Our 2020 Date List–
As many of you know, going on dates is an important part of life for us.
This year has been a bit unique. We took some significant cuts in our budget (Plus COVID) and had to get a bit more creative.
How We’re Saving Money—
This week I was on the phone with several people discussing our Personal Finance Accelerator Program.
As we were going through their finances, I was shocked at how much everyone pays for their phone bills!
Often over $100/mo
We pay $20/line/mo.
How? Thanks to this company owned by Ryan Reynolds (yes, the actor)
10 Stocking Stuffers That Aren’t Junk–
I don’t know about you but stocking stuffers are one of the hardest parts for me about gift giving.
One of our Favorite Musical Artists–
If you haven’t noticed, we love the singer Ben Rector.
His music is uplifting, meaningful, and leaves you thinking.
This song by him is beautiful, and the only thing I dislike about it is that it isn’t longer. (It’s only 1 minute and 34 seconds long).
What we’re reading on achieving Goals–
Are you working on goals (financial or otherwise) that feel like they’re going to take forever to achieve?
Are you feeling beaten down? Like you won’t do the things in life you really want to?
Our list of newborn must-haves–
One of the questions we get often is:
“How much does it cost to have a baby?”
It is often really hard to answer that question because there are so many variables. What insurance policy do you have? Are you planning to have a baby in the hospital or at home birth? Are you having a baby shower? What are your feelings about buying things second hand? The list goes on and on.
However, I thought I would put together a list of everything we have actually used these last few weeks for our new little one. Hopefully, this will give you an idea of what things to put on your registry or some of the bigger items you can start saving for.
What we’re watching from Ted Talks–
21 Million Views. Enjoy!
How to commit to something when you feel like there are so many options–
I recently received this message, and wanted to share my response:
“Hey Dan! Hope you’re doing well. I just read your blog post about SOS (shiny object syndrome, read here) and it totally resonated with me because I’m the same way! I feel like I always have great ideas, but never take initiative on getting them started because I find something else interesting that I dive into. I start reading up on that thing, watching videos, etc and it feels like I’m being productive because I’m not playing video games or watching Netflix, but I’m really not getting anywhere!
I’d love to hear how you’ve made the switch for yourself. How did you decide on what that 1 project was going to be? And what advice would you have for someone like me who can’t walk away from their job, but still wants to work on a side hustle or something that will help me increase my earnings?”
42 Products for under $100 that Will Truly Make Your Life Better –
This was an article we put together earlier this year, and it’s been our most popular one ever.
We’ve actually bought and now use several items people recommended off of this list!
What we’re reading about Habits–
I (Kay) have heard a lot about this book and FINALLY sat down and read it. It was chalked full of good principles and reminders. I feel like, in general, I am pretty good at making and keeping up with habits, but this book helped me see some of my blind spots and ways that I could improve.
The author goes through 4 laws of behavior change:
1) Make it obvious
2) Make it attractive
3) Make it easy
4) Make it satisfying
It is so much easier to change your habits when looking through one of these lenses rather than relying solely on willpower. Try it.
What we’re reading on Logical Fallacies–
Our social media filled world is filled with logical fallacies.
Logical fallacies are arguments for a point that are logically flawed, they bring up irrelevant or distracting points not valid to the discussion at hand.
Logical fallacies are difficult because they can be hard to argue against if we don’t fully understand what they are – but we can feel that someone’s argument is wrong when they use one.
We often just don’t know what to do about it.
Most people use logical fallacies instead of sound logic to argue their points, that’s why it’s good to recognize, understand, and then dismiss them.
By studying logical fallacies, I’ve found myself becoming less angry at random arguments I pick up on through social media, because I now understand why they’re flawed and I can simply ignore them.
Learn how to think, not what to think.
This article on different logical fallacies will teach you the common logical fallacies, and examples of each.
What we’re reading about spending–
This week I came across this article called “The 7 Things You Should Spend Money On” and I found it very interesting.
If you have followed us for a while you know that we are BIG proponents for value-based spending. It is so important to spend money on things you truly value and makes budgeting 10 times easier once you can narrow down what that truly is for you.
This is definitely one of those clickbait articles but it did get me thinking–
What would my 7 things be?
I am curious to hear as well– What would your 7 things be?
An article I’m working on, and I need your input–
It’s about buying Houses (not as rentals or house hacks). We’ve seen many people completely shoot their financial trajectory in the face, and stop making financial progress because they bought a home too early.
They saw how fast homes were appreciating and said – “I’ve gotta get in before it’s too late!” Without fully understanding all of the costs that come with owning a home.
Sure, their houses are appreciating, but they can’t touch the money because it’s just equity. You can only touch it if you borrow against your house or sell the house itself.
There are ways to buy a home smart, and we’ve seen people do it. But not everyone does. Especially lately.
