panels in your home (I am thinking about your house project):
    https://cleantechnica.com/2020/07/31/100-renewable-energy-for-2700-new-ev-fast-charging-stations-in-usa/

    In Europe, the energy mix is different, so the numbers look different:
    https://www.transportenvironment.org/what-we-do/electric-cars/how-clean-are-electric-cars

    Your car is quite new, so I don’t suppose you’ll need to change it any time soon. But when you do, you might want to take in to consideration that by getting a new EV as a replacement for a gas car, you will be accelerating the shift from the fossil burning industry and paving the way for the future. Then again, driving around in cars, any kinds of cars, will not save the environment… But at least in cities, the near environment gets better with less exhaust fumes.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Thanks for the extensive research! I am not going into a deep discussion into this, it was just an example of when someone says: All electric cars are better….

      And then not considering the rest of it – what it takes to power the car, to make the car with the batteries and our limited resources for specialty minerals that the battery needs.

      It wasn’t meant to be a detailed discussion on the merits of gas versus electric. It was meant to be: Hey, think about it before you say it’s better.

      We are only just embarking on reading about gas versus EV, and actually in Canada, there is no discussion which one is better, it’s EV as we have hydroelectric energy. In other countries and even within the states, however, they are better off the people who buy those cars can also install things like solar panels to obtain their energy for said cars…..

      Reply
      1. Anne

        I understood you took this up as an example and I don’t mean to start a discussion on this either. But since it is a subject that I happen to have read about more than the average person and you did mention that you could change your mind, I just wanted to send you some links, in case you are interested. Of course, I have no idea what sources you are familiar with and base your opinion on. I always read your “In the world of Save. Spend. Splurge” posts and have gotten to some great reading through them, so I thought of sort of giving back 🙂

        Reply
        1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          100% appreciate it and did not mean for this to be a defensive reply at all, if it did come out like that. I have given cursory thoughts to it only because I am not in the market for a new car, so I REALLY appreciate having now, a huge list of links to share with others who are sending me messages asking about what I think of electric cars + coal plants = ruining the planet (I read their articles and saw the research there). Now I need to pivot again to see this research, which I thank you for.

          Reply
  4. DI

    Have you contacted Facebook about this?

    If one of their employees is indeed doing this and you have evidence, that person is not going to have their job for long.

    I would flag this to them. I have family members working at Facebook and I could ask them about their harassment policies for you.

    Reply
  5. Belle

    I love this – and I agree with you totally. My online presence is MUCH less than yours but I find I frequently need breaks just because I feel others getting over familiar with my life by what I share and taking that as an invitation to express their views on it. I’m quite a laid back and supportive person. Like you, I feel “if that’s what you want to do with your life/money, and it doesn’t effect me, go for it”. So when people are pushier than that I find it tiresome. The way you expressed how other people know so much about you and you know nothing about them definitely sums up a lot of social media experiences!
    I agree with you that your voice and life story are to distinctive to start over – and also, why should you be punished for being outed?

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      It’s all them thinking they know you just from what you write or post, without realizing that you are not saying everything all the time because of X reason. And you can’t really know someone unless you spend time with them and they open up to trust you, either.

      They may know some deep, but mostly superficial things about me, and getting judged immediately when I have no point of reference for them, is disconcerting.

      Reply

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