How to challenge yourself to live more frugally and grow your wealth

Photo: Garon Piceli/Pexels

There’s lots of advice about what to do with the money that you have — how to buy stocks, where to find high-yield savings accounts, or how to buy your first investment property. That advice is all well and good if you have significant savings, but on average, most Americans only have a few thousand dollars between their savings and checking accounts.

So how do you start out on the path to save more money?

Yes, you could always switch to a job that pays better (or set up multiple streams of income). But if you’re in the habit of…

What it‘s really like to design buildings for a living

View of skyscrapers, from the ground, looking up.
View of skyscrapers, from the ground, looking up.
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

I’ve been working in the Architecture field for over 15 years now, and I’ve stayed on a pretty traditional route to get here. I was an architecture major in college, I have worked for mostly medium and large firms in large cities, and about 7 years ago, I passed all my exams to become licensed.

Though it’s normal for me, one question I’m constantly asked — on dating apps, when I’m out at bars, or when I meet a friend of a friend — is what it’s like to be an Architect.

My 30-second elevator pitch is that being an…

How women are educated about money differently than men and what we can all do to change that

Is this what your money looks like? Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

You may think that there’s no difference between what girls and women are taught about money compared to what boys and men are, but that’s far from the truth. Why? Because, from a young age, women are deliberately taught to be “cautious” with money, and men are taught to be “smart” with money.

What are we educating men and women differently about money? Shouldn’t the underlying message of “this is how to have a successful relationship with money” be the same for everyone?

I encourage you to think about what messages about money are being sent to and received by…

Have fun reaching your money goals with these money-saving challenges

A stack of dice or a board game sitting on a table with a person behind them.
A stack of dice or a board game sitting on a table with a person behind them.
Photo by Toan Lu on Unsplash

Gamification, or applying aspects of game-playing like following rules, elements of luck, and the idea of winning, can be a really engaging way to save money, both for savings newcomers and experienced savers alike.

These gamified ways to save money work because they take a typically serious topic and engage you in a way that is fun and unique. They transform the act of saving money into something that is easy to follow, achievable, and has a clearly defined goal and end date. You can start these any time of the year (not just on January 1).

And while it…

What I’ve learned from a decade of unintentional planning

Pencil and notebook reading “Small Business Ideas”
Pencil and notebook reading “Small Business Ideas”
Image by Author

For about twelve years, I’ve asked people what kind of small business they would start if they had the time and resources. It’s a great conversation starter at happy hour with a group of coworkers or a way to get to know your close friends more deeply.

Asking people this question is an indirect way of asking them about their interests, ambitions, and even values. …

Not included: “How to foot the bill for a huge party”

Photo by Michal Balog on Unsplash

Although it’s been ice ages since I’ve attended college, I’ll always remember the living conditions that my friends and other college students found themselves in during that time. Maybe it’s because I have a career in design, but I will never forget the cliché (but very true) look of a college guy’s apartment: the single threadbare towel in the bathroom, the total lack of decor except for a movie poster, and the beer to food ratio of items in the refrigerator.

While the phrase “college guys” might make you think of entitled frat boys partying every day, the reality is…

No, it’s not too late to work toward these achievable goals

Photo by Nicolas I. on Unsplash

I used to stumble through each year without much thought as to what was happening with my finances. If I got a raise or my employer matched my 401k contribution, I just thought, “That’s great!” and went about my life. But a few years ago, I realized nobody was going to take control of my money except for me. Now, I am much more intentional about what Future Me wants and what steps I can take now to help me get there.

Here, I’m going to share five financial goals to consider for this coming year. While it is true…

How to personalize your job to feel more satisfied with your work

Black and white photo of three people bumping their fists.
Black and white photo of three people bumping their fists.
Photo by Kevin Butz on Unsplash

We’re in a time right now where you might feel like you do not have total control of your career. You may have been planning a major job change, only to have it thwarted by the pandemic. Your office might be closed for the foreseeable future and you might still be adjusting to working from home. No matter the reason, you might be feeling a dissatisfaction with your job right now.

You may remember a lot of talk about “job crafting” from a few years ago. In short, it’s a process developed to break your job down into tasks, roles…

What I’m learning about the great lengths Amazon will go to make a buck or two (or $11.5 billion)

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

We all think we know about Amazon. If you live in one of the 100 countries that Amazon delivers to, you’ve likely ordered something recently. You may even be an Amazon Prime member. It’s incredibly convenient to buy products in so many categories — household items, books (remember when Amazon primarily sold those?), clothing, furniture — anything, really.

For a long time, I only considered what the consumer-end of Amazon looked like and hadn’t truly engaged with what Amazon is like as a company. As long as that pair of sweatpants I ordered arrived in two days, I was content.

Instead of just being physically present

Photo by Arantxa Treva from Pexels

I work in an office for my 9 to 5.

In almost every job I’ve had, there has been an office culture of being negative. All the “popular” coworkers complained about the management, about other coworkers, about the work for the client — anything, really.

I saw so many people, myself included, who stewed in negativity until 5 pm rolled around. And not just some days, but every day.

But then I decided to change. I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t engage in that negative mindset at work. What would happen if I tried to do…

Adriane R

Architect • fan of coffee and comedy • trying to keep my houseplants alive

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