Monday, June 04, 2007

Why?

Back when I was interviewed for the Money Blogger Podcast, I was asked why I chose to blog, and I seem to remember giving some very convoluted answer. I still think about the question-- why am I doing this? Maybe the question is more why did I start doing this-- now that I'm in the midst of it, I enjoy the interaction with commenters and other bloggers I've gotten to "know," and it's great to have the stimulation of doing some kind of creative writing almost every day. It's also been really flattering to have been mentioned in some national press. Most of all, I find it incredibly rewarding to have people say they find this site helpful, or that it has inspired them to try to take control of their finances, or in a few cases, even start a blog of their own. That is the kind of thing that keeps me going, but before I started writing this site, I had no idea any of that would happen.

But if I had to explain to someone what I actually do here, it would sound a little weird: I write about money. Everything about my own money, and other people's. News about money, funny stories about money, weird things about money, thoughts about how to manage money, and tracking my own acquisition of money. It sounds like all I care about is money, but that certainly isn't true. I don't let money rule my life, but that's like saying I don't let my bones rule my body-- it's there in everything, underlying every decision and interaction I make.

This is not a blog about "getting rich." It is about trying to live within one's means, and about working towards sensible financial goals. I'm doing it the slow and steady way, and trying to find a balance between enjoying life now and building financial security for later. I don't make any claims to be extremely frugal, especially career-savvy, a brilliant investor, or any kind of entrepreneur. I could measure myself against some yardsticks and be considered a financial flop (see Rule #16). But in other ways, I think I'm doing pretty well. I have made a good start on retirement savings, I've managed to buy a home, and I manage to enjoy at least a smidgen of the cultural wealth this city has to offer.
My goal is not to have to worry about money. I'm not quite there yet, and in some sense I suppose I will always worry about money. But there is a difference between caring about and managing your finances, and lying awake at night wondering how you're going to pay your bills. And at this point in my life, I don't have to do that, which is great. Instead, I lie awake at night thinking "it would be cool to do a post analyzing the taxes I've paid over the last 15 years," or "maybe I should take a series of photos of people reading finance books on the subway," or "oops, I forgot to put my net worth back in the sidebar when I changed my template..."

10 comments:

RichC said...

The sooner you realize its an addiction ... the better off you'll be. (and that applies to both 'blogging' and your 'attention to money.' :-)

Matt said...

Eh, it's a good a reason as any. And to tell you the truth, being able to fall asleep at night thinking the things you are, just might be the same as being 'rich' anyway. Not having to worry about 1 less thing gives you time to enjoy life in the present, you know? Keep it up!

Marisol said...

When were you interviewed? I would love to listen to it.

Thanks for all that you do. I don't comment often but read at least twice a week and have learned a lot from you.

Madame X said...

The podcast is here.

Bitty said...

Well, you've changed my life...at least a little.

Now that my kids are not only grown, but have ACTUALLY ALL LEFT HOME, I truly have control over my money in a way I really didn't before. I'm able to invest, and when I spend, I can make more major purchases (furniture, for instance) and fewer necessary but annoying small purchases.

None of that was your doing, but this was: when I'm faced with making a spending, saving, or investment decision, I often ask: What would Madame X do?

:)

Madame X said...

thank you Bitty! Obviously my next step is to start marketing "WWMXD" friendship bracelets and such... :)

Marisol said...

Thanks for posting the link,. I just listened to it and you were great!

Cheryl said...

Will any of us really ever stop worrying about money? And, are we worrying, or just obsessing? Is there a difference? I think I obsess on it.....!

Everyday Finance said...

Have you considered using some of your cash/CD positions to become a lender through Prosper.com? I've had pretty good success so far, with over 20 loans averaging over 13%; no defaults or lates so far. I've posted strategies and top groups to lend to if interested. gotta say, I love the model. And for the amount of cash you have, may want to consider. Of course, I assume you want to keep a decent amount in liquid assets and these loans are 3 year lockins, but perhaps 5 grand? Would love to hear your thoughts. Dan at edf.

Everyday Finance said...

actually left this idea in the wrong article. will move comment there where you state your cashflows/cash situation. whoops.