You’re Creating Problems for Yourself and How to Stop.

“Don’t fix what’s not broken.”

Recently, I’ve caught myself and others, almost looking for problems. It’s kind of comical. We refuse to be content with whatever we have or where we’re at. We only focus on that which we lack or we change our minds to no longer like what we have.

“The main floor is perfect! Now we just need to fix up the basement.”

“If I just made a bit more money…” or “I wish my employer offered better benefits.”

“Once we get new curtains & a rug then the living room will look so much better!”

Now, there may be some truth to these statements, but when will it end? Answer: it doesn’t.

Basically, I’m tired of chasing, and tired of seeing others constantly chasing things too. Nothing will ever be perfect, and you’ll be chasing that false idea until the day you die, wasting time & money. When instead, you can make the best of what you have. Take advantage of the benefits your company does offer or, if it’s really not working for you and you dislike your job, try to find a new one! Start applying! In the words of Jim Rohn, “If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.”

More often than not, when it comes to the home, people have too much stuff, and rather than buying new stuff, they should declutter and maybe refinish & rearrange what they already have. I guarantee your space will look and feel 100x better without you spending any money on anything new or adding anything to your home. Simply work with what you’ve got.

Will getting new curtains and a rug for my living room majorly change my life for the better? No. Do my curtains and rug still function as intended? Yes. So why waste the money & time actively searching for new, nice ones? Because marketing, social media, other people, etc. make us feel like we need them, like we will feel so much better once we have them. The truth is that it will be exciting for a moment, then we will quickly adjust to our new environment, humans have a knack for adapting to change quickly, then we’ll be wanting something else. Now, if I happen to come across these items that will work perfect for cheap at a garage sale or thrift store, sure, but I’m tired of going out of my way for things I don’t need, I’m talking groceries, shampoo, deodorant, etc.

The same can be said for “figuring out your career”. Almost everyone I know, including many of those who are older workers, in their 50s, have had many “careers” or many jobs they thought they would be at until retirement. Life has other plans, and it’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to stay at a job where you’re “just” a cashier, or teller, or sandwich maker, or whatever. If your bills are paid, plus some extra money, and you don’t hate or dislike your job, why try to fix what isn’t broken?

I, and many other 20-somethings, feel such great pressure to find the perfect career or the perfect major, when it simply may not exist for us. And even if we do, what is “perfect” for us now may not be 10 years from now and that’s okay.

For example, I’ve realized, I enjoy my current job right now, which is part time delivery driving (hopeing to work up to 30+ hours eventually), I’m even making MORE money per hour on average than I was at my old, higher stress desk job that had a better title. I have flexibility, shorter hours, get to be outside, and have coworkers again that I like. So, if I’m happy, making good money, get some free/cheap food, have flexibility, get half of the money I make in cash right away, like my coworkers, etc. Why am I still trying to fix what isn’t broken? Because the grass always seems greener on the other side. Well, I went to the other side and now I’m back realizing I was already on a green lawn. Why am I still feeling like I should find a more noble pursuit? Because society, businesses/marketing, peers, etc. want us to feel discontent to either join them in their misery (rat race lifestyle) or give them our money.

When in reality, a human’s default state is peace & contentment, things come up that disturb that every now & then, but we return to that state. We think and genuinely believe though, that our default state is unhappy/discontent, and that we need to seek out happiness, joy, fulfillment, when really we just need to be. It is already who we are, once we pause and stop chasing.

While “on the pursuit of happiness” you by default are labeling yourself as unhappy.

This isn’t to say, stop trying to evolve & become a better person or not to help others, no, quite the opposite, that is all we should focus on, rather than climbing the corporate ladder or acquiring more possessions.

What are you chasing?

In what ways are you looking at what’s wrong rather than what’s going right?

Feel free to comment your thoughts or reflect privately! This is a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, and I made realizations that I’m happy with where I’m at currently, and going to stick with this path, until it no longer works for me.

As long as our bills are paid, we are healthy, & enjoy our jobs, what more could you really ask for?

May 2022 Financial Update:

Welcome back to Ease Your Financial Payne!

