I made it a goal over the past few years to make money a less taboo topic, not only to myself but also everyone around me. It made getting out of debt a lot easier and I could be honest about what we could and couldn’t afford. My friends and family will often ask me financial questions that I enjoy analyzing (like looking at 10 year interest only options on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, or paying $15,000 cash for a car versus paying a 0% APR loan for 3 years). I love answering those questions or just laying out the various options and their implications. But after 2.5 years of writing and debating on all of these personal finance topics, I find that my eyes tend to glaze over when in group conversations the topic of money comes up. I don’t want to hear about what other people are doing with their money anymore.
There is so much misinformation that I have decided I can’t jump in to the conversation for fear of a) being an overbearing know-it-all, and b) not being able to exit the conversation until hours later because of the amount of half-truths and vague generalizations that I need to address and rectify. It’s not that I don’t like hearing about what people do with their money, I still find that interesting, but it’s the reasoning and rationalizations that don’t make sense that I no longer want to hear. So you say you’re buying a house because the market is heating up and the rates are still low? Go for it. So you’re going to finance everything because you have the cash flow to make all the payments? Be my guest. Do whatever you like with your money, because it already takes me way too much energy to keep myself in line financially and not overspend, I can’t be worried by the decisions of others. Even when they’re family and friends, and their situation could potentially affect me, it’s still not my place nor should it be to give them financial advice or even get into long financial conversations with them. We spend so much time online debating this stuff amongst ourselves, and we still make mistakes too. So people who aren’t bloggers obsessed with personal finance will also make mistakes. And that’s totally fine.
I want to spend less time worrying in 2014. It’s a waste to let our time slip away in fear, when we are waiting for something to happen or hoping for a certain outcome. Instead, we can take deliberate actions every day to get somewhere. Maybe somewhere is owning a home, or creating a monthly income from a business, or just being happy about your lot in life. Getting mired in other people’s money conversations won’t get me or others anywhere in particular, so I’ll continue to avoid them in the new year.