I attended a professional development conference today at MSU Denver (my alma mater). In one of the workshop sessions, the presenter mentioned — just as a side comment but with no small measure of pride — that each of his four children do their own laundry and have done so since the age of 5. The workshop was excellent. The content was interesting and the presenter’s perspective was fresh and interesting. But it was the totally random aside about four children each doing their own laundry … [Read more...] about Dirty Laundry
Mindset & Wellness
The core tenets of my work as a personal money coach: approach each client with unconditional positive regard, andreject the notion that everyone secretly yearns for (and should yearn for) a white, upper-middle class lifestyle. My experience of the Personal Finance world and of Personal Finance “professionals” is that they generally assume that second point — that everyone yearns for the same image of financial independence: a mortgage-free home in a solid upper-middle-class neighborhood, … [Read more...] about The American Dream: the normative personal finance bias
Human beings are masters at rationalizing behavior. We rationalize our decisions by telling ourselves “I deserve it” or “I don’t have any other choice.” When we splurge or give in to our wants, what’s the good of rationalizing it? Are we truly exonerated when we tell ourselves that we “deserved” it instead of just admitting to ourselves that we “wanted” it? Try this exercise: The next time you’re tempted to indulge or splurge on an unplanned or unbudgeted expense, don’t go with … [Read more...] about Stop Rationalizing It and Start Owning It
One of the most frequently raised issues among new YNABsters is the monthly layout of the YNAB4 Budget screen*. Perhaps you're paid once a month on the 15th and you want your "month" to run from the 15th of one month to the 14th of the next. Or maybe you're paid every two weeks and you want the "month" time blocks to be "two week" blocks instead. Or are you struggling because you have big payments due early in the month so you pay them in the previous month? It's confusing to budget this … [Read more...] about Can I Change the Month Start Date in YNAB?
Unless you’ve just landed from Mars, chances are you’re familiar with the concept of the Emergency Fund (EF). Every financial guru I’m aware of preaches the need for an emergency fund. I do not have an Emergency Fund. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about having money to cover emergencies. The problem is that the concept of an Emergency Fund is overused and the purpose and scope of the EF is too generalized and nebulous (unclear, vague, or ill-defined). In … [Read more...] about Why I Don’t Have an “Emergency Fund”
Sometimes when we’re looking for an answer it helps to go back and make sure we’re asking the right question. One question I absolutely abhor is, “Can I afford it?” Framed this way, the question screams poverty consciousness. What this question really means is, “can I squeeze this monthly payment in with my other monthly obligations and not exceed my monthly income.” It’s a snake oil question. The millionaire next door, while she was amassing her millions, never asked … [Read more...] about Reframing the Question