Earn Work-Life Balance

How to Be Confident, Curious, Accountable & Aware

Jean Chatzky  |  August 17, 2021

Conquering loneliness, free ice cream and setting daily habits that can ensure success.

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This Week In Your Wallet: The Optimism Edition

Dear Readers, 

I know you come here for money news, not the news of the world. I respect that and try to adhere to it.  Sometimes that money news is optimistic – sometimes not so much. But this week, with the rest of the world’s news bringing me (and I am sure many of you) down – from the Delta variant to the climate change report to the horrible pictures and reports coming out of Afghanistan – I specifically went looking for some happy money news. And I’m glad to report that it wasn’t in short supply. So, let’s dive in.

Conquering Loneliness One Meet-Up At A Time 

As we established on this episode of the HerMoney Podcast – with guest Adam Smiley Poswolsky, workplace expert and author of Friendship in the Age of Loneliness: An Optimist’s Guide To Connection – research shows the vast majority of Americans are lonely. BTW: The younger you are, the worse it gets, with data from Cigna showing 70% of Millennials and 80% of Gen Zers consider themselves isolated. And it is indeed a money issue, taking a significant toll on our mental and physical health. He walked us through a variety of ways to bring our friends closer (answering questions from the HerMoney Facebook group) and make our world more full. I loved talking to him and think you’ll enjoy a listen

Marissa Meizz, age 23, took another approach to the issue after her “friends” intentionally excluded her from a birthday party and some well-meaning stranger took to TikTok to let her know. As the always readable Taylor Lorenz detailed in the New York Times, the stranger’s video went viral, but so did Meizz’s reaction. She took to TikTok to out herself as the castoff and found herself with thousands of new friends as a result. In response to the outpouring of love and friendship, she started an online community called No More Lonely Friends and has been holding meet-ups around the country.  

And speaking of inspiring meet-ups, my husband and I walked out our front door in Center City Philly last Friday evening and, seeing a group of six or so people decked out in white, thought we had happened upon a wedding. Then, six became six hundred and six hundred became several thousand…It was Diner en Blanc (Dinner in White), an annual event started in 1988 where people buy tickets and are – the day of the event – told to meet at a secret location where they bring their own tables, tablecloths, chairs and food and have dinner en masse. (All while wearing white, of course.) It was beautiful to watch and listen to (yes, there was music) and with Van Leeuwen handing out free ice cream, I have no doubt it was delicious. Next year, we are in!  

I Scream, You Scream

And why, you may ask, is Van Leeuwen willing to hand out cups of its vegan and non-vegan delights to thousands, gratis? Well, there is considerable competition in ice cream land, which is a $7 billion industry as of 2020. Much of what’s exciting is coming from small producers like Jennifer Dundas (who you might recognize, as I did, as Diane Keaton’s daughter in The First Wives Club) who is the owner of the Blue Marble scoop shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan. It’s an inspiring story of reinvention. Personally, I can’t wait to taste the Banana Cream Pie. And, speaking of businesses that are booming – attention, sports fans!

Take 5 Minutes (Or Maybe 3) And Make Your Bed

If you want to be productive and efficient, you may find that you need a space that encourages you to actually be productive and efficient. That’s especially true these days, with remote work looking like it’s with us for the long haul. As Raisa Brunner reports for Time, surveys suggest that many people are not especially interested in returning to the actual office, well, ever.  I can’t say I agree. Personally, I like working around people even if I’m not actually working on a project with them. But for now, as we continue to work from home, Satish Malhotra, the new CEO of the Container Store, offered up some tips making your current environment more workable. Among them: cord organizers, lazy susans (good for so much more than your spices) and a bit of encouragement to make your bed (particularly if your bedroom and office are one and the same.) “There is nothing more exciting than when you walk into your room and see your bed made. It’s your first sense of accomplishment….It was something my wife and I started doing, probably seven, eight years ago. It was a life-changing moment. It’s such a liberating feeling.”

And Speaking Of Liberating

I wanted to share a note that Laura McLoughlin, a member of the HerMoney community wrote to me recently. About 6 months ago, she was one of the first participants in our 8-week FinanceFixx group coaching program. (Next session: September 13!) She decided to stick with it after the course ended, joining FixxPlus (which is what we call our ongoing maintenance) and she just recently used the free matching service we offer with Wealthramp to find herself a financial advisor with whom to work one-on-one.  

She wrote: “I am pivoting armed with so much quality information you have each taught me. Your guidance has prepared me for this next phase. I take this knowledge into the horizon and own my successes, an entire new world, the world of personal finance, has deepened for me. I’m exploring it in such a new way now. I’m departing FinanceFixx Plus confident and curious, accountable and aware. What more can I ask for?”  

Thank you for sharing Laura! We are so excited for what’s to come.

Have a great week,

Jean

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