If 2016 was the year of decluttering and minimalism, 2017 was the year of intentionality and frugality. The year began with a sharp focus on our finances with the advent of our “Year of Living Minimally.” As the year progressed, however, I noticed my focus and interests broadening to other areas that could use the same level of scrutiny, namely health and time management. Outside of book dates and book club, my reading (and listening) this year has been fairly concentrated in these three areas. Because, like my husband, I love categories and lists, here is a list of some of the more helpful books, blogs, and podcasts I’ve read/listened to this year.
- frugalwoods.com – I found this blog last January just as the blogger was launching her first “Uber Frugal Month Challenge” (which I highly recommend, btw) and have gleaned so much from her wisdom and unique perspective. While David and I don’t share the same goal as The Frugalwoods of retiring in our early thirties (it’s a little late for me anyway …) and moving to a homestead in Vermont, we do share the same desire to be intentional with every dollar (or rupiah) spent, making sure that our financial decisions align with our values.
- youneedabudget.com – I kept hearing people rave about this app, and after months of tracking our spending on an Excel spreadsheet, I finally caved a few weeks ago and signed up for a free three month trial. I had listened to the YNAB podcast a few times and appreciated the simple principles espoused, an updated/digital envelope system a la Dave Ramsey, if you will. I never liked carrying around cash, so this system is perfect for our needs, and I plan to continue past the trial period.
- Your Money or Your Life – I’m only about halfway through this one, but I highly recommend what I’ve read so far, chapter four especially (“How Much Is Enough? The Nature of Fulfillment”) with gems like: “You may discover that you’ve been measuring your fulfillment, or lack of it, by what those around you have or by what advertising says you should want. Being fulfilled is having just enough. Think about it. Whether it’s food or money or things, if you don’t know, from an internal standard, what is enough, then you will pass directly from ‘not enough’ to ‘too much,’ with ‘enough’ being like a little whistle-stop town.”
- Honorable Mentions: The Millionaire Next Door and Broke Millennial
- Foodist – I think I came across summertomato.com a few years ago in a Fitstar (now Fitbit Coach) newsletter, but only in the past year have I really dove in to the blog and listened to the Foodist podcast. I read her book back in March and love how un-faddy it is. The author’s focus is on eating real food mindfully and building healthy habits that are sustainable. Her post on “home court habits” is especially worth the read.
- Honorable Mention: livestrong.com
- Getting Things Done – It was kind of a tedious read at times, but the two-minute rule alone is life changing. The system works especially well with the concepts behind bullet journaling, and differentiating between simple tasks and multi-step projects has helped me bring so much order to both home and work life.
- Triggers – Not exactly focused on time management, per se, but I deeply appreciated Goldsmith’s analysis of the environmental factors affecting behavior and his suggestions for creating environments that support the achievement of goals rather than their derailment.
- Honorable mention: Crazy Busy