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This has been one of those weeks that has made me feel like I have my life together. Kind of. I spent 3 days working from various co-working spaces and coffee shops, rather than my dining room table. I’ve put on real outfits, rather than the freelancers uniform of stretchy things. And today I’m knocking things off my to-do list, including sending out invoices. It’s my least favorite thing to do, but it’s payday!

And I should have this to-do list wrapped up in time for Friday night date night. Since Henry was born Jordan and I have been trying to make this a thing. I’d say we’re averaging it working out half of the time. I’m generally not my best on Friday night (who is?) and have a bad habit of either falling asleep at 8pm or working. When I lived alone in LA my ideal Friday night included power cleaning my apartment, eating a buffet of Trader Joe’s food, and falling asleep by 10pm. That was the life.

But since it’s date night, we don’t have a sitter, and we’re trying to not eat out all month (this includes takeout!), tonight has included a bit of creativity.

We have our favorite appetizers, we’re making this recipe from Deliciously Ella, we’re finishing off the meal with eclairs (def not homemade), I got flowers, have queued up a Spotify station, and have a board game ready. I’m actually pretty excited – maybe excited enough to stay awake? – and the whole thing is less than $35. Winning.

If you’re looking for some date night inspiration – whether that be for a night in with your significant other or with friends – I’m sharing what we’re doing over on Instagram stories.

But warning: I write about money. I’m definitely not a lifestyle blogger. This will not be beautifully curated and I will consider it an accomplishment if I’m not wearing my freelancer uniform.


we’ve got you covered

Money Talks. In this Money Talks interview, I had the pleasure of chatting with Lauren Mcgoodwin, founder of Career Contessa. Let me tell you, I thought I had good money habits, but Lauren takes it to a whole new level. She shares what luxuries she’s cut out in order to run her self-funded business and the choices she’s made with her money over the last few years. She also shares her habit for keeping her money organized (no apps needed). What I love most is that her perspective is right on point: “Even without all of the luxuries, my life is still really full. I think before it was full of too much stuff.” That’s really the goal of managing your money well, isn’t it?

AMA. Next month, money expert Susan Beecham and I are answering your relationship + money questions. I’ll give my thoughts and then Susan will jump in with some solid advice based on her decades of experience. So far we have some great questions, but if you have one we’d love to answer it! Hit reply and set it to me.

Make Me Smart

smart-ish reads from around the internet

Behind the numbers. We see a lot of facts and numbers about the great recession. Fewer babies have been born since then. We’ve had stagnant wages. The unemployment rate reached double digits. Numbers don’t help paint the picture as vividly as it should, but this does. The NY Times interviewed people affected by the recession 10 years ago and followed up with some of them to see where they are today. Some of the stories are heartbreaking, some are happy, but all share crucial lessons that we should take to heart.

I’ll take the cliff notes, please. Last week I shared an article I wrote about things to do now to make sure you’re ready for another recession. I wasn’t going to share anything about the recession this week, because enough already, right? But I find it fascinating. And with this being the 10 year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse, there are so many interesting articles and look backs being published. If you really can’t be bothered with the recession details but still want to know the basics of what people are talking about, this overview from gives the easiest, most succinct breakdown of what went wrong.

A cure for busyness? I’ve mentioned this before, but one of my biggest pet peeves is when you ask someone how they’re doing, they answer, “I’m so busy.” Great, good talk. There’s a lot of discussion about how we over-glamorize being busy as though it makes us important. And while it’s good to cut out the busyness, how do you actually do that? Enter, the Eisenhower Box. A simple way to categorize things into urgent or important (or both, or neither). Use this to re-prioritize how you approach your days.

Make It Good

because life is about more than money

This can only make you feel happy. Years ago I visited Jordan in Bangladesh where he was working. The trip was unforgettable. His coworkers surprised us with a Bangladeshi wedding ceremony as we’d just gotten married in California a couple of months before. But almost as good as a surprise wedding? The baby goats. Every village we drove through had baby goats just roaming the streets. Heaven. So obviously goat yoga is high on my someday to-do list. Here’s the story of the original goat yoga and how you can win over any goat you meet (hint: smile). These pictures can only make you feel happy.

And if you really want to go all in, this will make your heart melt.

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How We Manage Our Money as Expats

  Join the Project! Everything you need to be smarter with your money, delivered weekly.     Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you are to click a link and make a purchase, I might be paid a commission at no cost to you. I only...

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Money Talks: Lauren McGoodwin of Career Contessa

  Join the Project! Everything you need to be smarter with your money, delivered weekly.   Photos by Joe+Kathrina   If you’ve ever looked for career advice (and who among us hasn’t?), you’ve likely found your answer on Career Contessa. Lauren McGoodwin founded Career...

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How to Recession-proof Your Life and Your Money

  Join the Project! Everything you need to be smarter with your money, delivered weekly.   10 years ago I was a bright-eyed, newly minted CPA. I was working for PwC and my clients were all in the banking industry. I’ll never forget arriving to my client’s office early...

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