This weekend, I decided to have a little fun and wrote something you wouldn’t expect. Similar posts have been circling the web for months, but I haven’t found one written for us – the women in the personal finance community. This post was inspired by Date a Girl Who Writes by Tanza Loudenback for Thought Catalog and all of the personal finance bloggers I know and love.
Date a female personal finance blogger. Date a girl who understands the value of a dollar as well as the emotional power money has over us all. Date a girl who lists personal finance experts and bloggers as her heroes and who wants to become that same hero in her own family. Date a girl who writes about the mistakes she’s made and what she’s learned because she wants to strip away the taboo and educate her readers. Date a girl who hopes to inspire at least one person to take control of their financial life because she doesn’t want anyone to be in the situation she once was.
Find a personal finance blogger. You’ll know she is one because you’ll see her double-checking her budget spreadsheet while sipping on a latte at Starbucks (her only treat all week). She’s the one simultaneously working on a blog post in WordPress, chatting on Twitter and skimming through Feedly (which she likes but she still misses Google Reader). Ask her what she’s working on and you may see her get flustered. Even though she loves the subject of personal finance, she wonders what people will think if she says she writes a blog about it. But ask her more questions and you’ll see her start to come alive.
She’s the girl wearing TOMS because she likes to think the money she spends may also be used for some good (plus they’re cute and not too expensive). She’s on her laptop and smartphone at all times. Lost in a world of Twitter lists and RSS feeds, she doesn’t want to miss anything that could help her further understand money or inspire a new post. Her coffee, tea, and dinner often get cold because she needs to finish a blog post before she forgets what she wants to write. You may lose her for an hour or two, but she’ll come back – as soon as tomorrow’s post is scheduled.
Dating a personal finance blogger is easy. She doesn’t expect extravagant dates or expensive gifts – and she also doesn’t care if you use a coupon (well, maybe not on the first date). For birthdays and Christmases, gift her something she actually needs. You’ll know what that is because she will likely have written a blog post mentioning things she is saving up for so she can purchase them with cash versus credit. Truthfully though, the best gift you can give her is your time. She knows that time – not money – is a person’s most valuable resource because one day it will run out.
With that being said, be forgiving of how much time she dedicates to her blog some days. This may not just be a hobby for her – it could be a second source of income. Chances are she wants to walk away from her laptop even more than you want her to, but she’s a writer on a deadline and deadlines can’t be missed. She takes her work seriously because she knows how important it is to get the facts right. When it comes to money, the subject is still so taboo that she wants to be both an educated and an understanding voice on the matter; any mistakes could be crucial. Bring her a cup of coffee and tell her not to give up until she’s done.
As a writer, she’s also a good listener. She may not have all the answers when you’re discussing something but don’t be surprised if you receive emails, tweets and Facebook messages at all hours of the night (when she’s procrastinating writing) with links to stories she thinks you will enjoy or that will answer a question you had days before; this is her way of showing you that she’s been listening – that she cares. Show her you are also listening by sharing something you think she would enjoy reading or that could inspire her next post; it will make her day (especially if it’s finance-related).
Date a personal finance blogger and she will help you save money whether you like it or not. Move in together and you may be surprised to see your grocery budget go down instead of up. Plan a trip and she’ll make you wait until Tuesday morning to book and pay for your flights. Lose a week of pay and she will want to show you how to move numbers around in your budget to make sure you come out even. Her expertise is knowing how to sacrifice in the short-term to gain in the long-term and she will want you to gain in your long-term too.
Ask her questions about the different budgeting and investing strategies she knows and be ready for her answers. Over the years, she has likely tried everything from the snowball method to the cash envelope or jar system, and one thing she’s proven is the fact that one strategy does not fit all. She knows why the word “personal” is included in “personal finance” so she will never judge you based on your financial situation or any decisions you made leading up to it. If you ask, however, she will want to share what she’s learned throughout her own journey and will hope it can help you.
You’ll want to propose only after you’ve saved up enough to pay for her engagement ring with cash because you know she’d be disappointed if you put it on credit. You’ll know this because you’ve had numerous discussions about getting married and you both agree you don’t want to start a life together being weighed down by debt. When you marry her, your wedding will be both intimate and inexpensive. Both of your journeys towards financial freedom will have taught you who and what really matter, so you’d rather elope or have a small wedding than waste money you could otherwise use to achieve some of your bigger goals.
Marry a personal finance blogger and together you will live a life full of love. You will spend time getting to know each other’s families and friends because you both know that people are more important than objects. Travel will be at the top of your wish list each year because you would rather explore the world and create new memories together than waste your money buying useless things. You will love her because she will make sure you both have everything you need to be happy – because she will play around with your budget but she will never play around with your heart.
If you have kids together, she will teach them what to do with their hard-earned allowances. She will introduce them to various financial concepts, including paying yourself first and saving at least 10% of your income. Together you will come up with financial goals for you all as individuals and as a family. Challenge her with a “what if” situation and watch as she calculates the numbers to make sure everyone can still get what they want. She is obsessed with making money work for her and she will want to make it work for her family; you’ll feel this in any blog post that mentions her struggles with money.
Date a personal finance blogger because you deserve a partner who will be honest about their financial situation with you. You deserve a partner who knows that money is the #1 thing couples fight about and who will be damned if she plays any part in letting that statistic include your relationship. Share your dreams with her and let her show you how you can combine your efforts to live the best life possible. But be careful. If you tell her you try to have three “no spend days” each week, she just might fall in love. (Worse yet, she may ask you to start a personal finance blog.)