There’s an awful lot of divisiveness on the Internet on a range of topics these days.
And taking a controversial stand on something online often leads to more attention, thus perpetuating the echo chamber.
Is this getting worse? Why is it so challenging to see the commonality rather than the differences?
The older I get, the more I realize it is possible to acknowledge two seemingly disparate thoughts at the same time.
Here’s a few examples, specifically related to personal finance:
- While many people can pull themselves up by their bootstraps (or achieve FIRE), not everyone is fortunate enough to be in a situation to move up the socioeconomic ladder (or to retire early).
- It’s possible to feel empathy for someone who is drowning in debt while at the same time celebrating the hard work and discipline that goes into paying it off.
- It makes more logical sense to invest in the market rather than pay off a 4% mortgage, but there is a tremendous peace of mind for some people in being mortgage-free.
- Some people are willing to work 80 hours a week to make more money and get to FI sooner, whereas others recognize that time is a finite resource and choose a slower route.
- Pretty much everyone agrees an emergency fund is a great idea, but some feel better with a big pile of cash sitting in the bank. Others might hate to lose out on market returns and choose a smaller e-fund with the option to leverage credit, home equity, or investments in time of need.
- Work on that side hustle. Turn it into a business if you want. Or, spend your time working hard at your 9-to-5 if that’s where you’ll have the biggest payoff.
- Common canon in the personal finance community says you should buy a used car but sometimes a new car might be the right choice. (Side note: My first new car lasted me 13 years. My second one is going strong at almost 5 years and I hope it lasts at least as long as my first one.)
- Despite much evidence to the contrary, it’s not actually forbidden to have cable, if that’s your thing.
- The 4% rule works for some while others might feel better with a 3% withdrawal rate. Guess what? I bet this depends on your risk tolerance…
- Just because you haven’t been discriminated against when it comes to pay or promotions, that doesn’t mean that others haven’t.
The bottom line is that personal finance is personal. It’s great to educate others, and to share your own experiences. That’s what I love about this community. But there’s not ONE TRUE WAY to go about being successful at this personal finance thing.
What personal finance canon have you seen that I didn’t include above?