I’m Not Perfect. Not Even Close.

Sometimes personal finance bloggers come across like they have everything figured out and their money management is running exactly right on autopilot.  Often, people start blogging during or after getting out of a massive amount of debt and so they have a tight focus and seemingly boundless motivation.  These are incredible achievements and should be commended.  I’m sure these bloggers don’t seek to conceal their current imperfections from their readers but I think it comes with the territory of trying to be an authority on personal finance.


I have found that the theoretical aspect of personal finance is rather easy to grasp – at least so far in my young, straightforward life.  As my life becomes more complicated (a for-profit employer, home ownership, capital gains taxes, itemized deductions and what have you) I’m sure I will have to learn more concepts or recognize my need for professional assistance.  But for now, the theory is simple:

  • spend less money than you make
  • pay yourself first
  • don’t take on any debt – or if you do, make sure it’s in an appreciating asset
  • compound interest is your BFF for retirement planning


The difficult part is the implementation.  You can know all the right things to do and it doesn’t get you squat until you put your nose to the grindstone and accomplish some things.  That can be a very slow process and it’s easy to get impatient or discouraged.


In this post I’m going to outline some of our current shortfalls and in my next post I’ll give you some tips on how to go about rectifying some of the shortfalls you identify in your own budget.



“Easy” concept

  • build an emergency fund of 3 months’ expenses ($6000)
  • max out both of our Roth IRAs yearly ($10,000)
  • don’t go into debt


Our wart

  • we have $1280.98 and aren’t currently contributing more
  • 2011 is on track to be $8300 – can’t seem to find the additional $117/month we need
  • we borrowed money from our nest egg last year and need to repay $1063.91


And believe me, this is just the big stuff.  There are also plenty of small ways that I fail to live up to my own standards and goals.  But it isn’t a failure to assess your own situation as less than ideal.  Failing is when you don’t take any corrective action at all.  We are all works in progress and by giving one another some accountability and crowdsourced solutions we can help each other to our respective finish lines.


What are the warts on your financial situation today?  Are there any goals that you think you should be able to accomplish but haven’t for some reason?


photo from CJ Schmit


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Filed under: budgeting, retirement, savings

4 Responses to "I’m Not Perfect. Not Even Close."

  1. […] this week I shared with you some of the ways my financial situation falls short of my ideals.  I know what I should be doing but it seems difficult to actually get it done.  I brainstormed a […]

  2. […] most boring and responsible option: We owe $972.16 to ourselves for money we borrowed from our nest egg (about 25% from earlier this year and the rest from our […]

  3. […] my math over and over to make sure.  I’m transferring it to our nest egg, thus reducing our debt-to-ourselves considerably. […]

  4. […] 1:  Why do you only have $1,289.12 in your emergency fund?!  Even three months’ expenses would be $6k or so…  What would happen if one of you got […]

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