Oh, The Judging!

My wife: “Honey – I got hit on today!!”

Me: “Umm…. congrats?”

Wife: “That never happens anymore! He was upset that I rented, but he was definitely hitting on me.”

*** At this point I start paying attention more ;) ***

Me: “How do you go from “hitting on me” to “renting?”” – I cautiously asked.

Her: “Oh, I was at this expo hall during my break. This guy sees me from afar and smiles, so I smile back, and then he comes up to me saying, “Hello hello hello! Are you a home owner, miss?” and I’m like, “Uhh no, we rent.” And then he says the funniest thing – “You’re killing me! You look good, but you’re killing me!” He still doesn’t stop flirting with me!”

Me: “This is the weirdest conversation I’ve ever had.”


I finally surmised that this guy was probably trying to sell her something home-related (not that he still didn’t think my wife was beautiful – I mean, come on, she’s married to a personal finance blogger!), but this was actually the 14th time since moving here that we’ve gotten flack for renting.

Apparently anyone in their 30’s and/or with kids isn’t allowed to not own a home. And especially if they’re good looking ;)

The other day we were having another conversation with some people in our neighborhood, and at one point we got to talking about how long everyone has lived there for, and who lives where, and once the convo turned to us and we mentioned we’re actually renting, one of them responds “Oh, you’re just a renter?” and not in a complimentary way. I knew we moved to a pretty highbrow community, but the mohawk/renting combo isn’t seeming to win us any new friends lately, haha… I don’t even want to know what they’d think when they find out I write a diary for a living!

The funny thing is I couldn’t care less if others own as I know for some people it makes sense, and others (like us) it does not. I don’t think it’s a good “investment”per se (check out this post to see why), but it’s perfectly fine to own or not to own – whatever makes you happiest. And perhaps one day we’ll even go back to it, nothing’s ever permanent, right?

All I know is that renting still has a pretty negative connotation out there, and we’re bumping into it a lot lately… It’s not always “flushing your money down the toilet” though, or for vagabonds! Which I actually take a lot less offense over, haha… We are drifters! :)

But the judging doesn’t stop with everyone else. It’s within US too.

As much as we like to think we’re perfect little humans, we’re just as guilty at casting assumptions unto others as the next person. At least I am.

I caught myself doing just that last weekend when I met up with someone interested in buying my fireplace off Craigslist. I felt like Mark analyzing his “dumb-ass tenants” post we hosted from the other week! My brain wouldn’t stop!

electric fireplace

(The cat tail was not for sale)

Interaction #1: “Can I stop by this afternoon to check it out?” Me: “Sure!” (sets up a time) — 7 hours later — Him: “Sorry, I got caught up… can we meet another time?” Me (thinking): “Typical Craigslister – why are they so flaky??”

Interaction #2: “I’m here!” — Goes outside and sees a brand new Infiniti SUV parked — Automatically think his priorities are wrong, EVEN THOUGH I DRIVE A LEXUS MYSELF!!

Interaction #3: “Sorry again for not making it yesterday. I had to drop off my phone at Verizon and you know how that goes…” Me: “What do you mean? How does it go?” Him: “They take hours fixing it so you’ll eventually be tempted to buy something! And I did! I picked up a tablet, ha ha…” Me (thinking): “What a dummy!! How can you drop hundreds of dollars so randomly like that?”

Interaction #4: “This is a beautiful fireplace – I’ll take it!” Me: “Awesome! I think they go for like $300-$400 brand new, so you got a deal at $140. We bought it years ago, but then got another one and stopped using it.” (If he was analyzing me: “Why would you need ANOTHER fireplace when you already had one? You’re the dummy, dummy!” :)). What he really says, “Oh, nice. Yeah – I couldn’t afford to buy one for $300.” What I think: “YOU JUST BOUGHT A TABLET FOR HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS YESTERDAY??”

Interaction #5: I carry it outside to help load it into his car. “Sorry for the mess,” he says. “No problem at all” I respond, pushing it all aside to get the unit in. What I then think: “Messy car = messy finances. Just like my golfer friend says!”