If you have questions about buying a home – fill out this 1 question survey.
If you have bought a home – fill out this 2 question survey.
We will write an article and release it in a later edition of Financial Friday about buying a home in the modern financial climate.
It’s going to be good.
What we’re reading on Real Estate–
I (Kay) have been re-reading this personal finance classic. If you have never read it, it is a paradigm switcher for sure. It makes you think about money so differently! This time around it has really sunk in how much Dan and I want to purchase assets to fund our lives. That could be a house hack, investments, businesses – all sorts of things.
If you have been here a while, you probably already know that we believe all of that comes after completing a strong financial foundation.
Be careful not to get over-leveraged (which is the part of the book I feel like you have to take with a grain of salt), but either way it has been a good read for me.
A song I’ve really been enjoying lately-
My dad is a really talented drummer – though he may not claim so. I grew up listening to all sorts of especially talented musicians because of him, and now something about brass in an upbeat song just gets me.
This link goes to the Youtube video – and while I’m not that impressed with the video in and of itself, I think the music is fantastic. Great upbeat music to work, workout or clean to.
Ladies and Gentleman, I present Atom Bomb – by the Strike.
How to get cashback on your groceries and Amazon purchases-
I mentioned this before but I officially just cashed out my first Amazon gift card after scanning my receipts for a couple of months. This app makes it super easy! You get points for shopping (even online) and then you can use the points to get gift cards. You just buy what you usually buy and spend what you usually spend and it is a great little added bonus even when you aren’t spending a lot of money currently.
An image I can’t stop thinking about —
If you feel that you have a lot of projects going on at once right now, you need to see this.
How we organized our pantry this week–
I have been slowly organizing my pantry over the last few years. Each time we move or I decide to tackle it, it gets slightly better. This week I got this vintage label maker from target for $9.99 and it took my pantry to “ehhh” to “wow” real fast. I am so happy with it!
7 Social-Distancing Friendly Date Ideas-
Pretty self-explanatory – click here to enjoy!
What we’re reading on buying a house —
One of the most common conversation topics for people our age is about buying a house. We often get questions about how to know how much house you can afford and the short answer is– it depends! (And hopefully more details to come as we continue to learn more in this area) I did read this article this week that I thought was super interesting and really got me thinking.
What we’re reading Dan’s top 8 business books of all time–
We read so many books guys. It’s kind of a problem. 🙂
We’re constantly asked what our favorite books are.
A List of Yummy Freezer Meals —
This last week, some friends and I got together to make some freezer meals for my friend that is having her baby this week. We made the first 5 on this list and they were super simple and ended up being about $5 per meal. You can also make them as normal meals if you prefer but it was a great activity to do with friends, buy in bulk, save time and money and have yummy meals on hand!
Something we’re laughing really hard at —
If you haven’t read the reviews of Haribo’s sugar-free gummy bears yet, you’re missing out.
Apparently, there are some nasty side effects….and the stories are just TOO GOOD.
My personal favorite review was The horror at 30,000 feet!.
How I built my Maternity Capsule Wardrobe —
In my last Financial Friday, I mentioned how we are going into full nesting mode over here and will have lots more baby things to share. I mentioned briefly if anyone wanted to see a sample Maternity Capsule wardrobe and you all were way more excited than I anticipated. So here we go. Here is my 10 piece maternity capsule wardrobe.
An article I’ve been pondering about serving others-
With all this talk of money, politics, viruses, pedophilia, and racism everywhere on social media sometimes we need a mental break. This week, do something nice for someone. That person could (and probably should be) the someone most important to you.
Something We’re Looking To Invest in –
Real Estate. And lots of it. One of the misconceptions in Real Estate Investing is that you can only invest in places close to you. But what if we invested in places where the numbers and price to rent ratios make a lot more sense? Well…. that’s what we’re exploring.
Here’s a podcast episode from our favorite Real Estate Blog that details investing in Real Estate outside of the state you currently live in.
10 recession proof business ideas —
If you have stuck around here for even 2 minutes, you probably know how we feel about starting businesses! We love them! We especially love it when you can bootstrap your business and not go into debt for it. If you have ever thought about starting a side hustle or even a full on business this article might help you start brainstorming!
What I told a member of a Youtube Channel with over 2 Billion views after he asked my advice on how to grow his business —
A Free Tool to Declutter Your Email —
Dan had over 10,000 emails in his inbox and I had about 3,000 but both f us decided it was finally time to make the switch and get our email inbox to zero! Let me tell you, it feels SO GOOD! We used this tool which made it so much easier. They allow you to unsubscribe from everything in one place and you can even set it up to send you a summary of all the things you are subscribed to so you only have one email instead of 100 to go through if you are wanting to see sales or other emails at a glance.
