How to Become Motivated:

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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!
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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!
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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!
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  • TikTok

March 2022 Financial Update:

Hello everyone, hope you’re all doing well! I mainly spent March trying to figure out what direction I want to go with my career. I got a little derailed and lost sight of the path I was on, but now I’m back. 🙂

I’m making content for Ease Your Financial Payne again. I just started to feel discouraged with everything I was doing and had to remind myself of my accomplishments and why I do what I do, even if little to no money comes from it.

Other than thinking about what I want my career and this next year to look like, I’ve mainly just been helping my mom declutter her home which has been amazing for everyone involved.

Also I am leaning towards not going back to school again for many reasons, but I don’t feel like explaining them all right now.

That’s about it for my month. I’m feeling inspired again and have tons of ideas for blog posts.

On to our finances for March!

We took some money out of savings for our 2021 taxes, but we will replenish it eventually. Some good financial news for us this month: our investments went up and so did the value of our home. Of course, our mortgage balance went down too like usual.

Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:

  • $0 Debt.
  • 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 March 31st, 2022:

  • Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $30,572.35 and $27,623.42
  • My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,711.23
  • Tesla: $1,075.10
  • AYRO (Free Crypto from signing up with Robinhood): $1.28
  • Bitcoin: $1,262.00
  • Total Invested: $62,245.38
  • Savings: $5,105.55
  • Debt: -$119,641.16 (Mortgage only) -On track to be paid off by end of 2034.
  • Just Brandon is working full time.

For me, investing in Crypto & Tesla is gambling. I invested that money knowing full well that I could lose it all and be okay with that. I also don’t include the value of our house & car in our updates, any random cash we are saving up for house projects, or how much we have saved up in credit card rewards.

As always, thanks for reading!

-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!

February 2022 Financial Update:

February was a wild month, with lots of unexpected twists and turns, especially on the global level. This is a finance blog, so I usually don’t get political on here, but I obviously can’t ignore Russia invading Ukraine. I know this is the work of Putin and a few higher up Russian government officials. I know most Russians do not want this and have been protesting, but getting arrested. I have no military or government experience, so I’m not going to pretend I know what the best next step is for NATO or the United States. I know this is a delicate and messy situation and we are trying to avoid WWIII or nuclear war.

I have tons of Europeans who read my blog and some friends & family not far from Ukraine. I trust your judgement on if or when you want to flee if needed. I know there is not much we can do as individuals, just hope that our elected officials and our leader’s advisors make the best choice that results in the least amount of lost lives, supporting those we know over there, & donating if we can. If you feel strongly about your country needing to take a specific action, you can always protest too.

I was really hoping we as humans were now evolved enough to stop invading other countries for seemingly no reason, apparently not. Honestly, all of this made me appreciate living in the United States a lot more, and appreciate having the strongest military in the world. I think I take that and peace for granted every day.

Now I’m going to attempt to transition back to talking about our finances.

The Wednesday before the attack, I had a fantastic day. It was sunny, had lunch with my mom, and found out I got enough grants to almost fully cover my tuition for my Summer sessions at University! Which is very exciting, I get to go to school for almost FREE.

My Summer Courses Costs:

  • $4,286.40 Tuition
  • $485 Laptop
  • $42.09 Campus Fees
  • $450 Estimate for Books & Supplies (High)
  • Total: $5,263.49

My Grants I received:

  • Pell Grant: $373
  • Minnesota State Grant: $3,793
  • Total: $4,166

Which means I need to pay $1,097.49 in cash for 16 credits, or 5 classes. Which is far better than paying the full $5,263.49. I am already planning on selling a few things from around the house and we have some money saved. I will also try to save money where I can on expenses, like seeing if I can get a used laptop or used books.

My Estimated Costs for Fall 2022:

  • $4,050.09 Tuition
  • $485 Laptop
  • $556.75 Campus Fees
  • $450 for Books & Supplies
  • Total: $5,541.84

Estimated Grants & Scholarships:

  • Pell Grant: $373
  • MN State Grant: $3,793
  • Transfer Student Scholarship: $500
  • Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship: $500
  • Other Scholarships: $?,??? -I don’t know yet.
  • Total: $5,166+

Which means I will have to pay $375.84 or less for school in the Fall. It should be exactly the same for Spring 2023 as well.

