This Is the Key to Financial Freedom

Paying bills may be a drag, but keeping track of your finances can also be empowering and even fun. In this Motley Fool Live clip recorded on Jan. 12, co-author of Stacked: Your Super-Serious Guide to Modern Money Management, Emily Guy Birken, shares her tips for rethinking your relationship with money.

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Emily Guy Birken: Because I often have to like scale back my humor when I’m writing about finance. Just because often the expectation is that this is, we’re going to take this seriously. Even though I like to come at everything with a little bit of irreverence and some humor. When it comes to money, in particular, the way that my brain is wired and has been since I was a child is I get a great deal of enjoyment and satisfaction out of tracking my expenses, out of budgeting ahead and things like that. It’s just something that’s how my brain works and so like, I’m excited to sit down and pay bills. I know that’s not normal [laughs]. That means I’m an outlier.

The thing is my success with money has come about because I do enjoy myself while I’m doing that. The thing is, it’s possible too for everyone to enjoy themselves. It’s possible for everyone to find a way to have fun with money. Even if you’re not wired with this weird thing that makes me go, whee! spreadsheets [laughs]. That’s something that I really would like to see more people understand is that you can make money fun. It doesn’t have to be a slog, it doesn’t have to be stressful, it doesn’t have to feel like life or death. When you do that, you are going to be more successful because you’re going to keep coming back to it because consistency is often the only thing that’s really standing in your way. If you’re already in a position where you’re not making enough money to live on that sort of thing.

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