Financial Review Of 2016: Our Starting Point For A Better Year

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that all of you made some great memories during the holidays.  2016 was a rough one for a lot people.  The hateful goodbye messages on social media were proof enough of that fact.  We faced many challenges of our own, but survived and came out ahead.  Now that there has been some time for relaxing and the countdown is over, we’re reflecting on our progress and how best to channel the lessons from another year into making the most out of the next one.

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The Price Of Christmas Memories

As we count down the last few days until Christmas, the world around us seems a flurry of holiday activity.  Everyone is finalizing preparations and checking things off their family to-do lists. We’re looking forward to a break from school and work that will start on Friday, but the hustle and bustle of Christmas has been going on for weeks now.  Holiday spending isn’t limited to presents under the tree, but festive activities as well.  Parents are filling every possible moment with holiday cheer for their children.  Instead of feeling guilty for not buying fifty dollar, First Class tickets for the Polar Express, I’ve been thinking about what Christmas memories will actually stay with my kids for years to come.



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Tips For Keeping Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions

This time of the year tends to make us reflective.  We look back and assess what we’ve done well and what we’d like to change as we move forward. The clean break of the New Year gives us a great opportunity to make new goals for our personal lives, careers, and our finances.  Out with the old and in with the new.  We always have the best intentions for our New Year’s resolutions, but very few people have kept their resolutions by the time summer rolls around.  If you’re one of the many who plan to include financial goals in their aspirations for the New Year, how do you stick to this type of resolution? 


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Is It Financially Irresponsible To Have Another Child – If You’re In Debt?

Personal finance is all about the spending and saving idiosyncrasies that make each of us unique. A lot of people don’t seem to give much thought to their money, earning and then spending their paychecks, over and over again. I think that anyone who has taken the time to really evaluate their priorities and come up with the best way to use their assets to facilitate their dreams, is on the right path. We’re all going to have different plans and goals, but being smart about money goes beyond being frugal or spendy. There is a deeper understanding of the power of conscious spending and saving among most of us in the personal finance community. This knowledge is what gives us the chance to live unique and extraordinary lives.


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It Is Only Money: A Review & Giveaway

This journey to financial semi-independence started with a gradual adjustment of priorities.  I suffered a sort of early, mid-life crisis.  Over a period of at least one year, I did a lot of soul-searching, reading all sorts of things online and spending time reflecting, in my search for a more-meaningful life.  While there are several mental shifts to thank for my new goals and outlook, the new perspective on money was a key factor in changing our trajectory.  I often think about how best to educate others to see their true financial options and try to use this blog to provide as much helpful information as possible.  So, I was super excited to receive a copy of “It Is Only Money” by Cara MacMillan that I can share with one of my lucky readers.



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How A Part-Time Job Contributed To Our Problem With Debt

Paid work is usually a good thing for your finances, even with low-paying positions. You go somewhere, clock in, clock out, and a receive a paycheck. It’s then up to you to apply that income in a productive way.  However, some jobs encourage you to spend your hard-earned money, before you ever receive your paycheck.  I’m still reminded of how one of my part-time jobs, from over ten years ago, may have done more harm than good.



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My Five Year Prison Sentence

Today was another day spent in the office.  Another day surrounded by people who are working hard for status and to buy expensive stuff that they don’t need.  I couldn’t feel more disconnected from my coworkers.  And when you don’t feel challenged or engaged by your work, it can become extremely tedious and depressing.  There is no satisfaction from a job well done anymore.  You suffer from the “Sunday-Night Blues” every seven days when the realization that the weekend, your short furlough from the office, has expired.  But, I’m here to tell you that there’s hope, if you can just learn to adopt the right perspective about work.



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Update: Stubbornly Refusing To Give Up On Our Rental Property And Revising Our Plan

You may have noticed a few recent references to stressed-out Mr. Smith.  I commented in response to Mrs. Groovy’s positivity challenge, that I really wanted to find a way to help my husband be a little more thankful and relaxed.  The key was figuring out the root of his anxiety.  As with anything, there are usually a number of factors worthy of some blame, but I think we were able to single out one of the major ones: our rental property.  Now, we’re strategizing to adjust our plan, so that everyone can be a little happier for this part of our journey.


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Our Frugal Family Vacation To Maine

We just returned from our first family vacation in two years, a wonderful trip to Maine.  It’s funny how vacations seem like impossibly-expensive luxuries.  Yet, simple escapes can grant you immense perspective and seriously recharge your soul.  Our debt is still there, but we now have new memories to motivate us and energize us as we continue on with our journey.



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Finance Defiance: Do You Enjoy Being A Rebel When It Comes To Your Money?

I had a little Twitter chat with Ms. Our Next Life and Kate from Good Night Debt last month. Was it about investment strategies, new frugality strategies, or some other personal finance topic?  Nope.  Our chat was about piercings.  Apparently, Ms. ONL has a nose stud and a helix piercing.  Kate has a rook and helix piercing, and was deciding whether to take one out.  As for me, I have managed to somehow keep my tongue ring (actually a stud) while working in a professional field for the past seven years.  It was fun finding out that there were other personal finance bloggers with fairly rebellious piercings, but it’s really not very surprising. (4)

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