Does Your Lack of Savings Halt Your Dreams?

Note from Paula: Big announcement about the Ecuador retreat — plus our first Atlanta meetup! Details at bottom.

How to save more

Several weeks ago, I invited new email subscribers to share their answers to two deeply personal questions:

What’s your wildest dream, and what’s preventing you from getting there?

The answers poured in to a degree I couldn’t believe. My Inbox flooded with hopes and sorrows. Some people shared brief-but-honest answers; others wrote memoirs. People from all walks of life and all corners of the globe responded. While each person’s dreams and obstacles are unique, a few common threads emerged.
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10 Lessons I’ve Learned as an Airbnb Host

This is Episode 4 of The Airbnb Series. Before you read this, check out Episodes 1, 2 and 3.

Use this link to get a $25 discount on your first Airbnb guest stay. (If you use it, I’ll also get $25, a win-win for us both.)

Airbnb Host Lessons Plus Airbnb Coupon for $25 Discount

Almost one year ago, I launched a “side hustle” as an Airbnb host.

Since then, I’ve pulled back the curtain to show the good, the bad and the ugly. This includes sharing detailed spreadsheets showing my precise earnings from this hustle.
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Investing, Broken Down to its Ridiculously Simple Core

simple investing lessons
Myth: Wealth and freedom come exclusively from living below your means.

Fact: Frugality is the first step … not the last.

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There’s a couple that I’ve known for more than a decade.

When we met, they were apartment-dwellers, and I don’t mean the New York City variety. Their dark and musty apartment existed in an area where land is plentiful and square footage is cheap, where the only reason you’d live in an apartment is because you have nothing to your name.

I’m not quite sure when their tables turned, or how long they toiled quietly behind-the-scenes building their family empire; I can’t pinpoint the year their net worth climbed into seven digits. Their newfound wealth isn’t the obvious flashy kind. They still drive modest cars and wear nameless brands, though admittedly they’ve upgraded into a large and lavish home.
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How Sarah Quit Her Job, Launched an Online Business, and Now Travels As Much As She Wants

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Five years ago, a Canadian woman named Sarah embarked on a series of life-changing steps.

She moved 215 miles away from her hometown. She returned to college (after initially failing a few courses) to finish her degree. After graduation, she landed a cushy job with a pension and plenty of benefits. She got engaged. They bought a house.

To pay for her wedding and honeymoon, Sarah started experimenting with ways to make money online. She tried blogging, freelance writing, even running an Etsy store.

She began earning a trickle of side money. Then more money. And then more. She started noticing that her “hourly rate,” so to speak, from her side hustles was outpacing her pay rate at her conventional 9-to-5 job.
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Mini-Retirements, Semi-Retirement, Early Retirement — What’s the Most Awesome Lifestyle?

This recent reader email struck a chord:

I’m a software engineer trying to plan my plunge [into freedom]. I’m young, so I figured I would just grind it out, save a lot, and retire early.

But after a health scare, I realize mini-retirements might trump early retirements, and I really want to achieve a lifestyle similar to yours. 

It’s difficult to figure out what I should be prioritizing, however. Side hustles, remote work, rentals, starting a business? I’m looking into all of the above, stashing (and investing) cash like it’s going out of style, and wanted to pick your brain for what you think the starting point should be.

Oohhh!! I love this email.

On the surface, it’s a tactical “how-to” inquiry: Should I launch my own laptop-based remote business? Buy a rental property?

But underneath the surface, this reader hints at a critical question we haven’t tackled on Afford Anything yet: What IS the most kick-awesome lifestyle?

Mini-retirements? Early retirement? Something else entirely?
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Think You Can’t Pay Off $147,106 in Debt? Guess Again.

pay off $147106 in debt

There are Conformists, and there are Rebels.

The Conformist Majority says: “I have a 30-year mortgage, a 20-year second mortgage, a 10-year student loan and a 5-year car loan.”

“I’ll pay the minimum, and hold those debts for 30, 20, 10, and 5 years. After all, why deprive myself while I’m young?”

Worse, they’ll ask:

“How can I stretch these loans out even longer? A lower monthly payment means I can get granite countertops. Score!”

They tell themselves this is normal. And the scary truth is, that’s true. It IS normal.

But it ain’t right.
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