Friday, March 30

How much do we obsess about money?

I love my PF blog, but sometimes I can see the dangers of blogging on a single topic. Actually, I supposed that I don't blog exclusively on money, but the focus is certainly primarily there and I realized this week that I am more obsessed with money now than I was before.

I don't mean for obsessed to be a very strong word. I think that in general our culture is obsessed with money and so my obsession is probably quite socially acceptable in most circles. I think that it is quite normal to hear discussions such as:

  • what can we do for fun tonight? - I'm broke so it has to be cheap
  • did you see the Jones' new car? - that thing must have cost them $50,000!
  • I'd like to go back to school as soon as I can afford it
  • You should try X bank. They have way lower fees.
  • I lost $10,000 when the government changed the taxation rules for income trusts!

In short, it is okay to talk about how much things cost or what we would do if we had more money, or what others are spending their money on. It is also okay to give consumer guidance or discuss the market or our investments in broad terms. It is not okay to ask questions or reveal information about how much the people in the conversation earn, owe or own.

I also notice that just about everyone is looking for a way to make an easy buck, whether it be in small scale cash jobs, rental real estate, stock market tips or selling items for a profit. (None of these are easy, in my opinion, and all of them are full-time jobs for other people, but somehow the money seems easier when we are just talking about it.)

For myself personally, I have always had an interest in personal finance and a strong need for financial security. But I have to struggle not to get caught up in a never-ending spiral of needing more and more to feel secure. 10 years ago, the amount of money that I have now would have been a fortune, completely adequate to retire on. Now that I am here, it does not seem quite so abundant.

I believe that whatever you focus on, you will do well at. This is certainly an argument for putting some focus on your person finances but it comes with a warning. There are only so many things that one person is able to focus on and you must be sure to choose those which are aligned with your personal values.

I am not prepared to give up my dedication to my personal financial future (and present) because the value I place on security is very high, but I do sense that I need to make some shifts that might realign my priorities. Hopefully these shifts will become apparent to me as I continue to reflect on this topic.


Monty Loree said...

I ran into the same problem on

This prompted me to build where we talk about hundreds of companies, collection agencies, creditors, debt, credit bureaus etc etc

I'm never bored, however it gets to be a bit much at times.

I find it's really good to read a variety of blogs so as to not get pigeon holed.