Interaction #6: “Thanks for giving me a discount, I really appreciate it.” Me: “No problem – I’m glad it’s going to be appreciated again!” What I think: “That was the smartest move he had made all day – asking me “what the lowest amount I’ll take for it” is. Best 2 seconds of negotiating you can do – I almost always lower it when simply asked!”

So I wasn’t totally a horrible person there, haha, but I def. need to stop judging as much as the next guy :) Nothing great ever comes from it, ya know? Maybe if you’re saying something that can help them or save them from being harmed, but outside of that it rarely adds any value.

A Mission For Us This Weekend…

If you’ll allow me, I’d like to offer up another challenge for the weekend:

Anytime you catch yourself judging someone, try to suppress it and count how often you do!

I bet we’ll surprise ourselves just how fast we cast around our opinions. Whether out loud or internally (and hopefully more internally!). I’m going to work at this as well. And I’ll even give you a free pass today if you want to rail against ME here in the comments first, haha…

But only for today! So get it while it’s hot :)

Have a great weekend, everyone… Just another way to become a better person today than we were yesterday! It all adds up!

PS: As I was finishing up this post I overheard someone say, “How many days do you have left to take out the Corvette?” and like clockwork my mind started going… But I caught myself!! 1 for 1, baby! I then looked over and saw that it was an older gentleman in his 70’s who’s probably retired and enjoying the fruits of his labor… Boy would my assumptions have been wrong!

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  1. Jon @ Be Net Worthy October 21, 2016 at 6:03 AM

    That’s a good challenge! I’ve definitely caught myself judging more since I started my PF blog. Just natural I suppose. Especially with the cars people drive at the office and the amount they spend on eating out for lunch EVERY day…

    The weekend is not nearly as bad, so this challenge will be a piece of cake! ;)

    1. Paul Mitite December 16, 2020 at 9:57 AM

      Wow, I really thought i was the only one.

  2. Brian @ Debt Discipline October 21, 2016 at 6:16 AM

    A great challenge. It’s tough not to judge/compare. I think our minds just go there. It might be easier to do over the weekend. I might just stay inside and keep the interactions to a minimum. :)

  3. Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes October 21, 2016 at 6:25 AM

    I like the challenge J!

    In general, try not to judge other people, as I don’t really know their personal financial status. But I do find myself being kind of judgy about people who drive overpriced sports cars.

    “Oh great, there goes another extremely aggressive driver in an over priced sports car…”

    I’ll try to count how many times I do it!

    1. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:14 PM

      well, aggressive driving in itself is irritating enough, so i’ll allow judgements for that ;)

      but if they’re driving peacefully on the road? the judgements count!

  4. Liz @ Chief Mom Officer October 21, 2016 at 6:34 AM

    Ha, Mr. 1500 wrote about judging others earlier this week too! Maybe it’s judgement week?

    I only promise to not judge if my coworkers don’t complain about not being able to afford to get the 401k match (6% contribution to get the match!) on six figure salaries. Other than that, I can keep it in check for a weekend!

    1. superbien October 21, 2016 at 1:03 PM

      (Gasp) Making over $100k and can’t put aside 6%?! Oh man, that makes me sad.

      1. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:16 PM

        That’s sad more than it is judging :(

        Good thing they have you to nudge them until they up those %’s!!

  5. Dividends Down Under October 21, 2016 at 6:47 AM

    What does judging even mean? We instantly make assumptions and observations of everything around us. What we’ve learned through life and social experiences teaches us whether something is to be liked or not. I think it’s incredibly hard not to judge in some way.


    1. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies October 21, 2016 at 7:21 AM

      That’s an interesting point. We observe and classify based on what we know. For me personally, though, I have to make a real effort to notice how that impacts my interactions with people. I don’t know that we will ever remove our own biases, but I do know that being aware of them has helped shape my perspective!

    2. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:18 PM

      Very true, but never bad limiting the more negative thoughts than the positive ones. Very similar to complaining about something even if it’s rightfully deserved. Anytime I catch myself mid-complaint and actively try to stop myself (which, admittedly, is easier said than done) I always feel better about myself about it.

