So much of the financial media is focused on more: increasing investment yields, growing net worth, saving as much as possible for retirement. And while these are well-intentioned pursuits, it’s important to maintain a sense of balance in financial matters, or face consequences such as burnout or neglecting other important priorities.

This week’s collection of top reads is all about finding balance, financially and professionally. In the personal finance section, Nick Maggiulli challenges us to find our Goldilocks Zone of personal finance, Tim Maurer discusses the student loan crisis and how Parent Plus loans are harmful to our financial success, and Jacquette Timmons talks about the importance of building more than financial wealth.

In the personal interest section, Alyssa Gregory has tips for small business owners on preventing burnout and INSEAD writers Zoe Kinias and Jennifer Petriglieri discuss how to navigate the issues that can come with creating gender balance in the workplace.

For more articles like this, check out Raghav’s two previous Top Reads posts here and here.

Personal Finance

The Goldilocks Zone of Personal Finance

Stress; it exists whether you’re at the top or at the bottom of everything in life. In this article, Nick Maggiulli remembers how awful he was at sports growing up, how he decided to focus on his studies and was always near the top of his class, however both situations caused him stress. The same is true of our finances – those who struggle to make ends meet experience stress just as those who are wildly successful. This is where the Goldilocks Zone of personal finance comes in:

Enough money to have comfort, security, and motivation, but not so much that you add guilt, stress, or existential longing. It’s not too little and it’s not too much. It’s just right.

Maggiulli includes information on experiments done with monkeys, shares why zebras don’t get ulcers (it’s relevant, trust us!) and ends by challenging his readers to find their Goldilocks Zone. To find out more, read the full article here.

Parents: Don’t Sacrifice Yourselves On The Altar Of Your Children’s Education

If you are the parent of a college student, this article is for you! In the midst of a student loan crisis (there are more than 42 million loans outstanding, with a price tag of $1.3 trillion), Parent Plus loans are lending to the issue (pardon the pun).

Parent Plus loans, by the way, are those that parents take out to cover tuition and living expenses typically after kids have maxed out their student debt allowance, ensuring that both the apple and the tree are sufficiently indebted.

Tim Maurer says that parents feel education is invaluable, so much so that they are willing to shell out money, miss a year’s worth of Parent Plus loan payments, default on mortgages and more financially devastating actions, all in the name of their children’s education. For more on the student loan crisis and how you can avoid your child (or yourself) owing tens of thousands once they graduate, read the full article here.

What Types of Wealth Are You Building?

True wealth in life is not just financial. Jacquette Timmons kicks off this article with a Tweet from James Clear on his four types of wealth:

  • Financial wealth (money)
  • Social wealth (status)
  • Time wealth (freedom)
  • Physical wealth (health)

Timmons adds to this:

  • Social wealth (status, relationships and connections)
  • Spiritual wealth (soul/emotional/mental health)

She talks about the Financial Wheel that she uses with each of her clients, and how building wealth in all areas of our lives and finding balance is key. She identifies what we can do to work on each type of wealth – not just the financial type. For the full article, click here.

Personal Interest

5 Ways to Create a Work-Life Balance in Your Small Business

If you’re a small business owner, you are likely all too familiar with burnout. Hopefully you’ve learned what works for you when it comes to finding balance, as you’ve built your business and are learning ways to prevent yourself from burning out. In case you need some encouragement or guidance, Alyssa Gregory shares important tips for creating a healthy work-life balance, even while running your small business. Among her tips:

Set Boundaries
Create Rules for Yourself
Develop an Emergency Test

For the full list, read Gregory’s article here.

Promoting Gender Balance Is Everyone’s Business

Gender equality in the workplace has yet to be achieved, and in this article INSEAD writers Zoe Kinias and Jennifer Petriglieri discuss how many businesses are working toward equality. They also explore the potential issues that come with striving for gender equality in the workplace:

Business leaders can unintentionally create organisations that reflect societal inequalities, which can then inadvertently reinforce and even exacerbate those inequalities. In order to transform these self-reinforcing cycles, multiple types of interventions are required.

INSEAD has developed an online Gender Diversity Programme that explores what they refer to as a systemic web of challenges and discusses how to properly navigate creating gender balance in your organization. For more information, read the full article here.



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