How to Find Support as a Lonely Finance Nerd
If you are a finance nerd then you’ve probably had this experience. You listen to a podcast or read a book and learn something really interesting. It just clicks for you and you think, “This is genius! I must share this with everyone I know so that they will be able to benefit from this knowledge too!”
So the next time you are out at dinner with your friends, you decide to share this new finance gem (because you are such a good friend). You are brimming with excitement; fully expecting your friends to be impressed and give you a heart felt “THANK YOU for this vital information!” So you finish talking and… blank stares all around. Silence. Your excitement fades as you realize they do not care.
Then, you think “But how can they not care about this? It’s so interesting/ important/ changes everything.” The sad truth is that many people are not interested in learning about finance. It’s difficult to be a finance nerd in a sea of people who think money is evil or boring or just too stressful to talk about. You want to help people and those you care about, who really need a budget or a Roth IRA, don’t want to listen to what you have to say.
Even worse than the lack of interest, is the lack of understanding. They simply do not understand what you are talking about. Thus, the blank stares. It can feel lonely to be the only one who is interested in finance.
It’s discouraging to have your friends think you are crazy for trying yet another side hustle idea. Sometimes this can result in just not talking about finance anymore. Some of us finance nerds may even come to feel embarrassed because people think there is something wrong with a carefully crafted excel sheet or spending time on a new investing tool.
Don’t worry fellow finance nerds; you are not alone! There are many people like you out in the world. However, it is vital that you belong to a community of people that share your interests and values about money.
Interest is all well and good but in order to build wealth you need to put knowledge into practice. Making a budget is one thing. Sticking to that budget is another thing entirely. It is easy to get off track from your money goals when the going gets tough and you need people who can support and encourage you to keep pushing on.
This idea is illustrated by a research done by Doug McAdams about the Mississippi Summer Project. McAdams looked at why some young people joined efforts to register African American voters while others did not. It may be assumed that this was determined by how much each student cared about civil rights. However, what he found was that the students who got on the buses were the ones who had told people they were going. In other words, they had the social pressure to stick to their word, even when they became scared and experienced doubt in their decision.
Further research shows that those who are around people who spend less, exhibit similar behavior. So what if you don’t have a social group that has the financial values you want to practice? Ditch them and get new friends (Just kidding!)
Here are some action steps
1. Join a like-minded community
There are many online communities for finance in general and specific financial interests. You can join conversations and meet people through the websites or Facebook groups. This is a great way to learn, meet people, and get support.
Some of our favorite online communities:
Dominate Your Dollars Facebook group (Money Girl)
Farnoosh Torabi: So Money
You can also find in-person communities through Meet Up groups, Mastermind groups, and social networking events. Some of the online communities (like Bigger Pockets) also have local in-person events.
2. Find a Finance Buddy
Spark a finance interest in someone you know by lending them your favorite book or introducing them to your favorite podcast. That’s how we got started. Or join a finance community and make a real life accountability partner. Share your goals and knowledge with this person. You can both help each other by providing feedback, advice, and support.