Welcome to Monday Night Finance. We summarize some of our favorite recent personal finance articles each week.
The most recent jobs report showed that the unemployment rate is the worst it has been since The Great Depression. Unfortunately, the jobs report may in fact, be painting a rosier picture than reality. When faced with these historically bad job prospects, what’s the best way to find employment? Darcy, of WeWantGuac.com, did some historical research into how people found jobs during The Great Depression. Surprisingly, many of these 1930s job hunting tips are relevant to our current situation. In this post, Darcy of WeWantGuac.com shares her tips from the 1930s that are relevant in 2020.
We all know the unemployment rate peaked at 25%, with so many people out of work that no one was sure how we could dig ourselves out again. And for that 75% of people that were still employed? Records show they found those jobs through personal connections. ~Darcy from WeWantGuac.com
Darcy’s first piece of advice is to work your professional network as hard as you can. During The Great Depression, many jobs weren’t advertised, and even when they were, companies had hundreds of applicants for the same job. Knowing someone on the inside can help to give you the boost you need. The Great Depression was also a time when many people pivoted in their careers. Perhaps your current industry got clobbered by COVID, can your skills be used creatively in a new field? Darcy reports that while many fields related to the stock market were hurt during the Great Depression, the rate of women in the workforce actually increased during that time because of shifts in the economy. For more great lessons you can draw from The Great Depression, check out the article.
In addition to affecting employment, the pandemic has really shifted people’s spending habits. With many businesses closed, there are less places to spend money. Likewise, the pandemic has increased demand for certain goods and services (who was buying cloth masks in January?). In this article, Kris from Chronicles of a Father With Cents shares his family’s expenses from the Month of April and speaks to how the pandemic has affected their spending.
Amazon is changing its policies due to the high demand for home deliveries. They will notify you via email to let you when you can shop for groceries online and get a delivery time. Thus far we haven’t been notified yet so that means going out and facing the crowds to get our groceries. ~Kris from Chronicles of a Father With Cents
Kris had originally thought that during the pandemic he would be able to be more productive and learn some new skills. However, Kris has found it difficult to work while taking care of his preschool age son. Kris also speaks to how difficult it has been to go for walks without running into other people. His family has developed unique strategies to walk around Golden Gate Park while staying away from the masses of people. Kris’s biggest complications from this past month were grocery shopping. Like many people, Kris has found it difficult to get groceries delivered since the demand for grocery delivery has risen greatly in the past few months. At the same time, even going to the grocery store can be difficult. At the end of the post, Kris details his non-grocery spending for the month. A lot of his expenses, like preschool and gasoline were lower since he was not able to use them during the pandemic.
Chrissy, from Eat, Sleep, Breathe FI is part of the Financial Independence (FI) movement, also called FIRE movement (for Financial Independence, Retire Early). People in the FIRE movement try to reduce their expenses, grow their income, and build up enough passive income that they can leave their day job and pursue life without a day job. People within the movement talk about money strategies such as “Roth IRA ladder” and “4% rule” among themselves all of the time. But what if you’re an outsider who is curious? How can you understand all of this jargon? If you’re curious about FI but not sure where to start, Chrissy has put together a “FI School” resource for you to help you get started.
I too felt overwhelmed when trying to share the FI message with my family. There was so much good info available, but I wanted to gather the most helpful, succinct content. So I started collecting links to my favourite FI content, and put it all into one Google Doc. ~Chrissy from Eat, Sleep, Breathe FI
While there is a lot of FIRE content on the internet, it can be confusing to know where to start and who to trust. Chrissy has collected the best FI content on her site. FI school (sounds like “high school”) is subdivided into lessons. You can start at the beginning if you’re new to FI, or jump in the middle if you want specific content. FI school has links to books, blogs, and podcasts on specific topics. For example the first lesson covers “What is FI and why pursue it”. Other lessons cover investing, saving, and budgeting. If you have any interest in Financial Independence, definitely check this page out!