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”

Bridging the Gap in the Privilege Conversation

When I first decided that I was going to spend a month exploring politics for this year of learning to live a better life, I knew I had to write about privilege.

The concept of privilege is a hot button issue both in the country writ large and the personal finance community specifically. Add in an adjective (white privilege, for example) and you’ve got a recipe for a fiery comment section, some Twitter blocking, and a thousand think pieces.

There’s a lot of passion around the idea of privilege and I wanted to cut through all that and try to develop a nuanced understanding and help others do the same. Continue reading “Bridging the Gap in the Privilege Conversation”

Better Life – Second 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.

So far we’ve covered life planning, personal finance basics, time management, the science of happiness, money and happiness, and health.

We’re halfway through the year, so it’s time for a quarterly check in. Continue reading “Better Life – Second Quarter Update”

More Reasons Work Makes Us Happy

On Tuesday we explored some research showing that work actually makes us happier than we think it does.

While people regularly tell researchers that they prefer home to work, they tend to be happier at work than at home. 

Weird, right? 

In that article we explored the concept of flow, why it contributes to our happiness at work, and how to bring it home with us. Today, we’re going to explore some other unexpected benefits of work. Continue reading “More Reasons Work Makes Us Happy”

How Work Makes Us Happier (Seriously!)

When we look at ways to be happier, we usually don’t look to work.

Instead, we tend to see work as a necessary source of unhappiness. We work because we need money.

One of the premises of the financial independence movement is that we’ll be happier once we don’t have to go to our jobs anymore.

If you’re discounting work as a source of happiness, however, you’re missing out on quite a bit.

Not only do we tend to be happier than we think at work, there is much more happiness to be mined in this arena. Continue reading “How Work Makes Us Happier (Seriously!)”

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”

Lessons Learned from Lives Well-Lived

On Tuesday I wrote about the recent death of my grandfather. I was planning to write and post that article earlier, but could not convince myself to write after that event was followed up a week later by the death of my other grandfather.

After going most of my life without having to deal with many deaths of loved ones, there have been quite a few packed into the last few years.

This has been hard. I continue to remind myself that death is what gives meaning to life. It is natural and necessary. It is important.

It still sucks. Continue reading “Lessons Learned from Lives Well-Lived”

Make Space to Be Wrong

Last week I attended an event hosted by the news organization Vox.

The event was a two-day nerd-fest of talking about policy called Vox Conversations. The goal was to get a bunch of policymakers, organization leaders, and nerdy wonks together to talk about policy in the Trump era. Continue reading “Make Space to Be Wrong”

Want to Get More Done? Go Back to Sleep.

Sometimes a key to solving a problem seems counterintuitive at first.

If you are pressed for time and constantly facing deadlines, the most helpful thing to do is often to step back and take some extra time to plan and prioritize.

If you find that you can’t stop spending too much, sometimes paying for a personal finance course is a good idea.

And, as we will explore today, if you feel like you are not productive enough with your days, you might want to try sleeping more.

Pretty sure this guy is sleeping, although it is possible that he is dead.

Continue reading “Want to Get More Done? Go Back to Sleep.”