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What do you want me to do? Apologize for making a lot of money?

So it sounds like my last budget seems to have ruffled quite a few feathers, not to mention warranting others to choke on the fact that I spent $7000 in “Wardrobe” alone last month.

Long story short:

I really couldn’t care what anyone thinks.

The money is in MY bank account.

I earned it, and I can save and spend it however I want to.

The long story if you are interested:

I get that my income is way higher than most people, but I need to point out 3 things:

  1. I don’t work year around all the time; it is highly unusual. I normally have contracts for 3 months at a time and some years I haven’t worked at all.
  2. My income for the past month has been unusual as well as it has been some crazy overtime at the sacrifice of my personal life and my family life. It is not all roses and rainbows here.
  3. A lot of what I bought, will end up getting returned; more than likely, as The Asian Pear pointed out, even if I return NONE of it, I only spent 16% of my income for that month alone, or less than 3% of my gross income for the year….

the-asian-pear-wardrobe

She is not wrong, by the way.

I have been returning quite a lot of what I bought in that month alone (a lot of it was “Style Shopper” reviews, multiple sizes of the same thing, different colours), and you’ll see that reflected in December’s budget.

…..then once in a while you get people making rather ignorant comments like this, which I completely understand is out of pure jealousy (yeah I’m calling it like it is):

anon-troll-comment

(LOL.. Anon. Of course. You do know that no one is truly Anonymous on the internet right? Just saying.)

To which I say the following:

1. I will never apologize for the income I make

In fact, I should be making more but I went a little low on my hourly rate this time; a mistake I shall not repeat the second time around.


I make what I make.

What do you want me to do?

Apologize for it?

Beg for your forgiveness that in a month with overtime I can make someone’s average yearly salary?

Feel guilty?

I will never, EVER apologize for what I make.

….and I will never, EVER feel guilty about it either.

I know that it was partly luck I was born in my family, in the time I was born in, to graduate when I did, and to join a company when I did to learn what I know.

…. but along with others helping me, I too also had something to do with all of that success as well.

It hasn’t been handed to me on a silver platter, and I am damn good at what I do because I am passionate about it, I care, I work hard for it, I studied for it, and I have the aptitude/knack for what I do which I can recognize is not something everyone has.

It just happened to also be a lucky coincidence I found my perfect career early on rather than later in life not to mention the financial risks I took while I was deep in student debt to become a freelancer to make the kind of income I currently make.

Lastly, I have also saved a hell of a lot of money, so yes, I spent $7000 on paper on clothing but most of it is going to get returned…. so can we also look at my current net worth trajectory here from the past year?

save-spend-splurge-november-2015-budget-roundup-net-worth-graph-past-12-months

That’s all SAVINGS.

In the black.

2. Why don’t you ask me what I donate to charity instead of assuming that I don’t?

You’re assuming I don’t donate anything.

Why don’t you assume I do donate money, and then (like some other readers), ask me how much I do, or what my rule is for donating to charities?

The reason why I don’t put it as part of my monthly budget is because I don’t donate on a monthly basis unless it is specific situation (e.g. Tsunami in Japan was one time I broke that rule, or when people solicit me at intersections to collect for the holidays like last week).

I donate at the end of the year once I obtain my gross income figures, and on that figure, I have a budget of 10% which I give away to causes of my choosing.

I have been giving to mostly research-based charities for cancer (a real killer in my family) in the past, but this year I would like to switch it to be more environment & children-based.

stock_teddy-bear-toy-old

This is also why in my January roundups, you will see a massive drop in my net worth in the tens of thousands in some years.

Lastly, I also don’t like talking about it.

Charity is charity, it is for you to feel good that you are helping others with your own good fortune. It is not to talk about how much you gave away and to have people praise you for it.

I do it, I will say I do it, but who needs to know the numbers to feel good about reading this blog?

Does it change your opinion about me whether I give privately or publicly?

3. I like spending MY money

I am not a Grinch.

