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The Rent vs Buy Dilemma… Does It Matter?

The Rent vs Buy Dilemma… Does It Matter?

One of the most debated topics in the personal finance space revolves around the question of rent vs buy. On one side of the fence, you have the folks marching to the beat of, “You’re throwing money away when you rent… when you buy, you have something to show for it down the line.” And on the other side of the fence are those that say, “Yeah, but renting can cost a lot less money with excess to be invested… …

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One of the Best Money Books I've Ever Read

One of the Best Money Books I’ve Ever Read

I just finished one of the best money books I’ve ever read. It’s vastly different than other books I’ve read over the years… and that’s a good thing. Alternating between reading fiction, non-fiction money-related books, and non-fiction books unrelated to finance works well for me. I love learning new takes on money but I don’t want to become completely absorbed in it. I also want some time for fiction to take me away periodically and allow my imagination to take …

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Teaching Kids About Money – Valuable Lessons Instilled

Teaching Kids About Money – Valuable Lessons Instilled

Relying on schools to educate your kids about personal finance is generally not going to be a smart move… most schools don’t even have a curriculum to teach them the basics. When it comes to teaching kids about money, the onus falls on you. That’s good news because you have an opportunity to ensure that your children are learning the right information. Just as many parents haven’t been educated about personal finance, many teachers themselves haven’t been either. If you …

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Owning Rental Properties Is Smart, but I’m Out, Jack!

Owning Rental Properties Is Smart, but I’m Out, Jack!

That’s right, folks – after owning rental properties since 2003, I’m now completely out of the game! In 2018, I sold the house I had bought as an investment property in 2003. And just a couple of weeks ago, we closed on selling the duplex we had purchased in 2015. Here’s the weird part – if you’ve been following my blog over the years, you know that I’m a strong advocate of owning real estate rentals. Each property can provide …

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Is It a Smart Idea to Pay Off the Rental Property?

Is It a Smart Idea to Pay Off the Rental Property?

I’ve been salivating over these insanely low mortgage rates out there right now. But I never even thought that another option might be to just pay off the rental property. Today I want to tell you about how I went from unsuccessfully trying to refinance to considering that maybe I just pay off the rental property. It even involves a discussion with the one and only Clark Howard! There’s always discussion in the real estate world about whether it makes …

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We Got Turned Down for a Credit Card… Ok, Four!

Yeah, getting turned down for a credit card isn’t a good feeling. It doesn’t matter that Lisa and I each have credit scores of over 800.  It doesn’t matter that we have plenty of credit cards already and don’t really need another. We also have more of an unused credit line spanned across all our cards than we’ll never need.  And then, of course, there’s that little piece of info that we’ve saved up enough money that we never have …

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

This [email protected]#$ 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 …

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Book Review: Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

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 …

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My Credit Score Dropped – Should I Worry?

Should I be concerned that my credit score dropped recently? I mean, after all, your credit score helps financial institutions define your reliability in the world of finance.  It’s like your report card to see how you’re doing. A great score likely means you’ll get better rates when applying for a loan.  A bad credit score usually equates to a higher rate – if you’re able to get approved at all. I’ve always maintained a good score, even when I …

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After 20 Years on Quicken, I'm All-In on Personal Capital

After 20 Years on Quicken, I’m All-In on Personal Capital

I’ve been using the Personal Capital financial software now for the past few years.  However, I’ve only been dipping my toes in with it… until now. Quicken’s been my go-to software for just over 20 years.  I stumbled on it back in 1999 when I first started at the career I just retired from.  I was hired in as an engineer to fight the scary Y2K bug and Intuit was giving away their Quicken 98 software for free as a fix to …

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