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The fun and easy (or at least rewarding) side of personal finance

Last night I posted about how personal finance is no picnic.

But I don’t want to be a complete downer about it. Here are some ways that I’ve found what I’ve learned in these three months encouraging and rewarding:

1. Alternative income fulfills my creative side.

I always knew I had creative capacities, but I felt like a certain amount of “real life” had to be spent making money to support the creative person. Now I realize how much my creative side can also be financially rewarding. I know that work is never entirely pleasant and involves hard work. But I also know that I can work hard doing some of the things I love and still (I hope) make it.

2. Money is less frightening.

Seems like a contradiction–in the last post I said that when I think about all the money we owe or need, it scares me. Some of the time that’s true. But I’m also less scared about money because I know what we owe and how we plan to pay it back. I feel more competent about controlling spending since I have a spending plan (budget). I don’t worry that this one purchase will push me over the edge (unless it actually will), because I know just where the edge is.

3. Seeing the numbers is rewarding!

We could have spent just the same last month without a budget. We would have simply been responsible about our purchases but not tracked it. However, at the end of the month I got a huge morale booster by finding out that we’d saved about 1/3 of our income. I mean, that’s stupendous!!! All I would have known without tracking it is that we didn’t overspend. I didn’t overspend for years and it made me feel ok, but not safe and definitely not exhilarated.

4. The community is supportive and educational.

I could probably do a lot of this on my own. I originally started the blog because I hoped that it would provide me some kind of accountability (and because I love to write). But I could have kept it private and not read other blogs.

However, I find the rest of you so encouraging–whether I’m reading about your progress and realize that I can do it too or if you’re leaving supportive comments on my entries. Just like AA, Weight Watchers and Curves, personal finance should be done in a community of like-minded people with similar (though not identical) goals.

Plus I learn a lot by reading your blogs, maybe about debt snowballs or Roth IRAs or yummy frugal recipes.

Thanks to all who read my blog and/or who write the blogs I read, it’s great being with you on this journey.

For those of you who haven’t started blogging yet, it’s a wonderful opportunity. It helps you get your own stuff straight, opens you to more ideas, and places you in a pretty supportive community. Despite the difficulties, the fears, and the dread, I think being proactive about one’s financial situation is much more fun and rewarding than the laissez-faire approach.

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November 11, 2007 at 9:26 pm


plonkee November 10, 2007 at 6:24 am

I’m in agreement with you here. I know that you are very creative, but I’ve found the just blogging fulfils on the creative side that I have. Thinking about personal finance gives me a lot more incentive to do the things that I know that I should.

Christine November 10, 2007 at 8:02 am

Irrelevant to this post: I can’t get your RSS feed to work for me.

I’m using Wizz RSS on Firefox as my reader; I suspect the problem is on your end because I added several other blogs in the past day or two with no problems. It just won’t do yours.

Any ideas?

Frank November 10, 2007 at 12:14 pm

Nice to hear about the fun side of things too! Again, I agree.

With regard to the RSS feed, I read it in Google Reader without any problems.

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