What Is The Difference Between A Banana?

ID-100145040This quote is one that my father-in-law uses all the time when he’s confused. You pose him a question he doesn’t understand or thinks is just silly and he’ll quickly respond with ”what is the difference between a banana?” which, of course, doesn’t make any sense.

I find myself thinking about the quote often when I come across confusing stuff. Though I blog in the ”personal finance” niche, I know so little about money it’s embarrassing. I know my money and how we need to manage it and, that’s probably the hardest part if I’m being honest, but when people start talking about stocks, ETF’s and all things ”fancy” my eyes glaze over and I think about bananas.

Fun Fact: We have a RESP for our daughter, an invested savings for her education made up of mutual funds that I know very little about. Again, bananas to me.

I know I need to get my mind off bananas and learn these things. My husband went out and bought me/us, a book on learning about investments. I have a few years to learn everything since we’re not at the point of investing yet. To me, paying off debt is a better way to increase our networth than saving at this point of our lives.

I love personal finance and the diversity of the blogs. I can learn so much from you guys it’s sort of mind-blowing.

Any good books/sites to recommend for a beginner? Remember that I’m Canadian too.

When people get overwhelmed, it’s easy to walk away and forget about it. That’s what I did with our debt for a long time, accepted it and didn’t care. Reading your blogs are what really inspired me to get real about it all. So though I could do the same when it comes to investing, because I even the thought of it overwhelms me, I can’t. I know I need to claim responsibility for our money when the time comes (to invest) and know exactly how our money is going to work for us.

Does anything have you think, ”what is the difference between a banana?”

Photo credit: Free Digital Photos 


  1. I’m right there with you, Catherine. Investing is one of those things (like blogging) that can take up as much time as you let it. You could spend all your time analyzing market and industry trends, and then end up picking completely wrong. Right now we’re in the same boat as you…paying down debt is our #1 priority – but I DO pay attention to the return rates of the different funds of our 401K…and then just move money around following the biggest return rate number.

    If I get more fancy than that, we’ll probably hire someone to help us out.
    Travis @Debtchronicles recently posted..We Doubled Our Net Worth and You Can Too!My Profile

  2. Ha, it’s a good day for random quotes from relatives… :-)

    There are a lot of things like that for me, too. Especially when it comes to investing and taxes. But I know that I glean a little bit from each person who posts something, and I’ll know the questions to ask when the time comes for me to learn more about them.

    But if you’re like me, you won’t really learn those things until they need to be applied to your own life.
    FI Pilgrim recently posted..Don’t Worry ‘Bout The Mule, Just Load The WagonMy Profile

  3. My family sayings are way worse, and err on the side of being a bit vulgar, so I won’t share them here. :)

    In terms of investing, I just absorbed as much as I could through blogs, and sites. A lot of people recommend Canadian Couch Potato – I can’t vouch for it because I haven’t gotten to it yet, but it has ‘net cred. Honestly, I don’t know very much yet, but I know there are a couple good Canadian series on investing. I also used Air Miles to get a subscription to Money Sense magazine (6 per year). It’s been really helpful getting to consume the information in “tidbits” rather than sitting down with an entire book on one topic.

  4. “when people start talking about stocks, ETF’s and all things ”fancy” my eyes glaze over and I think about bananas.” LOL I’m so right there with you Catherine! One look at certain blog titles and I skip right over, especially those who own rental properties and other investments. HSA’s…all that stuff makes my head hurt. And as a freelancer I NEED to know more since I don’t have the luxury of mindlessly contributing to a 401k anymore. I have to be active about contributing money to retirement accounts. It makes me jealous of people who are really good about that kind of stuff.
    Budget and the Beach recently posted..5 Reasons Why Elliot Broidy’s Movie Sugar is Changing Hearts and Minds About Youth HomelessnessMy Profile

  5. Oh, I’m right there with you on this one, Catherine. Matt over at Mom and Dad Money has been wonderful in teaching us the basics of beginning investing, but he’s not in Canada so I’m not sure how much help he’d be. But, Mike over at http://www.wealthyturtle.com just had an article containing his 100 fave PF bloggers, and had a section devoted to investment bloggers – maybe you could find a Canadian there?
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted..Your Family “Traits”: Which Will You Choose to Follow?My Profile

  6. I literally just blogged about this exact topic this week, so if you want suggestions, I’d head over to my blog. I was definitely never interested in investing until I actually had money to do so. Now that I’ve recently opened my very first RRSP, I’m more interested, but I have no desire to pick stocks. A good book to start with is Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam. Good read at a good price – with actual step by step instructions on how to get started.
    Jordann recently posted..Starting to Save for RetirementMy Profile

  7. If you don’t have moments when your eyes glaze over, then you might not be human. No one knows everything and should not pretend to. Taxes confuse me, but I think they even confuse the government. I am learning more and more about investing. I just did a lot of reading to understand the concepts.
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted..Some People Piss Me Off!My Profile

  8. I would recommend checking out the Canadian Couch Potato FAQ section to learn some of the terminology and ideas behind the couch potato portfolio, which is a low-risk approach that works well for beginners.
    Anne @ Unique Gifter recently posted..Baking Mixes in Mason Jars as Holiday GiftsMy Profile


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