Apply own oxygen mask before helping others (part 1)

Apply own mask firstA reader sent me an article from the The Guardian in which an anonymous guy (let’s call him Tim) writes an open letter to his wife, pleading with her to get a job.

The reader thought the article might be interesting to others, particularly those that had read How not to be a Walking Wallet.

Below is Tim’s letter to his wife (shortened for space) followed by some suggestions as to how Tim might make some changes.

I remember the thrill of first seeing you at law school. You were radiant in a sea of dour, nervous faces. You were kind, down-to-earth, intelligent and loyal. By graduation, we were inseparable. We took the bar exam and were married. The future looked bright.

I started my career with the gruelling hours and high stress traditional for young lawyers. You were unexpectedly ambivalent about finding a job…eventually puttering around in some low paid, non-legal positions.

Pregnancy – something we both wanted – diverted you to the most important job in the world. You never returned to work, although both kids have been at school full-time for years, and our firstborn is heading to college soon.

We have the trappings of middle-class success – a nice house in a safe, quiet neighborhood; holidays; healthy children; money saved for their college years. But it has come at enormous personal cost to me. My stress has increased dramatically and my health has deteriorated. People who haven’t seen me for years flinch when we meet again. I’ve overheard people at events remarking on how much I’ve aged.

I don’t think I can do this for another 25 years. I dream of leaving my firm for a less demanding position, with you making up any financial deficit with a job – even a modest one – of your own. I’ve asked, and sometimes pleaded, for years with you to get a job, any job. Many of my free hours are spent helping with the house and the kids. I would feel less used and alone if you pitched in financially, even a little.
That’s not going to happen. It has become clear that you are OK with my working myself to death at a high-stress career that I increasingly hate, as long as you don’t have to return to the workforce.

You keep busy volunteering, exercising and pursuing a variety of hobbies. You socialise with similar women who also choose to remain outside the paid workforce. You all complain about financial pressures, but never seem to consider earning some money yourselves.

I know all too well that work can be unpleasant. But I don’t want you to work so I can buy a Jaguar or a holiday home. I want you to work so I can get a different position and we can still maintain a similar standard of living.

I want you to get a job so I don’t wake up in the middle of the night worrying that my career is the only one between us and financial ruin. I want you to work so our marriage can feel more like a partnership and I feel less like your financial beast of burden. I want our daughter to see you in the workforce and pursue a career so she is never as dependent on a man as you are on me, no matter how much he loves her (and he will).

But mostly I want you to get a job because I want to feel loved.

Dear Tim

I was sorry to hear about your situation which was brought to my attention by a reader of my blog. The Escape Artist takes all allegations of slavery very seriously, even those involving white middle class males.

I think your situation may be relevant for other guys.  Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on here because I’d like to suggest some changes to help you (and them).

The Escape Artist knows this stuff from making my own mistakes.  So, if it seems like I’m being a bit hard on you, I’m only saying to you what I’d have wanted someone to say to me.

No blame, no shame

Firstly, I don’t blame your wife for your current predicament.  She’s playing the hand she was dealt and, to be honest, it looks like she’s doing a better job of that than you are.

Blame and shame are unhelpful emotional reactions here, they are just distractions from getting on with the business of improving your reality.  So I don’t want you to blame her…or yourself. I just want you to focus on fixing the problem.

I could say you’ve been let down by society. And there’s some truth in that:  we don’t really train boys to be men.  And men don’t really have a good equivalent to feminism.

Let’s face it, many of us guys are emotionally…ahem…unskilled and lack a support network to help us when we’ve lost perspective. It would be nice if society laid on some free training for us guys in these areas.  But, even if it did, most blokes probably wouldn’t bother showing up.

So we are where we are and you need to start by taking ownership of the problem.  The cavalry are not coming, so it’s up to you to start making changes. Focus on what you can control: your own actions.

What is a Walking Wallet?

If it makes you feel any better, you are not alone. There are millions of other guys that have this problem across the western world, where many men seem to have lost their way.  It’s so common that, in his excellent book Manhood” target=”_blank”>Manhood, Steve Biddulph invented a phrase for it: Walking Wallets.

In Feminism for Guys, I explained what Walking Wallets are:

These guys have ceased to be men that balance different roles (father, son, breadwinner, friend, warrior, farmer, athlete, craftsman, lover, hunter, artist, husband etc) and have become only The Payer of the Bills.

