Category: money and happiness

How To Argue About Money Nicely & Productively

How do you manage money as a couple? Do you fight about money? This couple money advice is super doable and super helpful!

It’s 2009 and I’m standing in the tiny galley kitchen of the ‘garden’ (read: basement) apartment I hate, fighting back tears as I stare into the fridge.

Two days ago, I splurged on an expensive ball of fresh mozzarella. Today, where there was once fresh mozzarella, there is now a plastic container of cloudy mozzarella water.

That cheese cost $5. At the time, I was earning $16 an hour as a teacher at a non-profit. After taxes, the cost of that cheese = 30 minutes of my life. And my boyfriend ate it. My earns-three-times-what-I-do-doesn’t-have-school-debt-wants-to-split-everything-50/50 boyfriend ATE MY SPECIAL EXPENSIVE CHEESE.

It will not surprise you to know, dear reader, that what followed was an all out, raised-voices fight about money.

It also won’t surprise you to learn we did not remain boyfriend/girlfriend much longer.

If you’ve ever shared a living space and expenses with someone, you’ve probably had a similar experience. In fact, 57% of people who divorce cite money as the reason for their split.

Of course, money is complicated. We all spend it in different ways, for different reasons. These five basic steps can help you argue much, much less.

5 ways to argue about money nicely and productively 

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How to spend money on yourself + your happiness

This is not a post filled with budgeting tips or advice on how to save money. This is a post filled with advice on the weirdly hard topic of spending money on ourselves. If you're a mom, this might be something you struggle with! Click through for tips on how to stop.
I’m standing in the aisle at Target, staring at a plump, pink tube of $20 ‘cheek gel.’

My cart is already filled with sensible, not-really-for-me-purchases. Toilet bowl cleaner, frozen peas, ibuprofen.

Can I afford this blush? I can.
Is my current tube of ‘cheek gel’ almost used up? It is.
Do I feel cuter and more on top of it when I’m wearing makeup? I do.
Am I pretty sure this particular blush would work best with my skin tone and type? Yup.

And yet.

I sigh and shuffle my way to the Wet & Wild and buy the $4 blush instead.

Maybe you’ve never done this. Maybe you’ve never spend $150 on sensible purchases and gifts for other people and then denied yourself something you want and can afford. Maybe you’ve never bought the ‘close enough’ jacket because it was cheaper (even though you could afford the jacket you truly loved).

If you’ve never done that – congrats! You can stop reading now. Here is a post with photos of animals in buckets.

If this behavior sounds familiar: I see you and I get you.

One of the things I hear from many of my ‘Put Your Money Where Your Happy Is’ students is “I just can’t seem to spend money on myself or on anything fun.” They don’t have trouble living on a budget and they top out their 401 k every year. Their savings accounts are flush and healthy but their closets, homes, and calendars are, uh, less so.

Join free 5-day money bootcamp

Why do we do this? Why do we deny ourselves things we can afford and we know would make us happy?

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Why You Need To Diversify Your Happiness + How To Do It

If you're looking for happiness tips that go beyond gratitude journalling, this will help! You can add more happiness to your life, when there are more sources of happiness. Click through to cheer up and get happ(ier)

 

When it comes to happiness, I’m afraid I share a few traits with lab rats.

Yes, I too have nearly invisible eyelashes. I too have nearly hairless extremities. But what I’m talking about here is my personal propensity to find the button that brings me what I want. And then I push it over and over till I’m a quivering pile of mush.

See, many years ago, I discovered two things that always brought me happiness:
1. improving the aesthetics of my living space
2. travel

So anytime I felt stuck or lost or blue, the solution was easy: fuss with my living room or take myself on a trip. Daytrip to a new city = 1 week of improved mood! Rearranged office and one new throw pillow = I am a new human who loves everything and everyone!

And while it’s great to know myself and know what makes me happy, It seems reductive and short-sighted to winnow my joy down to, uh, TWO SOURCES. Click To Tweet
What happens when my house is ‘done’ and every corner has been perfected? What happens if I develop a health issue that prevents me from flying? Or something happens that requires me to stay close to home?

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How To Add More Money + More Happiness To Your Life In 5 Days

This isn't about budgeting tips. It's not about investing or snowballing debt. This is a totally different approach to money + happiness. Click through and find out how you can have more of both!

Are you rolling your eyes at me right now?

Are you groaning “NOT POSSIBLE, VON BARGEN” while closing your laptop?

Don’t think the Money And Happiness Puzzle can be solved in five days?

Friend, you’re right about that last one.

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How to define success for yourself (no, but REALLY)

How do you define success for yourself? How do you distance yourself from family and social expectations of what you 'should' be doing? Click through for 5 questions that will help you define success on your own terms.

We’ve all seen those hand-lettered quotes floating around Pinterest, haven’t we?

“Write your own definition of success!” “Success is: [photo collage of six pack abs, checked off lists, and lattes]” or that illustration of the imagined path to success versus the reality.

If you’re anything like me – you nod at your computer screen. You think “Yes! I should write my own definition of success!”

Then we forget about it.  We go back to subconsciously believing the version of success marketed by every magazine, tv show, and movie.  And based on those standards we’re doing life wrong.

It took me yearrrrs to realize that I – like everyone else, ever – had quietly absorbed all these ideas about success.

I’d watched enough sitcoms to know that success looks like stainless steel kitchen appliances and European cars. I’d read enough women’s magazines to know success looks like a high, tight butt and a high-earning husband. I’d been an American long enough to know that success looks like a six-figure salary, 2.5 children, and good teeth.

I’d never opted into these beliefs. They seeped into me by osmosis.

But somehow, one day, a light switch flipped on in my brain. I realized that if I actually wrote my own definition of success, it’d probably be a lot easier to achieve and a lot more fulfilling once I got there.

At the risk of rhyming/making you roll your eyes: If you can’t name it, you can’t claim it. Click To Tweet

Want to know what my version of success looks like?

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9 Surprisingly Easy Ways To Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

Do you ever have buyer's remorse? We all do! One of the best budgeting tips is "buy fewer things you don't need" Here's how! >> yesandyes.org

 

For many years, my closet was stuffed to over flowing with cute vintage dresses, novelty ballet flats, and slightly stretched out, faded pieces of regret.

Where does one purchase regret? you ask. Well, it's for sale pretty much everywhere. Click To Tweet

It’s particularly easy to find on sales racks and in thrift stores where things are allllllmost what you’re looking for if you’re just willing to hem it, belt it, or wear a blazer over it.

(Do you ever actually hem anything? I don’t.)

If you go shopping when you’re feeling sad, tired, hungry, or celebratory it’s even easier to find. Why, I’ve purchased bags upon bags of regret when I’m in right mood!

Heavy-handed metaphors aside, we’ve all experienced buyer’s remorse. We’ve all bought things that seemed cuter in the store. We’ve all shopped in hopes that it would cure what ails us ($17 sundresses from Target rarely cure deep-seated emotional issues)

We’ve all purchased things that seemed ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY in the moment but two weeks later are gathering dust, tags still on.

While my life isn’t 100% buyer’s remorse-proof, I’ve dramatically cut down on my returns and guilt-filled Goodwill donations by asking myself these questions before I make a big purchase (or a little one I’m not sure of!)

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