There is a Secret Formula to FI, But It Ain’t No Secret!

There is a Secret Formula to FI, But It Ain’t No Secret!

Everyone likes a secret, but a secret formula?  Even better! Now that we’re only a few months out from me quitting my job, we’re starting to share the news more with friends and family. A lot of them seem to be a little confused, but then we talk about our planned move to Panama and it takes most folks to a level beyond comprehension. Eventually though, we tend to get past that initial shock.  And then the “bold” ones out there muster up the courage to ask some questions. But most importantly, they want to know how we did it… What’s the secret formula for reaching financial independence? I think it’s a fair question. After all, people as a whole tend

Why You Truly Need to Get Out of Debt

Why You Truly Need to Get Out of Debt

It’s nothing new to hear that if you’re in the red, you should make it a priority to get out of debt. Let’s face it, debt sucks.  We all know it, but here in the U.S., we just can’t seem to stay away from it. NerdWallet states that the average household that has credit card debt is carrying a balance of $15,654… ouch. And that doesn’t even count other forms of debt – mortgages, car loans, student debt, etc. Ok, so what?  Is it really that big of a deal? If you’re in debt now and you’re reading blogs like Route to Retire, chances are you’re already working on digging yourself out. However, I implore you to push yourself to

What to Do with Your Money Right Now

What to Do with Your Money Right Now

We’re in an interesting cycle of the economy right now.  Things are looking good, which helps boost the value of your money.  When it comes to investments, stock prices and property values are generally up. And if you’re selling, that’s a good thing.  Retirees and folks selling their houses or some of their stock investments are partying it up during these times. However, if you’re still in the wealth-building phase of your life, this isn’t as exciting.  Sure, it makes your portfolio look good, but if you don’t need the money right now, it’s taking its toll on your buying power. Using your money to buy new shares in the stock market is expensive right now.  Expensive is a subjective word,

The 10 Commandments for Kids and Money

The 10 Commandments for Kids and Money

When it comes to kids and money, we all want to ensure that they’ve got the greatest chance to succeed in life. We can push our kids to be smart and learn in school.  We can teach them to be good to other kids and to share. We can help them to understand that they should respect others.  We can show them good manners and how to be polite. But what about the money side of the formula?  Isn’t that important? I spend a lot of my time staring at Quicken and Personal Capital trying to plan for financial independence and early retirement. I feel very blessed that we’re in a solid position to make this happen. However, another part

Why I Like Overdrawing My Checking Account

Why I Like Overdrawing My Checking Account

Once upon I time, a young man we’ll randomly call “Jim” was in college and barely had a dollar to his name… Ok, fine – that young man was me – dang it, you ruin everything!  Anyway, like a good number of college students, overdrawing my checking account wasn’t too uncommon. In fact, it actually wasn’t uncommon for me to blow out my balance on a periodic basis for a year or so after graduating college as well. Eventually, though, I started to make some good progress on my finances over the years and overdrawing my checking account became a pretty rare occurrence, if it happened at all. Over the past year or so though, I’m back to overdrawing the account again.  And

Why Do We Buy Crap??

Why Do We Buy Crap??

Sometimes I can’t help but shake my head that we as a society feel compelled to buy crap just because we feel we “need” it. There are millions of people here in the U.S. that, although not by choice, manage to live on $2 a day.  But when it comes to the middle class, even with increasing salaries, most families buy and buy and still feel like they need more stuff. Why? Why do people love to waste their hard-earned money on crap? I’m not above this, but I think I’ve changed tremendously over the past decade.  I’ve really become much better at just living more simply. When I was working during my college years, I was a spender.  I’ve talked about how I