svc-logo-mark-white

How to stop shaming others about spending money

If you feel the need to shame others for their actions, I implore you to ask yourself “why” and look inwards.

Why are you triggered by what they say? Could it be something you’re trying to avoid within yourself?

I’m no therapist and I can only go by what I see online in my work and communities. After over a decade of therapy for myself, I’m learning now to ask the right questions.

Steps you can take to stop shaming others

I’m not unrealistic. I know, despite this blog and what I stand for, there are ALWAYS going to be trolls out there. And my intention for bringing this up isn’t to start a revolution (although welcomed), it’s simply to paint the picture that this exists and you are NOT alone. Whether you’re being shamed, shaming yourself, or shaming others.

This article is for those who are aware that their go-to piece of advice is to shame, but want to take the next step to stop shaming others.

If you feel up for it, the first step you can do is to stand up for someone else in your Facebook groups or Instagram comments. A simple “it’s their money, their choice” might go a long way (not for the troll) but for the person scrolling through the comments who might need a slight validation.

Remind yourself that it’s a CHOICE – your choice. It’s okay to choose what you want to do – your money, your finances, your choice – EVEN if it ends up being the wrong choice. There’s a distinct difference between the freedom of choice and an educated or uneducated choice. You’re never going to have all the knowledge in the world, but you can feel good about making a choice that is YOURS and have the space and freedom to do so.

Money shame reminds me of those kung fu movies.

The REAL masters will never seek a fight while beginners are ALWAYS looking for their next standoff.

A true master understands discipline, while the Padawan simply wants to show off what they’ve learned. Or, if you’re like me, they’re likely internet trolls or assholes. But I deploy compassion just the same by simply choosing not to engage.

The bottom line is, it’s okay to not agree with other people and their financial choices. In fact, it’s good to be skeptical until you’ve done the research yourself. But there is no need to scrutinize others who are in their own financial literacy journey.

If you’re looking for a safe space, check out our “Financial Literacy for the 99%” and join our 99% Tribe. Trolls get 0 tolerance because we are all simply there to learn. While you’ll NEVER learn everything in this lifetime, we can all journey together.

I overspend on the regular when it comes to food and ordering out.

I was also shamed for doing so for years and years.

To this day, I check in with my husband 90% of the time before ordering because it’s still ingrained in me that I’m doing something wrong and I’m a horrible person who is going to bankrupt my family by ordering lunch from Mary Brown’s.

Yep, true story.

But, let’s get vulnerable here for a second. The reason WHY I’m attached to ordering out is a backtrack to my early teens years. In the midst of a drug addiction, parents divorcing, and just a shit ton of trauma and abuse, my dad left us and went back to China.

While my mom isn’t a housewife or someone who cooks regularly, she would still make sure I had food at home. This food was 99% always takeout. This was the way I lived for the next 3 years. Takeout to me, was that little sliver of love I felt from my mom. Despite what was going on around us in our lives or how hard it got, she would always make sure there is takeout for me in the fridge.

When I order takeout, I think internally what I’m doing or feeling is the sensation of being cared for. This is WHYit makes 0 logical sense when it comes to my spending habits. And also why it’s so hard to cut back. How does one simply “cut off” the only love they felt through a trying time?

This is one example of how money shame can impact a person in their life. And this story is only one of millions.

The shame culture

My question is – WHYis shaming others this even a thing? But nevertheless, this is the culture and landscape we live in.

I see it time and time again from entrepreneurs or other “smart” and “intelligent” individuals dropping comments such as these….

  • “With the utmost respect, it’s not that hard…”
  • “Buy low and sell high”
  • “That’s a stupid way, you’re going to lose all your money, do x instead”

STOP judging other people on how or what they choose to do with their money! 

There’s a difference between offering advice and feedback, but these comments offer neither. They’re insinuating that the other person is stupid or uneducated. The reality is, financial literacy isn’t common AT ALL in society today and the majority of us – the 99% – are simply trying to level up our own financial game.

