Searchable Archives


Interest-ing times: what inflation and interest rates mean for you

Whether you follow financial news or just regular news, you’re probably hearing a lot about inflation and interest rate hikes. There’s a good chance this is the first real time you’ve seen inflation in your financial life. If you were born after 1981, it’s the first time in your actual life that inflation has been […]

When it rains, it pours: an “emergency fund appreciation” post

We knew August would be a financially intense month in the Fortuna household, but we were ready for it… or so we thought. First, there was a full year’s property taxes. (Fun fact: even when your house is paid off and you’re mortgage-free, you still have to pay those. Our mortgage company used to collect […]

What to do with your 401(k) and HSA after you’ve left a job

What happens to employer-sponsored accounts like a 401(k) or HSA if you leave your job? You get to keep your money, and you can move it somewhere more convenient. As long as you move it the right way, you’ll avoid taxes and penalties.

Get that paper, Part 2: Asking for the raise you deserve

Hello, friends, and welcome to Part 2 of our series on getting a raise from your current employer. Part 1 shares the approaches you can take to identify a fair market rate for your role, company, and/or industry. If you don’t yet know what your number is, you’ll want to start there. If you have […]

Get that paper, Part 1: finding your market rate for a raise

Let’s be clear: what you are inherently worth has absolutely nothing to do with how much money you make.  You are priceless.  However, since you cannot be paid in unicorn milk and angel tears, you should absolutely be compensated at a fair market rate based on your unique skills and experience. And there’s a good […]

FOMO investing: crypto and NFTs

Powerball. Reddit-fueled stock rallies. Crypto and NFTs. These all grab lots of headlines when the prizes are big. The stories you hear can be tempting – who doesn’t want to stumble into an outrageous fortune? But none of these things are good strategies for long-term financial well-being, as you may have learned recently when the […]

Parenthood, financially speaking

This post was supposed to come out in time for Mother’s Day… but in an ironic twist, my two-year-old caught COVID at daycare and gave it to me, and it knocked me flat for a week. In the grand tradition of mothers (and, really, conscientious parents of all genders), I am often riddled with self-doubt […]

The best time to give your tax withholdings a checkup

Well, we did it. We survived another tax filing season. If you work for an employer, you probably don’t have to think about taxes again for another year. Unless…  Did you wind up owing more than you expected (or more than $1,000)?  Or did you get a refund of more than $2,000?  If so, you […]

What is an emergency fund, really?

A cornerstone of our philosophy here at Fortuna Money is that we want to help you make the most of life’s ups, and prepare you to ride out the downs in a position of security and stability. In practice, that means one of our key recommendations is for you to build up a nice cushy […]

Love and money: separate finances

Hi again, lovebirds!  First, to my married couples: our post on married money is my best argument for why and how married people should fully combine their finances. I haven’t changed my stance – wildly successful financial collaboration is my hope for all of you. But I’ve gotten some respectful disagreement, and I want to […]

Love and money: married finances

Hey there! You married? Or maybe looking at getting married soon? Congratulations! Although it may not be the first thing that everyone points out, marriage is a financially beneficial partnership. Few relationships have as many opportunities for two-for-one deals as a happily married couple. It’s the ultimate friends-with-benefits arrangement, literally. You get to partake of […]

Investing for retirement: a guide to getting started

Investing comes up all the time in my conversations with clients. Everybody feels like they should be investing in some form or fashion, but they don’t always know where or when to start. This guide is a road map for people who are very new at investing for retirement and want to build a solid […]

Investing, step 0: tough love.

I am excited to tell you all about our approach to investing money in the market. Everyone I work with wants to talk about investing… for good reason! Investing seems so sexy and sophisticated and exciting, right? Your money’s out there making more money for you while you sleep and eat and binge-watch Netflix. How […]

Keeping it professional: tax edition!

As the Post-it says… it’s tax time! Have you started thinking about your taxes yet? Tax day isn’t until Monday, April 18 this year, but the season technically started on January 24. If you’ve filed yours already, you’re ahead of us — we’re normally late-February-to-mid-March filers, because we’re waiting on a flurry of forms and […]

The point of net worth

In personal finance, it can be easy to miss the forest for the trees. We’ve all been there – you get focused on one particular account balance or debt threshold or deadline as a measure of your financial health. And it’s completely normal to do that! But when I talk with my clients these days, […]

Giving yourself some credit

Something that comes up all the time (all.the.time.) as a financial coach: credit scores. I wish we didn’t all care so much about them, but most of us do. Even I get excited when I see that my score is healthy! Despite the conventional wisdom, your credit score isn’t a verdict on your total financial […]

Tips for building your generosity practice

Friends who get our free monthly newsletter (and the incredibly special fireflies enrolled in Summer Goals Camp!), already know that we in the Fortuna household consider financial generosity to be an important part of our lives. We’re committed to it for ethical reasons, but it turns out that financial generosity is also an incredibly powerful […]

Is perfectionism costing you money?

Have you ever spent so much time working on finding a “perfect” solution that you inadvertently made your life way harder? Maybe you were so obsessed with fine-tuning a project that you busted a deadline. Or maybe you spent so much time researching the perfect gift for somebody that you ran out of time to […]

Perception isn’t always reality

Some of the identifying details here are being tweaked or muffled to protect confidentiality, although I will say that the people involved are lovely humans whom I respect a great deal.  I keep seeing jokes like this pop up online:   And boy howdy, have I been there.  Hey, jealousy…  When we first moved to our […]

Updated – Summer specials: 3-for-1 coaching and Summer Goals Camp!

Updated July 9 to answer some clarification questions! Hello friends! We interrupt your regularly scheduled informative blog content to let you know that we’re kicking off a big summer special. If you have been curious about Fortuna Money’s financial coaching offerings, now is an outstanding time to find out if our approach is a good […]

The perils of Prime time (also, don’t burn your face off)

I don’t honestly know how I missed it before this morning, but yesterday and today have been Amazon’s (annual? semi-annual? who the heck knows anymore?) made-up-in-2014 sale holiday known as Prime Day.  It may be too late, and I’m really sorry that I didn’t remind y’all of this sooner, but:  Sales are just advertisements.  Sale […]

Seven little ideas for self-care (from a recovering shopaholic)

A Tuesday that feels like a Monday usually means one thing: another long weekend is behind us. Long holiday weekends can hit differently for everyone — they may mean time off work or putting in overtime; trips, cookouts or parties; time with or away from family; relaxation or more stress; and of course, lots of […]

Big-picture budgeting: first, don’t call it a budget

The audio version of this post can be found here. I fought budgeting tooth and nail.  Kind of embarrassing to admit it now that I’m a financial coach, but there it is.  Something about the idea of living on a budget sounded WAY too much like the idea of living on a finicky, exhausting calorie-counting […]

12 Frugal Habits for a Rich Life

The audio version of this post can be found here. While I was cutting my husband’s hair last week, I panicked. “I’m coaching people on how to save money… but… how did WE save money?” My mind went completely blank. All I could think of was that we never did the “beans and rice, rice and […]

I used to be a hot money mess: a journey

The audio version of this post can be found here. Mr. Fortuna and I started our money journey back in 2013. At that time, we had:  Two cars An $800 car payment (“but it was only 2% interest!”)  A $1000 mortgage on a crappy, upside-down out-of-state rental property whose rent “almost” covered the mortgage – […]

What is a financial coach?

The audio version of this post can be found here. As a financial coach, I’m here to: help you identify what’s important in your financial life support you in taking action toward your money goals provide you with excellent resources A financial coach is a trained professional who collaborates with and guides their clients to reach […]

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