How to Plan Your Life

2018 has been a pretty big year.

New baby. New job. And lots of introspection and self improvement.

Around the blog we’ve been focusing on a different subject each month and learning everything that we can in order to try to live a happier, wealthier, more productive life.

Because we’ve covered so much ground, I wanted to take some time to review rather than plowing through to a new topic. Learning new things is great. But it’s tempting to learn them, move on, and forget them.

Because these are all things I want to incorporate into my life on a permanent basis, it is worth doubling back to revisit, both as a reminder and to measure how I’ve done.

Today we’re going to start by reviewing our January topic: life planning. Continue reading “How to Plan Your Life”

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)”

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”

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”

The Point of It All

We’ve covered a lot of big topics so far this year in our quest for a better life.

We spent January figuring out how to plan and strive for our ideal life. How to make changes big and small to achieve that dream.

In February we explored the basics of personal finance. We learned how to get control of our money and make a plan so that our money supports our ideal life, as well.

March was an exploration of time management so that we can fit more into the life we have now.

But how do these actually help us have a better life? What actually makes life better?

Continue reading “The Point of It All”

Better Life – First Quarter Update

I’ve dubbed 2018 the year of improvement.

Each month we are exploring a different area of life and figuring out how to be better.

In January we explored life planning. February was for personal finance basics. And March was all about time management.

I am sharing as much information as I can learn about each topic. However, at the heart of the project is an experiment in applying everything that I learn to myself.

The end of March marks the end of the first quarter of 2018, so let’s check in. Continue reading “Better Life – First Quarter Update”

Schedule Unscheduled Time

We all want to do more with our time.

There are all sorts of books, blogs, podcasts, and seminars about how to be more productive. We are constantly inundated with productivity hacks and listicles.

We turn ourselves into productivity machines trying to get more and more done in our days. Because of this, it can feel like any time that we are not checking things off of our to do list is wasted time.

This is a counterproductive mindset to fall into. We need to fight back against this tendency.

To do that, we should schedule unscheduled time. Continue reading “Schedule Unscheduled Time”

Control Your Time

When we looked at personal finance basics last month, we explored how our budget should reflect our values. We should be spending money on the things that are important to us.

In the day-to-day grind, this often gets away from us and we end up spending money on whatever is in front of us.

The same is true for our time.

We should be spending our time on the things that are most important to us. But in the day-to-day grind, we often end up spending time on whatever gets dropped in our lap. Continue reading “Control Your Time”

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”

Where Do You Want to Go With Your Money?

Welcome back to Personal Finance Basics month at Optimize Your Life!

We’re spending February learning how best to get our financial house in order and take control of our money situation.

In January, which was life planning month, we learned the basic approach to improving any area of our lives.

First, we figure out where we are. Then we figure out where we want to go. Finally, we plan a path to get from A to B.

Last week we learned how to figure out where we with regards to our personal finances.

Next comes the fun part.

Where do you want to go? Continue reading “Where Do You Want to Go With Your Money?”