Jonathan Clements, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, is leaving journalism. He published his last article on Wednesday, a reflection on fourteen years at the Journal and 26 years writing professionally about money.
In the article, he looks at the essence of saving and investing. Why bother? A number of visitors touched on these points on yesterday’s post on Consumerism Commentary about frugality and compromises. Here’s what Jonathan Clements has to offer for his final word to readers.
If you have money, you don’t have to worry about it. You don’t have to worry about it, but many people do. Growing your money requires paying attention to your finances, and when you’re aware of problems, you’re more likely to worry about it. But if you’re earning enough from your pay check or investments to cover your expenses, save, and invest for the future, then you have the flexibility to turn your attention to other things.
Money can give you the freedom to pursue your passions. This is what inspires me to continue being vigilant about my own finances. There have always been a number of things I’ve passionate about, including music, technology, building communities, and inspiring other people whenever possible. For a long time I was able to combine these passions, but the real world was calling and I needed to stop going deeper into debt. Once I’m financially independent, no longer needing to trade my time to earn a living, I can pursue these activities further.
Money can buy you time with friends and family. For most people, this probably falls under the “passions” category. Jonathan writes about the ability to spend when socializing with people who make you happy, but even those who are struggling financially can find happiness through making time for those who are important. It doesn’t take expensive dinners and traveling to find happiness.
Clements ends his final article with a reminder that a rich life isn’t always about the money.
I’ve cited Jonathan Clements‘ articles a number of times on Consumerism Commentary, and I’ve almost always agreed with his points of view. Thanks for the excellent articles over the years.
Published or updated April 11, 2008.