This isn’t about economics. This isn’t about politics. This is me letting you know what it feels like when you tell me not to be scared.
Last night, much of the world got a lesson in stock market futures. Now that I’ve had this personal finance thing under my belt for a while, I actually knew what that meant. Well, at least sort of. Maybe. The market was nervous. Investors were nervous. I was nervous.
I still am. Continue reading “When You Tell Me Not to Be Scared”
Weekends are hard for me. Sundays in particular. No, I don’t dread going back to work the next day. The problem is that the weekends are a chance to slow down. Sometimes. And when I do slow do, I spend time catching up. Often times, I’ll read posts like “How to Pay Off $100K in a Year” and “How I Retired at 33.” I get inspired. But I also get really sad.
Those accomplishments are so far outside of my frame of reference. Simply put, they’re just not doable. Not now, and maybe not ever. This weekend, I started reading part of an early retirement post to my dad. For someone who doesn’t say much and pretends to notice even less, he read my face so fast, stopping me after only a few paragraphs: “You guys do well enough.” Continue reading “Finding Contentment in Well Enough”
Sometimes, I wonder if I was happier before I fell into the world of personal finance. My life is more fulfilled now. My priorities are more concrete. But there is something to be said about blissful ignorance. Yes, it’s ephemeral. It was only a matter of time before that bliss came crashing down quite literally. My closets could only hold so much stuff.
Still, I realize that my happiness hasn’t shifted quite the way I anticipated when I started this blog last August. I have ambitions, I have goals. I’ve reached pretty impressive milestones in a relatively short span of time. While I have even shifted my mindset in terms of focusing less on material things and more on freedom, this change in mindset hasn’t been quite as transformative as it sounds. Whether it’s focusing on acquiring more things, more money, more investments, or more freedom, I’m still focusing on what I could have, not what I do have. And therein lies the problem. Continue reading “What I Do Have, Not Could Have”
Last week, I found myself feeling all sorts of things: sick, tired, sick of being tired. The trimester was coming to a close. It seemed as if I was spending every waking moment planning, grading, putting together the literary magazine, supervising an intervention group. Plus, a former student asked if we could resume our evening tutoring sessions. I did not say no. When I felt like I could not put anything else on my plate, I was nominated to coordinate treat day for our department.
As I stood in line to pick up the catering the evening prior to the event, I made eye contact with the bubbliest, bright-eyed teenager I had seen in a long time. She exuded politeness and personality. A quick glance at my watch and a fast calculation helped me realize that she probably had at least another three hours of work before her shift ended. After which, she would embark on her pile of homework, catch up with friends, and maybe even spare some time for her family if anyone was still awake. Then, she would crawl into bed and do it all over again the next day. I used to be that girl. We all did. And somehow we’ve forgotten what it’s like to hustle like we’re still in high school. Continue reading “Hustle Like You’re in High School”
No one actually lives like that. It’s impossible to retire early. Sure, anyone can say those things, but you’re not actually doing that. The amount of vitriol at the bottom of significant savings or early retirement posts on sites like Yahoo Finance could give the Fashion Police on E! some serious trolling competition. It is easy to dismiss comments like that, but once the barbs are peeled pack, many of the caustic remarks veil a similar sentiment: It’s not that I can’t, I simply won’t make that commitment.
Continue reading “Can’t Versus Won’t in Finances”