On Money

If you’ve known me for anything over about six months, you’ll know that I’m pretty bad with money. In the years since I’ve married Kate, I’ve gotten better, sure, but you can bet your ass I’m still not where I want to be.  Coming out of eleven months of being out of the job market, habits slipped a bit when the paychecks started rolling in.  And after a meeting with our financial planner, Kate asked me to read Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, which I’m doing.

Dammit, I was right in the middle of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson! But. The weight of our meeting with our financial planner was still hanging over my head from the previous week, and I acquiesced right away and downloaded the book on my Kindle app.

Ramsey’s book is really inspiring me to think about money. My relationship with it has always been a bit fucked-up — and I largely blame that on my parents, who weren’t great with it. My mom has been far better than my dad/stepmom, but unfortunately, the latter pair had primary custody and their idea of teaching you how to do anything was to yell “be more responsible!” over and over again without actually explaining what that meant. (Free parenting lesson: never speak to your kids in broad generalities.)

Thinking From Ramsey

The Total Money Makeover has me really thinking about how I relate to money — my habits are shit, and I fully admit that. I also fully recognize that money is the primary source of stress in my marriage. And something’s gotta change. The more of this book I read, the more it makes sense to just take action and start paying off debt rapidly, and then building up a nest egg. Kate and I will be talking about this in the coming days, I’m sure, and we’ll be putting together a battle plan.

Moreover, a bit of information I took from Ramsey really struck a note with me — it’s not enough to read one book and go through the motions it lays out. Money needs to become an area of expertise in my life — on par with the things that I love like bikes, computers, etc. So there you have it. It’s time to start reshaping those habits and it’s time to become more informed on the topic as a whole.

I suspect I’ll be talking about this topic more in the future.

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2 thoughts on “On Money”

  1. Dan, You will most likely delete this and that is okay but I wanted to give you a little history lesson on money and the cost of raising you and Paul. When your Dad and I got married we were both paying child support and your dad was paying alimony as well. When your mother was losing the house in Maple grove, and your dad was missing the two of you terribly your mother agreed to change custody. The alimony was to continue until she finished school or quit. when we bought the house on Wyoming avenue the interest rate was 17 1/2%. We had to coax your mother to come and see you and bought things from her to pay for her gas. Your Dad gave up everything and I was almost a bad. We gave up 2 houses and was starting over with a ready made family of three children and an enormous house payment. Every time I tried to teach you about money, including now with appropriate reading material, you made like the know-it-all and said you knew everything. Also every time I tried to teach you about saving money, your mother would undermine it so no lesson learned. I willing agreed to raise you and Paul and never treated you as anything but my sons, for that I was stupid considering how you treat us now. I probably should never have agreed to your dad taking custody of you and Paul. Your life would have been incredibly different if you had been raised by a single mother in a minimum wage job and my life would have been better financially. I really have a problem with the fact that you do not remember your father’s birthday or father’s day. All the time you lived with us I always made sure you remembered your Mother. You couldn’t even send him a happy father’s day on facebook which would have cost you 2 seconds. You say he was lousy father but you and Paul are lousy sons. You have never willing helped out when he can no longer do things, but boy let you mother ask and you are right the bending over backward to help. What grateful men you have become. Oh and by the way when we moved to Georgia we asked all of you what you wanted to do. You both wanted to move with us and hence went back to court to get permission to move you. Also as a side note neither your mother or Reed’s dad payed child support ever. You almost always received what you wanted for your birthday and Christmas. And then when we put the addition on the house, you had the unmitigated gall to tell us to quit spending your inheritance. No we were not the best parents on earth, but we did what we could and you did not lack for food, shelter, cloths and toys. For all of this you treat us as shit. We are the bad parents and all your problems get blamed on us. Grow up and accept that you are now and adult and can get over it. Own your own mistakes and quit blaming us for every thing. As far as retirement savings, I had saved allot, but between trying to help David, lawyers fees and bailing us out after Sunshine died, it wiped me out. How do you think I feel to live off food shelves and wonder if we have enough gas to do what we have to do? Also it was so kind of you to block me on facebook so I couldn’t even see pictures of the boys. All it would have taken was a phone call or message that requested that we not post pictures of your boys. You never let us know that you changed the rules on Sammy after all the posting you did with Eddie. I thought I was being thoughtful by giving you credit for the pictures, never expecting the demand to remove the post with no explanation as to what changed. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to be treated so badly when you became adults. If I had known then what I know now I would never have agreed to custody change and my life would probably be significantly better now. So deal with our own crap and leave me out of it. I did what I could for you and Paul and do not appreciate your treatment now. Have fun with your mother and I hope you have an inheritance from her. I hope you and Kate have good life together with your children. May they NOT treat the two of you like you treat us.

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