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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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 Sell ESPP Shares ASAP

Avoid volatility and unnecessary risk. Sell ESPP shares ASAP

Employee Stock Purchase Plans, or ESPP’s, are one of my favorite under-cover savings mechanisms. They present a great opportunity to squirrel away some money without thinking about it too much. In fact, my Employee Stock Purchase Plan at a previous company was precisely the way we were able to afford to pay our wedding in cash and save up for a down payment. If you’ve got the option to participate in one at work, they can be great. But there are some things to look out for that could catch you off guard. Basic of ESPP’s I’ve outlined the basics of Employee Stock Purchase Plans before, but the concept is simple. Let’s talk about Kristin’s plan – a 423(b) Employee […]

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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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Save Ten Bucks a Month On Your Internet Bill

Do you want to save on your internet bill?

If you pay for internet access at home – which I imagine almost everyone reading this does – take a look at your bill. Lots of times companies will give you a base package amount and then tack on extra fees and taxes. Take a closer look at the fees. Most people can shave of ten bucks each month with just a few easy steps. Who doesn’t want to save on your internet bill? The Modem Trap Do me a favor right now: log into your account at your internet provider’s web site (Comcast, Centurylink, Time Warner, etc.). Pull up your bill. Go ahead, I’ll wait… … … Back? Good! Take a look at the fees on your bill. If […]

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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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Our Hybrid Emergency Fund

Ask people where to keep your emergency fund and you’ll get a nearly-unanimous response of ‘savings account at a bank or credit union’. Generally speaking this is sound advice. You want to keep money somewhere safe and secured, that can be accessed quickly. But there’s a problem with that approach: opportunity cost. I can hear the gasps already. An emergency fund is FOR EMERGENCIES. It makes sense to keep it in an extremely safe, secure, and easy-to-access account, and for that task, few things are better than a boring old savings account. But I’m a bit risk tolerant, and I’m not cool with the idea of thousands of dollars sitting there, with me paying a premium (inflation rate – yield […]

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Cutting Costs on Something is Worthless IF…

On Monday I wrote a post about how loyalty is costing you money. It’s true – loyalty does cost money sometimes. But negotiating a lower rate on your cable bill – or slashing it altogether – is only half the battle. These efforts to cut your costs on specific things seem like great ideas, but the truth is that they don’t always have the impact you’d hope. If you find this to be the case, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news? There’s a simple reason for that. The bad news? You suck at saving money. Addressing the Bad News Yes, I said it: you suck at saving money. Let’s use the example of cutting […]

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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┬ácurbed lifestyle inflation, they have an extra $500 each […]

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Focus on Savings Rate Percentage Over Specific Numbers

When you talk about saving money, there are typically two ways to approach it. The first is to look at how many dollars you’re able to save over a given time period – such as a year or each month. This is helpful sometimes because it gives hard numbers to things. Everybody understands what it means to save $100. Perhaps it’s easier or more difficult for some people to save a specific dollar amount – after all, you can’t really save more than you earn – but it’s to-the-point. A second way to look at the equation is to not focus as much on a specific dollar amount, but instead pay attention to what percentage of your income you’re able […]

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