Facing my fear of investing

Major confession: I’m extremely fearful of investing money. 

It’s not the risk factor so much. It’s the fact I understand literally nothing about it. No matter how many blogs I read or articles I browse that address ‘investing for dummies!’, I can’t crack it. 

But I’m stating my intention. This is it! This is the year for breaking the fear and putting some knowledge in my head and some cash on the line. My savings account balance is currently $11,445. I have a strong feeling that my previous conception that investing can only be done by the $10,000s is wrong. So step one will be to take $2,000 and put it somewhere. 

Where? I don’t know. I’m very confused about every single facet of this business. But I’m ready to bulldoze my way in. I’m sick of holding myself back, and feeling behind. However, I’d love some advice. What were your first steps? Any advice for an impulsive, distractable person in their mid-20s such as myself?

Reflections

I bought a $2000 bike today.

I haven’t posted here for a long time, but this was the fact I wanted to start with. I bought a $2000 bike.

$2000 is a lot of money. The bike was brand new, and I always said I would only ever buy a second-hand bike on Gumtree and not waste my money. My (very nice) bike was stolen last week, as I lead up to the days of training for my first half ironman in November. I was devastated. That bike awas gifted to me from very generous friends. But did I need to replace it with a brand-new $2000 bike (adding in another $400 in helmet, water bottle racks, lights, a new lock, repair kit, pedals, cycling shoes…those thieving jerks really cleared me out). It rode nice. I feel good in that saddle. I’m really happy with my purchase.

But now I’m starting to question whether I’m allowed to spend that kind of money when I’m 25? Should I have saved it? Should I have picked a cheaper (less speccy) bike? Should I have just counted the $400 entry fee to the Ironman as a sunk cost and not bought a replacement bike?

I feel plagued by these kind of financial considerations all the time. I’ve had a few months of really losing control with my spending. My favourite personal finance blog, Blonde On A Budget, is now reporting on a second year of a total shopping ban. I cannot even fathom going on a shopping ban! I didn’t realise how thoughtlessly I shop – but it’s incredibly thoughtlessly at times. I have saved up a comfortable amount of money, which gives me a foolish sense of comfort that I can do things like buy a $2000 bike. But. Then I don’t have as much saved.

I have had a lot of financial confusions I want to start sharing again. I felt so much clarity when I was blogging about money. It kept me honest, and it kept money at the forefront of my mind. I look forward to reporting back again.

And I’ll keep you updated on how the bike rides. Fit is necessary!

Monthly goals: December

It’s a few days late, but I’d like to start posting my goals each month as a form of accountability, and to get feedback on them. I’m in a particularly unusual position where I’ve never actually been in debt, thanks primarily to extremely generous parents. So my goals are structured around savings, and life/health goals.

– Complete my December letter challenge (I’ll post more about this tomorrow);
– Save $1000; [update: $200 in]
– Book my holiday
– Draft a 2015 budget;
– Get my teeth cleaned (before my health insurance rolls over!);
– Keep phone bill below $90 (I’m a data addict);
– Read 4 books;
– Exercise 15 times.