Gettin’ vulnerable (round two)

Back in February, I had the brilliant idea to copy a brilliant website If you aren’t familiar, PostSecret is a community art project in which random people like you, mail in post cards containing deeply personal confessions. My post about it, “Share your secret”, remains my #1 most commented article. Since I’ve gained some new readers since last February. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to run this little social experiment again.

Here are some PostSecret confessions that caught my eye…

You can’t help but be interested right? There is something about being vulnerable that just feels good. So, I’m hoping you will, once again, participate in Post Secret PDITF style.

The rules are simple. Drop a comment in the section below with one secret related to finances, money, family, life, etc that you haven’t shared with anyone. I recommend you comment anonymously or under an alias, but it’s really up to you how you want to be identified.

Here are some of the secrets shared by my readers last time I did this…

  • I’m contemplating losing one of my part time jobs so I can be eligible for welfare
  • I think people who complain about money are too lazy and stupid to make more.
  • I resent my mom because she abused my child support money and doesn’t pay for any of my expenses now, leaving it all up to my dad.
  • I never told my parents that I was so in over my head during my first few years of college I donated plasma just to eat. I had too much pride to accept help from anyone, so I sold plasma to put a few bucks of gas in the car for a weekend trip home and used the rest to eat out of vending machines for a week. Until the next week, when I’d do it all over again.
  • I secretly loath stay-at-home moms. Nothing about being cooped up in a house all day with kids sounds appealing to me. Problem: my husband expects me to do that when we have kids.

This really is a great opportunity to not only share your secrets, but to understand that you are not alone. Who’s willing to get a little vulnerable and answer the question…

What’s your secret?

97 thoughts on “Gettin’ vulnerable (round two)”

  1. The stock market is a Ponzi scheme. The CEO’s and those who pull their money out first will come out ahead. The rest will be holding worthless 401k statements.

    • I don’t think we are supposed to respond to these as I realize it is just your confession but wouldn’t you want to hear financial advice from someone who obviously knows how to handle their money well?

        • Personal Finance is not comparable to Weight Loss.

          Losing Weight would be the equivalent of paying off debt, yes…but Personal Finance is more than just paying off debt. It’s about building wealth, too.

          Similarly, someone who’s never been fat might not be an expert on Losing Weight – but that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to eat healthy, build muscle, exercise, etc.

          • I laughed when Patty said she was annoyed with pf bloggers that haven’t been in debt (like me)…that’s probably not the reaction she was going for. I laughed because I get annoyed by people who get into consumer debt to start with.

        • I have a fat relative who’s always giving me diet and exercise advise. I need to lose ~10 pounds, she needs to lose at least 50. That’s WAY more annoying than hearing what a fit person’s lifestyle is like. I personally hate the people who preach “do what I say, not what I do.”

          I do value a responsible person’s PF journey more than a debt ridden one. I have never really had consumer debt, but have had other loans and I prefer reading about other like minded people.

          So I guess I have the opposite opinion. I sometimes get annoyed at people who get themselves in $100K of credit card debt, reform themselves, and then preach how to be good money managers. That’s because they are now spending like the rest of the responsible people that never let themselves get to that point in the first place.

    • WHY is getting out of debt such an accomplishment – compared to avoiding taking on debt altogether?

      Just because someone doesn’t take out student loans doesn’t mean it was easy for them to pay for their college. Maybe they’re working 2 jobs, etc. You don’t know their situation. Sure – there are people who’s parents pay for all their college – and I can understand how that is frustrating for those of us who did it all on our own.

  2. I immediately judge and dislike people who did not have to work or take out student loans to graduate from college. Mostly out of jealousy. The next 5 years of my life and career are dictated by evil Aunt Sallie Mae…

    • That was a decision you made. Another option would be that you could’ve gone to a community college, worked a full-time job, saved up money – and paid for your schooling as you went. It is possible.

      Don’t hate on people who did things differently than you.

