Hi readers and spambots. I’m Elizabeth. I’m in my early thirties, working as an attorney at a firm in Washington, D.C. I’m a personal finance nerd. I read my first personal finance book when I was 23 – Financially Fearless by 40. And I was hooked. In that book, I saw that money could be used as a tool for achieving the lives we wanted, but we were often so hung up on our past experiences with money, often involving our guilt and our shame, to use it effectively. Really, money is neither good nor bad – but it is often a mirror of our values. Or a mirror of our childhood trauma.
My parents are a true American success story. Immigrants who scrimped and saved, put themselves and then 3 kids through college and are now comfortably retired with their house totally paid off. My parents are the most amazing people I’ve ever met. My mom worked full-time for most of my life, had a long commute and cooked dinner from scratch every night. My dad has this amazing curiosity and that’s why whenever I would ask him a random question, he knew the correct answer or would encourage me to find out for myself.
I could say my parents taught me how to work hard, but I don’t work anywhere as hard as they do, or did, and that’s probably good. They worked so hard so I could have an easier life. They did, however, teach me the value of money and give me a disdain for waste.
What My Life is Like Now
I started this blog at an interesting time in my life – about a month after I knew my engagement was ending. I’d started writing about relationships on a private blog in a desperate attempt to save my own. I’d always wanted to write about personal finance and figured there was nothing holding me back now.
So I’ve done my round around the personal finance blogs, and while I love the money voyeurism, I find certain perspectives lacking. One, personal finance blogs tend to focus on people who are living paycheck to paycheck and barely scraping by. Two, to the extent that the blogs focus on people who are succeeding, they are typically focused on high-earning men or extremely frugal families. The women in many of these stories have coupled up with high-earning men, or are living a monastic lifestyle with their husbands and families.
After meticulously saving for 10 years, I don’t need to live that lifestyle anymore, nor do I necessarily want to . I don’t drink coffee but if I wanted to have a latte everyday, it would not affect my budget whatsoever. If I spent an extra $5, $50, $500, it’s not going to register in my net worth. The reward for coupon-cutting isn’t a life of coupon-cutting but a life of less stress. Why weren’t there more blogs about high-earning people and the next personal finance plane that they were reaching?
So I hope to write a little bit from that perspective. My parents would be considered notoriously frugal by today’s standards but they were immigrants and they were raising a family. Now, they’ve loosened the strings a little and spoil their grandkids and buy Lexuses in cash. And why not? It’s not a moral failing to have or want a nice car.
This blog is about money – both getting it through work or side hustles or serendipity and giving it through spending consciously and giving back to the community. This blog is also about relationships – since I’m no longer in one, I can fancy myself a bit of an expert.=P Actually , money and relationships are very similar – building the foundation is the hardest part. And what is love but a balance of giving and getting?
This blog will focus on creating a holistic spending philosophy that can mirror one’s values. Because in my mind the most important part of personal finance is what makes it “personal.”
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