Lauren Bowling – Financial Blogger

Lauren Bowling is the financial blogger at L Bee and The Money Tree where she lifts the curtain of taboo about personal finances. These are her good things.

Good things to read.

Relic. The first of the Agent Pendergast novels by famed authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, I’ve been a fan of their books for many years. Since Relic is the first it’s a great place to start if you’re looking for a series of “grown up” novels to get into. The subject matter is pithy and often science based, so in addition to being entertained, you’ll learn a lot as well.

Gone Girl. This book was a bestseller since it came out in 2012, but with the movie (starring Ben Affleck) coming out in theaters in October, I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about. I literally couldn’t put it down, and I never say that about a book. In addition to being a “thriller” it also highlights a lot of things about long term relationships that I thought were interesting.

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time. Dang. This book is cool. Relying heavily upon research the author, Brigid Schulte, examines why the American culture is so obsessed with “doing it all.” Definitely recommend this read for people who feel guilty about having “me” time or are looking for ways to scale back.

Good things to watch.

Thirtysomething.  This show dates back to the late 80’s/early 90’s and chronicles the tales of a group of friends in their –you guessed it!- early thirties. While I’m not quite into my thirties yet a lot of the issues around friendship, work, family and life in general are still relevant today. I was surprised by how timeless the themes in this show are. Available on DVD or Amazon Instant.

Moonrise Kingdom. My boyfriend is a big Wes Anderson fan, and he’s been getting me into the films. So far, Moonrise Kingdom is my favorite. Although it has all of Anderson’s favorite actors making cameos (Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, etc.) the movie surrounds a pair of star-crossed pre-teens and their search for love and acceptance.

Orange is the New Black. Netflix is killing it with the dramas they offer to viewers. OITNB seems like everyone’s new favorite obsession, and it is the writing and acting that make it so superb. If you haven’t watched it yet, you are missing out!

Good things to use.

A List of Things You’re Thankful For. I’ve been having a rough time of it lately between the death of my dog and a falling out with a family member. When I’ve felt sad or overwhelmed, I embarked on a gratitude project, where I list three things I’m thankful for each day. It keeps things in perspective and instantly lightens my mood. It really works!

A Net Worth Tracker. I still have a budget and track my expenses monthly, like every good financial steward should do 🙂  BUT I set a large “net worth” goal for the year, and track my debts and assets quarterly to ensure that even if I miss the smaller targets, I’m still hitting my bigger goals in the long run. This is a great way to stay focused, and get motivated by the progress. I offer the one I made in excel to my email subscribers, and CNN has a great net worth calculator as well.

TheSkimm. It is a completely free newsletter sent your inbox every morning that breaks down all of the highlights from the last 24 hours of news so you can be abreast of everything that is happening in the world. I love this because it enables me to speak comfortably and confidently about current events, even though I only read the “highlights” from the newsletter. It makes my day easier, better, and makes me sound like a “grown up.”

Connect with Lauren on Twitter, @LBeeMoneyTree.


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