This month we mainly went to garage sales, gardened/did yardwork, and I started part time work again. Overall, it was a peaceful, chill month.

On to our personal finances for May:

Our savings account did go down because we paid off my medical bill and took some money out in preparation for finally putting up the 1/3 of our fence again. As I am writing this, the construction guys are starting on it today! We already bought all of the materials.

Other than that, it’s nice to be making a bit of money again, but to be honest we are using to pay for things like medical bills, home repairs, & gardening so you will see little change in our numbers for awhile. I’ve been working at our local farmer’s market most Saturdays (7am-12pm) at an Indian food stand with a lovely couple I befriended, I don’t make much, but I enjoy myself, get to spend time outside, and get lots of delicious free food! I also delivery drive part time now 10-15 hours a week. Honestly I made more money per hour during my delivery driving shifts than I did as an HR Manager/Insurance Agent/Office Administrator at my last job LOL and it’s way less stressful and I get to run around outside. My first driving shift I averaged $27/hr. My next shift I was just Emergency Driver, meaning I only go out a couple times if needed and I still averaged $18/hr, and finally my other driving shift I averaged $25/hr. So people can laugh that I’m delivery driving again, but I’m making better money than I was and have way more freedom & flexibility so that I can use my mental and creative energy on my business!

Our financial plan for this year:

  • Pay off Brandon’s medical bill (we still haven’t been sent it yet)
  • Pay the guys for the fence once they’re done
  • Pay to get my bottom teeth straightened again
  • Fix the broken window
  • Build up savings account again (to $18,000)
  • Max out HSA contributions (if we have one) -If so, we don’t need as much in savings.
  • Put all of our extra income, after our needs are covered, on the Mortgage. (If we get to this step this year.)

Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:

  • DEBT FREE
  • Brandon works part time at his job.
  • I am self-employed. I can choose how much or how little I want to work & when.
  • We need $2,000+/month in income, whether that comes from investments, Brandon’s part time job, my classes, my workbook, etc. it doesn’t matter.

Our Current Numbers as of April 30th, 2022:

  • Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $27,956 and $25,327
  • My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,668
  • Tesla: $765
  • AYRO (Free Crypto from signing up with Robinhood): $1.05
  • Bitcoin: $869
  • Total Invested: $56,586.05 (Investments are still down a bit)
  • Savings: $4,307
  • Debt: -$118,292 (Mortgage only) -On track to be paid off by end of 2034.
  • Just Brandon is working full time.
  • I am working part time.

(To me, investing in Tesla and Crypto is gambling, that’s why I only put in a small amount.)

  • My Financial Planning Guide!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • My business email: themoneyparent@gmail.com

Think No Evil

Found on Instagram

We all know the saying: “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil”. Well I think a 4th or an alternative option needs to be added: Think no evil. By evil, I mean negative, and by thoughts, I mean about everything, not just about others. That includes you, your goals, life, etc.

You cannot speak evil (negatively) without having thought of evil (negatively) first, and you cannot always control what you hear and see. Although we have more control over what we hear and see than we believe we do.

This is why I believe “Think no evil” is an even better place to start. It’s nearly impossible to not think of negative thoughts, but being aware and catching yourself when you do, is a huge first step. Then you can slowly guide your mind away from those thoughts by using logic and empathy, and eventually, you’ll find yourself thinking negative thoughts far less and speaking negatively far less, and enjoying life more. Our thoughts become our reality. What we focus on and think about is what we will find more of in our life.

I am challenging myself, and you, to “think no evil”. Life is often far worse in our own minds than in reality. We jump to the worst-case scenarios, which causes us to lose sleep, and be distracted & irritable, even if what we’re thinking about isn’t actually happening or has a very low probability of happening.

Stop paying for “debts” that probably won’t happen, and aren’t actually happening right now. Look at the real facts. Even accept the worst-case scenario outcome and figure out what you can choose to do if that worst case scenario occurs. You’ll find there are many solutions and that the “worst-case scenario” actually isn’t as bad as you thought.

This post was greatly inspired by How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. I know this book has changed millions of lives, and will continue to change millions more.

