Hi there, Mrs. 1500 today. Let’s talk about money.
We have been blogging for exactly 4 years today. Mostly Mr. 1500, but I pop in from time to time to share my views or ask a question.
Our life has changed substantially in those 4 years. We downsized our house, joined the Double Comma Club, fell out of the Double Comma Club, bounced in and out of it for a while – and will probably continue to do so. I got my current job as a direct result of this blog.
We’ve met a lot of like-minded people who are involved in Personal Finance through this blog.
We talk about money.
We share tips on saving money. It isn’t taboo to ask financial questions.
Then I switch back to real life, where it is taboo.
I was visiting Jim Collins at a lake house in Wisconsin over the summer. Jim is part of this open-financial discussion life I lead, and mentioned to me that his brother in law invested in real estate, and suggested we chat.
I talked to him, and in the beginning it was a bit awkward. I asked probing financial questions, and immediately realized I stepped over the line by his reaction. Because he’s a normal person who plays by society’s rules. You don’t discuss money.
He eventually realized I wasn’t there to pry into his finances on a personal level, that I was truly just interested in the real estate deals. He’s a commercial guy, I’m residential.
It was a very informative, interesting conversation, and I am happy we had it. I learned a TON from him, just in our short discussion.
But I felt bad for making him uncomfortable. In the last 4 years, I’ve become at ease with financial conversations, and frequently ask probing questions when people ask me for advice. I’m not necessarily looking for them to answer me, but to think about the answer themselves.
What is the majority of your debt? Retail? Medical? Student Loans?
How much debt do you have?
Do you have an emergency fund?
Have you ever read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover?
Do you track your spending?
Do you have a budget?
Why do you not have any money?
When was the last time you talked about money with your significant other? Never?
In Lauren Greutman’s book, The Recovering Spender, she talks about hiding purchases from her husband. She finally overcame the crushing guilt she felt for all their debt, and laid all the bills out on the bed to show him just how far in debt they were. They started talking about money, and their money problems eased.
I have an acquaintance who routinely lies to her husband about how much things cost. She told me once, “I usually tell him it cost less than half of what it actually cost.” I think my horrified face betrayed me… She hasn’t admitted anything else to me since, but has admitted plenty to another neighbor. They’re currently in danger of losing their house.
You’re here at 1500 Days because you want to fix your finances. Or because you want to go down the path to financial independence. Or you just want a better life.
Get used to talking about money.
Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger.
Start the conversation.
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