3 Simple Ways to Deal With Financial Dream Killers

by Ashley Eneriz · 16 comments

When it comes to your life, dreaming big is a good thing. However, it also comes with a lot of unwelcomed opinions from others. They may call themselves realist, but let’s be honest, they are just dream killers.

When it comes to your finances, don’t be afraid to have lofty goals too — dreaming big with your money is also a good thing. Don’t be afraid to desire goals that go against the norm. Having big goals and taking baby steps to reach them is much better than staying stagnant in your financial situation for years and years.

Here’s how to deal with the financial dream killers in your life.

1. Ignore the Dream Killers

There will always be negative people in your life. It’s best to just ignore them.

For example; my husband and I have set the lofty goal of being completely debt-free and mortgage-free at the age of 35, which is in ten years. We’ve received a lot of comments about it. Well-meaning family members and friends have told us everything from, “It’s good to have debt” to “It can’t be done. That’s a stupid idea”. Many times we have been urged to buy things we don’t need, such as a new car, cable, or sending my toddler to preschool. But we don’t agree with this because we have other priorities.

Here’s the thing when it comes to your financial goals. They are your goals, no one else’s. Therefore, it should not matter how many naysayers you have. We live in times where it’s so ludicrous to be debt-free, and live well under your means, that when you tell others you want to live that way, it makes no sense to them.

2. Don’t Try to Change Their Minds

I have one brother-in-law who thinks it’s wise to get a new car every three years because having a car loan is actually a better financial decision. It’s much easier to let him have his opinion, and nice, new car because this is his opinion. I can enjoy the benefits of my seven-year-old car that doesn’t have a payment attached to it, because that’s my preference.

When it comes to your personal financial goals, it’s not worth changing people’s minds or arguing over it, especially when it only affects you and your money.

When I wrote about refinancing my home to a 15-year loan, some people felt quite strongly that we were making the wrong decision, and insisted we should have stayed at a 30-year loan.

In the end though, my opinion was really the only one that mattered since the financial decision I make only affects me — not them. You can apply this same principal to your life. Opinions come in so frequently that it’s a complete waste of time to pay attention to them.

And if you think people want to express their ideas about your financial decisions, just wait until you have a new baby, and watch the opinions start pouring in by the truckload.

3. Focus on Your Actions

Whatever your financial goals may be, actions will always speak louder than words. Do you want to show your family that you can be debt-free, or be wise with your money? Then set up goals and action steps to complete them. Turn your goals into actions and your actions into completion.

A great place to start is reading through the archives of this blog, or the book Dream Save Do by Warren and Betsy Talbot.

Remember, in the end, these goals are yours. If you set a high goal and only complete half of it by your deadline, then you still made much more progress than if you didn’t set any goals to begin with.

In the end, be your biggest cheerleader and don’t rely on the approval of others for any financial wins.

Do you have a few dream killers in your life? How do you deal with their opinions about your financial goals? 

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Penny says:

    Totally agree. My husband and I have learned to smile and ignore. We refi’d our house from a 30 year loan to a 10 year loan a few years back and we would get very confused looks when we talked about it. It’s actually fun for me to look at my mortgage balance every month and watch how quickly it’s diminishing. If we stay in the house until it’s paid off, which is not many more years, it will have saved us about $30k and that makes me smile 🙂

  • Dewald says:

    I think for me the biggest dream killer was getting married and having children.

  • Georgina says:

    Wonderful advice. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I am an inveterate meddler and I have long ago given up on worrying whether my advice is accepted or not. I give it for the giving and not for the response. Like everbody else, I cherish freedom of choice even for others.

  • Jonathan says:

    Determination is key. There are often lots of people in your life who will try and distract you from your goal of being debt free, but that’s where staying power counts! Sounds like you are very focused and this can only be a grea thing. In 10 years time when you achieve your goal and your brother in law is still paying down his mortgage he’ll have a different view. Stick at it 🙂

  • We’ve got similar goals to you: completely debt free, including mortgage sometime in our mid thirties. People sometimes try to get us to upgrade our lifestyle, but we just tell them it’s not in the budget.

    • David Ning says:

      Way to hold the line there Emily. It can be tough, but we’ll be rooting for you all the way until you reach financial independence.

      And then it’s celebration time! 🙂

      • Paul says:

        …but, resist the temptation to say “I told you so” if they fall over financially, for whatever reason. No sense in rubbing their noses in it. Probably 95% it will be due to their poor decisions. That other 5% could be to unexpected illness taking a person out of the workforce. Cancer is a biggie for this type of thing. As is heart disease.

  • Steve says:

    If you don’t want advice, don’t ask for it. I seem to remember you asking for opinions on your 15 year refinancing. What’s more aggravating to me is people who ask for your opinion, and then get offended or disagree vehemently with it. If you really do not want others’ opinions, don’t ask. If they offer on their own, just say thank you.
    I recently bought a $50,000 Lexus and financed about $35,000 of it. I did so because I got a 1.99% interest rate for the loan. I was able to keep the $35k in the market and get a much better return. The cost of that interest is minimal over the life of the loan. There goes that dictum that you should never finance a car. I have the money to pay cash but I felt I could put it to better use. So, there is never just one right answer. There are always other factors to consider.

    • David Ning says:

      Thanks for sharing your story Steve. Lots of factors to consider, with the number one deciding factor being how one deals with extra liquidity in the coffers. Those who can really stay the course and play the odds can definitely win out over the long term with a low rate loan and invest the difference, but those who will end up spending more will be better off paying cash no matter how great the loan terms are.

      Like you said, there are no one right answer!

  • I like what you said about not trying to change people’s minds. I always make it known that I am willing to help my family and friends with their financial issues, but I don’t push it on them. One of the most annoying things to me is spending hours giving advice to someone and then watching them go out and do what they want, not listening to any of it. I find that happening less when I don’t force it on them.

    • David Ning says:

      I try not to run around giving advice to everybody too, because I know a) they won’t like to hear it and b) they likely won’t follow it even if they agree with the advice given.

      I wish I could figure out a way to help them make more sensible financial decisions though!

  • Very true! My husband and I have the goal of hitting financial independence in three years at age 33 and moving to a rural homestead at that time. People absolutely think we’re a bit crazy to pursue this, but, you’re right, you have to ignore the haters and ruthlessly strive for your goals. I’ve realized that I can only live my life, not anyone else’s.

    • David Ning says:

      Achieving financial independence is never a nutty goal, and you can always find people who will cheer you on here at MoneyNing.com. You just need to know where to look. 🙂

      But you are right, it’s you should live YOUR life, and not anyone else’s!

    • Paul says:

      People think you are crazy for the simple reasons that it isn’t what everybody else is doing, and that they are stuck on the poverty treadmill and want you to be too. That way you could keep each other company. Misery loves misery doesn’t it?

      Stay a Mrs Frugalwoods… and also a freethinker.

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