What Motivates the Money Pushers

If you have ever lost a significant amount of weight, you may know about the food pushers.  Those people who say, “You’re so thin; you have to eat!” or “Just try one bite of this.  One little bite won’t hurt.”

Just like the food pushers, there are the money pushers, as I call them.  Do any of these sayings sound familiar:

-“Just go out for one night and have fun; it is not good to never spend money.”

-“It is a buyer’s market. You should get in now while the rates are low.”

-“Go ahead and treat yourself; you work so hard!”

My husband and I live in a two bedroom apartment; we have lived in this building for 10 years, and yes, it is a bit depressing to think of all the money we have paid in rent, and we have nothing to show for it.  We now have three kids, and the apartment is cramped.  It is not impossible to live in, but it is cramped.  All of us would like more room to stretch out, but as our budget reflects, we are in NO condition to buy a house now.

My husband and I are both in our late thirties, and it seems to bother people that we have not bought a house yet.   (Truth be told, it bothers me a bit.  I thought we would have a house by now.)  However, neither one of us wants to jump into the housing market unprepared.  In the last few years too many people have lost homes in part because they weren’t truly prepared financially for owning a home.

My husband and I are in complete agreement on this issue, yet still, many people have urged us to buy a house, prepared or not.  These are the money pushers.  They WANT us to buy a house, and they express that want frequently. 

Why do they care what we do?  I have reflected on this a great deal.

Money pushers want:

1.)    To take care of you.  They want good things for you—new furniture when you move into your first place, a big screen tv, etc. even if you can’t afford them.  They want you to be comfortable.

2.)    To confirm their own lifestyle.  If you too buy like they do, they won’t feel guilty about the money they are spending.

3.)    To live vicariously through you.  Some of the people who ask us about buying a home want to experience, through us, the process of looking for and purchasing a home.  Yes, it can be exciting to look at new houses, all of the different layouts, amenities and locations, but we consider it frightening to do any of that before we are financially ready.

Understanding the money pushers can help you not only resist their demands, but also keep from getting irritated.  They do, afterall, want what’s best for you, even if their definition of what is best is different from yours.


  1. A friend’s father-in-law often complained about how much money they were throwing away because they rented. The friend said he wasn’t throwing any money away – his family had a roof over their heads.

  2. I agree with the above comment. Is it really throwing money away if it paid for something you needed that month? While it’s true you won’t own that apartment when you’re done, you still “got what you paid for” when you paid your rent. Not only that but you’re not putting money toward escrows! If you look at how long it takes to accrue equity in a home.. well, you could look at it like paying that interest is throwing money away as well! THOUSANDS of dollars each year.

    I say stand firm. If you and your husband never decide to buy a house then you won’t. Eventually your children will grow up, get married and rent or buy their own places. Then you’ll be free to go around, visiting with grandkids in an RV! 🙂 If you do buy a house you’ll be ready for it and it won’t be an undo burden on you or your children. If you ever do decide to buy, they’ll be pushing you to buy UP to your ability to pay. We’ve learned from experience.. buy low and build up. 🙂

    • Good points. It is true, once we buy a house, there will probably be comments that we need a bigger one. So many people I know get a bigger house when their kids are in high school, and then in a few years all the kids are out of the home!

  3. Hey Melissa! I found my way over through your post at Couponing to Disney. Great to ‘meet you!’ All of your points are true & valid but I have found another reason ‘well intending’ people push you to bigger & better things is simple.
    Misery loves company.
    Many peple have commented on the way our family of 6 (soon to be 7) live on one income at what the government would probably call ‘low income’ and seem to do well. We are even comfortable! And give to others less fortunate than ourselves! Why? Because we’ve chosen to stick to a budget, live within our means and forget about what society tells us we should have.

  4. I went through the same thing when I has house hunting while my hubby was overseas. His VA loan would have given us the money to get a big house (and big payments)and no one could understand that using that was not an option for us, we couldn’t afford to pay it back outside of the Army. So we bought a small starter home slightly less then our rent at the time. It wasn’t perfect or a “forever house” but it would due. Here we are 5 yrs later and even though we struggle like everyone else, we don’t have a huge mortgage that we would have had if we took everyone’s advice. The moral of the story: stick to your guns and trust your gut.

    • Great success story! People can give all sorts of advice and recommendations, but at the end of the day, you and your husband are the one stuck with the payment.

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