Boston Globe

What brings you joy? For Marie Kondo, it's not an existential question. In The Life Changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way to Banish Clutter Forever, joy is a principle that enables you to refine and create a life that's filled with the things you love.

While tidying up does take work (okay, a lot), it's rewarding and encourages you to question the things surrounding you. Since its release, the book has sold millions of copies and sparked entire internet communities on YouTube and the blogosphere to document their journey through the book's decluttering stage.

It's no secret that Americans like to shop and the popularity of the KonMari method and minimalism, a lifestyle practice that advocates for living with less, provides an alternative to impulsive shopping and consumerism. Many practitioners of KonMari and minimalism attest that simplifying their possessions has dramatically affected their happiness and productivity.

Because KonMari requires you to physically touch your belongings and ask if they spark joy, it's hard to make excuses for keeping the items you don't really need or love. One of the most liberating parts of KonMari is that empowers you to toss (or donate) that hideous sweater someone gifted you years ago. With Kondo, there's no reason to hold onto something you don't love. Through saying goodbye to items we don't love we help them find their way to someone that will.

If the things we own are an expression of how we live and the things we buy are an expression of how want to live, there is no better question to ask of ourselves than "Does this bring me joy?" No, we can't get rid of every responsibility (dishes, we're looking at you), but we can decide where we invest our time, money, and energy. The bare necessity doesn't have to mean the bare minimum, and the KonMari method inspires readers to pursue a life filled with the things and feelings that are irreplaceable.

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Airbnb is a great option while traveling, but you should protect yourself from damage charges from unscrupulous hosts.

Airbnb offers an affordable option for people looking to be more comfortable as they travel.

However, there are downsides to staying in a host's home rather than a hotel. Whereas hotels are designed for constant streams of visitors and often have furniture built to last, at an Airbnb, you may be staying on old or cheap furniture that a host is using in order to maximize their profits.

And while most reputable hotels will have regular room inspections from staff to check for any wear and tear, Airbnb damage disputes are oftentimes he said, she said situations. If you are in an Airbnb and something breaks, there are a few steps you should take in order to ensure that you are not on the hook for damages out of your control.

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What Are NFTs?

Art Installation N°1 by Carlos Marcial. Rhett Dashwood / YouTube

If you're keeping tabs on the art and tech worlds, you've probably been hearing whispers about "NFTs" for the past month. Just over the past week they've entered the mainstream lexicon.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey made the news for selling his first ever tweet. The app has been teasing paid subscription models and newsletter-like features, but tweets for sale is "the next frontier."

The 2006 tweet went up for auction as an NFT, and the current bid is $2.5 Million. But what does it mean to own that? Why would anyone want to? And what even is an NFT?

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Long gone are the days when the majority of Americans dreamed about owning a home with a white picket fence.

The traditional American Dream may be on its deathbed, but that doesn't mean a core component of the vision can't survive. It simply takes a diverse perspective. People can still believe they can attain their own vision of success in society with hard work, knowledge, and risk-taking. Investing in today's American Dream may literally mean investing money in our modern economy, starting with our infrastructure.

Real estate investing in particular is a lucrative method that can boost income and secure a better financial future for many. There's always risk involved, but the payoffs can far outweigh the uncertainty. Selecting solid financial investments is about confidence and competence. If you're looking for some advice on this kind of investment, here are a few savvy tips for new real estate investors.

Stick To a Specific Strategy or Niche

Real estate is a challenging sphere of the business world, one that requires several key skills: groundwork knowledge, networking, perseverance, and organization. True knowledge of the real estate market will come with time and experience, but it's a smart idea to select one area of the market and stick to it. This is the best way to attain in-depth familiarity with your specific niche.

First, choose a geographical area close by and then a niche strategy within it, such as house flips, rental rehabs, or residential or commercial properties. By doing so, you can become aware of current inner working conditions in the market and you'll have a better idea of how these trends may change in the future.

Be Vigilant About Viable Financing Options

While it takes money to make money, you don't have to use all your own money. A common misconception about real estate investing is that you must be wealthy to start off. This isn't straight fact, however. A majority of people can test the waters of real estate investing without a lot of initial cash in their pocket.

Aside from traditional financing options from banks and institutions, private lending options can be worthy solutions. Hard money lenders are popular, reasonable choices, and they tend to have fewer qualification requirements upfront. However, be sure to strategically choose a hard money lender to find the best possible fit.

Master the Art of Finding Good Deals

There may be hundreds of thousands of available properties for sale on the current market, but the bulk of them will never amount to the final money-making result you desire. Another great tip for new real estate investors is to use good math to estimate profit. Taking risks is part of the process, but you have the ability to analyze properties and use networking sources to find the greatest deal. You can't win every deal, but you can steadily work towards a thriving financial future.