You may have noticed one important component of financial literacy that has been conspicuously absent from this blog thus far: debt. It isn’t included in my net worth, and you won’t find it in my budget.
The reason I haven’t talked about debt yet is very simple. On this blog, I write what I know, and debt is not something that I know very well. While I do have a mortgage (don’t worry, I’m well above water on it), I have never had consumer debt, student loan debt, car loan debt, or any other kind of debt.
So how did I manage to make it to 27 without debt? I’ll break it down into two key factors, which are really one factor that you’ve heard about before: my parents. Continue reading
Why is balance so hard to achieve?
During my summer in Europe, let’s just say that I ate a few too many pastries. As I sit here writing this, my pants are just a bit too tight. It’s got me thinking about two things.
First, capsule wardrobes. When you’re feeling a bit out of shape, don’t you just want to reach for the same five outfits that make you feel great? Which makes me think I should really be wearing those things that make me feel great all the time. But this is a topic for another day.
Second, balance. Balance is such a tricky thing, and I think finding balance in health (food/exercise) and money are similarly elusive. At least for me. I either eat all the things or next to nothing. I work out every day or never. I buy everything or save all my money. Why is it so hard to reach a happy, sustainable middle ground?
One of my primary goals with this blog is to help people (myself included!) find balance when it comes to money. I’m not trying to promote extreme frugality, early retirement, or rapid debt payoff (although I completely respect the myriad blogs out there that are). I’m trying to find a balanced, sustainable approach to money that will work for me in the long term, and that will allow me to live a happy life both today and in the future. Continue reading
After landing at Charles de Gaulle airport at 6:30 pm on Saturday night, BF and I hopped in a cab to head back to our apartment in Paris.
See, we’d taken an Uber car to the airport a week earlier for the reasonable price of €30. We’d looked into the cost to take the metro, but at around €10 per person plus added confusion and an unknown amount of time, we decided to spend the extra €10 for Uber.
We thought the cost wouldn’t be that different this time around. Yes, cabs are a bit more expensive than Uber, but it was Saturday night so we figured there wouldn’t be much traffic and the ride would be quick and cost efficient.
Well, we figured wrong. It took us about an hour to get back into Paris, which left us with a €70 tab. Ick. Continue reading
Let me start by saying that the word “frugal” is sadly an ugly one. It does not roll off the tongue and it just plain doesn’t sound good. Unfortunately, in addition to its unpoetic pronunciation, the word frugal has gotten a bad rap in American culture. We’re a materialistic society, obsessed with “keeping up with the Joneses” and having all the latest and greatest new toys. The word frugality evokes images of poverty and miserly people living in squalor. This has begun to shift after the Great Recession left so many peoples’ purses that much lighter, but I think that frugality and thrift are still taboo subjects. Continue reading
One of the most important aspects of personal finance is saving. Saving is, at the simplest level, putting aside money now for use in the future. But why is this so important? Why shouldn’t I just spend all of my money now and enjoy it? No one can know what the future holds, so there is a risk to saving. What if you’re not around later to enjoy the deferred fruits of your labor? I like to look at it the other way around: because no one knows what the future holds, what can I do today to protect myself tomorrow? For me, that is why saving is important. Saving gives you freedom and security. Saving allows me to take risks and weather setbacks. Saving gives me peace of mind. Continue reading