It’s Time to Step-Up Your Game!

It’s Time to Step-Up Your Game!

Hey everyone, it’s time to talk about something that most of us out there know, but not enough of us are talking about.  And with that, I’m referring to retirement savings.  Although this is a site focused on financial freedom and early retirement, the fact is that most of us out there have a slim shot at either one of these. I almost threw up when I learned on The Motley Fool that the average American’s 401(k) balance is $72,383.  And even worse, the median balance is only $18,433!!!  That’s insane! Now, you could look at that and think maybe that’s because new entrants into the workforce are bringing the number down or whatever it is that helps you want to justify this.  However,

Escaping the Hustle-Bustle of the Rat Race with a Walk

Escaping the Hustle-Bustle of the Rat Race with a Walk

Most days while I’m at work, I try to make it a point to get outside for about 10-15 minutes and go for a short walk.  This doesn’t always happen – maybe it’s too busy in the office and, of course, most of the winter is ruled out because I hate the cold. But in the summer, it’s been a great escape.  I just put everything on hold for that very short time and just walk… maybe that’s how smokers feel during a smoke break (I’ve never smoked so I don’t know the “joy” it brings). 🙂 My office is in a suburban area – it’s all businesses on the street where I work, but it’s definitely not a downtown area or anywhere too busy. Here’s

Using a HELOC for Smart Reasons

Using a HELOC for Smart Reasons

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is an interesting entity.  In essence, it’s a line of credit that a lender gives you using the equity in your home as collateral.  A HELOC is similar to a home equity loan and this sometimes causes confusion with borrowers.  There are a few differences between the two though… Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Does not necessarily advance you all the money at once – you are given a line of credit you can draw from as needed (similar to how a credit card works).  This amount is based on a certain percentage (say 70-80%) of the amount of equity you have in your home – this is known as the loan-to-value (LTV). Possibly does not require a full onsite

I’m a Cheap @#$… and Proud of It!!!

I’m a Cheap @#$… and Proud of It!!!

When I was a kid, I was a good saver.  Every penny I got was definitely a penny I saved.  I wasn’t necessarily cheap and still bought candy and toys, but I was just good at saving.  As I got to high school, the trend continued and I continued to be careful with my money, especially once I got my first job and learned the importance of hard work. Then things changed. That’s not to say that I didn’t have a reckless period.  You might be familiar with the Credit CARD Act of 2009.  It was legislation that helped protect consumers with some rules of fairness.  It was also designed to protect college-age kids with several provisions to help kids from getting

Think About Working for Yourself

Think About Working for Yourself

When I was coming back from vacation last week, our seating got a little screwed up.  Long story short, I ended up sitting next to a lady in her mid-fifties from Alberta, Canada instead of sitting by my wife and daughter.  We got to talking and had some really good conversation throughout the flight.  At one point, I mentioned something about my 9 to 5 job and she chuckled.  It turns out she’s a consultant and speaker on business efficiency.  And she talked about how valuable working for yourself can be. She’s made a really good life for herself and works when she wants to, loves what she does, and makes outstanding money.  I was so excited for her just hearing about this. Coincidentally, while I was

The Cost of Vacation

The Cost of Vacation

Just got back from a great vacation in Texas. My brother and his wife moved to Austin about a year ago so we went to visit them. They just built a really nice house with a pool, hot tub, cabana, outdoor kitchen, etc. – how can you pass up a visit with all this good stuff?!!  So we stayed at their “oasis” for a little over a week and had a great time. Unfortunately, I was so relaxed that I realized I had forgotten to think of what to write about this week. So I decided that I’ll give you a breakdown of what we spent on this trip to get your feedback on if we spent too much money or got away with