Two Stories I’ve been Reflecting On —
I think about these two stories a lot – the first one is about my great-grandmother – the second is slightly comical but makes you think. Enjoy.
The best toddler water bottle —
Okay maybe not THE best but for the price and the quality I could not be happier! We are moving out of the sippy cup stage but I still needed a good water bottle for on the go. I have been on the hunt for a stainless steel, minimalistic water bottle for our daughter that wasn’t too tricky to drink out of or too heavy for her to carry. Quite the criteria huh? BUT I finally found one! They have adult sizes too but this has been such a winner for us.
What we’re reading about the US Economy-
A friend recently sent us this article titled Warning: 5 Reasons the 2020 Recession Will be Far Worse Than 2008. from the famous Bigger Pockets Blog – if you don’t know about Bigger Pockets yet, click this link.
While we tend to try to avoid hysteria, it’s important to understand how the money system in the United States works. The above mentioned article does a good job explaining and providing further resources to better understand how money “comes into existence” in the US.
One thing is clear, there will be economic consequences (in addition to what we’re already experiencing) in the future. How severe? No one can really tell. Diving into this rabbit hole might give you a few good ideas of how to prepare yourself, just in case.
What are we personally doing? We will continue going down the 3 Phases of Wealth (the Financial Roadmap) we share in our course, making sure we have food storage and other emergency supplies, and doing some due diligence on investing in silver and gold, (outside of the 15% we recommend investing in index funds in the roadmap we discuss in our Personal Finance Accelerator™ financial program.)
10 grocery shopping tips to cut your grocery bill in half —
One thing that has been a change for us recently is having Dan home more. We go through our food so much faster! We have really had to get creative on how to make our food budget stretch. Here are a few of our grocery/meal planning tips that have worked well for us.
What we’re reading on psychology-
Do you like books on psychology? This one has blown me away. I’m 80 pages in and I already view the world differently. The psychological tactics we as human beings can employ to manipulate, influence, and persuade to get what we want are alarmingly common, and easy to apply. Human beings have free will of course, but there is a lot of room for influence.
Favorite example so far from the book: During the Korean War, American POWs in camps run by the Chinese were influenced to denounce America and promote communism through simple “consistency” exercises. The prisoners were asked to write down why America was imperfect or something good communism did for the Chinese, like “everyone has a job in China.” or “Communism is good for China, but I don’t think it would work in America.” If the American refused to write anything, they were simply asked to copy a sentence that was pro-communist, an easy task. This led to further tactics that influenced pro-communist statements out of the Americans that were then used on their fellow prisoners and broadcast radio in South Korea to wage psychological warfare. Fascinating.
Before I read the above mentioned book, I also read this book by the same author. “What’s focal is causal,” is a mantra we’ve come to really believe it’s true. Whatever you focus on you tend to associate with everything else, whether that be COVID-19, Race in America, etc. What you focus on, you will begin to associate with pretty much everything else in your life.
Why the rich use capsule wardrobes —
As many of you know, we are big fans of capsule wardrobes. This week I came across this article about how Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and even President Obama used some version of a capsule wardrobe. So whether you are doing it to reduce the number of decisions you have to make every day, save money, buy higher quality clothes, live more intentionally, or expand your style/creativity, this one change will work wonders in your life! If you are interested in starting a capsule wardrobe, I would also check out Kitty Cotten on Youtube. She has tons of great resources and even has an entire course dedicated to creating a capsule wardrobe!
What we’re reading about raising independent children —
I (Dan) tend to not read anything unless it has to do with money and business, which can be a huge flaw. There is a ton of great information out there that has nothing to do with business and money that I feel I should be consuming. This book, which was recommended to me by Kay, my awesome wife, really has changed my perspective on parenting, especially as our daughter gets bigger and bigger.
Montessori is a parenting strategy developed byDr. Maria Montessori (she is amazing, click her name to read about her). She developed what is now known as the Montessori scientific pedagogy that has proven to be extremely effective. The system is designed to help children learn independence, and for parents and teachers to provide proper scaffolding as children develop and become successful and capable individuals, by supporting who they are and guiding them to become who they can be. It’s changed my perspective not only in parenting, but also how I view the world.
Jeff Bezos, (CEO and founder of Amazon), Larry Page and Sergey Brin, (founders of Google), Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (former First Lady), ad Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Nobel Prize-Winning novelist) all attended Montessori schools.
What to do when you are faced with financial tradeoffs —
One of the most common financial questions we get, comes back to financial tradeoffs. Should I buy a house or pay off debt? Should I invest or have some money in the bank for an emergency fund? The list goes on and on. Here is an article we wrote about how to approach the majority of those questions.
