So as it turns out, reading money diaries has become somewhat of a craze and I think people do it for various reasons. There’s a genuine inclination to educate oneself, there’s vicarious living, and then there’s just knowing that there are people who are worse off than you are. And that’s the thing about money diaries, it seems to serve many purposes. I think some people just want to show off, no questions asked and quite frankly, it’s those who should be roasted in the comments section. But such is the nature of social media and the way of the web – we’re all embroiled in this pissing contest and even those of us that aren’t are affected. Some, it appears, simply enjoy writing about their lives at great length and seem to enjoy the whole process, as if there’s some kind of catharsis in it all. I don’t buy it, I reckon those who are writing about their days are either aspiring writers, gloaters or looking to get you to sign up for forex.
Your Typical Money Diary
The stock-standard money diary, stripped of all the padding, is a daily account of an individual’s spend based on a specific salary. People who share their stories tend to typically pepper them with their daily doings, so expect to see things like brunch: $15, subway ride: $10, solicitation: $200. I’m just kidding about the last one; if that happens I’m sure the writer will exclude it. There is helpful information and contributors will typically provide key details to help the reader gain an overall understanding of the expenditure. So, before commencing with the details of the money diary, the contributor will let you know the following details:
- The occupation
- The industry in which the individual works
- The location of the individual
- His or her salary
- The weekly salary (if applicable)
- Student loan payments
- Medical aid
- Additional expenses
In essence, an overall account of the writer/contributor’s situation is provided. Thereafter the social scenarios are expounded upon to not just let you know what they’re realistically spending their time and money on, but if the person is pompous enough, to also let you know how much better their life is than yours. It’s why the comment section of such write-ups are often loaded with roast-like statements.
It’s Not Just About the Spend
Here’s the thing right, if you wanted to get financial advice, you’d generally speak to your broker, your banker, your insurance agent or your mother. So why is it that people keep coming back to money diaries? The reason is quite simple; these stories are addictive. The same kind of mental attitude towards this craze is exhibited towards shows like The Kardashians. There’s a certain guilty pleasure in reading about some of these stories, especially when they start going into the echelons of opulence and pure self-indulgence.
The Actual Aim of it All
While the money diary is meant to reflect the spending habits of an individual, it is meant to assist those who can relate and to thus better manage their finances. And who doesn’t need such advice? Money is the one thing we’re all clamouring for and the one thing we want more of. It’s the lifeblood of society, the real divider. People speak of race when in fact it is money that separates us. Knowing how to budget correctly and work with it is intrinsic in value. The importance of keeping a hand on your money cannot be overstated, whether the matter at hand is buying groceries, paying your monthly insurance, having a few drinks or playing a game of roulette. You need to monitor everything. For these reasons I can advocate the value of money diaries.