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Posts Tagged ‘personal finance’

What will you still own a decade later?

January 18, 2013 5 comments

Board Games

I’ve got a challenge for you.  Look around your room and think about what possessions you will still own 10 years form now.

It seems like a relatively easy task, since those of us who consider ourselves frugal always try to buy consumer goods that are built to last the long haul.

The answer to this question may surprise you.  I know it was a shock to me.  Most of my possessions probably wont be here in 10 years.  This is a really useful strategy when shopping.  Ask yourself, is this going to be around in a decade?

It’s worth paying attention to those items that will last a decade.  So here’s what I found.

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Why I’ll never buy gold

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Past Gold Prices via Wikipedia

When it comes to investing, I like to keep it simple.  I invest almost exclusively in Vanguard broad index funds with low expense ratios.  It’s statistically proven, and it’s the same advice you’ll get from the other bloggers in the personal finance world.

So why does anyone buy gold as an investment?  With prices over $1600/oz, things are starting to get crazy!  How is this any different from stuffing money in your mattress?  Apparently most of the world disagrees with me, but hear me out.

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An Actual Recipe for Grandeur

January 7, 2013 14 comments

Limitless

They say we only use about 10% of our brain.  Have you ever wondered what might happen if you could access 100%?  What if you had a plan attain Financial Independence in your 30’s?

Limitless was a semi-successful thriller about a guy who finds a drug that allows him to learn instantly and recall anything he’s ever seen whenever he needs it.  Turns out, he’s able to do some incredible shit and eventually runs for president to try to save the world…

Most people tell me that I’m nuts when I talk about my goal of retiring in my 30’s (I’m 24 now).  They tell me they didn’t do it, they’ve never seen anyone do it, and therefor, it can’t be done.  I believe the possibilities are truly limitless when I set my mind to something.  So here is how I’m going to do it.

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Invest in thermostats instead of stocks!

January 2, 2013 5 comments

Nest

You’ve been told that programmable thermostats can save you up to 20% on you utility bills, and that it’s the right thing to do for the environment, but you still haven’t switched out the old one for a new-fangled version.

Well I’m about to rock your world.  Here’s what I’ve got for you today.

  1. Why you need a programmable thermostat
  2. How gosh darn easy they are to install
  3. Why you should invest in thermostats instead of stocks Read more…

Can you put a price on fitness?

December 30, 2012 6 comments

AZ1I’m considering dropping about $2,400 on a Crossfit membership in 2013.  That’s about 10% of my 2012 budget.

I’ve been going back and forth on this issue for a few weeks and I’ve decided to finally pull the trigger.  In the past, the only fitness costs I’ve incurred are the sign-up fees for marathons/half marathons.  It got me thinking about what the price of fitness should be.

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Financial update – Q4 2012

December 27, 2012 12 comments

Income VS Spending Q4 2012 (2)

2012 has been a fantastic year for learning about personal finance   Since starting my financial turnaround in January, 2012, I’ve been able to accomplish quite a bit.  Here are a few highlights.

  • I know where all my money is going and I now have a functioning budget
  • I started this blog to keep myself honest and help those who happen to wonder by
  • My income rose by about 7%
  • My spending has fallen by about 40%
  • My passive income rose by an alarming amount (from 0 to a little over $1,300)

In 2011, I had an after tax savings rate of 20%.  In 2012, I failed to meet my goal of 50%, but I did hit 47% (not too shabby).

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It’s because I spend less, not because I make more

December 23, 2012 2 comments

Chicago

I have a dear friend named Sam who enjoys chatting about money when we get together every week or so.  Whenever I lend some advice about how to handle her financial issues, she swipes aside my comments because in her words, “Of course it’s easy for you because you make so much more than me”.  Sam happens to be a teacher and I’m an engineer, so I do make a bit more than her, but the point I’ve been unable to get across is that my finances are sound because I spend less than her, not just because I make more than her.

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