Confession: I Let Money Control My Life

Confession: I Let Money Control My LifeI’ve talked about not letting money control your life before, and I recently came across the topic again.

The other day someone told me it’s impossible for a personal finance blogger to not worry about money. They were saying I should be telling everyone that being controlled by money is actually a good thing.

I have to disagree though.

I don’t think that in order to be in charge of your financial well-being that you have to bow down to money and let it completely control your life.

Even though I say that though, I still let money control my life a little bit.

I’m not as bad as I used to be, but I still let money control my life more than I should.

Here are some of the things I constantly think about: 

  • I worry about bad business months. Yes, I know I publish my monthly income reports and I am doing well, but as a freelancer I still have the occasional week or two almost every month where everything seems completely dead. Also, sometimes I think about how life is almost TOO good to be true, and I wonder when it will all come falling down on me. I know, I am such a Debbie Downer!
  • My emergency fund is too large. Yes, that IS possible. Our emergency fund is around a full year of expenses right now. I am weird and I just don’t feel comfortable with it being any smaller. This means that I’m not investing this money more aggressively even though I am young. I am losing out on money and I don’t know if this is something I can ever change.
  • Home repairs. I sometimes act like my home is going to collapse. I don’t know why I’m like this. We’ve never really had anything major happen with our home, but whenever the smallest thing happens, I tend to worry that it’s going to cost $10,000 to fix. In reality, there would have to be something significantly broken in order for it to cost that amount!
  • I sometimes compare myself to others. When I say “compare,” I’m talking about comparing how I am financially doing to how others are doing. I read a lot of personal finance blogs and it just seems like all of these people are professional savers, whereas I’m just nowhere near as good as they are.

 

Here are some of the things to think about if money is controlling your life.

 

Money is just money.

This is something I always have to tell myself when I start having a money control freak out. Money is JUST money, and nothing else. Money doesn’t lead to happiness. Sure, it can make life easier sometimes, but life isn’t all about it.

Life will go on and freaking out about money doesn’t change the situation you are in. You need to actively change your life.

For me, I would always calculate our budget. I’m talking like every single day. I would spend hours upon hours trying to figure out our budget, financial goals and more. And, if I wasn’t on track it would upset me.

However, living with regret and being upset doesn’t change your situation!

If you want to see change, you need to actually do something.

 

I need to stop comparing myself.

I’m not talking about comparing myself in a keeping up with the joneses way. I’m talking about comparing myself to others who may be doing better financially.

For example, I came across an article recently that stated that the average person my age should have like $200,000 saved for retirement already. I thought that amount was absolutely insane, and I felt upset that I’m not at that level. Then, I started reading the comments and others who were even younger than me were saying that $200K seemed low.

HA, who are these people?

I then all of a sudden wanted to start saving even more. Yes, I make a decent income, but all of that is before taxes (and taxes take out a significant chunk). For me to have been at the level that these people were talking about, I would have had to take some drastic measures by now.

 

Does money dominate your life? In what ways? Are you trying to change that?

 

Image via Flickr by TaxCredits.net

4 Ways To Become A Successful Freelancer

In August of 2011, I started blogging online. I quickly found out that I loved blogging and the whole blogging community. I was working full-time at my financial analyst job, and at that time I had no intention of quitting to freelance online full-time.

In 2013, my online business was growing quicker than ever. I started to list out the positives and negatives of each so that I could try to decide what I wanted to do. I realized I loved what I was doing online, and that my freelancing side hustle had a lot more benefits than my day job did. I decided to start taking actionable steps towards leaving my day job and freelancing online full-time because of this.

My last day at my day job was in October of 2013. These past several months have been a wonderful time and I truly love being self-employed.

I honestly don’t think I could ever go back.

Continue reading about 4 Ways To Become A Successful Freelancer at Vosa.com…

Would You Rather Work For Less Money Or More Money?

Would You Rather Work For Less Money Or More Money?Okay, the question in the title of this article isn’t as easy or even as clear as it sounds. I’m sure everyone would take a job for more money if there was nothing different between the two jobs.

