8 Financial Tips I Wish I Knew When I Was in My 20’s

8 Financial Tips I Wish I Knew When I Was in My 20’s

My nephew recently started reading this blog and it got me thinking.  What would be valuable information for him as a reader?  What do I wish I knew when I was younger? He’s almost 20 years old and he just started a career in construction probably close to a couple of years ago.  At his age, I know I wasn’t very smart financially.  Don’t get me wrong – I thought I was, but looking back, I made some stupid decisions. So, like any old man, I almost feel obligated to pass along some of the knowledge I wish I knew back then to help him out.  And yeah, 43’s not that old, but I’m not getting any younger! Do you

Estimated Self-Employment Tax Used to Scare Me!

Estimated Self-Employment Tax Used to Scare Me!

I’m just going to say it – I have three very small businesses that I’ve been running for years and I’ve never paid estimated self-employment tax payments. Ouch, for shame, for shame! That’s right, I’m a complete failure in that avenue.  And that could have cost me, too. If you owe $1,000 or more come tax day in April, you might be hit with a penalty by the IRS.  In essence, it’s an interest penalty on the difference of what you should have paid and what you actually paid. And guess who gets to decide what that interest rate is?  That’s right, the IRS does.  For the second quarter of 2019, they’ve decided that the rate for underpayments will be

Strategies We’re Using in Our Early Retirement Planning

Strategies We’re Using in Our Early Retirement Planning

Early retirement planning.  You’d think the closer we get to our FIRE date, the simpler things would become. I mean really – I’m leaving my job in just a few months so as I continue to train my replacement, my workload should start to diminish over time.  Plus, we’re downsizing to an apartment soon (if we could ever sell our house!). What else could there be, Jim?  How much early retirement planning do you really need?  Didn’t you already get these plans laid out months or years ago? I’ll tell you what – I read a lot of personal finance blogs with folks who’ve already left their jobs and it seems like the majority of what I read is: 1) Reach

So You Wanna Write a Book? Maybe I Can Help…

So You Wanna Write a Book? Maybe I Can Help…

Ever had that thought periodically running through your mind to write a book?  I sure did. Then one day I just decided to do it. I had some great ideas to write a book based on technology.  I’ve been in the IT field as a systems engineer and now the engineers’ manager for almost 20 years now. However, my thoughts for the book were actually focused more on the simpler stuff that family and friends were always asking me about. So I put together an outline and wrote a book about it that was published in 2007.  It went better than I anticipated and I learned quite a bit about how the process works. Then, I had another idea for

Can You Make Money Blogging? I Am.

Can You Make Money Blogging?  I Am.

Can you make money blogging?  It’s one of the first questions people tend to ask once they find out I have a blog. I’ve seen plenty of posts that make it sound like you can make a fortune by blogging.  Start a blog, put some ads on it, then just sit back enjoying piña coladas on the beach, while your steady flow of passive income rolls in. Jim, you’re giving me a look – are you saying there’s more to this?  Is it possible to make money blogging or not?! Easy… settle down – we’re all friends here. Unfortunately, it’s more than just a quick yes or no.  The answer is a little more complicated.   Yes, you can make

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