Their economic habitat is the professions (law, finance, IT, medicine etc.) and their geographic habitat is the suburbs where they shuttle in SUVs between commuter stations and homes during the week.  At weekends they go to shopping centres, out of town DIY stores and ferry Jemima to her clarinet lesson.

They are good people and not stupid but have been emasculated by an unfortunate combination of social conformity, wives, bosses, debt and consumerism. They often lose track of their own friends in their relentless focus on being good salarymen. They typically let their fitness slide. Their sense of humour atrophies, along with their abs and lower back.  They often self-medicate.

Is this ringing any bells Tim??

Awareness

On the positive side, you have realised that there is a problem.  Awareness is always the first step required for change. It’s a good start but it’s not enough.  You have to take action. The good news is there is a world of resources out there to help you.

You sound like a nice guy Tim, but it’s not enough just to be nice.  Pleading, neediness and approval seeking behaviours are all great ways to repel your wife and increase the chances of her…how shall I put this?…“spending more time” with her tennis coach.

I know women often say they are looking for a nice guy.  Or a provider. But they like lots of other things as well…and no one single attribute is enough.  You have to balance different traits in relationships and in life.

Have you seen the film The War of The Roses? It’s one of the top films on financial independence and it’s about a nice couple that meet at college, after which the guy becomes a workaholic lawyer and the wife a pampered but bored stay at home mother.  Spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well.

Guys in your situation are like frogs getting boiled in a pan.  It starts harmlessly enough: getting a good job, getting married, seeing less of your male friends, asking for pink tickets before being allowed out for a beer.

Once you are in the pan, there is no single “tipping point”.  But, unless you escape, its not gonna end well for you. Like the frog, you have lost sight of the bigger picture.  You’re describing the problems with the inside of the pan. And, yes it is hot. But how are you going to fix this?

Your limiting beliefs

I want to help you see your blind spots and your limiting beliefs.

A limiting belief is something that you believe about yourself and the world that isn’t true. But even though it isn’t actually true, the fact that you think it is holds you back from trying and succeeding.

Limiting beliefs are like your own mental icebergs. Remember The Titanic? Icebergs are big, important things.  But they are mostly below the surface hidden from view, especially when conditions are unclear.  Sometimes you glimpse them amidst the gloom.

Here are some limiting beliefs you seem to have absorbed:

  1. You assume its enough to be a nice guy. It’s not. You think that by putting your wife, boss and children’s needs and wants ahead of your own, they (or someone) will automatically take care of your needs and wants. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. Relationships involve negotiations and you are currently doing a lousy job negotiating on your own behalf.
  1. You assume you are powerless. You’re not. This is called learned helplessness in the literature. In your letter you talk about being a financial beast of burden, like a shire horse or plough oxen. Good analogy. These animals are much stronger than the farmer. If they refuse to pull the plough, the farmer can’t make them.
  1. You assume that you are on your own in this. This can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you act like you are isolated, you risk creating your own reality. What happened to those male friends you used to have? There are plenty of guys out there that have been through the same thing and much, much worse. And they can help you. So reach out to others.
  1. You equate standard of living with spending. But spending does not equal happiness. You may have a high income but your standard of living is terrible. I know lab rats and smoking beagles that have a better quality of life than you, my friend. You need to rethink your whole idea of standard of living.  Take the example of that Tennis Coach. You may earn more money than him. But you need to factor in his ability to choose his hours, work outdoors and the other perks, if you know what I mean.

Once you break the assumption that spending equals happiness, all sorts of positive changes can flow from that. There is a whole new world waiting for you, the world of financial independence, where you get to design your own life around what makes you happy.

Limiting beliefs come from our social programming. We all get conditioned by what we see and experience growing up.  This is why I talk about money blueprints.  What was your father’s job?  And did your wife’s mother work?

Childhood paradigms get reinforced by advertising, by peer pressure and by social convention.   Your wife is surrounded by people that are reinforcing her view of the world.  Not only are you outnumbered and outgunned, you’re not even at the debate….you are too busy at work marking up those legal contracts.