I highly recommend everyone reads this book. It is proof our mindset is everything. It even controls our physical health, the vast majority of the time. If you want to live a long, healthy, peaceful life. Listen to this post and book and apply these principles to your life.

Thank you for reading!

P. S. Since starting to read this book about a month ago, I’ve actually felt content with my life for the first time since about 12 years old. When “bad” things happen, they don’t really feel as bad and I get over them faster. I genuinely feel more at peace and have been living in the moment rather than obsessing over what the future may bring, which we all know is nearly impossible to predict.

  • My Financial Planning Guide!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • My business email: themoneyparent@gmail.com

Do Better, Not Your Best.

Photo by Kevin Malik on Pexels.com

It is impossible for someone to be their “best” all of the time. Doing your best is often associated with perfection too.

The goal should never be perfection, but to be a slightly better version of yourself than you were the day before. Thats it. Even if all you did was a therapy session to be a better person for yourself and others, or study a language for 15 minutes, or smoke one less cigarette, or go for a 15 minute walk. Slowly become a better you through tiny actions each day. There may be days that you need to help and support others instead, such as a sick spouse or a child. Helping other beings is one of the most important things on this planet.

Through making yourself a better person each day, you are making the world a better place each day. We are all interconnected.
This is your permission to stop setting the bar so high. If you have an area or two you want to really work on in your life, do something small each day to get better, not perfect and not your absolute best.

Perfection is an absurd goal that will never be reached. Perfection promotes procrastination and insecurity in people. As long as you can look back on the week you’ve had and can say you’ve learned & grown as a person and have made progress, that’s a major success. The small daily actions you take have the largest impact on your life and, ultimately, are your life. What you choose to do everyday is your life.

So, how do you want to live your daily life?

What areas do you want to do better in? How are you going to do better? And why are you going to do better?

Please throw perfection and being your best out the window, and just do better today. Something is better than nothing.

Thank you for reading!

-Meghan

  • My Financial Planning Guide!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • My business email: themoneyparent@gmail.com

April 2022 Financial Update:

April was an insanely busy month, so much happened and we had so many events.

Finally, after over 6 months of consideration, and analyzing my infinite options for how I want to move forward, after losing my job in October 2021, I’ve figured out my plan for this next year.

I of course want to focus most of my energy on my health & relationships. Those always come first, then I want to focus my creativity and mental energy on this blog, my workbook, and probably the podcast with my friend.

I still need more balance in my life though, I want to be more physically active and connect with young people. So I have decided to delivery drive again part time like I did when I was 17/18 years old, at the same place my husband works. This job is perfect for me right now. I dont want to sit at a desk inside for 40 hours a week just as we are heading into Spring too. I want to be outside, on my feet, and by the young people I want to educate about finances. This way Brandon can go down to 30 hours a week too if he wants and my job doesn’t mentally drain me. I am also going to work a few random Saturdays over the Summer at an Indian food stand at our local farmer’s market, mainly just to help the owners, who I have befriended.

In my free time over the last month, I have been teaching myself German and reading & writing a lot. I also want to try to do Yoga & Meditation at least 5 days a week. I want to make all of these things a habit.

Ultimately, I want to feel balanced and at peace in life.

Also guess who left social media for the 5th time? 🙃 Lol, me. Brandon was supposed to quit with me, but then was back on it by the end of the week. So we’ll see how it goes. Again, I’m addicted to it. I can leave for a month or two, then I come back and binge, but one of these times I’ll break the addiction. I just can’t be responsible with it. It wastes way too much of my time and energy. I hate how it makes me feel and I know it’s so bad for everyone’s mental health & overall well-being, so it makes me feel horrible when I support it by posting or even viewing.

My friend Eric did make a fantastic point though. He said people will continue to scroll on social media whether I’m on it or not. At least I’m putting out content that is educational and helps others. As for my personal problem of not being able to get off of Instagram or TikTok once I’m on, I’m thinking I’ll just have 2 days a week I’ll post. Then the rest of the days I’m not allowed to even open the apps because I need to focus on growing my business in other ways, on those days.

Anyway…

This month, my uncle and his friend visited from Germany and it was SO much fun. It was so nice to see him and his friend again, after almost 3 years of not seeing them because of Covid.

