5 ‘Holy Grails’ Of Personal Finance You Need To Stop Worrying About


There was a time when I cared about these things we tend to call holy grails of personal finance.  You know, obsessing about checking your credit score, buying a home – the things that cause you to rack your brain at night if you’re one these personal finance types who cares about these things.

I stopped caring a long time ago because in the grand scheme of things they don’t affect how I sleep at night.  At one time yes, but these days?  No.

Car Insurance

There was a time when I cared about how a speeding ticket would impact my car insurance rate.  When pulled over I would immediately go into a long diatribe with the officer about how this would affect my insurance rate.  Those were the days.  But now it doesn’t really matter as much to me.  Any tickets I’ve gotten have not impacted my insurance rate as they’ve gone down for each year.  I pay around $60 per month.  Even during the years when I was more a speed demon than I care to share here.  Now, I’m just more careful for practical reasons like staying safe.

Credit Score/Checking My Credit Score

I used to obsess around checking my credit score.  So much so that I was getting new scores every 2-3 months.  Now that I use cash for pretty much everything that doesn’t matter so much any more.   Losing sleep about it isn’t something I plan on doing again.

Buying a Home And Living The American Dream

Been there, done that and had the underwater t-shirt to show for it.    Property taxes, maintenance, HOA fees etc- all things you pay just to get the mortgage interest deduction.  In my mind you’re paying so much to “save on taxes”.  I’m not particularly convinced at this point.  I just don’t believe in the good ole American Dream which tells us that you have to buy a house in order to live it.  The American Dream is individual to each person.  So the premise that buying a home is a must have – well, given the economic bust, you can see how that may not be true for many anymore.

Carrying Huge Debt

Being ashamed of being in debt. Let that go, because your creditors need their money and they aren’t losing sleep. If you have a plan to get out of debt,  please don’t lose sleep about it any time soon.  Learn the lesson and make better decisions moving forward.

Coupon Clipping/Extreme Couponing

This is a waste of time for me.  Time=Money and I refuse to spend hours clipping coupons to save a few cents while buying crap I don’t need again in the name of “I bought 23 tooth brushes for $2.60!”  Who needs 23 tooth brushes?

What do I care about?

  • Having An Emergency
  • Paying down debt
  • Making more money

These are the things that matter to me and allow me to sleep better at night.

What are your financial holy grails keeping you up at night?




  • http://modestmoney.com/ Simon | Modest Money

    Right On Sister…right on!
    In the grand scheme of things very little of what we think we should be caring about actually matters that much. Definitely not anything worth losing sleep over, even in the most carefully organized financial lives…$hit happens and there is nothing one can do about it!
    When it happens, one is certainly better off with an emergency fund; that I can agree with.

  • Lisa

    Car Insurance is my #1 keeping me up at night. I have quite a record (leading my car
    insurance to be 300.00 per month) but there is no way around it, even though I
    am still sort of mad as I write this and think it would be beneficial to move
    to new York for a few years so I can clear my record of it’s blemishes. Got to have a car in the DMV and therefore
    need car insurance though. And dept, for
    me that’s student loans (totaling 20k) and a car payment (about 15k). I keep saying every few months that if I
    could do it again, that I would have bought a car without a payment but I am
    sure I will be singing a different tune in 4 years when it is paid off. I checked one of my student loan payoff amounts
    yesterday and it is about 3400.00. I
    stress and think should I save or should I just pay off this loan. Truthfully, it would feel good to have it
    gone but my monthly payment is 146 currently and has been reduced to 123.00
    next month, so it’s really just the looming black cloud of knowing that I owe
    people money which I have never liked.

    Lastly, I worry about not having enough saved for being a 30
    year old woman. I confess to just not
    knowing how to save so basically started at like 26/27 seriously thinking that
    I need to know more about money and saving.
    And reading some finance sites, I see people boast of having 100k or
    150k saved at my age. And I’m like wow,
    must be nice!

  • Anon

    Buying a house can be a great thing, but the situation has to be right for you. If it isn’t, then don’t do it! It is very true that even if your mortgage was paid off, you’d still have to pay property taxes, maintenance, insurance, ETC! There is no free home…

    Couponing, while a drag, has saved me 2-3K a year for 3 years now. But I’m experienced and know how to do it (sale, store Q, MFQ, rebate = Free or better). Also, many websites will tell you how (try mojosavings.com). For others who don’t know how, it takes a while to learn. Still takes me a couple of hours every week to prep before going grocery shopping. So, again, this can be something that can work great for one person and not for another.

