Personal finance is such a odd subject to be attracted to. I say this because my family has a hard time believing that I’m passionate about it. You may be wondering why that is. Well, I sucked at money for a really long time.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t making enough, or my bills were too high, but it was because I just sucked at it. Budgets were not for me, although I created the most elaborate ones for work. Saving money wasn’t for me, although I was always surprised when friends claimed to be broke.
My relationship with money was as follow-. See.Like.Buy.Repeat.
That was it. I rarely put any thought into it, and rarely did I think about the future. So I can understand why my family finds it amusing when I talk about money. Its simple really. I saw tackling my finances as a challenge, just as I saw starting my own Consulting Firm as a challenge; and just as I saw quitting a really paying job and surviving as a challenge.
You see life to me is about taking risks. Sometimes they’re smart risks and sometimes not so much. I’m guilty of both. Curbing my spending is never going to be something that I am going to be able to do really well, but working extra hard to make up the difference, and make smarter choices I can do easily. I like the little things in life too much. I like knowing that I spent the day at the beach with friends instead of saving that extra $40 bucks. I like wearing things that are comfortable and make me feel good. That was my mentality going into my debt elimination plan.
It was an even bigger fear when I quit my job. I was so scared that I would be hit with a lifestyle cliff where I won’t be able to adjust my spending in time. This fear kept me up at night. Then something amazing happened. I noticed that I had a handle on my money. That the common sense fairy had finally blessed me with some sense, and I knew I had a handle on things.
Having an addictive personality like mine means that I have to be careful with what I indulge in. Casinos annoy because I have no control over my money. I get pissed off when I see people in debt gamble, and raise eyebrows when I see people get loans with bad credit from Aspire Money . When I first started this blog, I wrote about how my generation sucked at money as a whole. We were never taught much about financial planning in school, and scored close to zero on any impulse control tests. We liked shiny things, and we engaged in acquiring said things right away. At least I did. You know what I’ve noticed recently tho? We’re getting better. Or maybe I’m spending too much time with finance bloggers, but I’ve noticed a shift in our mentality about money.
I don’t know what to credit this shift to. Perhaps its the reality of the new economy; perhaps shows like Princess are really getting the message across, or perhaps its a skill that comes with age. I know I’ve have had more conversations about money, and investments, and debt with friends in the last 2 months than I’ve had in my entire life.
And if this site, or the countless others like it have made talking about money and debt a less taboo subject, then I’m glad I first signed up to start writing.
Tell me, have you noticed a shift in your comfort level about money? What do you think caused that?