Introduction to Investing and Economics

Of the first seven months of the year, only two dealt with money. In February we learned about the basics of personal finance and in May we dove into the intersection of money and happiness.

The rest of the year had been spent on topics like life planning, productivity and time management, health, the science of happiness, and the philosophy of happiness.

In August we made our triumphant return to money with an exploration of investing and economics. Continue reading “Introduction to Investing and Economics”

How to Buy Happiness

Our year end recap continues today with the articles published in May.

After learning about life planning, personal finance basics, and time management and productivity, we started exploring the world of happiness.

Following our introduction to happiness in April, we went on to spend the month of May diving into the intersection of money and happiness. Continue reading “How to Buy Happiness”

Personal Finance 101

Today we’re continuing the journey we started last week traveling through the different subjects that we’ve covered this year.

Last week we took a big picture look at life planning, which was our topic for January.

Today, we’re diving into our February research, which was on personal finance basics. Continue reading “Personal Finance 101”

Building a FIRE UBI (Universal Basic Income Part 6)

Before going into year-end mode, I want to take one last dive into the Universal Basic Income pool.

I promise this won’t be another 5,000 word tome. In fact, this will be a lot lighter on policy detail and a heavier on big picture ideas.

To recap our journey so far, we started by learning what Universal Basic Income actually is. We then looked into whether it works and addressed some commonly-raised concerns. Finally, we figured out how to pay for it with a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.

Today I want to step back and try something new. I want to apply a bit of FIRE thinking to UBI. Continue reading “Building a FIRE UBI (Universal Basic Income Part 6)”

Giving People Money Works (Universal Basic Income Part 2)

On Tuesday we started a deep dive on Universal Basic Income by looking at what the concept actually entails.

We explored the different problems that people believe UBI can solve and the different visions that groups of supporters have. We explored Universal Basic Income as a replacement for the safety net, as a cure for poverty, and as a protection against job loss.

But all of this is based on one major premise: Universal Basic Income works.

The question we need to tackle next, then, is whether this is true. Would Universal Basic Income work? Is giving people cash the best approach to ending poverty?

Adopting a UBI is a huge undertaking, both economically and politically. Before we jump in, we should make sure there is evidence to support it.

That’s what we’re exploring today. Continue reading “Giving People Money Works (Universal Basic Income Part 2)”

Just Give Everyone Money

We’re spending the month of October around these parts diving into politics and policy and how they affect our lives.

One policy idea that I’ve found intriguing in recent years is the Universal Basic Income. It’s a concept that has been laughed off as utopian in many circles but has gotten more and more traction among policy wonks lately.

I decided that an article on UBI would be an interesting and thought-provoking piece for the personal finance community. As I was doing my research, however, I came across a major problem.

A thorough look at UBI would require far more information than I could reasonably put into one article.

And so this article today will start a mini-series exploring the ins and outs of Universal Basic Income. Today we’ll cover the basics and the competing visions for UBI. The next few articles will dive deeper into the pros and cons, addressing concerns, and figuring out how to pay for it.

I’ve gone back and forth over the years with whether I support the idea. Over the next few articles I intend to give you all the pros and cons so that you can come to your own decision.

Whichever side you fall on, however, it’s time we start taking the idea of a Universal Basic Income seriously. Continue reading “Just Give Everyone Money”

Loan Forgiveness (or Why Dave Ramsey Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About)

“Oh! You’re the student loan tweet guy!”

This is a response that I heard a lot while introducing myself to people recently at FinCon, a conference for money writers and podcasters. It’s a strange thing to be known for after spending two and a half years writing about finances without ever really touching on the topic.

That said, the tweet led to a lot of interesting conversations, both in person and on Twitter, about student loans. In particular, a lot of people were very interested in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program in which I am participating.

Some people objected to the program on financial grounds, but many raised political or policy issues.

Because of this, I thought that the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program would be a topic worth exploring during our month of politics. Continue reading “Loan Forgiveness (or Why Dave Ramsey Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About)”

Why We Need to Talk About Politics

We’re spending 2018 around here learning how to live a better life.

Each month, we’re diving into a different theme to learn as much as we can about how to improve ourselves in that area and use what we learn to live a happier, wealthier, and more productive life.

So far, we have focused mainly on happiness and finances, with a side of health and productivity.

This month I want to go into an area that most people view as entirely separate from self-improvement: politics.

Before diving into anything specific, though, I think I should first explain why politics and policy matters, why we should talk about it more, and how it impacts our lives. Continue reading “Why We Need to Talk About Politics”

Better Life – Third Quarter Update

2018 is a year of self-improvement.

I’m spending each month exploring a different area of life and figuring out how best to improve and optimize.

As of the last quarterly update we had covered life planning, personal finance basics, time management, the science of happiness, money and happiness, and health.

Since then, we’ve added philosophy and happiness, investing and the economy, and relationships.

Let’s check in for the third quarter update. Continue reading “Better Life – Third Quarter Update”

Bonus! The Student Loan Tweet Responses

Welcome to a bonus article!

We’ve been spending 2018 looking at a different theme each month in an effort to live a happier, richer, and more productive life. We’re still sticking to that plan and will keep our Tuesday/Thursday schedule for those articles, but I felt like I needed to add an in-betweener this week.

I tweeted about my student loans a couple days ago and it connected with people a bit more than I expected. As of this writing it has hundreds of thousands of likes, tens of thousands of retweets, and over 9 million views on Twitter. It also got screenshotted by other people and ended up on Instagram and the front page of Reddit.

Much of the reaction has been either laughter, which was the goal, or support, which is great. There have also been a lot of questions and comments as well as more anger than I am used to.

I couldn’t keep up with and respond to all of the comments and mentions, so I thought it might be worth taking time to address some of the more common reactions here. Continue reading “Bonus! The Student Loan Tweet Responses”