Random Acts of Kindness, Fool’s Gold, & HTM turns 5!!! 🎂

December 27, 2022

Good morning! Hope y’all are having a fun inbetweeny holiday week!

Today we’re celebrating something special at HTM… It’s our 5th birthday!! 🎂🥳. We launched our first podcast episode on Dec 28th, 2017, and it’s been a wild ride ever since…

A few cool achievements for HTM:

  • 468 beers reviewed 🍻
  • 490 listener questions answered 🙋‍♂️
  • 610 episodes released 🎙️
  • 35,054,518 overall downloads!! 🎧

Thank YOU so much for listening, reading, and sharing over the years. We couldn’t have done it without you and are eternally grateful.

Cheers to 5 great years, and 5 great more… getting richer, together. 🍾🥂


TO DO

Get Yo’ Budget Sorted!

What better time than now to start a budget, or at the very least start tracking your spending to understand exactly where your money goes every month.

Budgets are personal, and everybody does it slightly different… We’ve dedicated an entire episode and blog post to budgeting so no need to belabor the point. But get started if you haven’t!

Sign up for a free YNAB trial (full version is always free for students), hop on Mint.com (free) or Personal Capital (free)!


GIVING

Random Acts of Kindness 💙

Been thinking about this a lot recently… About how the more you give —> the more you get. 

recent study shows that the average person greatly underestimates the happiness and positivity they spread by doing small acts of kindness. Basically, we think doing something nice might only cheer someone up for 30 seconds, but it really makes their entire day (or possibly changes their life).

We also underestimate the ripple effect it has! When people receive random kindness —> they are more likely to pass it on.

Sooooo… that being said, we wanted to throw out some random acts of kindness ideas for people to try this coming year.

Here are a few simple ones…

  • Write a thank you note: Doesn’t have to be long, but taking 20 seconds will absolutely brighten someone’s entire day.
  • Clear off a snowy car: When you’re out wiping the snow off your car, give the next car over a wipe, too. What a fun surprise for someone else!
  • Assist a parent: It’s stressful going places with kids… If you see someone struggling, lend a had! Carry a bag, fill up a water bottle, or just pass on a nice word of encouragement. It means A LOT to any parent.
  • Help travelers: See someone taking a selfie?… offer to take a photo for them! See someone holding a map?… ask where they’re going! Easy stuff for you, but means the world to a traveler.
  • Talk instead of type: Text and emails are nice. But hearing a friendly, laughing voice on the phone might really boost someone’s mood. Try calling or leaving a short voice memo.
  • Tape a coupon to a store product: Do you have a voucher or coupon for something you’ll never buy? Well, try leaving it at the store, taped onto the product so the next stranger looking to buy it gets a surprise discount.
  • Wine for teachers: Any type of teacher appreciation is good, but there’s something about a bottle of wine and a small note that really makes them feel recognized!

A few minutes of effort for you could equal daaaays of happiness for others. That’s a good ROI 😉

Related stuff:


TOGETHER WITH YNAB

You Need A Budget 🫵

Did you know…  The average user saves $600 in 2 months and $6,000 within year 1 of using YNAB!!!??!?!

This is why we recommend peeps use YNAB if they are new to budgeting or need a solid system to help manage their finances. For under $9 a month, this is well worth it — and pays for itself in most cases.

And YNAB is free for students!! But if your college days are behind you, they also have a 34 day free trial if you want to take it for a test drive. 🙋‍♀️


INVESTING

Should You Buy GOLD Right Now?⚱️

Today’s nerdy chart comes from Visual Capitalist.

And we’re talking about GOLD because a couple people have reached out recently asking whether they “should move a chunk of their investments over to gold/silver/precious metals because there is a recession coming (apparently)”… 

Here are our thoughts on this:

  1. Making massive portfolio changes in order to try and time the market is unwise and will likely lead to lower returns.
  2. Buying gold because it has a low-to-negative correlation with the stock market is a little short sighted. In reality, gold (and other similar metals) have a TON of factors that influence its value.
  3. If the goal is to move away from stocks, there are a bunch of other attractive alternatives right now, like I Bonds, T bills, CDs, or even your good old fashioned high yield savings account!
  4. In our eyes, gold is a store of value, not a long term investment. Gold is a non-productive asset meaning it doesn’t pay dividends or generate interest — teeing up our final point…
  5. Bottom line gold just doesn’t perform as well as the overall stock market. From 1990 to 2020, the price of gold increased by around 360%. Over the same period, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained 991%.

All in all, recessions don’t scare us. Although terribly inconvenient, they are just minor setbacks in our long term wealth building plan.


