Conversations About Money

March 15, 2013

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?

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  • Michelle March 15, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Now that most of my friends know about my blog, I find them always talking about money to me. And honestly, I LOVE IT! 🙂

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:29 am

      Me too! I’m also really direct about bringing it up.

  • Jacob @ iHeartBudgets March 15, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I started my blog BECAUSE I couldn’t shutup about budgeting. I needed a bigger outlet for all my financial mumbo jumbo.

    But I LOVE that people hit me up over email or in person for financial advice now. Everyone in my family reads my blog, and know that I’m also the tax guy in the family. Well, and also the electronics and car guy. But I think that talking about money is SO much better than pretending that it doesn’t exist until things blow up.

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:32 am

      I’m the tech girl in my family, too. And the chick auto class that I took in highschool makes me the car girl, too. I know, right?

  • Darnell Jackson @ Your Online Business March 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    The culture encourages that so that you picked up on it isn’t entirely ALL your fault.

    However now that you know better how will you change you decisions?

    That’s what it’s all about.

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:35 am

      Fair enough.

  • Mo' Money Mo' Houses March 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I’ve always been interested about money, but it wasn’t until I started reading PF blogs and then starting my own that I was actually comfortable enough to talk to friends and family about it. Money can be such an awkward subject sometimes, but it should be talked about!

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:35 am

      Agreed. Its surprising how many are in the same position financially but no one talks about it.

  • Mochimac March 16, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I feel 100% in control of my money. Whether or not I know that I’m making the right choices or not, is another story, but I know that I make the decisions on what to do.

    My problem has been with impulse — impulse shopping, impulse investing, and I need to be more calm in this regard and lazier to NOT jump the gun. It has cost me a lot of $$ to not wait even 1 or 2 months before deciding on something.

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:36 am

      I’m with you when it comes to impulse control. I’m horrible at it.

  • KK @ Student Debt Survivor March 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I used to think that everyone from my generation was terrible with money (myself included). Now that my friends and I are getting a little older, I think we’re finally “getting it”. I find myself talking about money with my friends a lot more now than I ever did. I guess because we’re all finally employed, making money and making big purchases (houses etc.)

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:37 am

      I’ve noticed the same thing. Its a gradual thing, isn’t it?

  • MakintheBacon$ March 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I think after having gone through a rough time in the recession and now being in a better place 5 years later, caused my shift. I find talking to people who have the same views about money and saving is easier to have convos with, rather than the people who say I’m broke, but I’ll go on vacation, and now I’m pissed because I don’t have any money for a house/car or rent.

    They really should make Financial Planning 101 a compulsory subject for every student to take and pass.

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:37 am

      First of all, BEST AVATAR EVER. Second, I agree.

  • Budget and the Beach March 17, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I’ve definitely have become more geeky about money, but I can’t really say I’m super comfortable with it yet. We have a long way to go. I still worry that I won’t have enough sometimes…basically I just worry. Slowly but surely though I’m setting myself up to be in a place where I don’t worry as much though, and that’s just because I’ve gotten a lot smarter about it.

    • Marissa March 18, 2013 at 12:39 am

      I think worrying comes with being a freelancer. You don’t have the security of a full-time job to keep you stable.

  • Nick @ March 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I have never been afraid to have money discussions. If anything, i’m hoping that my attitude becomes a little more closed in the future. 🙂