2021: what can you say? It was certainly better than 2020. No need to revisit that year.
While 2021 wasn’t a banner year in human history, with new COVID variants wreaking havoc on public health and the global supply chain and ongoing threats to democracy being top of mind, there were certainly many developments to give us hope:
- A number of effective COVID vaccines were rapidly developed, approved for use, and over 9.1 billion doses were administered worldwide, with over 500 million of those being in the United States. That’s a monumental achievement for humanity.
- The world’s first malaria vaccine was approved for use.
- NASA launched the James Webb telescope after decades of delays, and if all goes well, it will provide the world with unprecedented knowledge about the universe.
- The longest war in U.S. history was finally ended.
- U.S. childhood poverty was cut in half with the expanded Child Tax Credit.
- The largest infrastructure investment in U.S. history was signed into law, in bipartisan fashion.
- The U.S. economy bounced back from 2020, with around 6 million new jobs added and unemployment claims reaching a 52-year low, with the unemployment rate dropping from 6.3% in January to 4.2% in November.
- U.S. workers gained more leverage than they’ve had in decades, showing strong wage gains.
- The U.S. stock market showed resilience and reached new all-time highs.
Another cause for celebration (for me)? 20somethingfinance is celebrating its 14th anniversary this week. 2021 saw 56 published posts in the archives (new and a few major rewrites).
As a note to newcomers, this site is still an independent, 1-person show and has been since day 1 (with the support of wonderful friends, family, subscribers, and readers/commenters, of course!). All of the articles here are written by me – no secret owners or funders, no ghost writers, no fillers, no guest blog pandering, no sponsored post garbage, etc. I write about the stuff that I find interesting and think most of us can benefit from knowing. Hopefully, some of it resonates, inspires, entertains, and/or educates.
As always, feedback is welcome. What has stuck with you? What influenced positive change? Are there any particular topics that you’d like me to explore, re-explore, or dig deeper on? Please share your feedback and requests in the comment section.
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Happy New Year, everyone! Here are the top articles of the past year…
- Thoughts on Short Selling, GameStop, & Reddit r/wallstreetbets – almost forgot this juicy story. After everyone dumped Gamestop, it’s somehow tripled in value. Hmm…
- Gas at Costco: Cost Savings, Rewards, & if You Need a Membership – I regularly save 20% on gas by purchasing at Costco. Here are all the details.
- New FSA Carryover Rule Changes for COVID Relief – worth noting as we roll into 2022.
- How to Get Rid of Stuff Without Guilt or Remorse. Even Sentimental Stuff – an important skill to develop after a lifetime of amassing stuff.
- American Rescue Plan Breakdown on Checks, Unemployment, ACA, Child Tax Credits, & More – a MASSIVE piece of legislation.
- How to Apply for Emergency COVID Rental Assistance (Available Now!) – this huge perk got little publicity.
- How to Get the New FCC $50 Per Month Federal Broadband Subsidy – still available to those who qualify (and now $30/month under the Affordable Connectivity Program).
- New Expanded Child Tax Credit Payment Details: Dates, Timeline, Form, & Modifications – will it continue in 2022? TBD. I’ll keep you posted.
- FIRE Update: 1-Year Post FIRE Review – yep, I’m still “FIRE’d”. Here is how it was going at the 1-year mark.
- Why I Have Stopped Bringing Up Personal Finance Topics in Conversation – a huge learning for me.
- I Bonds Review: Where & How to Buy, Interest Rates, Risks, & Pros & Cons – a thorough primer on I Bonds. Get to know them. You’ll thank me (at least as long as inflation is high).
- N/A – everyone needs a summer break now and then, ya know?
- The Office is Dead! Long Live the Office! FIRE & the Future of Work – my hot takes on where office jobs go from here and what workers need to see from employers.
- PSA: The 2021 Maximum Charitable Donation Tax Deduction is Up to $300 or $600 Per Tax Return – the countdown to contribute for 2021 is down to a few hours remaining.
- Rakuten: $30 Referral Bonus Promo (Easy Money!) – an easy $30 to be made is still available.
- New Series I Bond Rate for November 2021 – April 2022: 7.12%! – this is an incredible opportunity for savers to get a high return with zero risk, and it lasts until May of 2022.
- Save Money on Amazon: A Huge List of Amazon Discounts, Promos, & Price Hacks – if you buy things on Amazon, there are plenty of hidden savings to be had. This is a list of deep cuts.
- The 2021 Year-End Financial Checklist (15 Personal Finance To-Do Items) – bookmark this one for the end of every year to help clean your financial house.
- How to Beat Inflation: A Measured, No-Panic Approach – proud of this one. Check it out, please.