Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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NDYL, A Sort of Epilogue

Well, friends, the time has come. The curtain is about to close on the literary reality show known as “Nickel and Dime Yourself to Life”--at least, for now. Regular NDYL readers might remember my original plan was to try this little experiment for 6 months. My, time sure flies when you’re--um, I’m not sure “having fun” accurately describes this experience. Still, I can hardly believe over six months have passed since I began chronicling the budgeting adventures of Mr and Mrs F.

Those of you who’ve stuck with me this whole time may feel like you’ve been on a bizarre roller coaster ride. It certainly wasn’t a smooth journey getting from point A to point B, but we did it. My husband and I started out living paycheck to paycheck for no logical reason other than being two people both wired to spend money frivolously who had never set up a budget. Somehow, despite a few challenges and missteps, we ended up establishing a habit of living well below our means, with one month’s salary (and counting) in an emergency fund to boot. I hope, at the end of the day, that’s what sticks with you. That we rose above, learned from our mistakes and kept at it until we got it right. Or, if you can only remember the gaffes I do hope they’ve served you well in providing examples of what not to do.

In either case, my sincere wish is that all of you who invested any time in reading my columns got something useful out of them. And I’d like to thank you for hanging in there with me as I fumbled my way around this process. I know it wasn’t always pretty to watch.

So, what now? I’m going to take a break. From writing, but certainly not from budgeting. I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve actually grown to like following a budget. It has truly eliminated some stress from our lives. Talk about progress! Anyway, I need some time away from writing articles to recharge and to reassess. In general, I've enjoyed writing this series, but it’s no secret that it stretched me beyond my comfort zone. Exposing my flaws in such a public way has been a profoundly humbling experience. Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining at all. I know that's what I signed up for when I committed to writing a real life blog-like series about cleaning up our messy finances. And if my radical honesty has helped any of you struggling through issues similar to mine, the stretch has been more than worthwhile. IF being the operative word.

Which brings us to the “reassess” part of why I’m taking a break. I’d like to continue the NDYL series, but probably in a different capacity. Having received very little feedback thus far, I can’t say for sure, but I suspect some of you may find the current format a bit clunky. Even if that’s not the case, I know there is definitely room for improvement. I’ve even considered just moving on and starting a new series. Perhaps a spin-off? “Mr F Speaks: Don’t Let Your Wife Take Your Debit Card and Other Advice for Husbands of Penny Pinching Zealot Cyber-tattlers.” But seriously, folks ... I have lots of ideas, most of which are better than that one. However, since these pieces are really meant to be for your benefit, I need to hear from you.

What did and didn’t work for you about this series? Are there any themes I touched on that left you wanting more? Or less? Are there issues I didn’t address that you wish I would? Please, now is the time to speak up. What changes would you like to see? How can I make these posts more helpful to you?

Over the next month or so I’ll look for your comments here. I’m eager to read your ideas and apply them to the new and improved NDYL--or perhaps to something new entirely. If you all tell me this series was a waste of time and you never want to be bothered with another one of my articles again I will take heed. You have the power, Kemo Sabe, to shape the future. Your feedback will determine, one way or another, how and whether I continue serving up my unconventional wisdom here.

So TTFN, until next time (if there is a next time).
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Wednesday, 08 February 2023

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