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Am I obsessed with Money?

I write a lot about financial topics. I read a lot about financial topics. Does that mean I am obsessed? Is that a bad thing?

Defining Money Obsession

There are people out there that are obsessed with money. Some of them are even personal finance bloggers. Someone who agonizes over every expenditure is obsessed. Also, if every thought you make, every decision you make, is money related; you are obsessed with money.

Obsession Type 1: Over Analysis

So, we’ll get the first definition out of the way quick. I don’t obsess over every purchase or even most purchases. When I go out to eat or go to the grocery store I am generally not thinking about how much extra the steak will cost me than the chicken. Frankly those type of analysis are noise in my world.

So, if we strictly define money obsessed this way, I am not. Now obviously it goes without saying there are degrees of considering money in purchases. It’s beyond the scope of this post for me to determine where the cutoff is. I’d dare say at least by the personal finance blogger standard of no spend months and coupon clipping (neither of which do I do) I don’t qualify as obsessed with money.

Obsession Type 2: Constant Financial Decisions

But what about the other part, constantly thinking about or making decisions about money? Well, I would argue part of that sentence should apply to everyone. Every decision you make has impact on your money whether you realize it or not. But like I mentioned before, some of that impact is noise.

If you get too caught up in the noise of money, you’ll forget to live and enjoy your life. Money is after all just a tool to buy options. That means that for some decisions it’s not worth your time to consider the financial ramifications. In that respect I noted above I don’t qualify as obsessed.   I do not worry about the financial ramification of my decision to grab a latte from Starbucks every so often.

Obsession Type 3: Always Thinking About Money

What about considering money beyond decisions? I.e. If you are always just generally thinking about money even if it’s not decision related are you obsessed? I will start by admitting this could potentially describe me. I am constantly reading personal finance blogs, finance magazines, books and forums. When I am not reading I am writing. I enjoy reading and thinking about finance.

But if you dig deeper you might find something interesting. Very little of what I read is self-help. Outside of my fellow bloggers posts I read very little about how to improve my personal finance situation. I tend to read more about companies, entrepreneurs, and even in the blogging world bits about people’s lives.

My Money Hobby

I am a sucker for stories about new approaches, technologies, business models, and even company history. Statistical analysis also appeals to me . Although, I will be the first to admit very little of this stuff is actionable in my life. Rare is the self help finance idea that is new to me. Personal finance is quite simple, except for the persistence needed in execution. I might every so often learn something new. But I am really, just reading these things for the pure enjoyment. It’s just another one of my hobbies. Does that make me obsessed? Well you will have to come to your own conclusion.

Are you obsessed with money?

If that makes me obsessed, then so be it. Everyone must have a hobby.

6 Comments

  1. xrayvsn
    xrayvsn April 29, 2019

    As a blogger whose niche has dipped into the personal finance realm, I do have a bit of obsession with money strictly speaking. But like you, I don’t obsess over the cost of consumables or denying myself eating out a nice restaurant, etc.

    I used to be a little obsessed with my net worth tracking but even that has fallen by the wayside as it got boring. I would read articles about what net worth should I be in according to age and after awhile it was boring to keep realizing that I won the game already.

    Nowadays, I may be a little obsessed about trying to find more ways to get my money working for me (looking at syndicated deals, etc) but as far as obsession goes, that’s not a bad one to have.

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance April 29, 2019

      Sounds like I’m not alone;)

  2. Dan
    Dan April 29, 2019

    I had a professor who had a term that he frequently used. I was an engineering major and many of my classes had no females. The professor would say “You are a mathematical masturbater.” That is a person who likes to play with numbers because it is fun and spends an inordinate amount of time playing with numbers. He would caution us to stop mathematically masturbating because we will waste our time and go blind but at least not grow hair on the palms of our hands.

    Frequently changing retirement assumptions to see the results, running different scenarios, Monte Carlo simulation, changing the number of Monte Carlo draws, trying to find input combinations that yield the tail end events – all signs at that you are an inveterate mathematical masturbater.

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance April 29, 2019

      Haha! I haven’t heard that one before, but I guess it fits.

  3. Abigail @ipickuppennies
    Abigail @ipickuppennies April 30, 2019

    I don’t think you’re obsessed with money. I do think I’m borderline obsessed. I don’t clip coupons (though I’m trying to get better about using digital ones at places like the grocery store) or other more classic frugal habits. However, I do think about money a lot. I worry about how much I’m spending, I think through most purchases several times, I wonder how I could be contributing more to my retirement, etc. I think I think about money just a smidge too often for comfort. But better a little bit obsessed than not thinking about money enough, right?

    • FullTimeFinance
      FullTimeFinance April 30, 2019

      Very true. Obsession does beat willfull ignorance. I’d rather be financially ok and obsessive then starving and unaware.

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