  3. My mother has made bad decision after bad decision. I love her, but am pissed that I am going to be left with the responsability of caring for her when she’s older. She is married to an abusive man, has no savings, and had two more kids she already can’t care for. Sometimes the thought of her being totally dependent on me during the elderly years makes me cry from stress.

  4. My parents didn’t help with my undergraduate education at all, now my father says I should be in graduate school and not worry about accumulating debt. It scares me that I’ll have to take care of him in his retirement.

  5. I’m much more responsible with my money than either of my parents. So I wish they would stop giving me advice and pressuring me into graduate school before my undergrad is paid off. (3 years for private loans then another 2.5 to pay off federal. Not bad for 41k!)

  6. I did not have to work or take out student loans to graduate from college. I hope I can provide the same for my own grandchildren.

  7. I secretly think that moms that work are selfish. Why are you working? So you can have a second car, nice work clothes, go out to eat lunch everyday with your co-workers? No one loves and cares for your kids more than you do. Well, maybe your babysitter does…

    • I hesitate to open a can of worms here, but you’re assuming that the only reason to work is money. Some people work for satisfaction, intellectual challenge, a sense of a calling etc. Perhaps in your estimation, none of these are worth leaving your kids with another person for, but others disagree, and choose to work not solely for financial reasons.

      • Mom-some people have no choice. I don’t work to have “nice” things I work to survive. You should open your horizons and meet some new people. I’m also curious where you live. I bet my rent is about 3x yours.

    • I secretly am jealous of moms that work. I want the nicer clothes, nicer car and ability to eat out at fancy restaurants. I’m sick of budgeting things so tight that I have to wait until payday to buy my kids shoes when they have holes. I miss adult conversations that aren’t punctuated with “stop hitting your sister” and “run into the bathroom so it doesn’t drip on the carpet.” I miss being intellectually stimulated. Most of all, I miss having days where I feel like I accomplished something other than keeping the kids alive (barely).

    • My career is more lucrative than my husband’s. If I were not working we could not pay rent or afford our children…and I’m not talking luxuries here. He loves his low-paying job though and I wouldn’t take away his happiness and demand he make more money just so I could stay at home.

      You’re right…no one loves our children more than we do, but our children are not unloved just because we use childcare. In fact, they are loved and cared for by more people.

    • That’s an extremely uninformed thought for many reasons:

      1. Are men not included?
      2. Cars, clothes, lunches, things? You think they work to have that? How about a better life for their children. How about saving more for your childrens’ futures, i.e. college?
      3. Love and caring have nothing to do with working. I argue you are selfish for staying home because you want to. Your children need a provider, anyone can be a babysitter.
      4. Money (or lack of) is one of the top causes of arguments in relationships. Do you want to subject your children to additional arguments?

      I know this is a secret thought and you are entitled to your opinion, but from a financial standpoint, it’s absurd.

  8. I resent people who are too lazy to find work, but instead to choose to live on social assistance, members of my own family included. Even if they worked part-time, in a less than fantastic job, they would feel better about themselves and maybe teach their kids some work ethic. I don’t regret my taxes going to help those who truly need it, I only resent those who take it for granted.

  9. I’m beginning to hate my mother, actively hate her, for destroying her and my father’s financial future and expecting him to continue to work into retirement to provide her with TWO CHECKS to pay down the $30,000 she’s racked up in credit card debt. How can you love someone but expect them to continue to work through retirement while you sit on your ass all day?

    • maybe she needs to hear that? a little wake up call? if you feel that way, your dad can’t be feeling all lovey either.

  10. In my early 20’s I worked at an escort agency at the highest hourly rate I’ll ever get – $250/hour. If my sister didn’t read my blog, I’d probably confess on there. 😉

    • My secret is that I wish I had the body to work as an escort for $250 an hour! I am not kidding. I bet my husband wouldn’t like the idea though…

  11. My roommate goes to the foodback when he can still afford to buy beer and cigareets. He’s a 26 year old man that has a full time job. It pisses me off that he’s taking away from those who truly need the service.

  12. It bothers me that my fiance does not have a stable job. He got fired last year, then laid off from a different job this year. He’s not trying very hard to find a new job – and I’m paying for everything right now.

