You would think that with almost 1,200 articles written since the start of CleverDude.com, almost all about money, that I really love numbers and financial topics. My wife’s best friend thought so, and suggested that since I disliked working in IT so much, that I try a career in finance.
But here’s a secret: I hate finances and most things related to finances.
Why in the world would I say such a thing, especially since I talk so much about money, and since I’ve garnered so much notoriety from my readers and online community from my writings? Heck, I even used to be an accounting major up until my senior year in college. So why did I switch majors so late in college?
Because I really don’t like dealing with money. While I might like spending it, I know that spending money can get me into so many problems. Having too much or not enough money can lead to arguments from selfishness, insecurity, and pride. Money arguments break up marriages, cause rifts in families and tear apart friendships.
But that’s not the only reason I hate dealing with finances. It’s all the complications people feel they need to add to managing your money. All the ways to make quick money, investment opportunities, insurance, and especially taxes. The options to spend, save and invest your money are overwhelming! It’s one reason why so many people just like you and I can’t focus on the core principal of wise money management:
Spend Less than You Earn!
It’s seriously not rocket science, but people, including myself, try to find the “quick and easy” ways to make money, or make more money. We try to be “clever”; try to find the latest investment option; try those schemes to make money at home or with “just a few hours a week”, when in the end we’ve only made money for someone else.
Granted, there are people who “lucked” into riches, but a majority of the people we envy either 1) worked extremely hard to get where they are financially or, most likely, 2) only APPEAR to be wealthy, when in reality they’re up to their eyeballs in debt to bring the illusion they’re rich. I was #2 before, and in the end I just felt like a #2 (the poopoo kind).
But back to hating finances. You don’t see me writing about investments or taxes often because I simply don’t like taxes or investing. It’s a necessity that I contribute to a 401k, fund a Roth IRA and, of course, pay taxes, but just because I talk about money doesn’t mean I like everything there is about finances. I find the stock market, bonds, derivatives and the like extremely boring and, honestly, over my head. Taxes, on the other hand, only intrigue me in whether there’s a direct effect on my wallet. Otherwise, I couldn’t give a hoot and I don’t actively research tax code and legislation. I’m one of those people who rely on others to pick through the tax code and tell me what applies to me.
Why DO I talk about money then?
Why did I pick money and finances as the topic of my blog? Because we were in so much debt that I couldn’t think about anything else. At night I would dream of hitting the lottery so I could just wipe it all away. I just saw that no matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t earn enough to pay it off for YEARS! Money just became the thing I thought about most…along with cars, but that’s a different blog.
My wife’s friend’s comment about me switching into the financial field as a career made me laugh, but it also made me cringe. I knew I talked a lot about money, but I didn’t want people to think that money ruled my world. I like the personal part of “personal finance”, and that’s what you read about on my site. Our money mistakes, successes and lessons learned. I don’t read articles when there’s no personal story; I actually prefer reading articles with poor grammar because I know it’s not a polished corporate article. You get to see the writer come through in their own voice (even though I’m a stickler for my own grammar and spelling).
So while I’ll talk about money and finances, please don’t confuse me with someone who actually LIKES money and finances. On a related note, I’m an IT worker, but I hate computers. It’s made me money and given me a stable series of jobs, and I seem to have a small gift for it, but I believe computers are one of the worst things man could have invented. They can be used for the benefit of humankind, but most often they’re use to scam people, commit crimes and download porn at blazing speeds. Yes, you can reconnect with a long-lost grandma or classmate, but then you take the easy way out and just view their status on Facespace rather than give them a call or write a letter.
So while I speak Personal Finance, it’s really the Personal part that I’m drawn to. I have no plans to become a certified financial planner or financial anything, and none of my advice on this site is meant to be taken seriously. I just write about my own life, and then you can apply it as you wish to your own, or criticize it if you don’t like it.