Saving

How I Got Over $181,000 of Free Money for Retirement

How I Got Over $181,000 of Free Money for Retirement

I had a thought recently that made me wonder how much free money for retirement was given to me during my last job. My former employer was always generous in taking care of employees through the 401(k) plan offered. So just how much of our net worth could be attributed to that facet of saving? I dug up my old 401(k) statements and expected the need to spend a lot of time breaking things down and then adding up all …

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Personal Finance for Kids... Here's a Way to Teach 'Em!

Personal Finance for Kids… Here’s a Way to Teach ‘Em!

lt seems to be a relatively common discussion in the community here that we need some better education when it comes to personal finance for kids. The problem is that most schools don’t build this into the curriculum. Kids end up graduating from school more academically prepared but not financially prepared. That’s a huge problem. Personal finance for kids needs to be a pillar in our educational system. Not knowing even the basics such as the magic of compound interest …

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Make Your Money Work for You Instead of Vice Versa

I think I first heard the mantra of “make your money work for you” when I was a kid.  I’d also guess that it was my grandfather who preached it.  He was able to retire in his mid-40’s before the term FIRE (financial independence / retire early) was even coined. But it took me years to really understand what that meant.  And even once I thought I got it, I still assumed it was just some pipe dream that only …

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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 …

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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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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 …

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Did These Flip-Flops Lead Us to Financial Freedom?

Did These Flip-Flops Lead Us to Financial Freedom?

People hear that my flip-flops are now over 12 years old and love to say, “No wonder you were able to retire!”  But are my old shoes the reason we were able to reach financial freedom? You might decisively be thinking that’s silly, but let’s talk about this a little more before you jump to a conclusion. I think we all know that my shoes aren’t going to be the reason we were able to retire early. But, I can …

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Guest Appearance on the ChooseFI Podcast

Guest Appearance on the ChooseFI Podcast

I’ve been wanting to be a part of the ChooseFI podcast shortly after it began.  Jonathan and Brad launched the show at the end of 2016 and quickly took the FIRE community by storm! It’s a fantastic podcast helping to discuss the path to financial independence.  They bring on various guests to examine different aspects and strategies of reaching FI. What’s really great though is that they also focus quite a bit on enjoying the journey along the way.  I …

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How to Get a Million Dollars for Your Nest Egg

How to Get a Million Dollars for Your Nest Egg

By early 2017, we had finally built our net worth up to over a million dollars.  It was a great feeling to reach that milestone, but it didn’t really change things for us – we just continued to follow our plan. When I left my job at the end of 2018, we had a net worth of about $1.1 million and, thanks to the bull market still pushing ahead, it’s roughly $1.2 million right now. I’ve written a few posts …

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Why Not Keep Working and Saving? Are You Stupid?

I’m only 43 years old right now (Ok, fine – I’m pushing 44!).  But this is still prime time to continue on with my career.  If I were to keep working, I could build up an even bigger and more secure nest egg. So why don’t you do that?  Why did you leave your job and retire early?  Are you stupid or just lazy? Haha, talk about cutting to the chase! I actually love when others ask me questions about …

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