Money Talks, So Should You

Suitcase Finance: My on-again, off-again relationship with personal finance

Sarah K.
by Sarah K., Dimespring 30

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.

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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.

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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.

 

Sarah is a 20-something consultant, living wherever the job takes her. Originally from Wisconsin, Sarah is always on the hunt for a good craft beer and restaurants that serve fried cheese curds. Sarah is a member of the Dimespring 30, a group of bloggers sharing their thoughts, experiences and perspectives on personal finance.