Why I Travel (And Why You Should, Too)

why I travel owning the stars

On a good day, I can name all 197 countries in the world (I’m using Sporcle’s country list. It includes Taiwan and Palestine BECAUSE WHY WOULDN’T IT). Clips like the Jimmy Kimmel video below make me worry about the United States and how we interact with other countries (well, that clip and a whole lot of other things happening in the news lately…).

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Why I Have Pet Insurance

pet insurance blog post owning the stars

Pets have always been a non-negotiable part of my life. SunCat has been my best friend since I was 12, and I never want finances to get in the way of my ability to make the best decision for her. That being said, it wasn’t until after adopting StarCat that I decided to buy pet insurance, and I don’t regret that purchase one bit. Continue reading “Why I Have Pet Insurance”

Weekly Update: Interviews and Rover Sitting

weekly update

It’s been another busy week! Which is one reason why this is going out Sunday afternoon instead of Sunday morning. I wasn’t feeling all that productive yesterday…

pusheen cat lazy gif
Me on Saturday

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Domestic Geoarbitrage and Job Searching

domestic geoarbitrage moving job search owningthestars owning the stars blog

Y’all, let’s be real. Living in Washington, DC or right across the border in Virginia or Maryland, is super expensive. I don’t blink at $12 cocktails and $1650 rent. And it gets really old when you’re trying to be frugal, or plan for financial goals like owning a house or starting a family. I’ve written before about needing a professional change, and about realizing that I no longer like living here and need to move. But what I didn’t realize was how freeing those decisions would be. Searching for a new job when I know I’m going to relocate anyway opens up some fantastic opportunities for domestic geoarbitrage. Continue reading “Domestic Geoarbitrage and Job Searching”

Weekly Update: Job Interviews and Cheap Wine

weekly update job interviews and cheap wine owningthestars

This is going to be a short weekly update because I have my mom in town, but it’s definitely been a busy week! A week that included some productive job interviews and cheap wine. Continue reading “Weekly Update: Job Interviews and Cheap Wine”

Avoiding Lifestyle Creep Like a Boss

avoiding lifestyle creep career annual raise

My organization has multiple fiscal years for some odd reason (multiple funding sources), but the date that employees care about the most is July 1. This is when we get our annual salary increases. They aren’t raises per se because they’re only loosely tied to performance—everyone gets one, and it’s more of a lifestyle cost adjustment. It’s between 3-5% typically. And in the past, avoiding lifestyle creep wasn’t on my radar.

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The Value of Happiness: Why I Walked Away from $40k

value of happiness why I walked away from $40,000 blog owning the stars

Could I have picked a more clickbait-y title? You’re welcome. But it’s 100% true too. This is my second weekly update post, and it’s been one hell of a week. This is a pretty long post because there’s some background that needs to be established, but bear with me. I eventually get to the part about lighting money on fire and walking away. But I’ve also discovered that the value of happiness doesn’t have a price tag. And as trite as that sounds, it’s so true.

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The Tyranny of Monotony in Work

Tyranny of Monotony in Work Lamp post lamplighter sky streetlamp

I have already written about the inspiration for my blog name, which is the children’s book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. While one specific chapter in that book gave this blog its name, the other chapters also have relevant life lessons to share, like Chapter 14, and specifically the lessons it imparts about passion and the need for change. Monotony in work can affect the rest of your life and wellbeing.

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Weekly Update: Side Hustles and Vet Bills

This is my first weekly update on the blog! Basically a short overview of relevant things that happened in my life this week; my hope is that putting these updates out will help me get into the habit of writing more consistently. Without further ado, I’ll start with the good news: starting a new side hustle.

Time to get shit down, working, hat, black and white
Side Hustling and Working Hard

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An Ode to My YNAB Budget

YNAB budget finance you need a budget

The Personal Finance community has some pretty strong views about budgets. About whether or not you need one, about the proper way to allocate money, and about what tool is best. Excel spreadsheet user? You should totally be using Personal Capital. No, you should use Mint. No, nothing beats a good old-fashioned spreadsheet! While I hate to add to the noise of the budget debate, I am a fervent convert of You Need a Budget (YNAB).

It has officially been one year since I started my free 34-day trial, and I can honestly say that using YNAB has changed my life. Without it, I never would have gotten my financial shit in order, and I never would have found the personal finance and FIRE community. I finally feel like I have control of my finances, and I want to shout YNAB’s praises from the rooftops. Conveniently, I have a blog now! Complete with virtual rooftops galore!

cats railroad aristocats animation singing from the rooftop
Aristocats…just pretend it’s a rooftop

So here it goes. Reasons why I love budgeting in YNAB:  Continue reading “An Ode to My YNAB Budget”