I’ve talked before about how blogging is helped me. But what I haven’t talked about is how reading other blogs helps me too.
My favorite part about reading other financial blogs is learning people’s stories. Everyone has an interesting story and a different one. I don’t always relate to everyone’s story, but that doesn’t mean that their story isn’t interesting.
Everyone makes decisions for different reasons.
Finances are different while you are a student than while you are paying down student loans than while you are not.
Finances in different countries use different acronyms and names.
Finances are different when you are married versus when you are single versus when you have kid(s).
Finances are different when you make a higher income in that you have more money to splurge, to save, and to invest.
Finances are different in different cities with different levels of cost of living.
But the philosophies are the same in most of these situations:
- Spend less than you earn.
- Grow your career.
- Bank your raises.
- Spend money on what you value and scrimp in all other areas.
In a lot of cases, there isn’t a single “right” decision – there are just many good ones. Thank you to all of the personal finance bloggers out there who have helped me realize that.
The next time someone tells you they’re not investing in their 401(k), don’t chastise them. Instead, you could show them the math of why getting the match at least is a good idea. Or the fact that they can’t get that much tax-deferred room anywhere else. Maybe they don’t plan to retire in the US, so they don’t want to lock up too much of their money. Maybe they are paying down student loans aggressively. You don’t know their situation.
The next time someone tells you that they don’t want to buy a place right now because they don’t really know where they want to live long-term, don’t tell them that interest rates are super awesome right now and that prices are low. Maybe they have enough saved up that the interest rates don’t matter to them. Maybe they’re waiting for life reasons, not financial reasons.
And some times, a decision that looks like it’s financial based isn’t always. My lunch decisions, for example, are about eating reasonable (to me) quantities of food, not about price. It just so happens that the places with larger portions are more expensive than the places with smaller portions.
Readers, what personal finance decisions do you find people ask you questions about all the time? How do you steer them away?