I made some changes to our finances in February, I decided to max out our Roth IRA contributions for 2022. It didn’t make sense to let that much money just sit in a savings account, now I’m kind of wishing I had put it on the mortgage instead. I just don’t like the idea of missing out on any opportunity to max out a retirement account contribution though.

Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:

  • $0 Debt.
  • 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 February 28th, 2022:

  • Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $30,061.88 and $27,190.67
  • My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,739.62
  • Tesla: $797.16
  • AYRO (Free Crypto from signing up with Robinhood): $1.12
  • Bitcoin: $1,077.91
  • Total Invested: $60,868.42
  • Savings: $6,004.79
  • Debt: -$120,313.36 (Mortgage only) -On track to be paid off by 2034.
  • Just Brandon is working full time.

For me, investing in Crypto & Tesla is gambling. I invested that money knowing full well that I could lose it all and be okay with that. I also don’t include the value of our house & car in our updates, any random cash we are saving up for house projects, or how much we have saved up in credit card rewards.

As always, thanks for reading!

-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!

Returning to School as an Adult:

As some of you may know, I am planning on going back to school starting May 2022. As a 23 year old, I now am noticing a lot of differences this time around. This post is for people who are going to college and what to possibly expect from others.

First though, let me explain why I am going back to school. I am not going back to school to get a job, I am going because I genuinely want to learn, which I’ve learned most people have a problem wrapping their head around. I am also going now because I have the opportunity to because I lost my job and I realized it would be far better to get my bachelor’s degree done before we have a child. If I don’t, I think I’ll always wonder “what if I had gone back to school?” I also really want to meet new, intelligent people who share common interests with me, University is obviously great for this.

As for paying for school, because I am a returning adult student, had a 3.6 GPA for my Associates degree, and lost my job so we have a small income, I get all sorts of scholarships and grants that I couldn’t receive last time around! My plan is if I can’t get 85% or more of my education costs covered by grants and scholarships, then I’m not going back to school because I refuse to go into debt for it. Then you may be thinking that applying for all of this was a waste of time, well it’s not. I would then know that I couldn’t pay for it and gave it my best shot at trying to go back, so I could rest easy knowing it wasn’t the path meant for me. I also already have met so many new people through this process and am sure I will get many grants & scholarships.

People are also confused as to why I chose the Major I did too, Global Studies and World Languages, with a Minor in Spanish. It sounds out of left field for me, but it’s not. I’ve always loved learning about other cultures & languages, and have always made friends with people from other countries.

Since I already have a two year degree in Business Management, have a License in Life & Health Insurance, read lots of business & finance books, and have 4 years of work experience in the financial industry, I feel comfortable and confident with my knowledge of business and finance. My goal is to learn something new. I have talked with friends who have graduated recently from the College of Business at the University I’m attending and they said themselves they don’t think I would get a lot out of a Bachelor’s degree in Business or Finance at this point, it would be redundant. I already get job offers to work for different insurance & financial businesses all the time to make decent money. So I’m not concerned about getting a job post-graduation, if needed, because Brandon’s income alone covers our living expenses. I of course am open to any career or job opportunities this new degree may bring me too, but if it doesn’t yield new job opportunities, I don’t really care.

When I looked at the different major options, I wanted to choose a major that I wouldn’t hate and lose motivation after one semester and quit. Everyone and their mother has been saying I should go into Computer Science or Engineering, here’s the thing: I have never had the slightest interest in that field and all of the courses looked awful to me. I also know tons of people doing those degree programs, we can’t all get degrees in Computer Science or Engineering. I understand it’s a great field with lots of high-paying job opportunities, but that’s not my goal, just read the previous 4 paragraphs again if you’re confused. In the past, I definitely have said Liberal Arts degrees were usually pointless, but I’ve learned things change and it really depends upon the person and their goals!

People will have a lot of opinions about YOUR schooling without knowing all of the facts or what your goals are now. In the end, it’s my time and my life, and my choice. If I’m paying next to nothing for the degree too, then who cares?

This post is just to give people a heads up that if you decide to go to college. It is up to you which opinions you take seriously or not. If they don’t know your plan, goals, passions, etc. then ignore it!

  • 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!

