Saving

Banks vs. Credit Unions

Banks vs Credit Unions

I’ve had a bank account for as far back as I can remember.  When I was a kid, I had an account at a savings and loan bank (remember those?!!)  In those days, I was too young to really grasp how good we had it.  Interest rates on savings accounts hit as high as 10% at some points in time.  10%!!!!  Granted, that was an account that my mom had opened for me and had just a small amount of money in it which she …

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Shared Finances or Keep ‘Em Separated?

There are a couple of trains of thought on whether or not spouses should keep their finances separated out or whether they should be combined.  Some people are very adamant that, once you’re married, you are as one and all your finances should be joined together as such.  On the other side of the fence are those who feel that merging your money spells financial doom.  That, of course, leads to the question… Shared Finances or Keep ‘Em Separated? My wife and I keep a lot …

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Top 10 Financial Goals for 2016

Our 8 Financial Goals for 2016

This past year was an exciting one for us, albeit a little bit of a roller coaster ride.  However, we were able to pick up a new rental property, max out my 401(k) and contribute up to the match in my wife’s account.  We also added to our Roth IRAs and a little bit in my HSA, and continued to save a good deal in our online savings account. No time to rest on our laurels though – last year’s financial goals are in the …

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Year End Review

It’s Not Always About the Money…

Well, it’s that time of the year again… time to spend all kinds of money for Christmahannukwanzadan whether in stores or through online shopping in an effort to buy short-lived happiness of friends and family. Ok, maybe it’s not that cold, but the stores and media sure want you to think that way.  They would love to guilt you into spending every last penny you own. I think most of us tend to loosen the purse strings a little bit over the holiday season every year.  But to help …

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How Do You Keep Track of Your Finances?

I’ve said before that Quicken was a lifesaver for me and my finances all the way back in 1999.  That’s when I stumbled across the product and it helped me realize just how much of a mess of debt I was in.  I was then able to rely on the software to really come up with a game plan and eliminate all of it over the next handful of years. Obviously software can’t get you out of debt (you need to do that yourself), …

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Control Your Spending

Are You a Casualty of Lifestyle Inflation?

I think a lot of us have done the years of living off Ramen Noodles just trying to get by, maybe while just trying to make it though college. While in school, I ended up getting a good part-time job at Walmart, which soon became a full-time job.  This was followed by a couple of department manager positions and then an assistant manager role at a few different stores. This all happened within the frame of a couple of years and I …

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Rental Property Chase

The Rental Property Investment Chase [Part 2]

Well that was fast.  Really fast.  One of the things that Robert Kiyosaki talks a lot about in his books is that you should look at 100 properties, make offers on 10, and buy 1.  Well, I was intent on looking at a number of them (maybe not 100) until a great deal pretty much unfolded right in front of me. If you remember where we left off at in Part 1, I had a potential rental property that my financial …

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Emergency Savings

The All-Important Emergency Savings

If you take in any financial advice, you’re bound to hear about it.  Some disagree on when to fund it and they all seem to disagree on how much you should put into it. Either way, everyone agrees on one thing and we’ve all heard it a million times… Make sure you have an emergency savings fund! Dave Ramsey wants you to put aside three to six months for your emergency savings.  Suze Orman wants you to put aside an eight months …

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Should You Compromise Your Lifestyle to Retire Even Earlier?

If you’re reading this right now, you’re most likely either looking for a way to retire early or you already have a plan in place.  Either way, the thought repeatedly comes to my mind of ways to make retiring early happen even sooner. I run an interesting gamut of being frugal with most things but still splurging by taking cruises and other fun vacations on a regular basis.  It drives me nuts to waste money on things I have the ability …

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Save It All… or Spend It All?

As my brother and I got older, we both gained a good understanding of how important money really is in our society.  We both made sure that we worked our way up into solid-paying jobs and we continue to pull in more income where possible.  He went after and gained his real estate license on top of his regular career to help bring in additional money.  I went the landlord route to chase after long-term cash flow. However, we like to laugh at how …

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