Why Money Is Hard
March 4, 2021 Financial Independence
Struggling with money? Join the club.
As a personal finance blogger with nearly two years of writing and almost two decades of investing experience under my belt, I would expect to have it all figured out by now. The reality is, I am just scratching the surface – and so is the vast majority of us. Here are some of my musings on the reasons that make money so ** hard.
Because no one talks about it
These days, people will spill the beans on almost any subject, no matter how personal it is. With the notable exception of how much money they make. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Early on my career as an investment banker, I quickly learned that sharing bonus numbers is not a good idea. The person who makes less is bound to be disappointed. The person who makes more can also walk away upset for having disappointed the other person.
There’s simply no upside. This lack of communication, however, gives rise to a different problem: lack of context. Securing a $50k salary can feel like winning a lottery to someone who is just starting out or wrapping up their career. Not so much for the person in their “sandwich” years, with the dual task of supporting young kids and aging parents.
Equally, a $200k salary will mean different things to someone with no debt versus a physician who has hundreds of thousands in student loans and is finally starting to earn proper money in their late 30s.
And that’s before you take into account cost of living, marital status, and a multitude of other factors that impact our purchasing decisions.
When we do talk about money, we focus on the wrong things
That is, we focus on spending, not saving.
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