What Does “Being Responsible with Your Money” Mean to You?
I’m curious, what does “being responsible with your money” mean to you? I think the phrase can have negative connotations — not because it’s a negative thing to do, but because it implies that you’re being responsible instead of, say, having fun.
The two aren’t mutually exclusive by any means though. In fact, being responsible with your money can allow you to have a whole lot more fun and leisure time than you otherwise might.
Over the years, being responsible with my money has meant different things to me at different times. When I was a teenager, it meant making sure I had enough money to keep gas in my car so I could get to school without having to ride the bus, and so that I could get to work to make more money. It also meant paying back my parents for car parts.
When I moved out of my parents house, it meant paying rent and other bills on time, and trying to have enough money leftover for groceries. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I thought of being responsible with my money as not falling behind.
In my 30s, it came to mean getting out of debt and creating an emergency fund.
It’s only recently that being responsible with money has come to mean getting ahead by saving and investing, and by not carrying debt. And what a difference that makes. I wish I’d had that mental definition 20 years ago, because I would probably be very, very well-off by now.
So what does being responsible with your money mean to you? Has your viewpoint changed with time?