Don’t Be a Financial Ostrich

Ostriches are stupid. Don't be a financial ostrich.

Note: Those links in here? I may make a little bit of money if you sign up using them. That money helps me keep the site running. For more information, please read my disclaimer. Ostriches are stupid. Like, really, really stupid. With brains about the size of a walnut, I shouldn’t be surprised I guess. It’s “common knowledge” that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they’re in danger. Frequently cited as a defense mechanism, it’s become a colloquialism for ignoring unpleasant things. In fact, ostriches don’t actually do this, so if you believed they did, stop. #truthbomb Nevertheless, I’m running with  this common misconception to get a point across. Because, as it turns out, the colloquialism is very […]

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Where Is Your Financial Locus of Control?

Locus of Control - not to be fooled with a Locust of Control

No, no – not a locust. A LOCUS. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how our demeanor and attitude influence our finances and overall sculpt our lives. It’s fascinating to me that people with similar upbringings and backgrounds can end up in such different places. Equally fascinating is how people with totally different backgrounds can find similar levels of success. Part of what I really like to read about and listen to are the success stories of people who were in a bad spot financially. Typically it’s folks with a lot of debt. It’s a story many of us can relate to. Perhaps it was student loan debt, or credit card debt. Maybe it was some combination of both, […]

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Find Your Why

I found my why in London

Making big life changes can be scary. Often they push us to feel uncomfortable. In this discomfort – or even in the anticipation of it – we have two choices. We can either push through and follow these life changes, or we can decide to turn back around and follow the easier path. Familiarity is EASY. Without a compelling reason to be uncomfortable, it’s easy to resort to what you’re familiar with. Unless you find your why – the reason for why you’re actually, truly, making a life change – it’s even easier to follow the comfortable path. Finding your why is critical to solidifying the decisions you make. It can help you make the most of them and keep […]

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My Superpower: I Can Predict The Future – And It Says RECESSION

A recession will happen at some point. Be prepared.

You guys! I have this awesome superpower: I can predict the future. Thankfully for you, I’m not going to be selfish with this amazing power. Here’s something this power told me: a recession is coming. Seriously. You see, markets tend to be cyclical in nature. After a bull run – when the markets perform well and everyone’s feeling happy – there typically comes a recession. And boy, have we had a long bull run already of nearly 9 years. What goes up, must come down, as they say. That’s true of a baseball (unless you can throw it at escape velocity of 25,020 miles per hour in which case you might have a more badass super power than I do) […]

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Time is Your Best Ally

Time is your best ally when it comes to investing

When it comes to investing, lots of beginners just don’t know where to start. That can be a problem, because instilling bad habits from the onset means that changing them down the road is more painful. And it means that going the easy route while you’re young can make for a more challenging future. After I graduated college, I got a job in IT making decent money. I wasn’t rolling in the dough like some folks, but it was a comfortable salary. I remember not being content with the paltry 4% match provided by my company’s 401(k), so I doubled my share to 8%. With their match, I was putting a whole 12%. While twelve percent isn’t exactly something to […]

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20 Things I Wish I’d Known In My 20’s

There are plenty of things I wish I'd known in my 20s that didn't come from text books

Do you ever wish you could go back in time? Ah, how younger Dave would have avoided a great many mistakes. Of course, mistakes are often how we learn. It’s how we grow as people, figure out what we like and dislike. Still, a part of me would love to go back and impart upon my younger self a few tidbits of wisdom I’ve gained over my 30 year existence. I’ve come up with a list of 20 things I wish I’d known (or done) in my 20’s or sooner: Save money now, because you’ll definitely want it later. I wish I had maxed out my Roth IRA every year. When I first started it I put some money into […]

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Where to Start When You Don’t Know Where to Start With Investing Money

How do you know where to start investing?

You’ve reached a moment in your life that has sparked you to take control of your finances. Maybe you’ve recently discovered Financial Independence, or Dave Ramsey. Perhaps you’ve even talked to a loved one about making some changes in your life to help this pursuit. But for all the motivation and energy you have, there’s one question you still have: where do I start? Start At The Beginning It may seem obvious – and be an unhelpful sentiment – but really, the place to start is at the beginning. I define the beginning as really just understanding yourself. There are two fundamental questions I ask myself whenever I’m evaluating what to do. What’s Your Current Situation Knowing where you currently […]

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Harness Your Purple Squirrel

Harness your purple squirrel

Earlier this week, I was meeting with a coworker to review some of the work I’ve been doing the past few months at my job. He was brought in a few weeks ago as a senior member of the project team, and will be working closely with me on a few things. At the end of our meeting, he said to me something that I didn’t quite understand. After wrapping everything up, he looked back at me and said: “You know what they call you? A purple squirrel.” I was perplexed. I had never heard the phrase purple squirrel before and I didn’t know what it meant. Off to Google/Wikipedia I went! Purple squirrel is a term used by employment recruiters to […]

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The 5-Step Blueprint to Pitching Life Changes to Your Better Half

The blueprints for life changes don't have to be complex

Money talks can be tough. Whether it’s talking about debt, planning out longer-term goals, or even simpler talks about budgeting, it can be an uncomfortable experience to talk about money. Things get even more strange when you start pursuing this weird thing called Financial Independence. From the outside it almost sounds a bit…cultish. After I was (re-) introduced to the concept of financial independence, I desperately wanted to share my thoughts and plans with Kristin. She was not as receptive as I’d hoped – initially – but over the course of a few months that’s changed a bit. What follows is a bit of a blueprint in how to bring up some of those “weird” money goals with your significant […]

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Second Generation Debtors

Debt is a weird thing – few people talk openly about the debts that they have (even with spouses sometimes) and yet most Americans have debt. Why are we so afraid to talk about it, yet so comfortable with having it? We’ve come to expect that it’s just a fact of life. Our parents had (or have) debt, and so therefore it’s normal – and expected – to have your own as well. A Brief History of Modern Debt Debt is a weird paradigm that’s accelerated in the past 100 years, but really has taken off since the 60’s. Back in 1919, GM introduced automobile financing. Welcome to the century of car loans. This got extended a bit to financing […]

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