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Kryptonite To The Yahoo Trolls

Response to Yahoo trollsI read an article earlier this week about a couple who paid off $92,000 in debt in less than three years. As with many articles like this, it was featured on Yahoo Finance, the all star team for trolls.

Once I got into the post, I was amazed to find that the couple who paid off this massive debt were both teachers from Tennessee. They achieved their goals by cutting back as much as possible and earning extra income, a tried and true formula anyone can use to get out of debt, even teachers! I could not think of a negative thing to say about this couple. I thought that maybe even the Yahoo trolls might have mostly good things to say. Alas, I was wrong.

As I was reading through the comments, some made me laugh, some were totally irrelevant, and to be fair, more than a few were positive. As a fun Friday exercise, I wanted to bring some Kryptonite to the Yahoo Trolls* today and blow all their whiney excuses out of the water. I’ve listed some real comments from the trolls for your enjoyment.

Stop Looking For The Easy Way Out

“But having two secure incomes really helps. As teachers, working in a Title I school, their student loans could have been forgiven.”

Yes, troll,  two teacher salaries are amazing! They likely pull in what a manager at Wendy’s makes. While it’s true that student loans can be forgiven for people working in certain public sectors, elementary teachers and band directors, like this couple, do not qualify. Hard work is the name of the game so please don’t undermine their efforts.

Death Bed Confessionals?

“Sounds good but keep in mind they had no social life. I am not certain how freeing that is?? It seems to me that it would be the opposite?? There is nothing wrong with being frugal as long as you are generous in spirit. I understand controlling your debt and not overspending but there is nothing worse than friends who expect everyone else to fund everything. No one on their death bed says “I am so glad I don’t have any debt”.

Maybe I’m weird, but not having any debt would certainly be something I’d be thankful for on my death bed because that would mean I didn’t have to work until I dropped. I believe this troll is confused by the quote about no one on their death bed wishing they had worked more.

Plus, if this troll had actually read the article, the couple clearly said that they avoided almost all social situations that required money unless they had gift cards. They did not keep living it up while mooching off their friends. Contrary to popular believe, you can have a social life without spending a ton of money. You just might have to avoid friends and family who don’t subscribe to that belief.

Haters Gonna Hate

“I really hate these articles. Two teachers that work 9 months of the year and can elect to get all their income in single payments (I bet most don’t know teachers can get paid that way) plus using second jobs to live off of. This is NOT how average people can pay off debt. I bet their incomes was around $45k or higher for her and $45 or higher for him with base salaries from the schools. Then if they both had second jobs around $10/hour they would have another $40k. I’m not impressed. This is not AVERAGE Americans.”

This troll is absolutely right. Most “average” Americans will always have debt and won’t look for side income to accelerate their goals. That does not mean it’s impossible to be debt free. In fact, it’s very doable if you want to spend free time earning income instead of leaving negative comments on Yahoo.

You Don’t Need Debt To Have A Good Credit Score

“This young couple decided to do away with all debt…good luck at the bank when you don’t have anything on your credit report to show you can make on time monthly payments.”

While it is true that making on time monthly payments will raise your credit score, this troll is wrong that you have to be in debt to have a high score. If you have decided to do away with all debt, that means saving in cash for any purchase going forward, in which case, a credit score is irrelevant.

One of the future goals for this couple was to buy a house. If a mortgage is in their plan, they could use a credit card for normal expenses and pay off the balance in full every month. This will increase their score without debt.

 Having a Family Does Not Grant A License To Be In Debt

My absolute favorite troll comment of the day…..

“If I were still single I could easily adjust my lifestyle to spend less, reduce debt, etc… I mean I could eat bologna and ramen noodles and spend nothing on entertainment no problem if I was by myself. But it’s much harder once you have a wife and kids and they’re on facebook every day complaining about the trips everyone is going on, the clothes and gadgets everyone has, etc.”

Dear troll, I agree it is much harder and takes longer to pay off debt when you have a family. Just this week, my daughter demolished her snow boots and got a last minute invite to a birthday party. Yes, I could make her have soggy feet and never attend birthday parties, but I won’t.

Those are the sort of unexpected expenses you sign up for when you have children. If you’re smart, you’ll pick up snow boots at the end of the season for next year and have a stash of birthday appropriate presents picked from regifts or sales. If you’re not, you’ll have to shell out at the last minute, and that is tough on a budget.

If it’s too hard for you to look on Facebook and see what everyone else has, then stop looking. If don’t you want your kids to be broke grown ups, then stop keeping up with the Joneses. As we’ve established many times, the Joneses are up to their eyeballs in debt.

Start spending time together as a family and enjoy things that don’t cost money. Would you rather have new clothes and gadgets now or be able to help your kids with college or a down payment on a house later on? You are the parent and you get to decide, no matter how hard your kids try to tell you otherwise. Trust me, they will say thanks when you have enough money to support yourself in retirement and don’t have to live in their basement.

Paying Off Debt Is Hard Work

It doesn’t matter what your income, gender, career, family size, or hair color is, it’s hard to pay off debt. Anyone who is able to do so should be congratulated, not picked apart by trolls. If I could ask one question of all the negative people out there it would be this,

What are you doing today to make your situation better? And no, leaving mean comments or making excuses does not count.

