I understand that not everybody loves spreadsheets as much as I do. I also understand that simple addition and subtraction is "too much" math for some people. Finally, I understand that some ridiculously high percentage of the population does not like to shove their opinions down other people's throats. As a rule of thumb, I befriend people who fall into all three of those categories because they are pleasant, interesting and challenging people. I call these people the artists, although there are also a handful of social advocates sprinkled among them.
This group of people has an Achilles Heel. They (by and large) do not care about finances, or to state that more accurately: they don't have an opinion about their own finances.
Its so confusing to me when I talk to people like this about money because they have no opinions about their money, they are unhappy working in corporate jobs, but their dreams cost like $2000 to fulfill. The artist's brain makes no sense to me at all.
Rather than try to appeal to why you logically should care about your finances, I will be reverting to one of my best tactics. Shoving my opinion down your throat.
You should care enough about your own finances to have an opinion about them, and if you don't have an opinion, you're doing something wrong. I'm so serious about this.
Are you serious about your dreams?
Virgina Woolf wrote, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Since space bedrooms are in no short supply, I assume the dreamers and the artists are waiting on the money half of the equation to pursue their dreams.
Pablo Picasso said, "I would like to live as a poor man with a lot of money." It seems like all he's really after is financial stability.
I say,"If your job is life sucking, pay off your debts, save up some money, and quit."
If you're a dreamer who isn't serious about your dreams, then what are you? People who are serious about their dreams figure out a way to make the finances work.
Maybe you can build 1000 true fans, people who would be happy to pay $100 per year for you to produce. Maybe you will build a lucrative, but flexible job to fund your dream. Perhaps you'll find a way to make just enough money that you don't have to take on work you hate.
Finding the money to pursue your dream starts with having an opinion about your money. Should it be spent of lattes and moleskin journals, or should it be put towards paying off debt and building an opportunity fund? If you forget to have an opinion, I guarantee that you will spend it on the former.
Have an opinion about your money!
Your finances affect your relationships
Perhaps your dreams for creating art have been squashed, and dream-chasing is no longer an adequate reason to give a flip about your finances. Well here's a reason that should matter to you: Your ability to have an opinion about your finances affects your relationships.
As a rule of thumb, most people care even less about your finances than you do, but you might be blessed with a few people who care about your happiness. For better or worse, these people influence how you use your money. (By the way, these people are usually called your parents, your siblings, your husband or wife, or your boyfriend/girlfriend).
Whether they actively persuade you to use your money one way or the other, or they just suggest it by the power of being in your life, the important people in your life influence how you spend your money. If you don't have any opinion about your money, then other people's opinions will win out.
You may not care about how you use your money, but I guarantee that you have an opinion about your goals and your preferred lifestyle. If the people in your life don't know about your goals, or if they haven't connected your goals to your finances then they won't support you in pursuing them. On top of that, if the important people in your life don't support you, then you'll probably become bitter with them.
If you care about either your life goals or your preferred lifestyle, then you can back into some financial opinions. These opinions will help you to express why saying yes or no to your loved one's is a good choice. Did you know that you can disagree with your loved one's without building up a wall of bitterness? You can, but you have to express your opinions, and to express an opinion you have to have one in the first place.
Please, Have an opinion about your finances!!
Your finances are connected to every part of your life. If you fail to have an opinion about your money then you won't make progress in other areas of your life, you won't pursue your dreams, and other people's opinions will dominate your life and ruin your relationships.
We can discuss having an opinion grounded in reality at a later date, but for now an opinion will work just fine.
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.