As we do here at the end of every month, here’s a brain dump of all my favorite reads collected over the weeks. Spanning everything from finance to housing to social media, kindness, minimalism, mindfulness and even pennies that were shot at in World War II saving a man’s life!
Nothing but the most juiciest for you ;)
And don’t forget we have a weekly newsletter that covers all this stuff and more every Friday! You can sign up, or see past issues, here –> J. Money Newsletter
The Twenty Craziest Investing Facts Ever @ The Irrelevant Investor — “Since 1916, the Dow has made new all-time highs less than 5% of all days, but over that time it’s up 25,568%… Gold and the Dow were both 800 in 1980. Today Gold is $1,300/ounce, the Dow is near 26k.”
A Manifesto on Progressive Minimalism by Jennifer Taylor Chan — “I consider myself a progressive minimalist: someone who adheres to a minimalist lifestyle as a strategy to improve the quality of life of both myself and the larger community… Progressive minimalists focus on maximizing human well-being within our ecological means through sharing work, consuming less, and spending more time in nature, with our community, and pursuing experiences we find meaningful. Less is not simply more; less is ecologically and financially sustainable.”
The Full Reset @ Collaborative Fund — “To understand the power of starting clean, you have to know the nuance of why the Nazi military became as strong as it did. It starts at the end of World War I, when the defeated German army was stripped clean.”
Building Generational Wealth – The Complete Guide @ Action Economics — “When my grandchildren are born I want to give them their inheritance. Each grandchild will receive the same amount of money, which will be $16,000. $8,000 from me, and $8,000 from Mrs. C. This money will be placed in a taxable brokerage account with their parents as the guardian until they are 18 years old… $16,000 at 8% annualized returns will be $60,000 at 18, $700,000 at 50, and $1 Million at age 55. Effectively I am funding their retirement.”
There are more $100 bills in circulation than $1 bills, and it makes no cents @ The Washington Post — “A decade ago, the number of $100 bills lagged well behind $1 and $20 notes. But the tally has doubled since the end of the financial crisis, according to data from the Federal Reserve; by 2017, the $100 note eclipsed the $1 to become the most widely distributed U.S. currency. Output is still climbing, and experts are perplexed.”
Why I Deleted All of My Social Media and 60,000 Followers @ Peta Pixel — “Over time, social media trains us to create and post in a manner that pleases the apps’ algorithm… For example, when I post an image with a lot of red or shutter drag, those images would outperform my other posts by two or three times. Over time this began to motivate me to not only post more images with movement or red, but I would also shoot more in that manner. My art was becoming a meme.”
A [free] 3-Minute Mindfulness Course from David Cain — “It comes in five simple lessons. It will teach you: What mindfulness actually is, three ways you can practice it anytime anywhere, and why you might want to do that. Your homework is literally one minute a day.”
When Necessities Become Luxuries @ [Halt Catch FIRE] — “I was born in a country which does not exist anymore. It had many names through the decades but you probably knew it simply as Yugoslavia… Life was good back then but, as usually happens, politicians decided that they wanted to mess things up.” [This is an excellent extension of our own post we did here this month – in which water, electricity, or food didn’t even make the list!]
Million-Mile Club: The World’s Longest-Lived Cars @ Popular Mechanics — “Maybe you let out a cheer when your old car’s odometer creaked past 100,000 miles, 200,000 miles, or some other round-number milestone. For a few drivers, devotion to one vehicle goes much, much further. These are the folks who racked up a million miles—that’s 40 times around the Earth, a distance that at 60 mph would take two years to drive.”
OnePercentForThePlanet.org — “Join our global movement. Commit to giving 1% of your annual salary or net worth to support the environmental issues you care most about.” (h/t to Cait Flanders who’s recently committed to this!)
