I’ll be the first to admit that I can be a little obsessive sometimes. I’m certainly obsessive about net worth and expenses. Until recently, I thought that by having my finger on the pulse of my financial well-being was important. But recently, I’ve come to think that I’ve lost perspective.
Of course, I recognize that life is to be lived in the present moments, as a collection of present moments. However, I’ve found that my relationship with money took priority over a lot of other important things. I’ve gotten stingy, even with friends. I’ve started keeping score, e.g., who drives and how often, who (perhaps accidentally) doesn’t pay their fair share. Of course, in the long run, none of this is important. It shouldn’t even been important in the present. My friends are generally high earners like me and there’s really no need to fuss about money because it all balances out. In fact, getting worked up is the worst thing because it actually gets to affect me.
What I’ve started to do is to let go (somewhat) of the daily tracking of net worth. (It’s just too easy to log in and see that number.) In fact, I’ve unlinked my asset accounts from the online tool I use — the liability and rewards accounts are still linked. This way I can track net worth once a month using a spreadsheet and still have records of expense related transactions at my fingertips. Also this is good for security purposes. I’ve never felt comfortable providing username/password information to a third party. I’m not as concerned about credit card information being on there — if there are fraudulent charges, I can get a new card and the charges reversed.
I still plan on hitting my spending goals. My income is not going to change. Hopefully, these steps will help me mellow out a little bit. Plus, I’m hoping the market continues to decline, so I can finally (finally!!) execute my investment plan.