Why We Get Stuck in Ruts (and How to Break Out of Them)

I’m sitting here, hands hovered over the keyboard, using every ounce of my willpower to squeeze out words. Just a few measly words! Why is this so hard? All I want to do is take a cruise with an unlimited supply of Bloody Marys. Or a nap. A nap is good, too. And...

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Luck Is Not the Opposite of Hard Work

I loved parables as a kid. One of my favorites was the parable of the Chinese farmer. It's an old Taoist story, but philosopher Alan Watts popularized it in his book, Eastern Wisdom, Modern Life. It went something like this: Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer...

read more

Minimalism Vs. Earning More Money

Over the Christmas break, I watched the documentary The Minimalists. As someone who has embraced minimalism since childhood (I was a weird kid with a very clean room), I found myself nodding like crazy throughout the first quarter of the movie. “YES! It’s so true! We...

read more

Why I Don’t Want My Children to Be the Best

This is a guest post from JT. JT writes about family and financial education and you should read his blog, of JustMakingCents.com. My 8-year-old daughter, Zuzzy, dribbles to her right in a hunching gallop, like a wounded wildebeest, before she bounces the ball off of...

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If You’re Experiencing Imposter Syndrome, This Is for You

It’s back. That creeping, insidious feeling that you’re out of your league. That nasty, destructive voice telling you you’re not good enough. That you’re only here because you got lucky. That you’re an idiot and sooner or later, everyone will find out you’re an idiot....

read more

How to Automatically Save Money With Qapital

If you want to build better money habits, automation can be a powerful ally. You’ve heard the old adage “pay yourself first,” right? It’s a classic example of automation. You save your money before you have a chance to blow it on shoes and gummy bears (my splurges of...

read more
kristinwong

Hey! I'm Kristin. I've written stuff all over the place, including Lifehacker, NBC News, Fox Digital, and more. Here, I share everything I learn about how to freelance, from managing money to digital nomading to figuring out why the Wi-Fi isn't working. Want to learn more? Start here.

What You're Saying

  • Trena: This a point well taken. I avoid my money even though I know I shouldn’t. It is good be reminded that we...
  • Vivian Tejeda: The fact that the longer you go without doing something the rustier you get resonates with me so much....
  • Irene: Love this blog! I think most people believe that they should be minimalists but what they want is to have a...
  • Judy: This is true for so many aspects of life! Thank you! I think I need to consider making small regular habits for...
  • Durga: This post is really informative, on how to use the credit card for travelling as we wish. Many don’t...

The Single Hardest Thing About Negotiating

Here’s what I used to say about negotiating in my early 20s:

“If you have a good job, you don’t need to negotiate. My boss just gives me raises!”

Man, I was naïveAt first glance, it seems like a pretty good deal, right? You never even have to ask, your boss just automatically bumps your salary every few months. Especially if you hate negotiating, this seems like a great scenario. That’s what I thought, at least. After a while, I learned my lesson: if your employer keeps giving you a raise every three months, you’re probably underpaid. And I learned this the hard way.

After a year on the job, I was browsing Monster when I found a similar gig that paid almost double: $50,000 a year. I didn’t think I could ever make that much money just two years out of college, but I had to try. So I applied. They called me for an interview. Then they offered me the job. Of course, I told my original employer I had to quit. After all, I couldn’t pass up the same gig for double the pay. And then they offered to match the salary.

I was hurt. They could afford to pay me that much this whole time and they’ve been teasing me with these raises? I could’ve paid off my student loan! I could’ve lived in a nicer apartment! Here’s the thing, though: why would they? They’re a business, and a business has to make money. You don’t make money handing out $20,000 to an employee who doesn’t ask. I was severely underpaid and that was 100% on me.

Sure, my industry might be different. Surely there are some industries and jobs in which negotiating just isn’t a thing. For most of us, however, I think the lesson applies: if you never have to negotiate a raise, you’re probably underpaid.   (more…)

Why We Get Stuck in Ruts (and How to Break Out of Them)

I’m sitting here, hands hovered over the keyboard, using every ounce of my willpower to squeeze out words. Just a few measly words! Why is this so hard? All I want to do is take a cruise with an unlimited supply of Bloody Marys. Or a nap. A nap is good, too. And...

read more

Luck Is Not the Opposite of Hard Work

I loved parables as a kid. One of my favorites was the parable of the Chinese farmer. It's an old Taoist story, but philosopher Alan Watts popularized it in his book, Eastern Wisdom, Modern Life. It went something like this: Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer...

read more

Minimalism Vs. Earning More Money

Over the Christmas break, I watched the documentary The Minimalists. As someone who has embraced minimalism since childhood (I was a weird kid with a very clean room), I found myself nodding like crazy throughout the first quarter of the movie. “YES! It’s so true! We...

read more

Why I Don’t Want My Children to Be the Best

This is a guest post from JT. JT writes about family and financial education and you should read his blog, of JustMakingCents.com. My 8-year-old daughter, Zuzzy, dribbles to her right in a hunching gallop, like a wounded wildebeest, before she bounces the ball off of...

read more

If You’re Experiencing Imposter Syndrome, This Is for You

It’s back. That creeping, insidious feeling that you’re out of your league. That nasty, destructive voice telling you you’re not good enough. That you’re only here because you got lucky. That you’re an idiot and sooner or later, everyone will find out you’re an idiot....

read more

How to Automatically Save Money With Qapital

If you want to build better money habits, automation can be a powerful ally. You’ve heard the old adage “pay yourself first,” right? It’s a classic example of automation. You save your money before you have a chance to blow it on shoes and gummy bears (my splurges of...

read more
kristinwong

Hey! I'm Kristin. I've written stuff all over the place, including Lifehacker, NBC News, Fox Digital, and more. Here, I share everything I learn about how to freelance, from managing money to digital nomading to figuring out why the Wi-Fi isn't working. Want to learn more? Start here.

What You're Saying

  • Trena: This a point well taken. I avoid my money even though I know I shouldn’t. It is good be reminded that we...
  • Vivian Tejeda: The fact that the longer you go without doing something the rustier you get resonates with me so much....
  • Irene: Love this blog! I think most people believe that they should be minimalists but what they want is to have a...
  • Judy: This is true for so many aspects of life! Thank you! I think I need to consider making small regular habits for...
  • Durga: This post is really informative, on how to use the credit card for travelling as we wish. Many don’t...