Welcome back, everyone! As we’ve successfully rung in a new year, I am very excited to get back to the grind with J. Money‘s top picks for personal finance articles of the week. (I am also still recovering from many days in a row spent mostly eating cookies and drinking soda. If you’re in the same boat, I highly recommend a few of the things I’ve been doing: at-home yoga and petting a cat.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about my financial goals recently, as you do, which has also meant something else: thinking a lot about my financial failures. I screwed up a few times last year; I overspent during a rough patch, and ended up opening two balance transfer cards that I am still paying off. I didn’t contribute as much as I wanted to my IRA. I’m still working on building up my emergency fund. It’s easy to say those things out loud and become disheartened — to think, I’m not where I need to be financially, according to most ~finance people~, so that must mean I’m a failure. I look at people in my life who seem to be doing much better than me, and I can’t help but feel a little insecure about the small-ish moves towards financial progress I’ve been able to make this month.
I can’t spend that much time dwelling on these insecurities, though, because I have my own life to think about. Sometimes I just need a little reassurance that I’m on the right track, and everything is going to be okay. That’s why I loved this short-and-sweet article this week, “You Are the Only Person Tracking Your Failures.” No matter how publicly you mess up — or how irreversible it may seem — it’s important to remember that no one else cares enough to keep track. Be honest with the people in your life about money, but also know that you can get better or fix a mistake. Know that your financial failures (or any kind of failures) do not define you. For myself, I know I’m much better off if I don’t waste time dwelling on what I’ve done wrong, and instead spend it on what I can do right going forward.
If you made a financial mistake last year, we, of course, want to hear about it — but we also want to hear about the awesome things you’re doing to actively better your situation. Enjoy the rest of J. Money’s picks this week, too!
1. 3 Tricks I Use to Spend Less – Mixed Up Money
“#1) No-spend on 4/5 weekdays…I keep myself busy with activities and plans during the week that are cost-free, or that I have already paid for. I leave one weeknight open for gas, grocery, and dining out experiences.”
2. The Cubicle Dwellers Manifesto – A Journey We Love
“Repeat after me: I am a strong person, and while I do need my cubicle to survive right now, I will find ways to make it a small part of my life, and not a big part of it. I will find ways to remember all seven lessons above.”
3. The Blunt Truth About Dow 20,000 – Financial Libre
“Free your mind around this: If you’re a long-term investor, you care as much about Dow 20k as Kanye West is likely to be taken seriously by anyone with a brain not fried like so much funnel cake. Which is right at zero.”
4. ABP: The Secret to Not Wanting Fancy Things – The Money Habit
“Wouldn’t it be amazing if there were a long-lasting alternative to this tortured pattern, something that could give you that rush of satisfaction again and again? There is. Always be producing.”
5. The 99K Challenge – Akash Sky
“I accepted this challenge to stop saying ‘I can’t’ and start thinking about how ‘I can.’ I want to use this challenge to test myself and see what I’m capable of. ”
6. The Online Savings Hack You Need to Try – Wallet Hacks
“The strategy is simple: Register an account, add an item to your cart, then close your window and wait 24 hours.”
7. You Are the Only Person Tracking Your Failures – Four Pillar Freedom
“Despite how many failures you have experienced, you are not a failure until you have decided to call yourself one.”
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