Dumb things I’ve heard in the last 10 years

Ramit Sethi · August 11th, 2010

“You’re taking psychology? What kind of pointless major is that?”

“I really want to work for X company, but Y pays $10k/year more.”

“You definitely need to set up a Twitter/FB account. Social media is the most important kind!”

Quiz: What is your earning potential? Choose the answer you agree with the most
View Results

“Personal finance is all the same stuff. Spend less than you earn.”

“If you want to speak at our company, you have to change the name of your website.”

“Ramit, you should really fix your eyebrows.”

“What SEO tricks did you use to get readers?”

“Can I advertise on your site? My budget is $25/month.”

“You work from your apartment? Ha, I wish I could have a fake job like that too.”

“You should expand your userbase. What about insurance and retirement for people in their 40s and 50s. Don’t limit yourself!”

“Wow, I wish I could have a flexible schedule like you.”

“Ramit, how dare you say you’re not writing for single mothers of 2. I’m really offended. I used to like your site but now I’ll never be back again.”

“This site jumped the shark after you started charging for things I can find free anywhere else.”

“How about this savings tip? I can save $10 by not buying your book! Ha hah ahahaa!”

“Don’t spend money on lattes.”

* * *

(Read more at my never-updated blog, Things I Hate.)

Join 200,000+ others for more rants from me, plus private material on psychology, money, careers, and entrepreneurship

Do you know your actual earning potential?

Get started with the Earning Potential quiz. Get a custom report based on your unique strengths, and discover how to start making extra money — in as little as an hour.

Start The Quiz

Takes 3 min


  1. Solid list but you missed a classic dumb things I’m sure you’ve heard:

    “I’m waiting for X to start my side business”
    X usually equals a completely useless task (i.e. waiting for a friend to design their website).

    “You’re lucky because you started saving money when you were young.”

    “I want to save money, but I’d rather have a life.”

    “I would make money on the side, but I already have a job.”

    • Ramit Sethi

      Classic. I will do a “Part 2” to this series.

    • I love #1. The variation I hear among my recently graduated friends is “I’m just doing this career so I can save up a ton of money, then retire early and do the work I REALLY like.” 😐

  2. Michael Law

    would love to hear the story behind “If you want to speak at our company, you have to change the name of your website.” but guessing that’s not going to happen 🙂

  3. Moneymonk

    “Can I advertise on your site? My budget is $25/month.” LOL

    wow I have received a few of those. Everyone has specific taste.

    Ramit you are above those quotes. Maybe you need a disclaimer for your blog. Then again many won’t read that

    • it works – but advertisement needs to be limited to 25 pixels

  4. NYC GUY

    Been reading your site for a few months now, and this is my first post. I gotta agree with #6 LOL just kidding. Great site.

    I’ve been like the people you describe that read personal finance blogs and just sort of crave ‘new’ information. Out of all the sites I frequented, yours actually made me take ‘action’ in ways no other site had. I automated savings, and realize you can do better and maybe easier of a task of savings more by looking for a job making more money, than you can just cutting costs.

    I love the concept of cut costs on things that don’t matter, spend on the things you love and try to earn more. This concept has started to make me not feel guilty for going out to expensive dinners, going out binge drinking with buddies. The reason being, I know my savings is happening, bills are being paid and truely know where and how much I am able to spend of my disposable income.


  5. It’s kind of interesting that each of those comments COULD be relative or important to someone’s individual specific situation (although I agree with your point that a.) they’re usually missing the bigger picture and b.) they’re just reiterating something they’ve heard, or not really thought all the way through).

    P.S. If you ever figure out how to ‘fix eyebrows’ let me know. There’s probably a $1000/month opportunity out there for someone that can fix mine.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Go to any Indian woman. They will fix your eyebrows in 3 minutes for like $5.

    • Matt B.

