Mothers and Consequences

One of my favorite feisty bloggers online, Lindsay over at TeacHer Finance, wrote an excellent post that harkens back to the good ol’ days of witty mothers, wives, and ex-girlfriends.

Her post could be summarized like this:

“You don’t have to care about your money, but you’ll have to pay the consequences if you don’t.”

I love how simple that is, yet how much truth it contains. We don’t have to do anything in our lives we don’t want to do (except for maybe breathing and eating), but it’s on us if we end up poor and lonely and “in a ditch somewhere,” as my mother used to point out when partying all hours of the night. We have total control of our destiny, and if we don’t feel like doing something we don’t have to do it. We just have to live with the damn consequences that come after ;)

Not unlike these other things I’ve heard while growing up over the years:

  • No, you don’t have to brush your teeth if you don’t want to, but they might fall out later
  • You don’t want to finish your vegetables? No problem – no dessert for you! (a la Soup Nazi)
  • Sure you can play video games all day today, but you’ll be grounded for a week when you’re done
  • And my favorite, “You want to go hook up with other girls? No problem. I just won’t be here when you get back” – from one of my clever ex-girlfriends… Who eventually got tired of me asking such questions ;)

And while I’m all grown up now and out of the house of my mother’s, she still likes to poke my buttons whether she means to or not. Most recently, with telling me how much I “need to stop working so much” and “relax more.” To which I politely remind her that I COULD work less and do some more relaxing, but then all my projects and money starts slipping away and her darling son will soon come crawling back requesting a hefty loan from the Bank of Mom & Dad.

We have this same conversation about once a week now, and I still don’t think she gets it.

“Just work 9-5 hours like everyone else. You’ll be fine, I promise.”

“Mom, it doesn’t work that way. The online world is 24/7 – there is no 9-5! And how else would I get to retire earlier than everyone else anyways? How do you suggest I pay for our non-employee insurance, and our daycare, and our house that’s underwater, and our rent, and pretty much every single thing else since we’re only on ONE income right now? I can’t “just relax,” I’m a hustler, baby!  What don’t you understand lady?”

Haha…. Okay, well I always leave out that last part of course, but you get the point ;) Actions and consequences, right? All stuff you guys already know, but a good reminder to keep in the back of your head when you’re doing some of this stuff you may or may not be too excited about. And it does feel pretty empowering too, as Lindsay also points out.

All these choices are ultimately OURS. And the more we choose wisely, the more we’re allowed to celebrate and pat ourselves on the back later. Even for those little wins like brushing our teeth and eating our vegetables :) Some may be more agonizing than others, but at the end of the day our future depends on all these decisions we’re making, and the more we choose the right paths for *us,* the happier we’ll be. Even if it means battling our mothers.

(If you’re reading this right now, I love you mom! But stop trying to slow my hustle!)

Photo credit: apdk / not my mother

(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)

Get blog posts automatically emailed to you!


  1. Kat September 24, 2013 at 7:22 AM

    Something about this quote confused me:

    “Mom, it doesn’t work that way. The online world is 24/7 – there is no 9-5! And how else would I get to retire earlier than everyone else anyways? How do you suggest I pay for our non-employee insurance, and our daycare, and our house that’s underwater, and our rent, and pretty much every single thing else since we’re only on ONE income right now? I can’t “just relax,” I’m a hustler, baby! What don’t you understand lady?”

    I have been following your blog for years now and I have seen your net worth increase and how you have been hustling non-stop. But this quote sounds like you still got your hands tied despite all the effort you have put in the past five years. Why is that?

    1. J. Money September 24, 2013 at 9:26 AM

      Hey Kat, thanks for reading my blog for so long :) You’re right – I’ve been hustling non-stop for years now and it’s all helped me to get to where I am today, I wouldn’t change a thing. Lately, however, for a handful of reasons, my businesses AND life events have started going south when it comes to money, so I’m in a new “phase” right now of trying to steer the ship back on track again so our cash flow gets back to normal. Or, even break-even at this point. So I’m in a bit of a jam at the moment, but regardless I guess I’d be hustling non-stop anyways just like I did before when all was perfect in the world ;) The main take away from that quote up there is really that when you work for yourself you usually have to put in a lot more time than a 9-5. And my mother likes to forget that.

  2. Lance @ Money Life and More September 24, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    Blogging and online projects definitely aren’t as easy as everyone else outside of the internet world seems to think. Google constantly changing things makes it even more difficult, but it is definitely doable as you’ve shown! Hopefully things calm down so we can spend a little more time not worrying about what the next change will be.

