I wrote a post for the launch of my newest digital baby, WalletPop, last night at 3 a.m. -- it wasn't quite right for the site. It goes here, instead, where I can marvel that this launch of my second enormous blog project is so very like the birth of a second child; I love the new one so complexly already, I can foresee how hard it will be to juggle these two very different properties. The one, serious and analytical and redolent with the financial statements and geeky competitive strategy stuff I love and the other, a mission to create a better thing for people who want to create a healthy relationship with their money. But that is all marketing speak. Here is the post:
I have to apologize to my husband. I've been spending our family TV time yelling at the commercials (and I'm pretty sure they're not feeling badly for themselves). Too many of the advertisements espouse financial values that are questionable at best, destructive at worst: like the one for an HD TV that explains how a TV will bring your family together -- and then shows a family all staring the same direction. Or the one(s) that show just how much you love your wife -- because you bought her jeweled pendants. Or how about the one where everyone is morose and unresponsive until mom takes them on a drive in the NEW CAR!
I look at my husband narrowly and tell him I'd rather he put the money in our kids' college fund than spend it on a heart-shaped diamond doo-dad. And if he ever put an HD TV on our credit card, well, our family would not be coming together that night, I'll tell you what.
It's time we stopped letting the funders of pop culture influence our financial decisions (thank you, Anheuser-Busch, for the football game you have brought to me today!) and started bringing pop culture to an intersection with finance in an altogether new way -- with opinions not sponsored by your friendly local bank / brokerage / credit counseling agency. It's time we started talking about how much debt we have, not as a badge of honor but as a confession. We absolve you of your acquisitive past. Let's talk about how we can make a future that's brighter; a future where financial security doesn't mean having enough room on the credit card to afford a really huge pile of presents under the tree.
Here's why we started WalletPop: because we really love money. It's true! But more than we love money, we love figuring out how it can make our lives better. Not how the TV commercials suggest -- by having things we can all stare at together as a family -- but how we can pick which things make our life wonderful, buy them for as little as possible, and leave all the rest off our Visa balance. How we can plan for the future, whether that future is tax season or our children's education or retirement. How we can one day look over the fence at the neighbor's new toy and instead of thinking, "I want one!" say to ourselves, "I wonder if he financed that, and if I should show him WalletPop to learn more about money." Yeah.