Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pecuniary Consideration?

Who Am I?
A question of the ages and one that, as I approach "middle age," one I have given more deliberate consideration. Actually, I haven't focused so much on "Who am I?" as I have focused on "Who do I want to be?" Once I figure all that out, I'll be sure to post the answer.

In the meantime, if you've stumbled onto this blog as the result of either an unwitting Google search with the word "pecuniary" or some other random way (one in which you do not know me in "real life"), here is some context.

I am a working professional, a CPA, a wife and a mother. That is in chronological order, not order of importance (which could arguably be the exact reverse order but don't tell my husband the kids might come first, although he may already suspect this).

"By day" I am a financial software consultant. I consult for a few large companies and build financial consolidation and reporting systems. That probably sounds like a lot of blah, blah, blah to most people and unless you are in the business of reading financial statements for a living and want to chat further about that line of work, we can just let it rest. Unless, however, you are a top notch programmer dying to build a better consolidation and financial reporting tool -- I have a few ideas from 15+ years in the field. Please contact me!

I love my clients and what I do for a living so I am not really in the market for a career change. However, finding joy and satisfaction outside of work is important to living a balanced life (or so I hear) and so volunteer work, my family, and financial planning are those sources for me.

Why a blog?

At first I channeled my passion into reading (or partially reading - some authors can make even the most fascinating subject dry and boring) every personal finance book that sounded interesting. Next I helped a friend facilitate a women's finance book club. We've now had our finance book club going for four years and what I've learned is that I can talk ad nauseum on the topic of personal finance. Probably more than what my friends want to listen to on a regular basis... and thus, a blog as an outlet.

Generally my interests lean toward the investing side of personal finance but as I've spent time talking with friends I've realized that what concerns most people day-to-day is not investing but budgeting. You have to get to the point of saving something before you can start investing. To get to the point of saving you have to be living within your means which generally means some sort of budget. So I plan to include a few investment topics along with a bit of budget and general financial information in this blog. But we'll start with the budget side of things.

Why the title "Pecuniary Consideration?"

Unless you aced the verbal portion of the SATs (which I did not) you probably wonder what "Pecuniary Consideration" means. As with all big decisions in life it was a bit of a wending journey. I was looking for an available blog title at and my first five tries were unavailable. So I looked at my Mac dictionary for inspiration and under the entry for "financial" it had this to say:
What's the difference between a financial crisis and a fiscal one? It all depends on who's having trouble with money and the scale of the difficulties.
Financial usually applies to money matters involving large sums or transactions of considerable importance (: the auction was a financial success).
Fiscal refers specifically to the financial affairs of a government, organization, or corporation (: the end of the company's fiscal year), while pecuniary refers to money matters of a more personal or practical nature and is preferred to financial when money is being discussed on a smaller scale (: pecuniary motives; pecuniary assistance; pecuniary difficulties).
Of all these words, monetary refers most directly to money as such and is often used when discussing the coinage, distribution, and circulation of money (: the European monetary system; the monetary unit of a country).

Since I'm not sure more than one person (thanks Mom!) will read my blog, the term "pecuniary" in relation to discussions on a "smaller scale" seemed to fit this situation. Then I wondered if Pecuniary and Consideration were really okay to put next to each other and a quick Google search turned up
George Washington Message to the House of Representatives
Date: December 3, 1793
No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable.
Given that the quote uses the phrase PC, is talking about fiscal responsibility, and even includes a subtle reference to the time value of money (maybe he wasn't thinking about that but he should have been) I figured it was a sign! Imploring the government to retire debt is just a bonus in this quote. Nevermind the fact that according to my Mac dictionary he should have been using the word fiscal since he was discussing government debt. Perhaps GW would also have done better on the math portion of the SATs.

I plan to cover finance in a way that is fun to read (or at least not painful). As we go, leave comments and ask questions! This blog is a two way street: an outlet for my obsession and an opportunity for readers to ask questions and get answers.

May my time spent writing + your time reading be a solid investment in your finances.

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