Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: Woody Allen

woody allen

Today’s Northern Expression comes from the witty Woody Allen. I like it because it’s pithy but rings with truth. Congrats! You made it through the week and Memorial Day weekend is ahead of you (for you U.S.-based readers). Happy weekend, dear friends.

Love, Maggie

Entrepreneurs

The Study of Entrepreneurs

The first dream of Mr. T and I is to be self-employed in projects of our choosing. By definition, this means we want to be entrepreneurs. As a research geek, I spend my free time reading studies (you do, too, right?!). Recently, I’ve focused my efforts on studies about entrepreneurs. If I can learn about them, maybe I’ll be successful in becoming one. Here are four things I’ve learned:

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Relativity - Minneapolis Cherry Spoonbridge

Relativity

In physics, the basic definition of relativity is that physical phenomena are highly dependent upon the position (motion, etc) of the observer. I was in Minneapolis recently for work. It was a super windy day with 40-50 mph gusts. It was the worst airplane landing I had ever experienced with the plane violently rocking back and forth and up and down right up until touchdown. The wind made the trunk lid slam into my head as I was putting my luggage in the trunk. I headed to Trader Joe’s to buy my imports. As I was checking out, the lady said: “Isn’t it a lovely day? Every day is a lovely day when you don’t live in Duluth!” Hilarious, right? Except I sort of didn’t get it because I’ve never been to Duluth. I’m assuming this is similar to us (in Anchorage) saying in the middle of winter: “At least it’s not Fairbanks!” (which is probably lost on YOU, dear reader!).

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Milam_crop

Roth IRA Challenge: The Freedom From Money

Today’s Roth IRA Challenge is from Taylor over at The Freedom From Money. Taylor started her awesome blog to track kicking her debt. She successfully did it in just seven months! She now talks about how to be overall awesome like she is. Her writing is wonderful, her insights are fabulous, and her exuberance is contagious. She’s here today to talk a bit about her debt journey. After you read it (and love it, obviously), go read her blog

Seven months ago, I had $14,000 in debt. Today, the number is zero. When I graduated from college one year ago, I knew that I wanted my debt gone as soon as possible. I never wanted to feel trapped in a particular job, location or relationship. Instead, I wanted complete freedom and I knew that loan repayment was the first step.

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Its not a marathon

Financial Independence is Not a Marathon

Everyone uses the phrase: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint” as inspiration for anything that’s hard. I’ve also heard it used for the path to financial independence a number of times. Look! Here’s the first listed google image of the phrase:

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Commencement speech

My Graduation Commencement Address

This week is high school graduation week up here in Anchorage, so I decided to take Steve’s (Think Save Retire) challenge to write a commencement address to college graduates. And now, we will hear from Maggie Banks (round of applause):

Hello Students! Take a minute to look around. There are a lot of you. You’ll notice you’re all sitting together and you’re all wearing the same thing and at the end of this speech, you’ll each get the very same piece of paper. Despite this moment of convergence, each of your paths to this precise moment have been completely different. Some of you barely made it to this moment. You took out loans. You worked. You studied. You pulled those grades up. You retook that class. And you did it. You’re here! For others, the path was easier. The cost of college wasn’t a huge burden and you’re graduating without debt. Finances aside, maybe you breezed through classes and this day came only at the end of a series of accomplishments.

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Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: Have A Plan

Have a plan so amazing, so glowing

“Have a plan so amazing, so glowing, that you’re willing to walk blurry-eyed to work every day to make the money necessary to achieve it.”

I love today’s inspiration! This quote is from J.D. Roth in his awesome (and free!) The Money Boss Manual. It’s a fabulous way of saying what I’m always saying: Your future self will still be you! Get a better dream, make it awesome, and then work toward that. Spend this weekend dreaming big so you’re ready to walk blurry-eyed back to work on Monday. Happy Friday, friends.

Love, Maggie

A Simpler Life

A Simpler Life

Since the beginning of the year, Mr. T and I have been focusing on simplifying. 2015 was a year of crazy home improvements as we checked off all the items on the Alaska Energy Rebate Program. Every free evening was spent in the crawlspace or garage painting, insulating, piping, etc. (I should emphasize that I was somewhat involved after the kids were in bed, but most of this was done by Mr. T.) We were spending lots of money (most of which we got back as a rebate), plotting our next move, and under a strict deadline to finish all the things on the list. When we finally finished it all last December, we were tired. We didn’t want to plan anything specific for 2016 because we just wanted to calm down.

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Our brains think brand names taste better than generics

The Brand Name Deception

You should avoid most name brands and go straight for the generic. There, I said it. Post over.  …If only it were that easy. The fact is, we all know that. We know we shouldn’t get addicted to the brand, but we do anyway!

Penny’s annual science fair was this month. As I was perusing the other boards, I came across this one:

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GroovyCatHeaderImage3

Roth IRA Challenge: After You’ve Crushed It!

I’m really excited about today’s Roth IRA Challenge! Mr. Groovy is joining us today from over at Freedom is Groovy where he and his wife write about their collective journey to leave the rat race to “Take a Hit of Freedom” (as their blog tagline declares). They are hilarious writers with fascinating, original takes on the same topics we all discuss. Today’s guest post is a perfect example. Mr. Groovy asked if he could do a new twist on the Roth IRA Challenge – what to do with the money AFTER you max out a Roth IRA (“Of Course!” I said. “What a brilliant idea!”). So, he’s here today to give a great guide to investing with an awesome asset allocation tool for all of you! Take it away Mr. Groovy:

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