  6. Gwen @ Fiery Millennials October 21, 2016 at 6:52 AM

    I’ve heard that your first thought about people is a product of how society has trained us to think, and our second thought who we really are on the inside. One of my favorite activities is people watching (and judging), but I’m working on not making fun of people behind their back and thinking nicer thoughts. Its actually really difficult :/

    1. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:19 PM

      interesting about the 2nd thought!!

  7. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies October 21, 2016 at 7:11 AM

    Watching our own thoughts is so important. I expected to be run out of the PF world for posting about why I’d buy a new car again on Wednesday. Instead, that post is full of people who never really spoke up much. When we judge, we silence people. That’s problematic IRL and in the bloggity blog world. Love this reminder, J$!

    1. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:21 PM

      I just read that post!! Loved that you put it out there like that! :)

  8. Dominic Castelli October 21, 2016 at 7:14 AM

    Not to be a picky porcupine, but I think you meant to say, “I couldn’t care less”. Otherwise, right on! We rent a house in a tawny neighborhood and do not have any f***s to give about what people think. :)

    1. Mireille October 21, 2016 at 8:24 AM

      Well, he wrote a whole post about it, so clearly he could care less ;)

      1. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:22 PM


        I also suck at grammar, and since I also received emails about this I went ahead and made y’all feel better by changing it :)

  9. The Green Swan October 21, 2016 at 7:15 AM

    I have to admit, I too can get a little judgy on how others spend their money…even family and friends. I keep my judgments to myself, realizing that there is little benefit in talking about it, just as you mentioned. I have a pretty deep financial background and have always been interested in personal financial topics so I just have to remind myself that not everyone has that background and they can spend their money however they see best fit.

  10. Apathy Ends October 21, 2016 at 7:35 AM

    The more I think, write and read about money the harder it becomes to turn snap money judgements off. It’s a good reminder and I will give it a shot!

    I guess maybe I should start snap judging the opposite way – when I see a beat up caddy, “there goes a millionaire”

    1. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:23 PM


      Gotta go all Millionaire Next Door on it!

  11. Band of Savers October 21, 2016 at 7:35 AM

    Wow J., not that I’m judging you or anything, but you are really judgmental. :)

    One thing that we have had to work on really really hard in our family is not comparing. I grew up in a home where we did a lot of comparing ourselves to those around us so my wife has had to do a lot to train this out of me. We try not to make let out kids feel like we are comparing them to their peers or each other so that we don’t give them complexes. We also try not to compare ourselves to others around us. Mainly because it’s too hard to see deeper than face value within other people’s situations and it just breeds judgments, contempt, and often self-loathing and depression.

  12. Jen October 21, 2016 at 7:50 AM

    Being judgmental has been a major character flaw of mine for a long time. Being aware of the problem may be the first step, but I haven’t taken any definitive steps to overcome this tendency of mine. But your words about his Infinity vs your Lexus made an excellent point. Very well-written.

    1. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:25 PM

      Thanks Jen, and you’re certainly not alone :) Most people wont’ even admit they’re so judgmental in the first place, so way to keep it honest with yourself!

  13. Mr. PIE October 21, 2016 at 8:32 AM

    When we judge, we try to project a view of ourselves onto others. If we think about that, it is actually pretty darn silly. The more experienced we are, the more confident we are that we know the right way of thinking about or handling any given situation. That can make us close minded.
    It is tricky though to catch ourselves doing that in any given moment. But a.little bit of practice goes a long way to changing something that is a big issue for all of us.

  14. Paul October 21, 2016 at 8:33 AM

    I understand the logical argument for renting and I do agree it makes sense if your priorities are mobility and freedom. For me I view it as a bond investment. No need to load up on bonds when I have this house providing steady 2% adjusted for inflation returns. I know I can make more in the market but I also think there is something to be said for home ownership and community. It can be accomplished if you rent in one place long enough too. I’m not knocking on anyone’s decision to rent, I have thought about it myself, I just don’t want to be subject to random walkthroughs and stuff like that. Plus I like doing handy work and upgrading things myself, not having to ask to paint or hang a TV, etc…

    Personal preference, I believe neither idea is better or worse, its mainly just an indication of your priorities.

