Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Why I'm not trying to maximize my money

Back from the road again -- travel and blogging just don't mix well for me. I see my post about keeping separate accounts with my spouse generated comments while I was gone. One point in particular caught my attention:

My wife and I used to operate the exact same system as you and I have to say the best financial decision I ever made was to change this round. ... Our savings rate has tripled since we started doing this and yet we haven't felt deprived. We have just stopped wasting money.

That makes sense to me. It also touches on one of the fundamental issues that got me started on thinking and blogging about personal finance: What do you prioritize over "more money"?

For me, it's a pretty long list. Heading it is "a lifestyle that means I can think about money as infrequently as possible." David and I would spend less if we had joint accounts and cleared purchases with each other. I'm absolutely certain of that. We would also spend more time wrangling with each other about finances. I'm willing to trade away a few hundred dollars a month in additional savings to spare us that stress. I'm also aware that the choice is a luxury I'm very fortunate to have.

Money, in the absolute sense, doesn't interest me. This is why I don't have any desire at all to be an "active" investor -- stocks, interest rates, esoteric investment vehicles and other moneymaking schemes don't seem like any fun to me. Paychecks from our day job are enough for me and David to live on and meet our (admittedly too minimal) savings goals; if I'm going to invest my free time in something, it had better entertain me, and monitoring investments would not.

I will be the token "I hate money" personal finance blogger :)