Farewell from Mom2KG

Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Mom2KG Columns

Our regular columnist, Mom2Kg, says her farewells.

I am pleased to offer my sincerest congratulations to Thicken My Wallet for its thoughtful and innovative approach to personal finances and related issues over the last number of years. In particular, TMW deserves a hearty round of applause for sustaining the effort for so long. Thinking and blogging about any topic takes real energy, intellectual rigour and genuine stick-to-itdness! Well done!

As this is my own farewell blog post on TMW, I’d also like to thank readers that came along with me a few years ago when I was blogging regularly in this space about my family’s personal finances. We had some interesting discussions.

The journey continues, of course. My family’s finances have evolved somewhat, but the same issues remain. On the plus side, our family unit is stable (i.e. no divorce, no new kids), making some long-term financial commitments predictable. On the downside, my husband and I continue to disagree on such basics as whether we’re doing ok, if not well (me), or if we are actually verging on disaster (him). In particular, we continue to wonder at each other’s consumer spending habits (“Why does she need another freakin’ pair of black shoes?” “My god, is he seriously wearing that shirt from six years ago twice this week?”).

I think what we have both learned about finances is that, at least in this stage of our lives, planning and thinking in both the long- and shot-terms pays off. For example, we’ve discussed moving to another part of the city quite seriously. We don’t have any pressing reason to do so – we’re looking at a nicer neighborhood, with a slightly better school, and closer to a large number of friends. We can afford this, just, but should we bother? We live in a pretty nice neighborhood with a great school and don’t actually find it hard to get to see our friends. So we are most likely staying put. The benefits of having a manageable mortgage vastly outweigh all other considerations. With that under control, we also realized we are more likely to be able to at least consider bigger renovations, or perhaps a vacation property, or perhaps private school for our kids (but definitely not all three!).

What’s interesting to me about this is how long it took us to come to this conclusion – almost a year. But the take-home lesson is that we did it without fighting. Because we’ve done so much planning around finances and how we want to sort our financial and life priorities, the conversations were much more civilized than when we started talking about money years ago. Metrics help – setting out goals, tasks, commitments, budgets – by making money management understandable is real terms.

It’s taken a long time and some compromise, but we both feel comfortable that we are on a stable, sustainable track, heading towards goals we’ve agreed on.

All the best, TMW readers! There are other financial blogs out there, but nothing will replace TMW!

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