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Last week I wrote on Facebook about how my husband and I are now 77 per cent of the way toward mortgage-free home ownership. The update – which featured a photo of the two of us toasting with Prosecco and my six-year-old joining in with root beer – struck a chord. Friends sent hearts and party emojis. Social media acquaintances I barely interact with somehow found and liked the post. Some people got in touch privately to congratulate us and ask for more details.

Hi, my name is Erica Alini, I’m a personal finance reporter at the Globe. I’ll be writing the newsletter this week and the next, while Rob enjoys his holidays. Today, I want to talk about the importance of noting and celebrating our financial achievements. We mark graduations, weddings and baby showers. But some big financial wins can be just as life-changing, and it’s worth taking a minute to tell yourself or someone close to you: “Congratulations, you made it.”

U.S. personal finance writer Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez even has a line of greeting cards commemorating milestones such as paying off student loans and getting a pay raise. (Ms. O’Connell Rodriguez has a broader message about how women, in particular, should memorialize more than motherhood and childbirth, but I think we could all use a bit more celebration in our financial lives.)

Smaller financial landmarks deserve some recognition, too. When you’re tackling major long-term goals such as paying down large debts or saving for retirement, I find that marking your progress can help you to remain motivated. I’m not alone in this. While paying off more than U.S. $200,000 in student debt, U.S. lawyer and personal finance author Joshua Holt says he used a long paper chain hanging off his staircase as a visual aid. Each ring represented U.S. $1,000, and he’d rip one off every time he’d repaid that much. Watching the chain get shorter helped him stay on track, Mr. Holt says.

When it comes to mortgages, though, I suspect the collective enthusiasm around my Facebook post is also a sign of the times. Rising interest rates are increasing the already crushing financial weight that mortgages have become for many households. Hacking away at that mountain of debt has taken on a new urgency and relevance.

As for me, I should say for the sake of transparency that lucky timing and an early inheritance have a lot to do with my husband’s and my relatively small mortgage. Still, when we do manage to wrestle that balance down to zero, you can bet I’ll be reviving the long lost tradition of mortgage burning parties.

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Erica’s personal finance reading list

Missing luggage and your credit card

A timely look at what you can expect from your credit card if your travel plans go sideways this summer. One important takeaway: To file a claim, you must have used the card for the booking or travel purchase in question.

How a financial planner invests his own money

As financial and crypto markets tumble, financial planner Robb Engen offers an inside look at his own investments that is also a refresher on the basics of index investing. Diversification and low fees never looked so good.

When will the chip shortage end?

When radio ads for cars and trucks include a line about expected delivery dates you know the semiconductor chip shortage that has roiled the auto industry is far from over. This article by automotive research company Kelley Blue Book finds that the supply chain snarls may have lasting impacts on car prices.

Is Pilates worth it?

The New York Times delves into the health benefits and limitations of the trendy workout. It’s not explicitly about money but a good read for anyone wondering whether Pilates is worth the hype – and the price tag.

Video of the week

When it comes to automobiles, I like to say that I don’t really care about cars – I only care about Mustangs. If you, like me, have a soft spot for pricier rides, this video by portfolio manager Benjamin Felix will help sober you up. One of the questions he tackles is whether people with luxury vehicles actually enjoy driving them more.

Who I’m following on Instagram

There’s a lot of garbage, hyperbole and outright misleading personal finance content on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. But Hamilton-based Nathan Kennedy offers content that’s refreshingly balanced. One example? This entertaining takedown on the social media trope that you need to be your own boss to make real money.

Tweet of the moment

Veteran mortgage broker Ron Butler on why we may see fixed-mortgage rates decline.

ICYMI: What I’ve been writing about

More Rob Carrick and money coverage

Subscribe to Stress Test on Apple podcasts or Spotify. For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.

Even more coverage from Rob Carrick:

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