This Bad-@#$ Expenses Spreadsheet is My Gift to You

This Bad-@#$ Expenses Spreadsheet is My Gift to You

I’m super excited about a new expenses spreadsheet I’ve been working on that I think you’re gonna love. And this ain’t just any old expenses spreadsheet – it’s focused on your recurring expenses. If you’re like me, you’re familiar with those times when you make a big purchase and have buyer’s remorse shortly after.  It happens. But those are the easy cases – it’s a one-time purchase and it’s staring you right in the face. The tougher problems to solve are those random costs that occur on a periodic basis (every few weeks, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.) that are much harder to keep an eye on. We all have expenses or subscriptions that we signed up for and – meh,

The 7 Reasons I Love Living in Panama as an Expat

The 7 Reasons I Love Living in Panama as an Expat

I’ve been living in Panama as an expat for a little over a month and a half now.  And what a truly awesome experience it’s been so far for me and my family. The first couple of weeks were like a vacation.  Most of our time was consumed with exploring and having fun.  We spent our days eating out, shopping (ok, mostly just browsing!), and doing fun activities like whale watching. Starting at the beginning of September, we began to scale back a little bit.  It was time for us (mostly Lisa) to start Faith’s homeschooling.  That had its ups and downs but seems to be working pretty well as of late.  But it also has meant an earlier bedtime

Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

Book Review: Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

I don’t normally write book reviews on this blog, but I’m making an exception for the new Choose FI book.  I was expecting my opinion to sway one way with the book but my impression after reading it went in a completely different direction. Chris Mamula is the author of Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence (along with coauthors Brad Barrett and Jonathan Mendonsa).  If you’re not familiar with Chris, he retired in 2017 at the young age of 41 (beat me by two years!).  He also spends a lot of time writing at the Can I Retire Yet? site. I met Chris at the FinCon conference in 2017 – such a nice guy!  We didn’t get a chance

Solving the World’s Problems… Starting with Mine!

Solving the World’s Problems… Starting with Mine!

When it comes to solving the world’s problems, I’m the man.  I’ve got it all handled.  Call me “Mr. Fix-It”! Ok, maybe that’s far from true.  I’m not solving the world’s problems at all.  In fact, I sometimes struggle to handle my own problems. But, I’m good at adapting and actually enjoy change.  I have an engineer’s/programmer’s mindset and like to logically find an optimal solution to problems. And now that we’re living in Panama, I get to push my problem-solving to a different level.  We live in a small town in the mountains called Boquete.  There’s no Walmart, Target, or Home Depot here.  The closest counterpart I’ve got is a small discount store called Novedades La Reyna and a

Do Low and Negative Interest Rates Scare You?

Do Low and Negative Interest Rates Scare You?

A couple of weeks ago, I brought up the idea of negative interest rates with my nine-year-old daughter, Faith. Yes, this might be something a little weird to talk about with your kid, but it piggy-backed off of our personal finance class during homeschooling.  And of course, I kept it pretty high-level. I had kept it simple talking about how banks pay interest to people who store their money there.  The banks then take that money and loan it out to others and charge a higher interest rate to them for things like buying a home. These concepts are important for kids to understand.  Eventually, we can talk about some of the causes and effects, but for now, that’ll suffice.

Boquete, Panama Places to Live… We Found a Rental!

Boquete, Panama Places to Live… We Found a Rental!

Looking at places to live in Panama is kind of an adventure.  There are a lot of nuances you need to be aware of or you could end up very unhappy. For instance, if you don’t know to ask, you could get a place that has what they lovingly refer to as “suicide showers” here.  And by that, they mean that it doesn’t have hot water! A lot of the local Panamanians here are used to that and that’s just how they live.  But imagine not knowing, moving in, and then jumping into the shower for the first time.  SURPRISE!!!  YIKES! But if you know what to look for, you can find some real gems.  Although costs aren’t as cheap