"Which of my all important nothings should I tell you first?" ~ Jane Austen, in a letter to her sister

Monday, February 7, 2011

I am not an idiot

Really, I'm not. Some people even think I'm pretty smart. (When I whip their asses at Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble, specifically).

I do a pretty good job at work and I kinda know what I'm talking about most of the time. I can recite Shakespearean poetry from heart (no, not ALL of it - just enough). I know that the Democratic Republic of Congo used to be called Zaire, that there is a difference between their, there and they,'re, and I know all about the symbolism in Jan Van Eyck's Arnolfini Wedding Portrait. That's it, right here:
This is hanging in my living room
So here's my confession. I HATE dealing with financial matters. I feel completely incapable of doing it. I think I should be doing so much to further our financial growth but I don't know what to do or how to do it. My only consolation is it boggles my husband's brain even more than it does mine. He's the creative type, you see. So the job falls to me. 

It's okay, for the most part. I generally do a good job. In times when we are lean it's usually due to circumstances and not some catastrophic planning on my part. I pay the bills monthly(ish) - as the money comes in from my job and the hubby's freelance work (which is, by nature, somewhat sporadic). I understand the basic concept: have more come in than you have going out. We're working on that. 

I'm sure we could have made better decisions in the past. I know we could have. But we have a nice house - not new, but nice and good-sized - and we have cars made in the last 10 years. I don't regret any of those purchases (though I do wish the housing market hadn't plummeted three years after we bought our house). 

My quandary is long-term planning. Making goals and sticking to them. Having willpower to look to the future and say, "no, I don't want to make this purchase today because it will impact our ability to take a vacation in 2 years". This is my struggle. 

I will go without incidentals for myself quite easily; where I run into trouble is I too often rationalize things for my family. I want things for my kids. I want to see their enjoyment. I want to take them to Disneyland because I grew up going there and I feel guilty for moving them so far away.

We went to our CPA today. Our Taxman with a capital "T". I love him. He makes me happy every year. In 4 weeks I will temporarily be financially stress-free and I will revel in it - probably too much - for a very brief period until I pay some stuff and buy some other needed stuff and then we'll be back to status quo.

So tell me - are you the money person in your family? What do you do to make your financial goals and keep them?

2 comments:

  1. Well Matt and I are pretty closely matched intellectually. (I can whip his ass at scrabble but he can still do calculus). When it comes to financial matters we do ok mostly because he made good financial decisions before he met me. Now we share decision making but I do the bill paying (mostly). On the vacations, yes, I get what you're saying. We have taken little here and theres but I think we'd both really like to go, oh let's see, somewhere besides here. I don't know when that will happen. If I worked... sooner rather than later but at present our sacrifice is about the babe and the overall happiness of the family. The team needs me here or else the team would fall to pieces. Probably literally.

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  2. I get you - and we've also been doing this for years. Sacrificing for the family. The hubby is a self-employed writer and decision was made in large part so we could have a stay at home parent. Our vacations consist of going to California for 9-10 days every summer and laying by my mom's pool in Hanford and a day or two at the beach. One day I would love to go to some exotic locale with just my husband. I can dream!

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