In Discussions, Money, Wealth

Is personal finance talk .. privileged?

We talk a lot in the money community about debt, savings, investing, and building wealth, but truth be told, sometimes I wonder if this is all very privileged conversation.

There are others who aren’t even thinking of any of this, but just working and sending back every penny to their families either back home to their native country, or just giving their paycheques over each month to make ends meet.

Is talking about building wealth, really just for the elite amongst us?

I sometimes wonder if it is.

Without a doubt, talking about working towards early retirement is most definitely a privileged concept. Most people (before they discover the idea of early retirement that is), are assuming they’ll somehow magically retire at the age of 65 (or work towards that goal), and to even say that you want to retire earlier at … 60, even 50 .. or in some cases become work optional like me in your early 30s, is something out of left field for most people.

Some embrace it and jump on board (a little too enthusiastically sometimes), but others, think: BAH! She can say that only because she makes a lot of money….. but there are so many people who HAVE retired early on lower incomes just because they saw the goal and worked like mofos towards it.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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Posted on September 17, 2014

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  1. Megan

    Hi. I think you have the right to post what you want on your page. I’m broke as hell with 3 kids. I messed up on many levels, but I’m not judgy of bc of your success. If you’re trying to help people then I think there needs to be a level of empathy and understanding.
    I found you on IG as I’ve been trying to learn more about financial literacy. I appreciate your blog and your success.
    Have a great day!

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I am well aware of my successes being unusual for my age.. so I’m careful when I post about these things.

  2. liteadventurer

    I would think it’d be more important for middle income people to take a greater interest in personal finance because there’s not much room for error. That 1% financial advisor fee compounded over 30 years can be the difference between a great retirement and barely getting by. For someone with a high income, she can really screw up in many ways and still be okay in the end as long as there isn’t a truly devastating mistake thrown in there.

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      That’s me – I can screw up two ways from Sunday and still be okay even for retirement. Plus having my high income just means I’d need to pick up another contract without a choice in the matter.

  3. Stephanie

    It is probably a little privileged but in this case why should that be given a negative connotation? Does it help that you make a high income? Absolutely. But it isn’t as if the money just gets dumped in your lap, you have worked hard and sacrificed to be work optional. I have seen these comments floating around IG, people who are work optional or have been able to keep their job through the pandemic worried that it comes across as braggy to discuss their finances on their page that is finance focused. I honestly don’t see the problem. Nor, in this case, do I think that being privileged is or should be seen as a negative.

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Hmm – that’s an excellent point. I feel like “privileged” is a bad word these days, 1%-ers and all that being lumped into the whole gravy boat. I do think everyone has a privilege of some sort, the first being born in a (relatively) peaceful country is a big advantage… We all have privileges in a way.

    2. Susan Tan

      I don’t think talking about personal finance is a privilege. Privilege can exist in lots of degrees across a spectrum. There are young folks, no matter what they achieve or not achieve in their careers, are still going to inherit a massive amount of high-value real estate when their boomer grandparents die & pass it on. There are lower-income young folks who are starting from scratch and trying to be debt-free because of their massive student loans. There’s a lot of people in the personal finance community overall with different goals than the more FIRE community. I’m also glad to see that there are more BIPOC finance accounts being made on IG.


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In a nutshell…

Save. Spend. Splurge.
[ wealth. style. minimalism. ]


MOST DEBT: cleared $60K in 18 months

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