Those 4 limiting beliefs leapt off the page in your letter.  You may have others. That’s OK, you can fix them all over time.  You must unlearn what you have learned. Once you start addressing your core beliefs (your Inner Game) the detailed implementation (your outer Game) becomes just…well, detail.

Next steps

At some stage you need to have a serious talk with your wife.  But if you did that right now, it probably wouldn’t go well.

Before you go into that negotiation, you need to equip yourself with some knowledge.  After all, you wouldn’t send a new law student into the Supreme Court as the lead lawyer on a major case. They need some training first. Otherwise they are, as the Americans say, gonna get their ass handed to them.

So here are your next steps, Tim.

  1. Read the book Manhood by Steve Biddulph. This might just change the way you see the world.
  1. Learn about emotional intelligence. You could take some classes at The School of Life. You could listen to The Art of Charm podcast, maybe starting with this one.  But you first need to understand that there are a few basic differences between men and women that flow from evolution. Men and women are equal but not the same. I recommend The Mating Grounds podcast and any books by Geoffrey Miller.
  1. Reconnect with your physical side. Your body matters: its not just a life support system for a computer (your brain). If your body is weak and flabby, your thinking and your mood are likely to reflect that. This will affect how you perceive the world.  Do some exercise that includes cardio and some strength training.  Run. Cycle. Do Press Ups.
  1. Find a mentor / coach / role model. This is the single most powerful thing you can do. You may need to go outside of your current social circle for this.  It needs to be a guy who you can relate to. A guy that’s married and a few years older than you. Maybe a former lawyer where you can see they’ve successfully made changes.
  1. Learn about financial independence. Subscribing to this blog is a good place to start. Read The 3 numbers that can make you a millionaire and Why cutting spending won’t harm your love life.
  1. Make room by subtraction.  Lots of people say they’re too busy to add new stuff into their life. You’re probably already sleep deprived.  You need to make room for the good stuff by first removing some of the timesucks from your life: e.g. TV, internet surfing, pleading with your wife…stuff like that.

Some of this needs some new ways of thinking. Some of this might require you to spend some money upfront to save money in future. But let’s face it, it’s your current thinking that has got you into this mess. And you are currently no doubt spending liberally on Sauvignon Blanc, petrol for your SUV and future landfill. You need to invest in yourself.

The steps above are just the start of The Path. There isn’t space in one article to cover everything. There is no quick fix here. It’s going to take some time, patience and work…with no guarantee of the outcome.

But you shouldn’t give up. You’re right to recognise that your situation will set a blueprint for your own children. You owe it to them (as well as to yourself) to make some changes.

So treat this like it’s an emergency.  You can not only survive this, you can come through it stronger. But you must stop procrastinating and take action. You are on a jumbo jet where the cabin windows are starting to crack.

Like they say in the safety briefing: Apply own oxygen mask before helping others.

If you have any suggestions for Tim, leave a comment below with your own advice.

20 comments

  1. Bobbyo · · Reply

    That was quick!

  2. Simply brilliant EA. A slave without knowing it. The shackles aren’t just imposed by his wife. The extreme danger for this fella is that his wife doesn’t ‘buy in’ to any changes he suggests. Pushes for a divorce, custody of the kids and a big chunk of alimoney.

  3. GIRLS this is not only a wake up call for the for the boys….. I am a recent widow…. I considered myself an dynamic independent woman. My life support system is no longer there, he died of a heart attack at the age of 62, no age at all. In the process of grieving I have discovered that I was a pampered princess, my husband took responsibility for everything !!! The pain of losing him along with the knowledge that my marriage was not a true partnership just adds to the deep pain of my loss. Get involved in a true partnership before it’s too late..

    1. Great point, I dont think Tim is doing his wife (or kids) any favours in the long term. To help them in a sustainable way, he needs to help himself.

  4. FI Warrior · · Reply

    I actually read that article with interest in the paper and thought ‘Poor sap’ but it reminded me of those individuals I used to envy when working at Megacorps. (before downsizing to improve my quality of life) Now I wonder how many of those smart-looking, nominally successful people who were playing the politics so well, were actually secretly lost, trapped in a mindset of their own making and didn’t know how to change it.

