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The Best Way to Save for a Vacation in 5 Easy Steps

The Best Way to Save for a Vacation in 5 Easy Steps

Travel
I am ready for a vacation. Perhaps you sensed that in my post about How to Survive the Rest of COVID Winter with Kids. Most Americans don’t take enough vacation time, and we certainly didn’t take enough vacation during COVID-19. So, while we await the vaccine, travel restrictions lifting, and herd immunity, the wanderlust is real.  But what’s going to happen when we are all able to take a vacation again? How are we going to finance it? Will you be putting it on a credit card and planning to pay it off later? Perhaps you are counting on another stimulus check or a tax refund to pay for your time away? Or have you set aside money now?  According to a 2019 Forbes article, most Americans spend an average of…
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I Set a Date! (for my Sabbatical)

I Set a Date! (for my Sabbatical)

Sabbatical Sundays
This week, I set a date.  That’s right. I set a date for when I will officially be starting my sabbatical. I’m not ready to share what my date is just yet, but suffice to say, a year from now, I will be taking a sabbatical from my job. While I’ve now been planning for a sabbatical for some time, I hadn’t yet finalized some of the details - like setting a date. So, what led me to set a date with such conviction this week?  Picture this: working all weekend and too many nights this week. Feeling beyond burned out and underappreciated.  I had set up some time about a week ago with my HR partner to talk through something I wanted to discuss with my boss. Instead of…
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Best Articles About Asset Allocations

Best Articles About Asset Allocations

Saving & Investing
I’ve been doing a lot of reading on asset allocation recently. Specifically, I’ve been reading about asset allocation related to the FIRE (Financially Independent Retire Early) movement. What is asset allocation? It is how you portion your investments among different stocks, bonds, and cash. Your asset allocation will vary depending on your age, your tolerance for risk, and when you need access to the money. The Best Articles About Asset Allocations Here are the best articles I've read on asset allocation. 1. Boggleheads on Asset Allocation The Boggleheads wiki page on Asset Allocation is one of the best articles there is with several different sample asset allocations in it. The Lazy Portfolios page is the next best reading following the asset allocation page.  2. Mr. Money Mustache Forum on Asset…
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8 Signs of Burnout and How to Recover with a Sabbatical

8 Signs of Burnout and How to Recover with a Sabbatical

Sabbatical Sundays
“I’m so tired, but I can’t sleep, [standing on the edge of something much too deep.]” The Sarah MacLaughlin song, “I Will Remember You,” always pops into my head when I think about burnout. Burnout and avoiding burnout is one of the most common reasons women consider a sabbatical. The struggle to avoid burnout is particularly real right now. COVID’s unique challenges are making work-life balance so much more difficult. Trying to avoid burnout is one of the biggest reasons I am planning for my own sabbatical next year.  Eight Signs of Burnout Here are the biggest warning signs that you are already burned out or are on the path to burning out.  1. Being Tired but Not Sleeping  Whether you lay awake at bedtime and can’t fall asleep or you…
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9 Best Tips To Survive the Rest of COVID Winter with Kids

9 Best Tips To Survive the Rest of COVID Winter with Kids

Take Action
I don’t know about you, but not only are COVID times growing interminable, but winter during COVID is feeling like a never-ending polar vortex.  But, we will all get through it, and even if it will still be COVID times, at least it will be spring soon.  Until then, here are my best tips to surviving the rest of COVID winter. 1. Return to the Outdoors In October, it snowed where we live. My kids were elated - we even overnighted new sleds since the old ones had broken and there weren’t yet any in local stores. Now when it snows, my children barely lift an eyebrow. I had bought us all ski goggles, so we could still get outside even when temperatures dropped below zero. That was optimistic. Instead, we have become…
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Does Money Motivate You?

Does Money Motivate You?

Sabbatical Sundays
I previously wrote about the importance of finding your “why” when it comes to taking a sabbatical.  Whenever you are doing something big and sort of scary, you need to know why you’re doing it. You also need to have motivation. Motivation is what will drive you to continue, even when it’s hard. Recently, I read Drive by Daniel Pink. One of the most interesting questions he tackles in his book is: does money motivate people? More specifically, he examines the research about whether money motivates people and if this ultimately leads to happiness.  According to Pink’s research, reaching a certain dollar value in savings shouldn’t increase my happiness at all. In fact, having a goal of saving a certain amount of money is not a “good” goal in that it won’t…
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The 2 Times When You Should Stop Saving For Retirement

The 2 Times When You Should Stop Saving For Retirement

Saving & Investing
Image credit: CalcXLM There is plenty of talk about Americans saving too little for retirement. Almost half of those under 30 have saved nothing for retirement, and nearly half of those 55 and older have saved nothing for retirement. But let’s talk about the other end of the spectrum. What about those who have saved enough or too much for retirement? Here are two signs you should stop saving for retirement. 1. You are under 40, and you've saved at least $500,000 for retirement.  Let’s say you are 38 years old and graduated from college in 2005. Since then, you have worked steadily and been able to nearly max out your retirement contributions most years since you graduated. If you had contributed $15,000/year since 2005 to an index fund that…
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Finding Your Why for Taking a Sabbatical

Finding Your Why for Taking a Sabbatical

Sabbatical Sundays
One thing I’ve learned in my sabbatical journey is that it is going to take a lot of extra work. Over the next year, I’m going to have to work extra hard, save more money, and skimp on purchases I might otherwise enjoy.  This won't be easy.  Whenever we are doing something hard, we need a really good reason - a purpose - to keep us going.  Some might say that this is your “why." What’s Your Why? Discovering your “why” may be the most important question you ask yourself. If you want to succeed, it may be the most critical question you answer. If you want to reach your goal — a sabbatical, a year off, a trip around the world, or just a break — you must know…
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3 Best Ways to Generate Business Ideas

3 Best Ways to Generate Business Ideas

Entrepreneurship / Making Money
I have started at least five businesses in my life. I’m currently on my 6th and 7th.  Some of them have been failures with thousands of hours and dollars poured in with them never fully getting anywhere. Others have been relatively successful -- earning enough per month to live on and then being able to ultimately sell. I eventually sold or wound down these businesses before truly giving them a chance to grow. That’s because my favorite part of starting a business is: The Idea.  I love coming up with ideas for businesses. However, for many entrepreneurs coming up with a viable business idea is a challenge. Here are the three best ways to generate business ideas. Answer the following questions: 1. What Problem Do You Need Help Solving in Your Life…
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My First Sabbatical

My First Sabbatical

Sabbatical Sundays
About 15 years ago, I took my first sabbatical from work.  I quit my job with plans to spend a year traveling around the world.  That was the goal. I wanted to experience the world while I was still young, without kids, a mortgage, or a real career. And I did it. Though, it ended up being about a six-month trip because, the truth is, it got sort of boring. That’s right, traveling the world got boring. Not because there wasn’t enough to do or see.  But there wasn’t enough challenge. What I remember most about the end of my trip is feeling like I had too much time to think.  I started having bizarre dreams about people from my childhood. It was all enjoyable, but it felt like a…
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