To All the Complainers

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Complainer [noun]: a person who makes frequent complaints usually about little things


Here’s the ugly truth about why most people will never achieve financial independence:

They like to complain about their situation more than they like to put in the work to change their situation.

Most people love to drone on about all the reasons why financial independence is impossible to achieve. But for every complaint about how impossible it is, I have a response:

Complainer: I don’t have a college degree, so I couldn’t possibly earn enough money to be financially independent one day.

Well here are 50 jobs that pay over $50,000 that don’t require a college degree. You don’t need a degree to get paid well.

Complainer: But I don’t have enough free time to learn new skills to start a new job.

You do have free time, you’re just too busy wasting it on TV, social media, and Netflix.

Complainer: Look, even if I had a job that paid $50,000 that’s still not enough to reach F.I.

Then start a side hustle to increase your income.

Complainer: But I don’t even know how to start a side hustle.

It’s called the internet. Research how other people are hustling. Check out Financial Panther, who made $14,000 last year outside of his day job. 

Complainer: Well he probably has more free time than me.

You can find time. Stop watching TV.

Complainer: Even if I did get a high paying job and started side hustling I still have too many bills to pay to save a lot of money.

Then downsize your home and lower your mortgage payment. Check out The Grumbys, a couple who downsized from a 1,400 square foot house to a 670 square foot apartment.

Complainer: I can’t downsize, what would I do with all my stuff? It won’t all fit in a smaller home.

So your stuff is more important than financial independence?

Complainer: No, it’s just that I need that stuff to live a good life.

You don’t need your stuff to live a good life. You’re making the mistake of thinking that your identity is linked to your stuff. You are not your stuff. Check out this article from the Minimalists for inspiration.

Complainer: Look, even if I did sell some of my stuff I would still have a house and car payment.

Then sell one of your cars.

Complainer: I can’t sell my car, I need it to get to work.

Then move closer to work so you can bike, walk, or take public transit. Mr. Free at 33 lived without a car for five years while working full time.

Complainer: But everyone I work with would think I’m a weirdo.

So their opinion of you is more important than financial independence?

Complainer: Well…I mean I just don’t have time to look for a new job.

You do have time. Get rid of your TV.

Complainer: But my kids watch 8 hours of TV everyday, I can’t do that to them.

Trust me, you’d be doing them a favor.

Complainer: Even if I did get rid of the TV, I just like to relax at the end of the day after a long day at work. I don’t feel like working on a side hustle in the evenings.

Then make time on the weekends.

Complainer: But my weekends are when I go golfing with the boys.

So golfing is more important than living a life of freedom?

Complainer: No, it’s just that I value my time with my friends.

Then invite them over for dinner and save money on the weekends. You still get to socialize but without breaking the bank. Check out how the Frugal Woods couple has a great social life without blowing a ton of money.

Complainer: Even if I did sell my car and move to a smaller house closer to work, one income just isn’t enough to support my family.

Check out Ty at Get Rich Quickish who has a family of 6 and is thriving on a single income in one of the least affordable cities in the U.S. It’s possible. You just need a plan and some discipline.

Complainer: Well he probably makes more than me.

Then see if your wife can start making money online from home. Here’s 23 ways people are making money online everyday.

Complainer: Even if I do all these things you say, I still don’t know how to invest my money. 

Check out Jim Collins’ stock series, where he outlines in detail all you need to know to become a successful investor.

Complainer: But what if I lose my money in the stock market? I heard investing is risky.

Not over the long term. Refer to Jim’s stock series above.

Complainer: I don’t know if I can make all these changes. It sounds like one big hassle.

Do I need to remind you that this is the only life you have? You don’t get a chance to do this again. This is it. Who cares if you have to become a little uncomfortable, work a little harder than most, and make some sacrifices in the short term? Financial freedom is the ultimate reward. It gives you freedom to live life however you want, on your terms.

But then again, if all the stuff lying around your house, all the opinions of your coworkers, and the comfortable boring life you have now is worth more to you than the freedom to live how you want, by all means keep complaining. Keep making excuses.

But for the few people who aspire to live a life of freedom on their own terms, they don’t make excuses. They do what is hard so they can live a life that revolves around more than just working and paying bills. Whether you choose to complain about your circumstances or not, the choice is yours.


I strongly suggest using free financial tools like Personal Capital to track your net worth, spending habits, and cash flow to help keep an eye on your money. The more you track your finances, the better you get at growing your wealth!