    I resent the fact that he has $40k student loans, and is barely paying them off. He spends tons of money on eating out, playing computer games, cable, etc. SO I pay for all of our rent.

    • I am concerned about you. If you marry this guy, his behavior isn’t going to magically change. Are you willing to marry someone who might continue this behavior for years?? It sounds like he is disrespecting your hard work and doesn’t value your future. I’d have a big, serious talk with this guy, if I were you.

    • I am in the same boat, Anon. My BF was laid off almost 3 years ago. He gets by with freelance gigs, but he is so picky about full time work that he won’t apply anywhere that “beneth” him. Meanwhile, it is up to me, working 7 days a week and making decent money, to make sure we have things like groceries and cat litter. I worry that I’ll look incredibly shallow if I leave him.

      • I hate the people who have the nice houses in the nice suburbs that are completely out of my reach just because they managed to get married and bought their homes 10years earlier than I did. Real estate prices in this country are insane, I just want to be one of the lucky ones sitting on a million plus who only paid 250K for it ten years ago. Even three years earlier would have made a huge difference to the house we were able to buy. I fucking hate them all for contributing to the fact that on a combined income of 150K plus we can only afford a unit in a decent suburb instead of a real house with a yard.

        I also feel bad for the kids of gen y and gen alpha who mostly won’t be able to buy a home at all if this keeps up. Australia, your real estate pyramid scheme sucks arse.

  13. I’ve never shared my financial situation with anyone because I’m afraid of what they’ll think.

    My net worth is over $115k and I am 23. I started my bank account when I was 7 years old. I worked a full-time job during all 4 years of college, and I’ve been investing in CD’s and the stockmarket for years now. My parents didn’t pay for a dime of my college, nor did they ever give me more than a $5/mo allowance when I was a kid.

    No – I was not handed this money – quite the opposite. I got a job when I was 15 and I paid RENT to my parents while I was still in high school. I saved up money and bought my first car on my own.

    • You are a person who will create great financial stability for yourself, your family and your future! Be very, very proud of yourself! More power to you. The US economy needs more people like you.

    • I admire you alot! Not enough compliments are given to those who DON’T go into debt in the first place.

      I can understand your reluctance to share your successes because of the inevitable jealous, snide, “Yes, but ….” comments that you’d probably receive.

      You should be very proud. A lot of people can learn from you.

  14. It pisses me off that my sister gets a free ride in life. She doesn’t pay her debts! They get paid for her!

    She racks up student and consumer debt, borrows money from family that she never bothers to pay back, and stays at home while her girlfriend goes to work.

    AND she gets to travel with her girlfriend, and my family feels badly for her so they buy her tickets to visit them and go on family vacations. URGH!!! My fiancee and I work two jobs and often have to pass on family vacations because we’re pushing hard to get our student loans and cars paid off! URGH!!!

  15. I resent my brother-in-law and his girlfriend for getting all of their medical expenses for their baby’s birth paid for by medicaid because she doesn’t work and they are not married. She sits around the house all day doing nothing but smoking when she is fully capable of working. People I work with are having babies and don’t have the opportunity to stay home with their babies because they are married and have to come back to work to pay off all their medical bills that insurance didn’t cover. Seems like if you are ready for a baby and want to stay at home with it, you should get divorced and quit your job. 🙂

  16. I am stuck working an 11 hours per week contract for 6 weeks and it is blocking me from just getting a normal 40 week job that would pay less per hour, but more overall per month. I don’t know if I should break a contract I signed? I am only on my second day…Opinions?
    I need more money, and I feel lazy to be working so little

    • For a six week contract? you don’t owe them anything. I would continue looking and if you find something that fits into what you really want, go for it.

  17. I am embarrassed by my brother and his complete failure in life. I’m worried that he will expect me to take care of him once my parents are gone because…I won’t.

  18. I look at peole with fancy cars, designer clothes and purses, and expensive jewelery and think they’re stupid. What a waste of money. Put it in the bank so you don’t have to work so much to pay for a car that sits in your work parking lot, or a piece of jewelery that sits in a box in your room. Stooopid.

