One of the things we do on Wesabe is try to build tools to help people reach their goals. (The company’s code name was “InReach” — bring your goals in reach, and a pun on enrich — and we would have gone with that name if it had been available. Somehow I couldn’t talk anyone into the idea of inrea.ch — “too del.icio.us,” they said.) The goals section has lit up this week, and it’s been great to see how many people are sharing ideas for reaching goals.
So what are people working towards? Here’s the current top ten list:
- Pay Off My Credit Cards (207 people, 5 discussions, 0 tips)
- Save Up An Emergency Fund (134 people, 1 discussion, 8 tips)
- Lower Spending (118 people, 2 discussions, 0 tips)
- Buy A House (89 people, 6 discussions, 1 tip)
- Spend Money With Green Values In Mind (42 people, 6 discussions, 5 tips)
- Stop Paying Late Fees, Overlimit Fees, Nonsufficient Funds Fees, ATM Fees, And Any Other Fees I Can Find! (41 people, 4 discussions, 3 tips)
- Contribute To My IRA (39 people, 0 discussions, 0 tips)
- Make Wesabe Better (33 people, 11 discussions, 2 tips)
- Buy A MacBook Pro (29 people, 7 discussions, 2 tips)
- Don’t Panic About Money (20 people, 0 discussions, 8 tips)
(“Make Wesabe Better” isn’t really a financial goal, but we like using the site’s features to help talk about improving the site. The discussions in that goal are great, too — people are doing a lot to help us improve the site already.)
My life was immensely better after paying off credit card debt. It has been almost 2 years since my wife and I tore up the last one. It still feels incredibly wonderful!!
I’m not exactly sure how we ended up there, but I remember reviewing our finances and realizing that things were pretty bad. We were newly married with a baby on the way and a nice, comfortable house. It suddenly it dawned on me that it probably wasn’t a good sign that we had just paid our mortgage with a cash advance from our Platinum Card.
The craziest part about it, was that I had a fantastic job, but we spent all of the income (plus our credit) on things that were not necessary. It wasn’t that we lived a “jet-set” life style, it’s just that we didn’t have any savings, or a budget. […]
I almost feel stupid writing this, but after getting married and having a child, I’d say paying off (and swearing off) our credit card debt was the most joyful moment of my life. I felt so incredibly liberated. I actually started sleeping well. I lost weight. My skin even improved. My marraige improved DRAMATICALLY.
There’s a lot more in the post, including a ton of tips for how they were able to do it. What I see in this post is exactly what I hear from so many people: that money was a huge stress for them; that their stress was not tied to low income, but instead to feeling out of control of their spending; and (speaking with my own bias here) that they had to dig their way out of it on their own with makeshift tools. It’s fantastic that they were able to do it, and the post has great advice for anyone in a bad place with money. Hopefully what we build in Wesabe will replace the makeshift tools they had to use with community support like this, and easier, more automatic, more effective tools.
Thanks to Community Pal for the post, and to everyone who’s dug into the goals section.