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23 Replies to “To All the Complainers”

  1. Too funny… I just started a draft post yesterday, about complainers, and then I see this in my inbox. It is a bit different, but same philosophy. You are so right that almost anything is possible if we put our minds to it.

  2. Haha – complaint rebuttal at it’s finest! I don’t have a degree and I managed to do just fine. We have choices in life, often we just make the wrong ones. It is never too late to reverse course!

    1. I knew you were in an odd industry but I didn’t know you didn’t have a degree…I should have included a shout out to you as well! But nonetheless you’re a great example that a degree isn’t a prerequisite to conquering your finances 🙂

  3. Hee hee hee, this is awesome. This is how I feel sometimes when people complain about their finances. Unless they’re at/below the poverty level (they never are), the lack of funds is a result of their decisions to spend more than they earn on a healthy income. To be fair, I’ve had complainy moments, too. It’s important to realize that you pay dearly for any changes you DON’T make. I still keep a car to get around, but I realize I’m spending a lot of money for that privilege.

    1. I couldn’t agree more – the situation we find ourselves in right now is largely a result of all the choices we made to reach this point. I think we all have complained at one point or another about our finances, the difference is that some of us make a change while others continue to complain and stay in the same position forever.

  4. I don’t think I really complain about things, but I do vent sometimes with my wife. It’s kind of therapeutic and a stress reliever. You’re right in a sense that we are fortunate to live in a country with so many resources available that there is no excuse to succeed financially and otherwise. If there are hurdles along the way, that’s only natural. So it’s good to get it off your chest and keep it moving.

    1. I understand that venting can have a therapeutic effect, I do it myself at times. What’s most important is what we do AFTER we vent…do we just keep venting or do we actually make the effort to change our situation and overcome our obstacles. Thanks for the feedback SMM 🙂

  5. Hi Zach,
    Thanks for the shout-out. :o)

    Great post! Mr. G. and I have benefitted enormously from our decisions to downsize our home, live car-free, and simplify our lives.

    Love your recommendations to ditch the TV. Not only does it free up time, but it also eliminates a steady dose of negativity and greatly reduces the power of the Marketing Machine to dictate our thoughts and desires.

    Thanks for your thoughtful encouragement to overcome excuses and to stop the complainy-pants nonsense!

    Mrs. Grumby

    1. Mrs. Grumby,

      Your story is an inspiration, I try to share it as often as I can!

      I couldn’t agree more about your point of view on TV – we don’t realize the sheer amount of advertisements and marketing schemes we subtly expose ourselves to whenever we watch TV. I’d rather spend my time working on building up my personal capital than wasting time being sold a product I don’t need. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Awesome post. I hate how so many people in my generation love to call themselves “victims”. I.e. I’m a victim because my parents aren’t rich. I’m a victim because I’m not white. I’m a victim because I’m not male. I’m a victim b/c blah blah blah.

  7. Uh oh – you’ve pushed my hot button, Zach! I’ve got zero patience for people that whine and complain for a bit of attention (especially in the work place!). Looks, we’ve all got problems and nobody really gives a crap about mine, or yours, or anybody else’s. So unless you’re offering up a solution to a problem, shut yer’ yapper!

    OK, rant over. I feel better! Killer post man – love it!

  8. FPF,

    It’s easier to complain than it is to actually dig in and put in the work.

    And it’s easier to blame others than it is to look in the mirror.

    Thanks for including me!

    Cheers.

  9. I like how you included real life examples in you rebuttal to the complainer, because I’m sure the complainer would say no one has done it before. I get when someone is struggling and is doing something about it and it’s still tough…hey, been there. But I can’t take the ones who complain but do nothing about their situation.

    1. I figured it would be helpful if I illustrated some people who have actually overcome some pretty significant obstacles to still live an incredible life. There’s a lot of personal finance bloggers I look up to in this regard, I only mentioned a few here. I’m glad you liked the article 🙂

  10. Found this through this week’s Sunday Best over at GetRichQuickish, and glad I did. I like your stuff!

    Plus, this gives me something to plagiarize as I’m halfway through a post right now about the temptations that lead people astray from financial independence 🙂

    1. I’m glad GetRickQuickish was able to point you in my direction and I’m glad you’re enjoying the content! It’s funny how many other bloggers have also had the itch to write similar motivational blog posts to help people reach F.I. sooner, I think it’s contagious. I’ll have to keep my eyes out for your post, thanks for the feedback 🙂

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