How to Become an Extreme Minimalist -The “Moving Across the World Method”:

I thought of a new method on how to become a minimalist… Act as though you need to move across the ocean and fit all of your belongings in a carry-on suitcase, back pack, and large checked bag. Obviously people have done this before, but my idea is to pretend like that’s what you have to do, even if you’re not really moving across the world!

Photo by Alexandr Podvalny on Pexels.com

Someone has probably thought of this before me, but looking at my stuff through this new lens has been immensely helpful! I now realize how much I can really live without by asking myself the simple question: What needs to come with me in those three bags? Then ditching the rest. Obviously, you’ll need to keep the essentials like pots & pans, plates, towels, your couch, your bed, etc. if you’re not moving to another country, but other than things like that, only keep enough clothes, toiletries, books, décor, sentimental items, etc. that can fit in those bags.

This is just an idea for those who want to try to become extreme minimalists!

If you want to hear some insane facts about how much stuff people in the Western world have and how much we spend on non-necessities, check out this amazing, quick post by Joshua Becker: 21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own. I highly recommend you read this post!

It’s really sad in the US, that we have little culture. Our culture is hyper-consumerism. So, I wanted to share this idea on how to help people become minimalists! I know this new way of looking at my things definitely has helped me, so I hope it helps you too!

Here is what I realized I would want to take in my 3 bags:

  • Family photo album
  • My clothes & shoes:
    • 12 tops -gray sweatshirt, black sweatshirt, black long-sleeve, gray cardigan, black tank top, yellow & black flannel, green & black flannel, 3 black tee-shirts, a Christmas sweater, and my black & gray sweater.
    • 3-4 pants -black jeans, light wash jeans, black leather leggings, & black ripped jeans.
    • 1-2 pairs of shorts
    • 1 black suit
    • black winter jacket
    • tan trench coat
    • 6 shoes -2 black boots, sneakers, flipflops, black flats, & black casual slip-ons.
    • Patagonia vest
    • 1 LBD
    • 2 Summer PJs, 2 Winter PJs, 2 comfy/at home pants, & black leggings.
    • My wedding rings, 1 belt, 1 sunglasses, 2-4 necklaces, & my sunhat.
    • 14 pairs of underwear (6 period), 2 bras, 7 winter socks, 7 summer socks
    • 1 romper, 1 swimsuit, & 1 coverup
  • A couple of Leo’s toys & a bit of food. A portable litterbox & water bowl for him.
  • My toiletries, grooming stuff, & a bit of makeup.
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Laptop, charger, mouse, & headphones. Phone & charger.
  • Vitamins & masks.
  • Wallet, passport, & papers.
  • My planner
  • My glasses, glasses cleaner, case, & rag.
  • Notebook & 2 pens

Then if I still had some room, here are other things I would want to bring: -These are wants though, and I can go without them.

  • Harry Potter & Lord of The Rings Movies
  • Highlighters & post-its
  • Lint roller
  • The Office DVDs
  • A few books
  • My fav pillow cases & duvet cover
  • Our reusable bags
  • A few décor/sentimental items

My husband can already fit all of his belongings, other than his tools in 2-3 suitcases, easily! I’m jealous lol. Here is what his 3 “bags” would look like:

  • Our Cat Leo in a carrier as his carry-on. Then a backpack and large suitcase full of the following:
  • His clothes and shoes -Less than what I would bring.
  • Toiletries/Grooming -shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, trimmer, etc.
  • His phone, watch, chargers, & headphones.
  • Wallet, passport, & important papers.
  • Vitamins, masks, & creams.
  • A reusable water bottle
  • Family Photo Album
  • Utility Knife
  • And if we moved, would need a fan for white noise at the new place.

I think that is everything we would take with us if we moved across the ocean! The rest we can live without or would be at our Airbnb/apartment, like towels and pots & pans. By the looks of it, I think Brandon will have extra space too, so I could always put more of my stuff in one of his bags.

Hopefully this post is helpful for anyone who wants to live a minimalist lifestyle!

Thanks for reading! New blog post every week, follow for more!

-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!

