Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

We’re coming up on the six-year anniversary of buying our first home. We thought that buying a home at that point (both of us very early in our first full-time professional jobs) was a bit pie-in-the-sky, but we’d accidentally settled in an area with ultra-low home prices and an old, dusty housing stock… It turns out we could afford it after all!

Six years later, there are tons of things we could have done differently, and some of them might have worked out better — who can really tell? …

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Look hard enough, and you’ll see that every story about having a baby has been written. It’s kinda heartwarming, for me anyway, that this thing that is the most intense experience ever for me has happened to a large majority of the world.

I used to be annoyed when older folks would ask if I had kids and when I was going to. I had the enviable position of really liking my life without kids, so it felt like I was being diminished. I have a more charitable position now that I have one myself: it’s so much work, and…

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I read a book recently called Detox Your Thoughts by Andrea Bonoir, and it focuses on a concept that I keep hearing more and more about. The idea is that our brains are feeding us a constant stream of commentary on the world, on ourselves, and on those we care about.

It’s easy for that internal chatter to veer into the negativity world, and before we know it, we’re accustomed to quietly telling ourselves that we are terrible, or that we’re going to fail at things, or any number of other unkind, unhelpful things.

Maybe you don’t struggle with this…

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Mr. Blue Sky and I have been married these some-odd years, and during that time, the financial situation of both sets of parents have been cracked wide open.

My parents’ situation was laid bare in divorce after decades of marriage, as each parent figured out how they’d live differently. Mr. Blue Sky’s parents, on the other hand, came into a very sizable inheritance and promptly retired relatively young.

In each case, through divorce proceedings and estate resolution, we learned new things about how they’d handled their money in life so far. …

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I should have known that something was up when I saw my boyfriend grab a pair of rusty handlebars suspended on a chain and swing out in a wide arc over a river, only to drop into the water after completing his wild ride.

I would never in a million years take such a risk. But I married him anyway.

We learned through years of conversation that I’m quite fearful and cynical about money: I assume most good opportunities are too good to be true.

My husband, for all his brashness, isn’t foolhardy — he thinks things through. He’s just…

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

I’m a relatively new mom, and never in my life have I had less reserves of patience and determination than in this beautiful but sleep-deprived season. It was in this season that I read the well-known James Clear book Atomic Habits.

While I’d recommend the book as a way to see various aspects of habits differently, it was particularly compelling to me for a particular section, that of creating habit stacks. …

Photo by Miriana Dorobanțu on Unsplash

Sometimes, it feels like the strangest thing about my writing career is that I live in a small city. While there are certainly people in this town who work in communications for their companies, the number of people whose full-time work is writing would probably fit on the one hand.

But that’s what I wanted to do — write full-time. I didn’t really want to do a job that was a combination of writing, website coding, meeting with people, and all-purpose other office things. So I went freelance… carefully. Slowly!

What I’ve come to realize is that it is still…

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

I have a small child right now, so I feel pretty full-up in terms of busy-ness lately. But before he was born, I was living a pretty amazing work-life balance: I wrote as much as I could muster each day, I spent time with friends, I traveled (pre-pandemic), and I enjoyed hobbies like gardening and exercise.

It wasn’t a life that I desperately wanted to ‘retire’ from. If anything, my transition from working a day job with a 2-hour roundtrip commute to being self-employed felt like ‘retiring’ — 10 hours of my week were given back to me automatically by…

Photo by Dorrell Tibbs on Unsplash

Since Mr. Blue Sky and I got together, we’ve never bought a car with a car payment. Mr. Blue Sky and I both had the privilege of borrowing or purchasing our younger-days cars from our family members — he drove a few different clunkers, but I was given a steal on my grandma’s still-lovely 15-year-old Honda Accord — I think I paid her $3000 for it from savings, and it served me well for years.

That start was an important one: we both were definitely lucky. But plenty of folks, at some point, are given a choice: scrimp by without…

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

I was a pretty haphazard writer when I started writing freelance. For one thing, I was writing around a day job and a 100-minute commute, so any spare moment at lunch or waiting-room-time at the doctor’s office became time for work.

And by “work,” I usually don’t mean writing. Even though writing is what I was paid to do. I did do writing, eventually, but those tasks tended to be only a portion of the work, and had to be done when I had a longer chunk of evening or weekend time.

When I had built up enough clients to…

FraidyCat Finance — Working Our Way Through to Good Money Habits

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