Is It Worth It? (Why I Save So Much, Part 4)

Over the last couple weeks I’ve run through a lot of my philosophy behind saving and investing. I discussed that I invest at least as much as I spend every month because I want to buy options for my life, because I see the value of labor declining over time, and because I don’t want to need to start a new career path if mine gets automated out of existence.

The big question for most people at this point is: “Is it worth it?” Continue reading “Is It Worth It? (Why I Save So Much, Part 4)”

The Onslaught of Automation (Why I Save So Much, Part 3)

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Is this guy coming for your job?

Today we’re back talking about why I save such a high percentage of my income.

Last week we talked about buying options and how hard work is paying less and less over time.

One of the reasons that we are being paid less for our labor is the increasing reliance by companies on automation. This increased automation is a serious enough concern that it gets its own article today. Continue reading “The Onslaught of Automation (Why I Save So Much, Part 3)”

Why I Save So Much

I save and invest a lot. I track my spending and investing and have a goal of investing (between retirement accounts, health savings accounts, and taxable accounts) more each month than I spend. I have successfully hit this goal every month for the last three and a half years.

I recognize that this is unusual.

I have spent a good deal of time preparing taxes for folks in a pretty well-off area, and I am aware that most people don’t save like this. It is especially unusual for young people. Continue reading “Why I Save So Much”

On Quitting and Time Management

I debated quitting this blog recently.

When I started writing last summer, I put some rules in place. I assumed that there would be some valleys, and I didn’t want to give up when things got tough.

First, I agreed that I would write for at least a year before I reassessed. That year isn’t up until July.

A few months in, I also signed up to attend FinCon (the annual financial writer/blogger/podcaster convention) in 2017. FinCon isn’t until the end of October, so I figured I would push through until at least then to meet and learn from some of the great people that I’ve connected with in this community.

I took both of those steps before the election. Continue reading “On Quitting and Time Management”

You Always Have a Choice

You always have a choice.

This is not an empty maxim. Not an inspirational quote.

It is a fact of life. And recognizing this fact will make you happier and allow you to live a better life.

There are times when things happen to us that are outside of our control. But it is always our choice how we respond (or react) to them. Continue reading “You Always Have a Choice”

Respond. Don’t React.

Usually when I think about articles to write, I start with the research.

My articles on happiness stem from research in positive psychology or from reading different philosophies of life.

When I write about money it is based in studies and statistics and calculation.

Today, I want to talk about something that I don’t have research on. Instead, this is something that I have used in my life for years and have found very helpful.

It’s a sort of mantra. A reminder to myself when things get stressful.

Respond. Don’t react. Continue reading “Respond. Don’t React.”

You Do Have Time

It has become a sign of success in the modern world to say that you’re busy.

Being busy signifies that you are a hard worker. You have plenty of opportunities. You are important. And everyone wants to be important!

So you will often hear “I don’t have time.”

“I’d love to have a weekend away with my family, but I don’t have time.”

“I’d love to take up skiing, but I just don’t have the time.”

“I wish I could read as much as you do, but I’m always so busy that I don’t have time.”

You do have the time, though. We all do. We’re just choosing not to use it on that particular activity. Continue reading “You Do Have Time”

Politics and the Things We Can Control

Last week we talked about the Serenity Prayer and the importance of being able to let go of things that are outside of your control. Today, we’re going to talk about why this is not an excuse for tuning out politics.

It is quite popular in the personal finance community to argue that we should be disengaged from politics. That elections don’t really matter. That we shouldn’t be wasting our time investing in candidates or caring about elections.


This was an especially prevalent topic this past November. The whole world seemed to be hanging on every word out of the candidates’ mouths, and the personal finance blogosphere was having none of it.

Today I want to present a different view.

Elections matter. Government matters. Politics matters. And we need to do the things that are within our power to influence these things to the best of our ability.

Continue reading “Politics and the Things We Can Control”

Make a Plan! (Or Don’t)

Here at Optimize Your Life we’ve talked about the need for more focus in our lives.

One way to achieve that, which we have explored previously, is to avoid multitasking.

But multitasking is not the only force assaulting our focus. One other major distractor is unfinished tasks. Continue reading “Make a Plan! (Or Don’t)”

When Buying Happiness, Pay Up Front

Last week we learned that one of the best ways to buy happiness is to spend money on experiences rather than things. Today, I want to explore a trick to squeeze a little extra happiness out of those same purchases.

The trick is paying in advance for as much of your experience as you can.

This helps increase the happiness you get from your experience in a few ways. First, it separates the event itself from the pain of paying. Next, the anticipation and delayed gratification will make you happier. Finally, in looking forward to your experience, the uncertainty of what is to come will bring you some extra happiness, as well. Continue reading “When Buying Happiness, Pay Up Front”