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When I was working in the corporate world, I absolutely dreaded Mondays. The first job that I had right out of college my commute was 1 hours and 30 minutes each way that included walking to a bus, then two trains, then another bus, then another walk. I’d spend the time reading, but it was still brutal. The next job I got I had a 50-minute commute on a packed bus and then a train. The fourth job I had it was a 30-minute commute each way, but by then I’d learned how to save money on commuting. But when I became an entrepreneur I made sure to move as close as possible to my office, which ended up being a 7-10 minute walk. Phew, what a massive difference that made in my quality of life.
This morning I slept in until 8:45 and woke up without an alarm clock. The first thing that popped in my head was how I used to feel waking up at 4:30 every Monday and getting ready to make the 1 hour and 30-minute trek in the dark to my job. Then I had another idea this morning – I also remembered that every Monday I would search stories to motivate me for the week.
While they often had a money angle, they were also often written by people who dared to be radically transparent and vulnerable. They were often about someone who had to overcome adversity and found success, or about others who have found creative ways to cultivate happiness in their lives. I’ve long abandoned this practice, but I want to get back into it and also share those stories with you.
So here’s a new series where I’ll showcase other’s stories/articles I’ve found or been sent that really inspire me. It’s not one of those Sunday spotlight series – since those are mostly articles from the past week. This Monday Motivation series might include recent articles, or they might be older ones that I’ve just discovered. Will I be able to keep it up every week – who knows, but I’m going to try to at least do it regularly! This week I’m releasing it a little later in the day, but I hope to release it in the morning in the future. I hope these stories inspire you as much as they’ve inspired me.
Now let’s get to it. Here is this week’s Monday Motivation
1. How My Struggles With English Taught Me About Financial Literacy from Bob Lai who blogs as Tawcan
I’ve been reading Bob’s blog for the past year and actually had the pleasure of meeting Bob in person. He’s an amazing guy – super nice, funny, and genuine. In this extremely personal post, Bob shares vivid stories about growing up and learning English as a second language. He makes the point that it takes a lot of time and dedication to learn English – you don’t just go from beginner to expert immediately. Bob then goes on to connect this to personal finance, which also requires hard work, dedication, and lifelong learning. I really loved this post. It will inspire you.
2. Moms on FIRE – Thoughts on Seeking Financial Independence With Kids In Tow from Liz who blogs at Chief Mom Officer
I recently discovered Liz’s blog and I love it because not only is she a great writer, but I’m able to learn from an entirely different perspective. This is my favorite post of Liz’s and definitely worth a read if you do or don’t have kids. I don’t currently have any kids, but I want to have kids in the future. Did you know that there are over 16 million Millennial moms now?
Ever since I’ve been able to reach financial independence my number one concern has been how to factor kids in into the calculations. While I’ve done my best, using projections, I lack the experience to tell whether or not I’m over or underestimating how much money I’ll need. As of 2017, it evidently costs $233,610 to raise a child until they are 18 – this seems like a lot of money to me, but might be spot on. And of course, because of inflation, this number will only go up.
3. How Growing Up Poor Made Me A Bad Ass by Kristy aka FireCracker who blogs at Millennial-Revolution
Kristy and her partner Bryce retired 31 and 32 and are two of the most righteous people I’ve gotten to know recently. We were connected by Vicki Robin and have had some amazing discussions recently about life after early retirement and financial independence. After meeting Kristy and Bryce I got sucked deep into their blog – I literally spent about 5 hours straight one Saturday morning (procrastinating from writing my book) – digging deep into their archives. There are a ton of amazing posts and while I especially love their writing about “geographic arbitrage,” it was this post about Kristy that inspired me the most. It’s an absolutely amazing story that you need to read. Thanks for being so open Kristy.
4. Negative Net-Worth to Over $500,000 in 4 years from GuyonFIRE
I had the opportunity to meet GuyonFire recently in Dallas and this dude is legit. While I’m a huge fan of house hacking, I’m definitely not an expert. But GuyonFIRE definitely is. He lives in the now uber-expensive Washington D.C. metro area and has used house hacking (super awesome concept where you buy properties and rent them to cover your mortgage) to go from over 5 figures in credit card and student loan debt to an over $500K net-worth in 4 years. He grew up lower middle class, struggles with dyslexia, and failed out of college twice (but eventually graduated). House hacking has also helped Drew completely eliminate his biggest expense (housing) and allowed him to significantly increase his savings rate. He now has 3 (soon to be 4 properties) and is on track to reach financial independence before 30.
5. 20 Somethings: Stop Worrying About Finding Your Dream Job. Instead, Do These Two Things from Zach at Four Pillar Freedom
I stumbled on this post on Twitter and really dig it. Too many people that I meet in their 20’s are focused on the wrong things – they are looking for the perfect job with the perfect salary, which ends up being a waste of time. Your 20’s should be messy but strategic and as Zach highlights, you should focus on building skills and crafting your ideal job! This is a key point – you can either sit around (maybe forever) waiting for the perfect job, or you can build your own. I personally spent ages 21-24 doing the former, and 25-30 doing the later. It really makes a massive difference in both your income potential and your happiness. In my opinion, skills are future currency. Definitely, check out Zach’s post and don’t wait for your dream job.
Thanks for tuning in to the first Motivation Monday. Definitely message me, email me, or drop any articles that motivate you in the comments below. ✌️