    I didn’t despise him though, because most guys have had at least a taste of that at some point and I’m guessing the majority never break free. Social grooming is such that women too have come to expect that as the normal lifestyle, so refusing to conform would mean struggling to find a partner for a long-term meaningful relationship, especially involving children for obvious reasons. Once you’re in the lifestyle, trying to renegotiate expectations with a partner would look like reneging on the original unspoken agreement and simply explaining that you couldn’t take it any more would make you look weak, risking abandonment.

    So the most likely price would be separation anyway and years of paying that debt, thus further embedding the trapped in the work they hate, but without the benefits of family life. (if there were still any left at that point) Having established that no choice is going to be pain-free, the wage-slave has to look long and hard in the mirror and ask themselves which option they feel is the most worth living for, for what is left of their lives.

    This has become the default lifestyle in wealthier Anglo-centric countries/cultures, mainly because of sophisticated, relentless, consumerist brainwashing, leading to the irony of relatively wealthy people counter-intuitively feeling lost in meaningless existences.

    Getting back to this particular guy, given what he’s saying, he already knows the score and what he has to do, he just doesn’t like the answer so is procrastinating in the hope that a magic solution will appear before he cracks. Him and millions of others in the suit army who march for the money.

  5. Playing with Fire · · Reply

    Let’s be careful not to tar all women as mooches or all men as potential saps. There are plenty of moochy men and walking wallet women (WWW: turning everything MMM upside down) out there.

    I’d really like to understand more about how each of the people have communicated their wants and needs; and heard the other’s wants and needs. If the wife understand the situation and is okay with the worker slaving away and becoming ill through work, she isn’t worthy of the relationship. Similarly, if the worker has assumed that the wife wouldn’t get a job but hasn’t explained the harm that the current situation is doing then he’s doing a disservice to his partner and being a bit of a martyr. It is so easy to think that someone must see your viewpoint because of bits of disconnected conversations when you haven’t connected the dots.

    This situation is played out over and over again; couple have different financial priorities, spend too much, don’t value time, don’t communicate, misery ensues. This is an extreme example but does make me realise that getting into a relationship with someone who doesn’t have their financial shit together is a recipe for disaster.

  6. John Forscythe · · Reply

    You didn’t seem to mention the legal (and to some extent cultural) restrictions that are in place to keep men as walking wallets. Maybe this isn’t an issue in the UK, but in parts of the US for sure if the wife decides to divorce the author rather than work, she will often receive alimony, child support and the marital home. I’m all for men not placing themselves in the walking wallet situation, but once they are there they aren’t in a good negotiation position because they fear ending up in thr proverbial studio apartment with limited access to the children.

    1. I’ll leave that topic to Jerry Reed…

  7. I think this article is placebo masquerading as medicine. It starts off with the typical unhelpful “man up” diatribe you hear whenever a man has the temerity to talk about his problems. Next it lays out a completely generic plan that you could give to any man with any kind of problems: exercise more, read a book on manhood to solve your wussiness, find someone else who has had the same problems, etc. Finally, it dances around any real questions like for example:

    What is the best way to approach new negotiations with the wife, given the fact that such negotiations have failed in the past?

    What should be his response if she refuses to work despite fully understanding how it harms him?

  8. dawnmartyne · · Reply

    Finacially independant womens opinion ……

    SHE DOES NOT LOVE HIM, shes using him, lazy,idle woman! marriage is a partnership.
    I would say tell her to get off her arse and work and if she wont then its OVER . Shes not gonna like having to work at this late stage, shes high maintenance and is used to being ‘kept’ so i doubt she will work now.
    .It might cost him big but a smaller house and modest living standard he will be happier and healthier.
    Theres some damn good self supporting women out there that would appreciate a good honest man, he’ll get snapped up! if it was the other way round i would’ no way’ keep a man.

    A man must seek out a women who as what ‘ playing with fire ‘ said, got their head screwed on financially and not afraid to work, If you dont see this early on ,dont have kids with them. You might be brilliant at your job but stupid at picking a good wife. Men dont always think with their heads in this department.

    1. Be careful there!!! Men can be the lazy idle partner in the relationship. I was in a relationship with one. He was ‘contracting’ but never seemed to work, just spent time playing his keyboards all day and going round to his parents to eat and be the pampered, favourite son. I would be the one earning the money, paying the bills. Then he would suggest we go to Australia for 3 months …how can I when I work and can’t get time off…don’t worry just give up the job, he replies…but how do we get money to fund our costs…keep th house going while we are away…Don’t worry he says something will come up….what? I say? Like you getting a job?
      As you can tell it did not end well and we parted…
      He is now with a partner who is at home being the housewife and he is now complaining about having to work and how he has no money …and how supporting the bills is making him sick.

