Friday, May 27, 2011

Let's talk about...

Friday, May 27, 2011

I hate talking about money. Seriously. I hate it. I loathe the idea, it makes me nervous. My heart races, my stomach hurts. I lose sleep. I would rather go to the Gyno than talk about money.

But here I am. Talking about money. Willingly.

When Gary decided that it was time to be serious about purchasing a home, I freaked out. A lot. I freaked out because that meant I had to be serious, take control of my finances, and get my gear (and bank account) in order.

I have a commerce degree. A COMMERCE degree. I'm smart. But so stupid with money.

I am embarrassed to admit that I frequently had NO IDEA what my bank balance was - and was in a constant state of fear that I was one latte away from an overdraft charge. It was way easier to stick my head in the sand and forget about it. And buy some more shoes.

So we sat down, together. There were some tears (mine). There were some confessions (ours). And there were lots of hugs, and promises that hey - we can do this, together.

And now, a few short months later, here we are. We bought a home. I have grasped control of my finances. I might be a bit shaky, but at least I know, to the cent, how much money is in my bank account. I know what the password is to my RRSP account. Today, I negotiated our insurance rates down by $30 a month - which, for the record, is one extra dinner at our favourite Vietnamese restaurant.

And most importantly, I know that I have X number of bills to pay before I get paid again.

So canned chili for lunch and no starbucks today it is.

Gary definitely helped me get my self back on track, and without his support, and love, and the fact that he never doubted or judged me, who knows how bad things could have gotten?

Another huge help was a book that I read recently. Moolala, by Bruce Sellery, is hilarious. It's written for smart people, like me, who do dumb things with their money, like me. Never once did I feel talked down to, or embarrassed. In fact, I felt empowered. And entertained.

When is the last time a personal finance book entertained you? Seriously?

It's written for Canadians (BONUS) but I'm sure his advice is applicable no matter what currency you use and if you call it a 401K or an RRSP. (I think those things are the same, right? Anyone? Bueller?) It's not just about saving for retirement, either. It's about creating context for your money, which in turn, helps you reach your savings goals - and your life goals.

I heartily recommend it. I bought it at Chapters. If you know me you can borrow mine. But I think you'll like it enough to go out and buy it yourself.

*obviously I wasn't paid for this. Bruce Sellery answered my email about RSS feeds for his blog almost instantly and I happen to have met his partner through a string of random work situations, but he doesn't know me nor had any personal influence over this post. Aside from the fact that the book is awesome.*


Bruce Sellery said...

Hi there Meg in the City,
Thanks for the snaps on the book. I hugely appreciate it.

All the best,
Bruce Sellery