My question today though is a little different.

Would you follow your passion if it meant you were to make less money? Or would you rather work in a position that you really hate so that you can earn more money?

When I decided on my college major, I decided on something that I thought would bring me to a corporate job so that I could make money. I really had nothing else on my mind. I thought having a “safe” major would make me happy enough in life.

Boy, was I wrong! Yes, I had a comfortable job, but I wasn’t happy.

After three years of working as a financial analyst, I knew it just wasn’t for me. Yes, even though I make a very comfortable income right now, my last job was much “safer.”

I was on track to become President at the company, I had a good salary, I received good benefits, and I knew the job and the company weren’t going anywhere.

However, even with all that safety, I wasn’t happy. Instead, I wanted something that I actually enjoyed. I also wanted to do something that would allow me to have a flexible schedule and do other things that I enjoy outside of work.

Even though I love working as a financial blogger and freelancer, I don’t think I could ever go back to a financial firm as an analyst (or any position at a firm). It’s just not what I enjoy. In fact, yesterday I received an email from a headhunter asking me if I would like to take a senior level position at a local financial firm (it’s a big firm with over 100 employees). I had to laugh and file the email away because even though they were offering a hefty salary and even a signup bonus, I knew I was not interested.

Not everyone is the same, and I know many people who are pursuing jobs with a higher income. I also know of many people who are pursuing jobs that they love that pay less.

Below are a few positives and negatives for each side of the argument.

 

Less money may mean a delay in reaching financial goals.

If your main goal right now is to pay off debt as quickly as you can, then you may be interested in working towards making as much money as you can. That may mean working a job you hate, working long hours, working multiple jobs, and so on.

When I wanted to get rid of my student loans as quickly as possible, I wasn’t interested in pursuing my passion. I was interested in eliminating my debt as quickly as possible so that my life could actually “begin” on my debt payoff date.

I was working 100 hour weeks for years. I was going to college, working my day job, and working my side hustles for what seemed like forever. In the end, it all paid off. Luckily, I didn’t have too much student loan debt, so I didn’t have to struggle for a very long time.

However, if you are interested in pursuing your passion, then it may mean that you have to delay your financial goals or even put them on hold. It may take you a little bit longer to reach your goal, but you have to weigh the positives and negatives and you may find it worthwhile (or not).

 

A lesser paying job may mean more time.

Following your passion can also mean that you take a job that allows you to pursue your passion in your free time. Even if it’s not a job that you absolutely love, you might decide to take a job for less money because you are able to pursue your passion outside of your normal work hours.

You might have more vacation time, a better and/or more flexible schedule, a less stressful job, or something else.

For me, I’m all about having a flexible schedule. That is one of the biggest positives for me of the freelancing that I do right now. I love freelancing, but I also love that it allows me to be in control of my day.

If I want to ride my bike on a beautiful trail at noon, I can. If I want to go out to lunch with my friends, I can. I am no longer bound by my work day.

 

Following your passion may mean that can’t retire until later. 

If you are wanting to retire quickly, then choosing a job with less money will not get you there as quickly. I’ve heard of many people taking a job that they absolutely hated, working it to death and then retiring very early.

I don’t think that route is for me, but I can understand why others would choose it. If you “only” have to suffer for a decade or two and then you get to have the time of your life, that would be very tempting.

If you decide to work your passion, you may find yourself working for much longer. Following your passion doesn’t always equal less money, but in many cases it does.

This leads to…

 

Would You Rather Work For Less Money Or More Money?

You may never have to work a day in your life though.

Following your passion might mean that you never actually work a day in your life.

If you truly love what you are doing, is it actually work? Or are you just having a great time?

Following your passion can be great because you are doing what you love to do, and you actually look forward to work. If you are going to spend one-third of your life working, then why not do something that you love?

 

What would you rather do? Take a job you hate for more money, or take a job you love for less money?

 

Images via Flickr by TaxRebate and donireewalker