A woman’s financial success leads to jealous friends

woman financial success jealous friendsA JEALOUS PERSONALITY IS LIKE FUEL


Having jealous friends might not land you at the top of the phone calling lists to hang out but are they really your friends then?

Fan mail really drives me to continue learning about finance and the personalities behind the people who want to get out of debt.

I never push a budget on anyone but I do try to motivate people to set goals in life because personal goals no matter short-term or long-term mean something important if you took the time to set them.

Today I have a young lady who emailed me about a problem she is having with some of her friends. Feeling isolated in a group of friends is not uncommon especially when your career takes off, you move cities or if they become jealous friends because of their financial pitfalls.

Dear Mr.CBB

I’ve been quite intrigued by your blog back a couple of years ago when you started your budgeting series because that is the time I really started to get my finances in order.

As a recent University graduate living in Ontario, Canada I found that you and I were similar in the sense that we both saved money to go to school and worked in between to continue to fund what we needed. I graduated with no student debt mainly because while studying I created a student budget to get me by each month which you’ve talked about and I highly encourage for any students.

Although I don’t own a home yet I’m not knee-deep in debt like most of my friends are who have recently graduated. When I read the story about that young guy who didn’t want to be house poor like his friends it prompted me to send you an email even though it’s not something I normally do.

I tend to not talk much about my finances like yourself but I hold a senior level position now and it’s clear that I’m not suffering financially. I work hard, very hard for my money.

My problem is I don’t know how to be around my friends that seem to be jealous of my success. It’s not just my career they go on about like I’m the luckiest person in the world it’s the “You must be loaded”  or “Colleen’s paying tonight” and other comments they make under their breath especially when we are out shopping “Like you can’t afford that“.

Yes, I can afford lots of things but like you Mr.CBB I budget my money using your free budget spreadsheet (thanks by the way). I don’t just splash my money around and yes I say things like “Oh, I’d like to buy that” or “I’m going to save up for this or that” although they laugh when I tell them I’m on a budget.

I don’t really know what the big deal is because I don’t want to be rely on anyone financially not even a man. In some silly way my jealous friends motivate me to keep on reaching towards my goals because I don’t want to be miserable like them and worry about what I don’t have because someone else is busy out grabbing it.

What I want to know is how do you deal with any jealous friends because you and your wife are debt free including the mortgage at such a young age? Do you ever get jealous of others who are more successful than you financially and how do you deal with it?

I’d like to buy my first house next year with a hefty down-payment so I can stop renting and start earning equity on my money. Thanks for any tips and sorry the question is so long I just wanted to brief you on a bit of background.



Hi Colleen,

First off, congratulations on your career and financial success and thanks for the question.  I’ll do my best to answer with my own personal experiences.


Jealous friends


It’s amazing how people associate ‘money’ with friendship and that life must be treating you fine but that’s hardly the case for most people. Unless the money has fallen from the sky, donated to you or inherited you likely worked your tail off to achieve the financial success that you might have.

It’s not always about money either it simply can be the title you hold in your career that gets your jealous friends fired up. Just when you thought you only had jealous colleagues you now have to contend with your friends.

Having jealous friends is not easy to deal with and most times your friends might not even know they are treating you differently. It may seem easier because they know you better and are comfortable around you but you feel it because it’s directed at you.

How to get successful in life? Easy, don’t worry so much about what other people think of you. If you want to find secrets to financial success you have to keep smiling and plow through the good, bad and ugly of the world today.

There is so much competition surrounding us that if we fight back we are likely losing a battle we were never destined to win. Stick to your guns and you never know if your success story will motivate someone you least expect. You might find that with-in a group of jealous friends there is always someone who wants to learn the ropes.


Success in life


Everyone defines success differently based on where they started and where they would like to be. For example, I started with nothing and built up net worth by living a frugal life, spending less than I earn and working in a career I love but most of all setting financial goals.

I’ve said it many times on the blog why we should never compare financial numbers and this is why we don’t normally talk about our finances outside of the blog.

Just by having random conversations with friends who go on about how rich so and so is and how it must be nice to have money etc. typically leaves me to listen rather than add my two cents.

I don’t tend to feed into that fire but in my head I know that we all need to live the life we create and are given and make the most of it. Jealous friends don’t lead to positive outcomes if you let them overpower you.

The internet is full of success stories from people like you and I Colleen who work hard for what we carry out financially. What one person defines as successful another laughs at so be proud of your accomplishments.

If you find that your friends jealousy is causing you too much trouble what I suggest is one of two things;

  1. You talk to them about it
  2. You slowly distance yourself from them and find new friends

Every week I read posts from personal finance bloggers and although I haven’t met any personal bloggers in real life there are times I get a bit jealous of not only their blog success but their overall financial success.

