Money learnin’

We decided it would be useful to write about what blogs or podcasts or books each of us has used to learn more about personal finance. This is an easy one for me because the answer is. . .none! The exclamation point does not denote pride or enthusiasm but rather surprise and emphasis around the fact that I have spent so many years bemoaning the idea that I am bad with money. . .while doing nothing to learn more about how to be good with money.

The internet is new to me. . . ha ha that is only somewhat of a joke. It wasn’t until my last two years of college that I started using email and browsed AOL for the first time. Each time I clicked an arrow to take me to a new page I got freaked out that I wouldn’t be able to find my way back to where I started. How will I remember how to find all of these pages? Since then of course the internet has become a big part of my daily life–for personal communication, work, Facebook, celebrity gossip, booking travel, finding a destination. All of this at my fingertips but it’s only been the past two years where I’ve really been using it to educate myself. I’ve read an article or two about personal finance if it popped up on my feed for some reason but I’ve never gone searching. I’ve read lots of blogs, mostly about motherhood even before I was a mother. But I never thought to look up blogs about money. I’m not sure it even occurred to me that there were people writing blogs about money.

A year or so ago my sister-in-law Lady BlueOak sent me the link to The Frugalwoods, telling me how much she loved it. This might have been in response to a specific money conversation we’d been having but I can’t remember. I read one or two essays on the blog and I liked them but I didn’t fall hard for Mrs. Frugalwoods or her subject like my sis did. And there you have it–the sum total of my personal education on personal finance.

Oh wait. I did once start reading the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad almost twenty years ago when the older man I was dating, appalled at my lack of awareness, recommended it to me. I didn’t finish it.

I met with a financial planner several times about ten years ago. She gave me many tasks to complete, most of which are undone.

I created a Mint account around the same time and it helped increase my awareness of my own spending a little bit. But I never did much with it.

I’ve never read a book about personal finance. I’ve never listened to a podcast. I’ve never taken a class. I don’t remember any conversations with my parents about savings or interest or investment. There was no focus in college on the topic either. All this time I’ve put money in a category of things I’m not good at and don’t want to think about and then I’ve just left it there. Considering how much I love learning–how excited I get to acquire new skills and see my knowledge grow–it is pretty astonishing to me that I’ve done nothing in this area. No wonder I’m not so good at it.

The Lola Retreat was my first foray into a world of people, and more importantly to me women, focused on kicking ass on the personal finance front. I felt like a kindergartner in a room full of grad students. I was shy and embarrassed about my lack of knowledge. . .and I was also inspired and excited by the peek into a world I was for the first time interested in being a part of.

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