When I talk about money it sounds like I love money but it’s not quite that simple. I love the feeling I get when I find a great deal, I love getting a windfall that I can invest, I get a thrill from finding an interesting new investment – even if I don’t end up putting any money into it I feel better about my situation having explored the opportunity. I view my journey towards better personal finance management as one of discovery and a key experience in fighting peer pressure. Don’t get me wrong – having money feels great and can often be perceived as a love of the stuff it can buy but it’s more about the freedom of choice that it provides and increased feeling of being in control.
The decision to take control of my money was in response to my situation at the time. Borrowing money from my mum over a few months and accumulating £200 in debt I thought to myself – how sustainable is this lifestyle? Why am I buying things that I don’t really need or want? Where has this toxic spending come from and why is it affecting those around me? I’ve come from a modest background with primarily one household income and have always been told ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ so it’s no surprise that I’m not totally alien to money management but while I feel that had an effect – there’s been a trigger since childhood that has spurred me on to be better and smarter with money.
There’s no doubt that there is a negative connotation of being ‘into money’ in society and that’s likely to continue being the case – for my lifetime at least. If I show a slight interest when someone says they’ve opened a Cash ISA it’s usually met with a look that says “Yes – I’ve opened this and have mentioned it in passing but I have no real interest of getting into this discussion with you. You’re clearly just nosey”. On occasion I get a friendlier response that says ‘tell me more’.
Over time I’ve managed to find more who say “let’s talk about this” and eventually I’ve managed to join a mastermind group that shares a similar interest in personal finance management and more specifically investment. My interest in personal finance has given me a new peer group who question my choices and push the boundaries of our discussions.
Just recently, I’ve realised that personal finance management has given me many things including:
Confidence – I can manage my own money affairs. I don’t need my parents financially and I am gradually trusting my own judgement when it comes to investing. I still make mistakes and will never tout myself as an expert but I’ve had that confidence to believe in the choices I make financially.
A master mind group – with whom I can share stories of money but with whom I can also have a dialogue with. We don’t just discuss money-related issues we also talk about our dreams. We don’t call ourselves experts but we’re willing to talk on money topics that we’ve done research on and therefore are spreading the knowledge wealth amongst our members.
Opportunities – I can go on holiday several times a year, I’ve got enough to leave my current job and travel for a year (admittedly I haven’t done this because my current focus is on creating passive income), I can eat out regularly and I can buy nice food to experiment with in the kitchen.
A solid routine of research – It’s a hobby. I love finding new investment ideas, reading about money issues in the news and forever striving to increase my income through my investments.
This may seem like an addiction to money but to me it’s just another personal development project and one of many I’ve started since early adulthood. I’m not willing to do anything to get extra money (time is a thing I’ll always treasure more) but I will invest my time in finding a good deal, learning more about the share market and opening new accounts when I find something I like. Until I stop enjoying personal finance management, why stop?
The love of money can create unhappiness but I choose to use money to help me see the world and its abundance of opportunity. With both money and a vision – I can live the life I love.