Thor knows, we can all stand to laugh at ourselves more often. As an incorrigibly Type-A list-maker, I find spoof listicles very amusing; they expose the genuine absurdity of my apocalyptic imagination and the overwrought ways I attempt to combat my fears with survivalist logic. My simplest, salt-of-the-earth solutions begin to sprout feverish exclamation points (Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated…!…!!…!!!). I find myself mapping out detailed, play-by-play escape routes for situations that rarely, if ever, come to pass. If my mind is the powerfully dysfunctional nuclear power plant that spews radioactive ooze and populates Springfield’s river with three-eyed fish, then I resemble the qualified yet inexplicably timid and panic-ridden Mr. Smithers more than I do the happily apathetic Homer Simpson. When I’m behind the nuclear operating board, there are few things that can successfully reign in my habit of fiddling with the safety switches and knobs and blaring half-finished, exclamation point-strewn instructions over the emergency broadcast system. One of them – let’s go for broke and say the only one I really trust – is humor.
All this is a long way of saying: items one, two, and three of the first article of J. Money’s personal finance link roundup tickled me pink. My short-term relationship with money, at the moment, is positive; I’m enjoying a debt-free life and a new job that allows me to do what I love: engage in a debate of ideas (yours, dearest reader mine) and contribute my own theories to the conversation, all while indulging my hunger for word-smithery. And I get…paid to do it? The late-night comedian in me (who has performed for years and earned $0 by her wit) is skeptical that this I-do-work-and-you-send-a-paycheck state of affairs will be true tomorrow, or the next day, but I’m talking her off that ledge. And my — let’s say, emotional — relationship to my money’s future? Fraught with exclamation points dripping in Springfield’s finest nuclear waste. Which is exactly why Link #2 of our roundup is both sobering (read: Mr. Smithers finger is inching towards the Big Red Button to sound the alarm) and useful (read: Homer Simpson knocks over his coffee, short-circuits the alarm, and Mr. Smithers instead decides to read the article like a goddamn adult and make turn his retirement savings To-Do list into a painting…see Link #7).
Happy reading, citizens of Springfield. I’ll be over by the army tank, swapping my Type-A disaster scenario soundtrack for something a little more…palatable.
1. The 7 Most Mind-Blowing Ways to Save Money E-V-E-R — Budgets Are Sexy
“These should be taken super seriously no matter who you are or what your goals are, as everyone knows money comes first.”
2. What Your Net Worth Should Be By Age — Money After Graduation
“If you can contribute $10,000 per year to your assets starting at age 25, you’ll have just shy of $1 million at age 60 assuming an average rate of return of 5%.”
3. The Importance of a “Don’t Be Boring” Budget — The Billfold
“I quickly discovered that I was much better at my work when I found the time and money to do things with my life that made me a more interesting person.”
4. 200+ Ways to Earn Money in Your Spare Time — Side Hustle Nation
“If we think back in time 200 years, almost all commerce was peer-to-peer, right? We traded in small town squares and knew our neighbors. Then big corporations came in and took over the world. The ‘sharing economy’ is displacing some of those corporations and getting us back to our roots.”
5. What Each Generation Wastes Money On — Bustle
“The survey found that, in general, 30 percent of Baby Boomers described themselves as “nonwasteful.” Among Generation X, 19 percent said they’re not wasteful, and only 15 percent of Millennials described themselves that way.”
6. The $250k Question — Personal Liberty
“If I were to hand you a check that would pay the full cost of your next house, what would you do?”
7. Could “Debt Art” Help You Pay Off Your Debt Faster? — How Do I Money?
“The idea is that seeing your debt payment plan displayed every day will get you thinking about it every day. And coloring in the squares or flowers or whatever will be motivating! You can see and feel the progress.”
Image via Pexels