Thursday, April 27, 2006

My life-long struggle with money has brought me here. I love money. I love to spend it. I love how it makes me feel accomplished, important, self-satisfied. Can't we all admit that to an extent?

But I hate dealing with money.

I hate getting bills in the mail. I hate thinking about my credit score, budgeting and saving money. Listening to others speak about personal finances or planning for retirement makes me break out in a cold sweat. When I think about spending my money, I feel out of control. And I don't think I'm alone.

So begins my journey with responsible spending, saving budgeting and overall frugal living with this blog. I'm going to make my personal financial health a top priority. I plan to share what I learn with you in hopes that it will help the millions of others out there who are just like me.

The Lowdown
I am a 27-year-old female living in a mid-sized city in the US. I grew up comfortably. My parents were both teachers, but did well for their profession. In addition, they always handled their money well. Especially my father, who- to this day- keeps an elaborate filing system for his finances and constantly sings the praises of Quicken to me.

Aside from my ignorance of dealing with money, I'd like to consider myself a relatively intelligent person. After 12 years of private school, I attended a large public state university. After receiving my degree in Journalism, I spent an additional year in school to receive my Master's degree in the same field.

Somewhere during this timeline, I met my "better" half who is just as miserable with finances- if not worse. My husband, also of a financially responsible family who grew up living comfortably, graduated from law school in 2003. We were married in 2004 and have struggled together to try to afford the lifestyle of a young professional couple. One that we can't always necessarily afford.

Today, we both work full time. He is a lawyer, I work in PR. We made modest salaries, but definitelty liveable. However, we both have credit with more than a few "dings." We both have a little bit of debt. And most importantly, we both have a problem with living beyond our means. These vices include: too much shopping, too much dining out, too much money spent at bars and for entertainment. We're not in serious trouble, but we know that we could be handling our money a lot better.

The Solution
When I think back, I don't recall ever "learning" how to live a financially sound life. I never worried about money as a child. My parents never sat me down to teach me the in's and out's of credit, saving, spending, budgeting, etc. until it was too late. Certainly my college classes never focused on personal finance and real-life money skills. Of course, I can't place blame on any of these factors for my current situation. However, I can go about fixing my situation through self-education. And that, my friends, is the point of this blog. I hope that my journey into financial responsibility will be beneficial to you, as well.