I like spending MY money.

You know what else I also do? I also spend it on others I care about in my life.

What’s it to you if I have expensive tastes in footwear and enjoy wearing a few, extremely expensive great pairs of heels at work rather than buying 2 pairs of cheap plastic or leather heels every 2 weeks just because they’re only $30?

I am trying to move towards the idea of luxe minimalism in my wardrobe, and that costs $$$$$.

It costs $$$$ to try very hard not to buy from countries touting cheap labour (although a reader astutely pointed out once that while we may want to avoid buying from sweatshops, some people in that country pray for such sweatshops so that they have SOME work, any way to make a living..); and it costs a lot of money to buy quality items (although money is not a 100% indicator of good quality).

Next year, I am going to have to figure out a way to nip this in the bud in the sense that I have to think about permanently only buying items secondhand unless it is underwear or heels, and/or truly forcing myself to stop spending for a year, and to save that unspent cash aside to see how much I would have saved.

All thoughts I am batting around in my head right now, but hey.. I need to germinate on them.

The bottom line in all of this is:

It is my money.

Not yours.

 

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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 TheBudgetingTool.com. 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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34 Comments

  1. Anonymous (a very diff one)

    Look when you put yourself out there people will criticize you. On the other hand I don’t understand the person whom posted that. It’s a colossal waste of time to sit around your home/apartment being nasty online.

    Why don’t they enroll themselves in community college or a university? Or sign up on one of those skills sites like team treehouse, pay $25/month and learn new skills? The best way to improve a person’s life is to go out there and do something with their life.

    There are very rich Europeans anon, not just Americans, who spend even more than Sheri does. Sometimes hell is other people. As someone that used to work a bunch of low minimum wage jobs before going to a 4 year college, I saw a lot of people at my lowly jobs call out and I and my few remaining co-workers had to be the people that my desperate manager would call to see if we would fill in their shifts on my days off nonetheless. We got a lot of OT time which was great for us.

    We knew they weren’t sick or anything like that, it was obvious they didn’t care for the job. I didn’t care for it either but I did come in, did my job and went home. It sucked. I worked a lot of hours with my remaining co-workers at a job that we didn’t want to work at, many of them were random hours. Weekends, holidays, etc. It all sucked.

    A lot of poor people complain about being poor, but half of my poor co-workers wouldn’t do the work, sometimes when you come from nothing, you have to be willing to do the sucky jobs that are the bottom of the barrel, and eventually move on when you are financially able to.

    Hate to say it but a lot of poor people are lazy. I know ’cause I worked with them at places like video stores, retail, fast food, and call centers.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I loved working those days too. I used to do the max of hours in a day before my boss would shoo me out because of child labour laws (I was 16 at the time, and couldn’t work more than 10 hours I think)…

      Reply
  2. Alison

    I love how up front you are!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Yep. That’s me.

      Reply
  3. Cassie

    I read the anon comment and totally shrugged it off as a fly by complainer. They’re obviously not a regular reader if they think you’re American. Even if you were American, people’s incomes and expenses can’t be directly compared without taking location into account. So what if you make more in a month than they do in a year? Maybe they should be looking to you as an example of what’s possible with some hard work and nerve rather than shitting on you for it. There’s nothing wrong with making less than what someone else spends on their personal interests in a month. The two subjects have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

    Reply
  4. Abigail

    Have I mentioned how much I hate people? This shit is why!

    Do I feel a little sick at the mention of $7k on clothing? Yes, but that’s because I’m personalizing it, looking at it from my values inre: clothing and my budget. Once I realize/remember I have absolutely zip to do with the scenario, I think, “Well, she must really value nice clothing. And she probably scrims in other places. And most importantly SHE CAN AFFORD IT!” And then I go about my merry way slightly envious of all the purty stuff you display online.

