mhx from London, United Kingdom, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

For a long time, anger has been a clickworthy response.

It doesn’t matter what you believe; there’s someone out there who can put it in the snarkiest, mean-girliest, most indignantly righteous form. And a lot of them have very good points.

Some of them have really done their research. Some are really funny. Some push boundaries enough to make you uncomfortable enough to think. Many of them believe deeply in their causes. Many of them have causes that I care about, too.

But I need a break from angry. Here’s why:

I’m Stressed. ALL THE TIME.

The thing about anger…

That's great news, Tony! Spreadsheets are a great way to stay motivated. It feels really good to look at predictions and see that you're ahead of the game. Thanks for commenting!

Source: WikiMedia Creative Commons Attribution 2.0; Eden, Janine, and Jim from New York City

The middle of FIRE is a confusing place. The beginning and end are clear- You start by prioritizing payments on high-interest debt and try to reduce your spending footprint. At the end, you have few debts and a pool of money or source of passive income that meets your needs as enough to live on. You are FREE!

But the middle? It’s a bit murkier, a bit more individual, and there’s not nearly as much guidance on how to get through it.

This is partially because it’s kind of boring in the middle. If your journey is anything like mine…

Maksim Sokolov (, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Even if conflict is your trade, there will eventually be someone you need to learn to get along with in order to be more successful at something. This may be your job, your home life or within your community. As someone who often works with groups of diverse agendas and perspectives, conflict is common. However, there are some things you can do to establish a core of mutual respect. You still won’t agree on a lot of things, but it can help to avoid some of the worst fallout from opposing positions.

1. Make Them the Hero of the Story

NASA/JPL-Caltech, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s not hard to hear about the latest crypto success story who threw their $50 monthly latte allowance into a penny fund and came out with millions. If you’re saving for your own future, and especially if you’re frustrated with the early slog of just earning pennies extra at a time, this can seem really tempting. But, as with all speculative assets, there are big winners and big losers, and you need to prepare to be either if you’re going to try something this risky.

For me, the power of hope is worth the chance to lose (a little). However…

damianosullivan, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The haunting cry of inflation is at the forefront of most financially minded advice right now. This rise in funds is likely to slow stocks, delay retirement, and make your dollar fall short of what it could have bought a year prior.

However, an emergency fund becomes as important as ever; and inflationary periods are good times to top these funds off if they are something you have filled and then forgotten. Personally, I have five separate accounts for emergencies; each is earmarked for separate issues.

Why Five Accounts?

The reality in our particular life is that emergencies have historically come in groups…

“For Rent Sign” by pvn_images is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Almost nine years ago, my husband and I took a gamble. We took some money out of retirement and used it as a downpayment on a multiplex building, thinking that it would free up some of our time and multiply our income. There are a lot of blogs out there claiming that real estate is a great way to get rich quickly. However, we found that as our net worth increased, our time and access to spending money went down at first. Here is a look at what owning investment real estate did for us, both good and bad.

Are We Richer With Investment Properties?


George Chernilevsky, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

I have had a regular side gig since 2014 working for a web content company. It brings some much-needed extra funds to me each week and is a constant source of extra piecework. This has been a great addition to our current home economy and our bigger goal of financial independence. But it’s never been enough to compete with my salaried main job and the benefits that it provides our family. If you’re considering gig work, here’s my take on the pros and cons, and some of the things you can do to help yourself while doing gig work:


How do I find the line between teaching my child to seek self-acceptance in an unjust world and finding and fighting for things that we can change?

Dietmar Rabich / Wikimedia Commons / “Münster, Park Sentmaring — 2014–3969” / CC BY-SA 4.0

Every morning, my son gets a protein shake with a host of nutritional ingredients to help him keep growing. It has been the only thing that we have ever found to keep his weight at the one percent line on the pediatric growth chart. Without it, he loses weight. He loses muscle. But he hates it with all the passion of a fiery seven-year-old. “It’s not fair!” I hear each morning.

“You’re right.”…

While there is a lot being said on the spread of COVID-19, the effect of the economy and the way the world has changed with social distancing protocols, there is an important truth that is often too terrible to dwell on. People are dying. You or someone you love could be on that list before this is over. Even if this is not true, this is an opportunity to consider that life is a brief gift, and that what we do while we are here has an impact. …

Finding Pith

I am a writer, mother, scientist, and seeker of a meaningful life. Not necessarily in that order.

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