6 Ways To Be Obsessed With Finances

6 Ways To Be Obsessed With Finances

The very fact that you stumbled across this blog and this post says that you probably have an interest in improving or learning more about financial planning and money management. Too often I hear about husbands or wives who are not involved in the financial future of their families.

I sometimes watch Til Debt Do Us Part or the Suze Orman Show and listen to people who have no clue as to what comes in and what goes out. I then look at my life and wonder, am I obsessed with my finances? I know exactly what comes in, I have a budget, I track my net worth, I monitor my investments, but am I obsessed? Is being obsessed a bad thing if it leads to positive outcomes?

Here are a few ways to be obsessed with your finances.

Track Your Finances

Know what you have in terms of assets (cash, stock, retirement, real estate) and know what you have in liabilities (car loans, student loans, mortgages, credit card). It’s very simple. You track these consistently so that the value in your assets is growing at a reasonable rate, and the value in your liabilities is decreasing. I track my net worth through Fidelity, but there are several online tools that will aggregate this data.

Perform Better On The Job

This one activity brought the greatest return. Your career performance is the greatest determinant on if you will be wealthy. Rather than focus on small cost cutting measures, channel that energy to doing better on the job.

Personally, I always do what is expected of me, at a minimum, and try to do more. This one simple activity has opened up career opportunities, chance for advancement, and subsequently, higher salaries, bonuses, and stock options.

Cut BIG Expenses

Forget clipping coupons, making coffee at home, and water saving tips. Those savings are peanuts related to the savings you would incur if you negotiated your next contractor, negotiated your car, shopped around for car insurance, balanced your retirement portfolio to an age-appropriate risk level, refinanced your mortgage, sold your car and bought a cheaper car, etc.

Create A Budget And Stick To It

First thing I did was create a monthly budget. With what I knew was coming in, I was able to plan on our expenses. We knew what house we were able to afford, what cars we could afford, cell phone plan, insurance, house, etc. Once you have a budget, stick to it.

Improve on your strengths

Forget about weaknesses, particularly on the job. Get your weaknesses up to a fundamental level, then forget about them. Channel that energy on improving your strengths. If you’re analytical in nature or a strategic thinker, do more things that will improve that talent.

Grow your assets

Make sure your assets are properly allocated according to your age and level of risk. If you have a long horizon before retirement, invest aggressively. If you’re close to retirement, don’t chase returns; invest conservatively.

Parting Words

According to my own self-assessment, I’m probably a little obsessed with my finances. However, I don’t consider myself extremely obsessed because I don’t let finances get in the way of my priorities…faith and family. When I’m at home with the children, my focus is on them. When my wife have some time alone together, my focus is on her.

It’s a delicate balance, and there have probably been times when I put finances over my other priorities, but no one is perfect. I do my best to be aware of my actions and how it affects the people around me. For me, the end goal for my obsession is financial security.

If you ever notice yourself thinking about finances more often than not, you’re probably too obsessed with your finances. If you’re creating multiple tracking spreadsheets, you’re probably too obsessed. If you trade stock and track the market everyday, you’re probably too obsessed.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are families who don’t pay any attention to their financial future and ultimately put their families at risk for a financial disaster. It’s a delicate balance, but its your duty to find your happy medium. So, go..be obssessed with your finances!  It will payoff in the end.

About The Author

Edwin is a marketer, social media influencer and head writer here at I Am 1 Percent. He manages a large network of high quality finance blogs and social media accounts. You can connect with him via email here.

17 Comments

  1. Kari

    I’m obsessed with finances too. So much so I can’t imagine how other people aren’t also obsessed? I watch Suze Orman and Til Debt Do us Part every Saturday night, I have no shame!

    Reply
    1. iam1percent

      Love the “can I afford it” segment…

      Reply
  2. Dollar D @ The Dollar Disciple

    By your definition I’m probably borderline “too obsessed” 🙂

    Obsessions isn’t a bad thing, as you point out. The alternative is not caring enough and not having any kind of plan. “Not having a plan” is itself a plan, but not a very good one..

