Why I write about Personal Finance, why is managing your finances important?
The other day I was attending a networking event here in Luxembourg and met a Belgian acquaintance. After the usual catching up she told me this: “By the way, I have read a few posts on your blog, it is interesting but it is very focused on money and getting rich, isn’t it?”. Well, Sofia it is called Joney Talks! after the expression Money Talks, so yes, in a way, money, dinero or “Fun Coupons” are the main topics of the blog.
I thought the discussion I had with Sofia was an excellent opportunity to clarify more broadly to you as well why and how I started the blog in the first place and what it is all about!
First things first
It all started when I was living in Paris during my expatriation year in 2016. I was sent there by my employer as the Paris office needed additional experienced procurement guys for a large project. The compensation package that came with this opportunity was generous: salary bump, monthly public transport pass, relocation costs,…and most importantly accommodation in an expensive city! Before being sent there, I was living and working in Oslo where I had my own apartment. Without thinking too much about it, I decided to rent it out during the expatriation.
Looking at my financial situation, I was in a great spot: Someone was helping me to pay my mortgage in Oslo, I lived for free in a nice neighbourhood in Paris (17th arrondissement, lovely), saved on my monthly public transport pass and got a better paycheck. In total, this amounted to an increase of approximately 1800 EUR (≈2000 USD) after tax per month, awesome right?
I could, of course, have enjoyed that extra cash to spend on luxury goods at the “Galleries Lafayette” (a luxury department store in central Paris) or drink champagne every day but I mostly stuck to my current lifestyle and level of expenses. My concern with this additional income was more on issues such as: Should I pay my mortgage down faster? Should I buy another property? Should I buy a small rental flat in Paris? Should I get more serious with my stock portfolio?… And so I naturally turned to the world wide web to find answers to these questions.
During my online search, I discovered there was already a vast world of bloggers, YouTubers, podcasters out there that were ready to answer all my personal finance and money questions! This is when I first read articles from Ramit Sethi, Mr. Money Moustache, Dave Ramsey, Luc Brialy (a French blogger), Bigger Pockets (Real Estate),…
Interestingly enough, each one of them has his own meaning and vision on personal finance. Some are for example all about cutting costs and living frugally, some write about and promote the FIRE movement (Financial Independence Retire Early), others are adamant on owning your home instead of renting, some focus on dividend stock investing, some focus on specific groups (busy moms, students, millennials), etc. As I was navigating through all the blog posts and information, it helped me to figure out which blogger/content producer resonated most with me and which were not,… This was all fascinating to me and as you can imagine I grew very much fond of this personal finance space.
I also discovered that managing your money was about more than choosing the right index fund or the rental property with the best return. It goes beyond “financial mechanics” such as the excel calculations, financial modelling or picking the right stock.
In the grand scheme of things, managing your finances is about goal setting, life decisions, psychology, your money blueprint,…
And I must say that at that time even though things were going well – I was the owner of my apartment, my two parking spots were rented out, my small stocks portfolio was growing and I had my precious excel sheets* to calculate my returns and forecasts – I missed having the big picture in mind, a financial goal to work towards to. Digging into all the blogs, books and Youtube videos helped me to as well define my own financial goals.
* Don’t get me wrong, you will still need to run the numbers when facing an important decision such as buying a home, for example. Numbers do not lie, after all. As a numbers nerd, I still update these regularly 🙂
Launching the blog
- A good friend of mine who is a leading engineer in his field asked me to explain how the stock markets worked.
- A colleague told me the absurd thing (to my meaning) that she would not buy an apartment and be “stuck”, she would rather keep her money to travel to far places (those millennials,…).
- Another friend with an important position at her firm has a plan of saving money to purchase an apartment within 5 years, this is a plan I support but 5 years seems too long to me. Can we make this shorter?
- Investing responsibly has become more popular.
- People have different ways of dealing with money, to some, it is really taboo.
- I am a strong believer in talking about money in a healthy way!
- Most of the blogs and articles are based on the US. This is fine as most of the information and principles are applicable in Europe too, but for specific service providers, banks, tax regulations, etc. there is a need for local information as well.
I thought to myself, there must be a way to address all of these topics and actually help my friends. Even though I am still far from being your average “Millionaire Next-Door“, I have always had a genuine interest in understanding and managing money, why shouldn’t I…drumroll… start my own personal finance blog?
And that kids, (How I Met Your Mother voice-over),…is how your uncle Joney started his blog.
What the blog is all about: The Joney Philosophy
This blog and related social media accounts is my way to help us:
- Understand the basics of money (what is a stock? How is money created? What is an interest rate?…)
- Talk about it in a healthy way (debates on money and ethics, in which company should you invest? )
- and ultimately reach our financial goals (Real Estate investing, creating passive sources of income, travelling the world for one year, living the life you want, buying those Prada shoes if that is your thing,…)
Money is definitely not everything Sofia, I agree with that, there are far more important things in life than money: Health, happiness, spending time with your loved ones, giving a helping hand to those in need,… It is never the less a tool that plays an important role and I am deeply convinced that by having your finances under control, you will become financially confident and be able to focus on what truly matters to you. This is what I want for you.
As I discovered myself, improving your finances starts with defining your end goal and having the firm belief that you can achieve it. This end goal can be anything from building up a 6-months emergency fund to saving up for a downpayment on a home, or even save and invest aggressively in your 20s so you can retire before turning 40,…Whatever the end goal: You define it, I am here to help you reach it.
My biggest wish is that by following the tips and stories in the blog and social media accounts (follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter join the e-mail list) you find inspiration to improve your finances. Do not be shy to leave comments or hit me up on social media, I’d love to connect more with you and understand what money struggles you are facing. It is also my sincere hope that you will e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tell me how that one tip helped you save 1000 euros (or dollars) or how book XYZ I reviewed helped you to get started with managing your money,…
So tell me, friend, what is it you want to achieve? (dream big) Travel the world? Take your family on a big trip every year? Be Financial Independent and work less? Be financially free to pursue the career you want? Let me know in the comments below!