  19. I despise a family member who posts about her lack of money on Facebook from her iPhone, then goes out to dinner and buys a brand new Jeep.

    • I resent my friend who complained about money to me when my hubby was underemployed, and expected me to be sympathetic. Reason for her tight budget – bought a condo, parents help her pay for it, and they also pay her credit card bills. And she had undergrad & 2 graduate degrees paid for. Then right after complaining to me (who has much much less), she takes two international vacations in the span of 3 months!!! I couldn’t even afford a honeymoon. Just a little jealous. And peeved.

  20. my biggest fear in life is my step mom dying before my dad, because he would expect me to take care of him and I wouldn’t do it.

  21. People know that my husband and I live debt free and I maintain a well-balanced budget in our household. Everyone thinks we’re someone to aspire to be, financially.

    Nobody knows that the reason I became this way is because 2 years ago my husband confessed to a gambling addiction that had seen him rack up $30K in credit.

    I spent the last year and a half paying off the debt and I keep such a tight control on the flow of our money because I can’t believe I never noticed it the first time.

  22. I was stunned at how little money we received from certain friends and relatives at our wedding.

    I resent my current student loan debt and not being able to afford graduate school.

    I hate that my parents never taught me about money and by the time I started to teach myself, I realized I’d probably never ‘catch up’.

    I’m tired of living frugally so one day I might be able to (just barely) live comfortably.

  23. I am secretly sick of being financially responsible. I want to go out and buy a big gas guzzling SUV for no reason other than I am tired of my 5 y.o. paid for minivan. I want to default on my mortgage because we are paying a high intereste rate (6% was good when we got it!) but we are so underwater that no one will refinance it for us at current rates even though we have perfect credit.

    I’m also (not so) secretly pissed off at people who do these things because I can’t understand why people don’t see the moral and ethical issues involved with being totally irresponsible. I’m talking about “strategic defaults” on loans here, not people losing their jobs and being genuinely unable to pay; that I can sympathize with.

  24. I was married & pregnant in college, away from home where I had no sitter and a lot of expenses. We worked out tails off to provide, yet still have leftover debt & student loans.

    My sister? 22 with 2 kids from different dads and living at home while my mom babysits all day every day, does laundry, cooks all the meals and my dad pays for everything else.

    Sometimes, I want to tell them *all* to get a clue.

  25. I tell people I don’t want to get married. However, I just say that to hide the fact that I don’t think I will ever be able to afford a wedding.

  26. I want to flip out on bums who beg for money while smoking a cig. Really? You can afford $8 a pack, but not a bite to eat. What a jack a$$.

    • Agreed. Ditto on the “young adults” who are sitting on the street with a big-assed dog next to them, and multitudes of piercings and tattoos. I know there is the odd person who is destitute through no fault of their own, but the majority of them need a good kick in the a$$.

  27. Starting when I was a poor grad student, and continuing now that I am a poor young adult, I have donated monthly to worthy causes. I know that there are many people who could use the money, no matter how little, more than I can.

  28. I feel like I’ve barely put a dent into my student line of credit but I want to go back to school for another degree. It doesn’t matter in what. I’m scared of getting a real job because I don’t want to fail, and I’m afraid of succeeding. It just seems easier to delay real life for a few more years

    I live at home with my parents to save money and I hate it. I hate that everyone is telling me I’m being “responsible” and “saving money” but I want to move out. I don’t feel very responsible when I’m the only 23 year old I know that still live with their parents and needs Mommy to drive me to work. Living at home was fine when I was in university and only lived at home for the summer but now that I`ve graduated I feel stupid because I moved out of the city I loved, where all my friends were, to move to a town where there are no jobs in my feild and I have no friends to “save money”

  29. My father has a huge bank account set aside for my dream wedding someday since I hit my mid 20’s and have showed no signs of wanting to marry my significant other he offered me the money to use pretty much anyway I want.

