TGIF: The Blog Posts I Loved in 2014

December 26, 2014

Happy Friday, friends! It’s the last TGIF of the year. Actually, this is also the last TGIF post I’m going to write. After thinking long and hard about the direction I want to take this blog, I’ve realized I’d rather write one amazing blog post on Monday and leave these little weekly updates behind me.

Anyway, a few days ago, I went through all my TGIF posts from this year and reread the blog posts I had linked to. Looking back, it was interesting to see how much they resonated with me. These posts reflected every stage of my personal journey this year, and played a part in enlightening me along the way. Some I knew so well, I was quoting them before I was done reading.

To finish TGIF off strong, I’ve compiled 14 of the blog posts I loved in 2014. In them, I hope you find words that encourage you to be more thoughtful, tools to help you practice gratitude, and the inspiration you need to challenge how you manage your finances in years to come.

And I hope TGIF taught you to find a high for every low, to be mindful of what you spend money on each week and to always find something to look forward to.

Enjoy, xo

The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement by Mr. Money Mustache
“The most important thing to note is that cutting your spending rate is much more powerful than increasing your income. The reason is that every permanent drop in your spending has a double effect: it increases the amount of money you have leftover to save each month, and it permanently decreases the amount you’ll need every month for the rest of your life.”

The Difference Between Being Good with Money and Bad with Money by David Cain
“Essentially, the realization I had is that money is permanent. You have it until you trade it for something, and then that trade is permanent — you are thereafter permanently without that money. It’s gone and belongs to someone else now. Therefore it’s important to consider the permanence of whatever benefit you traded it for.”

We’re All Trading Our Lives for Something – Trade Up by Joshua Becker
“Our lives hold far greater potential than the comfort and luxury most of us trade them for. After all, these are temporal pursuits that can never be fully achieved. They move and shift rapidly with the world around us. They never fully satisfy. They are completely self-centered. And our lives can be traded for things far greater.”

Searching for Happiness by J.D. Andre
“That’s the trap. Bob, like all of us, has always put off enjoying what he has right now for what he wants in the future. But, when that future arrives, there will be something else that he wants; there is always the promise of something perfect just beyond the horizon. Next week, next month, next year — that’s when Bob will finally have what he needs to be happy.”

The Exact Amount to Maximize Happiness by J. Money
“That’s what “maximizing your money” is about. Spending just the right amount to reach your joy level without going overboard and having the ratio flip flop on you. Sometimes you can’t get around paying high amounts for stuff that’s important to you, but most times there’s a nice alternative that does the same trick for much less.”

The American Dream Does Not Cost $130,000/Year by Joshua Becker
“The American Dream does not require $130K/year. To claim that it does, is to grow discontent, jealousy, and resentment in many American families. Indeed, this [idea] harms us as individuals. And it harms us as a nation because it is based on a faulty definition of the American Dream…there are greater and more important pursuits available to us than material possessions.”

When it’s Cool to Have Nothing by Anna North
“…a minimalist lifestyle helps people determine what truly adds value to their lives — what things actually serve a purpose and bring joy. Rich or poor, married or single, black or white, simplifying one’s life can only benefit one’s circumstances. Even though everyone embraces minimalism differently, each path leads to the same place: a life with more freedom.”

You Get 25,000 Mornings as an Adult by James Clear
“Just as it’s rare for anyone to experience overnight success, it’s also rare for our lives crumble to pieces in an instant. Most unproductive or unhealthy behaviors are the result of slow, gradual choices that add up to bad habits. A wasted morning here. An unproductive morning there. The good news is that exceptional results are also the result of consistent daily choices.”

The Pointlessness of Unplugging by Casey N. Cep
“If it takes unplugging to learn how better to live plugged in, so be it. But let’s not mistake such experiments in asceticism for a sustainable way of life. For most of us, the modern world is full of gadgets and electronics, and we’d do better to reflect on how we can live there than to pretend we can live elsewhere.”

The Elegant Art of Not Giving a Shit by David Cain
“Not giving a shit sounds like apathy, but it’s not. It’s simply a refusal to waste your energy and time on thoughts you’re not going to act on. So when you do give a shit, make sure that the point of this shit-giving is to figure out what you’re actually going to do in response to what happened, and then move on to the action part.”

How to Pick Your Life Partner by Wait But Why
“Marriage isn’t the honeymoon in Thailand—it’s day four of vacation #56 that you take together. Marriage is not celebrating the closing of the deal on the first house—it’s having dinner in that house for the 4,386th time. And it’s certainly not Valentine’s Day. Marriage is Forgettable Wednesday. Together. Try to figure out the best way to make Forgettable Wednesday as happy as possible.”

Welcome to Paris by Seth Godin
“Consider the fact that the most interesting or most beloved or most trusted people you will ever know are sitting right next to you, or can be invited over in just a few minutes. Is it worth postponing that once-in-a-lifetitme interaction so you can do a Netflix binge or watch some YouTube videos? The world is waiting. Your turn…”

Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt by Momastery
[Look at her beautiful kitchen makeover first] “Today I shall keep my perspectacles super-glued to my face and feel insanely grateful instead of lacking and I will look at my home and my people and my body and say: THANK YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. THIS IS ALL MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH, ALL OF IT.”

And my personal favourite…

The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna
“If you feel a knot in your stomach because you can see the enormous distance between your dreams and your daily reality, do one thing to tighten your grip on what you want — today. Because there is a recurring choice in life, and it occurs at the intersection of two roads. We arrive at this place again and again. And today, you get to choose.”

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach December 26, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Awesome! I have a slow day today so I look forward to reading all of them! Hope you are enjoying your holiday Cait!

  • Mrs. Frugalwoods December 26, 2014 at 7:24 am

    This is a great list! Thank you! I haven’t read some of these blogs before, so I’m looking forward to digging in. Between this and my personal finance library books, I am set :).

  • Jenn December 26, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Thanks for the list Cait. I’ll enjoy re-reading these.

  • Fig @ Figuring Money Out December 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Ohhh great list! I read quite a few of these and loved them so I will definitely check out the rest over the next few days. Thanks for sharing!

  • J. Money December 27, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Happy holidays my friend! What a great bday present to receive :)

  • Devon January 5, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Amazing list of links! I can’t wait to read them all. I sent a few of them to my mom, then just gave up and sent her the link to this post. :)

    By the way, you really inspired me to declutter my closet. On New Year’s Day, I filled two garbage bags with clothes to donate and my closet looks so tidy! Now I only have stuff I really love to wear. Thanks for sharing your minimalist journey!

  • Emily January 31, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Thank you for all the links! Some of the most powerful and life-affirming articles I’ve read in a while.

  • KOP September 11, 2015 at 2:48 am

    So late in the year for me to sent my comment on this post. The story of my life: not to be exactly relevant or in time when I am expected. Thank you so much for your generosity. We need people like you and the bunch of guys above. Thank you for the collection of great blogs, some of which I know already. Off the topic, your shopping ban and expense tracking are doing marvels in my life right now.
    I could not thank you more for your love and the awsome community who stands by you.
    From Paris