Give Me Back My Five Bucks

My 7 Links Project

I was tagged by Young and Thrifty to participate in the “My 7 Links Project,” which was started by Katie from Trip Base. The purpose of this project is to get each blogger to reflect upon some old posts, and dig them up so that they can see the light of day again. I think this is a great idea because I have a ridiculous amount of content on this site – over 2,200 posts, written over the course of 4.5 years. Too much crap to wade through to get to anything decent. :)

So here you go! My 7 links that I’ve dug up from the GMBMFB archives.

Your Most Beautiful Post

Personal finance is far from beautiful. But I think that being vulnerable and opening up can be a really beautiful thing. And for that reason, my most beautiful post would be the one in which I opened up about my break-up with ex-BF earlier this year, and the emotions/feelings that went along with it. Absolutely not PF-related, but one of the most honest posts I’ve ever written for sure.

Your Most Popular Post

Well, my most popular post in terms of comments was the one where I was unexpectedly fired from my job after I found that my job had been posted on Craigslist behind my back. That was last year. Read how it all went down.

I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve been fired before. Sometimes, getting fired is out of your control, and has nothing to do with who you are as a person, or how good you are at your job. Sometimes, people and companies and circumstances are out of your control. People can be assholes, and companies can be unprofessional. Keep your head held high, and really believe that the best is yet to come. Everything happens for a reason, and if I hadn’t been fired from that job, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s hard to see it when it happens to you, but from someone who has been through it before, I can tell you that it was literally the best thing that could have ever happened to my career.

Your Most Controversial Post

Definitely, without a doubt, it was the post in which I told the world that I had bought a brand new car. That’s right, a personal finance blogger bought a BRAND NEW CAR. The post generated over 100 comments (mostly super negative and mean-spirited), except that the comments got lost when I migrated my blog over from Blogger to WordPress. Even now – over 1.5 years later – I don’t regret my decision to buy new. I will probably never do it again, but I’m really happy with the fact that I was able to do it once in my life.

Your Most Helpful Post

I actually don’t think that I write any helpful posts. I don’t write “how to” articles on this blog, so it’s hard for me to gauge how helpful any of my posts are to anyone. That being said, I think the most helpful posts in learning what personal finance means to me are: Why budgeting is important to me, What qualifies you to be a personal finance blogger?, and How I plan on destroying my mortgage.

A Post Whose Success Surprised You

A post that got a lot of attention was my post about using a coupon on the first date. It got picked up by The Consumerist, and I was surprised at the strong opinions people had on the topic – both on my blog, and on The Consumerist. I even wrote a short follow-up post about a week later. It’s still an interesting topic to me, and one that I don’t think will ever get resolved.

A Post you Feel Didn’t Get the Attention it Deserved

You know, I think all of my posts get the attention they deserve. Sometimes I write crap, and I get no responses. That’s deserved. Sometimes I write something thoughtful, and the comments blow up and a huge discussion evolves out of it – which is awesome!

Anyway, I don’t really know how to answer this, so I’m going to put attention on one of my earliest posts – Post secondary education is a privilege, not a right. It was written just a few months after I started blogging back in 2007, after I had heard about students going to protest student loans at the parliament buildings in my hometown. I think it was one of the first posts in which I was really able to capture my personality in a time where I was still trying to find my writing style. And since I had literally just started blogging, I only got a few comments – and those ended up getting lost in my Blogger-to-Wordpress migration.

The Post that You are Most Proud of

I really enjoyed writing the post, Does frugality limit ambition? – where I responded to a comment I received on this blog. Sometimes I find it hard to express myself. But I feel like in that post, I was able to say everything that I needed to say about a topic I’m really, extremely passionate about.

Now I’m supposed to link to 5 other blogs to do the 7 Links Project. So I will give a shout out to Blonde and Balanced, My Pretty PenniesFinance Fox, Never Niche, and Stacking Pennies! :)

What does financial independence mean?

Financial independence. It’s the overall theme of this blog, but what does it actually mean?

I’ve been wrestling with this topic for a few weeks now. After I wrote Confessions of a PF blogger, I was replying to comments, and found myself writing: I wonder if “financial independence” is just a phrase I use to describe a goal I might reach financially, but might never reach emotionally.

“Financial independence” is such a vague term. I’ve always thought that it meant living a comfortable life where you don’t have to rely on anybody else, or allow yourself to be limited by your finances. But can you really put a dollar amount on that? And if you can’t, how do you know when you’re actually achieved it? Is it just a feeling that you get? Often times I struggle with goals that aren’t black and white, or things that aren’t consistent or universal.

Right now, I’m financially dependent on Vancity for my mortgage. Without the bank, I wouldn’t have my townhouse. So even though I have savings in the bank, and can fully support myself on a day-to-day basis, until I pay off my mortgage, or decide to sell (without buying another place), I wouldn’t consider myself to be financially independent.

I guess it’s kind of open for interpretation. Does “financial independence” mean being completely free of debt? Does it mean having enough money in the bank (or in passive income) to never work again? Or does it simply mean being able to live a comfortable life without being dependent on somebody else?

I’m beginning to realize that for me, “financial independence” is more about feeling, rather than a number or a dollar figure to be obtained. And that scares me a little. I tend to trust logic and facts over emotions and feelings. Like I said before in this post (and in my Confessions post), I’ve never been good with vague goals. Once I think I’ve achieved it, I’ll convince myself that I haven’t, and push the goal out a little further – making it seemingly unattainable.

Yet, I know that I’m not blindly chasing this abstract dream of “financial independence.” I’m fully confident that one day, it will become a reality. I just need to figure out what it means in order to realize it emotionally. Once I’ve stripped away all of my dollar figure goals, and stopped crunching the numbers, what will “financial independence” feel like?

What does financial independence mean to you?

Dreaming of the Oregon coast

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that I’ve been planning a last-minute road trip to Oregon for this coming long weekend! We will be spending one night in Portland, and one night on the coast. I’m super excited because I’ve been wanting to do a road trip to Oregon for years … yet I feel a little bit guilty for not spending the whole weekend working or being productive. Still. I think a few days away from any sort of work is just what I need to recharge. It just means I have to work extremely hard until the weekend.

Usually I’m pretty good at figuring out last-minute trips, but this one was a bit tricky. Apparently trying to book accommodation over a long weekend in the summertime is kind of a pain. Especially when you try to do it a few days before you leave, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money. Every hostel was booked up. All of the hotels were ridiculously expensive, and both AirBnB and VRBO failed me. So we ended up booking a hotel outside of the downtown core, and we’ll either drive in or take public transportation. I didn’t look too much into it, but it seems that Portland has a decent light rail system.

I would estimate that the entire trip will cost me $350 for the 3 days we’ll be gone. Maybe it will be more, or maybe it will be less. It’s hard to say when you’re traveling with someone you’ve never gone on a trip with before.

Are there any must-sees in Portland, or along the coast? 

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