Don’t Be a Complainy-pants

I recently came across an article by Johnny Moneyseed entitled “You Need More Money? Do Something About It.” I suggest you go and read that article first before you continue here.

The gist of the article is this: Johnny has tons of conversations with readers and even friends about how they don’t make enough money. He goes on to suggest various solutions, such as decreasing one’s expenses, cutting one’s commute time, and even generating passive income streams. Next, he suggests calculating just how much more money you need each month, and he finishes off with specific ways to actually increase your income.

I’m not here to add to his list of suggestions – I think his list is sufficient.

I’m not here to disagree with him. In fact, I agree with him wholeheartedly.

I’m here to tell you to stop complaining.

But… but… I really need the mo-” Stop.

But… you don’t know how diffi-” Stop.

Let me tell you a story.

I know someone who has told me plenty of times that he “needs a job“. I’ve seen tons of signs on restaurant windows saying that they are looking for help, so I keep telling him about these opportunities. He responds by saying, “Oh… well, I don’t want to work with food.” I ask him why not, he says, “Well, I just know I’m not gonna like it, so why even try it?

Now, I cringed at this. In college, I was a barista at a cafe on campus and I ended up being promoted to supervisor over there. The experience has taught me a lot, not just about how to make a latte, but about how to treat others and how to have a great work ethic. It was also a job that a lot of people on campus didn’t want to work. Personally, I didn’t necessarily want to work at a cafe, either. But I knew that I needed income, and this was the only opportunity that was right in front of me. So, I shut my mouth and applied and I never looked back since.

I’m not going to go into the full pros and cons of being in the food service, because that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is this: if you constantly complain about your situation, but choose not to do anything about it, even if the solution is right in front of your face, then stop complaining.

It’s easy to talk about how you need more money, or how you’d like this, or how you want that. But it’s 10x harder to actually do somethingΒ about it.

I’m reminded of this acceptance speech by Ashton Kutcher at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards. If you haven’t watched it yet, you should. I had to fight the urge to close the window because of all of the teen girl screams, but it’s worth it, I promise.

In the video, Ashton says something that resonated with me: opportunity looks a lot like hard work. He goes on to mention all of the jobs he’s ever had (carrying shingles, washing dishes, grocery store deli, etc.) and he says that he has never had a job that he was better than. Each job would help him with his next job and so on.

I don’t mean to be harsh. But some of us don’t have the luxury of choosing what kind of job we have, some of us just need the money to pay the bills at the end of the day. And who knows? Maybe the not-so-ideal job will teach you skills that will help you excel at your eventual dream job!

Also, I don’t mean to ignore the economy or anything like that. But again, it’s easy to complain about how the economy is the reason why you’re jobless or not making enough. Instead, you should be looking inward and asking yourself, “Have I done all that I can (legally and ethically, of course) to earn more money?

Naturally, I’m a Negative Nancy (not to say that all Nancy’s are negative). I am one of the most negative people you will ever meet. I’ve grumbled and whined plenty of times that I don’t make enough money. Starting now, I’m challenging myself to turn the complaints and the negativity into productivity.

So, I challenge you to do the same. The next time you complain about how little you make, be proactive and work towards/ask for a raise or look for a higher paying job. Look at the skills you have and look into how you can monetize them. Or you can take a second job. And if you are in absolute dire need of money, it’s no time to be picky about what job you get – money is money and beggars can’t be choosers.

Don’t talk about it; be about it.



  1. DC @ Young Adult Money September 14, 2013

    I actually think it’s best to not try to help people unless they really want you to help them. Some people are going to complain, and it’s not something that will change until they decide they need to change. I will listen to complaints, but only for so long. I also only offer advice if people ask me for it, because too often they disregard it. Then again, my opinion is worth exactly what people pay for it πŸ˜‰

    • Lisa E. September 14, 2013

      I agree, DC. I’ll listen, but I can’t listen to complaints that I know will never change.

  2. femmefrugality September 14, 2013

    I’m with Eva on Ashton, except that I think I’m in love with him now. Great post! If you want things to change, you’ve got to take action. If you don’t want to take action, you’ve got to just shut up after a while. Inactivity is a conscious decision.

    • Lisa E. September 14, 2013

      Oooh girl… he is pretty attractive!

      And yes, you basically summed this whole post up – take action or shut up!

  3. Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies September 13, 2013

    I really enjoyed this post, Lisa! And you know what… I’ve never been a fan of Ashton Kutcher, but after watching this video I started liking him a little bit more. I agree there’s no point in complaining, just go and do something about it. Great read!

    • Lisa E. September 14, 2013

      Thanks Eva! I’ve never been a fan of him either, but that speech made me gain so much respect for him.

