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Optimism: Response to Bro - Sis

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To start my response to Bro’s post last week, I simply typed, Optimism into my google search bar. The following definition came up:

“Optimism: hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something”

I like to think I am an optimistic person. I try to look for the good in situations and stay positive. I mean sure, I have the classic case of mid-life anxiety and an panic attack or two but in general I try to live my life in a optimistic way. This also is true when it comes to my parenting and financial decisions.

My response to Bro’s situation is one of optimism. Let’s look at his situation of traveling for work. He must be away from his family and it can be hard on his wife. Those are the simple facts, but if you blow up the bigger picture I think there is more to the story. He is teaching his kids that you have to work hard and commit to your job. He is the perfect example for them. They will grow up knowing that they had a dad who worked hard for his fami…

Optimism - Bro

I was reading a blog post and optimism was mentioned. Optimism is the whole glass half full point of view. The question I asked myself was if being optimistic can lead a better attitude, relationships, and more importantly better outcomes (I still don't know the answer).
I would like to think by default I am neutral as to my outlook but in reality I have a propensity to be negative. For me the glass is half full but there is a better than even chance I will get thirsty and a half a glass won't be enough to quench my thirst. A specific example of this is travel for work. I personally enjoy travel for work but I miss my family and it is very hard on my wife and kids. This summer it is possible that I will be quite busy with travel and it got me a bit down. I was not looking forward to the travel or new challenges but instead I was worrying about how my wife would do and if I was hurting my children.
An optimist would be excited for the travel, challenge, and possible financial r…

Financial Independence Goes Hockey - Sis

I have always loved sports. Let me correct that statement a little, I have always loved to WATCH sports. The fact is, I am short, slow and a little chunky. I tried to play sports growing up and in highschool but the facts were, my body is just not one of an athlete. My favorite sport is hockey. I love everything about the game. I love to follow my team, watch their games, and the wear their logo. Naturally I was watching a game the other day and I was getting really frustrated at my team. I mean it was playoff hockey and we were on the powerplay. They had absolutely no offensive. Shoot the puck, that is how you score and win games. During the next commercial break I pulled out my phone and was reading facebook posts on a financial independence group. I thought, these people are really on the offensive side of their money. They are aggressively shooting pucks at their goals. Then it came to me, life is like a game of hockey.

The more shots on goal you take the better chance you have o…

Can’t Touch My Swag - Sis

Listen, I got some swag going on. My brother showed me this little site called SwagBucks.com. There are several things you can do on the site to earn “SB”. It took me a little while to get over the fact you are making, 2 SB or even 1 SB at a time. Seriously you think, I could probably walk on the street and find dropped change quicker than that, but I promise, if you look at the bigger picture then you can do some real damage. So I break it down in my head like this. The first $25 gift card of the month cost 2200 SB. Then $25 x 12 months, that’s $300. To me that’s a lot of stuff. I get gift cards to Amazon so I can basically get anything.
The first thing you can do is surveys. These usually take 10-20 minutes. They are about anything and everything. I have done some of baby products and others on banks. The problem is it can take some time to find a survey you qualify for. This drives my husband crazy because he never seems to qualify for any. But with persistence I tend to always fin…

Get a Raise - Bro

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I love to game the system (in a legal way). If I can get a discount I will put in the extra work to do so. Through the use of Ebates, Raise, and a good cash rewards credit card you can save a significant amount of money on gift cards to places you commonly shop.

Step 1: Sign up for Ebates
Savings: 1%
Ebates.com is a website that makes money by referring you to websites. When they refer you they get a commision paid to them. They pay you a part of that commision. The price of the good or service does not change so it is a win-win.

Step 2: Sign up for a cash back credit card
Savings: 2%
A simple cash back credit card is a nice thing to have. If you make a $100 purchase and the credit card pays 1% cash back you will get $1 back when you pay off your $100 credit card bill. I use the CITI double cash back credit card. You get 1% back when you make the purchase and 1% back when you pay your bill. There is no annual fee so as long as you pay the bill in full on time (a must) you are good to…

Via Negitiva - Bro

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Via negativa” is the idea of improvement by subtraction. Using this approach to happiness would be to remove things that do not make you happy. I first heard this idea from Nassim Taleb. An analogy would be to take a block of marble and removing all the marble that is not the statue. By doing so you would be left with only the core beauty of the rock in the form of a statue.
In my life there are many things that “bring me no joy”. I am sure we can all think of examples such as business meetings, dentist appointments, traffic, ect. It is very easy to try to focus on what makes us happy or what we think we need but it is just as important to think about what makes us unhappy.
A prime example of this is traffic. How much joy do you get from sitting it traffic? Even with a good audio book or podcast it still sucks to be in traffic. If you move closer to work and cut a commute from 45 minutes each way to 15 minutes each way your life will be much better than if you were to instead try to f…

Happiness: Pleasure, Engagement And Meaning - Sis

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Martin Seligman, a pioneer in the field of positive psychologist breaks happiness down to three areas, pleasure, engagement and meaning.

Pleasure. What brings pleasure into your life? Searching for thing that bring you happiness is important. I find more pleasure in making a fort at home, popping some homemade popcorn and cuddling with a favorite blanket to watch a movie way more pleasurable than going to the theater. Convenience has gotten in the way of experiences. Taking a nice long bike ride in the spring sun brings us more happiness then another mindless TV show. Sometimes we have to force ourselves out of routine or convenience to find happiness. What gives you pleasure throughout the day?

Engagement. I am a mother. Everyday I am engaged with my son, learning life through his eyes. Colors, shapes, sounds, they are all new and exciting. This brings me happiness. Being in the moment and engaged in his life are very important to me. This is one of the reasons it is important for me t…