The Most Important Thing to Remember About Personal Finance
Does anyone else get overwhelmed by all of the personal finance advice out there? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great (and necessary!) that all of this knowledge is available at our fingertips, but it can be daunting and downright confusing. Personal finance gurus are everywhere. They write books, they are on the news, they go live on Instagram, and some are trying to convince you that buying life insurance is the best investment you’ll ever make. Certain ones advocate for home ownership, while others only invest in the stock market. Then there are the judgy ones who give you the side-eye for drinking lattes and using credit cards. Is your head spinning yet?
Despite the conflicting advice, there is a lot of value in having a great deal of information readily available, but it’s important to remember that personal finance is just that—personal.
The most important thing to remember about personal finance is that it’s…personal.
Just because your co-worker vowed to give up her morning latte, or your neighbor is retiring at age 44, or your cousin decided to deplete her life savings to pay off debt doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. All of these accomplishments are commendable, but they are also deeply personal.
It’s a matter of finding a personal money system that works for you and your life. The truth is, people will always have opinions about how you manage your money. Some will be vocal about it and some will secretly judge you without saying a peep. Once you accept this reality, you can move on with your life because what they think is none of your business!
As for me, I love my lattes. But, I don’t own a car, I save and invest, and I have a roommate. Again, deeply personal. This is what works for me, and things may look differently in the future. It’s all about how you decide to allocate your hard-earned money based on what you value.
There are times when I doubt myself and become self-conscious about having a roommate in my thirties (which I thought I would never do!), but then I start thinking of my abuelita, Marcy. After she became a widow in her sixties, she rented out the rooms in her home and had various roommates. Her home was paid for so there was really no need—but like a true Mexicana, she was resourceful and found ways to maximize her income.
Although there are universal truths about money, many of which I will write about on the blog, it’s up to you (and only you) to decide what personal finance advice to follow. It’s also important to note that once you find your perfect system, it may not look like anyone else’s—and that’s OK! Remember, you will know what works best. There is no harm in asking for advice or educating yourself on the different ways people save, invest, and grow wealth, but always, always, keep your unique situation in mind.
Being in control of how you manage your personal finances will make you more confident, more intentional, and will eventually lead you to financial freedom.