Here we are at a local scenic lookout 🥹

Unfortunately 2 days later, Brandon got the stomach flu super bad so we both didn’t want to leave our house to possibly infect others. So I missed out on the last 36 hours they were in town and also didn’t go to a local River clean up I had signed up for, for Earth Day.

The following week, was when I went to my local University to harass students in the library 😉 (surveyed them) and tried to let them know I want to help them financially. (I was hella awkward sometimes, it’s very hard walking up to strangers and telling them about your business. I want to get out of my comfort zone though, and boy did I.) Then we went to go see The Minimalists in person, a Minnesota Wild game, and stayed with some of my family!

My new books 🙂

Before The Minimalist’s show, I bought 5 new books. I inherited my book addiction from my mother. Luckily, we always swap books, but mainly I just steal from her bookshelf.

My mom, Brandon, and I at The Minimalists

The Minimalists were fantastic, and the event was more about loving people and relationships than it was about decluttering stuff. It was fantastic and helped me realize a few things. First of all, I am a hoarder, a small one, but a hoarder of sentimental items. Second, once you renounce something, you’re automatically tethering yourself to that thing or idea. This made me realize I did this with social media. Rather than saying I don’t go on social media, I am saying, and reframing it in my mind, as: I am prioritizing other things over spending time on it. And finally, I realized Brandon and I have a stronger bond than a lot of couples. The fact that we are on the same page when it comes to our morals and values, including when it comes to minimalism, is something a lot of people don’t have. People at the event mentioned how they had to “drag their partner here” or The Minimalists often asked, “Who dragged who here to this event?”. When a woman asking a question said her and her husband came together and discovered them at the same time, The Minimalists were surprised and said that that is something special that not a lot of couples have. Brandon and I looked at each other and fist bumped.

At the Wild game

The Wild game was amazing! Brandon and I had never been to an NHL game before! And the Wild scored in the first 58 seconds, then a fight broke out. The energy was great and I loved how much they played music. It was also nice that it only took 2.5 hours. Oh, and The Wild won. We definitely want to go to more sporting events now. We also had dinner with Brandon’s brother who we hadn’t seen in almost 6 months, before the game.

It was a rollercoaster of a month, but honestly still a fantastic month overall. I spent SO much time around family! A lot of which I hadn’t seen in months or years. My social battery is beyond dead though after this month. I need to sit alone in my house for like 9 months to recharge lol. I still need to go see The Secrets of Dumbledore though!!

On to our finances for April 2022!

Most of you know, at least if you invest in stocks, that the stock market did not do great in April. So obviously our investments went way down. Every time this happens, I say it’s okay. The market constantly goes up and down for all sorts of reasons and it’s okay if some months our investment accounts dip. We aren’t planning on pulling out of them anytime soon haha, so we aren’t concerned about drops in the market right now.

Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:

  • DEBT FREE (Fun fact: The Minimalists said this is the NEW American dream, and I couldn’t agree more.)
  • Brandon works part time at his job.
  • I am self-employed. I can choose how much or how little I want to work & when.
  • We need $2,000+/month in income, whether that comes from investments, Brandon’s part time job, my blog, my workbook, etc. it doesn’t matter.

Our Current Numbers as of April 30th, 2022:

  • Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $27,919 and $25,286
  • My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,654
  • Tesla: $862
  • AYRO (Free Crypto from signing up with Robinhood): $1.00
  • Bitcoin: $1,056
  • Total Invested: $56,778
  • Savings: $5,106
  • Debt: -$118,968 (Mortgage only) -On track to be paid off by end of 2034.
  • Just Brandon is working full time.

I will start to have more income again in May, since I will be employed again. Our plan with that money is pay off the 2 medical bills from my migraine & Brandon’s stomach flu situation. This will be very easy to do and we could’ve pulled out of savings, but just decided to wait because there is no interest accruing on these bills.

Then once the medical bills are paid off, we really need to fix our fence in the backyard. If we don’t soon it may cause more damage by the strain it’s putting on the other parts of our fence. Again, being a property owner is far more complex and expensive than people realize.

