Thirtysomething Finance

Personal Finance (and More) for People Like Us

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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Are We Really Doing What We Want To Do With Our Lives?

Posted by Thirtysomething Finance on December 10, 2009

I was just E-Mailing with my friend J. Money over at Budgets Are Sexy, and I had a profound thought, one that has occurred to me before, but which I’ve never verbalized — and I decided to verbalize it to you:

Are we really doing what we want to do with our lives?

Think about it. Except for the independently wealthy, we’ve all got to worry about paying down debt, living comfortably, and saving to retire comfortably. Look at all of us here in the PF blogosphere: there’s a whole culture devoted to dealing with these issues! When you think about it, it seems that almost every decision we make is driven by money.

This occurs to me in particular when I think about myself and my job. Let’s just say that a lot of the time, I’m less than enamored of it. But I do it. Why? Because I have to. Why? Because I have to pay down debt, make enough to live comfortably, and save for retirement.

If it were up to me, I’d go to music school, learn the nuts and bolts of music theory, and spend my life working in music: maybe I’d compose, maybe I’d perform, maybe I’d teach, maybe I’d do something else altogether. Or I might like to work in non-profit. Or I might like to get into public service. I really think there are higher and better uses for TSF than what I do now, but alas, I’ve got to accept that I can’t just do what I want because I have these obligations.

Interestingly, I’ve known a lot of independently wealthy people who have been very flighty when it comes to what they do with their lives. Maybe there’s something to be said for the struggle that we all deal with. But as I think about a career change, I’m forced to accept that I must do something that’s going to pay the bills.

In a sense, this reminds me of Baker‘s post over at Man vs. Debt: would you kill a stranger for a billion dollars? I believe that the fact that we even consider this question demonstrates the extent to which I’m right (and kudos to Baker — what a great post and exercise in getting to the root of PF and human nature).

Am I bumming you out? I hope not — seriously — but I’ve been particularly down on the job this week and resigned to my station in life. Am I wrong about this? How do you all get past these kinds of doldrums? I’ve read a lot about being grateful for what we have and not focusing on what we don’t, but I can’t help but wish I had the freedom to just do what I want and, more importantly, to not have to do something I don’t particularly like (and something that I completely hate at times). Isn’t that what we’re all really after?

Posted in debt reduction, Personal | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Hello and Welcome!

Posted by Thirtysomething Finance on November 18, 2009

To quote a world renowned and widely-respected doctor, “Hi, everybody!” I’d like to welcome you to Thirtysomething Finance! This is my first foray into the wide world of blogging — at least in terms of generating content. I’ve been reading various blogs for years, some on the regular, and some on occasion, and I’ve decided that it’s time to cross over and start getting some of my own stuff out there!

Here is a little bit about me. In a nutshell, and as I will explain in further detail as we get to know each other, I graduated from a private university in 2002 and from a private law school in 2005 with debt in the six figure neighborhood. I began working at a large corporate law firm in 2005 and purchased a condo in 2007. Don’t worry, though — while I’m clearly good at racking up debt, I’ve put money towards retirement, have put together an emergency fund, and have chipped away some of my debt. But I’ve become motivated to chip away more of it.

As I approach the tail end of my twenties, I realize that a lot of people my age, give or take a few years, don’t seem to have much direction as far as personal finance is concerned. At the same time, personal finance is (or probably should be) a major concern for a lot of people my age. Some people have gone so far as to hire financial planners, but I’ve been going my own way since I got out of law school about 4 1/2 years ago (though I’d imagine I’ll hire a planner once I pay off a substantial amount of my debt). Some might say I’ve made some mistakes along the way, and I invite anybody’s opinion, but I’m more or less content with where I’m at and am not interested in looking backwards.

Over the past year or so, I’ve really gotten into reading personal finance blogs. There are so many good ones out there, and I’ve listed some of my favorites in my Blogroll. These blogs provide lots of great insight into a variety of topics, from what the experts say your budget should look like to investing, from saving for retirement to credit cards. In my travels, I’ve found many different opinions on a variety of personal finance topics: the more I read, the more I like, and the better my perspective for making my own personal financial decisions! I decided I had to get out there to share my two cents and to create a place where others can share theirs!

So I’ve decided to start a blog that is more or less devoted to personal finance for people like me: thirtysomethings. I envision this blog as a place where I can write about my own take on various aspects of personal finance, with the occasional post about current events, pop culture, life in general, anything. I promise to rant as little as possible 🙂 As I mentioned on my About Me page, I’m a really big music fan, so I’m sure there will be more than a few music-related posts on here. Regardless of the topic, my purpose here is to provide my perspective, and I’m definitely interested in hearing what people think, so please feel free to leave comments here or to send me an E-Mail.

So here we go. I’m hitting save, so there’s no turning back. May our time together be productive, profitable, interesting, and enjoyable!

-TSF

Posted in Personal | 3 Comments »