    I’m glad you’re able to indulge in a way that makes you happy — and it’s awesome that you’re taking pains to avoid things that use exploitive labor practices. But most importantly I’m glad that you’ve decided on the areas that matter to you and have decided not to let other people’s norms dictate how you make yourself happy.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      That, and I just like pretty things. Pretty.. expensive things.

      Nothing wrong with it, in my opinion as long as I can afford it. I am not going into debt for any of this.

      Reply
  5. middle class

    I’m a regular reader and hell yeah I’m envious that you can afford to spend $7,,000 on clothing! That’s more than I spend in 7 years.. But no one should tell others how to spend their money.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Note.. it is going back 🙂 Some of it.

      Reply
  6. Kathy

    I missed this yesterday, so am catching up today. NEVER feel like you need to apologize for making a lot of money. And tell anyone who asks how much you give to charity to screw off. It is none of their business. I often wonder how bloggers make so much money, also, but I certainly would never reproach them for doing so. Just like I never feel jealous of what a doctor or engineer makes. If people are providing a service that those paying them feel it is worth, they can get an income that keeps increasing until people feel it is no longer worth that price. Too much class division going on in the U.S. I think your are in Canada,, unless I’m mistaken, and I had hoped that those green horns of jealousy didn’t exist there. Perhaps the critical comments were all from the U.S. which in itself is embarrassing to me.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I am in Canada.. and it is supply and demand here. Basically the demand is high for my niche and the supply is low. The supply of GOOD people that is.

      Obviously in the periods where I don’t work, it can also be for the reason that companies think they can cheat by hiring low cost “consultants” who got their certifications off a Cracker Jack box, but once they see what the results are, they realize how many millions they are wasting in hiring CHEAP, TERRIBLE labour, and they come to me and I won’t budge on my rate.

      Now, it’s coming to a point where they are all skeptical of you. I am put through the grinder on every contract at the start and I work triply hard to prove myself each time. It’s like being grill interviewed 8 hours a day for 3 months before you are accepted..

      Reply
  7. Tim

    I find it rather odd that people all seem to forget that a LOT of PF bloggers make VERY GOOD MONEY. Median family income in Canada is around $70 to 75k/year…so that means half of every makes less and here is the part they hate…half make more that that!!!!!!! God if I hear one more bitch from someone that it must be nice to make so much I might have to hit someone. Good for you for pointing out it’s your money and your choice on what to spend it on. I’m with you in regards to the fact the question isn’t: can I afford this…it is rather what are my priorities in life and what do I want to spend my money on. I rather have half of much crap as everyone else as long as it is good quality things that last. Sorry for the long rant…but I totally agree with you.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Thanks Tim. By the way, you know I love your blog right? I comment rarely (it has been insane at work).. but I do read every post you write.

      You and I are in sync mentally on paper, but your wife and I are mentally in sync with the wardrobe part 😉 You can never have too many brown boots…

      Reply
  8. Paige

    Definitely appreciate your comments on charitable giving. Most people do not like to make a spectacle of their contributions. It’s quite personal and, frankly, contrary to the spirit of giving.

    Jealousy is not a good look on anyone.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Precisely. Who needs to know what you give or don’t give? How awkward would it be to make someone FEEL BAD about how much they give or don’t give?

      Reply
  9. Elle

    You should never apologize for the income or choices you make with your money. Anon should consider if this is still the blog that they choose to read.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Pretty much. If it annoys you, no one is forcing you to read … Stop reading. I will understand.

      Reply
  10. Irene

    People are small minded and foolish. This type of jealous attitude is a disease in society.

    Reply
  11. Paloma

    Such a great post. I love every time you answer to those kind of comments, not every blogger does it, because don’t feed the troll and all that, and also because you shouldn’t have to justify anything. But reading your thoughts is so interesting. Just wanted to say that when I read your posts I have mixed feelings: some envy, I won’t deny it, but at the end of the day I decide to take what inspires me about you, woman that is able to make lots of money and then spends only a litte % of it. Good for you!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Well I thought that I owed it to people to show that it isn’t like this all the time. My past net worth updates for years were into the negatives sometimes.