Then we want to build up our savings account again, we are thinking we want to hit $20,000 in savings again.

Our Roth IRA contributions are maxed out for 2022 already and I don’t want to invest any more of our money in Crypto or Tesla, I’m fine with the amount I put in. So after we reach our savings goal, we would like to put all of the extra money on the mortgage OR we may have an HSA by then and we would like to max out the HSA contributions first.

Our financial plan overall:

  • Pay off the medical bills
  • Fix the fence
  • Build up savings account again
  • Max out HSA contributions (if we have one)
  • Put all of our extra income, after our needs are covered, on the Mortgage.
  • By the time we reach these goals, it will probably be 2023, so then we can choose if we want to max out our Roth IRA contributions for 2023.

When we had our financial situation analyzed by Millennial Revolution, they said us paying off our mortgage will get us to FIRE faster, rather than investing in our retirement accounts. I just hate the idea of missing out on those annual contributions though. So we’ll see where we are at once it’s 2023. I know it’s smarter for us to put money on the mortgage instead, so we’ll probably do that. We also have until April of 2024 to do any 2023 contributions, so we can always delay any 2023 contributions until then.

Okay, I think that’s all for this month! There was WAY more to write about this month than usual! As always, thank you for reading! I’m looking forward to continuing to help others!

-Meghan

  • My Financial Planning Guide!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • My business email: themoneyparent@gmail.com

College Students and Money

Photo by Emily Ranquist on Pexels.com

I went around my local University campus today and surveyed college students about personal finance. (Tuesday, April 26th, 2022)

Here are the questions I asked:

  • What year are you graduating?
  • What education have you received about how to manage your money?
  • Do you feel ready to manage making $40,000+ a year after graduation and have a plan for what you will do with your money?
  • If you do not feel prepared, do you want more help/education about personal finance?
  • What’s one question about personal finance/money management you would like to have answered?

Here are their responses:

  • I am graduating between 2022-2025.
  • Most of them received no education about personal finance, or a class once in high school mainly about budgeting, the others may have learned a bit from a relative.
  • Most of them said no, they do not feel ready to manage a larger salary and don’t have a plan for how they will handle their new income.
  • All said yeah, they would like more education on personal finance.
  • Their answers varied on the last question, but here were their answers: Everything mortgage related, Taxes, How to not over spend, Investing in retirement, Credit cards, Interest rates, Roth IRAs, How to invest and what to invest in, how much you need to retire, and student loan repayment.

I found the results fascinating and worrisome, but I expected these answers.

People aren’t taught what to do with their money, so they default to what their family or peers do, which isn’t always what is best for you and your goals. Everyone is different. You need a plan to control your money, or it will control you.

I will provide answers to these questions and continue to connect with college students. If you are one of the students who spoke with me, thank you for your time! And do not hesitate to share my workbook and website with others. I would love to hear any other questions you or your friends may have too.

I will be writing a post on how I bought a house at 20 years old and what I learned from the process and working at the bank. I can also make a post about credit cards. The rest of the questions they asked, they are answered either on my Financial Advice tab or through my guidebook where the answers are tailored to you as an individual.

As always, thank you for reading! I’m looking forward to continuing to help others!

-Meghan

  • My Financial Planning Workbook!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • (I don’t post on the socials anymore, I prefer writing and connecting with local people)
  • My business email: themoneyparent@gmail.com

How to Become Motivated:

Photo by Ihsan Adityawarman on Pexels.com

I’ve noticed a trend recently. People think they will find motivation or figure out what they want out of life from social media. Unfortunately this is false.

You will not find yourself or motivation from social media. All of that comes from within and choosing to start.

Social media does provide a ton of information and ideas, but it cannot give you motivation. Because social media overloads our brains with stimuli and options, we get overwhelmed and often do nothing instead. It is proven the human brain can only handle between 8-15 options. So if you see 20 different posts on Pinterest about what you can do with your kitchen, that is too much for our brains to handle.

Inspiration may occur from social media, but then we scroll on to the next post rather than choosing to get up and start OR there are simply too many options for our brain to handle (Analysis Paralysis). Then we often forget about that moment or “save it for later” without ever actually doing anything about it.

