Happy Tuesday, frugal friends!
Here’s a fun little happiness trick I read about over at The Frugal Girl blog…
“Another tip that’s both frugal and effective in boosting happiness: a decade ago I started a project where I took two empty jars, and put “good moments” in one jar, and “bad moments” in another jar.”
“I repeated this exercise for a few years, then in 2017, to be more practical, I decided to dedicate a notebook to this purpose, and to only include good moments. — I encourage you to try this for a few weeks. It’s free, and the results may surprise you.”
Since Thanksgiving is around the corner, this little exercise might be a good way to ease into the gratitude mindset. You could even start today, writing just one little good note per day, then read them all on Thanksgiving?
Just an idea! OK, onto this week’s money stuff 👇👇👇
Unfollow “Bad” Influencers 📲
As the old saying goes, “you become the average of the people you regularly surround yourself with”.
Well, in this digital age, it’s more like “you slowly adopt the mindset of the influencers you follow online”!
Maybe you started following someone out of curiosity, or because they’re funny, or because they have a cool lifestyle… But are they truly contributing towards your bright future? Are you learning good habits or bad habits from them? 🤷♂️
Something to consider this week: Cut out some of the negative or unhelpful crap in your life 😉
I’m, dreaming, of a tight Christmas 🎅 🎶
We’ve been reading a lot of articles recently on holiday shopping and wanted to highlight a few cool notes and ideas…
Hopefully these can save you a few bucks this holiday season (and possibly help your family members save money too)!
Start shopping early.
Hurried gift buying usually leads to overspending for convenience. Instead, make your lists early and plan ahead! If you see something on extreme sale, you can buy a few of them to have spare gifts on hand for anyone you might “forget” later.
Buy fewer gifts.
Here’s a cool note we got from listener, AJ: “My family started doing white elephant a few years ago… This is great because 1) we still get to open something our siblings have gotten for us, 2) our expectation is that gag gifts or regifts are acceptable, and 3) we have a spending limit. This way, instead of gifting to each sibling, we just have a gift or two and can trade!”
Have honest conversations with your family.
Inflation has hit everyone this year — not just you! — and chances are most friends and family members would welcome discussions on how everyone can save on gift buying (without reducing the fun of course). You can talk about spending limits, splitting meal costs and chores evenly, and pooling money for larger gifts.
Consider DIY or home made gifts.
Youtube has like 80 billion DIY videos out there (I totally made this figure up) — but the point is you can learn to make anything fairly easily these days. Get creative! And who knows, you might just make the recipient even more grateful showing how much effort you put in.
- 🛍️ Budget Girl Post: Preparing for holidays amidst inflation
- 🤷♂️ HTM Blog Post: The Difference between frugal and cheap
- 💻 Family Budget Expert: How to not overspend during holidays
- 🎙 Podcast Ep 439: A Very Merry Minimalist Christmas w/ Meg Nordmann
TOGETHER WITH CAPITALIZE
Rollover your old 401k already
Did you know… 2 out of 3 Americans don’t know how much they’re paying in 401k fees?
Nearly half of all people “estimate” they are paying less than .5% in fees… BUT, in reality only 10% of all plans charge less than .4%!!!
Long story short: 401k plans (and 403b plans) are great while you are employed — but once you leave your employer it usually makes sense to roll over your retirement funds ASAP into an IRA.
We partner with and recommend Capitalize to help with the process. Because they’re FREE, and they work with all the low-cost IRA companies we love like Fidelity, Schwab, & Vanguard.
So if you have an old 401k and you’re not 100% sure what your fees are, do your future self a favor and talk to Capitalize, ASAP.
Job changer vs job stayer salaries 👀
ADP has a cool little pay insights webpage with great salary trend data and some interactive charts/maps.
Here’s a chart that’s pretty eye opening, showing the average % increase in pay when people change jobs vs. staying at their current employer 👇👇👇
It’s pretty clear: When you change jobs, you get a bigger pay raise!
That being said, this trend seems to be cooling. And although last Friday’s job report was better than expected, the unemployment rate increased just a tiny bit in October.
We’ve been preaching this all year… If you are stuck in a job where you are undervalued, underpaid, or extremely stressed, NOW is the time to start hunting for that next great opportunity.
- 💻 LinkedIn: The latest Global Talent Trends report & Most In-Demand Jobs right now (October 2022)
- 🎬 Workplace Intelligence: An interesting Upskill Study (reveals Gen Z’s and Millenials are most likely to quit because of lack of skills development opportunities) 🤔
- 🎙 Podcast Ep 403: Ditching a job you hate and landing a job you want, with Ashley Stahl.
Other stuff happening recently…
Fed Rate 📈
Welp, the Fed raised rates again last week by 0.75 points… So borrowing money will continue to get more expensive. Prioritize paying down your variable-rate loans, peeps! This means credit card debt, auto-loans, most HELOCs, and anything with a variable interest rates.
We 😍 ALDI!!!
Starting last week —> Nov 29th, Aldi has instituted “Thanksgiving Price Rewind“. Which means they are selling traditional holiday groceries (like apple pie, green beans, mini marshmallows, cornbread stuffing & some wines) at 2019 prices!
Amazon Music 🎧
Amazon is taking on Spotify… They just announced they’re boosting their music/podcast catalog for Prime members… Amazon’s ad-free service will now let you shuffle through 100M songs, up from 2M previously, at no cost. (well, you still need to pay for your Prime membership, of course).
Recent blog post from BiggerPockets: 92 of the Most Affordable Housing Markets in the World (most of them are in the USA). **Spoiler alert: Pittsburgh, OKC & Rochester are top 3!** It also describes how “affordability” is calculated as each city has different dynamics.
Just for Funsies 🤑
Check out this cool little “Dollar-a-day” calculator that shows how much money you’d have today if you invested $1 each day into the stock market since the day you were born.
FRIENDS OF HTM
Community Spotlight: Jesse Cramer 👨🏫
Jesse is the legend behind The Best Interest — a blog and podcast helping folks improve their money situation and meet their ambitious financial goals.
One of Jesse’s strengths is the ability to take really confusing or complex topics and “dumb them down” into regular person terms. 🤣 But seriously, he’s great at explaining things most people find confusing — see what I mean by listening to his recent guest appearance on the BP Money podcast.
Thanks Jesse for all the good stuff you put out. Keep doing what you’re doing!! 💪💪💪
Have an awesome week!!!
Best friends out 🍻
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