#1 Money hoarding
After my grandmother died in 2012 I was devastated and I received a surprise inheritance. This confusing windfall drove me into the arms of the online personal finance community, starting with Mr. Money Mustache but going down many byways, reading a lot about financial independence, early retirement, and economics. I paid off my student loans and started maxing out my retirement accounts. I read all about minimalism and tiny houses and location independent freelancing and living in vans. These are a few of the things my generation is looking into to try to cope with our current culture- so much stuff, so little time, such questionably valuable work.
I had been lucky enough to inherit not only some funds, but a pretty healthy approach to work. Inspired by my parents, I’d gone into a profession I admire and was doing the most meaningful work I could imagine within that field (sharing with children a love of learning through books.) I was spending hours after work reading about how the modern workplace was soul destroying, but my job was so different from that of the writers as to be irrelevant. They were all looking for meaning beyond earnings and I was really just looking to soothe my grief through taking control of my finances. Oh rosebud, I imagine that is a common strategy.
I’m now bored with the personal finance community and the tiny house fanciers and capsule wardrobe people. As many of them have written, these gimmicks can sell books and advertising space but they don’t make a life. Once you figure out what you don’t want, you then must figure out what you do want. And that is where I find grief again like a wet sheet hung between me and what comes next.