Revealing the State of Your Financial Union @ Frugal Confessions — “Marriage financial planning should include an annual State of Your Financial Union date night – I guide you through how, with financial questions for married couples.” [Includes *printables* you can download if you wanna try any of these date nights! (You do have to give your email for them, though…)]
How to Make Your Website Carbon Neutral (BTW, it’s Really Easy) @ Blog Tyrant — “Every time someone visits your website a server somewhere needs power. More often than not that power comes from a “dirty” electricity source. Websites now produce a huge chunk of global greenhouse gasses.”
Pocket Penny That Saved Soldier’s Life to be Sold @ The BBC — “Pte John Trickett would have been shot in the heart if not for the coin he kept in his breast pocket. Instead, the bullet ricocheted up his nose and out through the back of his ear, leaving him deaf in his left ear.”
You’ve got to be kind. by Austin Kleon — “Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies ‘ “God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” – Kurt Vonnegut”
My Wife Deserves a $2M McMansion @ 5 AM Joel — “Here are the problems I’ve learned over the 9+ years my wife and I have been together… What I think my wife wants, and what she actually wants, are two very different things. What she deserves, and what she actually values in life are completely different also.”
*** BONUS ***
This musical ode to the Dollar Store! Via Liza Koshy
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The idea of minimalism is my favorite. I recently watched a show on minimalism on Netflix and my wife and I decided to declutter. We sold a bunch of stuff, and the money went into our retirement and emergency accounts. We also gave out a lot of stuff out for free. This is what we found out after decluttering; Less stress, less time to make decisions about stuff, more space, more time spent together doing fun stuff, and we are more happy now than before. We even tried 3:33… where we wear 33 different clothes for 3 months to see if anyone will notice how we mix and match the same clothes for 3 months…..and guess what ! Nobody did.
I love these kind of reads, please keep them coming either every week or month
Very cool!!! And not surprising about the 33 clothes! Haha…
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I tend to put a lot more “lifestyle” stuff in there vs $$$ all the time :)
Glad you enjoyed the article!
Cool List. That article about more 100 dollar bills than ones is crazy. Since most of them are held out of country it makes you wonder what happens to value of the USD if it stops becoming the reserve currency for the world.
Glad you liked it!
Reminds me of another fun fact about $100 bills – that one out of every 2 or 3 contains traces of cocaine :)
5 a.m. Joel’s wife sounds a lot like me. I’m so grateful my husband listened to me and didn’t buy a huge engagement ring. Still trying to convince him I love our little <900 sq. ft ranch house and don't want to clean a huge house.
Lucky guy!! :)
The wife and McMansion post is positively adorable.
(I’m like Megan wishing, my partner would get it as well… he’s gotten into flowers lately. For Valentine’s day he bought me a fliwer plant. I have no idea what it is, what it needs to live and even when it will bloom, and given I could probably kill a plastic plant… poor thing.)
Awww, haha… At least he’s thoughtful!
to me, it would seem totally against the grain if a person delete social media accounts, simply because there’s all kinds of third-party automated posting tools to share content to multiple social platforms, resulting in a significant increase in traffic two published content. Your thoughts on this?
The point of deleting your social accounts is to step away from getting sucked into it all or being influenced by it – it’s not a *marketing* play ;) In fact, it’s an opposite marketing play for those who have blogs/etc!
65 years of inflation at 3%, 1.03^65 = 6.83X
and $1M/6.83 = $146K in today’s dollars. X 4%/ yr is $5856.
Not a bad perk for gramp’s single deposit. But not a ‘retirement’. Nice try though.
Hi Joe, you expect only real returns of 5% per year over a several decade time frame? I already accounted for 2% inflation in those calculations against 10% annual returns for a 100% stock portfolio yielding an 8% real return. I then wrote another article comparing if this exact strategy had been put in place at different points in history. https://actionecon.com/gifting-an-inheritance-at-birth/ . No one can fully predict exactly what the stock market, or inflation will be over super long periods of time, but historically we are doing well over 5% in real returns. Of course it could be even worse than your calculation and 65 years from now the dollar could have fully collapsed and be worth nothing.