Why You NEED to Know What You Want to Do After Retirement:

Many people who choose the F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early) way of life, have a rude awakening once they reach financial independence and quit their jobs: All of your problems don’t magically disappear and it turns out your job and money weren’t what was holding you back.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

(This blog post was inspired by the Madfientist, who I think I discovered in 2018 or 2019. His Podcast majorly helped me get my husband and I’s finances on track, and on track to F.I.R.E.)

If you now have the time and the money to pursue all of your goals and dreams, what could possibly be holding you back then? The answer: Self-doubt. You’re scared you won’t succeed or already believe you won’t. The thing is, with enough practice, anyone can do anything, in my opinion. You just need to be dedicated and disciplined. Allow yourself to make mistakes and time.

Another issue that may come up is: what you thought you wanted to do with your time, you actually don’t, now you’re left feeling lost and empty. OR whatever task/hobby/passion you thought would be enough to get you out of bed in the morning, actually isn’t.

An entirely different outcome can also be: You feel content with your life and like you’ve accomplished everything you wanted to, which leaves you feeling bored & needing to want something again. This then causes you to make problems out of thin air, often in your relationships, especially with your partner. Think about it, you have all of your wishes granted, there is nothing left to strive for or work towards, it then becomes difficult to stay motivated enough to keep living your life. You NEED problems to solve and goals to work towards.

Just being aware of these potential problems is immensely helpful, so you can notice if these start happening in your life.

So, how can we avoid all of these not so great outcomes I listed, post-F.I.R.E.?

PLAN and brainstorm.

Write a huge list of potential goals, hobbies, or passions that lie entirely outside of money and your job. Things that you as an individual can work towards when money no longer adds to your happiness. I’ve already somewhat experienced this for myself. I remember when we hit $100,000 net worth feeling really proud and excited for a couple minutes, then I felt exactly the same forever after, so far. Same with when I lost my job, I felt a sense of freedom and excitement for a few minutes, but now I feel pretty much the same as I did before, even though I no longer have a boss telling me what to do. Luckily, I had built up my blog already, so I could really throw myself at it. Even so, my business only takes up about 20 hours a week. Then I clean for roughly 30 min a day, which we are now at a total of only 23.5 hours a week. Then I sleep for 56 hours, which leaves 88.5 hours a week that I am awake and have free time. As a result, I have been bored quite a bit recently. I do want to say though, being bored isn’t always bad, boredom often leads to creativity and connection! Ever since I cut out social media now, I have had SO many different blog post ideas come to me, a lot easier than before. It’s also not as bad in the warmer months, but it being the middle of Winter in Minnesota, during Covid, isn’t great. In the Summer I can go biking, walking, hiking, canoeing, spend time in my yard, garden, sit on my back patio and read, etc. There are just so many more options. This is a big reason why I have decided to go back to school, I just have so much time and energy that is being wasted right now, which I don’t like.

My list of ideas of what I can work on now in my free time and when I am post-F.I.R.E.:

  • Pick a martial art and try to become a black belt.
  • Go to a weekly, or more than weekly, yoga class.
  • Do home & landscape improvement projects.
  • Grow the garden.
  • Write more workbooks and/or book(s).
  • Keep writing and growing the blog.
  • Start up the podcast again with Eric.
  • Go for a daily walk as long as it is above freezing.
  • Go back to school.
  • Have a baby/focus on raising a child.
  • Annual or monthly reading goals.
  • Travel to all the places I want to.
  • Prioritize being by friends and family.
  • Keep decluttering our house.
  • Try to reach the top level of a video game I love. Most likely playing with a friend.
  • Meditate every day.
  • Volunteer! and donate money regularly.
  • In the non-super cold months, go hiking, canoeing, & biking.
  • Get back into skiing again. I used to love skiing in middle school -downhill.
  • Plan to go to concerts through out the year.
  • Go to museums.
  • Practice an instrument or instruments. I could even pay for lessons, including singing lessons.
  • Learn a new language (or multiple).

Some of these things are for when money is no longer tight. Also, I may discover some of these ideas are not for me, and that’s okay! Trial and error. Hopefully my list helped you get the idea. Notice how they’re not about buying things? They’re mainly about what I can do to challenge myself to learn and grow as a person. Your list may look entirely different from mine, but make sure your goals are meaningful. The goal is to feel motivated, content, and like you’re learning & growing, so you can avoid feeling lost, unmotivated, and a subconscious need to create unnecessary problems.

