Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Pessimistic View on Finances

Some people are realists, others optimists, and the rest, pessimists.

I tend to fall in the last category for when I view my finances. For some reason, being able to prepare for the worst and finding out the best makes me feel better. Especially at the end of the month. My conversations with myself usually consist of:

Me; I probably only made $3 in tips (probably not...)
Me: I probably spent $100 in wine (probably true...)
Me: I suck at budgeting, I don't know where I put all my money...

(Looks at finished calculations)

Me; OH! I did accurately estimate my wine intake (too much), entertainment (too much) and debt repayment(...).... 

At the end of the month, I feel like I know where cuts need to be made and where certain areas can be increased or decreased. It's not a perfect system, but knowing that I'm doing my best makes me feel proud. Knowing that a large portion of my income goes towards retirement savings and student loans makes me feel better about eating out.

I believe that a lot of 20 year olds are really optimistic about their finances because they feel like they can just barely get through each day. They have a roof over their head and a crappy car that gets them wherever they need and want to go for the time being. It's not that that's bad, but they tend to overlook their loans as something for when they have a better job and a better salary. And retirement is something for when they really have a job that MAKES them save money.

But my question is what happens when you are in your 30's and are still scraping by? Does that still make you feel good about yourself? Or do you see others doing just a bit better, saving more, getting in a vacation or two every now and then, and feel like you are falling behind?

The habits for me are created right now when I have the tightest of budgets and the least amount of wiggle room. I'd rather feel like I'm falling behind in my 20's and catching up later in life rather than feeling like I'm doing okay every single year. I know I won't have a crystal ball into everyone's finances, but at least at 30, it'll feel like all these years saving and scrimping really did count for something. 

How do you feel like you are doing in your finance attitude? Has it changed as the years have gone by? 


  1. I have to be really careful with this. If I start comparing, then I start worrying, and freaking out. And it's really easy for me to get to a place where I am scared and I start hording.
    But when I look at how far we have come, and remind myself it is a marathon, not a sprint, I start feeling better.

  2. Very true! For some people it's easier to fall of the bandwagon of saving while some are naturally that way.