Monday Night Finance- Volume 22

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Millennial Spending And Investing During COVID-19

The pandemic has changed nearly everything about our economy. Bars and restaurants have been shuttered. Many of us are now working from home. Macroscopically, these changes in the economy can be tracked by numbers like the unemployment rate or GDP. However, these changes are affecting individual lives. In this article, Carla, from Money Under 30, summarizes the results of a survey looking at how the pandemic has affected the spending and investing patterns of Millenials.

Our survey of more than 2,000 Millennials revealed that the majority have recently shifted their attention towards securing their financial futures. We found that most are limiting expenses, optimizing their savings, and expanding their investment portfolios. ~Carla at Money Under 30

The survey showed that many Millennials are shopping more online during the pandemic. A fair number of these online sales have been driven by boredom or depression. Beyond an increase in shopping, the pandemic has forced Millenials to reevaluate their wealth building strategies. A full 60% of Millenials are thinking more about their finances than they were before COVID-19 hit. Furthermore, 61% of respondents said they think now is a good time to invest and 20% plan to start investing money. The remainder of the article focuses on different investing platforms to help Millennials build wealth.

What Working From Home Means to Me

Beyond the economy, another change coronavirus hath wrought is a massive transition to working at home. The pandemic has greatly increased telework, often overnight, as employers temporarily closed their offices. Working from home can be great but it can also have many challenges. Many Silicon Valley companies have decided to permanently embrace the teleworking to reduce office costs and allow their employees a better work-life balance. If you’ve recently had to switch to a working at home and haven’t yet found your groove, this article is for you.

It’s been almost a decade since my wife, Holly Johnson, and I became entrepreneurs. We run all of our business ventures online, which means we work entirely from our home. Working from home has transformed our lives. The best part is that you can do it, too.

Greg, from, wrote a guest post on about his working from home experiences. Greg is an entrepreneur who has worked at home with his wife Holly for almost a decade. Their online business allows them to work a flexible schedule so that they can work around their kids’ schedule. As a result, they have a much better work-life balance. Additionally, because they truly enjoy their jobs, they find their lifestyle to be much less stressful and this less stress has translated into increased health. The article presents several jobs that can be done entirely online with a flexible schedule for those who have enjoyed working from home and want to make it a permanent part of their life.

The Fire Movement: Start Here to Learn the Basics

Regular readers of Monday Night Finance are probably familiar with the concept of the FIRE movement by now. FIRE is an acronym for Financial Independence/Retire Early and FIRE adherents focus on reducing expenses and maximizing savings so that they can leave their permanent employment. Despite the way it is often portrayed in the media, financial independence is a nearly all-encompassing personal finance goal. Slaying debt, developing a budget, or saving money all move you closer to being in a space where you have financial breathing room. This breathing room allows you to make life choices based on your own wants instead of needing money just to pay the bills. If you don’t know what FIRE is or think you need to live on a diet of rice and beans to achieve FIRE then you should check out this article by Melanie at Partners in Fire.

FI/RE stands for Financially Independent/Retired Early. Basically, it means that you can afford your life without having to work a job. To many, it means living your life on your own terms, not on some employer’s terms. ~Melanie Partners in Fire

In this article, Melanie presents the ins-and-outs of the FIRE movement. While it is typically associated with white men in the tech-industry, she points out that there are a lot of different flavors of FIRE. For instance, people pursuing Coast-FIRE hope to have enough money saved for a traditional retirement in retirement accounts that they could choose to take a lower paying job and stop saving for retirement. Similarly, there is Passion-FIRE where you leave your day job to pursue your true passion in life (whether or not you’re paid). Just like there are many types of FIRE, there are many different paths to FIRE. Some people focus on minimizing their expenses. Others focus on maximizing their income. In both cases, it’s important to invest the savings in a wise manner and there are many different investing paths in the FIRE community (real estate, stocks, etc). If leaving your day job for a passion project sounds like something you want to do, check out this article.