With another Thanksgiving in the books, it seems like it’s now straight on to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas (or what’s left of it after holiday shopping and deal hunting took it over). But I don’t want to move on too quickly from Thanksgiving! I have tons and tons to be grateful of, but here’s a list directly related to personal finance.
Financial Stability, Ownership, and Abundance
I’m very grateful to have a job in a competitive field that pays well, and it has brought me the financial stability that was always missing in my previous careers. I realized I’m a pretty risk averse person, so having financial stability matters more to me than I ever imagined it could in high school when I was first choosing my career.
It’s allowed me to be more ambitious in my personal finance and net worth goals. While you can be making any salary and still work toward a number of financial goals, I will say the process has been much faster with more money to work with.
It has also allowed me to:
Stop Sweating the Small (Financial) Stuff
Was there ever a time when you felt you had to get the absolute most out of everything? I did. I would fill my soup cups or coffee cups to the brim just because I was paying for it. I would get multiple refills even if I didn’t really crave them because I had paid.
I would feel pained from missing a sale on a small necessity I was buying like chapstick. I would feel a bit of guilt every time I decided not to reuse a Ziploc bag. I’m so happy to have enough stability and financial abundance that I don’t feel this way anymore.
Enjoy Giving Gifts
I remember all I cared about as a kid was presents and Santa (because Santa brought the best gifts). As a child, quantity mattered much more than quality. Maybe it was just that I loved the experience of surprises and unwrapping everything to see what was underneath all the wrapping paper.
Maybe this happens to everyone, but the older I’ve gotten, the less I care about receiving gifts. I feel so lucky to make enough money that I can afford anything I could ever think to ask for. Instead, I feel much more enjoyment trying to find something that someone will really appreciate.
See Through The Urgency Of Deals
Has Christmas seriously been taken over by sales and deals? Companies aren’t growing unless they’re growing their year over year sales numbers. Having worked in corporate retail and on the retail floor, I’ve seen for myself how much retail companies prepare for Black Friday. And I’ve seen the crowds of people out at 2 am on Friday morning.
My parents used to take me to 5 am Black Friday sales, and at the time it felt like a great big adventure. In college, I would meet with 2 of my friends in NYC for Thanksgiving weekend, and we would get up early at 2 am on Friday morning to scour the sales. Having very little money at the time, it felt like a treasure hunt too.
As my financial life becomes more stable, I feel every day is more normal, in a good way. It’s Black Friday morning, and I’m working at a coffee shop the way I would any other off day. I’ve still done some light browsing, but I no longer feel the urgency of a sale going away if I don’t scoop it up RIGHT NOW. I miss the hustle and bustle of being a part of it, but I’m also fortunate that I can choose not to be a part of it. While I’d love to live the dream and have *ultimate* financial freedom, I already have a ton of freedom. There’s financial freedom in having the ability to shop when and where you want.
Personal Finance Bloggers
I can’t really convey how amazing the PF community has been! Seriously, this group is amazing! So far all my interactions have been so positive, friendly, and genuine. I’ve learned so much and have found so many other personal finance things I need to learn and think about. It’s also just cool knowing there are other people out in the world who nerd out about money.
I’ve tried blogging multiple times and really never felt like anyone even knew who I was. Sometimes I just felt like I was posting content into the void, and that was always really defeating. So if you’re reading this, thank you!
Early Money Lessons From Mom And Dad
Writing this blog has made me realize just how many things my parents taught me about financial responsibility. I don’t know the ins and outs of how my parents manage their money, but they definitely taught me a ton about financial awareness and tradeoffs.
Many people I know have gone through a period where they threw caution to the wind when it came to their finances. But my parents had already primed me early on to getting my financial life together (eventually).
Friends With High Money Standards (And Talked About Them)
I’ve alluded to this multiple times before, but I feel many people have told me about friends who weren’t the best influences on their finances. I feel ridiculously lucky that I’ve never had friends like this. I actually ask myself if I’m deluded about how responsible my friends were in my memory but time and time again have returned to the conclusion that they just all really had it together. They did everything in responsible moderation, which is impressive in any large high cost of living area.
Not only that but they all seemed to know the next step in setting themselves up for long term financial success. I was ridiculously fortunate in being the least knowledgeable person about all of those topics and getting to absorb their knowledge through osmosis (well, it wasn’t quite that easy). Social influence is a very powerful thing.
What are you grateful for this year?