      1. dawnmartyne · ·

        Oh yes Sparklebee, men can be just as bad for’ living off a women’. but thats the other end of the spectrum,/ argument here. neither is correct. relationship/marriage is a partnership.
        2 individual columns holding up the same roof !

        As a financially independant women of my own means i wouldnt touch a man with a barge pole unless he had his own home and earned his own money. i dont want or need his money but he aint living off me either.
        proberbly why im single!

  9. I’m not sure I agree with the interpretation.

    It’s 2016, the cash dependent wife should be a thing of the past. To blame Tim is facile, they entered the relationship equal.

    She, equal to him, should recognise her role in the partnership.

    1. “I’m not sure I agree with the interpretation…To blame Tim is facile”

      Sorry, I’m not sure whose interpretation you are disagreeing with. Who is blaming Tim? I said no blame, no shame.

  10. That’s really hard Tim. I would strongly suggest marriage counseling, as the only alternative is to do nothing and let the resentment build up until one or both of you acts out on that, be it physically, emotionally, or with divorce papers.

  11. Seriously!? I saw the link to this article in the Guardian news summary on 2 July and then again on 3 July. Finally, I thought ah, what the hell, let’s take a look (knowing full well what I’d find and why I didn’t want to read it in the first place).

    As a woman who was the bread winner for over a decade in a high-stress job before my husband and I swapped roles (going on 4 years now), I’m doing a major eye roll over here. Puuuuulease!

    To Tim:

    Whining is a waste of time and a waste of energy. Either change your situation or make the conscious decision that you’re going to live with it and shut up about it.

    The definition of a marriage is that it is a partnership. You’re in a negotiation bud. It’s not permission based, you get to speak up for what you need and then you both figure out how to get there. You’re doing both you and your partner a disservice by not having the hard discussion that will lead to actions once it’s clear that the status quo is unacceptable. Right now, she’s not having to do anything because you’ve made it clear through your actions that you’re willing to maintain the status quo.

    No one is going to take care of you if you don’t care enough to take care of yourself (it sounds like right how you are BOTH prioritizing status symbols above your need for healthy living). That means that changing your situation is not a request. It’s an inevitability and what you and your partner are negotiating is not whether change is going to happen, but how: will she work, will you downsize your lifestyle, will you do a bit of both in order for you to put some sanity back into your life and your relationship? What’s it going to be?

    I also suspect you have a similar relationship with your boss. Do you whine about your workload as opposed to make statements about what workload you will take and when you get to work and leave?

    And how about your relationship with your kids? Any better?

    We teach people how to treat us. It’s amazing how effective boundaries can be. You should try it some time.

    Now go on. Dust off your pinstripe suit and get on with it.

  12. Anonymous · · Reply

    Wow – you’ve plunged into some deep and dangerous territory here!

    Naturally, everything I say has to be seen as a generalisation. There are hard working men, hard working women, lazy men and lazy women in a variety of configurations. I get that, so please don’t reply with a specific example. I am commenting on what I am seeing around me.

    We are in a bit of an “in between” phase. A transition if you will. There was a world that existed until the late 70’s with the man going out to work and the woman running the house. I remember my mum getting “housekeeping money” from dad which was all very ordinary. The money would be used to pay the bills and get the shopping etc. Mum would do what she could to make that money go as far as possible – it was “her job”. The rules were clear, they were both happy with the arrangement (I phoned them up and asked them just now.) Things were configured to enable dad to recharge his batteries at the weekend. He did fun stuff with us but if he fancied reading the paper or having a snooze then he did and mum made sure we let him. It was important for dad to be kept in prime physical earning condition. The rules were clear and simple.

    There are lots of new models available now though. Women go out to work which is great if they want to (can’t see the point myself but hey). Traditional roles have been recut and reshaped and everything has got confusing.

    There is a far greater onus on men to contribute around the house, to look after the kids, to do a bit of cleaning, to do a bit of cooking, to give a shit about and have an opinion about stuff that quite honestly they never have and never will give a shit about (soft furnishings etc.). Generally, this is a good thing, with the exception of the soft furnishing bit. Kids need their dad to spend time with them and a bit of cooking and cleaning never hurt anyone. So, the list of responsibilities that the typical man has is now bigger.

