I know everyone (including me) loves to read those money diaries on sites like Refinery29, and I’ve been meaning to create a “personal money snapshot” series to feature readers who are willing to share a summary of their financial situation. We now have a Google form (similar to the form we have for the CorporetteMoms Week in the Life of a Working Mom posts), and I would love to a) open it up for participants, b) get your feedback (too long?), and c) note that everything is possible for change. (The nice thing about Google forms is that we can edit questions, which is not always the case with surveys and things.) Click here if you’d like to see the form and/or submit responses! You can also see a PDF of the questions if you want to review them ahead of time.
Notes on the Personal Money Snapshot Form:
2. The general nature of the questions (and why it looks longer than it is): I’ve been observing reader comments and discussions on money for a long time, and I think the usual “what I spend in a week” summary isn’t necessarily illuminating or educational. That’s why the questions on the form are pretty wide-ranging — and it may seem long when you first look at it, but that’s because I’m not expecting EVERYONE to have something to say in EVERY category. (I’m assuming readers will have a lot to say in one or two of the sections and less in others.)
I also believe that people have “quadrants of knowledge” when it comes to personal finance. Maybe you know everything about country club fees, which markets are awesome for second homes, and which ostrich bag is REALLY worth the $10,000. That’s awesome, and we want to hear from you! We also want to hear from people who are in six figures of debt, flirting with bankruptcy, and/or living paycheck to paycheck (yes, even if you have a high income and are living paycheck to paycheck). We also want to hear from the FIRE people who are putting away $100K of their $120K income, and people who had their lives wildly shifted (for good or bad) by something like inheritance (hopefully good) or crazy medical bills (probably bad).
3. Big Picture questions: There are a few questions I want everyone to answer because I think they generally inform the reading of responses. One question asks specifically what your net worth was when you started working since I think there’s a huge difference in what your personal finance journey looks like if your net worth at 25 or whatever is -$260,000 (in debt) vs. $5,000 vs. $150,000. Another question asks, “Is there anything else we should know about you from a “Big Picture” perspective up front, for context, as it relates to your net worth, expenses, or debt?” I included that to delve into situations that we wouldn’t know to ask about but certainly affect your money situation, e.g., “had to be life-flighted to the hospital and had $100K in medical bills,” or “private schools are not optional for my family because I don’t believe my kids will get a fair shake in public school” or “all of our home-related finances are super high because my in-laws live with us and we pay for everything.”
Like I said, it’s pretty wide ranging and hopefully not TOO… asky. If there are specific questions that are offensive to people or otherwise problematic, I’d love to know which ones in particular. If people think there need to be specific questions added to any part of it, we’d love to hear those too.
Here’s a quick question for discussion today, though: what are your favorite resources to learn about money? What’s your favorite podcast, book, blog, or other resource?