This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I doubt I’m the only person this has happened to. Last Saturday morning I woke up with excruciating pain in my jaw. I thought that maybe my wisdom teeth were finally coming in (I’m a late bloomer), and made an emergency dental appointment. I marched in, told the oral surgeon my theory, and prepped myself to need immediate surgery to remove this rogue tooth.
After 45 minutes, 4 x-rays, and two different dentists peering in my mouth, I was given this diagnosis:
Lady, you’re clenching your jaw so hard you have fracture marks on your teeth. You’ve really got to relax.
Ok, maybe they weren’t that direct. I’m living in the U.K., and that’s clearly not their conversation style (this chart hilariously breaks down what British people say and what they mean).
But since I’ve lived here 5 years, I know how to translate British to American and that was their general message.
I went home with a new mouthguard in hand but a little confused. I need to relax? I do yoga! (sometimes). I meditate! (twice so far this year).
So yeah, I guess I could be edging towards burnout. Or maybe always in a state of semi-burnout.
This week I made a conscious effort to know my limits. This included me finishing a client project and heading straight for bed at 7:45 pm last night with a book. I could’ve finished this newsletter, responded to more emails, and about a million other things. But I gave myself a time out and it felt great.
we’ve got you covered
Long-term bets and guaranteed returns. Recently, people have been asking where to put their money that they don’t want to invest. I get it: the stock market is a little scary. But to help me stay the course and not freak out that my Vanguard account is down, again, I think of my money in two buckets: long-term bets (like investments in the stock market, our business, or real estate), and guaranteed returns (the low rate but zero risk places to stash my cash). Here are some options for that second bucket.
Simple money. Maybe it’s a by-product of being burnt out from paying off student loans, but for the last few years, Jordan and I have focused on making our money as simple as possible. And, it’s worked. There’s not a lot about money that leaves me stressed and anxious any more. Here’s a little bit about how we did that.
Professional help. I’ve received a lot of emails in the past week asking for a recommendation for individual help with money. I’ve been sharing two suggestions: this directory for Certified Financial Planners (CFP’s) and this directory for Life Planners/CFP’s. If you decide to work with a professional to manage your money, check in on two things:
1- are they fee-only or do they charge commission?
2 – are they a fiduciary? That means, do they have a legal duty to act in your best interest?
Make Me Smart
smart-ish reads from around the internet
My taxes are due this weekend…and I haven’t started. We’ve all probably heard the new term people are using for millennials: the burnout generation. It came from this article. And the first time I read it, I thought “this isn’t me at all.” But as I sit here having put off my taxes (and a lot of other things on my to-do list) to the very last minute, I realize that this article is me to the tee. I was frustrated that this article didn’t come with a prescription to the burnout, but I get that it’s not the point.
This weekend, I’m taking a page from The Happiness Project and making a to-do list. Then (because my personality type is a ‘questioner’), I’m going to go through and cross out everything that isn’t crucial. After that, I’m planning to not touch my computer or do any work and I’m going to bed early with a good book and my new mouthguard. This definitely won’t cure burnout, but it’s my attempt at a start. If anyone else has strategies that work for them, send them my way.
This will bring joy to your bank account. Yep, Marie Kondo is dominating January. Like I mentioned last week, I was super ahead of the trend and decluttered my closet a few years ago. But I can’t emphasize enough what a drastic change it’s had on my money mindset. I got rid of all the stuff. I cringe when I think about buying something that I don’t truly want in my tidy space. And it saved us from buying all the things when we had Henry. This article from The Cut begins to break down why tidying might also be good for your money.
Make It Good
because life is more than money
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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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