Have you ever seen a personal finance blogger justify a splurge-y purchase or other financially questionable decision by saying something like “Good thing personal finance is personal.”? I know I’ve seen it. Heck, I’ve even said something similar to justify my financially questionable decisions when I share them with readers. But the truth is that our personal finance decisions aren’t truly 100% personal.
We tend to be self-centered and self-focused. We think about how our financial decisions will affect us and our financial goals. I’m not saying that’s entirely bad, but we should also be thinking of others before we make such large financial decisions. Let’s face it, our financial decisions affect those around us – like our family, friends, and even our employer.
If you’re not sure I’m right about this one (I’m always right by the way 😉 ) then read on to find out how your personal financial decisions can affect more than just you.
Ever since I decided to crack down on my spending, create a budget, and pay off debt, I’ve been a lot more careful with my money. Sure, I still go over budget now and then (or every month) in some areas. But, for the most part, I’m a lot more careful with my money now than I ever used to be. While I consider this to be a great thing, some of those around me were confused at first.
My family didn’t know about my financial situation ( or my debt), so when I changed my spending habits they were left wondering why.
Even now that most of them know about my mission to get out of debt, they are still affected by my decision. For example, when I go out to lunch with my dad, he pays more often than not. Even when I offer to pay, he always questions me about if I could (or should) be putting that money toward debt instead. While I appreciate his offer, I do feel guilty and try to pay for lunch now and then anyway.
Likewise, my friends didn’t know about my financial decision to get out of debt. So when I suddenly started cancelling plans, trips, and other things we had previously talked about doing, they just thought I had gotten boring.
Finally, after several times of either cancelling or changing our plans to be more budget friendly, they confronted me and asked what was up.
Seeing as money is still a taboo topic in our society, I told them that I was trying to be more careful with my money and that I wanted to stick to my budget. I didn’t go so far as to confess everything like I have here on the internet. They were respectful of my decision and explanation, and now I’ve even become a bit of a good influence on them! They are now more likely to choose frugal activities when we all hang out instead of spending money frivolously.
Employer and Co-Workers
Even though my co-workers and employer know nothing about my personal financial situation or how I spend my money, they are still affected by my financial decisions. As of right now, I’m still working at my full-time office job because I need the money to help me get out of debt. But I don’t enjoy my job, and if I didn’t need to be there for the money I’d have quit already.
When a situation like this arises and employees become disengaged at work, they are generally less productive. This means that their co-workers will have to pick up the slack to make sure everything gets done. Furthermore, the employer is wasting money by paying an employee who isn’t doing his or her job properly or efficiently.
While I haven’t slacked off at work, it’s apparent that I don’t have a passion for my job. I’m definitely not putting in any extra effort by any means.
Regardless of all the people who are affected by your financial decisions, you still have to make the decisions that make the most sense for you. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least consider how they might affect those around you.
Can you think of any other ways that people around you are affected by your financial decisions?