Why I write about money all the dang time

4 Feb

This weekend, one of my friends “confessed” that he stopped reading my blog because he was tired of reading about my budget. Now, that’s totally fair, not everyone gets the same ridiculous joy from the graphs on Mint as I do.

But they're so pretty!

But they’re so pretty!

The thing is though, I don’t write about my budget to be annoying, or to brag, or to make people feel bad about wherever they stand. I write about it because having control over your finances can buy you some really valuable things: namely freedom and peace of mind. And because these things are not as hard to achieve as you might think they are.

Too many of my peers feel like their money controls them, instead of the other way around. That results in constant stress, skipping out on things they want to do, reaching the end of the month with $5 to their name, and constantly crossing their fingers that the car doesn’t break down.

When my car needs repairs, I am unhappy, because no one enjoys spending $500 to fix their brakes. But, I can pay for it without changing anything about my lifestyle or going into debt, I just replenish my savings account the next month instead of putting money in investments. It’s a ridiculously comfortable feeling.

Back in June, I lost my job. Because I’d been saving money (and I spent most of the year pushing hard on paying off my car – 15 months instead of 4 years! – so I didn’t even have that much in savings) it wasn’t a totally crazy time to freak out emergency.

Instead, I took a vacation. I spent a few weeks exploring Minneapolis, spent a few weeks driving cross-country visiting friends, spent a few weeks hanging out in Seattle with my family, and then moved to Spokane and job-hunted in earnest. That’s right, I was unemployed from June 26-September 14, so basically I got a summer vacation. I was able to buy those three months of freedom (and the freedom to not be freaking out about my employment status), which is worth SO MUCH MORE than the extra dinners out or new clothes I could have bought with the money.

Again, I don’t write about this stuff to brag. I write about it because I want other people to have it too.

In fact, last month, I was talking with one of my best friends when she mentioned that she felt like she was always broke. Usually, in that conversation, I would just say, “ugh, that sucks.” Since she’s someone I’m really close with, I felt comfortable telling her it doesn’t have to be that way! We went over her budget together, started brainstorming ways she could save money (packing her lunch for work was a big one) and how to pay off her loan faster while also having the cash for the things that are really important to her, like vacations. Just a month into her newfound frugality, she already seems way more confident and in control of her finances – no pay raise necessary!

I suppose that’s the moral of the story: I live my life, am completely content with what I have, and manage to save a major percentage of my income to buy those two super-valuable things (which, I think, is the closest money can get to buying happiness). And I want everyone else to have that same contentment!

So, sorry if the budgeting posts bug you, but I’m gonna keep on plugging right along.

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5 Responses to “Why I write about money all the dang time”

  1. moiandmoney February 4, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

    Awesome about what you were able to do when you got your marching orders. My job is sort of on the fritz, and I told my wife it may just be our opportunity to sail the world or go climb everest. My wife reminds those are my dreams, but I just tell her she hasn’t had them yet 🙂

    Keep writing about personal finances.

  2. Post Grad Professional February 4, 2015 at 7:04 pm #

    Paying your car off that quickly… impressive! I have never enjoyed budgeting, but do like saving and planning. It’s hard for me to stick to a set number so I usually just have a monthly amount that goes to savings, take it off of the top of my paycheck and the rest is my flex budget to spend. Works as a happy medium for those that wan’t to save but aren’t big budget lovers! : )

    • laurenkcampbell February 4, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

      Have you tried using Mint? I’ve found it super helpful for knowing what I’m spending money on, and then challenging myself to keep upping my savings rate 🙂

      • Post Grad Professional February 4, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

        I have but it’s difficult since my primary account doesn’t link to Mint. I love the tool though as a visual to see your goals progress!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Jan 2015 Spending and Networth Update | Moi & Money - February 6, 2015

    […] about our budget and what we spend is new for me.  But, I love talking about money.  Just like Lauren Campbell, so what the hell […]

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