Window seat, please.

Welcome to the 65th edition of Your Weekly Aura, a newsletter featuring must-read money and mindfulness tips and tricks from Courtney & Kelsey. This week we’re talking about making systems work for you. If you like this newsletter, please share it with your friends and subscribe below.

Window seat, please.

After my parents divorced, I racked up 1,000s of frequent flier miles traveling back and forth between Tulsa, Oklahoma and Baltimore, Maryland. Every take off, I’d peer out the window as we climbed higher and higher, watching the ground beneath me fall away.

I never get sick of coasting alongside white fluffy clouds. But when the turbulence picks up, part of me feels out of control and afraid.

I know I shouldn’t be up here – I’m not a bird, I’m not supposed to fly, and I’m definitely not supposed to be this high off the ground.

Flying wasn’t designed for me.

And yet another part of me is inspired. Human ingenuity made air travel, deep sea diving, and even space exploration possible. There is no limit to where we can go, when we dare to dream and build together.

Back in the day in the USA, you had to be a white man to have wealth, full stop. Back then you needed connections, property, and access to golf courses, country clubs, and back rooms at the bars. You had to be in the know to get onboard.

But then something changed: Wall Street was occupied, millions of people lost their homes, and an entire generation lost hope. Out of our collective despair, new technologies emerged to “democratize” access to the stock market.

15 years later, fintech innovation is making it easier than ever for anyone to start investing.

But instead of booking people on a smooth-sailing dreamliner with steady returns, we’re dropping them on tiny propeller planes, urging them to remain calm as the market bounces them around without any explanation about the turbulence surrounding them.

No wonder we’re afraid of crashing and burning.

When I first opened my brokerage account to start investing, I was greeted by a stark white background, a single blue square, and a litter of black, red, and green numbers.

I shouldn’t be here. I thought.

I’m not a numbers person.

This wasn’t designed for me.

I closed the page and did nothing.

Then I did my research. I talked to my dad, my wealth advisor ex-husband, and financially savvy friends. I watched tutorials, read books, and learned how to follow the market.

The next time I went back, I was prepared to take action. When I got scared, I reminded myself that buying any index fund was better than doing nothing.

And I made my first trade, and then another. One month later, I came back and did the same thing. Four years later, I’m still betting on myself and investing in my future, monthly.

I wish I could say I never look back, but I do.

Because turbulence is triggering.

Bouncing planes and bouncing markets have a way of reminding me, I’m not supposed to be here. This wasn’t designed for me.

But then I remind myself, just because the system wasn’t built for me doesn’t mean I can’t make it work for me.

Row 16 F – (window, exit seat). 

Maxing out my Roth IRA, every year.

Investing 15% of my paycheck, every month. 

It’s hard to fly without first taking a leap of faith and it’s still a good idea to pack a parachute. But, with a bit of ingenuity and careful planning, our dreams can soar.

For Your Aura

Want to learn more about your money story and discover your Aura? Take our quiz to find out your money personality today.

The Star: Emotional spender? Blame your brain. “Spending may give you a brief high, so you might overspend to feel better.”

The Thinker: Luxury in London: a case study on the wealthy, wealth disparity, and how the super rich shape cities to suit their tastes and needs.

The Empath: Despite their position as top earners, Asian-Americans are the least confident, hopeful, and optimistic minority group about their financial well-being.

The Activist: Why financial mindfulness must be part of your wellness routine.

Ask the Expert

What’s the debt ceiling?

The debt ceiling is a financial limit set by the US government on how much debt it can have. It’s kind of like when you set a budget for yourself to control your spending. When the government hits that limit, it can’t borrow any more money unless Congress steps in to raise or suspend it.

Now, why is everyone talking about it? Well, if the debt ceiling isn’t increased, the government might not have enough money to pay its bills. It can cause a lot of problems, like delays in payments to people and businesses, and even a possible default on the government’s debt obligations.

So what does that mean? The US has never defaulted on its debt; if it did, it could significantly impact the US credit rating. A credit rating is like your credit score, and right now the US has about a AAA rating (that’s like an 850 credit score). If it defaults, that could put the US at a much lower rating.

The whole debate around the debt ceiling is also tied to how the government manages its money. Some folks argue that it’s an important check on government spending and debt, while others think it’s risky and can lead to unnecessary political drama. Denmark is the only other country in the world with an absolute limit on its debt ceiling.

These days, with the national debt piling up, the debt ceiling issue has become even more significant. It has been raised or suspended in the past to accommodate the growing debt, but each time it becomes a hot topic of discussion among lawmakers.

What’s happening now? Late last night, The Senate passed a bipartisan bill to suspend the debt ceiling, which aims to cut federal spending by $1.5 Trillion over the next 10 years.

The bill, which Biden is expected to sign today, will defer the federal debt limit for two years. The government will be able borrow unlimited sums as necessary to pay it’s debt. In exchange for allowing the country to avoid defaulting on its obligations, the bill includes Republicans’ demands for two years of spending caps and a string of policy changes including imposing stricter work requirements for food stamp recipients.

From Biden, “The agreement represents a compromise, which means not everyone gets what they want. That’s the responsibility of governing.”


↗️ Nvidia crosses the $1 Trillion threshold before giving back gains.

↗️ Money for sustainable housing in low-income communities.  HUD announced $1 billion in funding to help the low-income communities on the front lines of the fight against climate change become more energy efficient, water-efficient, and resilient to extreme weather events.

↗️ Stocks. The Dow rose 600 points after debt ceiling passed and a strong jobs report.

↘️ Bitcoin mining tax proposal. The debt ceiling deal will not include the White House’s proposed 30% tax on bitcoin mining energy use.

↘️ Student loan payment deferments. The debt ceiling deal is likely to push student loan borrowers into repayment by this Fall.

↘️ Elizabeth Holmes’ freedom. The disgraced Theranos CEO reported to prison this week to begin serving her 11-year prison sentence.


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