I was talking with a small group of co-workers yesterday about money stuff, mostly lamenting how we all have those months (like April for us) that are basically money black holes. Offhand I mentioned that my monthly spending report was going to be ugly this month and it was interesting to see the shocked, almost horrified looks on their faces.
“You do monthly spending reports?”
“Yep. I do a spending report every month and an annual report every January. I like knowing where all of our money is going.”
“Oh, that sounds horrible. I so don’t want to know where my money goes.”
Everyone laughed and a few people nodded in agreement and then further conversation revealed that of this group of well-educated, decently paid professional people, I was the only one who tracked my spending in any sort of a regular way.
I find this fascinating.
Now, I know that I’m an outlier in terms of my comfort level in talking about money. I like to talk about personal finance. I like to pay my bills every month. I’m don’t announce my salary to everyone I meet, but I’m also basically a state employee so anyone who really wanted to find out what I make would be able to without a whole lot of difficulty, so I’m ultimately not even that private about that aspect. I feel secure knowing on a day-to-day basis how much money we have in savings or how much we still owe on our car or whatever. Since I do the bulk of the financial stuff for our household it helps me feel like I’m doing my part to take care of my family to be able to manage our money and keep my husband up to date on how close we are to meeting our financial goals.
I wasn’t always like this with money. I existed in a space of willful ignorance in my early twenties and paid VERY little attention to my overall finances. I paid my bills on time and balanced my checkbook but I had no savings and a stupidly insane amount of credit card debt. I still regard paying off all that credit card debt as one of my chief accomplishments in life. It was harder work that graduating from college, I’ll tell you that.
How about you? Are you an “ignorance is bliss” person about your money or a financial nerd like me? Why do you think money is so hard for people to talk about?