Thoughts Become Desires

March 24 2017
nervous looking woman in office waiting room

One of my biggest work distractions is looking at interesting websites, particularly ones that I think will help improve my life (this might sound an awful lot like you at the moment). Quite often, I’ll stumble across an article that will talk about a particular book or a particular app or a particular item that really seems to click well with what I’m doing in my life, and that article sets my mind in motion. I’m suddenly thinking about something …

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When I write about my own personal finance experiences, it’s easy to report on the things I did well. Writing about the good moves makes a lot of sense, after all. Those are the moves that resulted in a clear-cut personal finance gain without a lot of sacrifice, and those are the moves that really are well worth sharing. The problem with sticking to that approach is it creates the utterly false impression that my life is one long series …

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How much does it cost to find a new job? A lot of it depends on your industry, job level, and how long the process lasts. According to Jobvite’s latest data, it takes an average of 28 days from application to hire – but that’s assuming you get that all-important first call for an interview. In addition, the higher up the corporate ladder you go, the longer your job search is likely to take. C-suite executives should expect an average of five …

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It’s an almost automatic response. You need a job, or you’re unhappy at your current job. What do you do? You start applying elsewhere. You look up online job listings. You fill out applications. You send out resumes and cover letters. While that’s definitely a key step in the process, you’re often just tossing your resume or application into a pile with a lot of other resumes and applications. The question isn’t whether you apply, but how exactly you’re going …

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I graduated college with $145,000 in student loans. The worst part about it? I was willfully ignorant about the amount I borrowed. It would all be paid off by Future Me, right? Besides, not once during my economics courses was there a discussion about the adverse effects of high student debt. How bad could it be? In a word: devastating. A recent study from the nonprofit group American Student Assistance recently took a look at the effects of student loan …

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Several years ago, I read a wonderful book called The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. I thought highly enough of the book after reading it that I wrote an article about it for The Simple Dollar, but what I didn’t realize at the time was that this book would subtly stick in my head like few others that I’ve ever read in my life. Several years later, I still see this book resonating for me in the personal, financial, and …

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If you’re like most Americans, you probably learned absolutely nothing about credit as a part of your high school or college education. As a result, many young adults enter the “real” world grossly unprepared when it comes to their credit management skills. This is very unfortunate since credit can have such a profound impact on your financial well-being and success. So how are we learning about credit? Unless you were lucky enough to have a loved one teach you — …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Upside-down on older vehicle 2. Buy house now or later? 3. REI annual dividend question 4. Common knowledge versus perspective 5. Parents without any retirement planning 6. A very hard choice 7. Retiring with less than $3M 8. Eating in airports 9. Side gig brainstorming 10. Unwanted storage …

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You’ve almost certainly heard that if you’re saving for retirement, taking full advantage of your 401(k) employer match should be your first step. That match represents an immediate 50% to 100% return on investment, which is better than anything you’ll find anywhere else. It’s the standard advice because it’s good advice. Making sure you’re getting the full employer match should almost always be the first step in your retirement savings plan, no matter what other options you have available to you. …

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About half of Americans lived in middle-income households in 2014, according to Pew Research. This demographic includes families with incomes two-thirds to double the U.S. median household income – or those earning between $42,000 and $125,000 (with cost-of-living adjustments for expensive metropolitan areas). America’s middle class includes teachers, firefighters, and plumbers, but also engineers, construction managers, and chefs — workers from all over the economy. The middle class provides and consumes the bulk of services that keep society afloat, driving economic growth …

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