Enlighten Us

A lot of things on this blog are things to do or how to do things or steps to take. Let me clarify that we are not winning at all of these things. You know what I’m good at? Research. I am fabulous at finding out what research has been done on a topic and putting it into a simple “do this” to “get this” (ie: How to Start a New Habit). Want to know what I’m horrible at? Following my own advice. I have exercised a total of 4 times in the past 30 days. And I just spent $12.00 yesterday at the grocery store to feed my family lunch in the car on the way to see Beluga whales (check out the white lump in the photo below!) instead of spending five minutes at home making my own lunch.

That white dot is a Beluga. It was cooler in person. Obviously.

That white dot is a Beluga. It was cooler in person. Obviously. And also amazing fall colors!

Part of why I started this blog was to create a forum of discussion. I wanted a place to hold myself accountable to both making good financial choices and doing research toward things that would help me live a better life. So, I do the research, and I put up the steps to take on the blog. The whole struggle is the implementation. But I also hoped in posting these prescriptive things that people would chime in as to what worked for them and what they would add to the list or remove (we had a great start to that happening over at the How to Navigate Finances in Marriage post!). It’s the discussion that helps all of us the most. It’s great to compile a list of the shouldas, but I want to hear from people that are actually doing it!

I’m not telling you what to do. Some of my posts are things that have worked for us. On those, chime in! Disagree with what didn’t work for you! Add what did. Others are based entirely on studies. On those, I hope to implement the steps prescribed, but I have no experience doing so. Again, chime in! Tell us if you have a great tip that has helped you. Let’s get the discussion going. And let’s help each other be better!

Meanwhile, I’ll keep learning from studies and life. And you.



How to Save Money on Groceries (even in Alaska!)


Don’t Eat Money!


  1. I try to walk daily at lunch, which is a small step in the right direction toward my fitness goal. I struggle with prioritizing exercise and it often ends up at the bottom of the list. :/

    • MaggieBanks

      Ditto! I’ve been trying to do some Zumba in the mornings. It usually ends up me jogging around the house taking care of kids while listening to the Zumba video… but I’m counting it as a step in the right direction. 🙂

  2. Actually taking our own advice is sometimes the hardest thing! I have multiple fitness certifications, and yet am right there with you in terms of workout frequency. But I try hard to at least take a really long walk around the city whenever I visit new places, like I just did yesterday.

    The discussion is the best part for us, too. I’m so thankful that our little community has found itself within our network of blogs, and we can all learn from and encourage one another! Plus you keep talking about cool Alaska stuff, like spotting Belugas, which makes me totally jealous. 🙂

    • MaggieBanks

      It’s been great to have a built-in community that is so wonderful. It’s been totally fulfilling starting a blog! I’ve connected with so many similar-minded folk and it’s fun!

  3. J

    Your posts are insightful and initiates self-reflection, that’s why I enjoy reading them. I like the conversation that follows, too. I guess it’s always nice to compare notes with others because we learn more from others’ experiences as well.

    As for working out, I used to be pretty good with consistency, but I turned to a slob when winter came. I have to drag my butt now to do a 15 minute workout, but sometimes, it doesn’t want to cooperate.

  4. One thing I’ve learned since researching personal finance, financial independence, and more is that there’s always 10 more things you can do to improve at any given time. Whether it’s opening a higher yield savings account, using a better credit card, or simply replacing a standard grocery purchase with something more economical there’s always more to do and it can be a bit overwhelming.

    Our goal has been to just take small steps and not sit frozen trying to figure out the absolute “best” thing to do. The only goal being to end a week/month/year/etc is to be in a better position than when we started. Constantly moving forward in that way should help us reach our goals even if we’re not “optimal” at any given time.

    Keep writing about tips and steps you research even if you don’t implement them yourself right away! It’s always great to see ideas from others.

    • MaggieBanks

      Each step gets us that much closer! I agree. And I love the community we have that helps us learn and grow! I’ll keep doing my thing and hope I keep making changes. 🙂

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