Sometimes I think I didn’t start saving early enough or I’m not investing on my own so I’m blowing money that other financial bloggers are saving because they are well ahead of me in terms of financial education.

Most times it’s because I’m afraid to get my feet wet and losing money but I know that whining gets us nowhere. What I do is take that bit of jealousy and turn it into a positive. I want to know everything they are doing so I can find ways that work for me. I ask questions and am genuinely happy for them because they have it figured out even though they probably are thinking the same as I am.

Oddly enough if you ask them they likely have a bit of jealousy over the next person who has accomplished more than them. The key here Colleen is to make sure that you take what most would suggest is a negative “jealousy” and build on it to become a positive driving force. If your jealous friends aren’t giving you what you need to build from then find people to surround yourself with who give you what you need.

I often have to tell myself that blogging isn’t my full-time job and although I love blogging I don’t devote the amount of time some other bloggers do to achieve the goals they set out financially. A blogger friend of mine Michelle at Making Sense of Cents earned the most she ever has this month freelancing at just under $15,000 but this is what she loves to do and is good at it.

I’d love to earn $15,000 a month between the blog and freelancing but I know that turning a blog into a business and starting up a freelancing gig isn’t what I want from life. I think it’s amazing what some finance bloggers can do working from home.

On the other hand my career is what drives me and where I spend my time learning about how to be the best at what I do. You have to love what you do even if that means people are jealous of you because that likely is the least of your daily worries.

If anything what fuels me the most is that bit of jealousy to create a network of fans who want to hang out with me here at Canadian Budget Binder to learn about finance. Balance is key in life Colleen and as you get older you will soon find out that you really are on your own in life so don’t let anyone take you down.

I hope that answers your question from my perspective and maybe some of the fans can share how jealousy in everyday life can either fuel someone or take them down.


What other tips do you have for Colleen in regards to being able to look past the jealousy that surrounds her circle of friends?


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  1. It’s so important to have at least some friends, if not all, who think like you. I have a friend who this morning had already sent a text to me saying “new offers today!” (referring to PC emails)…she is so super supportive that she is the one person who can motivate me when I start heading off budget. We actually LOVE sharing (she’s way better at saving than I) how much we saved! There may be downers around us who make comments not directly, but more the poor me comments about themselves…but we also are in tune to the Law of Attraction and will not harp on negativity, ours or theirs.

  2. I think jealousy is a normal emotion, and there really isn’t much you can do about it. There is jealousy every turn you take, just in different situations. People are always going to want things that they don’t have or can’t have, and I think as long as you use that to your advantage and use it as motivational tool, then it isn’t so bad.

    1. I guess being a woman is different from being a man but like Michelle says jealousy is an emotion that is normal…. I just think it depends on the person how they handle it.

  3. Colleen, good for you for being financial responsible throughout college – that’s put you in a much better place financially, as you know. Jealousy often comes, at least in my experience, from those who don’t know how to or are unwilling to get a step up on their own lives. Maybe when the rude comments come along, you can say politely, “It took me a long of hard work to get to this place, but I learned a lot along the way. Want me to show you how you can be more financially free too?” If they’re not interested in the work it takes to get there, obviously they’ll brush off your offer to help, but I’ll bet they shut up after that. 🙂

    1. When jealousy hits us it’s a good indication that we need to take a look at our own lives and figure out what we need. Good point Laurie

  4. People are always jealous of what they don’t have. I’ve even experienced this recently as a new stay at home dad. I’ve heard comments like “Boy, wish I could do that” or “You’re lucky…” or “That must be tough (sarcasm)…” My encouragement is simply to rise above it. We shouldn’t feel guilty at our success and we certainly can’t control what other people think about it.

  5. Colleen, you have already accomplished a great deal in your life. Clearly what you are doing works for you and that is what matters. You need to live your life your way, just as your friends will live their life their way. Stay true to yourself, and let them worry about their own life. I’d say to find new friends if need be but that will happen in life as you go along. It always does. There is some good advise above from others….may I add to always be true to yourself……

  6. Kind of tough because it’s a very loaded question filled with many twists and turns and unique situations. I’ve been jealous of friends and other bloggers who seem to achieve more than me, especially ones who are nearly 20 years younger, but that’s all on me…that’s MY problem, not theirs. It’s my job to be a better human and better learn how to deal with my own emotions. Now let’s just say I have a friend who seems to show off their money or brag. Are they an asshole? Probably, but again it’s MY responsibility to move on and not be their friend anymore, not to change THEIR behavior. If their friendship is really deep and meaningful for you, then it might be worth having a talk with them, but if not, then try to move on. And you also might want to examine your own behavior at the same time. Are you doing anything that might make your non-higher earning friend uncomfortable? Like constantly suggesting going to expensive restaurants even though you know they are on a tight budget? If so, ease that pain a bit by suggesting free or frugal activities with them to level the playing field. Just some thoughts from someone who has been both a high income earning and a struggling freelancer.