Social media ends up overloading our brains with different emotions too. We see a funny cat video, then scroll & see people being bombed, then we see something political that upsets us, then we learn someone passed away, then we have old memories pop up on our timeline of people we don’t talk to anymore, then we see someone has a better house than us, etc. This goes on and on. We jump from one subject to the next and from one extreme emotion to the next, all within 3 minutes. Then we wonder why we feel anxious or depressed or unmotivated (Not to say that there can’t be other factors). We are totally mentally & emotionally exhausted. Especially if you start off your day on social media.

Not to mention how it makes us truly believe we want or need things when we don’t. If you see multiple influencers in a day having clothing from the same brand, you will begin to think you want it too. If you see someone with a better car, better house, on vacation, etc. Your car suddenly feels inadequate or you want to go on vacation now, work drags on a bit harder that day. If you didn’t see those posts, you probably wouldn’t have even thought about most of those things. There are constant ads & content creators making sponsored posts so that you buy products that you are easily currently living without. Their marketing works too, that’s why it’s a multi-billion dollar industry.

The best way to figure out who you are, what you truly want from life, and become motivated is to sit with yourself and your thoughts. Let the voices of the outside world grow quiet or even silent by taking a social media break or leaving it all together. Only then will you learn what your heart truly desires rather than other people telling you what you should want.

There will be a learning curve, often in your teen years and early 20s, but there are people in their 70s who never figure it out either and are motivated by what others have rather than what their soul needs.

Let yourself become bored. Boredom is drastically underrated. Creativity and innovation are born from boredom. Give your brain a chance to think for itself. If after work or school you never let yourself become bored and go on some sort of media instead, you are depriving yourself of the opportunity to think for yourself. I’m not saying you can never use or watch media, but allow yourself to become bored sometimes to maintain balance.

What I’ve noticed for myself, is once I start meditating a million things pop in my head that I could get done that day. If you ever forget something, just become completely still and it will come back to you. If I have a day without technology, I’ll become bored for a few minutes, sit at my dining table thinking, then something pops in my head that I can get done. On these days I feel so mentally & emotionally clear as well as motivated & productive. I go to bed very calm and satisfied with my day.

Overall, I hope this post helps you become more creative, motivated, and more you.

As always thank you for reading!

-Meghan

P.S. this post was inspired by a recent breakdown I had when it came to social media, again. As I have said before, I am addicted. I can quit for a month or two then I come back and binge. This time, my husband is quitting with me which is awesome. I’m pretty sure this is about my 5th time quitting social media, I don’t know if it will be the last, but I need to try my best to stick to it, for me and my health. I just need to go back and read my older posts to remind myself why I am quitting.

If you liked this post, here are some more:

  • My Financial Planning Workbook!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!

When Will the Next Market Crash Be?

Questions I have received recently are: “When will this housing bubble burst?”, “When will the next stock market crash be?”, and “Why do Baby Boomers not understand the younger generation’s financial struggles?”

  • First of all, there is no housing bubble currently, and there likely isn’t going to be one again, at least not in our lifetime. Here’s why:
  • The value of properties has gone up a ton over the last 2 years, so I understand why you would think it would crash if that is your past experience. Homes were slightly overvalued, but then the value dropped a bit to level out and now they’ve just been steadily slowly growing in value like usual.
  • The stock market crashes roughly every 10 years from something very different each time. Once the stock market crashes once from something, it won’t crash from that event again. We learn from our past mistakes. Since we’ve already had a crash from the housing market, it won’t happen again. The government and real estate businesses have created rules, laws, and safety nets. 
  • I also want to point out that the Economy and the Stock Market (or Market for short) are separate from each other. The economy can be fine, but the stock market is doing terribly or the stock market can be doing great while the economy is doing terribly. For example, right now the market over the last year and a half is way up and many people have had crazy gains, but the economy still isn’t great. Many people are unemployed, inflation is high, employers can’t find workers, the economy is still a mess. 

