One of the best parts of working for TFD — even only a month in — is that managing my finances now feels like it’s part of my job. It makes me feel more accountable than ever for tracking my spending habits, and, frankly, makes it a lot less boring to me. I know I’m not exactly airing all my dirty laundry, but I like the transparency of writing for TFD, and writing about personal topics for the Internet in general. But money is not something I talked too much about up until a few years ago, except in very distant, hypothetical terms.
As comes with any new position, starting this job has meant reassessing my finances and budgeting goals. I took a good long look at my budgeting spreadsheet this week. It’s also nearly time to start holiday shopping, and I have a few trips coming up, so I’m trying to save even more at the moment, and I’ve been looking for creative ways to cut back (and earn more via a #sidehustle and what not).
I love that a lot of good personal finance writing — definitely the kind that drew me to TFD in the first place! — centers on a good, personal story. But sometimes, I just need a damn list. I want to save more, but I also don’t want to deprive myself of fun things during the most wonderful time of the year. Lists that other people write can be great resources — even if you don’t listen to every piece of advice, you have something to refer back to, draw from, and maybe give you ideas you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
It’s perfect timing that I came across J. Money’s pick “A Bunch Of Things I Did To Get Out Of Debt” this week, right as I’ve been reevaluating my budget. It’s a very simple list, but the basic idea of “replacing expenses with alternatives” instead of cutting things out completely is a great way to approach budgeting (and, frankly, many other things in life!). I could never do anything on this list — like cutting off my home Wi-Fi — but they all help me take a step back to look at what I’m spending money on that doesn’t actually add to my life. For instance, it’s not a huge expense, but I just cancelled my Spotify Premium subscription. I know this would never work for everyone, but I realized I was personally only ever listening to the radio stations and pre-made playlists. I can handle a few ads if it means not paying an extra $13 a month.
Without further adieu, here are the rest of this week’s recommended personal finance articles. Enjoy!
1. How To Be Rich, Happy, And Save The World – Money Boss
“The truth is the secret to early retirement is shockingly simple. If you will save half your income, you can retire in seventeen years. If you can save two-thirds of your income, you can do it in a decade.”
2. The Financial Empowerment Game – Budgets Are Sexy
“Wanna know one of the best ways to feel better about your money? Walk into a store and see if you can buy anything in it 🙂 ”
3. Are You Hard-Working Or Smart-Working? – Millennial Revolution
“The key here is that when you don’t have money, it can be used against you. But when you have it, nobody can make you do anything anymore. Money is power.”
4. The Tools I Use For Peak Productivity – Afford Anything
“Today I want to share the specific tools, apps and services I use to boost efficiency at home…I’ve organized the list into three buckets: Home office, Productivity, Money mastery.”
5. A Bunch of Things I Did To Get Out Of Debt – The Minimalists
“I replaced expenses with alternatives, which made my momentary forfeiture feel less like a sacrifice. Interestingly, once I became debt-free, I was able to bring some of these indulgences back into my life…”
6. Investing: The Savings Account I’ve Always Needed! – Mixed Up Money
“For me, it feels like I’m spending my money, because it goes away (#seeyanever), and I get to enjoy the feeling of buying something when all I’m really buying is my own future.”
7. A Case for Renaming Your Bank Accounts – The Micawber Principle
“As I contemplated new names I could give the account I came up with ‘Life-Saving Medical Miracle.’ Now when I pay the bill each month pity is replaced with gratitude.”
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