And we want to do so, preferably, WITHOUT judgement.

What is money shame?

The thing about personal finance is that IT IS YOURS, meaning there is a choice for you. Now, whether or not buying the latest iPhone or your daily Starbucks is the best thing to do with your money, is irrelevant. Some people have poured YEARS and YEARS of time and studying surrounding money, investing, wealth (like myself), while others are simply getting started.

My husband once said to me “guilt is felt, but shame is given” and it hit home for me.

My point is – you can’t compare the two but more so, you don’t have to shame someone else for not being as knowledgeable as you. Instead, share what you did without the “you should try this” OR “that’s the wrong answer, you should do this, I made x, y, z”. These comments, even if they’re with good intention,  makes you look like an asshole.

My circle consists of multiple 7-8 figure entrepreneurs (yes, low key flex) and NOT ONE of them shame others for how they choose to manage their own money. What they do instead is first, listen. They’re seeking to understand your thinking, where you’re coming from, and what past experiences might have influenced your decision.

They then might ask for your permission to provide feedback, although sometimes they don’t even do this because they know it’s NONE of their business what you do or don’t do with your money (trust me, their assets are protected, they don’t need to worry about yours).

If you ask, most of the 6-7 earners I know are MORE than happy to share with you what they know but not once or ever do they FORCE you to take their word as gospel.

Why?

Simple, because they know there are MANY and multiple paths to wealth. They’ll only share what has worked for them, maybe what they’ve tried, and even some tips and tricks that worked for them.

They are humble and respect that your money is YOURS to choose what you want to do or how to handle it.

Where does shaming come from?

If you feel the need to shame others for their actions, I implore you to ask yourself “why” and look inwards.

Why are you triggered by what they say? Could it be something you’re trying to avoid within yourself?

I’m no therapist and I can only go by what I see online in my work and communities. After over a decade of therapy for myself, I’m learning now to ask the right questions.

I’m not unrealistic. I know, despite this blog and what I stand for, there are ALWAYS going to be trolls out there. And my intention for bringing this up isn’t to start a revolution (although welcomed), it’s simply to paint the picture that this exists and you are NOT alone. Whether you’re being shamed, shaming yourself, or shaming others. This article is for those who are aware that their go-to piece of advice is to shame, but want to take the next step to stop shaming others.

If you feel up for it, the first step you can do is to stand up for someone else in your Facebook groups or Instagram comments. A simple “it’s their money, their choice” might go a long way (not for the troll) but for the person scrolling through the comments who might need a slight validation.

Remind yourself that it’s a CHOICE – your choice. It’s okay to choose what you want to do – your money, your finances, your choice – EVEN if it ends up being the wrong choice. There’s a distinct difference between the freedom of choice and an educated or uneducated choice. You’re never going to have all the knowledge in the world, but you can feel good about making a choice that is YOURS and have the space and freedom to do so.

The REAL masters will never seek a fight while beginners are ALWAYS looking for their next standoff.

A true master understands discipline, while the Padawan simply wants to show off what they’ve learned. Or, if you’re like me, they’re likely internet trolls or assholes. But I deploy compassion just the same by simply choosing not to engage.

The bottom line is, it’s okay to not agree with other people and their financial choices. In fact, it’s good to be skeptical until you’ve done the research yourself. But there is no need to scrutinize others who are in their own financial literacy journey.

If you’re looking for a safe space, check out our “Financial Literacy for the 99%” and join our 99% Tribe. Trolls get 0 tolerance because we are all simply there to learn. While you’ll NEVER learn everything in this lifetime, we can all journey together.

Subscribe Now

No money secrets; subscribe for unfiltered jargon free wealth tips.

Recent Posts

A Happy Family Enjoying a Picnic In a Park
Financial Literacy

What is Financial Independence?

When people envision financial independence, they often associate it with being wealthy. However, financial independence is not solely about having a substantial amount of money;

Read More »