  7. There will always be people who will set the bar very high compared to our own efforts. I know that If I wanted, I could decide to set the bar to that same high level of output but another aspect in my life which I deem more important may inevitably suffer. If you are happy with your own output then that’s what matters. If you are not, and feel the pang of jealousy due to someone else’s success, then do something about it if it really matters to you.

  8. Colleen, first let me congratulate you on your achievements and say… you go girl!

    As a woman, I have to say I have been on the receiving end of a lot of jealousy & I have come to expect that it’s just life. I have known my fair share of gentlemen that are threatened by any woman achieving something they have not. The example that comes to mind is the next door neighbor I had when I bought my first home as a single gal. It was a brand new, 4 bedroom-3 bathroom. Did I need that much room? No! I simply recognized the value of a family size home and property in terms of re-sale. That gentleman did everything he could, in a true passive-aggressive fashion, to let me know he hated a single woman living next door in a nicer home than he had. Too bad, so sad is what I say since it was his problem, not mine! LOL

    Along the way, I have had “girl friends” give me grief about things I have accomplished and achieved where they haven’t. I have a girlfriend that insists that every bit of her grocery cart must be certified organic, fresh, gluten free, not cans, bottles or boxes and that they must have grain fed organic meat at every evening meal for a family of four adults. That’s so not within my abilities because I want to have an RRSP, TFSA, emergency fund and a budget cushion so that when things go amiss, as they inevitably will, my hubby and I can deal with the situation without panic, debt or long lengthy delays. Recently our second fridge died on a Monday. We cleaned it out on Tuesday night and took the contents to the transfer station. Wednesday we bought a new spare fridge and Thursday morning it was delivered and the old one was taken away. Of course there were “digs” about how it must be nice… but our budget provides for little emergencies. Was it an emergency really? To me it was. We use so much fresh vegetable and fruit in a week that a second fridge means I don’t have to shop every few days. My time is worth it to me. 🙂

    I don’t ever pick up the tab for jealous friends or relatives. Period! It doesn’t help and in fact just makes matter worse over time. I like the old saying, “Start as you mean to continue”. If I don’t want to do something for a lifetime, I don’t start the pattern in the first place. Instead, I always ask for my own cheque before I even place my order. When razzed about it, I simply state that I don’t expect anyone else to leave tip based on what I might choose to eat and drink… it’s not fair especially if I might possibly choose something expensive. It generally shuts them up. Another regular line of mine is that I am waiting for a call and may have to leave quickly.

    Colleen, the “jealousy” is merely one symptom of the dissatisfaction that a person feels within their own lives. I can’t say what the root of their dissatisfaction is but it certainly has NOTHING to do with you, what you make, what you have or what you do for a living. Many years ago, I had a dear friend tell me that “what people think of you is none of your business” and it has stood me in good stead. I answer to my moral values, including a “do no harm to others” as my golden rule. I don’t try and rescue anyone from their CHOSEN path but I do subscribe to anonymous charitable acts and gifts. Happiness is an inside job and just keep doing what makes you happy in the long run. Allow your “friends” to decide what that means for them, without judgement or intervention.

    I would say that I walk to the beat of my own drummer, always have, and people have come and gone out of my life and a few have even returned to my life after a very long absence. I ask no one to let me play “the pied piper” but nor do I discourage them if they want to know how I do what I do. I just don’t invest emotionally in whether they use the information or leave it sitting on the floor. Their outcome is just that, theirs! One of the hardest truths in life is that we come into this life alone and we will exit it alone. The time in between is our responsibility as to how we live it. As a child, much like John Lennon, when questioned what I wanted to be in life… I responded, “Happy!”. I have made it my mission. 🙂 Read “The Road Less Traveled” if you have a chance. I realized from that book that life resembles a triangle. At the base and the start of my life there will be more like minded people but as I walk my walk, staying true to my beliefs and convictions, the number will dwindle and at the apex of my life, I stand alone. I am okay with that. I will have lived exactly as I wanted.

    And so I say again… YOU GO GIRL! 🙂

  9. Some friends like you the way you were, the one who was lonely, unfulfilled, and struggling right alongside them, and when your world starts to expand it makes them uncomfortable. In some cases, they want to keep you small so they’ll start trying to cut you down to size so their world feels right yet again.

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