Women’s Personal Finance Wednesdays – Week 55
1. The New FI: Forget Financial Independence, Achieve Financial Improvement First Mad Money Monster
Even as someone who is “chasing” financial independence, albeit on the slowFI path, it can be easy to fall down the rabbit hole of stories of people who have made it to early retirement in their thirties or even late twenties. While I KNOW we have chosen to make different decisions for our lives right now and not live as frugally as we absolutely could, it’s hard sometimes to ignore the flashy story of someone who did it “better” than you. Never mind we don’t actually want to retire early at this point.
Sometimes it seems like the options are either: a) live normally and in debt with no savings, b) live like no one else today a la Dave Ramsey or c) live similarly frugal with the goal of hardcore early retirement. The fact is, there is a LOT of space on that spectrum in between, and I believe that’s where joy likely lives for most of us: solidly saving for the future while enjoying some of those pleasures today, too.
2. 5 Finance Tips I Used to Love, But Now Realize Are V Stupid Mixed Up Money
These tips, for the most part, sound great on their face. And to a certain extent, I *have* followed them. But, I’ve followed them in a way that best fits my life (now that I have a pretty good handle on where our money goes). Personal finance is personal for a reason, and it’s hard to think of a single piece of advice that will work for every single person.
Like Alyssa points out, there are plenty of reasons why good advice can be bad advice depending on your situation. The biggest problem I see with these rules of thumb though reflect back on Lisa’s post at Mad Money Monster – that you can feel like you’re doing it wrong if you don’t follow the list of steps exactly like the “experts” say you should. Life is much more nuanced than that, and our finances should reflect that.
3. Menopause and Money FI After 50
As I’m not at this stage of life yet myself, I don’t read much about menopause or aging as a woman at this point in my life, but this was an eye opening read. We all hear plenty about hot flashes and the physical stuff that comes with menopause, but the finances seem to take a backseat. Unless we’re talking about things like outliving men and being more likely to be caregivers, I really don’t hear about the other financial costs of growing older that are specific to women.
At sixty, Deb has a perspective that we all need to hear. Instead of dismissing the stories of older people – especially older women – it’s time to listen and learn, because they have life experiences we simply haven’t had yet.