Day #364: Money Lessons Learned

I have racked my brain to figure out how best to bring this blogging year to an end.  This morning it hit me.  Not everything has to be big and splashy in order to be meaningful.  Sometimes small and thoughtful does a better job of getting your point across.  Why not let the blog exit the ‘blogosphere’ as quietly as it entered?

I reviewed an early post where I outlined my goals for this ‘project’.  When you set out on an undefined mission such as this one, how will you know if you ever reached your destination without goals to guide you?  My goals were:

  1. Write 500 words every day for 365 days;
  2. Reach 100 people per day; and
  3. Learn something

How Did I Do?

Well, I obviously didn’t make the first goal.  In March, I missed my first day of writing and it has been increasingly difficult to keep up the daily schedule since then.  However, I’m OK with that.  I did my best and I didn’t give up.  Isn’t that all anyone can ask of themselves?  I have a bad habit of sticking with something to the bitter end just to make a point.  I think that makes sense when you are working toward something positive and beneficial, but can be self-destructive otherwise.  There were many days where I was simply too busy living life to stop and write about it.  There were other days where I just didn’t have anything interesting to say.  I finally decided that forcing the issue on days like that would be counter-productive.

With 211 subscribers, I think I met my ‘reach’ goals.  Besides the subscribers, I average about 900 visitors per month and those visitors have come from 99 countries.  That’s not so bad.  I had hoped for 100 visitors per day  in addition to regular subscribers, but I guess we take what we can get.

Finally, I simply wanted to learn something this year.  I was talking with someone this morning and I mentioned that the main thing that I learned was about my relationship with money.  It’s sort of like when people are trying to get a handle on their weight, some folks will suggest that they try to understand their relationship with food.  Do they eat for comfort or sustinence?  I noticed many things about myself in that regard when it comes to money.  Shoes make me feel better and I have a way of rationalizing new purchases when sadness strikes me.  In fact, I’m working hard at this very moment to resist the urge to shop.  The devil on one shoulder is assuring me that a shiny new pair of shoes will make me feel better, but the angel on the other shoulder reminds me to be financially responsible.  Let’s see who wins.  Still, I know this about myself and I have to develop a system to manage it without making myself go crazy.  What works for me may not work for others, but we can find ways to adapt what we learn from others to fit our own needs.  I learned that being more involved in the financial decsions in my household makes a big difference.  The key players in the household need to truly ‘buy in’ to the financial plan for it to have a chance to work.  Another thing that the blog has done for me is made me more aware of other bloggers and personal finance writers.  By reading their work, I’ve picked up a lot of interesting ideas on finance.  Some work for me and others do not, but I think that just might be the bottom line.  Responsible money management doesn’t happen overnight and we all make mistakes.  It first requires effort to take control of your money and then an ongoing commitment to continuously improve.

What’s Next

Well, I don’t know yet.  Tune in tomorrow for all of my goodbyes and a final wrap-up and then we’ll see what happens next!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *