Do I Think About Money Too Much? Do You? Is it Unhealthy?

by Evan

money on the brain

I don’t think I have a good balance with thinking about and not thinking about money.  From the moment I wake up on Monday morning until the moment I mentally check out on Friday, I have money on the mind and it makes me curious if I am the only one?

My Money Thought Activities

Every day I:

  • Check my online banking about 4 times
  • Do mental math in my head concerning the online banking
  • WORK IN A FINANCIAL PLANNING OFFICE
  • Run this personal finance blog
  • Read and comment on probably 50 of the best personal finance blogs
  • Check on my Dividend Investing Portfolio
  • Check my online advertising income about 14 times
  • Check on my 401(k)
  • Make deals regarding this blog
  • Check my Prosper Account (just once a day since I have decided to stop investing in it)
  • Lastly, and probably unhealthiest of them all,everyday I’ll think about what I would do if given/made a deal for a very large sum of money.

This is what I go through everyday weekday.  Every Single Weekday.  Monday through Friday I wake up and think about what money has gone in and out of my accounts.

It is 9:20am Monday Morning and I have already had the following thoughts before I could stop myself:

  • Wouldn’t it be cool to buy a $600,000 house with $300,000 down?
  • I have to write an email for The Wife’s blog to an advertiser about a sale
  • How am I going to split up a good-sized check I just received (Saving vs Auto Loan)?
  • I have to contact a few people about a football thing I run

When I told The Wife about this post idea she told me that “money” was my hobby – coming up with different ways to make it and managing it.  That statement made me feel great and weird at the exact same time.  It made me feel good because what a fantastic hobby to have, but at the same time does that mean my life is empty?

So is it just me? or is this part of being an adult?

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35 comments

Kevin November 22, 2010 - 10:22 am

I think about money quite a bit, but I’ve recently tried to make sure it doesn’t consume my life.

I never want to be “one-dimensional” and while I pretty much always see things through a financial lens, that doesn’t mean I have to spend all day thinking about it.

That’s why my video I posted today on my blog has absolutely nothing to do with money. I think it’s important to branch out every once in a while and make sure you don’t burn out on one topic.

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Evan November 22, 2010 - 4:49 pm

Do you have to work on not thinking about it all day? Video is fantastic.

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Kevin November 23, 2010 - 9:54 am

I think about money quite a bit. I guess the difference between us is that I don’t turn that thinking into action as much as you do. Plus, I do think about a lot of other stuff (like writing my next song).

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Marc November 22, 2010 - 1:37 pm

I’m with you Evan. I think about money although I only check my bank account once a day. I also think about getting a large sum of money, as a windfall (like winning the lottery), and what I would do with it.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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Evan November 22, 2010 - 4:50 pm

What would you do with it? Thanks for stopping by

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Marc November 23, 2010 - 6:22 pm

I would buy income producing real estate. Working in the real estate sector (property and contract management) I see how much can be made with income property, if managed properly.

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Robert Muir November 22, 2010 - 2:13 pm

Everybody needs a hobby! At least ours is remunerative and helps to increase our net worth. 🙂

BTW, put ALL the “good-sized check” toward the auto loan. 😉

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Evan November 22, 2010 - 4:51 pm

How do you focus your energy? What aspect of working with money?

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Robert Muir November 22, 2010 - 6:32 pm

I focus my energy into increasing my net worth. It began by eliminating all debt and now it’s continuing by increasing our investment capital. It’s easy to track in Quicken and it’s really cool to see the bar graphs moving higher. 🙂

Re: Working with money, I’m slowly moving into individual stocks as I find quality companies that are beat down but have excellent future potential. Earlier this year, for example, I bought into BP, VZ, and INTC at around 1,000 shares each. More recently, I’ve been using Greenblatt’s “Magic Formula” in $5k chunks.

So saying that, I check our Vanguard accounts at least once a day and keep an eye on the stock market throughout the day.

I like it when our portfolio moves up, but I don’t mind when it goes down. In fact, I’m hoping it goes down a LOT between now and January because I’ll have to contribute $25k to our IRAs in January and of course it’s better to buy low. 🙂

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Evan November 23, 2010 - 2:45 pm

$25K to IRAs?! You mean a SEP IRA, right?

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Robert Muir November 24, 2010 - 12:41 am

Actually, I meant $26k. $6k for mine and my wife’s Roth (I just turned 50) and $14k for my Simple.

FB November 22, 2010 - 5:16 pm

Every day I:
– Log into my bank accounts
– Check my investments
– Make notes about my budget such as how much I plan to spend in Asia ($10k)
– Calculate my savings for the year and future income

I focus my energy on mostly trying to find where my weak spots are, maximizing my return while mitigating it with enough liquid savings, and managing it so it doesn’t slip away.

Can I save more? Where? How?

I also blog about PF matters, I write PF articles for Investopedia, read and comment on countless PF blogs (yours included now!) .. it never ends.

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Evan November 23, 2010 - 2:46 pm

Woah Woah Waoh….spend in Asia? Sned me a link I want to read about that.

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Kris November 22, 2010 - 6:21 pm

I think about money most when I am in the car. When you are actively saving and attaining goals, it is a lot more fun to think about than when you are broke.

I only check my bank around a few times a week, and my investments about every month. I know I am staying in my current house for about eternity. I think about money a lot when I watch shows like house hunters international when I see all the places I would love to visit.

Like your wife said, money is your hobby. It is a lot healthier than many other hobbies out there.

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Evan November 23, 2010 - 3:22 pm

“It is a lot healthier than many other hobbies out there.”

– DAMN GOOD POINT! Maybe I should look into a little sports gambling problem lol

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Samurai November 22, 2010 - 9:12 pm

Sounds like you got to step away from the baby sitter Edog!

