Author: Justine

Why You Should KonMari Your Digital Life

I read the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo last year. It’s the book behind the KonMari Method, which encourages you to only surround yourself with objects that bring you joy.

I didn’t buy a lot of what Kondo was selling. I don’t believe objects have “feelings.” And there’s no way I was going to completely empty my purse every night like some kind of monster. But it did help assuage my guilt about getting rid of books I’d never read, clothes I’d never wear, and gifts I’d never use.

Over the course of a few months, I methodically combed through my apartment. I filled more than a dozen trash bags for Goodwill. And it felt good. I didn’t just have more physical space – I had more mental space as well.

It also got me thinking about what else I could apply this philosophy to. And nothing needed more attention than my online life.

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How I Justified My $100 Gym Membership

I went through a bad breakup last year. The first few months involved getting drunk and working my way through The Joy of Painting on Netflix, tearing up whenever Bob Ross said things like, “We don’t make mistakes… we just have happy accidents.”

One day I woke up and realized I couldn’t spend another minute in my condo. We had spent too much time there. I hated my bed, my couch, the patio set I only ever really used with him.

Moving wasn’t a particularly sane option. Neither was replacing half my belongings. I needed a second space — somewhere that wasn’t my house or the office to spend some time.

Read more at The Billfold.

Resolutions

As much as I hate New Year’s Eve, I love New Year’s Day. Mostly because I’m a huge resolutions person. I know, I know… so is everyone else on January 1st. But I’m one of the weird freaks who actually follows through on them.

The way I see it, resolutions aren’t about deciding to be a different person. They’re about drawing a roadmap to where you want to be in twelve months. If you’re not working toward something, how are you supposed to get anywhere?

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Is MoviePass Too Good To Be True?

When I was growing up, sprawling out on the floor of my grandparents’ house with the newspaper was a tradition. I’d look at the movie advertisements, cross-check show times, and plot my next trip to the local theater—the one that drew back real red curtains every night to reveal the screen underneath.

A lot has changed since then. The curtains are long gone. I can check out movie trailers and schedules from my phone. And ticket prices have gone way, way up.

Read more at The Billfold.

Halfway to Financial Freedom

I check in on my student loan balance every two weeks after a payment posts. I plot out the money I’ll throw at it during extra paycheck months, or when my tax refund hits. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be debt-free this time next year.

That was the goal I set for myself last spring when I refinanced $28,000 worth of federal loans. They’re the last (expensive) reminder of graduate school. And — most importantly — they’re the last thing I need to take care of before the rest of my financial life begins.

Read more at The Billfold.