It’s hard to believe that 2018 has already come to an end!
In some ways, the year feels like it flew by. But in other ways, where I was a year ago feels like it’s already a million miles away.
Last year around this time, I shared my favorite posts of the year. I thought that it made a good way to recap some of the amazing content others have created that helped me or stuck with me in some way.
So over the last 12 months, I’ve been collecting links to my favorite posts in a document on my Google Drive. And now I’m sharing them with you, hoping that they will help you, too.
Here are my favorite posts of 2018:
by Penny of She Picks Up Pennies
“When we tell stories, we often look at our life as having moved from A to B. In reality, we’ve traveled from A to Z, but we’ve forgotten the little victories and the little hiccups along the way. We don’t celebrate the little successes, and we also don’t talk about the little struggles.”
As someone who has perhaps over-shares my struggles, I was excited to see Penny encouraging others to share theirs, too.
It can be easy to let other’s success stories affect you – both positively and negatively. They are great motivators! But only reading about the successes can make you feel like a failure. When really, you’re just a human being. You need to make mistakes in order to learn. So why not share those stories, too?
by Kayla Sloan
“Somewhere along the way, I think we all lost sight of why we started blogging about personal finance. We wanted to share our stories and inspire others, not just make a crap load of money spinning the same useless content over and over again.”
Kayla says so many things in this post that I’ve thought myself, but didn’t have the guts to say. I started and kept blogging because of the community. But where has that community gone? Where did the “person” in personal finance go?
I’m just as guilty, though. I used to sit down, write, and publish whatever came out because all I cared about was sharing my story with you. Now I worry about optimizing the headline, creating pin-worthy pins, and adding affiliate links instead. Because, of course, I want to be making 6-figures from my blog, too. But I also don’t want to churn out yet another “how to” or “top 10” posts on the same topics that everyone has already written about.
Thankfully the comments let me know that there still a market for those of us that want to share our stories instead. So that’s what I’ll continue to do.
Related Honourable Mentions:
“Blogging has become more business-like and less personal. A decade ago, most blogs — even money blogs — were rooted in the author’s individual experience. Nowadays, most big financial blogs have a minimal editorial voice. They’re much like money magazines used to be.”
High-Income Bloggers Are Ruining Personal Finance by Michael Dinich:
“Great, you save a ton of money and can retire in 3 years, but what about everyone else? What about the people who worry about getting to the daycare on time to get their kid, or the family who needs to clip coupons on Sunday’s to make sure they can put money in their emergency fund? Why are we leaving this information out? Why aren’t bloggers connecting with the majority of America?”
by Amanda Page
“You didn’t go to kindergarten and color in your finger turkey and worry if it was ready. […] You made your finger turkey and that day you gave it to your mother and she put it on the fridge and you were proud of that finger turkey.”
I credit Amanda for this desire of mine for more stories. She reached out to me in the summer and we had a couple of great conversations about blogging in general and about telling our stories.
A version of this post originally came to me via her newsletter (which is FULL of gems like this! Sign up for it!), so I was happy to see it posted online as well so I could include it in this list.
How can you cover your fridge with finger turkeys?
“But in the moment of a mental health crisis, it can feel extremely tempting or even logical to spend money on the consumerist corruption of self care. Money that you won’t have later when you truly need it. Money whose future absence could trigger another mental health crisis.”
I love that people are talking more about mental health. Especially when it comes to money.
Because let’s be honest, we’ve all laid awake at night stressed about it at some point in our lives. Or we’ve spent money we shouldn’t have to treat ourselves. Or we’ve missed out on an opportunity due to illnesses like depression and anxiety. Or we’ve struggled just to make it through the work day. Or maybe we’re experienced all of the above. Maybe even all at the same time.
by Britt of Tiny Ambitions
“No, I wasn’t bored. I was perfectly content. I was content with the water, and the waves and the birds. When I was out on the beach, I genuinely didn’t need anything else.”
Speaking of mental health, have you ever stopped to consider how beneficial doing nothing really is? I don’t mean binge-watching-Netflix-all-day-nothing, I mean actual nothing. Being present and mindful of your surroundings rather than thinking about all the other things you could (and should) be doing instead.
It’s easy to imagine doing nothing while laying on a tropical beach somewhere thousands of miles away from home. But how do you bring that nothingness back home with you?
