I get this a lot.
People ask my WHY I do what I do. Young people ask me WHY I care. Sometimes, I ask myself WHY I keep doing it. My wife asks me WHY I don’t pick up my socks off the floor, but that’s a little different. She also asks me WHY I keep so much on my plate.
I guess I understand her questions. We’re doing okay with our own financial house; we both have good jobs that pay for the things we want and need, we enjoy the fact that we don’t owe money. So WHY isn’t it enough?
In answering this question, I really have to leave the “Finance” out of “Personal Finance” and focus on the “Personal”. The truth is, as nice a guy as I am now, I wasn’t always. Nobody ever gave me anything that I hadn’t earned, and I liked it that way. I did my “eight”, went home, and enjoyed me-time. I’m not exactly sure when that started changing, but, after a while, it just wasn’t enough for me. I knew there was more out there, more that I could experience that I wasn’t.
I started to look at the people that would come to see me at work as people with stories and history, instead of account numbers. I got interested in learning their stories. That was when I started thinking about working to help others. I wasn’t sure where or how yet, but I knew it would happen.
Back to the present, I don’t look at PF as a job. I don’t look at it as a duty to help people to do better with finances. I see it as building the connection to the next person. This is true even in an on-line setting, where I usually don’t get to see the readers. I think of many other PF bloggers as friends, and I hope they do too, even if our opinions aren’t the same. I consider those who ask questions, whether here or somewhere else as friends as well, and I strive to make sure they are getting the best answer.
Which brings me back to the “Personal” in “Personal Finance”. I’ve seen several sites out there, read several books, seen the TV shows, etc. by others who think that Personal Finance is nothing more than a job, and who have no interest in learning the stories of those who make them wealthy. These people really piss me off, because they are wasting their time, as well as the time of those who read, watch, etc their message. To them, money is the only thing that matters. Let me explain something to them. Money, in and of itself, is useless. Being rich, or even wealthy isn’t about money. You can’t eat it, you can’t sleep under it, and you can’t get love from it. Money is only good if you are getting rid of it. Does that mean I don’t want money? Absolutely not. I like money. I like the things people will trade me for money. I also like things that have nothing to do with money.
I do what I do because I feel it’s important, and I enjoy it. I care because, looking back, I wasn’t really happy and I wasn’t really nice, and I don’t want young people to ever have to look back and see the same thing. I keep doing it because there is still so much to say, and there are too many people who care too much about money and too little about each other. I don’t pick up my socks, because they are all the way down there on the floor, and I’m tired. I keep a lot on my plate because I like life too much to limit my experiences. I just want to know WHY do some PF’ers feel that its okay to forget the “Personal” in “Personal Finance”? WHY do they keep doing what they are doing if they don’t enjoy it? And WHY do people still go to them for advice?
That’s my rant for now. Have fun. Do Good.