When possible, I like to catch episodes of Dirty Jobs on The Discovery Channel. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the basic premise is that Mike Rowe goes around the country meeting people with dirty jobs and then doing the job along side them for a while. It’s fascinating, and you definitely meet a lot of frugal people. It’s amazing how one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Mike Rowe has a blog, and I found this recent entry very interesting. Titled “Don’t Forget To Turn Off The Lights & Shut The Door On Your Way Out,” Mike responds to a question asking him what he thinks of the green movement. It’s a very well thought out answer and it really resonates with me.
He discusses how going “green” has become a fashionable movement, and discusses how he was raised in a family where wastefulness wasn’t tolerated. I especially liked this paragraph:
I hadn’t really thought of the link between personal debt (financial wastefulness in many cases) and pollution, but I think Mike Rowe hits the nail on the head. We are, unfortunately, a country of conspicuous consumption. And while turning off the lights and using less energy is good for the environment and also good for our pocketbooks, will we really be able to keep it up? Sure, some of us will. But eventually, something new will overtake the green movement, and the majority of people will forget. Or perhaps the green movement will continue, but not in the way of recycling and turning off the air conditioner, but in buying new “green” household items to show our friends just how environmentally friendly we truly are.
I really recommend you read this entire blog post. It really resonated with me.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.