Last Saturday morning Jordan signed up to run an 11.4k race at an old English manor home (yes, that’s a weird length and no, I don’t know why they chose that length).
Because I definitely do not run ever, I took Henry and Hattie for a walk around the grounds. Henry fell asleep almost immediately and I spent the entire 56 minutes wandering through fields with cows and horses, around a pond with the cutest little ducks, and past an old brick wall overflowing with wisteria. It felt like I was walking through a scene from The Crown — because I was. I found out later they filmed seasons 2 & 3 there.
I’m a painfully slow coffee drinker so for nearly an hour I savored every last sip of the delicious latte I picked up before heading out on the walk. And I have to tell you, it was the best £3 I spent all weekend. It reminded me that not every dollar spent brings the same amount of joy. We should spend money on the things that make us super jazzed and fill up our bucket ‘o happiness, because otherwise, what’s the point?
So in a truly nerdy fashion, I went home, pulled up my bank account statement and looked through my last few weeks of purchases. And I found some money leaks in that happiness bucket that were kind of surprising.
It took all of 15 minutes to do, but it was so good to actually see the numbers in front of me. Take a coffee break this weekend and do the same.
While I do think I’m pretty good at making sure I keep my money aligned with happiness, I also recognize that I’m a total amateur when compared to some people. When we got to interview Danny Kofke of The Wealthy Teacher a few weeks ago, we were blown away by how he is so sure of what fills up his happiness bucket in life.
Danny is a special ed teacher and while he has had the opportunity to triple his salary at different points in his career, he’s learned that he’s much more content with Redbox and Subway date nights if that means he can have a career that enables him to spend more time with his family.
Jordan and I ended this conversation picking up so many nuggets of wisdom that we frankly weren’t expecting. And after listening to this podcast again, I just feel so…content. And that’s a great feeling for a Friday night.
Cheers to the weekend!
Make Me Smart
smart-ish reads from around the internet
Since it’s almost beach read season (hooray!), I wanted to do something a little different with this section. Rather than highlight different articles to read this weekend, these are the three books that had the most profound impact on how I manage money. All money books are not created equal and I promise that if you choose to pick one of these up this summer, they will be well worth your time.
6 weeks to no-stress, no-guilty money management? Ten years ago, Ramit Sethi published his best-selling book “I Will Teach You To Be Rich.” And ten years ago I tore through the book and realized that money didn’t have to be so hard. I used his book as a framework to organize my cash, set up my IRA, and even start negotiating (though it took me a long time to master that one). If you missed the book the first time around, good news: He’s back with an all-new version of the book that’s been updated with more than 80 pages of new tools and new insights on money, relationships, and psychology.
This is your life. I was on the phone last week with a client who mentioned that the book that most significantly changed the course of his life was Your Money or Your Life. And I don’t think he was overstating that. While I read this book pretty late in the game when I was already “good” with money, this transformed how I thought about it. While at parts the writing and the tone may be a little off putting, it delivered a total mindset shift. I think it should be required reading for anyone who is entering the real world. If you want to know what I’ll be reading to Henry for bedtime stories, it’s this.
Everything you could want in a book about money. Author JL Collins knows you have better things to do than sit around figuring out how to manage your money. But he also knows that not understanding money leaves you vulnerable to all the financial scams out there. So he created a book you could read once and walk away from with a lifetime of confidence and knowledge: The Simple Path to Wealth. It’s the simple plan he created for his daughter, made available to all of us. Also, I bought the audiobook version and his voice is an A+.
PS: while I did buy these books, I love borrowing from my library via the Libby or Overdrive app.
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Erica Gellerman, CPA
Erica Gellerman is a CPA, MBA, personal finance writer, and founder of The Worth Project: a weekly money newsletter you actually want to read. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Money, Business Insider, The Everygirl, The Everymom, and Lifehacker. When she's not writing about personal finance you can find Erica exploring Europe from her temporary home base in London.
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