Digital Nomads, Financial Cruise Control And Gettin’ Lucky! (With Money 😉)

April 25, 2023

Happy Tuesday, beautiful people!

Do you know the secret to being happy? —> Focus on what you love about your life.

And the secret to being miserable? —> Focus on what you hate about your life.

Your focus 🔍 determines your reality. Just something to keep in mind this week… Are you dwelling on the good stuff or the bad stuff?

(the good stuff, i hope — life is too short to be sad! 😜)

OK, onto the money stuff! 👇👇👇


Automate Something ⚙️

When your finances are on cruise control, it clears up mental bandwidth so you can focus on other cool things in life! Try setting all your bills, rent, and credit cards to auto-pay, schedule reoccurring transfers to savings/investments, auto-up your 401k percentages, use digital tracking/budgeting systems, etc.

The less you touch your stuff, the more freedom you have. It doesn’t mean you never have to think about money again… But it’s a step towards working smarter – not harder. 🤓


Curious Money Superstitions 🤞

The other day I saw a penny on the ground, and I went to pick it up… But before I could get it my kid screamed “No don’t take it! It’s only a lucky penny if heads is facing up. If you see tails, you need to flip it over and leave it for the next person to find”.

I’ve heard that before, but had to go home and search if it’s true (most folks agree)!

Anyway, this led me down a money superstition rabbit-hole and I found a few other strange ones y’all might want to know about:

Itchy Palm Superstition: Some people say having an itchy right palm means that money will soon find its way into your life. But watch out, because having an itchy left palm yields the opposite effect! 😱 Don’t worry, apparently using some wood to stop the itching will prevent that bad luck.

The Money Spider: This is a scary one… Apparently if you find a spider 🕷️ in your pocket it’ll bring you good fortune! (… hopefully the non-venomous kind)

The Money Tree: Money may not grow on trees, but apparently the “pachira aquatica” money tree can bring you good luck. (We have one of these at the HTM office!! – it works, umm… we think)

Don’t Whistle at Home: Apparently, you can “whistle your money away” if you partake in this carefree activity within your own four walls.

The “401k Millionaire” Superstition: Legend has it, if you transfer $1,000 to your 401k every month, then wait for 25 years, you’ll magically find over $1 million in there!! 🤯

OK, that last isn’t actually a superstition, it’s a real thing. And something I hope all of you are pursuing! What other fun or weird money superstitions do you believe in?

Related Stuff:


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Digital Nomads Going Mainstream 👩‍💻

This week’s chart comes from a research study by MBO Partners that reveals the continued growth of digital nomads. These are people who are location independent and have a technology enabled lifestyle which allows them to work and live anywhere.

Some thoughts:

  • Covid boosted this trend and unleashed many people from their cubicles… But even now as companies call workers back to the office, it seems there’s still a growing trend of remote work while traveling. Also an increase in freelancing and gig work.
  • Geoarbitrage is one of the best ways to cut down expenses. It used to be that high cost living areas had high paying jobs, and low cost areas had lower paying jobs. But with the right technology and a job that allows remote work, the lines are getting blurred. Moving to cheaper areas (and keeping a high salary) is becoming available to more people which is great to see!
  • Slow travel can be incredibly cheap, too. If you can spend long periods of time in places where your dollar stretches further (while still working), you get to explore a place while also saving money.
  • Loneliness, time zone differences, and being away from friends/family are among the biggest reported downsides. Even though the digital nomad life has it’s perks, it’s not all chasing waterfalls and adventurous cuisine!

Related stuff:


Newsy news news…

Returns 🛍️
Amazon are starting to phase out free returns, so peeps need to be a bit more careful when buying stuff online. Good news though — they’re also adding a “frequently returned” label to some items, giving better warning to potential buyers. All in all this is kind of cool to see and hopefully it’ll lead to more quality/thoughtful purchases!

Bank of Apple 🖥️
They already offer a credit card and Apple Pay, but now Apple is also launching a high yield savings account with a 4.15% interest rate! Not bad for Apple fanboys who can easily switch.

Housing 🏠
Here’s the latest Redfin data report, showing home prices fell 3% in March — the biggest annual drop since 2012. Keep in mind, this is a national median price. Some markets are still hot (mostly east coast) while others are cooling at a faster rate (mostly west coast!) 

Groceries vs. Eating Out 👨‍🍳
Super interesting chart and data via Axios shows how people’s restaurant spending has overtaken their regular grocery expenses over the past 10 years! 👀

Get Human 📲
This might be old news, but I just found out about this site!!! GetHuman saves you time by calling customer service numbers on your behalf. It navigates the auto-attendant maze, finds the right department, waits in queue and then when it’s your turn to talk to a representative it quickly calls you and connects you to a human!


Reagan, 39y/o, Hillsboro OR 🍃

Occupation: System Engineer
Salary: $157k

Paycheck deductions: -$8,000 (contributing massively through after-tax to catch up on retirement)
Housing: -$2,200
Debt Payments: -$400/month (car)
Living expenses: -$4,500/month

Leftover savings each month: Minus $2,000 (eating up savings)

How are you investing your excess savings each month?
There is no excess because I contribute directly from my paycheck to after-tax 401k, trying to catch up on retirement and reduce our cash balance.

Biggest “craft beer equivalent” splurge:
Restaurants (we are foodies)

Best savings hack/advice:
Do not impulse buy and think hard on whether what I want to buy will actually give me pleasure in the long run.

Recent money win? And how did you celebrate?
Was able to buy a home just before rates started going up (Jan. 2022) winning the bidding war on the home against 21 offers (lucky us!). And we weren’t even the highest offer, but we did bring the highest down payment offer to the table…

Biggest money challenge right now?
Closing the gap on retirement. Because most of my 20s and 30s I was in academia and most of my income was in the form of stipends, there were no contributions for retirement. I am nearly in my 40s and don’t even have x1 annual salary saved yet.

**Have you 🫵 got a story that might help or inspire others? Fill out the form to be featured! (We won’t share anything you don’t approve first) And thank you in advance for helping our community grow richer and happier, together. 🙏

Cheers for reading! Have a great day, great week, and see you next Tuesday!

Best friends out 🍻


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