    And Dude, you will get judged in the DC metro area, that is a given, we live in the land of the Model S and Range Rover. Honestly, its a rarity that I go longer than 2 weeks without seeing a Lambo or Ferrari driving around. Then there is me in my (paid for) 2008 Camry, she does have a brand new set of Michelins from Costco though, that has to count for something (70 dollar off coupon FTW!!! )

    1. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:27 PM

      Hahahaha… please tell me they’re whitewalls?

      1. Paul October 22, 2016 at 8:45 AM

        Maybe if it were a 1928 Model T… lol.

  15. Pat October 21, 2016 at 8:35 AM

    I’ve been doing a similar thing as of late that I invite you to try. When I catch myself judging I ask myself where it is that I’m judging myself for that same thing. When you really sit with that it’s amazing all the hidden judgements against ourselves that come up. It has changed my life in countless ways for the better.

    1. superbien October 21, 2016 at 1:05 PM

      Ooh, that’s deep.

      1. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:28 PM

        i like it :)

  16. Ms. Montana October 21, 2016 at 8:42 AM

    Unless people are clearly unhappy with their money choices, I think I am not too judgey about that. Although it’s odd how often people keep making the same choices that make them unhappy.
    But there are SO many other things I am judgy about.
    1. People who drive too fast in residential neighborhoods. Ever since having little kids, I now think they are horrible people who deserve for their car to be shot with a paint gun.
    2. The crow that is stealing my ducks eggs to feed her family. I hate her. Why can’t she go out and get a job like other birds. Always stealing from us like Robin Hood.
    3. People who can’t park in between the lines. If you can’t do it right the first time, that’s ok. But you have to try again.
    J$, I might be a lost cause.

    1. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:34 PM

      You can never trust a crow… (except for John Snow)

  17. Lisa O October 21, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    I take the challenge this weekend! I might end up inside this weekend with no one in the dark but I will try it. In all honesty, it would be a nicer place if people didn’t judge others because every one has their own cross to carry. Have A Good One!

    P.S. I have started my morning reading my note on the computer “I always want to be someone better the next day than I was the day before!” …thanks!

    1. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:38 PM

      I can’t tell you how happy that makes me :)

  18. Samantha Allen October 21, 2016 at 9:06 AM

    Such a good idea! I’m so guilty of judging everyone, myself and friends, people I don’t even know. Usually I know to keep my mouth shut though – so its only hurting my own mindset! I will work on this little character detour this weekend. Thanks for the challenge!

    1. J. Money October 21, 2016 at 11:53 PM

      I think that’s a big (good) thing though – keeping it to yourself vs out loud. In fact, if I recall it was one of the many “habits of millionaires” vs the poor: saying what you think out loud without filtering.

      1. superbien October 24, 2016 at 9:26 AM

        Do millionaires speak without filtering, or poor people?

  19. Free to Pursue October 21, 2016 at 9:09 AM

    I find the more insecure or down on myself I am, the more I judge or react to being judged (or perceiving others’ behaviour as judgment). The more amazing I feel about what I’m doing and the decisions I’m making–usually focusing on intrinsic, not extrinsic rewards–the less I notice either judgment or being judged. It’s almost as though if we feel we or the world is out of balance, we look for proof of it…in ourselves and others.

    One other personal observation: when I judge, I usually default to looking for flaws in the areas that preoccupy me the most: weight, “smarts”, personal strength, organization, debt. I’ve learned that when that inside “tsk tsk” voice grows in amplitude, it’s time to do a little house cleaning of my own…between the ears that is.

    It sucks to admit it, but it’s never really about “them”.

  20. BeachMama October 21, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    We are a family of long-haired, tie-dye wearing, VW bus driving hippies – people see us and automatically assume we are jobless and on drugs.

    If they only knew that I work for local government and enjoy reading PF blogs :)

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:00 AM

      Hah! You’re an enigma!

  21. Ms. Liz October 21, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    We have renters next door. We welcomed them when they moved in and they seem nice. But we haven’t invested our time in building a friendship with them because I expect they’ll only be here for a year or two. I suspect your neighbors are thinking, wow these guys seem really cool and the wife is totally hot but they’ll not be here long and that’s the disappointment you’re hearing when they find out you rent.

