What has your journey been since 2012?

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Hey there friends,

Just stumbled upon this article from Budgets are Sexy that I read enthusiastically.

In short, J. Money, a long-time blogger, is comparing his life and finances of 2012 to those of 2019.

I thought it provided good food for thought on where I was myself 7 years ago and where I am now, and I encourage you to take a shot at it too.

Why 2012?

In that article, J. Money is reacting to an e-mail from Erik, a reader who has followed him for 7 years. I have been blogging myself for 2 and a half years now and I could take that time perspective but I found 7 years to be more interesting as even more things can change.

Think about it: Where were you yourself in 2012? What happened since? How have your finances evolved? Did your life change drastically?

Go take a pen and paper (don’t worry, I´ll wait), make a column for 2012 and one for 2019, and see the results for yourself. It’ll take you 5 minutes max.

How did it go? I hope it went in the right direction for you and if not, sorry to have brought you to these thoughts but let this be the start for 7 better years ahead!

Anyway, friends here is mine!

My 2012 : 

  • My life was pretty good 7 years ago when I think of it.
  • I had just started a new job in the energy sector in Oslo, Norway and I was working pretty hard as it was a totally new environment for me and of course, I wanted to make an impression on my new boss. This was as well my only source of income.
  • I was living in my own apartment, which was the main component of my net worth in the form of home equity.
  • I managed to save approximately 4 months of salary in the course of that year.
  • My exercise routine was consistent but was enjoying alcohol a little too much.
  • The social life in Oslo got enhanced with new colleagues that have become long-term friends (and some of them are readers too!).
  • Was traveling pretty frequently and could afford the occasional luxury now and then (bought my Burberry trench coat in 2012).
  • Had no money invested at all: No stocks, no REITs, I thought Bitcoin was in-game money to buy pizza during a game of World of Warcraft (!), there was no money growing nor passive income whatsoever.

My 2019 : 

Is life still pretty good? Let’s see

  • I moved a bit around since 2012: I was sent on an assignment in Paris in 2016, moved back to Oslo in 2017, and last year I arrived in Luxembourg to start in a new role in the energy sector. This is however not my only source of income anymore.
  • When I moved to Luxembourg, I sold my lovely apartment and I am renting for the time being.
  • I currently hold a safe cushion of emergency money should anything happen.
  • My exercise routine is consistent and although I still enjoy a nice glass of Côtes du Rhône wine I have reduced my alcohol consumption fairly.
  • The social life in Luxembourg is going well too. (and some of the local friends are also regular readers!)
  • Even though I enjoy traveling and the occasional getaways here and there, I do not travel as frequently as back in 2012. I am nevertheless excited about that trip to Italy in June and for those following on Instagram, you know I like the occasional splurge. Oh yeah, and that trench coat? It still is in impeccable condition and still looks great on me.
  • I have taken my personal finances more seriously and this has led my investment journey to expand to several venues: Garages, cryptocurrency, Real Estate, stock markets,…
  • …and shocker, I became a Personal Finance Blogger!
  • This is the single biggest improvement for me because while reading and studying about personal finance, I started to focus on other areas as well such as health, mindset, habits, etc. The positive results achieved so far regarding my money management are slowly spilling out to those seemingly unrelated areas.

What lessons can you draw from this?

I hope you have taken 5 minutes to go through the exercise (if not you can use the comment field below) and see for yourself how your life/finances have changed over the last 7 years.

In my case even though there have been many ups (experiencing living in Paris, starting a blog, figuring out things better,…) and downs (lost loved ones in 2016, career frustration,..), I see things are pretty much similar with significant improvement regarding the personal finance part.

What this has taught me is that it is sometimes easy to complain and/or compare yourself to your friends, family, and colleagues. But then, you do this 5 minutes back-of-the-napkin reflection and you realize: “Hey, I did not do so bad!” As J. Money recommends, focus on the positive and keep the note in your pocket as a nice reminder of how far you have come.

If you have done it, I´ll be happy to hear how it went for you in the comments!

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