      Ramit is right on going to an Indian woman. We literally have a place called Eyes by India at the mall here in downtown Indianapolis. LOL

  6. I think you are really handsome and have a great personality and all but I agree with the eyebrows thing.

    How will your parents ever find you a nice Indian girl with those eyebrows? jk

  7. Daghain

    #1 – What??? I majored in English and ended up in accounting ( have a degree in that now as well, since my company paid for it. Free education!). You never know where life is going to lead you, go do something you like. Which, I guess, dovetails in to #2 as well.

  8. MainlineMom

    Love it. Been reading here long enough to laugh at every single one of those.

    Also fixing your eyebrows is not really THAT bad an idea. 😉

  9. amandalee

    The dumbest things I’ve heard lately:
    “I wish I wrote more.”
    [gesturing to my knitting] “Do people really pay you for that stuff?”
    “What do you do with an economics degree?”
    “Why would anyone want to live in New York/San Francisco/abroad?” [yeah, seriously.]
    “I don’t have time to make more money.” [this from a retired person who’s in great health]

    You should totally make a series out of this kind of thing.

  10. Razwana

    Or the mother of them all ‘I’d love to have a side business but I just have the RIGHT idea….’

  11. Can I do a guest post on your site about [unrelated topic]?

  12. David Saint

    My favorite was from the Earn1K launch when you told people over and over that the door would be closed, and when it finally did close, some dude on Twitter was all, “Hey Ramit, let me in, don’t you want another customer??” And it was a flat-out kabash. Loved it.

  13. *kibosh.

  14. Brian Drolet

    This is awesome Ramit. I think this sums up everything about this website/your thoughts in a neat little package. Love it

  15. the eyebrows comment made me LOL. good stuff.

  16. Catherine

    Thanks for the chuckle. #1 pisses me off like nothing else. I got so angry when some of my college friends’ families were so unsupportive of their interests/passions (“History? Ugh. Well at least it’s not ART history; then we’d have to find you a job at Starbucks.”). Second from the bottom is great because you know those people think they’re really clever. [eye-roll]

  17. Yeah, the comment from the mother of 2 really cracked me up. Can’t take a joke? Missed the point completely? “You’re not writing for me directly, I’m offended, so never mind all of this free, useful content you provide–I’m outta here!”

  18. What was so funny about this is that I myself have read some of these in the comment sections LOL

  19. can I be the one pro-manly-eyebrow person here? LOL… aside from getting rid of a unibrow and making certain there is some kind of taper (I don’t think ramit has a problem with either of these), I don’t think eyebrow grooming is a necessity for men. maybe I’m just the odd one out 🙂

  20. beachbound

    My ex used to go to an Indian place in the mall and they’d use a very fine string intertwined in their fingers and mouth and pluck the eybrows and mustache by using a particular technique. Pretty good niche there!

    • It’s called threading and it’s pretty much available in any city with a sizable Indian population, mostly out of people’s apartments. It hurts though, at least for me.

  21. Gal @ Equally Happy

    My favorite (which usually comes from my male friends with poor hygiene, no jobs and zero social skills who haven’t had a date in years).

    “It’s not fair, women only like bad boys so nice guys like me never get anywhere.”

    Or a number of variations there of.

    • Catherine

      Ugh, I can’t stand those “nice guys finish last” whiners!

  22. Patrick

    “Can I advertise on your site? My budget is $25/month.”

    Wow, that is dumb. Now there’s no way he can negotiate you below $25.

  23. Stanley Lee

    Is this similar to the Twitter comment that you have asked for responses to a lame question regarding time (or lack of)?

  24. Don’t mess with the brows Ramit! Its sexy! 🙂

  25. I saw an article about Bill Gates and a bunch of other billionaires giving away most of their money to charity when they die. One commenter said something that still makes me shake my head (paraphrased):

    “Give me a billion dollars and I’ll give away 95% too!”

    How many things are wrong with that? Don’t get me started! Nobody “GAVE” those billionaires their money (maybe the Walton heirs…but I don’t know and doubt they just “got” billions without working for it). They either took HUGE risks, worked a TON of hours sacrificing time and family – OR BOTH! I’m pretty sure that this person who suggested someone give him a billion dollars wouldn’t give 95% away even if someone did “give” them a billion.

