Let me preface this journey with a very important fact – I am not and will never be a finance expert.
Rather, I am what you might call a shameless finance flirt. I excitedly pursue new self-help books, investment websites and budget tools, until things get serious and it becomes clear that we may be together for the long haul. Like many fast, exciting and not-quite-right relationships, things eventually cool between me and Mint.com, Suze Orman or my budget spreadsheet. That is, until nostalgia hits and I try calling again.
Trying to find my financial footing has not been an easy journey. When I landed my current job, it came with almost a 300 percent salary increase from my just-out-of-college-and-really-need-the-money paycheck. The sudden excitement led to choosing Nordstrom over Target, cabs over public transportation, Whole Foods over Aldi. I figured if I could pay it off in a paycheck and wasn’t in credit card debt, my personal finance picture was still OK.
One day, about six months into my new position with my fancy new paycheck, I decided to rekindle a previously fizzled romance with my online bank statement. And what I found wasn’t flattering.
Even with my increased earnings, I found myself with the exact same net worth as I had in my previous position. I was still paying the minimum payment on my student loans, my savings account was on life support, and all my earnings seemed to go toward my credit card statement.
Many months and missteps later, I might be ready for a serious relationship with my finances. As a consultant, my life and location are always unpredictable, and I’ve come to realize that my financial habits need to fit my lifestyle now, while planning for the life I may want later. While blogging at Dimespring, I will chronicle my personal finance journey as I face choices about my money today and my priorities for the future.
Thanks for joining me. Let’s begin.