Like always, thank you for reading and I hope this helped you!

-Meghan

New blog post every week! Follow for 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!

How to Stop Procrastinating and Get Stuff Done!

Many people struggle with motivation and inspiration, especially when it comes to things like art, cleaning, work, school, & exercise.

I’m going to provide you with four great tips on how to actually stop procrastinating and find motivation!

First though I want to say that your value as a person isn’t solely reliant on your productivity. Things like rest, sleep, your relationships, and having fun are just as important!

(All of these tips can be used in any area of your life.)

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

Tip 1: Just start and do 5 minutes.

Have no expectations. Do not expect it to go great and remind yourself that something is better than nothing!! Often people set the bar too high, get overwhelmed, and end up doing nothing instead. For example, thinking if you can’t make it to the gym to do a 45min workout, then you’ll just do nothing instead. Going for a walk is exercise, doing yoga is exercise, dancing around your living room is exercise. If you’re not feeling motivated, just set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes and say you’ll quit after that. Then usually you’ll feel motivated and want to go for longer than 5 minutes! And if not, then you still at least did 5 minutes rather than doing nothing! I will say it again, something is better than nothing!

You can also use the 5 minute, 10 minute, or 15 minute tidy for cleaning. Set a timer and see how much you can clean within that time frame, make it a game/challenge. You will be shocked at the progress you can make in just 10 min!

Also, you will not magically receive motivation from someone else and especially not from social media. Social media often drains us without us realizing it and causes us to compare ourselves to others. I get most inspired with ideas to write about by just sitting alone with myself thinking or reading books. I know everyone is different, but I suggest taking a step back from socials if you’re trying to get motivated.

Tip 2: Write down how long the task will take next to it.

We often put off tasks for SO long and let them hang over our heads and stress us out, that often will only take us 5-15 minutes. For example, the dishes. Unloading and loading the dishwasher really takes about 5 minutes, but people will put it off for days. Or putting off an important, but simple call for work or an appointment are common things people procrastinate on too! Just writing how long the task will take you so you can see and think about it will make you realize the task isn’t as bad or as big of a deal as you feel it is.

Tip 3: Circle the top 3 most important tasks for the day.

Again, we overwhelm ourselves by making huge lists of things we need to get done. I suggest, after writing out your longer list, figure out the 3 things that will have the biggest positive impact on your day or that are the most necessary to get done. For example, let’s say this is your list for the day:

  • Dishes (5 min)
  • Laundry (10 min)
  • Go for a walk (15 min)
  • Dentist appointment at 2:30pm (45 min)
  • Vacuum under bed (10 min)

So, you know your appointment needs to be one of the top 3 most important things you need to do today. Then you realize you need clean dishes to eat off of so you have to do that and that today is the only day warm enough to go for a walk over the next week, so you really want to take advantage of it for your health. You realize the laundry can wait until tomorrow and so can the vacuuming under the bed.

Now you can just focus on getting those three things done and you realize it will only take an hour and 5min of your day! If you still feel motivated after accomplishing those things, then you can choose to do the laundry or vacuum under the bed. Or you can choose to not, and not feel guilty about it because you already know you got the three most important things done for the day!

Tip 4: Figure out what time(s) of day you feel your best and most energized & focused.

This will be very different for everyone! You can figure this out by reflecting on what times you notice you get the most done and feel the most focused throughout the day. Or you can take this quiz to find out your chronotype! Knowing your chronotype is great, because you can then be more mindful about how to schedule your time! Here is even more information about chronotypes. Your type also changes over time!

I personally feel my best usually between 8am-12pm, so this is often the time I do my focused work. I wakeup usually around 7am or whenever sunrise is. My lowest energy and lowest motivation point of the day is usually 2-5pm, so I know to go easier on myself during this time and allow myself to relax, read, sit outside, or nap. Then I get a bit more energy again from 5-7pm, then it tapers off with me usually asleep by 10pm-ish. I’ve taken the tests too and I either come out a Bear or a Lion, I believe I am a mix of the two.

This concludes my 4 tips on how to become motivated and get things done! I hope you found it helpful!

-Meghan (A recovered procrastinator)

New blog post every week! Follow for 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!