Is there anything Yahoo Trolls would not find fault with? How do you deal with your critics?

*(I love the name Yahoo Trolls and if I could play music, I’d start a band called that.)


Image: Freedigitalphotos.net/Krisnan

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. I agree with some of the things the trolls said. The average American family does bring in much less income. It is important to be generous of spirit. Families do cost more money than one person.

    But, obviously that article wasn’t the time to bring those things up. Seeing a family decide to live debt free and to actually do it is an amazing accomplishment. They should get all the support they deserve.

  2. Yahoo and Life Trolls are so frustrating. They want the quick easy fix, but rip people apart if they come into a windfall. Little changes make all the difference, but a troll will say “spend less, earn more… blah blah blah”

    Those that don’t really want to pay off their debt are waiting for the debt story example that describes their lives to a T. With personal finance as personal as it is, that will never happen. So they stay in debt.

    When people talk to me about debt and they say they want to pay off theirs, I pay attention to how they act. If they don’t bring their lunch to work most days, what’s the point of having the conversation?

  3. You’ve got to love the Yahoo Trolls! You’re right…that would make a good band name! I just had to laugh at your teacher salary comment being the same as a Wendy’s manager. My brother is learning that all too quickly himself. He tried to get a Title I job but that also would’ve meant he would’ve been living in the middle of nowhere Wyoming or Alaska since he’s a tech ed teacher and so few schools offer that.

  4. Until the trolls actually want to get out of debt or achieve some other goal, all they’ll see are the differences between them and those profiled rather than the similarities. But the bigger difference is one they don’t see – a desire to really make their goals happen!

  5. Most of the trolls are either too jealous or too stupid to do something like that for themselves. They think that if they can’t do it then no one should be able to. They are the exact people that our current presidential administration caters to when talking about wage inequality and wealth re-distribution. If they don’t have it or can’t do it, then no one should. Class warfare personified!

  6. “I love the name Yahoo Trolls and if I could play music, I’d start a band called that” hee! I hate trolls and it’s painful to read those kind of comments so I just try to avoid it. People are closed minded and that can’t see how an article like that can at all inspire them to make some changes. Even if someone was living off the land and had no job and still paid 90k in debt, someone would find fault with that. Some people will find fault in just about anything, including sunny days. Ya know?

  7. I can’t even read the comments to articles like that – its completely maddening. But, in real life people make these same excuses so I can’t even say it’s under the cover of anonymity that they say these things. Getting out of debt is hard. really no two ways about that.

  8. Those trolls really are stupid. I love reading articles on there and seeing the comments always demolish the article. This isn’t possible! That’s not average! Blah, blah, blah! These people tend to be lazy and complain when someone does something with their lives.

  9. Ha, I like the idea of a band called Yahoo Trolls. It’s ridiculous what people come up with, and it seems like a lot of it is based on ignorance. If people were a bit more financially literate, they would understand the about credit, and how to use their money wisely. I say good for the couple! I would certainly be thankful to be debt free on my death bed, as being without debt gives you so much more freedom.

  10. LOVE this, Kim – thank you for writing it. We are featuring these guys on Well Kept Wallet next week. They are a sweet, adoring couple who worked their tails off and sacrificed lots for nearly 3 years to be free from the bondage of debt. It’s called “bucking up” instead of giving in.

  11. I think it’s just sad that some people have nothing better to do than spread negativity under the anonymous shield of the Internet. Can’t they find something better to do with their time?

  12. ‘ can elect to get all their income in single payments’ … I don’t understand this statement in regards to teachers? I find it interesting that people think teachers have such posh lives with 9 months on and 3 off. What they don’t realize is they are paid for 9 months and can opt to stretch their money over 12.
    Kudos to this couple for reaching their goals! It’s people like this that we can all learn from!

  13. I love reading articles like this and find them very inspiring. I think people don’t realize how they come across as they may be thinking why they can’t do the exact same thing instead of thinking what can I do to conquer my debt that works for me. At the risk of sounding negative, we saved about 20% of our income in our twenties and made good decisions but if I could go back before kids I would have saved so much more. I signed up to have 3 kids and have no regrets but dealing with kids keeping up with the Jones is hard work! 😀

  14. There are a lot of people that think having a monthly car payment, credit card bills and a house or rent payment is always going to happen. They never even think anyone pays off debt.

    Paying $92K in three years is great, but I have been paying that much every year for a long time…

  15. Those teachers are inspirational! We should learn from them and not comment negative comments. We have to learn how they do it. If we’re in debt, the solutions I can think of are cut some spending and get more side hustles!

  16. Great job! I haven’t checked Yahoo for a while, but the haters are always out in force at Lifehacker. Always excuses, excuses.

    Thanks for good answers on the predictable comments.

  17. This was awesome and I love your rebuttals. My boyfriend is a teacher and has a decent amount of student loan debt, and also wouldn’t be eligible for forgiveness programs as they’re often math and science focused. The only troll comment I’d be interested to see (and could maybe get behind) is avoiding digging yourself too deep when you know your future earning potential is around $50k.

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