      Reply
  12. anon - a different one

    how odd that people would complain about how you spend your own money.
    but that is the way – the poorer are always going to be jelous and complain about the rich.
    take the whole mass of people who live in tents and complain about the 1% … like rich people owe them something.
    RUBBISH

    Its nice that you spent 7k on clothes, if that makes you happy great. My bmw makes me happy – and loccitane cosmetics …

    Im so sick of LAZY people whining about what I have. Hows its not fair -blah blah blah – GET A JOB. SAVE YOUR OWN MONEY. SPEND IT HOWEVER YOU WANT

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I can’t say that people who don’t make money are lazy.. But I will say I am fortunate and lucky with part of that being my own doing / work as well.

      Reply
      1. anon - a different one

        @save. spend. splurge.:

        the ones in my life are!
        we have helped out so many people (feeling guilty because we have and they don’t) and for the most part they just sit around, watching us work ourselves to death, the last homeless family we helped and let them stay with us – the woman “couldn’t get a job’ she woke up each day at lunch time, her child (working age) played computer games all day, and then when I came home after a full days work to cook and clean, I was told she had no food / petrol / whatever. And that I was not friendly enough and the reason she was depressed was because she had no one to talk to.

        So the ones in my life are definitely lazy.

        But you are right, some of us are fortunate enough to work, have drive and persevere.

        Reply
        1. save. spend. splurge.

          I’d agree with that. There are obviously those who refuse to get a job. I know they exist but just wanted to point out they aren’t all like that 🙂

          Reply
  13. SarahN

    I find the most common lines at work are ‘that’s why you earn the big bucks’ and ‘I’d do your job for the money’. But when I offer it to some (whilst i’m on holidays, and they get my pay) they aren’t jumping for joy!! There’s a lot that comes with earning a lot. It’s not like you can rock up, read the newspaper and then take home a lump sum! it’s WORK!

    And I get the spending – saving for saving for saving is boring. You inject things into that – if you had time, perhaps it’d be experiences, but working makes that harder. Especially with overtime. Me – I eat. I’m more jealous when you say you’re a size 2/4 etc cause I wish I could continue to eat with abandon and be able to look good in the clothes like you do!

    Reply
  14. Revanche

    Whoa, way to be an UGLY AMERICAN.

    How could you be so selfish and self-centered as to spend your own money that you earned through your hard work and budgeted for so that you could make the choices that you make? HOW DARE YOU.

    … Wait, what? You’re not even American? WHEN WILL THE LIES STOP.

    Ok that’s enough of that. 😉 I love how other people are so willing to spend your money on charity for you because naturally, a) you’re too stingy and grinchy to do so, because you have the nerve to spend your own money and b) you’re obligated to monetarily express that you’re grateful for what you have.

    TBH I don’t have any problem with the expectation of giving to charity so long as it’s an expectation one has for oneself or one’s children. I do believe that we are blessed and that we are obligated to give back to society in a meaningful way as I’ve discussed time and again. But? It’s none of anyone’s business how and how much you give. At what price point does our accounting become subject to some anonymous’s scrutiny and judgment when they haven’t done a damn thing to earn that income of yours and they don’t have a full picture and oh it’s none of their business?

    My money, my decisions, end of story.

    Reply
  15. Minh Thuy

    Look I can only aspire to make as much as you do per month so seeing that it is possible is more inspirational if anything. And yes you do work dam hard for the moolah and yes it is within your right to spend it however you want. Heck, it is your choice to even post up these monthly budget roundups and I very much appreciate the fact that you do so because it is a very private matter to be publishing on the internet. So thank you.

    Reply
  16. Alice

    You are so right! Would it like to make as money as you, hell yes but I work in the wrong industry for that. However, the assumption that you should apologise for what you make or feel bad? Please … ridiculous. I like reading your blog and your purchases etc, if they don’t then why are they even here …?
    On that note, Happy holidays!

