What You Really Want

April 23, 2011

When was the last time someone sat you down and asked what it was you really wanted?  I’ve done that with some of you over the last few months and I think it’s starting to pay off.

It all started when I was stuck in traffic one day, grumbling to myself about how I hate commuting downtown.  Spending part of every day crawling along the highway wasn’t really how I wanted to spend my time – “but no one asked what I wanted”, I thought to myself.

Here are Your Options…

This started me thinking that in our daily lives no one asks us what it is we really want. Whether we’re at work, at the store, at the gym, or just out to have fun – we’re offered lots of options but no ever asks what things we want more than anything else.

We’re allowed to choose from what’s on the menu, the approved list, the available spots, the monthly specials, the rate plan, etc.  But we don’t get to talk to someone and say, “all that other stuff is great – but this is what we really want”.

So I decided to ask some of you what purpose you wanted money to serve in your life.  Your responses have been thorough and detailed and I really appreciate you taking the time to share.  There are thousands of articles I could write about hundreds of personal finance topics but I want to be sure to include the ones that matter most to you.

What You Want

In a way, this is kind of a selfish request from me. If you’ve ever walked through the finance section in Barnes and Noble, you know from the rows of books that I could sit down in the morning and start writing about personal finance topics and write all day long every day and never cover everything. 

Of course that would never happen because I have to go to work every day and our two little kids never let me sit very long when I’m home and they’re awake.  However, even if I did have 24 hours a day to write I’d rather just talk about the things most important to you.

So what are these things? I’ve compiled all your feedback so far and the things you want to hear about most are:

  • Investing
  • Buying / Owning a home 
  • Saving for College
  • Earning Extra Money
  • Retirement Planning

You gave me a lot more detail on the specific types of issues you want to resolve but this these are the topics at a high level.  If you haven’t had a chance to share but would like to have your topic considered you can still answer the 3 questions here.  The answers are anonymous so you don’t have to feel self conscious sharing your story and issues. Most people have gone into detail and really opened up so don’t be shy : )

Coming Up

So in the coming weeks I’m going to run a series of posts around these topics.  It was one year ago last week when we first met with our real estate agent and started the process of selling, then buying a house in one of the worst real estate markets in history.  I’m glad weren’t not going through that again this summer but the experience is still fresh in my mind so we’ll start off by covering your real estate questions.

After that we’ll go through investing, paying for college, earning extra money, and retirement planning. Since summer is coming up, I’ll give you a little break from all the finance content and throw in a week about saving money on vacation.

Like I mentioned, if there’s something specific to those topics that you’d like covered, or something else I didn’t mention then answer these 3 questions and we’ll add it to the list. Now that you know what’s coming up on Money Smart Life, check out what went on with money this week on the web.



Personal Finance



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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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