It has been over three years since I posted about money. There is a reason for that. Like many of us I have an uncomfortable relationship with the stuff. I did a series of posts to try and work it out. I was unsuccessful.
A thought about this, that occurs to me now - I think it moral to be open about our finances. Secrecy is for the villains of the world, the 1%-ers, the cryptobro’s and the tax avoiding corporations.
For those of us who are open - we believe in paying our taxes to support a healthy and equitable society because money is not the end game. Our communities and each other are what needs preserving, not money.
Comparing my finances today compared to three years ago has been surprising to me, in a good way. I often feel like I am going backwards but I am plainly OK.
2020 > 2023
Net monthly earnings
$1.9k > $2.5k
My Super balance:
$111k > $238k
Cash in bank
$8k > $15k
Joint mortgage debt
$416k (2.84%) > $397k (6.49%)
Joint value of home
$200k > $300k
Joint value of rental property
$600k > $800k
$58k > $100k*
*Simplified from 3 years ago to this > VGS/VAS/GOLD
$248k > $708k
I cannot pretend otherwise, this looks good for me [gives self pat on back]. That is, if money was all there is to life. It’s not though.
My discomfort with money begins with comparing myself with others. Whether it is people who see all my years of savings as a piffling fraction of what they would expect for financial independence versus the people who have not been given the opportunity to save anything and rightfully distrust the system.
Confusingly (like pretty much everyone) I consider myself to be simultaneously wealthy and poor. After all, I only started saving in my mid 40’s and wish I had started earlier but I also see that I’ve saved plenty of money and could probably go live on my little dream sailing boat tomorrow. I suppose this puts me firmly in the middle-class… fuck, there go my working-class aspirations.
In addition to the unease of comparisons is the feeling that talking about money is impolite and unlucky. To do so is to be either showing off or just being boring. There is also the feeling of exposing yourself to scammers. I wouldn’t be surprised if my next #money post is about how I lost it all… again.
This I suppose is the root of our capitalist world’s misery. Fear, uncertainty and distrust - that is why I don’t like writing about money.