Messy Garden…. Messy Money

I have been missing in action for a couple of months now.  The attached picture is a shot of one of my gardens.  Look at the weedy mess.  Messy garden and messy money.  I have been too busy to tend to it.messy garden at messy money

My heart and mind have been focused on other things and to be honest it has been nice to take a break from money thoughts.  When things do pop into my head I try to capture them so that I can write about them at some point.  Here is what I have been thinking about and what I plan to cover in the coming weeks.  (Note to self – try to remember to come back and link to this post.

 1.  Personal finance blogging.

I started this blog for a number of reasons.  I needed an outlet to sort through my thoughts about money and finance.  Plus, the people around me are tired of hearing about how I saved money by not turning on the air conditioning or air drying my laundry.

Turns out that “Personal Finance Blogs” are a thing and there is giant community built around PF blogging.  I had no idea.  (D-oh!)  I am not sure where I fit.  Sometimes I feel like the girl standing on the edge of the playground watching the other kids play hopscotch and I am kicking some pebbles around because I don’t know how to ask if I can play too.

 2.  Money stress.

Why am I so stressed about money?  We have enough.  We can pay the bills, always have food to eat and there are no bill collectors calling me.  What I do know:

Prices are rising faster than our salaries.

The financial world is changing – what worked for my parents, might not work for me.  I worry about what the aging boomers will mean for us.  I worry that my kids will not be able to find meaningful work that supports them. I worry about a great depression.  I worry and I worry…… can I rise above?

3. Financial schadenfreude.

I am watching some “acquaintances” blow themselves up financially.  These people live a “keeping up with the Joneses” life.  It is like watching a train wreck in slow motion and a bit of sweet poetic justice.  Am I a bad person for finding the whole situation amusing?   Do I need to worry about karma?  Stay tuned for As the Credit Churns…

 4.  Net worth.

I track my net worth and update it on a regular basis.  Should I post and track it here?  For reasons I don’t totally understand I don’t feel comfortable posting it.  J. Money has posted the Ultimate List of Blogger Net Worth.  When I found the list I wanted to play along but I have found myself watching from the sidelines. (See: Item 1 above.)  Here’s a spoiler — My (family) net worth is less than 1 million.

 5.  The monkey portfolio.

Back in November I asked my kids to pick 10 stocks for a virtual portfolio.  Could they pick winners?  Did they outperform the pros?  Are they paper trading dynamos? Stay tuned for an update at the end of the month.

6.  The hindsight budget.

I have finished tallying up the Bill/Utilities and the shopping categories.   One of these categories decreased by 27% and one increased by 36%, can you guess which one?

 7. I bought put options.

Not the most conservative financial move but I couldn’t resist.  This is a tale of two companies.  The analyst kept yelling, “Buy, buy, buy!”  I kept asking myself, “Why, why, why!”  Sometimes the analysts are wrong.

 8.  A dream retirement?

My parents retired at 55 and they are enjoying their retirement immensely.  I am suffering from retirement envy.  At Christmas time I asked my Dad to count the number of countries they have visited since they retired.  We stopped counting at 17.  When they shared their retirement plans with friends and family, almost everyone told them they were crazy.  Crazy or clever, you decide.

 9.  When can I retire?

I don’t know but I am going to figure it out.


Life is returning to normal and I look forward to posting again.  Thanks for reading!


  1. Hi May

    I didn’t know you had posted or I would have been here sooner. Bloglovin’ still has Gone Fishin’ as your last post.

    I have a number of things to say about some (or most) of your topics so I’ll number them too.

    1. Personal finance blogging.

    I started blogging also for an outlet. When I first started reading blogs some things turned me off (too much friendly chat) and it all seemed sort of self serving. I want to reach more than just the other bloggers, but sadly I don’t know if I’ve succeeded yet. I don’t have many (any) non blogger comments.

    On the other hand, the blogging community has been great support just to help manage my stress about money and also to learn the blogging ropes.

    You kind of just have to jump right in and start to skip (using your playground analogy here).

    I really like your blog and I must admit that I was sad when you were gone for so long.

    I will say that blogging is a lot of work though. I’ve decided to give it my all. I’ve been at it over 4 months and it’s going well but I’ve worked very hard. Like a full time job after my full time job. I decided I would give it 2 years, if I can last that long. It seems like it will take that long to get established. I would like to go up until my debt repayment is complete and beyond, to the point I retire and turn this into a side income at that point, but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve started doing some guest posts and even some freelance writing. I wish I could do more but just not enough bandwidth but I need to look at the positive side.

    I would love for you to do a guest post on my site if you are interested.

    2. Money stress.

    I hear you on the rising prices and the changing landscape.
    I’m coaching my kids as best as I can now, so I don’t worry about their futures as well as my own, but I will anyways.

    3. Financial schadenfreude.

    I also find it a bit amusing but also disconcerting when it is members of my own family (my sis), but I also have to remind myself that everyone is different and my way while technically maybe more correct, it might not be spiritually as good and I need to stop being so judgmental and let God look after us all.

    4. Net worth.

    I’ve also been uncomfortable to report on my blog as well but working my way up to it. I think for me it’s because most of the PF community is younger. I have yet to find many in the same boat as me and not many the same age as me.

    Our family net worth has just passed 1M, but that includes a large home as part of that, which I don’t think I should include. In addition we are older than you, I believe.

    Looking forward to your posts on 5, 6 and 7.

    8. A dream retirement?

    9. When can I retire?

    I’m never sure when I will be able to retire. I don’t know if I will need to tap into capital and not just income to support ourselves in retirement. That in itself is not a sin, I would like to be able to travel and have some fun like your parents when we retire. But currently I’m thinking we need to be able to live on only 60K pre-tax and 48K after tax. I guess as time gets closer things will become clearer but it does feel like we need to maximize our savings right now so we can get our debt paid off and then see where we stand.

    Glad to see you back. Stop by for a visit.


    1. Thank you. Your blog is awesome and you seem to have picked up a healthy readership. I too see it as an outlet – putting money thoughts into written form. I hope that work travel is slowing down and I will return to posting on a regular schedule. I have lots of ideas – just need to get to cracking!


  2. Awesome post! Really enjoyed this 🙂 And totally normal to feel uncomfortable posting up your real numbers – it’s not an easy thing to do. The important part is that you’re tracking it yourself at home!

    Looking forward to seeing what stocks your kids pick, haha… I just sold every last one of mine and dumped my money entirely into a Vanguard Index fund. No more playing around for me!

    (And PS: Your “about” pic is hilarious!)


    1. Thanks…. now if I could just get wordpress to work…. sloooowwwwwwwww… sigh. If I decide to post the real numbers I will consider asking to added to the big list.


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