    So, if they are still working to bring in the money, and doing more around the house, somebody is doing less. And this is where the problems are starting to appear.

    There are many women who are quite adroitly playing the “it’s important to spend time with the kids, do the cleaning, cooking etc.” card, guilting (I just made a verb up) men into doing this work, and then happily doing less themselves. I see it all around me all the time. The poor grey wage slave getting off the train to get home to his wife who has had a terrible day at the yogacoffeecake mine and upon arrival he gets handed little Tarquin who is having a toddler kinda day with the comment “I’ve been looking after him all day – it’s your turn”. Which would be fine if the wife then got her work clothes on and went out to earn some money instead of grabbing a bottle of cabernet and heading for the One Show.

    The sad thing is that whilst it might seem like the wife is playing a blinding hand, she’s not in the long term. At some point, she is likely to want or need to do some work and she’ll having a nightmare finding something. No relevant skills and quite probably a complete lack of confidence.

    I’m generalising, and quite possibly sounding like an utter misogynist which I’m not but I see it all around me all the time.

    So, what does Tim do? He’s got options:

    1. He has an honest conversation with his wife. She might initially be shocked, angry, appalled etc. but it would at least crystallise the situation one way or the other. I suspect if she spoke to her mum or anybody from the generation before she’d get short shrift.

    2. He quits his job and does something he loves instead which will probably be far less well paid. Will lead to 1.

    3. He joins his local sports / running / cycling club and starts hanging around with attractive fit women of a similar age who are pulling their weight in the world. By way of coincidence these women are often divorcees who have had to get off their backsides. That might wake Mrs Tim up a bit.

    4. He gets his revenge in by deploying his hard earned cash pursuing such hedonistic pleasures as tickle his fancy.

    5. He accepts the status quo and dies a slow and tedious death.

  13. Jaizan · · Reply

    I fail to see why all these guys put up with slaving away so their wives can spend it.

    I’m not getting into that situation in the first place. However, if I was in that situation, my money would get paid to a bank account that only I have access to and she would have the discretionary spending gradually cut to zero.

  14. FI Warrior · · Reply

    By necessity we have too make sweeping generalisations here since we don’t know the precise context of this case, so with that caveat, I’d say this situation is more complex than it can appear.

    There are several variables contributing to the final result, but I’d suggest that women are far superior to men in emotional intelligence and society is slow to change its perceptions of gender roles. Even when transitioning, as in the more flexible ‘Western’ countries, the messages end up mixed and as this is fed to children unconsciously, so no wonder the outcomes can be a mess. I’m guessing societal nudges and peer pressure to conform are the main influences, but genetically parasites in human form can come in both genders, so there’ll always be individuals wanting a free ride in life.

    Personal culture can have a huge influence too if you have a strong family, I have female relatives who’ve been mildly parasitised by lazy men for a while until they belatedly realised and flushed them. This was because they were raised to be totally independent and it would just never occur to them as even being an option to be kept. Because of the aspirations they were imbued with from young, they’d regard that as wasting their potential and therefore chance of greater happiness. I also have an elderly aunt from the era where gender roles were clear, different and separate, who stayed home to raise kids, but when her husband burnt out, went back to work and kept him instead of throwing him out. They worked together for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, honouring the deal; she recognised he was a good man who just had nothing left to give.

    The problem is that people don’t work out their values at the beginning to see if they’re compatible and then set expectations accordingly. This is understandable though, in modern life it’s hard enough to meet a partner, clinically interrogating them isn’t going to bode well for romance and anyway, most people haven’t even figured themselves out by the time they need to know these things. Expect more drones lamenting their fates.

  15. Once you get trapped in an unhappy marriage it’s very difficult to leave. The legal and social bonds are in many ways akin to a prison. I often wonder why such an institution exists and why it perseveres.
    Procrastination is easy to do, but probably the worst thing cause you start drinking, avoid going home, living in silent misery with the wife.
    FI is an objective and it’s easier being in a relationship cause I can save more. I also don’t want to lose half my current assets in a divorce. I’ll persevere for a few more years, then somehow sod off.

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