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My November charitable contribution from my business profits goes to Write Around Portland, “dedicated to changing lives and building community through writing,” and further more has “inspired workshop participants to complete their GEDs, attend college, stick with treatment programs, transition back to our community after incarceration and break cycles of abuse.” Love them!

As we get closer to the end of the year, thoughts of the year gone by and what’s to come are more and more at the forefront of my mind. Here are a few more articles and such that have come across my desk that are along these lines when it comes to living a life that keeps my five tenets in mind: simplicity, creativity, discovery, sustainability and equity:

  • For the first time in my life, I’m hiring a financial advisor. Being a solopreneur, it’s not as easy as just plopping money into a 401(k), and being fairly successful in my work these days, I want to make sure that the money coming in is working for me. Back in the day, savings accounts were worthwhile, but honestly, these days they are just a holding place and make less than 1% interest. Plus, did you know that if you do too many online transfers to/from savings accounts you’ll actually get penalized by your bank? Ugh. How lame is that. So investing in a way that aligns with my values is my first priority. This article on socially responsible investing is a good intro to what to keep in mind when heading down that road.
  • Talking to a friend recently, she mentioned that their financial advisor highly discouraged them from paying off their mortgage early. The usual “take advantage of the tax deduction” and “invest that extra money at a higher rate” is what the advisor pushed, and while that makes sense for some, for us this mortgage is like having a $1500/mo credit card payment. Sure our interest rate is at 3.3% and last year’s refi to a 15 year makes the end a wee bit more in sight, but if we have a chance to be able to live on a lower salary once the kid(dos?) arrive, we are going to do whatever we can to make that happen while my business is doing so well. Or as one commenter said in this article discussing the pros & cons of home mortgage payoff, If you had a paid off home today, would you go borrow and get a mortgage on your home simply to use the money to invest in the stock market? NO.”
  • So this coming week I’m going to be chatting with a few recommended financial advisors. And just like doctors, it’s about establishing trust, feeling like they have your best interests at heart, and being able to ask them anything – and know that they won’t treat you like a number. And with my research, I learned that In Alternative Funds, Female Managers Excel. I also found out that less than 10% of financial advisors are women. So with that, I’m “interviewing” three women this week and following my instincts when it comes to choosing someone who will look out for us.
  • I appreciated this very spot-on article confronting “Lean In” and corporatist feminism. Author Linda Burnham calls out Sheryl Sandberg’s advice “about how to have it all, while offering precisely zero guidance on how to dismantle the structural barriers to gender equity that still impede most women.” As I’ve talked about in past posts of my own, Lean In is focused on assimilation into the status quo, rather than changing the game. It tells women how to pick their partners, but doesn’t help women who are single, victims of domestic violence, or in other situations. It is advice from a very wealthy woman who admitted that she rarely used her vacation and hired a nanny to care for her children. It ignored the average working woman. As Burnham described this sector of feminism, “1% feminism is all about the glass ceiling, never about the floor.” Honestly, is that REALLY feminism? Folks get so excited about women “getting the vote” in 1920 – when it was white women who “won”. Native Americans were not even granted citizenship until 1924, and the Voting Rights Act protecting people of color did not happen until the 1960’s. True feminism is looking out for ALL of our sisters, not just the ones who look like us or share the same socioeconomic status.
  • And speaking of phenomenal women walking to the beat of their own drums, I loved this video of Alice Walker talking about Zora Neale Hurston. LOVED.
  • “Richer happiness can be found in simpler things that don’t involve spending: being with loved ones, creating, reading, getting outside and doing something active.” I love this ZenHabits post, The Case Against Buying Christmas Presents. My husband and I have zero stress on the holidays. Why? Because we don’t believe the hype. We’ve let go of all the BS marketing that defines the holiday season as one involving money and materialism. It’s about us. It’s about love. It’s about giving to those less fortunate. That’s enough, don’t you agree?

2 thoughts on “Eco-licious

  1. As always, you’ve got lots of goodness in this post! So I’ll just make a few comments. For the mortgage, the comment about taking out a mortgage to invest in the stock market is spot on. We worked hard to pay ours off and are so glad we did – despite some of our peers saying it was a dumb idea. I think many of them wished they had done it as it’s very freeing.

    Like the nonprofit you donated to. I rant about the prison industrial complex and how once someone is in the system (usually for victimless “crimes”), they’re set up for failure on the outside.

    I’m in the low-stress Christmas mode – and pretty much have been for years. This year I’m only giving my granddaughter a gift (or 2 since it’s also her birthday) and giving my 2 grown children some home-baked goodies that they like. That’s it.


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