Issue 24, December 13, 2017
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Lifetime investments | Help your friends out who text and drive | When you live in an area impacted by climate change, your wallet may feel the pinch | Meat and taxes | Support Patagonia, save national monuments | Sustainable investing | $120/year versus $3/year | Build this premium cost into your budget | Get your estate planning on (even if you think you don't have an estate) | There is a proper way to wash your underwear


If my wallet could afford to buy things with 'forever' as a goal, I'd totally do it. - Sheconomista Ski Bunny

Oh, girl. I SO hear you. Affordable forever is etched into the imaginary sheconomista manifesta.

As the holidays settle in and as I stay the course of living tiny, I spend a lot of time thinking about stuff and consumption. Earlier this year, I wrote about the "gateway investment," where I talk about how I view my everyday dollar spent in my life as an investment, from my socks to my knives. I ask myself the following questions:

    • How long will X be in my life?
    • Is X gonna help make memories?
    • Does X enrich a meaningful part of my life?
    • Do I NEED X right now?

No joke. I do this all the time. It keeps me mindful. It keeps me honest with myself.

I also spend a lot of time helping entrepreneurs modify their language around money; what happens when you replace the word spending or costing with the term investing? Try it on whether or not you own a business.

I am investing in the Google Suite, so my branding is sharp, I convey a level of professionalism, and I can use all sorts of cool apps. I invest in a subcontractor because I don't have time to do everything on my own and it provides peace of mind that my clients are being taken care of. I invest in the nicer socks because they will last longer, they're more comfortable, and they're super cute, so I'll wear them all the time.

Lately, I've added a new question that has always been in the background but now has its own seat at the table: is this an investment in the environment? For the visual folks out there, will X end up in the ocean, killing marine life in the most grotesque way possible?

My latest quandary as a bald girl who relies on sharp razors (I get random patches of hair that can have me looking like a patchy chia pet): plastic shavers. Gaw. (Scroll down for my solution.) It is crazy what I've randomly purchased in Target, only for it to end up in the trash a few years later, if not sooner. There are so many things I could have bought with a longer shelf-life that would have cost more money, yes, but because it would have lasted longer, would have been the better investment all around -- quality, environment, use, cuteness, etc.

And going back to Sheconomista Ski Bunny dilemma, how do we buy with forever as the goal and afford it when it comes to durable goods? It's a balance. And it's hard. We have to get creative and accept that sometimes, it's not going to happen because of simple economics. But maybe there is a meet-halfway solution where it can be affordable, and it can be forever. For example, buy the Lodge dutch oven instead of the Le Creuset?!

Scroll down for some inspiration.

P.S. It's not lost on me that being able to think like this and ask these questions is a huge privilege.


Heavy on my mind: sustainability and its impact on the economy. Obvi.

I am Lauren Lizardo, the one-and-only Sheconomista reporter. I am all about helping makers make things with money in their pocket, and I believe in climate change.

In addition to the environment: I run in silence as in, with no music or earbuds in my ears. I like hearing the cars and enjoying the quiet. It also helps me stay alert to all the folks out there who text and drive. If you have a friend with this problem, might I suggest a couple apps? Great. Android folks, Drivemode and Apple prisoners citizens, Do Not Disturb is built in if you run iOS 11 or higher.

My newsletter is your newsletter. Welcome.

the bullets.

news + observations that impact your wallet

  • Patagonia joins lawsuit to block Trump's cuts to Utah’s Bears Ears via USA Today >> This doesn't impact your wallet per se but perhaps inspires an investment in Patagucci apparel if preserving public land is your thing. (If you don't think of yourself as an outdoorsy wear kind of person, they do have recycled cashmere that I've been mocking and am now respecting.) I am pro companies using their profits to fight the good fight. Next up on #45's list to go after are Gold Butte in Nevada and Cascade Siskiyou in Oregon.
  • There’s a hidden cost to climate change. Many Florida taxpayers could foot the bill. via the Miami Herald >> Not only are their personal and business credit scores, but there are also municipal and government credit scores. Moody's, the bond rating agency, takes into account a city's or state's preparedness for how climate change will impact them. The longer they wait, the higher the interest rates when they borrow money down the road. Higher interest rates on loans will come from taxpayer money. Support civil projects that will create the infrastructure to survive climate change, friends.
  • Is the taxman coming for your steak? via CNNMONEY >> I predict, YES.

the shevironmentalist in you

  • Sustainable investing >> As I mentioned last week, I'm starting to look at new ways to manage my investments. I've been reviewing the performance of green funds. I've been following Aspiration for a bit which is a financial firm that does banking and investing and is all about the planet first. They also have low entry deposits ($100) into their funds with decent performance. As you look to building your own portfolio or changing things up, I think they're worth a gander and consideration. They also just received a nice $47M injection from a hodgepodge of folks who believe in their model. I'm watching them. Don't forget my disclaimer below.
  • Carbon offsets >> don't know what carbon offsets are? Here is a nice graphic and explanation. This is a hard sell for an individual, but if your companies are looking for ways to be greener, perhaps this is a good place to start, especially if there is a lot of travel involved. Put it in the suggestion box.
  • Package Free Shopping Shop >> I just bought this beautiful stainless steel shaver, and I can't believe I didn't do this sooner. Every minute, one large dump truck of plastic is put into the ocean. So.FREAKING.Dismal. And when I do the math, I have been spending $120/year on plastic razors. Now, I'm spending a $1.50 - $3.00 a year depending on how frequently I change out my blade (with a one-time up-front cost of $25.00 and you can send the blades back in to be recycled). I think I'm going to buy a second one for my travel kit.


  • Sheconopreneurs: get long-term disability coverage or at least, price it out so you can build it into your future benefits budget.
  • Sheconomistas: Update your estate planning docs. If you don't have them, put them together. Legal Zoom has a great starter kit. You are never too young to do this.
  • Last day to enroll in health insurance on the open market is this Friday, 12.15.2017.



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*Important small print. I have a bomb-ass lawyer who tells me to tell you these things you agree to by reading my newsletters. For extra emphasis: I am not a financial advisor, planner, CPA, licensed to do anything except give opinions, shop for hitches, pickle strange vegetables, and look for new friends who want to kayak in obscure places with me and maybe fly fish too?

People, I am an everyday lady who, by learning a bit about money so I could have a semi-intelligent conversation with my financial advisor, figured out I didn't need an advisor at this point in my life nor for my business. Killed that mystery. I did not go to a fancy school. I did graduate something cum laude and not in anything remotely related to money, so there's that as well.*