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Am I still learning from blogging?

July 23, 2008

I haven’t really felt like writing about money for the past couple days.  I feel like I learn a lot from blogging (or rather, from reading other’s blogs and thinking about what you all have to say), but I also think that I’m stagnating in my personal finance knowledge.  Would it be a better use of my time to find a new area, outside of personal finance, that I don’t know enough about, and start focusing my energy on that?

I think almost anyone, particularly those just out of college, can benefit from writing a personal finance blog.  I have learned so much being part of the community, about how others spend their money and about how I want to spend mine.  I never had a spending or debt problem, but I also didn’t focus on my money.  It went where it chose, not where I directed it.  But now what?

This isn’t to say I know all.  I have budgeting down, and I understand how to set and meet realistic goals as they relate to money.  I know how to allocate my money to spend in line with my priorities.  However,  there are a lot of areas I haven’t touched on.  Real estate.  I’m pretty weak on investment knowledge.  Taxes.  The the “drugstore game”.  International money issues.  Money as it relates to sociology.  I could always learn more about career development.  I don’t know.  I don’t think blogging is work.  T says he could never blog because he isn’t disciplined enough.  But I’ve seen him study his work for school for hours on end, and he’s never been unprepared for a test or class.  I don’t think it takes discipline to blog (unless you want to have a really professional blog), it’s just something I do.   It takes time though.  Is this the best way to spend my time?

On to money updates…

Car repairs were just $40 for an oil change and a nail removal from my tire.  I think it is pretty amazing that you can get a nail in your tire and the tire is essentially just fine.  The check engine light is still on, but I’m feeling hopeful it will go off soon.  We’ll see.  I’ve been lucky this year.  The car place said they charge to read the code, and it took 2 hours to read it.  That is insane.  I’ve done it at autozone (free), and it took 5 minutes!

Don’t be too impressed by the existence of a $400 car fund, by the way.  In theory, that money is going to eventually grow into enough for a new car, so it isn’t all tagged for repairs.  With that in mind, $400 is quite pathetic.

After the repair, I stopped at Target to get a couple little things for T.  Our anniversary is coming up (4 years!).  We don’t do big and expensive gifts (though a little bigger on Christmas), but I did want to get some small, useful things.  I’m a little embarrassed to say exactly what, because it sounds unromantic and lame…   It was workout shorts, junior mints, and I plan to get champagne and we’ll go out to eat.  And maybe wear something special, but that I already own.  I forgot to get a card, but I think I’ll just make one.  He’ll be happy with that, and with the low key gifts.  The best part of a card is what you write on it anyway.  We are saying that our vacation in August to Vegas and the grand canyon as part of the celebration, though really, we would have gone anyway.  Only three more weeks!  I’m very excited!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2008 9:43 am

    I don’t know how much I’m learning from having a personal finance blog, but I’m definitely held accountable for my spending.

  2. July 23, 2008 10:21 am

    I’d say I still learn from blogging (then again its only been a few months for me)…simply because I can be pretty opinionated on some things, and it helps to get some feedback from readers. I’ve definitely noticed that my blog has gone from personal finance to focusing a lot more on the personal stuff….but hey, I don’t really care. lol. I knew I’d never be an instructional blogger (giving “tips” and all), so as long as I keep blogging I’m happy.

    As for anniversaries….the BF and I didn’t officially celebrate, now that I think of it. We’ve never really had a “date” to celebrate it on either…what day do you count from? Your first date? Or the day you realized you were in a steady relationship? lol. Just curious.

  3. July 23, 2008 5:55 pm

    @saving diva – I think that I hold myself more accountable by logging my spending than blogging. I don’t think I’d ever stop doing that.

    @QL – we celebrate from the first kiss. Sort of corny. But we went from friends and kissed before we had an official first date, and moved pretty quickly into a confirmed relationship.

    I don’t feel like my blog is stretching me very far anymore. Maybe this is just a phase.

  4. July 23, 2008 6:46 pm

    SP: I sometimes feel the way you feel… stagnate. It REALLY takes work to learn outside of what you already are comfortable with. I find that I get lazy and just want to spend my time talking about what I know. But going into something that requires me to go our there and study for an hour, and THEN write on it- that can be tough!

  5. July 24, 2008 4:28 pm

    Happy Anniversary! Have fun in Vegas! I will say that it is much more fun at night than it is during the day. We went with our 2 year old daughter and I definitely wouldn’t go back as a family. Vegas would be much more fun as a couple!

  6. sfordinarygirl permalink
    July 24, 2008 5:19 pm

    I’m having sort of the same feelings where I have no idea what to write. It takes a lot of savvy knowledge and expertise to write detailed thoughts, observations and suggestions on asset allocation – something I have a weak understanding no matter how many times I look up the definition.

    To become an expert at pf, my friend really urged me to read some more specialized investment books and delve into them deeply playing with fake money and applying the strategies to possible portfolios. One book on my list to read is this one Jonathan reviewed: http://www.mymoneyblog.com/archives/2006/11/the-little-book-that-beats-the-market-book-review.html

    I’m still tackling “a random walk down wall street.” Sometimes a short break helps to recharge your ideas for blogging.

  7. July 28, 2008 9:42 am

    I agree. I think blogging for me keeps me accountable and keeps me focused. Taking a break from it this week has made me excited to get back to posting. I agree, there is also a lot more I want to learn about personal finance, but I think taking it one thing at a time is the way to go.

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