Obsessing Over Finances — When Does it Go Too Far?

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“My wife is undeniably right; I have found a relatively healthy thing (financial independence) to obsess over. I guess it’s better than constantly straightening my fork at Red Robin. Where it probably crosses the line is in the form of my hyper sensitivity to spending, and my overall monitoring of the expenses.”

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Let me just being this post by saying that I’m not a Doctor. If you’ve read any of my previous posts on this blog at all that should be almost as abundantly clear as me making statements such as, “I am not a squirrel,” or “I am not a log cabin.”

So when I talk about things such as my OCD, keep in mind that I’ve only self-diagnosed myself (with the constant “help” of my wife), and am really talking out my ass about the subject in general. It should also be stated that, whether I suffer from a mild form of it or not, I am in no way making light of people dealing with this disorder in any form.

I have some quirks that I very rarely notice, but others pick up on. An example would be that if I sit down at a table at a restaraunt, I straighten the silverware and napkins so that everything is perpendicular and/or at a nice right angle.

If I’m sitting in a meeting and I put my sketchbook on the table, I’ll meticulously adjust it until its bottom edge runs as parallel as possible with the edge of the table.

I tend to obsess over details like this, but at the same time I allow pure and utter chaos to enter my life at other times. As I type this I’m staring at my desk which is cluttered with car keys, vitamin bottles, pens, post-it notes, a hard drive, and for some reason and empty Ziploc bag that has been on my desk for weeks. Not sure what was in it, and equally not sure why I haven’t just thrown it away. I’m 93% positive it was not a human toe. I think I threw that bag out ages ago.

Yet when I find that thing that latches onto that obsessive part of my brain, it’s really hard for me to shut it off and let go.

When it comes to this condition manifesting in my job, it’s actually served me pretty well. I have taken an entry level job at one of the most well-known companies in the world and no college degree, and turned it into a role as a senior member of my team with a college degree and 2 additional two-year certifications to boot. All because I love my job and am obsessed with growing as much in it as I can.

When I was studying to become a digital animator, I would literally spend 5 hours a night and another 20 on weekends at my computer after work, honing my skills. Sometimes I’d get home at 7:00pm, and work until 3:00am, only realizing far too late that I was only going to get 4 hours of sleep that night.

So that kind of obsession is mostly good. My wife and kids will sometimes tell you that the hours Dad works can suck, but otherwise it’s provided a great life for us.

When it comes to things like wanting a new gadget, car, or other similar non-essential item, I get obsessed with finding and buying it as soon as I’ve officially made up my mind to get it. There have been times where I have driven 3 hours for an iWatch that I could have easily waited 2 days to get in the mail, paying more in gas and final price, just to have it now. This is a good part of the reason why I am in the financial situation that I am right now.

When it comes to a videogame I love, I’ll spend hours, days and even weeks playing the game and attempting to master it. I would be scared sh*tless to ever add up the number of hours I’ve put into videogames, but I can at least partially justify it since I work in the videogame industry.

So that kind of obsession mostly bad. Or at least that’s what my wife told me I had to say.Read More »

Friday Five: 5 Podcasts for a Better You or Just a Laugh or Two

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The “Friday Five” are five items to help you in your journey to financial freedom. They might be 5 tips, they might be 5 tricks, or they might just be 5 items of thoughts. In any case, it’s Friday, and I’ve got 5 “things” for you, so here we go!

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I freaking love podcasts. My commute to work one way is around an hour and change, and while that may sound like a lot to some, I don’t mind it at all. It’s mostly lazy back country roads that cut throw cattle fields and farm country. It kind of sucks in the winter, because here in Seattle it dumps buckets of rain during those months, but otherwise it’s a beautiful drive.

My commute is also long enough that it gives me a chance to really dive into some podcasts. My tastes and interests are all over the road. I listen to some that center around music, some that deal with finances, a few that are straight comedy, and believe it or not at least 1 or 2 that deal with the world of professional wrestling. I don’t really watch wrestling as much as I did in my 20s, but I love hearing old wrestling stories about just how hard living those men and women were.

To me, podcasts are perfect forms of media because you can hand select the topics and genres that appeal directly to you. It’s like a salad bar for your ears! If you want veggies, you can listen to veggies. If you want oranges and sunflower seeds, boom! If you want nothing but a plate of croutons drizzled in thousand island, well… you should probably consult a physician.

So for today’s Friday Five, I thought I’d focus on podcasts, since I have a great deal of experience with them. The links are iTunes links, and I’m sorry if that isn’t how you digest your podcasts, but you can still look these up by name using your favorite service. I’d love to have you folks make recommendations in the comments down below too, but here are 5 of my current favorites:Read More »