Let’s go over recent history of major stock market crashes in the U.S., since those are fantastic opportunities to invest even more:

  • Black Monday- Oct. 19th, 1987, saw U.S. markets fall more than 20% in a single day. It is thought that the cause of the crash was precipitated by computer program-driven trading models that followed a portfolio insurance strategy as well as investor panic. (Fun fact this is the day my parents started dating XD)
  • Dot com bubble- 10 Mar, 2000- Collapse of the tech bubble. Internet & tech was way over valued. It crashed, then has steadily kept rising since. 
  • Housing Bubble- 11 Oct, 2007/Sept. 16 2008- From their peaks in October 2007 until their closing lows in early March 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 all suffered declines of over 50%, marking the worst stock market crash since the Great Depression era.
  • Covid Crash- 24 Feb, 2020- The S&P 500 index dropped 34%, 1145 points, at its peak of 3386 on February 19 to 2237 on March 23. This crash was part of a worldwide recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_stock_market_crashes_and_bear_markets

There were some other smaller crashes in there, but these are the major ones that everyone remembers if they are old enough. We have 1987, 2000, 2008, & 2020. 

It’s not exactly 10 years, but roughly every 10 years we have a major crash, so it’s best to be prepared and expect it. I say to expect one every 8-12 years. 

I have a another blog post called: How to Prepare for a Market Crash which will definitely help you out. It’s best to start preparing now, the earlier the better.

This means our next major crash will be somewhere between 2028-2032 and it will be for some unexpected reason. Every time it will feel like the market won’t recover & is scary. 

There was a crazy bull market (market consistently going up) from 1937-1962, and again from 1962-1987. Where the market didn’t crash once. This is why The Silent Generation and Baby Boomers have more money and don’t understand why Gen X & Millennials tend to have more financial problems than they did. They had one of the longest and best, if not the best, market runs in American history. It was easy for them to buy a house, get a decent paying job, and this was before going into debt for everything was so easy & accessible. This was before hyper-consumerism was heavily promoted and shoved down our throats everyday on social media, and before a lot of people had college educations. Also, they of course have had more time than us to accumulate wealth and may not remember the struggles of their youth as well anymore. Now, they are the ones in charge (mostly) and making the laws based on THEIR experiences 30+ years ago, not how things are in today’s reality.

This isn’t to say that all baby boomers had/have a great time financially! I’m just saying how their struggles in the 60s/70s/80s are different from ours in the 00s/10s/20s. Both sets of challenges are very real and valid, our struggles are just different. Even people of the same generation can have very different financial struggles and outcomes. Where the younger generations have a problem with baby boomers is when they try to use or suggest solutions that worked for them back in the 60s/70s/80s, times are different and the solutions that worked great for you then, often don’t work for us now unfortunately.

Overall, my job is to educate you, to help you build wealth, and help you be prepared for market crashes to then protect your wealth. So here is a link to my “Financial Advice” tab and my “Most Popular Posts“.

As always, thank you so much for reading!

  • My Financial Planning Workbook!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!
  • Instagram
  • TikTok

The Importance of Gratitude

Gratitude is half the battle when it comes to life, this of course includes finances. If you truly appreciate everything you have and have accomplished, you will be far more content & at peace.

As I am writing this, my husband and I decided to walk around places we used to shop back in 2016 -2018 yesterday. It made me realize how much I’ve grown and changed as a person. We were laughing and making jokes the whole time. It got me thinking of how far I’ve come and people I want to thank.

As I stated in my March Financial Update, I lost site of my path in February & March of this year. So I am choosing to write this post expressing my gratitude.

To start, I need to thank my amazing husband. He supports me in all of my crazy ventures and ideas, but not without questioning me and making me more grounded. Because of him I have had the privilege to stay home over the last 6+ months and not be employed.

Engagement photos on Oct. 17, 2017

In January I got featured on geldnerd.nl, which I believe is the largest F.I.R.E. blog in the Netherlands. I am now permanently featured on their website on the right hand side. So now the top country that reads my blog is the Netherlands. So if you’re Dutch and reading this, thank YOU! My blog views have greatly increased again. I definitely need to visit the Netherlands again some day! I don’t speak Dutch, but I am teaching myself German right now. I was there only for 24 hours almost 7 years ago, but y’all are nice (and very tall) and your food is great! I already sent a personal email to the author of geldnerd with my thanks. Seeing my blog’s name next to Early Retirement Extreme on geldnerd really blows my mind. Early Retirement Extreme is an OG F.I.R.E. blogger who helped pioneer the entire community.

