Per­sonal finance as your new hobby? No.

“You do not need to make personal finance your new hobby.”

-Bruce Sell­ery, author of Moolala.

This picture is called "Perspective". Get it? Of course you do.
This picture is called “Perspective”. Get it?
Of course you do.

It is easy to get carried away with just about anything these days. I’m not going to list any specific examples, just in case you happen to be an enthusiastic member of the Society for the Appreciation of Historical Romanian Luggage (oops) but you know what I mean. Personal finance is certainly a subject that lots of people get very into. It’s hard to say that these people have gotten carried away because, well, most of them are richer than I am, so I would just sound bitter. But it is indeed easy to lose perspective and have wealth accumulation become an end unto itself, instead of a means to the end of a full, stable, satisfying life. Being able to provide this kid of life for myself and my family was, and still is, my ultimate reason for becoming involved with personal finance.

Getting carried away with just about anything takes most of the fun out of it for me. There is a certain columnist in my local paper who illustrates this point perfectly, although through his obsession with hockey, rather than money. First, I should tell you that I am, and always have been a fan of the game. I grew up wanting to play in the NHL, I’ve sacrificed one of my front teeth to the game, and one of my most prized possessions is the Wayne Gretzky autograph that I got from the man himself at an Oilers game when I was about 10 years old. All that having been said, at the end of the day, hockey is a game. Nothing less, and nothing more. The columnist of whom I speak has not only mastered every conceivable way of keeping statistics on every player in the game (he writes about them ad nauseum even in the summer(!)) but has also literally invented a few of his own. Puh-lease! When I watch a hockey game, I want a beer in my hand, not a pencil, let alone a calculator.

So it is with personal finance. If you want to make personal finance your life’s work, then by all means, I wish you good luck. If, on the other hand, you want to use your knowledge of the subject simply to enhance your life, then I think your  and my life philosophies are more closely aligned. The takeaway is this: You do not need to let the study of personal finance take over your life in order to benefit from it. Once you grasp and put to use some of the basic tenets of managing money, you can go back to enjoying your real life. So learn about managing money – that’s the raison d’être of Loonie Lover after all – but keep it in perspective.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a game on TV, and a beer is calling my name.


2 thoughts on “Per­sonal finance as your new hobby? No.”

  1. PF is my hobby but no one wants to hear about it. I don’t want to hear about their hobbies either because frequently it is The Bachelor and planning their lives around a fake dating show.

    I work with a man who is in to historical re-enacting some period of history that involved wearing a lot of chain mail/male? You quickly learn to look like you are engrossed in reading a magazine in the lunch room when he walks in.

  2. LOL I remember in first year university taking about four classes with a young woman whose world revolved around horses. I’ve met lots of people who are very “into” horses, but they were able to talk about other topics as well. Not this woman. Every conversation we ever had inevitably came back to horses. It became a game for me to try to keep the conversation as far away from anything even remotely equine for as long as possible. My record was about three minutes.

    My point with this post is to tell people who are just starting to learn about PF that it doesn’t need to take over their lives. Looking at some of the more advanced PF sites out there, the topic can quickly seem to become overwhelming. Also, certain people do their best to make PF look confusing so as to encourage people to hire them for their expertise. I just want newbies to know that they don’t have to devote themselves full-time to investing. There are certain basic fundamental principles that must be understood, but PF does not have to be as complicated as some would have you believe.

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