    Now, I’m going to take your free pass on being judgy in your comments! I do judge them for renting because they’re renting a 5,000 square foot home (worth about 1.2 mil) and paying $4,000 in rent when they could have rented a perfectly nice home for about $2,000. It’s insane!

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:06 AM

      You know what? That’s the most interesting thing I’ve heard all day.. I bet you’re right – they just don’t want to miss us so much when we’re out of there. And we WILL be out of there as soon as possible too, so we’ll save them the pain! :)

  22. Dividend Diplomats October 21, 2016 at 9:37 AM

    J –

    Hilarious and this happens ALL the time. One co-worker who had barely 50K miles on his car, just went out and bought a new one because “he’s an auditor now”… what the heck does that mean? My car is 7 years old with 95K miles on it and you bet your ass I’m driving it another 7 years at least to put on another 95K, at a minimum haha. And then, I go and say hey – we got a deal on an event filled Chicago weekend, it cost $100 per myself and the girlfriend, but we are doing 3 main attractions + river cruise – his comment “that’s a lot of money for those things”. My head, “probably not as much as your auto insurance on your new car this month”

    Nuff said, no judging or thinking about making a comment back, smiling and nod for the weekend.


  23. Linda @ Brooklyn Bread October 21, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    So good. This is really something that makes me cringe… I catch myself doing it, not just about money, and it is pernicious. Then sometimes, when I’m walking down the street just feeling great, I get this weird feeling of affection for every person I see. It makes me realize the way I see or respect other people has a lot more to do with how I am feeling about myself at a given moment. Passing these quick judgements is definitely a habit that is worth trying to break. It feeds negativity inside your head. And even when someone is legit being a jerk, I was reading an article recently that talked about how if you try to imagine even just for one moment how some difficulty or sadness may be causing them to be a jerk, you straight up create lightness in your own brain. btw, Craig’s List of out of my life. I just sold furniture on aptdeco.com and it is amazing – a serious upgrade. Available in NYC and DC areas…

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:08 AM

      Thanks for the tip!

      And great use of the word pernicious :)

  24. G October 21, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    It’s true that owning is not really an investment. With closing costs (buying and then re-selling), interest, taxes, insurance, and repairs, it has to go up significantly to even break even. Of course, you have to hold it a long time for it to go up, but during that time, you’re continuing to pay taxes and insurance, so your break even point keeps going up.

    In the long run, owning a home will still cost you money, but if you live in the same house for many years, your costs will be less than renting an equivalent house.

    But if you rent an apartment, renting could be cheaper in the long run, with lower utility bills and stuff.

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:14 AM

      Yeah, that’s the only reason I won’t say “never” to owning again… It’s very likely we entertain it again once we’re ready to move back to our “settling down” town and stick around for a couple of decades. I’ll still very much hate the maintenance part of it, but will be much harder to ignore the pros at that point.

  25. Kate October 21, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    I don’t get the judgment for renting. Like how does that thought process go… “omg, look at those people saving money and doing what’s best for them. Chumps!” It makes no sense to me.

    I admit though that I tend to judge when I think people are making irresponsible money choices. I always keep it to myself of course and would never call anyone out for their choices because who am I to do that, but it’s knee-jerk sometimes. I try to remind myself that I have no idea what their finances look like and I have no idea what their personal values are. I read once “we judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions” and ever since, I’ve tried to check myself when I find I’m judging someone based on some face value interaction. Great post, J.

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:16 AM

      Interesting snippet about intentions!!

      And yeah – the renting thing is even more funny because EVERYONE at some point has rented in their lives.. so it’s not like they don’t “get it.”

      1. superbien October 24, 2016 at 9:32 AM

        I think it’s the very universality of renting that makes it a point of judgment, since for upper middle class people who buy into the house thing, they associate it with youth and so immaturity, or with financial fecklessness. Like if you were at that same barbecue bragging about having an awesome collection of used beer bottles all around your room. They’d be like, oh yeah, I did that too… 10-60 years ago!

