When the time came for me to brainstorm a giant rebrand to myself, I went back to my own tools. I went through the exercises, but also had to really sit down and think – What do I want this site to stand for? What do I want to accomplish with the content? I kept coming back to my own (personal) money beliefs, how (in my opinion) I think they’re a little bit different than what you’ll find anywhere else about personal finance on the web, and I used those beliefs/mantras as my “north star” to guide what I’ve been creating over the last eight weeks with this new site.
The notes for the rebrand actually turned into a pretty spectacular start to a blog post (yay for happy content accidents!) Maybe you'll read this and think “Oh damn. This my shit!” or at the very least some of my core money beliefs will sync up with yours and we’ll become lifelong friends.
Here are my core money beliefs that truly sum up this new site.
#1 – The Only Way to Live Your Best Life is By Taking Control of Your Money
Although I'm someone who does believe in ghosts and the power of astrology (they're real y'all..), I can also believe that (like it or not) money runs the world. I’m not being callous or shrewd, it’s fact: we all have to use money and we can’t get anywhere without it. Money exists. Deal with it.
So, everyone has to use money to live in our society, but everyone also has dreams. Things they want to accomplish or achieve or possess or feel.
And yet for some reason, there’s this huge disconnect between the realization that money is the way to achieve those dreams. Even if the dream isn’t specifically money related, money can help you get there. This site is about what your best life looks like – first, articulating what that “best life” looks like for you, and then figuring out how to make the money right so you can get there.
And just to be clear – It’s not about living a life where you’re so perfect with your finances or doing your “best” with your money. Best is relative in life and in finance, and it varies from person to person. No one really cares if you're doing your “best” with your money. I don't.
It matters if you’re happy. Really, I care if you are moving and shaking your way to living your best life. The advice I have to offer on this subject(which is why we're all here) is how I was only able to pursue my dreams after I stopped being such a money mess. I realized this early on and you should too.
#2 – You Don't Have to be an “Expert” to Manage Your Money Well
I'm probably about to evoke the ire of my financial planner and advisor friends, but hear me out. I don't think you have to be an “expert” in finance to get started, and I especially think that if you're a beginner, you should know how the basics work before seeking any additional help. Here's why:
Because money is something everyone has to use (see #1 above), it doesn’t make sense that current financial lore suggests that you need financial advisors or money “experts” telling you what to do with your money.
Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely believe financial advisors/planners have a place in this world.
But the myth that in order for you to sit up and pay attention to your money and manage it well you need an expert or someone telling you what to do is a fallacy. The good news is that you can educate yourself and learn what you need to know and take control of your own destiny no matter how much money you make. Isn’t that liberating?
#3 – You Will Never Coupon Your Way to Wealth
Even though coupons also have a time and place, I’m a little so-so on the coupons and here’s why:
Your time is worth a certain amount and unless you are on a super-duper shoestring budget or an absolute coupon mama wiz, you will never earn what an hour of your time is worth in coupons. You just won’t.
Coupons can work for those on budgets and absolutely make a dollar stretch further, but couponing will never grow those dollars into something more. That’s just a fact. So yeah, this isn't a coupon site.
#4 – Be Gentle with Yourself When It Comes to Your Money Decisions
Remember how I said you didn't have to be a money expert to get started? That’s okay. But that lack of expertise also means you aren’t going to get it right all of the time. I know it's hard when there is money on the line because it's money and emotional and totally finite in quantity. However, if you beat yourself up over the money mistakes, you're just going to make things worse. Just ask the recovering shopping addict….
#5 – Money is a Lifelong Journey…..(a.k.a. the cornerstone of our money beliefs)
If you are a long time reader of this site, you'll know that my story from actress in NYC- to financial blogger- to self-employed solopreneur is well-tread territory. Honestly, I love telling my story because a) I am always a sucker for a good second/third/fourth act and b) it makes me feel all warm and tingly on the inside because I know just how far I've come.
I didn't become a finance blogger and then decide to take control of my finances. Quite the opposite actually. Two years before I started blogging, I was in NYC working a terrible desk job when I decided to never let my bad financial decisions affect what I could and could not do in life. (I talked about it in Farnoosh's SO MONEY podcast if you're interested in hearing the whole thing. Listen here!)
Over the last five years, it's been a long and winding journey full of successes: I've changed careers, increased my income, bought a home, and “failures” like my runaway renovation, failing to save for retirement, and going back into credit card debt again. But to me, being financially empowered simply means that you sit up and pay attention to your finances.
Since dealing with the stress of buying my home and going back into credit card debt, I've especially learned that it is impossible to be perfect with your money 100% of the time. As I tell everyone: money is a lifelong process.
….Think about that.
From the age of 18 to when you die you're going to be dealing with money (yours, your spouses, your parents, your children's all at different points in the journey) for the rest of your life. And you don't know what is going to happen.
You could have a medical emergency. Even if you have an emergency fund and savings and prepare, you could end up in debt again. You could unexpectedly lose your job. Or unexpectedly win the lottery and start spending like crazy and go bankrupt. My point is that life changes, and you'll change too. Because of this, inevitably, your money will change.
So, what can we do? Be gentle (See #4 above) and remember that life is (actually) quite long. We have time to master our finances, so long as we take baby steps each day.
#5.5 – We only recommend brands we know, love, and trust.
This is kind of a bonus, and not really a specific money belief, but I wanted to make sure everyone who comes to this site reads about my core beliefs and values when it comes to the way we make money on this website.
As an online influencer, and someone who makes a living as a full-time blogger/author/writer, I have an affiliate disclosure which you can read here, but it really doesn't cover how I truly feel (you know, deep down on the inside) about affiliates and promoting the products you see here.
Yes, I link to products and receive money when you buy (and I appreciate you supporting the brands that make this blog possible!)
….But there is something I need for you to know: FinancialBestLife.com will never, ever recommend a product we don't know, love, and use ourselves. And if it turns out that product disappoints us, we'll let you know about it (see here for an example.) So, please rest assured we're not here to spam you with links.
Really, we (me, the writers, the team) just want to help you to live your best life, financial and otherwise. Let's be buds.