How money, debt and financial culture can affect you personally. The internal challenges and struggles when dealing with money issues. Motivation to do better financially, and how to handle mental setbacks when money emergencies pop up.
The below is something I wrote for my two step sons, who are in their mid- to late-twenties. For a long time, I’ve wanted to give them some advice that could help provide structure as they begin to navigate their “grown up” years. Given the recent transition our family has been in, I finally sat down to put pen to paper, which resulted in this blog post.
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Put It in the Books
Well, it’s been an interesting year, hasn’t it?
A year of highs and lows, beginnings and endings. There’s been a lot going on, for sure.
But through all of the ups and downs, a few things have remained consistent. Like buoys strategically placed along the rough ocean waters, or a far away lighthouse, offering a beacon of hope for the future.
While the waves may be rough at times, you can still count on a few remaining standards:
We are a family, and that won’t ever change.
No matter how dark the night, the sun will always rise the next day.
The NY Mets will usually find a way to screw up a lead — but true fans will remain loyal, for better or for worse.
I feel like I’ve been failing as a blogger. Sorely ignoring my duties to the public. I’m supposed to deliver money-saving advice, provide guidance on profitable side hustles, and even offer an empathetic viewpoint of how challenges can be thrown at you when you least expect it.
Forgive me, Readers, for I have been absent. It’s been awhile since my last blog post, and I am seeking forgiveness. (Spoken like a true former catholic school attendee.)
And no, it won’t be an easy thing to achieve penance. Y’all are a tough crowd — smart, yet fair. But as they often say — out of sight, out of mind.
How many new personal finance blogs have emerged over the past few months? Probably many. So many newbie bloggers who have no idea who I am, or that I ever even existed.
I’ve been shirking these duties, burying my head in the sand, blissfully ignoring this platform that I sculpted and sweated and struggled into existence several years ago.
This blog that became my one true voice, at a time when most everything in my world was uncertain and uncomfortable, only I didn’t want to admit it.
Challenged by issues with money, debt, and conflicting relationships. It would all come to a head, but I was doing my best to resist it.
And then my world kind of splattered — kaplooey — only it was the best thing to possibly happen.
Full Disclosure: I wrote this post many months ago, however was too afraid to hit the “publish” button. I’m now at a point where I’m at peace with my past, as well as with my future. But I’m also still healing, so felt it would be a step in the right direction to go ahead and put this out there.
An Imaginary Letter From My Future Self
You read a lot of personal finance articles where experts are asked to write letters to their younger selves. Like, if they could go back 10 or 15 years, what advice or wisdom they’d offer.
Whether they would’ve gone to that private college, or saved money by going local.
If that first new car was actually worth it, or if they could’ve survived and thrived with a used one.
And, for God’s sake, to make sure they started planning for retirement right out of the gate!
And I guess that’s what this article is about. Except from a point in time that hasn’t yet occurred. I don’t yet have that wisdom. I haven’t learned the lessons to pass on to my former self.
If it were at all possible to fast forward to the future — If it already happened to be a few months or years from now — There are a few things I’d like to hear from my future self right now.
You’ll see a lot of blog posts around this time of year, talking about the true meaning of Christmas, or whatever holiday you happen to be celebrating. While I do thoroughly enjoy those type of holiday-themed posts, this is not one of them.
This blog post is more about you. The reason for your season. Whatever phase of life you happen to be in.
Whether you’re just starting out, recently graduated, making a career change, or settling into your groove.
If you’ve built a solid resume of specific experiences, or have bounced around as a Jack or Jane of all trades.
Or if you’re embracing a new phase in life, ready for retirement — whatever that specifically means for you. That may mean you want to slow things down, or it could also mean you’d like to be more active, traveling the country, or even the world.
And it could mean nothing is really changing work-wise. Just that you will now spend time doing the type of work that actually makes you smile.
Whatever season of life you are in at the moment –