ICYMI

Circling Around the Interwebs…

Gig Work 👩‍💻
A new Upwork study found that 60 Million Americans have been freelancing in 2022! Side hustling and freelancing has never been so easy, and 9 out of 10 peeps surveyed think “the best days are ahead”.

Financial Education 📊
Where do young people learn about investing these days? Apparently YouTube (56%) and Reddit (41%) are the biggest social media channels for investors under 35y/o. Check out page 21 of this mammoth study on the changing investor landscape in the US.

Soft Pull 💳
Wouldn’t it be nice to know whether you’re approved or not *before* you submit a credit card application? Well, AMEX is rolling out a new tool like this, called “Apply with Confidence” where it gives you a final decision before hard hitting your credit report.

3.8% Rule 🌴
You might be familiar with the 4% rule when it comes to retirement withdrawals. Well, new Morningstar research now puts that number at 3.8% for 2023 and beyond… based on a 50/50 stock/bond portfolio and a 30 year time horizon.

IRS Delay ⚖️
Last minute change for payment apps like Venmo, PayPal, etc… They *won’t* be issuing 1099-K forms this year to people who received over $600 for goods/services — the IRS has decided to delay enforcing that law until next year.

2023 Money Horoscope ♊️
Just for funsies… Here are your work and money horoscopes for 2023(Every time we include articles like this they are the MOST CLICKED links inside our newsletter 🤣 ENJOY!)


HOW *YOU* MONEY

Mallory, 33y/o from Marietta, GA ⛲️

Occupation: External Partial CMO
Salary: Variable, but for 2022 coming in around $100,000

Paycheck deductions: I hung my own shingle starting in February, so I’m having to handle all paycheck deductions myself now… and there has definitely been a learning curve!

Taxes – I pay these quarterly now, putting 20% aside of my total income since I knew I’d have a lot of write-offs. Health Insurance – $395.97

Mortgage: ~$1,000/m including tax and ins.
Debt: None!
Other expenses: -$3,000/m

Leftover savings each month: ~$2,000!

How are you investing your excess savings each month? 
Retirement – Prior to going out on my own, I was religiously putting 8% of my paycheck towards retirement. I plan to get back to that next year as my business hopefully settles into more predictable numbers.

Cash – I always like to have around 6 months of emergency cash savings on hand. That’s allowed me to smoothly transition into working on my own and take on other risks in my life.

Real Estate – I’ve purchased two rental properties in the past, but a divorce forced me to get out of the real estate investing game. In 2023, though, I’ll be reentering it as I move in with my boyfriend and put my current house up for rent. I’d like to get more into real estate investing again in the future which means I’ll need to possibly hold more cash on hand. I’ve seen great returns with this type of investment, though it’s certainly more hands-on than simply putting money into ETFs.

Brokerage Account – I have a brokerage account where I’ve been purchasing a mix of individual stocks and ETFs. I actually first opened this when Spotify went public because I believed in the product so much I really wanted to own a piece of it. Granted, that’s not been my best performer, but I do believe that the best investments are in companies and structures that you can actually understand, that you use, and that you believe will continue to shape the world at large.

Paying Down My Mortgage – I’m not currently doing this, but I’ve done it in the past and think it’s one of the cooler concepts that’s not often talked about. I was lucky enough to purchase my house when interest rates were low, so I’m now not in a rush to pay off my mortgage. That said, a couple of years ago I was trying to figure out how best to invest a large bonus I was paid at the end of the year. I was asking different folks who I know are knowledgeable about investing, and one of my friends suggested that I start paying down my mortgage. I immediately questioned him why I’d do that when I already had a low interest rate, but he countered with the point that it was A GUARANTEED RETURN! Something otherwise unheard of in the investing world, and at a rate much higher than I could get even with bonds at the time. I’ve cut off years of interest payments already, and it’s very rewarding to see.

Biggest “craft beer equivalent” splurge:
For the last few years I’ve subscribed to Nuuly, a monthly clothing rental program from the folks who own Anthropology, Urban Outfitters, etc. As a lady who likes to keep up with the latest fashion trends, I love it because it allows me to try out new looks regularly without spending obscene amounts of money or cluttering my closet.

Best savings hack/advice:
My best advice is to not over budget. If you focus on the big picture of saving more than you’re spending, and then optimize from there, then you’ll land in the right place and be happier. I’ve been in a position where I was forced to focus on the details of every dollar in and out, and while we were able to accomplish some wonderful things, the juice was very much not worth the squeeze. Life is short, so make smart decisions and then focus on enjoying it. Also, sometimes the best thing you can purchase for yourself is freedom.

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 last week of 2022. Celebrate responsibly!!! 😉

Best friends out 🍻

*****

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