  4. areyagonnaeatthat September 13, 2013

    Well said, Lisa! I like especially how you were able to look at yourself and recognize that it’s stuff to work on, as well. I’m pretty guilty at times of complaining, or rather getting frustrated about a certain situation – I’m a lot better at recognizing and cutting it off right away, but it’s still a work in progress. Great post!

    • Lisa E. September 13, 2013

      Thanks Anna! I think complaining is okay – it’s natural sometimes! It’s when people complain day in and day out with no real motivation to do anything about it. I’m definitely a complainer, but after I complain I make sure I fix whatever it is that’s making me unhappy!

  5. Michelle September 13, 2013

    Boom! Tell it like it is.

    • Lisa E. September 13, 2013

      I try! πŸ™‚

  6. Budget and the Beach September 13, 2013

    I just added this to my link love post because I liked it so much. There are a couple blogs I read where someone is complaining about debt and not making enough, then I see they bought a new car or are taking a trip somewhere. Look, if you got debt and you plan on traveling, I don’t care! I understand the need to take a break and get aways…I’ve done it myself…but you CAN’T complain or sit and wonder why are aren’t getting anywhere. My biggest pet peeve in life is the victim mentality. You know I don’t particularly enjoy cleaning my friend Dave’s toilet as his sometimes personal assistant, but at the end of the day I’ll know I’ve done what I can to try and make enough money as a freelancer each month. Great post Lisa!

    • Lisa E. September 13, 2013

      Thanks Tonya!

      And yes, I don’t care what people do with their money. What bothers me is how much people complain and they choose not to take the obvious steps to solve their problems!

  7. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living September 13, 2013

    After having crazy boss, I let a lot of things go in my current job. I think when you realize you’ve had one of the worst jobs, everything else is gravy!

    But yes, no one is above any jobs. A job I had before crazy boss had another slightly-crazy boss whom I still respected because she wasn’t above doing any work. While she was the boss, she’d also do everyone else’s job when they were on vacation. She wasn’t above doing any of the menial tasks despite her title, salary, and experience. I will always remember that about her (she’s sadly passed away) and to this day I still help out everyone with their tasks, regardless of my title!

    • Lisa E. September 13, 2013

      My work is kind of like that right now – we have that “all-hands on deck” mentality. I like collaborative work places, and it’s always awesome to see someone technically above you on the ladder humbly take on the “small” tasks. Reminds you that even the “small” tasks are important.

  8. Marissa@ThirtySixMonths September 13, 2013

    Spot on! Great post! If people will just stop wasting time with their whining, complaining and worrying and instead invest those wasted time to planning and actually changing their situation it will do wonders.

    • Lisa E. September 13, 2013

      Exactly! Time used to complain and whine is automatically wasted.

  9. Done By Forty September 12, 2013

    Who knew Ashton was so insightful? I’m kind of blown away by his wisdom.

    This is the first post of yours I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and you delivered, big time. Welcome to the reader!

    • Lisa E. September 12, 2013

      I was surprised by his speech, too. Definitely a breath of fresh air in the midst of this entitled society.

      And you have no idea how flattered I am to receive a compliment like that from you, Mr. DB40! Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  10. E.M. September 12, 2013

    This is a great continuation of Johnny’s post. I often have to check myself, because I feel like I don’t earn enough. I’m not in the field I studied for, I don’t have much passion for my job anymore, etc. You’re right that most people can increase their income by taking on a second job, but they choose not to. I’ve been toying with the idea, but I’m not sure if now is the right time. I am hoping that when we move next year, there will be tons of new opportunities and I will find myself newly motivated. For now, I need to be happy with what I have.

    • Lisa E. September 12, 2013

      Timing is a huge part of it, too. To be fair, you did just get married, so I think you need to take some time to settle into that life before making any sudden changes. Or you can wait for after you move to look for something new or a second job. But who’s to say you can’t do your research?

      Another huge part of it is being happy with what you have, though. Good luck with it all, E.M.!

  11. Debt Blag September 12, 2013

    I’ve always thought that. Lots of people have skills and assets that are so easily monetizable that they don’t take advantage of. That said, I might a bad offender myself…

    • Lisa E. September 12, 2013

      It’s funny that you mention that because I was having second thoughts about posting this, wondering whether or not I’m guilty of this, too! I think my main problem is when people are handed an opportunity and they don’t bother to take it.

  12. Sarah B Showers September 12, 2013

    Haha, I love the title of this! And that guy’s blog is awesome πŸ™‚

    • Lisa E. September 12, 2013

      Thanks Sarah πŸ™‚ And yeah, he’s one of my favorite bloggers!

  13. M. at Making Sense of Cents September 12, 2013

    Yes, I wish everyone would read this. So many people make excuses for EVERYTHING!

    • Lisa E. September 12, 2013

      Right? It’s been bugging me soo much lately!

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