Failing upward and looking towards 2018

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” -Norman Vincent Peale, apparently/countless motivational Instagram posts
Aw, isn’t that some sweet inspirational bullshit?” -me from not that many moons ago[*]

I’ve never really been a goals person. My concrete plans ended after graduate high school/go to college/get a job, and I’ve never really known what I want to do with my life. Perhaps there’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation going on here (if I had goals maybe I’d know better what I want to be when I grow up?), but it also always seemed silly to me to make goals. “Figure out your life and get your shit together in this next year” doesn’t really work, you know? (Trust me, I’ve tried.)

And yet. Continue reading “Failing upward and looking towards 2018”

What are your trade-offs?

Essentially all of life is a trade-off: when we say yes to something, we’re saying no to something else. We trade our time and energy 40 hours a week at our jobs in exchange for a paycheck, which means saying no to the myriad of other things we could or would rather be doing during that time.

When we say yes to an evening in reading a book or watching tv, we say no to an evening out somewhere or spending time with friends. And vice versa.

When we stay up late writing blog posts, we say no to getting more sleep. Ahem, I digress. Continue reading “What are your trade-offs?”

The intersection of money and mental health

While this is ostensibly a personal finance/financial independence blog, I don’t want it to be strictly about money. I tell a lot of stories about my life to illustrate points, that yes, are related to personal finance, but I want to continue talking about travel, food, privilege, mindsets, habits, and my ridiculous collection of brightly-colored flats. This blog is about my journey, which involves way more than the cold, hard numbers of grocery price comparisons.

Here’s a big thing I haven’t talked about yet: I deal with depression and anxiety. Continue reading “The intersection of money and mental health”

Some of the things I’ve bought over the years

(aka Amazon is sometimes a dangerous game)

I’ve talked before about how I’m a natural spender. I’ve been noticing a tendency lately to want to buy things—and I succumbed and bought two prints the other day. At some point I’m going to run out of wall space for those, but I suspect it’ll be that event that makes me finally stop, not some act of self control on my part.

I had a tab open earlier today for a pine-scented candle. It took me a few minutes to blink, take a second look at that tab, and close it out. I’ve got a bunch of candles. Hell, I have the supplies to make my own. I don’t need an expensive holiday-scented candle, as fantastic as that would smell. I’ve got better things to do with my money. But I still had that tab open. Continue reading “Some of the things I’ve bought over the years”

The single person’s guide to a Costco membership

Is it worth paying for a Costco membership? That’s a question I’ve heard asked a lot in the personal finance sphere, and it’s one I mulled over for quite a while myself.

I grew up watching my mother shop and cook for five people (um yes, my parents are Costco members), and I’ll be the first to admit that it took me a very long time to figure out how to grocery shop and cook for one after I graduated from dorm life to apartment life. As part of that transition, I suspected I was going to have to say goodbye to Costco for the foreseeable future, plus there wasn’t one close enough to me to justify going anyway. Continue reading “The single person’s guide to a Costco membership”

Getting away from a “someday” mentality

I have a plain white t-shirt that I’ve never worn; it’s sat in my drawer since I bought it two years ago, despite the fact that I already owned a perfectly good plain white t-shirt. Given the alarming rate at which white t-shirts tend to discolor, stain, and get grungy, it seems ridiculous to own two of these highly impractical items, but I bought the second one for “someday.” Continue reading “Getting away from a “someday” mentality”

How the hell do I get started?

As much as I talk a big talk about money and pretend I’ve got it all figured out (and if I could just get a damn 50% raise already I’d be good to go!), that’s not actually the case. Some days I’m internally screaming because while I’ve maybe started figuring out my shit, I feel like I’m sitting at the bottom of Mount Everest and financial independence is aaaallllllllll the way at the top. Y’all, I haven’t even done the math on how long it’s actually going to take to reach FI/climb the damn mountain because I’m afraid to. Continue reading “How the hell do I get started?”

It’s annual salary increase time so let’s talk money

So I got my annual salary increase letter today. This is the first time I’ve gotten one at my current place of employment and I stared at the envelope with a mix of nervousness, fear, and excitement for a few minutes before opening it (yes, okay, I’ll admit I indulged about 10 seconds’ worth of wild fantasies about what if it’s something huge like a 10% raise?!?). The verdict? A three percent increase. Okay, cool, that’s nice. I’ll take whatever increases I can get! And then I started wondering what the usual annual percentage increase is for cost-of-living adjustment. Is it 3%? Usually a bit less? I believe my increase at my previous place of employment was 2.5% (maybe less? Whatever, I was making $17.25 so whatever it was bumped me all the way up to something like $17.80), but that was there. What was I supposed to make of the 3% raise here? Continue reading “It’s annual salary increase time so let’s talk money”