Sunday, December 28, 2014

Big Picture vs. Small Picture

I peruse many personal finance blogs and one thing that stands out to me is whether they focus on the big picture or the small picture or both.  Focusing on the big picture means building wealth and bettering one's long term financial situation.  Focusing on the small picture means cutting everyday expenses.  I read both types of blogs but I'm more interested in the big picture blogs because it is my ultimate financial goal to be at least a millionaire.

One area that I really like about the big picture is focusing on earning more money.  I think that it makes for an easier life to save 20% of $100,000 income than to save 50% of a $40,000.  I like earning money and I'm on commission so my earning potential is high.  When I was in college, I waited tables and bartended so I could make more money than I would have from working a minimum wage job.  I've long focused on making more money because I want the better life that more money can partially provide.

Another area that I like about the big picture is investing.  Growing up I was told that investing is only for rich people.  I was never taught that it would be easy to invest a small percentage of my income from day 1.  My first experience with investing was opening my Roth about 7-8 years ago.  Shortly thereafter, I opened up a retail account at Sharebuilder to buy individual stocks.  I do think that building long term wealth needs to include investing.

Housing and transportation make up the other portion of the big picture for me.  We sold our previous house because the taxes were almost $5000 per year and we didn't see that we were getting anything out of the higher taxes.  We pay more now in maintaining our property than we did in town but we feel that is the right decision for us.  We took a huge risk by buying a doublewide trailer on a nice lot, living in it for a year and a half, and building our new house.  We know many people wouldn't downgrade like that to get what they want but we did so we could get the new house we wanted on the lot we wanted.

I think the small picture things are important but I like focusing on the large picture because my long term goal is to build wealth.  I will do a separate post on how I focus on the small picture things.

What about you?  Have you noticed the 2 different mind frames with of bloggers?

6 comments:

  1. I think we're somewhere in between your definitions of big and small picture. We look big picture, but also keep track of smaller items to keep them in check and make sure we're not frittering away everything we gain by having a higher income.

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    1. From reading our blog, I would have said that you are more big picture while recognizing that the small picture goes into the big picture. I love reading your month end statements. You def inspire me.

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  2. I totally agree with you. I read both, but I know it is easier to save if you have the money to begin with. Fortunately for us we have always saved a little. It is and was hard to live on less but when you don't see it you make do. I appreciate the blogs that teach you to cut expanses, they help- but earning more is the way out. I also beleive you can save yourself poor and I don't agree with that.

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    1. You are a hard worker and you've done well for yourself, Kim. You are right about saving yourself poor. Well said.

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  3. I definitely enjoy both. To the point of a previous commenter, we're very focused on accruing wealth/increasing income, but keeping our expenses down at the same time. What's the point of earning more if you continue to spend it? I'm very motivated to see how other people keep their expenses in check, even if our lives are different.

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  4. I am definitely a "small picture" blogger...and tend to read those blogs more. I like the more personal aspects of them. Blogs that focus on the bigger picture tend to bore me a little. Part of that is a) we aren't there, so I can't relate, and b) I don't know much about investing, and it scares me beyond belief.

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