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The ORIGINAL influencer.

Good morning! Good morning! Good morning! It’s Wednesday — my birthday eve — and today I’ve collected four great personal-finance stories for you. Let’s start with the seemingly-ageless Martha Stewart, shall we? (Stewart is 79!)

Martha Stewart is the original influencer. [Harper’s Bazaar] — “You can see Stewart’s influence every time you scroll through Instagram and spot an artfully lit photo of a frittata or a meticulously arranged tablescape, or in the raft of cooking and home-entertaining hosts who came after…to the entire Food Network and anyone who’s ever posted a how-to video on YouTube.”

“The financial spreadsheet I use to track my progress to financial freedom.” [Minafi] — “I’ve been tracking my finances in a Google Sheet since January 2015. I used Mint for years before that to understand my spending…Over the years I’ve dialed in my spreadsheet one row and column at a time. It’s to the point where I barely touch it anymore, yet can answer any question I have. I’ve found these five metrics to be the most useful over the years.”

Do self-help books help? [Art of Manliness] — “The demand for self-help books isn’t hard to understand: life can be confusing, frustrating, and obstacle-ridden, and yet also full of potential and possibilities. People are thus hungry for guidance on how to surmount the former and seize the latter. They want to better themselves. But hovering over this quest is a question that’s rarely asked: Do self-help books actually help?”

“Lessons in real hourly wage from delivering food on my bike.” [Financial Panther] — “I regularly earn $30 to $40 per hour delivering food on my bike with apps like Postmates, DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub. When I calculate what I earn per hour with these apps, I always calculate it from the second I walk out my front door to the second I walk back into my house.”

That’s it for today, but I’ll be back tomorrow with my annual birthday list of favorite money blogs. Who made the cut? Come back to find out!

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