Sunday wrap-up: Looking back, looking forward

Wow, it has been a busy couple of weeks. Our discussion about hiring household help–and my follow-up post debunking some myths about hiring a cleaning service–really seemed to strike a chord with other women in the blogosphere! Thanks to Saving Naturally, Motherese, Rookie Moms, Simple Mom, and Lisa Belkin for keeping the conversation going. (Did I miss anyone?)

Other highlights:

As much as I love talking about cleaning and household management, it’s time to move on–to another sensitive topic: Money. In my two years of writing this blog, I’ve only discussed money once as part of a larger discussion about the difficult choice to work, postpone work, work less, or not work at all. I know why this is: frankly, I have a lot of money hang-ups, and it’s taken me the better part of my adult life to get to the point where I face my financial future head-on instead of squeezing my eyes tight and hoping everything magically works out for the best. I’m far from being a money whiz now, but I have learned two things:

1) My satisfaction and happiness levels are directly related to the amount of control I feel over our financial lives. Note: that doesn’t mean I’m happier when I have more money; in fact, sometimes it’s the opposite. But when we are managing the money we do have well, I always feel more secure, less stressed, and a lot happier.

2) Like anything in life, financial issues become less scary, shameful and foreign the more you face them head on.

So, let’s bring money out in the open. What are your financial strengths and weaknesses? Did you learn to handle money as a kid or did you have to muddle through, learning as an adult? Do you talk about finances with your spouse? Your kids? Are you saving for any big goals, following a specific plan, or just limping along from paycheck to paycheck? How do you know when you have “enough”? Do you believe there’s a connection between the state of your finances and the state of your mood?

Can’t wait to discuss for the next week or two!

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