Financial Fridays: Financial Cleansing and Updating

Financial cleansing has a lot of similarities to health cleanses

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. Welcome to Financial Fridays #5! Over the next 2 weeks – every Friday from now until the end of 2017 – I’m going to share posts that will help you paint a picture of your financial life today and set you up for a prosperous 2018. We’ll touch on topics ranging from income and expenses to net worth, debt, career advice, and setting goals. These are some of the steps Kristin and I have taken to help set ourselves up to be able to afford our […]

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Why I Don’t Regret Not Saving More for Retirement in My 20’s

Bars are where much of my money went

*Gasp* A personal finance blogger who doesn’t wish he’d saved more money in his 20’s?!? Yep, that’s me. And it’s not because I already saved a ton. Admittedly I didn’t – my savings rate through my 20’s was a paltry ~15% or so, give or take a few percentage points. Better than some, to be sure, but definitely nothing to write home about. Especially in the world of some personal finance bloggers who regularly save 70% or more of their income, 15% is laughable. For as much as I didn’t save for the long term, though, I did do a few things right. And I don’t regret putting retirement a bit on the back-burner. I Paid Off My Debts My […]

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Financial Fridays: Net Worth – Take Stock Of Your Assets and Debts

You can calculate your net worth with paper and a computer or phone

Welcome to Financial Fridays #2! Over the next 6 weeks – every Friday from now until the end of 2017 – I’m going to share posts that will help you paint a picture of your financial life today and set you up for a prosperous 2018. We’ll touch on topics ranging from income and expenses to net worth, debt, career advice, and setting goals. These are some of the steps Kristin and I have taken to help set ourselves up to be able to afford our dream wedding, dream house, and plan for early retirement. Of course, a healthy dose of privilege helps and I’d be remiss to not mention how fortunate we’ve been in that regard. If you’re looking […]

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Why We’re Going To Pay The House Off Early

Homes may not be a path to guaranteed wealth, but we're still paying ours off early.

Before we even signed on the dotted line to have our home built, Kristin and I knew we were going to pay off our house early. Ever since I paid off my car, I’ve avoided all debt. Kristin worked her ass off in college to avoid taking out student loans. It’s fairly accurate to say that in general we are pretty debt-averse. To us debt feels like it weighs us down, limits us, and just is another thing to think about. The less of it we can have, the better off we will be. But a mortgage is a different type of debt than we’d had in the past. It wasn’t credit card debt or a loan on a depreciating […]

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Visualize Your Accounts Using a Money Map

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. Knowing your financial metrics is extremely important. It’s what lets you gauge if you’re on the right track or if you need to make some changes. We track net worth, income, expenses, and other things using Personal Capital. But, for all of its awesomeness, it’s missing one key component: the actual structure of how money flows in and out of our lives. Enter the Money Map. A Money Map is like a treasure map of your finances. It outlines how all the money in your life […]

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Personal Capital: My Favorite Net Worth, Retirement, and Cash Flow Tracker

Disclaimer: If you register for a Personal Capital account through the links in this article, I may receive compensation. I never recommend things I don’t personally use and believe in. For more information, please read my full Disclaimer. I’ll admit: as a personal finance blogger I love checking out new tools and things to make my life easier. From Peer to Peer Lending, to different budgeting tricks, and ways to cut down bills…if it can potentially help our financial situation, I’m interested in it. I’ve been tracking our Net Worth for a while now. I always had a general idea of where I stood, but as I’ve changed jobs over the years and my investments have gotten a bit spread out, it […]

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Too Many Financial Metrics: What Should You Track?!

If you’re just starting to keep track of your own money, it can be a bit overwhelming. There are a ton of terms and financial metrics that seem important. Acronyms are rampant and if you don’t know what they are, it can be very intimidating to even try to learn. I’m pretty sure this is why a lot of people just don’t take a big interest in their own financial security. It’s a common thing, actually, called analysis paralysis. When there’s so much to look at and compare and do, it’s easiest to just do nothing. But if you’re serious about taking control of your financial situation and want to start…where do you start? With so many things to track, […]

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I’m Not Using Our House in “Our Number”, and You Shouldn’t Either.

Understanding “Your Number” is important. Unless you’re developing passive income – and sometimes even if you are – chances are that net worth will probably be the main deciding number used to determine if you can afford to retire or not. General consensus is that you stand a pretty good chance of being able to retire for 30 years if you have a withdrawal rate of 4% of your net worth. If you want to play it safe, lowering it to 3.5% or 3% will give you some wiggle room. But when people figure out their net worth and how far they are from retiring, they’re often quick to throw their houses in there (along with the mortgage, if applicable). […]

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Pay Off The Mortgage or Invest? Who F***ing Cares?!?

Let’s play out a hypothetical scenario here about our friends, Jane and John. As they start their lives together, they’re planning on moving into a new house. Together, they’re a high-income earning family and live below their means, which means they’ve got some extra money each month. They’re just getting started to really get a strong hold on their finances. Currently John is maxing out his 401(k) and HSA at work and also contributes to an IRA up to the max. Jane contributes the maximum for her 403(b) plan and also has an IRA which is fully-funded. By most measures, they’re on the right track. Because they’re not overly flashy and have curbed lifestyle inflation, they have an extra $500 each […]

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Ninja Hack Your 401(k) Contributions

I know I’ve said it before, but saving for your retirement is kind of important if you ever want to stop working. As much as people say they want to do better at something, it’s often in our nature to do the things of least resistance. Think about how often you say you’re going to go to the gym, but end up watching TV. How about that laundry that sits in the dryer for a week? We say we want to do something better, but laziness or forgetfulness gets the better of us. In the moment, laziness can feel good – knowing that you aren’t doing something that requires more exertion. This can lead to doing things that are easier […]

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