NB: Heads up folks, this is a different kind of personal finance post. It’s probably more “personal” than “finance”, just in case it wasn’t your cuppa tea (or coffee).
Hello everyone! It’s been tough. This week has been hectic. I’m losing out on time for myself and would really like for things to slow down. Does anyone feel like they are living in pre-pandemic times with the ‘hustle and bustle but with the added pandemic stress and hair loss?
I was recently asked as to why I was keen on talking about personal finance. Especially since it’s ‘personal’. There was something in there about boundaries as well. I for one don’t really have a lot of concerns about answering any question directed at me, be it on my finances or anything else. If in case I am not comfortable talking about it, I will make that known. However, each to their own I suppose? But in response to the question that was asked, here are a few reasons as to why I think it’s important to talk about money. Also, as you can see, this is not a very structured post so bear with me. 😅
- I didn’t grow up around a lot of money. When my Sister, six years older than me was born, things were good. My Father was a software engineer and my Mother had stopped working to take care of my Sister. However, after I was born things didn’t turn out too well (some stroke of luck, that!). There was a string of changes to the government, my Father lost his job and soon with the new job role and other changes, he began drinking money away. My Mum did all that she could at home – think of English classes, a small home gym for women, catering (also things were less complicated in the 90s/2000s) – to make ends meet and to make sure I made it through school and later when she began working full-time, to University as well (I also write about it briefly in my post on TFD). So, I saw first hand what not having money can do to people. It can really drive people into doing a lot of things they never assumed they were capable of. It can also break apart families but that’s not what this post is about.
- Simultaneously, as a result of all of the financial (and legal) troubles we were in (that were by-products of addiction by the way) we spoke a lot about money. I learnt to accept things for what is and not want more or better. Of course, it wasn’t perfect and I did have my fair share of tantrums. But the older I got, I think the only consistent things I wanted were Internet and trips to ProMedia (a local store that sold pirated games on CD). Even to date, I don’t know if these writings and interests are a direct result of all the collective experience or my social media algorithms being catered more towards minimalism and living with less; but I really don’t want/buy more things. The three main things I do splurge on are (necessary and some fun) technology, anything (useful, haha) for the kitchen and in the past, travel.
- Now might also be a good time to say that despite me talking so much about money and savings, it doesn’t mean that I have a lot of it! I mean sure, I have enough to survive for the next few months if I choose to not work and I’m not really too worried about it, but like I’ve said before, it really comes down to how you choose to spend your money and your lifestyle. Fortunately for me, I can be real frugal when needed and despite the tech I would occasionally splurge on, I can live a lowkey life haha. But that is not the same for everybody and I am no one to judge. 🤷🏽♀️
- But having said all that, over the past so many years, since I started becoming more serious with my money and spending, I have also seen and realised what too much money can do to people. It probably isn’t the same for everyone, but perhaps too much of it also puts you less in touch with reality. This is something I have seen firsthand and really, it isn’t pretty. So for me, by writing about personal finance and making a budget even, it has really helped me stay grounded with the little I make and set aside. I have done this through putting aside a certain percentage for contributions and donations. Most of the time, these are not for public calls but can be for those in the neighbourhood and/or extended family. Also, I think being aware of what’s going on in the country and world, in case anyone finds themselves floating above ground level is also a good start to things.
- And after all these ‘lessons’ that I have learnt, the most important reason for me to write about personal finance is to share the little I know with everyone else. As someone who has been wanting to get better with money for the longest time, my access to local resources weren’t easy. A lot of the times, people are not keen on sharing information, I’m not sure why.
I often think about think about this and wonder if it’s factors like age (in the past) or my gender that keeps people from sharing information or the mere reason that they do not want others to succeed?I did find some resources in the following websites, and some of their courses too have been very good:
- This is very specific than the rest but I think it’s important for both women and young people to be aware of their finances. To know what their money does for them, to know what it can and can’t do and to have the general awareness of being in control of one’s money. As a millennial, we are doing things very differently to the generation before us as a result of how things have panned out. However, different doesn’t always have to be bad and perhaps with some knowledge and awareness we can turn some part of things around and grow as an informed generation?
- Also, financial freedom is a real thing. It’s a privilege and sometimes the only topic I feel uncomfortable talking about is privilege because I know I have so much of it. I am forever grateful for it, don’t get me wrong but there is a part of me that carries a deep sense of guilt for having such privilege, if that even makes sense. But coming back to financial freedom, this idea was initially sparked by the FIRE movement (thank you, YouTube algorithm). While I no longer seek to live the FIRE dream, financial independence has been crucial for me. I have been often described as ‘fiercely independent’. I don’t really see this as a compliment given that I end up crying when having to ask for help. But with that said, the joy that comes from being financially free, if that is important to you, is unlike no other. It really is what thought leaders would call, a ‘game changer’. 😅 It really changes your perspective about things and begin to see things differently, perhaps with more value attached to them as well and constantly reminds you the improtance of staying grounded.
There is also a feeling that I might add to this post and update it in time to come, just because there can never be enough reasons as to why we should not continue to talk about personal finance.
As always, thank you for reading and I hope this was helpful. If you are willing to share, I’ll be happy to also read any insight or hacks etc you might have on and can learn from, be it managing your own personal finances during this time or something else. If you have any feedback, comments on this post or suggestions for me to write something else on this comment, please do let me know and I will try my best to accommodate.
Good luck with your finances, stay safe and let’s take one day at a time.