There are so many ideas about money, and everyone has their own opinions. If you’re like me, you follow lots of different people with lots of different opinions. Mr. Money Mustache says to reduce your spending as much as possible; Kate Northrup says to spend on your values; Marie Forleo shows you how to start your own business to increase your income. I truly admire Mr. Money Mustache, Kate Northrup, and Marie Forleo, but they are not the most important people in my money story.
For awhile, I was confused and stuck because my favorite money bloggers seemed to contradict themselves. How could I tell which path was best when I admired both?
The answer was for me to decide my own money philosophy.
I pick and chose my favorite ideas- a little bit of minimalism here, focusing on spending by my values there. Even if there’s some contradiction, it’s up to me to interpret these ideas and use them in my own life.
I could write for hours on my own opinions on emergency funds, credit card use, and debt, but that’s not the point.
The point is, you can shape your money habits around the ideas you are attracted to.
If you try to follow every single thing Mr. Money Mustache says, even the ideas that don’t resonate with you, you’re not going to stick by your habits. It’s your life, and you should feel good about the decisions you are making- particularly with money, which affects so many other areas of your life.
If you love his idea of reducing your expenses, but also love watching HBO every night, don’t get rid of your cable bill because he thinks it’s a good idea! Find other expenses to decrease and keep enjoying Game of Thrones.
If you’re feeling conflicted, use these questions to discover your own opinions.
Let’s start with credit cards.
- How do you feel when you use a credit card- empowered? Stressed?
- Do you have credit card debt? Have you previously had credit card debt?
- Do you check your balance and statements frequently?
- How much value do you get from credit card rewards programs?
If using a credit card makes you feel stressed, you’ve dealt with credit card debt in the past, and you hate keeping track of your balance, you may want to think about getting rid of your cards.
On the other hand, if you get several free flights a year from your credit card, you’ve never carried over a balance, and using it feels empowering, keep enjoying your card.
More likely, you’re somewhere in between these two scenarios. And there are plenty of options between always using a credit card and never using one. If you have a great travel rewards card, you could use it for hotels only to get those 5x rewards. If you have debt, you could stop using your card until you pay it off, then re-evaluate.
Again, it’s all up to you!
Try writing out your opinions on other topics as well- loans, budgets, or whatever’s on your mind today! You can use these sample questions or your own:
- What stresses you out about [student loans]?
- How do you feel about [Mr. Money Mustache’s idea of cutting your cable bill]?
- What feels good about your current [budget]?
I’d love to hear how you use this method- and the opinions you come up with!
If these questions or this method resonates with you, check on my Stress Free Finance Coaching Program program- we explore these ideas in more detail and use your beliefs to come up with habits and action plans focused on you.