Cheviot your ad rev 14 times a day might be 14 times too neurotic! I check maybe once a week, and the analytica stuff even less, like once a quarter.

That said, it’s ur hobby and better to focus than nothing at all!

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Evan November 23, 2010 - 3:24 pm

Away from the baby sitter? Was that an autofix lol?

The ad revenue checking is pretty ridiculous I will admit that because it really isn’t that much lol

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Financial Samurai November 23, 2010 - 11:39 pm

Sigh. Watch Tom Cruise in Risky Business.

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Evan November 27, 2010 - 6:03 pm

It pains me that I didn’t get the reference!

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Darwin's Money November 22, 2010 - 10:29 pm

That means you’re making too much LOL! Nah, I’ve been through phases where I think about it a lot, then I go into burnout mode and think about other stuff – can’t wait to do something with the kids. Can’t wait to see my old highschool buddies for a night out. Can’t wait to do whatever. It comes and goes. I do check my stats too much though, must admit. And checking your online banking – what’s up with that? It’s a static number during the day and you’re probably earning 1% annually!

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Evan November 23, 2010 - 3:27 pm

I know it is a static number that is the ridiculous part about the damn thing! I am earning about 1% but its really the income going into it that I like to check every day. Regardless I feel nuts when I do it.

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Don November 23, 2010 - 4:04 am

I think it’s a good sign that your wife doesn’t think there is a problem! That’s very important!

Once your child grows, you will have less and less time for thinking about money. You’ll love it!!!

I do check my investments multiple times a day. I don’t check my banking accounts, but I do check my paypal account every other day too.

What I love to do it do calculations in my spreadsheet trying to figure out if I did X, or what if I did Y with my work/income/investements or you name it!

So I think you are fine, but make sure you make time to play with your baby especially after they are 6 months old (a very fun time).

Passion is a great thing!

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Evan November 23, 2010 - 3:29 pm

People said the first 6 months are more like a “pet rock that shits a lot stage.”

Whats up with your paypal? Have a lot of ad revenue coming in?

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Don November 23, 2010 - 6:41 pm

Yeah, personally, I didn’t get much out of the 1st six months, but since then it’s been great!!!

I use the same paypal account for ebay activities and blogging…

So not much ad revenue, but every few days I make sure paypal is square…

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Lindy November 23, 2010 - 7:38 am

Looking at money as your hobby is not a bad way to see it (smart wife!). I think when people are consumed with money to the point that it makes them bend their morality is when it becomes a problem.

After reading this post, I figure I could probably think about money a little more…it might mean making more!

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Evan November 23, 2010 - 3:30 pm

I think many people question my morality (not on serious stuff of course) regardless of whether money is involved. Go ahead and check out my rants/random categories and tags lol

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IIW November 23, 2010 - 10:28 pm

“Check my online advertising income about 14 times”
LOL… you remind me of my blogging buddy who has been kicking my ass in AdSense lately. 😉

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Evan November 27, 2010 - 6:04 pm

I wish I was kicking REAL adsensee ass lately, but I love watching the page impressions go up throughout the day

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Funny about Money November 25, 2010 - 1:49 pm

In answer to your question: Yes. Yes, I do think about money too much. That’s why a friend dubbed me “Funny about Money.” 😀

But I don’t go as far as FB, checking every aspect of my vast holdings each day. I used to do those things several times a week, though.

Recently, to get a grip on the money obsession, I decided to limit the bookkeeping to once a week and the overall inspection and obsessing to once a month. Each week I enter all debits and credits in my various accounts; each month I check investments and update net worth. Once a year I run a gigantic report detailing income and expenditures in every category by way of preparing data for my tax professional.

I’m feeling a lot better these days, with a great deal less attention and mental energy devoted to my “hobby.”

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Evan November 27, 2010 - 6:07 pm

I am glad you are getting to a “happy place” when it comes to your hobby! I am not there yet, but I think I will find my way…eventually lol

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Jim November 26, 2010 - 1:09 pm

I think it’s perfectly possible to think too much about money. Like you I end up checking my many bank accounts a couple of times per day. It is almost? an obsession. But thinking about it as a hobby is a great idea – I’d never thought of that. Makes the obsession less scary, more like trainspotting instead. It’s weird but harmless.
Great site by the way.

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Evan November 27, 2010 - 6:08 pm

I am glad you like the site, take a look around and make sure you subscribe to my feed!

While I have seen the movie trainspotting what is it in terms of a hobby?

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Jim Smith November 27, 2010 - 7:07 pm

Think of a man who stands at the end of the station platform and gets excited when he diesel type XCN3498 hauling wheat instead of coal for the first time.

Train Spotting – From Wikipedia

Those who are “trainspotters” make an effort to ‘spot’ all of a certain type of rolling stock. This might be a particular class of locomotive, a particular type of carriage or all the rolling stock of a particular company. To this end, they collect and exchange detailed information about the movements of locomotives and other equipment on the railway network, and become very knowledgeable about its operations.

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Briana November 29, 2010 - 6:54 pm

I felt the exact same way this weekend! I had to dispute a charge on my credit card, and I realized how much I was thinking about money ON MY VACATION. “I get paid on Thursday.” “When can I start up that passive income?” “Are we going to start investing soon?” “Do we have to look for a new place to live?” “What about the wedding?” I don’t want it to consume my life to the point where I can’t enjoy it, but it’s becoming a slight obsession

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lootlover March 15, 2011 - 7:56 pm

I love this post. I also think about money way too much. Not in a greedy way, but more like one would think about their hobby. Like you, I check my accounts each day, except I synch everything to Quicken for a real-time view. I also think about investing and how to earn more. As a female, I am even more concerned that this makes me a psychopath. At least I’m not the only one out there. 🙂

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