All posts filed under: Wealth

How to Reset Your Money After a Life Event

Sometimes you just need to pause and turn inwards. After months of silence on this platform I’m happy to return and explain that my husband and I are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first child later this year – and we’ve taken a few months to sit back, digest what’s happening with our lives, and to take a long hard look at how this will affect our finances. Prior to pregnancy, my husband and I were well on our way to paying off our $282,874.50 in debt (in 6 months we’d eliminated two credit cards, a family loan and started in on our high-interest student loan – about $13,000 in debt) – but by mid-March we both had to stop and reflect if putting every penny of our disposable income towards debt repayment was the most logical use for our money with a child on the way. After many months of talking and planning, we’re back with a modified debt repayment plan that will allow us (first time parents) to adequately prepare for …

How to set achievable financial goals - plus a free printable

How to Set Achievable Financial Goals – Plus a Free, Printable Guide

At the start of a new year, we often find ourselves setting goals and seeking fresh starts. It isn’t coincidence. It’s something called a ‘temporal landmark.’ Humans seek out ways to improve on ourselves, and one of the popular ones (behind getting fit, losing weight, and enjoying life) is getting our finances in order. Maybe that’s you! And if you’ve committed to getting money-savvy this year I want to commend you. It’s never too late to start getting right with your finances. So today let’s capitalize on that momentum and excitement by talking about financial goal setting and positive habit formation. Why set financial goals? Setting great goals isn’t about creating a laundry list of everything you want to achieve (although that is part of it). It’s about getting really clear on what you want and how you will achieve it. As the late and great Lewis Carroll said, ‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.’ Goals provide focus. And when it comes to getting your finances in …

15 Small Changes For Better Health, Wealth, and Happiness

I recently shared my personal vision for the year. I recognize that progress and success comes by taking a series of small steps. In order to achieve my vision for my future self, here are the 15 small changes I’m planning to make this year: Stop Purchasing Books/Audiobooks, Use the Library Instead I pay for my local library through taxes, so I will begin utilizing it much more. Libraries played an incredibly important part of my childhood and teen years, offering me a place to go and be alone with my interests unfettered. It is an invaluable community resource and is something I’ll be frequenting much more. Drink the (Strong) Coffee at Work  I’ve always avoided the coffee pot at work because, for some reason, the coffee here is some of the strongest I’ve ever tasted. It’s a bitter, black brew. But it’s free and convenient, and I’ll learn to drink it and save a few dollars every day. Quit the Gym  There’s a gym only a few block away that I’ve paid dues to …

The Necessary Nature of Trade-Offs in Personal Finance

After November’s mediocre showing, I’ve been reflecting on my actions over the past month. It’s clear that I was overzealous in my first debt payment, and in doing so I had to rely on my credit card to cover other expenses, which only succeeded in putting me in another bad spot. What I was lacking was the mindfulness of the full picture of my finances and I was failing to create space between impulse and payment. I wasn’t asking myself the right questions or taking the time to make sure the math checks out. I gave in to the excitement and adrenaline rush of paying off a huge amount of debt without considering if it was the ‘right’ choice for that time. Lesson learned. Everyday we’re faced with making decisions. We ask ourselves things like: Should I do X? Should I buy Y? Should I get rid of Z? But I believe what we should be asking ourselves are things like: Would I rather do X, or would I rather do Y? Should I buy …

Saying Goodbye to Black Friday and My New Shopping Rules

Today is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. Since the 1930s, this day has traditionally marked the beginning of the Holiday shopping season. It’s popularity comes from the happy coincidence of Thanksgiving being the last major holiday before Christmas and that employers often give workers the Friday after Thanksgiving off as part of a holiday weekend. The name ‘Black Friday’ references stores accounting coming out of the ‘red’ (negative numbers) and into the ‘black’ (positive numbers. (citation needed) It’s a day that retailers employ some of marketing’s best tactics to increase sales: entice with doorbusters to get customers in the door, create a sense of urgency by limiting sales to a single day, and utilize the power of the hype train in all communication channels. Black Friday: Then and Now Over the past decades, the allure and madness of Black Friday has grown. Every year news outlets report on larger and larger crowds pushing, screaming and fighting over limited, out-of-stock or one-time only items. We see viral videos from inside stores …

Let’s Talk About Lifestyle Creep

I recently earned a promotion and raise at my place of employment that will amount to a few hundred dollars extra each month. Given my recent commitment to rapid debt reduction, this is a great boon – but in the spirit of reflection, I have to honor that my previous raises haven’t always been so responsibly allocated. So today – let’s talk about lifestyle creep. Lifestyle Creep in 3 Parts: Coffee, Clothing and Cuisine All it takes is a quick glance at my spending history to identify the common culprits of lifestyle creep. They are also my strongest temptations to spend: coffee, clothing and cuisine. Part 1: Coffee There’s something about coffee that warms my soul. The bitterness of a dark roast served black. The warmth and comfort of my go-to soy macchiato. The time spent with friends over a cup of chai. The triple-shot monstrosity to get me through a Monday. It all adds up to an easy excuse to spend a few bucks here and there – and gets easier to justify when you …