    If I was smart I would pay off my mountain of credit card debt and as much of my student loans as can so I could actually afford more than gas and budget groceries every month.

    But I’m not smart, I want a big fancy wedding because it’s the only fancy thing I’ll ever get in my entire life. I’m only waiting so it keeps building interest.

    Besides, won’t I feel like a champ if I can dig myself out of this hole?

    • as someone planning a wedding…take the money and pay your debt. it’s all overrated and stressful. everyone has an opinion, everyone wants input. it ends up being everyone’s day but yours. it’s your family’s chance to showpony you around.

      i would take the cash, get ahead financially, and elope somewhere fantastic.

      but that’s just my .02…

      i’d be doing that now…except my fiancee is the one that wants the wedding…

      • Ugly Riches is totally right! Pay down the debt, go elope somewhere fantastic when you find your true love. Your marriage/wedding day isn’t about money!

  30. I am envious of people who have parents willing to pay their bills for them post college. Good for me, I am independent! Bad for me, people will always cheat the system and be on their parents car insuarnce and cell phone plans until they are married. Oh wait, they got married and the rents still pay the bills!

  31. Everyone thinks I have my degree because I walked and moved away and got a job but it’s been years and I’ve been too chicken to call up the school and figure out how to pass my final class and complete the degree. Until today, here goes nothing.

    • I have been in this situation before and completely feel your pain. I had many false starts when attempting to finish my final stupid 3 credit class, but when I FINALLY did it, it was such a huge relief an weight off my shoulders. I stopped feeling like a complete failure, and I stopped feeling trapped in the current job I held (I had convinced myself I couldn’t interview at other places without being an official degree on my resume) I was even able to finish my last class online through a local community college and have it transferred in.

      You may have to jump through a few hoops to figure it all out, but don’t be discouraged- it will all be worth it. Good luck!

  32. I bring home $2,100-$2,200/month and have since March 2009.

    595 for rent
    50-100 for utilities depending on the season
    400 for student loans
    300 in credit card debts
    600 for living expenses (including gifts, groceries, clothing, car maintenance, personal items, eating out, any spending at all, etc.)

    Any leftovers (100-200 per month on average) feed a “buffer” in my checking account.

    My buffer’s currently about $500.
    I’ve paid off about $2,000 in credit card debt.
    I’ve paid for $2,000 in medical bills out of pocket.
    I haven’t asked for financial help in over 8 years.

    I come from poverty.
    I feel like I’m making no progress.
    I feel destined to fail.
    But I keep trying.

  33. I’m a secretary, and I make $29,000/year. No debt, my bills are paid, and I save quite a bit. Even if I never make a penny more, I will still feel like (though not spend like!) I’m rich.

    Unfortunately, my fiance doesn’t feel this way, and I worry about what that means for our life together.

    • Have you thought about keeping your finances separate? If you don’t trust him financially don’t let him deplete your hard work, or get you in debt…

  34. I abhor those stupid commercials that have people bragging about how much debt they were able to skate out of.

    I want to punch my mom in the face to this day for acting like I was a whore for making out with my boyfriend when I was 17. I still have issues because of that.

    I think people who smoke are dumb. Period. I think less of anyone who lights up – even friends.

  35. I sometimes think I would have a better life if I didn’t marry my husband. His ambition lacks, and his salary potential is limited.

    Although I don’t really enjoy sex, I would be willing to be a prostitute for a period of time to pay off debt.

  36. I resent my older sister because, even though she has a sizable portfolio from her late husband, she is getting social security for herself and daughter. I think she is faking her disability. She does what she wants and she doesn’t want to work, so she sits at home.

  37. I’m single, with no children. In the unlikely event that I get hit by a bus tomorrow, my parents would be the beneficiaries of my estate. As they are elderly (70 and 77) I don’t expect that they would even spend any of it on themselves, which in effect means my estate would be passed down to my siblings (as I’ve directed in my Will). I was thinking the other day — I hardly have any relationship with one of those siblings, yet if I did meet that fateful bus, his share of that payout would be about $100,000. That thought made me a bit sad, not so much about him receiving anything from me (although there is a small resentment there), but moreso about what it says about me … that I don’t have anyone else to leave it to.

