One of the best notes I’ve ever received is when someone said they’d always come back to my blog just to read through the comments.
So instead of recapping everything I did last year, today I wanted to shift the focus on you guys! Because this blog isn’t anything without the community.
Here are my favorite comments from 2018 that either stood out with their insight, shared a cool tip I hadn’t thought of, or just plain made me laugh or cry.
On why you should track your shopping decisions:
“Sooooooo, I admit until recently I chose to bury my head in the sand. LOL. Then I started to notice what I packed when going on a trip. I realized things like a beautiful Furla silk scarf always made the list; no matter the season or where I went –I would wear the scarf around my neck in the winter or wrapped -around my wrist in the summer.
I realized that the things I love the most, would invariably make it to my suitcase. Unbelievably, I even packed some of these things when we had to evacuate our home in Miami as Hurricane Irma approached back in September. To me this was so telling. So, I started to be more mindful when I shop by asking myself: would I be willing to take this on my next vacation? I stopped pulling the trigger whenever the answer was no.” – Lily from The Rich Miser
On little luxuries that don’t have to be expensive:
“Some things I like, all of which are super cheesey:
-Loose leaf teas are lovely, as others have mentioned. I have a green tea/caramelized sesame mix that I love
-Home mixed spa water. I like cucumber and rosewater
–Plating home meals nicely with black garlic, $2 sample-sized cheeses, seeds, and micro-greens/sprouts
-Handmade soaps (I use a mint tallow soap that feels so refreshing on my skin)
-Sephora perfume samples
-Visit a pastry shop instead of a restaurant
-Read indoors by a sunlit window (in the winter) or laying out on the grass (in summer)
-Yoga or stretching just after waking up
-Dimming the lights and lighting some candles while eating dinner with my significant other
– Yet Another PF Blog
On why everyone should build spontaneity into their budget:
“Yesss go to Madrid! If you are responsible enough to be asking yourself a question like this at 22, your money life is already well on its way. Do not deprive yourself of incredible experiences, especially in formative years like your early 20s. Will you miss that $150 in five years? Probably not – and I bet you will never forget that night of your life.
I spent my early 20s working in Thailand and backpacking around Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, etc. Nearly a decade later and I would not trade it for anything. Now I went too far to the other end of the spectrum and THAT should be avoided, but there has to be a balance and you have to enjoy your life right now!” – Kate @ making it rain
On why luxury can be a dangerous game:
“…That’s one reason why I’m staying away from flying in business/first class even though we can ‘afford’ it (with miles), I don’t want us to get spoilt and we constantly remind ourselves to be thankful just for the opportunity to travel….Luxury is relative. When I was younger, air travel is a huge luxury and I was happy just to travel in planes, and here we are now with our first world problems thinking that traveling in economy is difficult.” – Alabamalaysia
On why buying a house isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be:
“My partner and I recently sold our house and we’re now renting for the first time. We bought a fixer-upper 5 years ago and spent nearly half a million dollars and 2.5 years getting it in shape. You’d think that after all that we’d have had have only minimal repairs to make. Nope! Houses are just *always* a hassle.
Ultimately we lived in that house for a short time before moving to SF for a job opportunity. All said, we came out about even on the sale. If we’d invested that money into the stock market instead we’d be waaaaaay ahead! And think of all the time we could have saved.
Now in SF we’re paying more than $5k a month in rent, which is cringe-inducing, but still far less than the cost of ownership here. Most people I talk to spend *at least* 30% of gross in this rental market, but usually closer to 40 or even pushing 50.
There isn’t much security in home ownership anymore, unless you’re buying into an up-and-coming area several years before it gets hot. But that, too, is a risk!
When I owned my home I noticed that my identity started getting wrapped up in it too much. I spent a lot of time making it look just right, because I thought that every choice reflected on me. It *did* look good, and I *do* miss it at times, but not as much as I thought.” – Leena12
On why your major in college matters less than you think:
“…We tend to speak about college as a one-and-done, that upon graduation all decisions have been made and one’s life path is set. That is SO wrong…
Recommendation to young people considering college is to ask adults they know about what they studied in college and how their jobs/careers unfolded. (This could get someone through an uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner with aunts and uncles they don’t know well). People’s stories are fascinating, and unpredictable, and often inspirational. If they’re honest, you’ll be able to identify the outside-of-the-classroom moments that made the big differences in their lives.” – Louise
On why women should manage their own finances:
“I am probably going to be running our joint finances day to day though I want to make sure everything is transparent and fairly distributed between me and my fiancé. I’m more or less the breadwinner, but there are traps there that I want to avoid in terms of toxic relationship dynamics– controlling what my spouse spends, considering our money just my money, etc. So it’s important to me, even if it isn’t fiance’s thing really, that we have regular check-ins and that he’s a party to our financial decision making.
I was raised by a single mom who was raised by a single mom (with some financial infidelities mixed in), so relying on my husband to control the money and be the sole breadwinner was never how I saw my life going.” – Yet Another PF Blog
On why it’s important to learn to talk about money:
“I never really talked about money a lot growing up. I thought that it was the way to go. We work, spend, pay bills and getting into debt. When I got my first job after high school I fell for the same routine: got into credit card debt and later on student loans.
But something hit me, my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) and I were revealing our finances to each other and I was embarrassed that I was in this debt and not only she wasn’t in debt, but also she saved a good amount of money. And so I had to step up my financial situation and take it more seriously. I paid off my debts and student loans around the time we got married and started to save and save.
Eventually I started to read personal finance blogs, read books and took a PF class at a community college. Today I am more than happy to discuss money with anyone…if they want to.” – Kris
“Little conversations can do wonders. In 1992 I was dating a woman a little older than me in our little hometown. She was a single mom staying and working with her folks at about 30 years old. We were sitting in a parking lot and I asked if this was the plan for the rest of her life, for things to stay that way and she started crying because she hadn’t given it much thought. We lost touch, but I knew she went to nursing school when I left the area. About 12 years later I was happily married and got a phone call out of the blue from her (she asked my mom how to reach me). Turns out she had just bought her second rental house and the career was going great and just called to say “thanks.” It started with a little conversation.” – fred smidlap
On which my husband tricks people into believing he’s a professional therapist:
“…I (only half-jokingly) suggested to Luxe that there be an “Ask Teddy” couples advice column if this post took off. So let’s see if I can help with your question!
The key distinction here is that your husband assesses the parking spot as a “luxury,” whereas for you it seems to have a more tangible value: i.e., not lugging heavy groceries, safety, time saved not circling for parking. If it’s something you’re willing to go to bat for than be prepared to meet him halfway. While $250 is cheap for a NYC parking spot, it’s not nothing. Is there $100/month you could trim from expenses somewhere else as a concession? Your willingness to concede (even a little) could speak more loudly than your straightforward appeals so far. In addition to that (and this is a bit sneaky) you could say “OK, can we just *try* it for a couple months and see?” Trust me, after the trial period is over inertia will have set in and there’s NO WAY he’ll want to go back to street parking! GOOD LUCK and keep us posted!” – Teddy Luxband
Leaving a thoughtful comment on someone’s blog takes effort. It’s something you choose to do instead of all the gazillion other things you could be doing. That’s why I appreciate every single genuine comment that anyone leaves on this blog. Thank you all, and hope you enjoyed this special kind of roundup!
Feature Image: Unsplash