I also keep forgetting how in late September 2021, my financial situation was analyzed and my blog was promoted by millennial-revolution.com. I seriously start to tear up when I think about it. Truly one of the best moments of my life. I’ve already made a post about it, which I’ll link here.

The feedback I’ve received about my blog has just been amazing. I struggle with finding the words to show how appreciative I am.

Overall, I truly have been living my dream life from a year ago. So thank you to my family, friends, and readers. I’m looking forward to the where the future takes me.

Sending you all so much love!

What are some things or people you’re grateful for?

What are some accomplishments you’ve made, no matter how small?

What do you love about your life right now?

Thank you so much for reading! ❤

  • My Financial Planning Workbook!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!
  • Instagram
  • TikTok

4 Things That Are Worth Spending More Money On:

Saving and Investing are two of the most important things to me, but there are some things that are worth spending money on. Things that cost more upfront, but are worth it in the long run!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

1. Bed related items: sheets, pillows, mattress, etc. You sleep for one-third of your entire life and how well you sleep often dictates how the rest of your day goes. Ultimately, your sleep impacts your entire life.

If you sleep well, you should have way more energy, get so much more done, and be more likely to have a positive attitude. Having a healthy sleep schedule should be one of your top priorities in life, so having nice pillows, sheets, & mattresses should be too!

2. Healthy groceries. Obviously sleep isn’t the only important aspect of your health, your diet is too. You may not want to spend extra money right now on healthy organic or plant-based foods, but if you decide to spend less to get the less healthy option, you will most likely have more health issues as you get older, which means more medical bills and limits on how you live your life.

Also organic and plant-based options are healthier for the planet. Less pesticides & chemicals are used and you will lessen your carbon footprint. If we tell companies we like organic and/or plant-based foods, they will make more which will make it more affordable. We need to keep voting with our dollar to let these corporations know, “Yes, we want more of this. There is a market for these kinds of products.”

3. Certain home improvement items. The items I’ve learned are worth it to spend more money on are: Cabinets, flooring, countertops, tubs/showers, paint (sometimes) and appliances. Buying something that isn’t cheaply made, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s brand new. This also doesn’t mean you need to buy the most expensive one you can find. It just means just don’t buy the cheapest, focus on the quality more.

If you buy cheap cabinets they are going to fall apart pretty quickly, especially if they’re in the bathroom where there is moisture. You don’t want to go through the hassle of gutting your kitchen or buying a new vanity base every 10 years. Spend more for expensive solid-wood cabinets that will last you 30 years. Same with buying stone countertops, rather than those ones that are wood wrapped in a plastic compound.

When it comes to flooring, it needs to be durable. Pets & children may be apart of your household too.

With tubs, showers, and appliances. You’ll know if it’s cheaply made or not. Just feel it. If it bends or warps easily, is made primarily of a flimsy plastic, or is lightweight, that’s how you know.

As for paint, it depends. If you would rather spend less but spend your weekend doing four to five coats of paint on a room, that’s your choice. Personally, from now on, I’d rather spend more money on good paint so I can just do 2 coats and be done.

4. Decent clothing, not fast fashion. Fast fashion is everywhere. It is cheaply made, bought, donated, then ends up in landfill. Then we repeat the cycle.

Rather than buying a cheap jacket from Target for $30 that will get worn out after 2 years of wearing it, maybe spend $100 on a good quality jacket that will last you 15+ years instead. Buying classic pieces or finding your own style rather than following trends majorly helps as well. Trends will constantly change and you will have to keep spending, spending, and spending attempting to keep up.

In conclusion, I hope this post will help you live a healthier and wealthier lifestyle. Choosing these practices will help you save thousands in the long run.

Thank you for reading!

  • My Financial Planning Workbook!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!
  • Instagram
  • TikTok