On my previous blogs and on this blog so far, I have not talked about finances. I think it's a tough topic, to write about and to talk about. I believe most people around me (Silicon Valley) like making money and talking about companies' finances but are afraid or hesitant to talk about personal money/finances in general. This is anecdotal but over the past 5+ years, I've noticed this being the case with 9/10 people whenever we've gotten slightly close to the topic of money.
This is understandable, people in the US have always been a bit closed up about personal finances in my experience. This article sums up some thoughts about the Money Taboo, the idea that people shouldn't talk about money publicly with most people.
But, having a taboo about something that's not wrong to do is incorrect, in my opinion. It leads to misinformation, ignorance of better options, and most of all, it's not good to stay quiet about finances.
Money is a weird thing, it runs the world, for most people it runs their lives. We can't be lying to ourselves that we don't get up to go to work because money is involved. Even if you love your job, you'll take the bad and ugly days because there's money involved. And for this reason, I think there's some weight to the opinion that you should talk about money.
Another problem with this is debt, Americans don't know how to deal with debt and I believe it's also due to the lack of talking about finances. Debt is complicated and expensive, the latter being the primary reason for the former.
Money is complicated, money is powerful, and money runs this world. But to get an understanding of your personal finances, getting comfortable talking about this isn't going to require you to go through college. Everyone's situation is different but there are some basics to get right.
Of course, there's this notion passed around "don't live beyond your means". This is good but it's halfway there. Of course, don't live beyond your means, but where is that line where you can decide it's time to not spend this money? This is also tough from person to person but I think the first thing to do is get to your monthly spending below your monthly income. This would be more clear to me and everyone else if someone said "don't spend more than 80% of your paychecks, save the rest for various different things". But…it doesn't roll off the tongue as nicely.
When there's silence about finances, it leads to higher prices, it leads to desperate situations, it can also lead to confusion and fear of talking about money. And one of my nightmares is when a new-grad moves to Silicon Valley and gets a nice salary and then turns around and pays a crapload of their paycheck towards rent. If that's not living paycheck to paycheck, I don't know what it is.
I hope to use this blog to share some techniques, approaches, and concepts related to finances, in case they might help you too. This will help me talk more about money, publicly and hopefully will lead you to do the same.
Please let me know what you would like to talk about and learn more about related to finances.