    Reply
  3. PB

    Question: is your wife as involved in your finances or does she let you handle it? it seems like a little bit of wasted energy if you are both tracking eveything, but it is also important that she have some idea of the overall picture, so how do you handle that?

    Reply
    1. iam1percent

      PB, you’re right on the money. She let’s me handle all finances, but we review them quarterly so she knows what’s going on. I just show her the overall net worth picture. To be honest, we don’t spend a whole lot of money extravagantly. She rarely shops for clothes, we don’t buy the latest electronics (i don’t have an iPad), and we rarely go out to eat.

      The trade-off is that I let her handle all the kids stuff…I just don’t have the mental capacity or patience to deal with it….Pre-school drop-off/pick-up, teacher management, tuition, doctors visits, tracking vaccinations, dental visits for the kids, swimming lessons, little gym, etc. I trust her with that and she trusts me with finances.

      Reply
  4. Jeffrey

    I think being obsessed can be a good thing, and it’s definitely better than being care-free. However, I try to never let it get to the point where finances can ruin my life. I haven’t had a financial crisis yet, but I’m a little scared that I’ll have a breakdown if/when I do.

    Reply
  5. JB

    Hmmm… Not so sure I like the idea of being obsessed with money. To me, and obsession seems problematic and seriously threatening to your other priorities. Money is important, and I feel we need to be attentive to our fiances and good stewards of what we have; but becoming obsessive with money is a slippery slope to where money starts becoming more important to you than people, values, integrity, etc.

    Thought proviking post and I enjoy your site very much!

    Reply
    1. iam1percent

      I agree…its a balance, and shouldn’t be more important that other priorities…

      Reply
  6. Walter Martin

    I must admit that I LOVE the name of your website! Great article as well. I have a problem with being obsessed with finances myself but I think it has worked well for me in the long run. Thank you for the great content!

    Reply
    1. iam1percent

      Thanks Walter! Please subscribe via e-mail so that you will receive my updates!

      Reply
  7. Money Infant

    I think the key is too strike a balance between your finances and the rest of your life. Addiction is never a good thing, even if it be to money, fitness, healthy eating it is still an addiction and twists your mind and thoughts in strange ways. That being said, a healthy understanding of your finances is certainly not an obsession, it is just good common sense.

    Reply
  8. Nick

    I try and strike a balance, too. I like watching our money grow (when it shrinks, not as much…). So it’s hard for me to figure out if it’s an obsession or just a (sad, but) legitimate interest. My wife has interest only to the extent of knowing we’re doing OK and have security. She’s more “conceptual” with planning than “nuts and bolts,” though, so we’ll decide to invest more and then I’ll make the investments for the most part. I show her what I’m doing but she doesn’t really have much interest in following the details.

    Reply
    1. iam1percent

      Nick, my wife is the same way. She doesn’t care for the details, but want assurance that we’re doing okay.

      Reply
  9. DreamChaser57

    I think there is a critical distinction to be made between doing something and analyzing something. For example, buying a new pair of gym shoes or committing to even a moderately priced gym membership does not make me healthier. Just like reading personal finance classics and blogs don’t make me wealthier. Analysis/Preparation has to be coupled with action.

    I think the 99%, of which my household is firmly apart, get obsessed with low yield activities because they are easier. Busyness is not a proxy for productivity. All the spreadsheets in the world cannot make up for a stagnant or declining income.

    Reply
  10. Savvy Scot

    I particularly like point 3: Cut the big expenses.

    All too many times, people scrimp and save on the smallest things – i.e. coupon cutting, refilling bottles water etc. – when they are paying for premium tv channels they never watch, or a second car they never use!

    good post!

    Reply
  11. iam1percent

    Thanks for the repost!

    Reply
  12. AlanR

    I added “Measuring My Daily Weight” to the spreadsheet last January. Lost 18kg in just over 18 months. Channeling obsession into targets can pay other dividends.

    Reply

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