Spending

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 …

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The Three-Year Blog Post... Finance Lessons Learned

The Three-Year Blog Post… Finance Lessons Learned

3 years.  That’s what this blog post marks… three years of blogging on Route to Retire. For new bloggers, this might sound like a long time.  However, I look at some of the others out there who have been doing this for over a decade – like J.D. Roth at Get Rich Slowly or J. Money at Budgets Are Sexy.  It’s then that I realize I’m still somewhat of a rookie in the blogosphere. I’ve consistently posted a minimum of once a …

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An Easier Way to Track Your Expenses

An Easier Way to Track Your Expenses

You’ve heard it before – be sure that you track your expenses!  But why would you want to do that?  And is there an easy way to make it happen? When most of the mainstream media in the financial space talks, they want to push you toward using your income as a gauge on how prepared you are for retirement. You’ll hear various numbers thrown around such as that you’ll need 80% of your pre-retirement income to make it through retirement. …

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Is Rule 72(t) the Escape Tool for Me

Is Rule 72(t) the Escape Tool for Me?

Rule 72(t).  The name sounds as boring as 401(k).  And it should because it’s from the same place – the Internal Revenue Code. Both are part of the tax law that the IRS gets to govern. Coincidentally, both Rule 72(t) and 401(k) plans are pertinent to this post. I recently wrote a post about our FIRE plans titled The Roth IRA Conversion Ladder Dilemma.  I talked about how we plan on using the ladder to access our tax-deferred accounts earlier than …

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The Roth IRA Conversion Ladder Dilemma

The Roth IRA Conversion Ladder Dilemma

I’ve been a bit moody the past couple of weeks.  I’ve been focusing a lot on trying to pinpoint our exact retirement date and I’ve been struggling.  The problem all stems with the Roth IRA Conversion Ladder we plan to do. First off, if you’re on the path to FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early) and you’re not familiar with how a Roth IRA Conversion Ladder works, this could be important to you. It’s not the end-all-be-all solution, but the ladder is …

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You’re Doing It Wrong! Your Personal Savings Rate

Here’s the problem with calculating your personal savings rate… you’re doing it wrong! Ok, maybe you’re not, but I sure was! First off, let’s talk about what your personal savings rate is.  In essence, it’s a metric to be able to determine what percentage you’re putting away in relation to your income. In other words, it provides a good way to tell at a glance how well you’re saving. Someone might make a ton of money at his or her …

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I Just Spent $35 on a Sleeping Pad and Feel Guilty as Shit

Well, