Welcome to another week of the Women’s Personal Finance Wednesdays roundup. I started this series after months of debate because I wasn’t certain I wanted to up the ante and commit to publishing three posts a week. However, now that I’ve started sharing these posts, I’m so glad I started.
There are so many fabulous women writing about personal finance online, and yet there is still a perception that women aren’t good with money, don’t care about money, or don’t understand it on a granular level beyond perhaps knowing how to coupon and score a good shopping deal. These roundups are my way of doing a small part to change that perception. There are no shortage of women online doing their part to make it clear that they DO understand money, and these posts are meant to amplify that fact.
The hardest part of this post every week always is narrowing it down to my favorites, because there is just so much good content out there. If you’re ever interested in what else I’m reading, I share quite a few other posts on Twitter (and that’s also where I read most of the content to begin with these days).
Our Women’s Personal Finance Facebook group also has a sharing thread on Fridays, and that’s the place to read all the blog posts written by members over the previous week. If you’re looking for more articles written by women, that’s a great place to continue reading (plus we have plenty of great discussions on finances the rest of the week as well!).
If you don’t have the time or inclination to go searching down myriad posts, though, I will be continuing this series every week to showcase some of the best of the new content I read. If you ever read a post you thing I absolutely need to consider for this roundup, please let me know! I am always open to reading new blogs (and posts of blogs I do know, because I miss some).
Women’s Personal Finance Wednesdays – Week 32
1. Look How Far You’ve Come Dear Debt
I paid off my student loans five and a half years ago, and that was one of the best feelings of my life. I try and remember how big of a deal it was at that point, but we’ve come a long way – so much so that the $24,000 I paid off in three and a half years doesn’t feel like a huge number any more.
During that time, though, I first worked a couple of very low paying jobs in South Carolina post graduation and was thrilled to accept at $30,000 a year job sixteen months later. At those salaries, $24,000 was a huge sum of money and it was a huge thing to pay back in full in a very accelerated timeline.
Like many of us in the personal finance space, I’m often caught up looking to far into the future, and previous accomplishments can fade all too quickly. I’m in a phase of life where I’ve gotten to the place I dreamed of for a long time – settled and comfortable – and it can be difficult to settle down and simply acknowledge everything we’ve done up until now. The hard work of earlier earlier years need to be acknowledged in full because those accomplishments can be pretty dang impressive.
2. Extreme Frugality Fatigue Is All It’s Cracked Up To Be Mad Money Monster
While I am still all in as far as cutting cable (can it count as cutting it if you never really had it in the first place?) and an ever extending clothing ban, a lot of the rest of what she describes here is how I feel about the obsession with extreme frugality within the FIRE movement. While I’m all for cutting out expenses in your life that fall into frivolity if you truly don’t value them, I also don’t think cutting to the bone is healthy.
I do, however, love the idea of selective frugality. While we may not all agree that a clothes buying ban that lasts more than two years is something we can get on board with, there are probably more than a few things that we can ditch in order to reach our long term goals and general financial stability. They just don’t all have to the be same things – or everything.
3. The Cost of Having Children Graduated Learning
We may not pay $45,000 a year to send two children to daycare, but I wholeheartedly agree with Stephanie’s sentiments here. The idea that “children are just as expensive as you make them” is completely disingenuous.
If you go to work, you have to pay for childcare. If you stay home, you have to give up the long term earning potential of the stay at home spouse, even if they eventually go back to work. And even if you decide to wait to have children until you’re financially independent and can stay home with them full time without paying for childcare, you give up the option of having them young – or at least as young as I did, getting pregnant at twenty six, a full four years earlier than Mr. Money Mustache and the very earliest early retirees.
Sometimes I wonder how life would look if we’d waited to have our son until we were financially independent, but that wouldn’t have been until our late thirties, at earliest. And even if you disregard the financial aspect, there is the special relationships he has with older members of our families that he might not get to experience until we waited until his birth was the least impactful on us financially.
No matter how you spin it, children are expensive, even if you exclusively breastfeed and cloth diaper like I did, even if you have a stay at home parent, even if you choose not to buy a single item of clothing or toy for them over their lifetimes. Just one month of preschool, just one month of my hours and income at work, and I could pay for the fanciest toy many times over.
I hope you enjoy the posts this week as much as I did. I read a ton of content and it was hard to narrow down my favorites. I’m looking forward to sharing some new ones with you again next week!
As always, if you’re looking for a categorized list of self identified women writing and speaking about personal finance, here is my comprehensive guide to the Women of the Finance Independence Community.
4 thoughts on “Women’s Personal Finance Wednesdays: Week 32 Roundup”
Thanks for sharing my post! I love hearing from others about their views on all the decisions around children!
There are SO many layers of things you have to think about. And so many ingrained biases.
i use that how far we’ve come trick with work and investments. last fall the markets corrected and took something like a 15% bite out of a lot of portfolios. i knew looked back at where the balances were a year or two prior when i thought those were fine so the big dip didn’t bother me. same with what i wanted when it was hard to find a job here at first. i thought “i would be happy with about this amount” and have surpassed that so taking a pay cut to more than what would have made me happy before was an easy trade for a better life.
Oh that makes sense to use that same kind of thinking that way as well.