    Thanks for letting me vent…

  26. Ahaha. One of the many reasons I keep coming back is because I always leave laughing.

    I need to find me an Indian girl.

  27. Hey guys, you think this post is funny, have you all been and looked at ‘Things I Hate’? That is the most LOL site on the web. I have it bookmarked for when I’m having a bad day…:)

  28. One of my favorites:
    “Why worry about tomorrow? You could get hit by a bus.” which is always followed by “You can’t take it with you.”

  29. Nomadic Matt

    25 a month! wow! That’s generous. I get emails saying “We have a maximum budget of $10 USD per month.”

  30. kenny powers

    so good… Keep ’em coming.

  31. Gobankingrates

    “Ramit, you should really fix your eyebrows.”

    What context was this in? I really hope it was just a comment on a blog post 🙂

    Loved the list!

  32. “You’re taking psychology? What kind of pointless major is that?”

    THIS!!!!! My advice to college kids these days always include ‘minor in psychology.’ There are few things more valuable in business, personal and life in general than understanding human behavior. It also makes those passive aggressive, back-handed compliment-type comments so much more fun.

  33. Freelancing sucks, as well as this site. You shouldn’t find ways to work more hours to get paid, otherwise you should just get a second job. You should start a business and have people working for you! Or earn money in some other passive form. Ramit u dont seem to be very sucessfull, you just wrote a book that sold well. Your a good writer, but not a good biz person. I akin you to a pro b-ball player…

    • Ramit Sethi

      Thanks, David, you just made my next list.

    • Tyler F

      This post and David’s comment are akin to telling a child, “don’t touch that, it’s hot and will burn you!” And then the child promptly grabs it.

    • Tim Rosanelli

      Become a New York Best Selling author, takes the same great marketing skills that most business owners lack.

      I get the feeling by your comment that you don’t want to work and have people hand you money.

      Passive income falls in three types…
      1) Requires Money – Invest money in an income generating investment this could be a business, mutual funds, commercial real estate.
      2) Requires Time – This requires a lot of upfront work (in my cases, unpaid) that will generate income over a long time. Ramit’s book would fall in this category. It could be a website that generates money or even be a Youtube video that you produce and receive Adsense money from.
      3) Add on to a Business – If you have a business, you can offer some paid extras that require little or no time. I own a karate school. Adding a water machine that people can purchase water from is this type. If Ramit gets paid as a business correspond on the news, his book becomes this form of passive income when viewer see him on TV and buy his book.

      The best way to generate passive income is for it to synergize with an income generating business. For example, in my business, I told you the water machine. I also produced some YouTube videos as a service to my students. Some the videos got popular and YouTube started paying me through Adsense. I write a blog for my school newsletter and have outside readers read my articles and click ads. Bare in mind, that none of these passive sources generate income anywhere near my business.

  34. Tim Rosanelli

    My favorite is this comment in response to Ramit saying it’s a waste of time setting up facebook/ twitter accounts and blogs and just sitting around praying for customers.

    He thought he was so clever saying, “You list setting up a blog as a waste of time, yet here you are…” I guess he failed to realize that you are a Best Selling Writer with a huge client base already.

  35. Signs of what divides highminds from lowminds.

  36. Timothy Moser

    On no. 3: I saw a storage center in Bixby, OK, with a sign that said to follow them on Twitter. No joke! What on earth do storage facilities tweet about anyway?!

  37. I do believe that David just shared with us the Holy Grail of getting rich.

    Start a business so you never have to work.

    I am enlightened. Thank you David.

  38. Timothy Moser

    Yeah, this is pretty much the epitome of social media failure. Compare number of tweets with number of followers. One of the most pathetically hilarious things I’ve seen.

  39. I agree with Ramit’s general philogophy, and I increased my financial automation and switched some behaviors after reading the book. Still, I see some value in the comment, “This site jumped the shark after you started charging for things …”

    Over the past few months, I have noticed a definite shift in tone–blog posts now frequently mention the concept of spending money to make money. The book and the earlier posts did not allude so much on paying for educational opportunities.