    1. J. Money September 24, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      Oh yeah – it’s def. not for the faint of heart if you’re main purpose of blogging is to make money. In fact, I have yet to find one person who started out blogging to make money and who’s still around – usually we all start cuz it’s fun and we’re passionate about something and *then* we figure out there’s money to be made. It becomes a nice surprise and reward for spending so much time on it all :)

  3. Brian September 24, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    I sound like my parents more and more each day. Being a dad of 3 children will do that to you. I have 14 year old twins that know everything, no really they do. :) I just try and steer them in the right direction after they are dine correcting me.

    1. J. Money September 24, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Haha… sometimes I wish we’d have twins too just cuz I like the idea of it, but something tells me it’s a lot different than it may seem :)

      1. Brian September 24, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        When they were young it was zone defense all the way.

  4. Cat @ Budget Blonde September 24, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    My friend just told me I had to stop complaining about being busy since it was my own fault I was so busy o.O Sigh, she’s right. I’m trying to say “no” to more little things that really take up my time.

    1. J. Money September 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      Haha.. yes, usually when people complain about things that are in their control their friends like to put them in check ;) It’s def. hard to say no to things when you’re hustlin’ though for sure. I’m like 75% better than I was last year about it (once someone even gave me a “congrats” when I turned down their project since they knew I was trying to say no more! haha…) but I still have more work to do on that one… Esp the fun and easy things. I don’t know why but those usually don’t pay off in the end as much ;)

  5. Debt Blag September 24, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Ha. My mom has never told them that. If anything, she’d say I’m too caught up in taking it easy :)

  6. Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions September 24, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Ah yes! My mom is constantly telling my sister to “get more sleep,” but doesn’t really help her get more sleep so what’s a girl to do? My mom did the same kind of thing to me, I think it was “get more exercise,” but then I turned the tables on her and started giving her unsolicited, non-proactive advice and she stopped! Now we just enjoy each others’ company and take each other for who we are :)

    1. J. Money September 24, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      Ahahahhaa…. good one.

  7. a terrible husband... September 24, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Ha! For some reason I feel like you were writing this post laying down at the couch while someone took notes and by the end you were in tears…. :)

    We got your back. I work way more than 9-5. The only way I stay sane, however, is to have well-defined family time that I fiercely defend. I only recently came up with this though, so I’m not coming from an “I do it right” perspective. I’m coming from a “the last two months have been magical once I stopped watching other people’s baseball and football teams and went to the park” perspective.

    Tell Mom we love her and know she only wants you to be happy!

    But a little hustle is good for the soul…. :)

    1. J. Money September 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      That’s a GREAT thing to do re: family time. I do my best every day to hit pause from 5:30-7:30 for dinner time/bath/bed time with Baby $, but sadly my brain has a hard time shutting off even though I’m physically away from the computer/iPhone/etc.. I still have a ways to go to push it out of my mind so I can focus clearly on my baby!

  8. John S @ Frugal Rules September 24, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Boy have I had similar conversations with my Mom! She doesn’t get the whole 24/7 thing and the need (ok…felt need at times) to be hustling in order to make headway. Like Cat, I am trying to learn to say no (which I HATE to do) and be more efficient with my time as opposed to doing as much as I physically can. Love the Seinfeld reference btw! ;)

  9. Michelle September 24, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Most people don’t understand how much I work. They think I just spend 5 minutes writing an article and then the money just flows in!

    1. J. Money September 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      That would solve a lot of problems if that were true :)

  10. Jacob | iHeartBudgets September 24, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Dude. I know all about hustle. And you’re doing right by taking care of your family and little one. I understand the drive, as I, too, and hustling like a mofo!

    I work 45 hours, then come home to blog (which includes all the admin stuff, advertisers, etc.) and I just launched another fun site, about to do another here soon. Then, during tax season, I work another 30-40 hours ON TOP to do taxes for 3 months. 3 jobs, almost 2 kids, and crazy hustle to keep it all together.

    When things tighten up financially, our solution is to throw more time and resources at it to stop the bleeding. The key is to remember to keep connected with the family that will be there when things turn upright again, and not put them on the backburner, even for a week, because they’re with you whether you fail or succeed. I have to be CRAZY intentional about this, because time is so limited. I don’t do much besides work and enjoy my family, because that is the season we are in. But by the grace of God, everything has still worked out, and my family still gets to see me.

