There are some great posts this week on Personal Finance. I particularly love Michelle’s post I’ll never be a frugal blogger (*fist bump*) because, god knows, I won’t either. I’ve even been labeled the “YOLO blogger” because I have a tendency to spend money rapidly, excessively, and with a kind of jubilation that sends fear into your average frugalista’s heart. I am fearless though, because I believe money is a tool to enjoy your life.
Now, how you enjoy your life (and how much) is up to you. Different people value different things to different degrees, which is why it’s ok to blow your disposable income on marshmallow cream if that’s what makes you happy. As with all things, moderation is key, and extreme frugality will make you as miserable as spending until you’re broke and in-debt.
Not only is that a brilliantly hilarious video featuring my future husband, Adam Levine, it also provides an awesome, very honest message using both pop culture and sarcasm, which is my personal favorite way of saying anything. They do include some commentary on financial planning if you want to skip ahead to 2:00, or just read the lyrics below:
Take no chances, stop freelancing right now
Invest in your future, don’t dilute your finances, 401K, k?
Make sure it’s low risk, then get some real estate
How much? 4.2%, 30 year mortgage, that’s important, that’s a great deal!
If you can afford it, don’t forge it, know your last bill
Renting is for suckers right now
Have dependable savings and you’ll retire with money in your account
YOLO? Say no-no, isolate yourself and just roll solo, be careful-o
The rest of the video also makes me LOL at everything from not going to loud clubs or concerts to never traveling, which as you know, are activities that occupy the bulk of my free time. One of my favorite things about having money is spending it, so I don’t really get why anyone would choose to shower in cold water or not order wine with dinner just to keep the bills down. People have a lot of good reasons for not doing fun things, and there’s no shortage of these reasons in the Personal Finance community but the cliche is true: personal finance is personal.
Everyone does money differently, and I think in an ideal world every preachy PF blogger would like you to spend money the way they do, because everyone thinks they’re doing it “right”. I feel the real gauge of whether or not you’re doing it right is pretty straightforward:
is your net worth increasing each month?
If the answer is no, you’re doing it wrong.
If the answer is yes, you’re doing it right.
How much you want to “do right” is up to you, be it $50 or $5000 there’s really no wrong answer. You can live on Kraft dinner and bank all your disposable income, or not. You can pay down your debts with only the minimum payment and be in debt for years and years, or not. There is a happy medium between the extremes, but it’s for you to determine. Personally if you’re here looking for advice I would also encourage you to:
- commit to saving 10%+ of your income for retirement
- build an emergency fund that could replace 3+ months of your income
- pay off
- purchase income-generating assets
- earn as much money as you possibly can
But that’s just me. Every choice has its perks and pitfalls, you just have to be prepared to live with the consequences of your choice. (Note: other people may not be able to live with the consequences of your choice, and will be vocal about it.)
I think many readers surfing personal finance blogs don’t want to retire at 35. They just want to be in a better financial position than they currently find themselves in. Maybe a little less debt, a little more savings, a whole lot more peace of mind.
Some people want money for money’s sake, some people want money for a certain lifestyle, some people don’t even want money at all, they just find it a necessary evil that they need to undertake in order to afford things like groceries and rent. However you do money, just make sure your bottom line is going up and its doing so at the rate you want it to. No one has to live with your money but you, so you get to make the rules. But this also means if you’re not happy with where you are, you have to take responsibility for that and change your situation.
However, if you’re like me and you are very happy with your money and how you spend it, then live on, friend, live on — because you only live once.