        But people who actually think about finances, and examine the underlying assumptions, renting can totally be a wise, responsible choice.

  26. Amanda @centsiblyrich October 21, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    I am very good about not speaking my judgments out loud (and I try not to complain or gossip), but I still THINK them. Judgement must be part of being human, but it’s totally unproductive. Definitely something I will work on. I’m rather excited to free up that space in my brain for more productive thoughts! :) Thanks for the reminder.

  27. Joe October 21, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    You should star in a reality show. Your life is so interesting! :)
    I try not to judge, but sometime I do anyway. You can’t avoid it.
    I think renting is the smart move especially since you just relocated. You need to get a feel for the area first. Also, home price seems high now. Maybe it will come down a bit soon…

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:18 AM

      It’s only interesting in my head – not so much in the real world, haha…

  28. Michelle October 21, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Great challenge!

    We get judged all the time for living in an RV. Most people assume we are homeless, that we are horrible with money and were forced to live this life, etc. UGH

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:20 AM


      Prob not at RV camps though, yeah? Don’t y’all have your own secret hand-shakes? :)

    2. superbien October 24, 2016 at 9:38 AM

      Ooh, Michelle, any chance you could do a guest post? That sounds fascinating. I would love a nuts-and-bolts account of how you do that, and advice/lessons learned for a newbie thinking of living in an RV. I’m fascinated. Like doing laundry and dishes, where you hook up, unexpected costs, community and school (if applicable), storage and wardrobes (esp with seasons!), privacy, bathroom smells and sounds, whether you actually save over a non-mobile space, and what you love about it. I’m putting this wish out into the universe. :D

  29. The Grounded Engineer October 21, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    I have to admit that since focusing on my finances more seriously and eliminating debt, I find myself giving insolicated advice to friends. I need to remind myself that people live their lives the way THEY want to and I shouldn’t provide my take unless it is asked for. However, I want to help people when they make bone-headed decisions, so I often find myself in this catch 22 situation.

    1. superbien October 24, 2016 at 9:49 AM

      Yes!! I now love talking about finances, but when they don’t know anything, I sometimes get overly enthusiastic about explaining stuff, which can quickly become utterly overwhelming.

      I try to keep it to one topic now, and keep it short and sweet. Like, with a young coworker I know pretty well, ‘hey, do you do 401k matching? It’s free money.’ And then if they seem interested and we chat for a bit, I’ll email them the basics: how to sign up, how much the company matches, and what funds have the lowest fees.

      Or it can feel offensive or judgy,c which I don’t want to do. My hairdresser was talking about her inherited duplex, which is paid off and has a long term steady renter, and how she’s thinking of converting it to a single and moving in. I said she might think about keeping it a duplex so she is insulated from something like job loss or wanting to stay home with a kid… but then I realized she was really excited about her dreams for renovation, so I dropped it and asked her about her plans, and we talked about that instead.

  30. TJ October 21, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Well….I’d be shocked if there’s anyone on the planet who is going to lack any judgments about every single topic and I’d be super skeptical about the person who claims to be non-judgmental.

    Having judgmental thoughts isn’t the problem, it’s expressing those thoughts in a dickish way that it is.

    Like…J$, I’m totally judging you for living in a ridiculously expensive area like the Washington DC metro when you have a business is location independent. In my mind, I’m probably thinking, why would he ever willingly subject himself and his family to that circumstance with all of the associated snobby people who are judging you for renting?

    (Counterpoint: I was on a date last night and we were talking about there are a lot of snobby annoying people in the wealthy beach areas around here, but as long as you have your crew of people, it’s all good!)

    I guess i feel like one can both have judgmental thoughts while being accepting of differing life and money choices. I don’t think one should be ashamed of having a different opinion.

    In summary, judging isn’t the problem, it’s close-minded, inflexible judging that becomes the problem.

    1. G October 21, 2016 at 1:32 PM

      As a point of fact, J$ doesn’t have to live in Washington, but his wife does, and it’s probably cheaper to just stay married.

      1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:23 AM

        You beat me to it, G$.