    It’s exhausting, but the life of a hustler always is. Word to your fam., keep on keepin’ on, J Money, you got this!

    1. J. Money September 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      Thanks dude!! You’re the original Hustler out there too, huh?? ;) We got this *together* my man – it’ll all add up to one crazy awesome future not too far away. Just gotta keep on pushing through!

  11. Jake Offerland September 24, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    In most cases, our mothers only give us this advice because they wish they would have taken it themselves.

    Budgeting sucks, but I’m glad my parents raised me to be conservative with money. It’s like staying in shape. You just have to put a little effort in everyday.

    1. J. Money September 25, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      Haha… great analogy :)

  12. SavvyFinancialLatina September 24, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    I don’t think hustling is bad. I plan on hustling for a really long time.

  13. Micro September 24, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    I think your mom should have just quoted Ferris Buehler, “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop to look around every once in a while, you might miss it”. It is true though that there isn’t traditional business hours for the internet. Around the world, somebody is awake and doing something on the internet.

    1. J. Money September 25, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      Indeed! And no matter what you’re doing, there’s always someone doing it BETTER than you too ;) Though thankfully there’s a more doing it WORSE, haha…

  14. Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen September 24, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Haha mothers! I love mine but she annoys me so much too! Mothers always wish that you work a nice 9 hour job, have a very stable income, make lots of money, and call them every single moment you have.

  15. Charles@Gettingarichlife September 25, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    Hewy J Money,
    Mothers always worry about their son’s stress level. I know mine does as I just avoided a layoff. Ironically now that I don’t worry as much she has no qualms taking any money from me when I offer.

    1. J. Money September 25, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      Haha, love it. Also? Just headed over to your blog – which I also now love!! Really interesting stuff you’re doing over there my man, totally pimping out either your negative net worth article or your latte one on my new site, I get so annoyed w/ the coffee talk now – mainly because even if you DID stop drinking that money, you still have to take action and SAVE/INVEST/PUT IT SOMEWHERE in order for you to take advantage of the entire situation! And most people forget to do that 2nd half.

      But I digress… point is, keep pouring your heart into your blog :) It seems to really be taking off now too – you’re a lot farther ahead after a month than I was!

  16. Taynia | The Fiscal Flamingo September 25, 2013 at 5:58 AM

    Ah. This makes me laugh. My dad and I have this same conversation. But it was when I worked at corporate. Even 9 to 5 jobs aren’t limited to the daylight hours anymore.

    1. J. Money September 25, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      You’re right on that one… And the higher you climb in the corporate world, the longer your hours climb too.

  17. Revanche September 25, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Haha when I was working a “9-5”, I was NOT working a 9-5, it was like a 7-11/7 days a week! Now I’ve gone to an unstructured gig and it’s like 10am-1am, most days a week and I’m way less stressed than before.
    Moms just want the best for their kids; it’s just that so often, it’s what they’re NOT doing at the moment because Moms can always see how you’d be happier “if only you’d just [insert here]” :D

    I know you’d be hustling no matter what but I’m hoping you’ll soon back be where you’re hustling for the sheer love of it and not because things have taken a downturn.

    1. J. Money September 27, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      Thanks friend, me too :) At least I enjoy 60%+ of all the hustling! It could def. be worse… I hope your new gig continues to treat you well!

  18. stephanie September 25, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    gotta love mom! I’ve heard lots and lots of the same over the years but now that i’m older I tend to hear my mom with different ears. is that possible??? when she asks when i’m coming to visit I drop most everything, look at the calendar, and call her back within a couple days to say “does this work for you?” as she gets older, time spent with her is more and more dear to me.
    she still has some weird advice though. take it with a grain of salt, and love mom for all she’s worth!!!

    1. J. Money September 27, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Haha…. that’s nice of you though :) It’s always fun ONCE you’re there hanging out and not trying to fit it in the schedule and stressing out, yada yada yada

  19. Marissa@Financetriggers September 26, 2013 at 6:05 AM

    This made me laugh in a good way… oh mothers… I know someone with the same predicament and her mom tells her that her freelance jobs through the internet are not work at all. And continues to berate her with, “why-don’t-you-get-up-that-chair-and-start-working-in-a-proper-office-like-everyone-else”

    1. J. Money September 27, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      Wowwwwwww not THAT is bad! You just made me feel a ton more better over here, haha… Thanks! And good luck to your friend!