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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. …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Many of us aren’t having the easiest year or two when it comes to self-motivation and pushing forward on our goals. It helps to give ourselves a little grace, for sure.

However, many of us get out of the challenging mental spaces in which we find ourselves by finding a way forward with the work we love. This is particularly true for self-employed people.

After all, no one else is going to make me work, or threaten to kick me out of the Zoom call if I don’t work. …

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Like many, my family and I have been living days that feel the same most of the winter: we’re grateful to be able to stay pretty socially distanced, but that doesn’t make it particularly easy to spend nearly every day indoors, not seeing friends and family, while bad weather keeps us from more customary outdoor time.

We’ve known for a while that we’re not wed to our particular house, so this winter a lot of our happiness has actually been from group daydreaming… as strange as it sounds, we’ve been putting a lot of energy into figuring out, in our…

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I’ll say it now: this isn’t for the diehards among us. I’m super grateful to the entire climate change awareness movement and those who aim for zero-waste and no carbon footprint, but realistically, I know where I’m at.

I know that I, like a lot of other folks, am tempted to look away from the climate conversation because the headlines have turned downright scary. I’m tempted to bury my head in the sand and do nothing at all, just live my plastic and greenhouse gases-filled life.

After all, a lot of people in their 20s are fired up about the…

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As hard as it is for us to swallow, the phrase “fortune favors the brave” is a pretty well-supported maxim.

Literally, people who drive a hard bargain, negotiate their salaries, and walk away from deals that undervalue them tend to make more money, and keep the money they have.

That being said, I’m none of those things: my blog is literally about how afraid I am, and how I have to conquer fears all the time to get to my money goals.

As a startup founder, a self-employed person, or any of the other fields where you determine your own…

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It’s easy to swallow victories in the personal finance community and immediately throw out a new goal. “You got your emergency fund up to $1000? Fine, double down and get it up to a month or two of expenses.”

After all, most people have an ambitious goal already set up after this one, like dominoes. They’ve focused on the next option in front of them.

It’s a shame to work as hard as people have to work these days to hit financial milestones, only to ignore the results. …

FraidyCat Finance — Working Our Way Through to Good Money Habits

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