    Reply
  17. Erika

    Get it girl! I think it’s amazing that you’ve found your niche and are able to make such a fantastic income. I also admire how much restraint you show in your saving and budgeting. I will admit I’ve often been curious about what it is you actually do for a living, but I also know that isn’t any of my business or information I would want to broadcast all over the internet.

    I’m often criticized for my spending by my own coworkers no less! They always make snide remarks about where I vacation, my bags and shoes, or the fact that I have expensive hobbies like horseback riding. The funny thing is most of them are house poor and have financed luxury vehicles and closets full of air Jordans. They live paycheck to paycheck, while I leave work early and skip the two hours of daily overtime. I also cash flowed my college education and donate +10% of my income to charity. They criticize me for that too because one of those charities happens to be a church I attend regularly.

    Sorry to write a whole book, I just wanted to say that I hear you and I’m sick of it too.

    Reply
  18. Sense

    Totally!

    When I saw your income for November I admit I thought to myself jealous-ly: “Holy hell, that is 1.5x my ANNUAL salary (pretax)! And then I checked myself, because I cannot possibly compare my situation with yours, and I don’t know what you had to go through or give up to make that kind of money last month. And then I thought, “You GO, M&M. You go.”

    I didn’t balk at your spending at all. $14K in a $46K month? Do the math, people! You can easily afford that, and more. In fact, I regularly get waves of admiration for you for spending so little of your income, actually. I have seen months where you spend almost half of what I do at my $30K salary, so I know you know how to spend less when times are lean, and I don’t worry about your spending (not that it is my place to do so). I think that if I made what you did, and had your assets, I would spend more than you. Yep, actually, I KNOW I would. I’d be traveling around first class and stuff.

    Awesome work savings and clothes-purchase-wise. I have come to the same conclusions about shopping–I really need to focus on classic pieces and things that fit perfectly, cost be darned.

    I love that Anon thought you were American. Because only “selfish, non-charity-giving big spenders” (as they pigeonholed you) can be from the U.S.?!

    Ignore the haters, what you are doing works for you. That’s all that matters.

    Reply
  19. Michelle

    Love this post. It’s your money and you can spend it however you want to!

    Reply
  20. Paula

    Loved the post!
    I myself confess that sometimes I urge to make a comment about a specific purchase you’ve made, as in “you could find cheaper and the same quality in X, Y unknown place” or whatever. But then again, I live in a budget completely different from yours, so I must be much more cautious about my spending, you don’t (at least to your own concern, you know your limitations) so even better that you spend in more trendy/fashion brands, this way other people can have an idea of what is the quality, pros and cons for such product. I know I’ll probably never be able to by a thousand dollars wool coat, but at least I will know what would be the difference and what to expect on a 300 dollars one.
    I guess that the attacks you get from people aren’t just about jealousy, but also about their frustration with themselves, with the fact that they could never afford spending 7000 dollars in a single month on clothing and stuff. And well… people need to vent somehow.
    Keep up with the good work!

    Reply
  21. Leigh

    Go you! You should never apologize for the income you make, ever. You don’t have to justify your spending to anyone either.

    Would someone ever ask a man to justify how much money he makes?

    I don’t talk about how much I donate on my blog much either even though I donate at random points throughout the year. I feel like it’s mostly personal and highly subjective and I mostly don’t want to open myself up to discussion of that.

    Reply

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In a nutshell…

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

——

MOST DEBT: cleared $60K in 18 months

MONEY: Hit $1M personal net worth At 36

NEW GOAL: $1M in invested assets

FAVOURITE DAY: payday

HATES: being late & lazy people

SOCIAL: Instagram @saverspender

DRINKS: homemade matcha lattes

SLEEPS: on a 100% cotton U.S.-made futon

WRITES: Books (also available on Amazon).

BEAUTY: swears by Paula’s Choice

——

…but you can read more about me , browse my index of posts, or get in touch with me, talk to me directly on Instagram, and of course, ask me anything here.

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