What Does It Mean To ‘Live With Money’?

When I first settled on the name for this website ‘Living With Money’, it was kind of an arbitrary name.  It was broad enough for me to talk about a number of different topics, while still having some sort of focus.

Lately, I’ve found myself thinking more in depth about the name, and what it truly means to live with money, so I wanted to flesh it all out for you.

In a world consumed by social media and comparing oneself to the rest of the world, it’s easy to fall victim to the game of trying to constantly portray success.

How could it not?

Seeing all of your friends and acquaintances photos of new cars, vacations, and expensive dinners on a daily basis gives off the impression that if you aren’t experiencing those things – there’s something WRONG.

In this week’s episode of the podcast, my younger brother described money as our “how”.  It becomes part of our identity, and it’s how we fund our life.

Casey said “It’s how we do the things that we want to do. When we see ourselves losing money, it’s really we see ourselves losing ourselves. We see ourselves losing future opportunity…”

And he’s right.  That’s how many people operate.

But they shouldn’t.

We see only the best versions of people on social media.  Very rarely do you see posts about someone’s financial struggles, or pictures of their credit card bills with debt piling up.  Nobody wants to share the non-glamorous side of their lives – so they don’t.

It’s weird how everyone on social media is so quick to boast about their new, beautiful things and possessions, but everyone refuses to actually have conversations about their finances.

It seems hypocritical, and we’re ALL guilty of it.

In his blog post “Nosedive”, Ramp Capital breaches the taboo topic of talking about money.  He references a passage from Brian Portnoy’s book ‘The Geometry of Wealth’ (which we discussed during his interview on Living with Money back in June 2018) where Brian says “Other studies show money is either the first or second most important issue behind divorce. Many couples would prefer to talk about infidelities rather than how they handle family finances or how much money they earn.”

That is insane.  Personal finance is SUCH a taboo topic, yet dealing with money is one of the only things EVERY HUMAN has in common.

Ramp Capital goes on to describe a futuristic fantasy-world where everyone’s net worth is displayed above their head at all times – similar to a Black Mirror episode he references as well.  It shouldn’t take something like that to learn to have civil, not awkward conversations about money.

So how do YOU live with money?

For me, it’s currently a balancing act.  I love my job, and I love working with my family and helping other people make the most of their money.  I balance my monthly salary with paying a mortgage, utilities, other monthly expenses, student loan debt, and a credit card.

I won’t sugarcoat it.  Some months, I do a terrible job of managing my expenses.  I’m 26 years old and still love to live my best life on the weekends, take trips to see friends, go on the occasional online shopping spree, etc.  Even those in the financial planning industry have trouble taking their own medicine sometimes, and I’m guilty of that.

My friend Justin Castelli just published a blog about some unconventional financial planning tactics he’s used to live his life, and the point being is that IT’S OKAY.

IT IS OKAY.

Nobody said we have to be perfect.  But we all need to pay attention and try our best!

I’ve had a handful of people make the comment “For me it’s more like Living WITHOUT Money instead”.  While it’s always meant as a joke, I can’t help but think that I’m not doing a good enough job at communicating the main message.

So here it is:

Some people make millions of dollars a year.  Some people are trying to get by on minimum wage.  Most people fall somewhere in between.  I’ve seen people with the most money make the worst financial mistakes, and I’ve seen people just making ends meet making all the right financial decisions. It’s not about how much money you have.  It’s about what you choose to do with it.

Having a healthy, informed relationship with your money is the key to success.  Whether you choose to spend all of your money, save all of your money, or a nice mix of the two, knowing the pros and cons of your choices will only help you in the long run.

Every person’s situation is different, but we all live with money in one way or another.

Whether you have millions of dollars, or a just a couple of bucks, this website is here to help you make sense of the confusing world of personal finance.

Through the weekly podcast hearing from finance experts, authors, and others on how THEY live with money, blog posts like this, or our Top Links every day from industry professionals, I hope to provide you with the tools you need to succeed.

If there’s a topic you’d like me to write about, talk about on a podcast, or link to, feel free to email me and let me know – tim@livingwithmoney.com.  Thanks for reading.

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