I just ubered back to my hotel here in Charleston, SC. The driver asked me straight away what I do and I said, ‘accountant.’
The next question was not totally unexpected but it’s been a while.
“So what advice can you give me on personal money management?”
It’s not exactly an accounting question but I am familiar with this dynamic. A few years ago, I occasionally answered the career question with “economist” — which I never really was — and that usually resulted in “what should I invest in?” Which is even more of an non-sequitur.
So here’s what I said:
- Keep careful track of your expenditures.
- Make conscious decisions about changing those expenditures if you don’t like what you see.
- Pay off your debt as quickly as possible.
- Avoid credit cards.
- Save as much as you can once you are debt free.
So I parroted Dave Ramsey.
Everything else is detail and circumstance.
I also heard something I’ve heard before from drivers:
“I really wish Uber would take out taxes from my pay. I hate trying to figure that out and putting money away for taxes.”
What a different world we would live in without withholding. Many people just cannot wrap their brains around withholding, the planning required if you are paid as an independent contractor or the freedom it provides. It’s shame that the easier system (pay with withholding) is also the choice that restricts your options.
But I guess that’s why it’s easier.