Best of The Web: Hosted by The Debt Shrink


Hi Friends! How exciting to be hosting Best of the Web! Thank you, Michael, for this opportunity. My name is Kristin, but you may know me as The Debt Shrink.

I’m a Mom of three small children. My husband is a stay-at-home dad. To support five people on one income, I have embraced extreme saving. The Money Geek in me loves the challenge of keeping our spending as low as possible and watching our net worth grow.

The Debt Shrink Blog is personal finance from the perspective of a clinical psychologist. Basic principles of psychology (e.g., motivation, goal-setting, and so-called “retail therapy”) are put in real-world terms to how they impact our financial decisions. I also consider us to be stellar grocery shoppers and our Food Finances Friday Features are some of our most popular posts.

Having paid off our debt on one income was a huge accomplishment for my family. I love sharing our money saving tips and how I apply what I know about human behavior to keep my own spending on track.

When reading other blogs, I look for posts that inspire me to continue to live in a way that is consistent with my values and moves me closer to my goals. Here are some reads that inspired me, and I hope will inspire you.

Inspiring Reads

Why Living Like a Student has a Massive Impact on Your Long-term Wealth

by Zach of Four Pillar Freedom

This article resonated with me because this is exactly how I paid off my car loans, medical bills, and student loan debt while also supporting myself, husband, and baby (all while earning a meager post-doc’s stipend).

Zach provides 3 scenarios illustrating how one’s net worth in the 10 years can vary widely based on one crucial factor: savings rate. When you are accustomed to living like a student, it is possible to save 50% of your income a year. Living like a student really can have a massive impact on wealth!

Check out:  What I Learned About Simple Living From Being Broke – Michael 

 

10 Steps on How to Live Your Best Life on Your Own Terms

By Bernz JP of Moneylogue

Bernz notes that many people reach their goals, but find that they still aren’t happy. This reminds me of the ‘Arrival Fallacy,’ a term coined by Harvard psychologist Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar. This is a false belief that we will be happy once a certain goal is achieved.

This article is about finding your purpose and living your best life. His 10 steps include letting go of toxic people, learning to say no, and avoiding the shackles of debt.

 

17 Way Minimalist Saves Money and Saves the Planet 

By The Do Something Project

You don’t have to be a minimalist to appreciate this post. Cat from The Do Something Project and Sisters for FI is passionate about taking action for yourself. She points out that “consumption affects our bottom line in more ways than one.”

In this post Cat outlines, various ways in which learning to be content with less can save money and save the planet. Living in a smaller home, shopping less, and simplifying meals are just a few of the ways we can improve our world (physically and financially).

 

The Debt Shrink Post You Might Enjoy:

How to Spend $100 Per Person Per Month on Food

One of the most common questions I receive is how my family of 5 averaged $400 a month on groceries (including hygiene and houseware products). In this post, our secrets are revealed.

When this post was listed under My Delicious Bookmarks on JDRoth.com, I screamed and jumped up and down. This was the biggest honor of my life! I was equally as excited to have this article chosen as the Resource for Saving on Food by Collecting Wisdom. I hope these tips will help you drastically reduce your grocery bill, as it did for mine.

 

Geeky Fact

When people ask me about “Fun Money,” I have no idea what to say. I don’t spend money on myself. Since I don’t have “fun money,” I’ve been living vicariously through my kids. I didn’t realize I was doing this until I inadvertently crashed a 9-year-old’s birthday party.

My son was invited to a 1980s-themed roller-skating party. We all got dressed up in our best 80s outfit (my husband with a popped collar, I with bright-pink lipstick, and my son in his Star Wars shirt and a “rat tail” in his hair).

The evening started out well enough. We all got on the party bus to take us to the roller-rink. On the ride, there was a 1980s-themed trivia game. I was answering so many of the questions that the host had to politely suggest that the children be the ones to answer.

When we arrived, the parents were offered the opportunity to skate. It was my son’s first time, so I offered to skate with him. You can imagine what happened next. Yes, not 5 minutes into the party and I fell and cracked my elbow and had bruises up and down my entire body.

Despite the fact that I embarrassed myself trying to be cool but looking a fool, you would think I would have learned my lesson. But no, my kids were soon thereafter invited to a Pirate Bounce-house Pool Slide Party. And yes, I embarrassed myself at that party, too.

Lesson learned is that I need to loosen up and allow myself some fun money. I am happy to be a Money Geek, but I don’t want to act like a fool!

About the Author

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Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal fun and accessible. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.

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