I’ve got the “earn money, save money” thing down. So why do I keep reading personal finance articles? Probably for the chance that they will inspire.
When we talk about money, we aren’t always talking about math. We’re really talking about how we view and interact with the world. We are talking about how our unique backgrounds shaped our perspectives on the worth of things, of people, of ourselves. We’re talking about how we expand our understanding of each other and the world when we encounter different stories. When we tell our stories about money, it can really challenge all our preconceived notions about morality, about politics, about disaster and redemption.Money is a story we tell ourselves. Money doesn’t have intrinsic value; the value is what we bring to the money, what we trade in exchange for it. How we interact with money is basically how we interact with life. So when I say these articles changed how I interacted with money, I mean, they changed my life.
I read this article over 10 years ago and it introduced me to coupon stacking and avoiding dryers. It also is a constant reminder of positivity (something you’ll see a lot of in these posts). What I learned most from this article was the idea of abundance. Freedman had $12,000/year to spend per year. To most people that would mean that she would be on the receiving end of charity but she gave to support her daughter and her church because she knew there were people less fortunate. I never have an excuse not to give now.
J.D. Roth’s tale of his worst job reminded me of my own horrible door-to-door job once. I lasted one day before my mother picked me up and grounded me for life. The story is a reminder that we all have failures, we all have this shame about starting out in life and not being exactly where we thought we would be and we still have this hope that maybe we’ll beat the odds and make a million dollars at this crazy job and show them all wrong.
I always knew I would be thin. My dad was only 20 pounds heavier than me when I was growing up and my mom is currently around 110 pounds. We are not heavy people. Until last year, I was the exact same weight I was in high school (now I’m 10 pounds lighter). I would eat more, eat less – weight never changed. Some years I would sit on my butt all day long and my weight never changed. I took up biking to work – didn’t lose any weight.
I know I have the cards stacked in my favor. In law school, I ate every single meal with my boyfriend, who was twice my weight. He never lost weight and I never gained weight. This was not based on hard work but completely, purely dumb luck. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of that and cut everyone (including ourselves) a break. Yes everyone should eat well and exercise – but your results will necessarily vary based on genetics, which you have no control over.
All of our stuff is future trash. We shouldn’t value it so much.
This article is just insanely positive. Even after growing up in a tough childhood, Mr. Free at 33 has this amazing mentality of not blaming anyone and not treating himself as a victim. I would definitely not have been that strong.