The Questions We Ask Millionaires —
When we started developing our personal finance course, we wanted to understand Millionaires and the habits they had developed to get where they are today. We didn’t/don’t only ask them about money though. Here are the questions we asked and continue to ask millionaires or people we think are worth interviewing.
What we’re reading about frugal living —
I (Kay) started this book this week and it is is so different than any other financial book I have ever read and yet, I love it! It is more of a novel than a nonfiction finance book (although the story is true) about a couple who reached financial freedom through frugal living by age 32. It has been so inspiring to me and makes me want to make even more frugal life changes!
Something enjoyable to keep your spirits up —
When I (Dan) came across this video, I was a sophomore in high school. It was made on the tail end of the Financial Crisis of 08. It’s a little cheesy, but you can’t help but smile and feel good when you watch this 16 minute video. Not going to say anymore, go check it out!
A quote we’ve been pondering —
“Preparing is not being fearful. It’s about being ready to respond to unexpected or inconvenient circumstances in the most effective way.”
What we’re watching on business and money —
We’re always looking for solid, enjoyable entertainment. This show, has been especially enjoyable for us, and was recommended to us by a Dutch millionaire. Marcus Lemonis is the Chairman and CEO of Camping World and host of the show. He goes into small struggling businesses and offers investment and business coaching in exchange for himself being in charge of the entire operation for a certain amount of time. Definitely provides some drama, facepalming, and business lessons along the way! Can be found on CNBC (free/purchase), and Amazon Prime (purchase).
How we are learning to love our home now —
Recently, Julia, an interior designer and Instagram celebrity, posted this article 10 Tips To Start Loving Your Home Right Now and it really struck home with us! We have talked about the “don’t wait” mentality on here and on our Instagram a few times, but I love how she shares such tangible ways to apply that mentality. No matter if you are living in an apartment, first time home or your dream home, I feel like all of her tips apply so well!
What We’re Researching —
It’s finally here! We asked our entire social media network across all channels (12,000+) what their favorite products for under $100 are that have truly made their lives better. Click here to see the list.
An Exercise That Changed our Marriage —
If you’re married you know that you do certain things and your spouse does others. Often, we can have the feeling that we are doing more than our spouse. This exercise really helped us get on the same page, as well feel more appreciation for what the other person does.
3 tools for buying a house –
I had another conversation this week with a friend about the typical argument for home buying of “we don’t want to throw all of our money away on rent.” Which is true. Dan and I don’t want that either. But we also don’t want to throw all of our money away on a house. So which one is better? Here is an article about 3 tools you should use when buying a house.
5 Businesses You Should Know About –
We’re always looking for people who are creators and building new things. Here are 5 companies you should know about, and why what they’re doing matters.
How we cut our grocery bill (and our trash) with these few changes–
I have been so anti-environment. Sounds terrible when I put it this way but really just haven’t really made an effort to do anything about it. BUT don’t worry I am changing my ways. After reading this book, I was inspired to make a few small changes in the way we do things around here and I was shocked with the results! Here is how we cut our grocery bill and our trash by implementing just a few small changes in our system.
How we buy everyday items like shampoo, razors, etc.
This article is everything we buy for our personal hygiene one time per year. By buying enough to last the whole year, we never worry about running out of products or have to think about buying more deodorant, toothpaste, etc. till next year!
One way we stay disciplined in our online spending–
Online spending is getting easier and easier to do and harder and harder to stay disciplined in. Here is one thing we do to stay disciplined in our online spending.
One thing we do to stay strong in our marriage–
Once you get married, or even enter a committed relationship, it’s extremely easy to just start going with the flow. Life becomes a list of to-dos and the meaningful conversations we once had with our spouse start to become less frequent. It’s good to throw some spice in there every once and a while! So, my friends, just like I’m going to ask Mikayla these questions this weekend on our date while we float on top of 1000 pounds of epsom salt, you should ask your spouse/significant other these 9 questions to bond closer and figure out how to improve your relationship.
Our 2019 Booklist —
As Dan has bragged about many times, I had the goal to read 52 books this year (a book a week) and I made it! We are both avid readers but I decided to kick it up a notch this year to branch out into more variety of books and I am so glad I did. It is amazing how much overlap there is between books in different fields, genres etc. Here is a list of all of the books we read in 2019.
A mental exercise you should try —
Recently Mikayla read a book called 168 Hours. As you can imagine, it has to do with time. (Haha). In the book, the author invited you to make a list of “100 Dreams”. Basically, this is a list of 100 things you’d like to do in your life, big or small. It really forces one to think. 100 things is a lot! I (Dan) was really hesitant at first to participate, but after I got thinking, it was a lot of fun to dream about 100 things I’d like to accomplish in my life at this moment in time. It also brought a lot of clarity about what is important to me. You can use this blog article to try the “100 Dreams” thought exercise for yourself.
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