Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis


I just read a journal entry by someone looking at making money changes/fixes. The writer quoted an old saying "people with money don't talk about money." I've actually never heard this but it does ring true.

I'm sticking my neck out. I have money. I am going to talk about it.

I am a good money manager now. I use only two credit cards (one for Amazon only) and I check their balances online at least once a day, maybe more. I pay the balance down to $0 as soon as it gets over $100. I keep cash on hand (usually $100-ish) for emergencies. I still have a mortgage but the interest rate is very low and it does not make financial sense to pay it off just yet.

But, my road to being a good money manager was paved with potholes - tons of them. For years I lived in debt, paycheck to paycheck. I did not earn a lot back then but I sure did spend. And I spent without thought or planning. Even while I worried about turning into a bag lady on the street in my old age, I spent.

I remember one Friday night coming home from work with nothing planned and feeling kind of bored and down. I got in the car and drove to Walmart (about 20 miles away then) and spent $300 on a cart full of stuff - whatever struck my fancy. $300 that I did not have. And I was not a kid. This happened when I lived in Seattle so I was at least in my 40's. And it was not a one-off.

Even now, when I have money and a clear way to make it work for me and provide for me, I am still conflicted about it in many ways.

I donate cash fairly regularly to people and organizations. But it never feels like enough cash or often enough. I often feel guilty about spending money. I often feel guilty about money.

But, I do feel a great sense of accomplishment. I lucked into an amazing financial adviser and was smart enough to listen and learn and so amass enough to provide for me so that I no longer have to work to earn more. I am grateful that I have money to obsessively manage.

It has occurred to me more than once that talking about my various frivolous purchases in this journal, knowing there are people reading who have major stresses about their ability to put food on the table or get things they need, is thoughtless and mean. It is my journal and it is important to me to reflect in it who I am which includes my spending.

But, maybe there is an even better reason for putting my financial interactions out there.
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