    If Ramit were really interested in tranparency, he would provide statistics on the *median* and *average* increase in income for participants in the Scrooge Strategy and Earn1K courses. I’m curious if the average participant actually makes enough to break even on the course. The case studies are inspirational, but we’re only seeing the results for the star students.

  40. Naomi Niles

    “How about this savings tip? I can save $10 by not buying your book! Ha hah ahahaa!”

    Oh my, that is priceless. Apparently they don’t get the concept of investment. At all.

  41. Timothy Moser


    His products are worth their costs. It would be misleading to post how much extra the “average student” now makes, because most people probably don’t do the work. If you pay the money and do the work, you should see great results.

    I am an Earn1K dropout. Before looking at the materials, I had no good ideas. After the first four weeks, I was on my way to having a great, very profitable freelance business. I only dropped out because I desperately needed the money at the time. Thanks to the part of Earn1K that I got, I am now making hundreds of dollars a month with only two clients; I’m doing work that I love (tutoring) and I’m on my way to make much more. The course has more than paid for itself even if I hadn’t gotten my money back, which I did. I think Ramit give both value and flexibility/adaptability that cannot be found elsewhere.

  42. Are you regretting the eyebrow joke yet, Ramit?

  43. I don’t know if this will be included in your list, but I was wondering if you will tell us what the toga is about? Crazy party at Stanford? Just a typical day at the Sethi house? Please tell. Thanks.

  44. Donna Freedman

    “Do you want to do a guest post for me?” — from proprietors of small, apparently unread sites.
    This is not dumb so much as naive. I support myself (and help a couple of family members) by writing. I can’t just give away content to anyone who asks.
    I *have* written guest posts, but only for places like Get Rich Slowly, Wise Bread and Consumerism Commentary, i.e., places that may result in people coming over to visit *my* site.
    P.S. Hey, Ramit, do you want to do a guest post for me?

  45. TJ Nelson


    Could you elaborate more on the “You’re a psychology major? What kind of pointless major is that?”

    I am a psychology major, and I am highly interested in what you have to say about how your major has helped you succeed and the advantages of that study.

  46. Republic Monetary

    Dumbest thing I’ve heard in 10 years – “aren’t there a lot of people already creating websites?” I tried to explain that more competition is actually good for business but…my dad wasn’t buying it. He followed it up with “why don’t you get a real job?” Classic parental affirmation!

  47. I really hate the last one. I think the latte factor or whatever, is for people who are too lazy to earn more. I only get a coffee or smoothie (depending what I want) about 3 times a week usually on the weekend, and sure I know if you spend money on little things they add up, but there are so many other things that you can do where you don’t have to cut out your favorite daily drink.

  48. I’m a 19 year old college student, most of my friends investment plans are solely based on stock in 50 cent wells on college night on our local bar street. I hear my peers say some of hte stupidest things, for example:

    “You mean you put money in your 401k? I’ll do that when i get a real job.”

    “Why would you keep a budget? As long as the bills are payed at the end of the month who cares?”

    My personal favorite:

    “You don’t make any real financial decisions until your out of college anyway.”

  49. My friends frequently argue…

    “I work way more hours than you”

    I guess they are proud to be slaves to corporate America… I need better friends haha

  50. lol

    I heard a couple of those myself!

  51. molly maguire

    “What about shares in X company. Do you think I ought to buy them?”


    “I’ve got some shares in Y Company. When do you think I ought to sell them?”

  52. Swaroop

    Awesome post, Ramit ji!
    I work in a software company, and here’s an actual tea-table conversation:

    “It doesn’t look like we’re going to get a hike this year.”

    “Oh no. You know what we should all do? We should all become soap opera actors. They make a lot more money than we do. Some of them make five grand per episode, it seems.”

    “Oh, wow. Five grand. Every day. Wow.”

    And I was thinking: “You know who makes more money than actors? Pornstars!”

  53. Christina B.

    I second TJ