These were the posts and podcasts I found this week that inspired me — to think, to take action, to be grateful for what I have.

Because it’s time – We’re All Poor Here

Some possessions are special. They trigger emotions we want to remember. Everyone owns something near to their heart. It may be a piece of jewelry, a collection, a family heirloom — whatever — and the thought of giving that thing up just makes you want to scream. We’re All Poor Here has made the difficult decision to sell off a long-loved toy collection and struggles with the choice. Bonus reading: See my comment on the post to read about one of my special possessions that I recently sold.

Oh, say can you see: The battle for financial independence – The Lady in the Black

 The Lady in the Black had one wild Fourth of July. From both good and bad news from the IRS, to some frank realizations about savings and taxes, and some incredibly bad luck with Lyft and cabs, this is a story you just have to read. I’m sure one day she’ll have it turned into an episode of an HBO drama.

A fire destroyed everything I owned: How you can prevent a total loss – The Penny Hoarder

I once had the apartment next to mine catch fire in the middle of the night. I awoke to the neighbors screaming for everyone to get out. I ran out the door as flames licked the siding above my head, and I watched terrified while the firefighters battled the blaze and tried to keep it from spreading to my unit. When it was all done, my neighbors lost everything, and I lost a lampshade and a T-shirt. I’ll never forget the feeling of relief when I took stock of how lucky I was. Of course, not everyone is so lucky, and Timothy Moore is one of them. But he outlines some sage advice on how to make the best of a terrible situation.

The four stages of your financial life – Pete the Planner

 Peter Dunn cracks me up but delivers the hard truth while he does it. On this podcast episode, he lays out the 15 essential things everyone must do to be financially successful, and he breaks them down into four stages: surviving, driving, arriving and thriving. You can’t say you’re onto the next stage until you’ve checked off all the boxes from the previous one. This is good, practical advice that anyone can apply.

My journey to freedom: $12 to $1,800,000 in 32 years – Budges Are Sexy

 Mr. 1500 Days comes strong with his first regular column slot on J. Money’s Budgets Are Sexy site. He goes through the six major financial landmarks in his life on the way to financial independence. I have to wonder what his alternate-universe self that didn’t lose that $12 at the amusement park is doing right now. 🙂

How drinking cheap beer can remind you of what’s important in life – Building-Income

 I’d wager many people have a memorable experience after eating two helpings of a dive bar’s biscuits and gravy off a paper plate and chasing it with cheap beer. I’d also bet few are as positive as Colin Conway’s magical experience that left him a changed man — one who no longer needs those fancy craft beers. I won’t say I’m giving up my good beer, but after reading this I won’t say I never will.

Why does fake news exist? A look inside a highly lucrative business – Financial Samurai

 As a former journalist, I’m saddened and appalled by the inability of many people to display critical thinking or perform even a basic fact check on things they read on the Internet. This post is in the mix this week because Financial Samurai has written a very compelling piece about some of the reasons behind the rise of fake news. He makes a great point that in many cases, it’s really just about the money. I personally disagree with his assessment of CNN, but I really enjoyed about 80 percent of this one. In today’s world, I think it’s important to recognize that we can disagree with some things people say and still acknowledge agreement in the rest. That’s something I want to keep working on, and this post is one inspiration for doing it.