  31. Laura October 21, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    Great idea :) Been working on checking my assumptions about people for years. What is sometimes funny is when people think I am judging them negatively, but I’m actually doing something like thinking about a grocery list…thank you RBF (resting b**** face). :)

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:25 AM

      Haha…. my wife is always thinking she comes across bitchy looking totally unintentionally. she says some people just “have that type of face” :)

  32. Fiscally Free October 21, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    We should definitely all be less judgmental, but it can be pretty tough. People do such silly things, it’s hard not to judge.

    And I will never stop judging people with poor Craigslist etiquette. They deserve what they get.

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:25 AM

      it is the opposite of fun :)

  33. Primal Prosperity October 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    I LOVE this! Partly because I love when people buck the ‘status quo’ of society, and we certainly shouldn’t be judging others for living whatever kind of life that makes them happy. As long as they aren’t hurting or taking advantage of others.

  34. superbien October 21, 2016 at 1:09 PM

    I like the caption under the mantle picture. Your funny little asides are part of why I enjoy this site so much.

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:28 AM

      Thanks superbien :)

      One of the things I admire about you is that you always say exactly what’s on your mind! Even when you don’t agree with me.

  35. Justin October 21, 2016 at 1:24 PM

    I’ve mellowed out on my judging these days. I just can’t find the energy to care enough about other people whose lives, lived well or poorly, have little bearing on mine. Which is just about everyone. :)

    And about the tablet from Verizon, he probably got it for $0.01 with a 2 year contract of $29/month for service. So it didn’t cost him anything. ;)

    1. Justin October 21, 2016 at 1:24 PM

      Whoops, just judged the guy. :)

      1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:29 AM


  36. Erin October 21, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    I’ve gotten less judgmental over time, because it’s really not my business and people could easily judge my spending habits too, but it’s hard to avoid judgment all the time. I get judgy if people who make a decent salary aren’t saving for retirement or if people complain about being broke while simultaneously buying shit that a reasonable person wouldn’t classify as a need.

    P.S. College me was “omg so broke” while eating out constantly, smoking a pack a day, and buying shit like tarot cards and those beads that you hang over doorways. I honest to god maxed out a credit card on spray paint to customize a bunch of wooden furniture for my first non-dorm apartment sophomore year. I was super smart, you guys.

    Dammit, there I go, judging past me.

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:32 AM

      It’s so crazy cuz I can’t see ANY of that knowing the current you! Except for maybe the tarot cards… you do have that mysterious side about you :)

  37. Latoya Femme Frugality October 21, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    Funny you talked about this today. I was saying to myself earlier that I just dont give a flying hoot how others decide to spend their money because it has no bearing on my life. Others should feel the same and take this pressure off themselves to live up to other standards.

  38. Financial Panther October 21, 2016 at 5:38 PM

    I’ve been working on not judging people. It’s hard, because everyone else has such nice stuff. And I laughed at the interaction #1 you have. That’s exactly what happens whenever you try to sell something on Craigslist (or OfferUp). It’s super annoying!

  39. SavvyFinancialLatina October 21, 2016 at 6:44 PM

    I’m trying to be less judge. I tend to judge a lot on the financial side.

  40. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank October 21, 2016 at 8:07 PM

    I feel guilty of judging almost every person I meet. Haha! I know it doesn’t help me at all, but I’d try to suppress it and live a happier life. Life is so good!

  41. Mrs. Picky Pincher October 21, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    As much as I hate being judged by other people, I still catch myself judging people on a daily basis. Oops! Judge not, right? I’m working more on minding my own business; it doesn’t matter how other people spend their money!

  42. Zee Zee October 21, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    Pretty interesting post. I love the idea of renting, the detachment of things is the first step to freedom. I’m a new yorker, renting is actually less favorable in my case, but I love that you allow yourself to have that option. Great positive mind!!!!

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 12:34 AM

      Thanks Zee Zee!

      And now totally going over to check out your blog… it’s hard to pass up “naked” AND “budget” in the same sentence ;)

      1. Zee Zee October 23, 2016 at 11:17 PM

        Thanks. It can get “raw”;)

        1. J. Money October 26, 2016 at 7:14 AM

          I bet it can! Hubba hubba!

