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Your Dollars Are Your Employees – A Different Way of Looking at Your Money.

May 18, 2013
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What a radical way to think about your money!  Every dollar you spend on stupid and unnecessary stuff today, is one less employee that you have making money for you in the future.

I was reading an article on The Frugal Farmer a few weeks ago about a blog by Mr. Money Mustache and how being in debt is an EMERGENCY.  And Mr. Money Mustache has changed my way of thinking forever.  It is MMM who has punched me in the face and made me realize that every time a dollar leaves my wallet, it is an employee that I have let go and who will no longer be available to work for me and make me money.  I’m very addicted to his blog and have been reading it everyday from the very beginning trying to catch up.  It takes a while to do so as I read the comments section too. I’ve given up watching television almost entirely since January (only watch it when the whole family decides to watch something together) and I make the time to read and learn!

Learning about money management is worth your while. 

Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still. ~ Dave Ramsey

Unfortunately it isn’t something that is taught in school.  And even if your parents are great with money doesn’t mean that you will be..even when they try to teach/tell you!  Since the end of this January, we’ve paid off $28,432.78 of credit card debt.  You read that right..it’s not a typo.  Crazy isn’t it.  We’ve got a long ways to go still..but we are INTENSE!

What’s even crazier is that last year, I paid $10,000 just in credit card interest. And it’s been about the same number for the last couple of years.  EEK!!! Sickening isn’t it?!!!!
I have a lot of business credit card debt.  We’ve had some bad luck in the last few years..hubby lost his job, I lost a huge business client that consisted of almost 75% of my business income.  But we are on track to be out of consumer debt (including student loans) within the next 1.5 – 2 years, God willing.

What’s even more sickening and literally makes my stomach hurt when I think about it is that those are 10,000 employees that I lost due to stupidity and will never get back.  These employees went to work for Chase, Discover and Bank of America instead..helping them get rich and not me and my family!  Here’s what those 1 year of interest employees have cost me in future earnings:

If I had saved and invested those employees, they would have made ME, not the credit card companies, an extra $57,776.24 in 24 years, my retirement age of 62.  I know this is an extreme example, but true in my situation.  I also used an 8% return as we have some retirement savings that have averaged 8-12% over the last 10 years..even in the bad market.

According to the 2012 statistics, the average American household has $15,799 in revolving credit cad debt.  So if you have credit cards, find all your cc statements from December 2012 and add up all your employees that went to work for these other companies.  Then take the total and enter your own information in the Investing Calculator and see what those employees could have made you in future earnings.  It’s eye opening to say the least!!

And honestly, I’m embarrassed and feel a bit vulnerable to share these figures with you.  But even smart people make stupid mistakes with money.  Look at the financial mess I’m in and I got an MBA when I was 23!  I’m hoping that this example will help someone else make smarter choices with their money and to think about their money a little differently.

 Linking up with Living Well Spending Less, Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays, Little House In The SuburbsThe Penny Worthy Project, Whatever Whenever Wednesday, Your Whims Wednesday, Small Footprint Family and Simple Lives Thursday.




  1. Margaret – excellent post, and I’m SO glad we could help you find MMM – isn’t he awesome??? SO happy for you – you are kicking tail this year!!!!!! I’ll be using this inspiring post on our round up next Friday – thank you!

    1. Hey Laurie. Yes, thank you so much for linking to MMM and helping me find him. He’s my hero! 🙂

      And I am honored that you would consider my post for your round up. How cool. Thank YOU!!!

  2. I follow Mr Money Mustache and he’s on my blog roll as well. Lots of good advice there and most of it is very practical. Congratulations to you for paying off so much debt in such a short amount of time. That’s REALLY impressive!

    1. Hey Lorraine. Hmm..I have to check out your blog roll then, cause we seem to be following a few of the same people. We are crazy intense trying to pay everything off. Hubby is working like crazy, averaging 73 hours per week, working 7 days a week. Taking advantage of overtime while he can. Thanks so much!

  3. What an interesting way of looking at your money! A few years ago, I figured out how much money I could be “earning” with the 10% compounding rate off of each dollar (the price of a Coca Cola at the time from a vending machine) until my retirement age – and I was shocked to see that EACH Coke that I purchased was potentially costing me upwards of $300 in future earnings!

    1. Hi MommaO, thanks for stopping by. You are so right about that! Compound interest is the greatest invention ever. Making your employees (dollars) work ever so hard to produce a nice future income!

  4. How brave of you to share. I’ve never heard of MMM but I’m going to go check it out. I know I’m not moneywise and that’s something I need to change.

    1. Thanks Veronica. Making better financial choices is always a good idea. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I shouldn’t dwell on the past. But I wish I knew this stuff at an earlier age. Realizing that you get up every morning and go to work just to make marketing companies and product manufacturers richer because of our consumerism is not a way to live.

  5. This was excellent! I can’t remember how I ended up here, but, like you, we’ve gotten the bug to be debt-free in (fingers- crossed!) 3 short years. Our tab is massive, but it’s articles like this that put it all in perspective– that and the 3 adorable monsters who we want to live, and experience life with instead of being saddled with debt. Can’t wait to poke around here some more!

    1. Hi LifeorDebt. Thanks for stopping by. We are in a similar situation as you and are working like crazy to get out of debt. We don’t have quite as much as you left…about half that and hope to be done within 1.5-2 years. So glad you enjoyed this article. It’s all about perspective.

      We are not spending ANY money on anything except necessities and am loving the frugal life. The hardest part is waiting for that time to pass.

      Good luck to you!

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