“Your hut is not the voice of reason, logic, or Excel spreadsheets. Your hut is the voice of instinct and intuition, that inexplicable feeling of what’s right for you and you alone. […] Sometimes it speaks in feelings, tingles, an invisible hand on your shoulder, a fire in your belly, tears in your eyes that won’t stop.”
Another powerful story and perfect example of how “doing nothing” and being mindful can change your life for the better.
We’ve all had those “aha” moments that seemingly come out of nowhere. Where something inside of you shifts you into a new direction or a new thought.
Can you really go wrong if you’re going with your “hut”?
This year was a roller coaster for me. These posts helped me get through it. What are your favorite posts of 2018? Click To Tweet
“At previous companies I thought admitting that I didn’t want to do something or work with someone would be seen as uncooperative and even rude, but even just starting on my FIRE path, I felt comfortable basically saying “no” for the first time.”
I don’t think I’ve ever used the term “FIRE” on my blog before now. So for those you that don’t know, it stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early.
Personally, I haven’t read too much about it because right now I don’t even have a permanent job to be thinking about retiring from. I thought FIRE was completely unrealistic for me – until I read this.
I hadn’t considered the non-monetary benefits of pursuing FIRE. How liberating it must feel to be able to say “no” at your job without trembling in fear of the repercussions! That is definitely something I want to work towards.
“How nice would it be to feel appreciated for the work you do? How awesome would it be to influence change in your workplace? None of these things will happen if you just quit. And none of these things will happen if you just keep your mouth shut either.”
It’s no secret that I’ve been in some tough work situations in the past. I reported an abusive employer to the labour board and ultimately went on stress leave. Although it was a terrible situation to be in, it did reiterate an important lesson: you need to be your own advocate.
My colleagues experienced the same bullying, the same stresses, the same struggles, and were also being taken advantage of by management. I thought they were on my side. But guess what? No one was standing there next to me when I finally stood up for myself.
by Yes and Yes
“For years, I would happily confront anyone, anywhere if I was backed by a “policy.” If I could print something out and point to a specific sentence, I was fearless. […] But when it came to advocating for myself in tenuous situations – situations where I was only backed by feelings, not paperwork – I’d wilt into a milquetoast wallflower. I’d make a mumbled, half-hearted request and then fade back into the carpet.”
Okay, so we know that standing up for yourself matters. But, uh, exactly how do muster the courage and the confidence to do so? It’s as simple as two words. Yup, two little words can do all that.
“But a year into this dream job, I had an emotional breakdown as I was working late to catch up on reports. After crying in my office, smearing the accounting reports with my tears and looking like a clown with my makeup all disheveled, I had an epiphany. This job was ruining me.”
I love how Steph just puts it all out there with this post! Her first job after graduation sounds like it was just as terrible as mine was. Unfortunately, it isn’t just us. I’m sure far too many others can also relate.
It’s easy to let the bitterness fester, but it’s better to appreciate what it taught you. How did you grow from the experience? What did you learn? What can you do to avoid being in a job that sucks again?
(And once you’re done that, go and read all her other posts because they are all sooooo good!!)
by Talia Jane
“I often ask myself: how come I’m working all the time, my body is breaking down, I’ve cut and tightened every way I can think of, and despite how much I’m sacrificing, I still can’t manage to make rent? It’s at this point that poor person brain blossoms: I’m still going to struggle whether or not I buy a bag of chips, so I might as well buy the chips.”
Poor shaming is all too real. And it’s littered throughout the personal finance-sphere, whether it’s intentional or not.
But what does it actually accomplish? Not much, other than blaming people that are already struggling and making them feel even worse because they spent $2 on a bag of chips.
You are not less simply because you have less. Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise.
by Penny of She Picks Up Pennies
“Telling someone to shovel snow when they live within walking distance of the poverty line is a bandage for a bullet wound. It’s a temporary fix that doesn’t do much of anything to mitigate the problem. It certainly doesn’t keep them from getting shot at again.”
Yes, I started this list with a post by Penny, and I’m ending it with another one from her, too. How could I not?
This post, you guys. This is THE POST that I think everyone should read. If you’ve ever tried to give anyone money advice, you need to understand that it’s not about the math. It’s about the person.
YOUR TURN: What was your favorite post of 2018? Please share in the comments below. And bloggers, don’t be afraid to share your own content that you’re proud of!
Photo by Bruno Cervera from Pexels
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