Good morning, lovely people!
Just for fun, we asked an AI chat bot to “write a funny Valentine’s Day message for our personal finance newsletter”… Here is what the program generated 👇
Pretty dang good, right!?!? Only a matter of time before they create some AI software to replicate our voices and record podcasts for us, then we’d be fully out of work! 😭.
I hope that’s a long way off… But in the meantime, you’re stuck with us mere humans creating stuff for you.
Here is this week’s money news (written 100% by us, pinky promise!) 👇👇👇
Dust Off Your Bike!
Biking more regularly is a money hack of the greatest magnitude. It costs pretty much nothing to go places, plus you get a little work out each ride too!
Spring starts in about a month… So pump up those tires, lube that chain, and start using it regularly for any errands within a 2-3 mile radius of your house. 💪
“Buy It For Life” Movement ♾️
The main idea behind Buy It For Life (aka BIFL) is prioritizing durability > luxury.
The goal is to purchase one high-quality product that can last decades, vs. having to replace faster wear-n-tear items every few years. Although you might pay more upfront, you save money in the long run because of it’s durability.
Before shopping for new clothes/household items/tools, it might be worthing checking out the BIFL Reddit Community (1.4M+ members) to see if you can find any recommended products or brands that have outstanding reviews. Here’s a few examples of highly recommended brands and items users continually promote:
- Darn Tough Socks: Comfy, warm, and unconditionally guaranteed for life. They’re a little expensive upfront (like ~$20 a pair), but if they start to wear out 20 years from now, you can return them for a new pair, even without a receipt.
- Winter Jackets: Patagonia and Carhartt are heavily praised brands, not just for jackets but for a lot of other heavy weather gear. Having a lifetime warranty is always nice, but it’s even better if *you never have to use it*!
- Boots/Footwear: Redwing has killer reviews and is constantly talked about. So is Altra for hiking and running shoes.
- Solid wood furniture: Tables, dressers, and desks made out of quality solid wood can last generations. They may cost more upfront (and they’re heavy to move!) but you generally keep them forever and save money in the long run. (Second hand stores are awesome places to find a bargain)
- Kitchen stuff: Cast iron cookware, KitchenAid mixers, Le Creuset dutch ovens, Victorinox chef knives, Swing-a-way can openers, Corningware baking dishes, Correlle dishware… The list goes on!
OK, you get the point! Being a little more mindful when spending can lead to longer lasting stuff and bigger overall savings!
- ♾️ BIFL Community: Main Reddit thread (Scroll down on the right hand side to see item categories or use the search function for stuff you’re looking for)
- 🙅 No Longer BIFL: Thread of brands to avoid (Companies that used to be good, but after growing in size they started using cheaper quality materials/manufacturing)
- 👖 Mashable: 136y/o Pair of Levi Jeans (Just a fun article about the oldest pair of Levi’s and how we still refer back and learn from it’s durability!)
TOGETHER WITH M1
We like M1 Finance because there are no management fees or trading fees. They offer regular brokerage accounts, Roth and Traditional IRAs, and even custodial brokerage accounts if you’re investing for kids!!
One of M1’s unique advantages is dynamic rebalancing. This means once you set your preferred portfolio split (eg. 60% abc, 40% xyz) they automatically rebalance when assets grow disproportionately. Pretty cool! It’s perfect for people who want to set and forget but still maintain a specific balance.
Check out M1 Finance. (They also offer test drives for new users, so you can build a sample portfolio and test the system without committing any money 😉)
Where Are All Of The Jobs?
It seems everyday we’re hearing about big layoffs at major companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, etc…
But just a couple weeks ago the Bureau of Labor Statistics dropped a bombshell report saying that 517,000+ new jobs were added to the labor market. Its got people wondering, where are all these jobs?
Per the latest BLS data, almost every industry has new jobs:
The biggest 3 areas were:
Leisure & Hospitality: Jobs in areas like lodging, food services, and pretty much anything tourism oriented.
Private Education & Healthcare: Social services, family services, child care, school jobs, nurses, hospital workers, care facilities and anything to do with health.
Professional & Business Services: Legal, accounting, engineers, consulting, PR/marketing, admin services – there are a TON of white collar jobs covered under this category.
Unemployment sits at 3.4%, the lowest we’ve seen in 50 years. So don’t be scared by job cut announcements in the news. Yes, some companies and industries are contracting, but there are still plenty of jobs out there.
- 🧑💻 LinkedIn Trends: Most in-demand jobs right now (Jan 2023)
- 💻 Up to $125/hr: Most in-demand tech skills for freelancers
- 🎙️ Earning More: Bouncing to a new employer is just one way to max your income!
Newsy News News…
Gen Z Super-savers 🏡
According to recent studies, Gen Z is “doing extraordinarily well” saving for retirement. (compared to other generations when they were younger). It’s awesome to see younger folks getting off to a good start!!
It’s the latest TikTok trend where instead of promoting fancy expensive lifestyle brands, influencers are now exposing cheaper, thrifty alternatives to save money. (Sounds cool on the surface, but still not great if it encourages people to buy stuff they don’t actually need)
Cost of Living Calc 🔢
Thinking of moving? Here’s a quick calculator showing how far your salary will go in another city. Assuming you work remotely (and can move city/states without affecting your salary), you might be able to save more aggressively in another area.
Password Sharing 🙅
Netflix is rolling out new rules for sharing accounts and passwords. Changes already went into effect last week for countries like Canada, New Zealand, and Spain where users need to confirm their “primary address” and are encouraged to purchase additional members if they want to share across households.
“Super Chill” CC Strategy
Yes, you can open 50 credit cards to maximize every single rewards point/program available… But we believe with much less effort, and only 3 credit cards, you can achieve 95% of the benefits for the spending most people do.
Check out our latest blog post on cheap date ideas. Be safe and have fun!
HOW *YOU* MONEY
Jay, 29y/o from Portland, OR 🏕️
Occupation: Digital Product Designer
Paycheck deductions: ~$6,100
Housing: ~$3,000 mortgage (but $2,000 is covered by a guest suite midterm rental!)
Debt Payments: $0!
Other expenses: -$800/m
Leftover savings each month: ~$4,250!
How are you investing your excess savings each month?
I’m currently adding more to my emergency savings, mortgage reserves, and re-filling sinking funds (gifts & travel). When I get my bonus in August, I invest the max into my backdoor Roth and save the leftover for my next downpayment. Hoping to buy a single family home in 2024.
Biggest “craft beer equivalent” splurge:
Cool sneakers and date nights
Best savings hack/advice:
Zero based budgeting! Giving every dollar a job makes it easy to map out your financial goals for the year.
Recent money win? How did you celebrate?
I finished a renovation to my home I bought last year that allows me to house hack my downstairs guest unit. My first tenant moved in on January 3rd! I’m also proud of getting my finances together in the past 3 years to make this possible.
Biggest money challenge right now?
Being patient with all the goals I want to achieve this year.
Anything else you want to share?
I love the podcast and the wide variety of topics! I look forward to listening every week 🙂
**If you’re up for being featured in a future newsletter, we’d love to hear from you –> fill out the How You Money form here (we only post with your permission!!)**
Wishing y’all a great Valentine’s Day (and don’t forget to show your wallet some love, too, as the AI bot suggested) 🥰
Best friends out 🍻
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