Money at 30: A Financial Giving of Thanks
I don’t know how this is possible, but the calendar informs me that this Thursday is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. (shout out to my Canadian friends who celebrated last month). As is the tradition for many, the holiday serves as a time to reflect on the blessings we’ve received throughout the year and in our lives overall. Often times these involve money — either directly or indirectly — which is why I thought it might be appropriate to share some of the finance-related things I’m thankful for this year:
Of course any list of what I’m thankful for would almost certainly have to start with my wife. But, in this case, there are some finance-specific reasons for her inclusion. First, as she likes to point out, I likely have her to thank for my high credit scores. That’s because, by making me an authorized user on the credit card she’s had for years, I essentially inherited her good credit marks and history.
Beyond the credit benefits, my wife has been a great partner in planning our financial futures. She’s diligent about having us contribute to our retirement accounts, has held an open-mind about exploring our various investment options, and is always happy to play devil’s advocate as we consider some larger purchases. Most recently, I knew that the Uber Visa card (which I’ll be reviewing next week) would be good for us once I was able to successfully convince her as much — otherwise, she would have shot the idea down without hesitation.
Credit card rewards and online coupons
Speaking of credit cards, for someone who swore off them for most of my adult life, I sure do love them now. In addition to becoming an expert at knowing which card to use in nearly every situation, my wife and I have also become proficient in mixing mediums and combining our rewards with coupons. Case in point: a present purchase we made this weekend that married credit card perks, online coupons, and some additional cash back.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, my wife and I rarely exchange gifts. Instead, we choose something we want to splurge on together. This year we’ve had our eye on a new record player and happened to see one on sale for about $30 less than normal — but why stop there? After a little searching, I was able to find a 20% off coupon online, bringing the total from $100 to $80. Next, I cashed in $40 of my Discover card cash back balance to obtain a $50 gift card. So, after tax and free shipping, our normally $130 record player cost us $35.07, not including the 2% back we’ll get for using our Uber Visa card.
Needless to say, it’s frugal wins like this that make me thankful to have shaken my credit card aversion.
The knowledge of others
This year I’ve navigated a number of areas I knew little about before diving in. In addition to starting my own personal finance blog (Moneyat30.com), I also decided to launch a YouTube channel of the same name. I can tell you now that neither of these things would have been possible had there not been such generous bloggers and content creators out there willing to share their knowledge. On the YouTube front, I’ve learned tons from Sean Cannell of Think Media and others but, as far as blogging, I can’t thank Jon enough for a) letting me be a contributor on this site and b) being supportive and helpful as I started my own venture.
Finally, as cheesy as it always sounds when I say it, I’m thankful for readers like you. I’ve been really inspired by all of the kind words and notes that have been sent my way since starting this column nearly 15 months ago. With that, I hope you and your loved ones have a happy Thanksgiving — and I’ll see you all next week.