Gaining Ground

Dear Financial Superstar, The most powerful way to make financial progress over the long term is to take small steps, one after the other. Save a little here. Pay off a little there. Repeat consistently. It’s going to feel like you’re going absolutely nowhere sometimes, but if you’re moving forward – even incrementally – you’re …

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Debt Payoff At Your Own Pace

Several years ago, my partner and I started paying off nearly $80,000 in debt. We dispatched our credit card balances fairly quickly, but the student loan was more intractable. It still is. We continue to chip away it month by month, little by little, at a pace that’s manageable for us given our income and …

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Start That FU Fund!

If there’s one piece of financial advice I’d give to anybody and everybody, it’s to start an FU fund. An FU Fund. A Fork Off Fund. An “I Can’t Deal With This Anymore So I’m Out Of Here” Fund. You get the picture. (I’m trying to keep it clean for the kids. Specifically my kid, …

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Selective Frugality

What does frugality mean to you? When we started paying off our debt, frugality meant limiting our spending to only the absolute necessities. We cut out all the extras: coffee, dinners at our favorite restaurant, new clothes, books, home decor, vacations. Instead, we used that money to pay off a big chunk of credit card …

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Holistic Personal Finance

Some financial experts (“experts”) cite a lack of personal responsibility as the main reason people fall on hard times. Their messages are often imbued with a heavy dose of blame and shame: You shouldn’t have so much debt! You shouldn’t have any debt at all! You shouldn’t have bought that car! Or gone to that …

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The Illusion of Control

Many of us live under the illusion that if we just work hard enough and do all the “right” things, we can largely control our own destinies. If we save enough money, we will avoid financial ruin. If we eat our fruits and vegetables, we will stay healthy. If we practice hard enough, we will …

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It Happens Step By Step

Fifteen years ago, I went on an intensive one-month group backpacking trip in the mountains. Each day, my bleary-eyed teammates and I would wake up in the chilly, early morning darkness and gather around a fire or a flashlight to make a plan. We’d pick a destination that would challenge us but that we thought …

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The Gift

A few months ago, my family was facing a major money crunch. Thanks to a job loss, an income reduction, and an unexpectedly delayed contract payment, our finances were stressing us out more than they had in a long time. Money was hemorrhaging from our bank account like water from a busted dam. Then something …

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Acknowledge Every Win

I’m guessing that right now your life, like mine, is far from normal. Thanks to the pandemic, everything’s been flipped upside down. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what “normal” is or what it feels like. Many of us are either doing our jobs from home or adapting to a whole new way of office life …

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