my first money “aha”

fin_lit_carnival_2014I was naive.  I would go to college, get a job, work my way up the ladder, and be making six figures by the time I was 30- after all, I was a special snowflake, right?  The world was my oyster.  But, as I had to learn the hard way, life doesn’t always go according to plan.  If it did, I wouldn’t have woken up one fall morning to find my wife and I had accumulated over $67,000 worth of debt while working entry level jobs, with our most valuable asset being our car (depreciating daily).  That was a sober and humbling moment.  My first money “aha.”  It was good.  It was motivation. [Read more...]

how we save money on road trips

I’ve discussed how road travel is historically cheap.  All of those tips are good not just for your daily driving, but will help save money on road trips as well.  We have a wedding to attend in Pennsylvania, so we’ve decided we’re just going to makeIMG_0265 a long weekend out of it.  We’ll visit some family, and I plan on looking at possible rental properties (in this town, so maybe part of the trip will be some sort of deduction.  I plan on using the summer to become much more versed in tax law and policy, so we’ll see.)  And did I mention we’re driving?  Before we leave, the car is going to have fresh oil, properly inflated tires, and I’ll be driving just a tad more slowly.  But if you’re on a long trip (like our 10 hour haul) there’s always low effort/ high reward things you can do to keep a little bit more cash in your pockets.  In other words, here’s how we save money on road trips. [Read more...]

emergency fund in action

billingI haven’t written much about an emergency fund.  Actually, I’ve written nothing about emergency funds.  There’s already a lot of info out there on them, so I figured there is no need to add to the noise.  However, our “emergency fund” was put to good use yesterday, so it seems be an opportune time to discuss it/them, and my non-traditional views.  But behold, an emergency fund in action. [Read more...]

March wrap-up and some link love

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someone is getting a haircut!

Some of you eagle-eyed readers out there may have noticed the weekly link love disappeared.  That was not without thought or reason.  I’ve been much busier with work, school, and just life in general, so I decided to turn it into a monthly wrap-up.  With that being said, welcome to the inaugural March wrap-up and link love! [Read more...]

recognize your opportunities. then seize them.

20131122_1111111A lot of personal finance advice out there is about taking it, like Usher says, nice and slow.  But it doesn’t always have to be that way (pretty radical idea for a PF blog, right?).  There are times that an opportunity will present itself, and it may take only that one opportunity to be wealthy (and within a couple of years).  Two things matter in that instant; the first is that you recognize your opportunity.  The second is that you are in a position to take advantage of it. [Read more...]

clothes don’t equal success

1_aomehRecently I had an exchange with someone who is on a completely different financial level than I am.  She’s older, and a success by any traditional measure of the word.  Great job, mid six figure income, cultured, owns several homes, dresses well, and I’m sure her home smells of rich mahogany and leather.  But recently, she said something that made me question her priorities.  We were talking about children (because the wife and I are at the age when everyone asks when we’re starting).  Naturally we started talking about the expense of raising a child, and I threw out that I would have no problem buying a kid some clothes from Goodwill.  After all, don’t young kids outgrow their clothes after a few weeks?  And I wasn’t talking about some crap-stained, torn up onesie.  But I said that, and then I heard this gem: “If I bought my children clothes from a thrift store I would feel like a failure as a parent.”
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