Welcome to the Dreamcatcher, the personal finance posts and podcasts that inspired me this week.
A surefire way to my heart is to take a numbers-heavy concept and make it into an infographic. The Luxe Strategist may not have been the first to do it, but she’s the first one I found doing it, so she’s my inspiration. I haven’t gotten my financial map together yet, but it’s on the to-do list. I’ll share it when it’s ready. Also, special shout-out to Lily at The Frugal Gene for the retweet that pointed me to this post.
It’s important to recognize the gifts we’ve been given through little or no action of our own. That can take many forms, and it doesn’t have to take away from the successes we’ve reaped from our own good choices. It simply is. Even Warren Buffett, a man who has made his fortune through brilliance and hard work, is quick to acknowledge the multitude of factors beyond our control. Thanks for the thoughts, Brittney.
There are some really well-defined tips in this piece. Considering both the writer and her husband both just got a raise (and an unexpected promotion in his case), you can bet the tips are real-world proven, too. My favorite: ” The best approach to asking for a raise is to keep the discussion centered on why you deserve more money, NOT why you need it.” So many people think they should get a raise because they’ve been there a long time or gone several years without a big raise. If you’ve gone that long without a pay raise, there’s a reason for it. Look at the rest of this list and figure out what you’re not doing that would lead to you getting passed over for the salary increases.
Like Bruce Willis at the end of “The Sixth Sense,” The Lady in the Black starts to put all the pieces of her life together and realizes that all along she’s been something without even knowing it. She’s not dead, of course, but she is most likely a minimalist. Or at least Minimally Inclined (uppercase so as not to be confused with me calling The Lady lazy, which she most certainly is not). There’s a section of her piece that reminded me of another story I read long ago that was really incredible. Her words:
I love empty drawers. Pristine, empty drawers with nothing in them.
I have one empty drawer in my kitchen and two in my office desk. Why? Well, hell if I know!
I suspect it somehow symbolizes to me that my life still has room for more. An empty drawer speaks of potential and promise and wonder. As in “I wonder what will eventually live in here?”
That passage brought me back to 2004, and Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Emptiness.” Read it for yourself – it’s wonderful.
I’ve only recently started listening to Stacking Benjamins, despite it being one of the top-rated personal finance podcasts now with 500 shows under its collective basement-dwelling belt. I’m really enjoying the vibe and the information. This particular podcast features a woman telling the story of how she was fleeced of her down payment by a foreign hacker who changed her wire information on the day before her house closing. The reaction of the title company, banks and real estate agents is unconscionable. I got noticeably more angry listening to the way she was treated as her story went on. I also came away with some very useful advice for avoiding what is a not necessarily uncommon hack.