    • You know, you could always be the magical benefactor of someone or something that needs your inheritance gift… Have you considered bestowing some of your estate to a children’s education fund? Maybe a dog/cat rescue organization? Maybe there’s another animal you admire and could help—-horses? green sea turtles? You have a world to leave your estate to—and some needful creatures and organizations who help them that would really appreciate it.

  38. Although they probably wouldn’t admit it, I believe most men would pick a woman who is $30,000 in debt over a woman who is 30 lbs overweight. What are the other readers’ thoughts?

    • You could really look at this question in two ways.

      The first is that men actually dislike women who are slightly overweight and the second is that men don’t really care that much about a $30,000 debt.

      In either case, they would be choosing the debt.

      • Yup. Sometimes I wish I had foregone paying off my mortgage and invested in a personal trainer and cosmetic surgery instead. We may not like that reality … but it is just the way things are.

  39. I get annoyed when a young couple who bought a crazy, stupid expensive house with a massive down payment from their parents, look at me like I’m doing something wrong because I had to buy a “starter home” with my own money and no help from my parents!

    I also am horribly resentful of ANYONE who has family around to help them with their children! AKA: free daycare/babysitting and time away from the kids whenever they need/want it! No family here to help, heck I feel like I’m one of the only mothers around who has brought a playpen to the dentist more times than I can count. To go to the dentist alone would be such a treat!

    Okay, I feel better now. 🙂

    • Agreed! One of my sis-in-laws completely abuses my mother-in-law’s time. They’ve never had to pay a babysitter, and expect our MIL to be available 24-7.

  40. Also, I wish someone (my parents or guidance counselor) would have sat me down 5 years ago and talked to me about how I would be paying for college. My parents complain to me that those 5 years at the fancy private school meant them taking out 6,000 in loans, but I’m afraid to tell them that I’m staring down almost 80,000 in student loans. I could have gone to a state school and come out debt-free.

    I also resent my sister for sticking Mom and Dad with a 10,000 dollar parent loan, defaulting on her own loans (making them responsible for them), and never even finishing school.

  41. I’m bitter that my father said he would pay for my college tuition then backed out.

    Money ruined a couple of my relationships.

    I’m resentful of people that have families who help them out and give them money for weddings when I have to pay for all of mine on my own.

  42. I have pretty much always been responsible, tried to do everything “right.” Straight A student, top of my class, avoided credit card debt, worked through college, graduated, got a good job, paid down student loans quickly, always pay my bills on time, save like crazy. Lately, I’m mostly sick of my life and just want to do something a little crazy, totally unconventional. I want to quit my job and take a trip around the world for a year or two. I want to sell everything and drive across the country in a little RV. I want to live in a teeny one room house and just work a few hours a week to get by, so I have time to volunteer and do the things I want the rest of the time. But I don’t think I’ll ever have the guts to actually do any of these things.

    • the awesome thing about what you’ve been doing all your life is that now you CAN do adventurous things. You’re not stuck working. You’re not stuck paying off debt.

      Go. Do it. You will never regret it. Just make yourself go.

      • start reading

        she’s a minimalist, big advocate of smaller living so you can devote your time to travelling, volunteering…get off the 9-5 grid..

    • Read Grounded by Seth Stevenson. He and his girlfriend have done exactly what you wish to do, twice. This book is about traveling around the world without using airplanes. It is a hilarious read, but it also talks about how they left work, put things in storage, and then at the end, how they came back to “real life”. Think of it as a funny how-to guide.

  43. I paid off my credit cards and paid the down-payment on my house with my student loans even though I knew it was illegal.

  44. I’ve never told anyone, but secretly I want to be a stay at home mom (no kids now, but someday).

    People keep telling me I’m not living up to my intellectual potential (ie, I should go on for a BA, MA, ect) , and I think their right, but I don’t want to.

    One time when I was a teen, I stole condoms, not because I couldn’t afford them, but because I was SOOO embarrassed.

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