    I don’t think there has to be any “holy grail” per se, but the realization that what works for some won’t work for others–largely due to different lifestyles and personalities. So, I would say that you should find what works for you and get really good at it.

  • http://eloquence-inc.blogspot.com/ Eloquence Inc

    I do disagree though that never owning a house is a wise move…when this blogger is old and can no longer work or they will no longer hire her…is she going to be comfortable paying increasing rents to remain stable or moving every year or two to a cheaper place, or stressing over the same bills in her 70s that she was in her 30s, with half the money to handle them?  Buying a house is about looking forward…but just like the first house she bought wasn’t the right investment, it’s possible that retiring in this expensive country period isn’t the right investment either…something to seriously consider. 

    • http://www.girlsjustwannahaveufunds.com/ Ginger-GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds

      Hi there.  My answer to you is yes.  In 30 years whether or not I have a mortgage, I will still need to pay property taxes, home insurance, maintenance fees/HOA fees, utilities etc – all of those things are related to the upkeep and financial responsibility of a home.  Just because you’ve paid off the mortgage doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. 

      I’ll also correct you on your assumptions.  Whether or not they were the right purchase is something that remains to be seen in this economic climate.  In the mean time I rent while renting out my other homes because renting gives me the flexibility to move around as I please which is more valuable to me than the financial responsibility of living or being stuck in a owner occupied home.

      What works for me may not work for others but this is my perspective and it works for me.  I accept that renting may not be ideal for others but having investment properties where tenants pay all of the mortgage while I rent someone else’s home with the flexibility to move around as I please is best.  Tis all :-)

  • http://eloquence-inc.blogspot.com/ Eloquence Inc

    Amen to this post!  I still say I want somewhere paid off/paid for when it’s time to rest my old bones and I’m too old to work, but honestly, I’ve seen plenty articles advise retirees that retiring OUTSIDE OF AMERICA is the best use of their fixed income dollars…and that lines right up with this blog entry which advocates not killing yourself to pick up a home debt here with all the financial burdens that come with it, and with my secret dream which is to retire back home!  Homes down there are cheaper especially if built from scratch, and nobody cares about credit they care about income and job history and whether you have any banking history with them…always said to myself instead of killing myself over the credit score thing here, why not just get a home in an area I can use it for a vacation rental there, then move into it at the end?  Now I read your article it’s making even more sense.  I can’t plan on a 30 year career in the same place so i find it hard to buy a house here even though i want one…Jamaica though, I am guaranteed to go there again and again til I die, it’s the only stable place in my heart/life when looked at over a 30 year period….I can’t get too emotionally tied to anywhere in the U.S. cause it’s always and only about where the jobs are!

  • Shannon Mouton

    While my parents obsess over having a good credit score, I can admit that I don’t…at all. I’ve never read it in anyone’s obituary, and it’s not important enough to go there, then it’s not important.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nic.mclean Nicole McLean

    Right now, the only thing I’m worried about is making sure that I can afford my health insurance and coming up with money to fund my start-up. Debt will come and go. It is what it is. I don’t shop a lot, or do a lot of extravagant things and honestly, I’m just tired at this point. Getting sick and then getting better is just plain ol’ expensive. I don’t think there is a way out of that for me. So… I’ve resolved to worry about things I can handle. 

  • afterwishing

    Thank you! I am so tired of reading articles that say these things are important. Usually, they just leave some poor, desperate, soul wondering “Now what do I do?”

  • http://youngwritersblock.org SpkTruth2Pwr

    Interesting!  These are things I swear we are conditioned to think about if we want our finances to be in order.  I like this perspective.

    • Ginger

      Thanks! Good to see you around here!

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  • Doctor Stock

    Yes, avoiding unnecessary debt and investing are mine…

  • Thirtysixmonths

    I feel the same way except my insurance rate is ridiculously high. EF and debt repayments are my top priority, too

  • Anonymous

    I think our thinking and our thoughts are the main thing it sets our intention and goal, I think money and finance are professional matters holy grails are different!!

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