  43. ZJ Thorne October 22, 2016 at 12:33 AM

    The hate on renters is real. I love when people tell me I just couldn’t care about the neighborhood the way they do because they pay property taxes. Those are included in my rent, son. I can still be a good citizen.

    Catching myself being internally judgy of others is always frustrating. I don’t know their lives. My assumptions will be wrong and they don’t add anything kind or helpful. I like your challenge.

  44. Slackerjo October 22, 2016 at 7:16 AM

    When people (usually clueless two income professionals) give me a hard time about renting my internal reaction is to punch them in the face but I resist cause then I’d be in front of a different kind of judging.

    1. J. Money October 22, 2016 at 3:01 PM

      Hah! Indeed you would…

  45. Personal Funance October 22, 2016 at 8:35 AM

    Really appreciate this post. I struggle with this. I also would agree with some of the folks who say it’s hard not to “judge” because we are constantly interpreting the information sent to us when we see and meet new people. But in my opinion the key is to remember that we are all different people making different life choices. Just because someone chooses to live their life one way doesn’t mean it’s right for us, and that’s okay! That’s what makes us all unique and special.

  46. Syed October 22, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    Why would I stop judging people? It’s so much fun!

    Kidding aside, I think we all come across as judgy whether it’s out loud or in our hearts. And it’s not just finances. Parenting is another big one that causes people to think they are all knowing.

    Definitely something we all have to work on, myself included.

  47. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer October 23, 2016 at 7:53 AM

    “I don’t even want to know what they’d think when they find out I write a diary for a living!” Oh em gee, this post had me cracking up all the way through!! I think we all do that judging thing, and media is set up to help us. I’m convinced they have shows such as “Cops” just to help make the rest of us feel that we’re better than we think we are because we’re not being pulled over for drug possession or beating on somebody. :-)

    1. J. Money October 23, 2016 at 3:03 PM

      Hah! It at least puts things in perspective :)

  48. Beth October 24, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    This is funny because I am overly curious about people in general. When I see someone who could be assumed as maybe not having much money I always think he’s probably the frugal one who has his finances in check. Where as when I see someone who looks like they are wealthy I tend to wonder if they are over spenders who don’t have nearly as much saved as they probably could have.

    I just want to ask people; What’s your income? What’s you debt? What’s your savings look like? And I don’t want to know to judge them – I just want to know for curiosity purposes. I’m always wondering these things every where I go…

    I have this Michael Kors watch that was a gift to me. I would never buy myself a Michael Kors watch (because I’m a cheapo). However, it was a gift and I like it so I wear it. LOL There has been a handful of people who have made a comment about my watch and the cost of it. So I’m pretty sure people have judged or wondered about me as well.

    1. J. Money October 25, 2016 at 6:24 AM

      If only we could ask this stuff!!! Life would be so amazing!!! :)

  49. MrSLM October 25, 2016 at 5:53 PM

    *Barney voice*

    Challenge accepted!

    Seriously though, I’m sure we all pass judgement in one way or another. I know I’m guilty of it but in recent years I’ve been quick to remind myself that I don’t know that other person’s position in life. I often pull up in a nice BMW, but I’m borrowing my wife’s father’s car :)

    1. J. Money October 26, 2016 at 7:00 AM

      That’s the best type of luxury! Enjoying the spoils that someone else is paying for! :)

  50. Financial Samurai October 30, 2016 at 10:47 PM

    Whenever I see something kind of funky, I remind myself that everything is rational. If someone is out of shape, there’s no need to judge because they are living their lives just the way they are because if they wanted to get fitter they’d eat better and work out more. If someone owns a $50,000 or greater luxury car then they rationally must have the money to afford it, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to buy it.

    Once everything becomes rational In your mind nothing really bothers you anymore. Even the person who is complaining about something, it is just rational to complain to do anything about the situation!


    1. J. Money October 31, 2016 at 9:51 AM

      Haha… I’ll try and keep that in mind during the home stretch of irrational/rational voting ;)

    2. Paul Mitite December 16, 2020 at 9:59 AM

      Hey Samurai, I love your stuff. I was led here by Grumpus Maximus (or, a link from his site), and see I’m in good company!