A Response to a Manifesto

Last week, an 8,000 word blog post called The Alt-FI Manifesto was published on the Freedom is Groovy blog. It got a huge number of reactions in the personal finance community, and none of them neutral.

The post was essentially a lengthy argument that a libertarian approach to financial independence is the correct approach and that the progressives in the field are wrong.

A lot of people (especially early on) shared the article and sang its praises. Many others who joined the conversation found it misinformed and wildly offensive.

The post opens by acknowledging that people will be offended if they “have a delicate constitution” and makes a plea for reasoned discussion if people disagree.

I am going to honor that plea here. Continue reading “A Response to a Manifesto”

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”

Big Money Changes

While making plans for our finances, we need to keep big changes in mind.

Everyone encounters big changes (and big expenses) at different points in their lives.

Sometimes these big changes are planned! I just had a baby. That was very intentional. It will also make my life much more expensive.

Sometimes these big expenses are unplanned. We can’t predict when we will get sick or injured and face large hospital bills. We can’t predict when we’ll get into a car accident and need to buy a replacement. We can’t predict when our home will flood.

Expensive things happen all the time. Whether planned or unplanned, we need to be prepared. Continue reading “Big Money Changes”

Why We Have Trouble Making a Change

When faced with a tough decision, most people choose to do nothing.

This is the basis of the Status Quo Bias, first proven in a series of experiments in 1988 out of Harvard. The general idea is that people are emotionally attached to the current state of affairs and are skeptical of any change from that baseline.

This means that we tend to need overwhelming proof to make a change, even when that change would be the better option. Continue reading “Why We Have Trouble Making a Change”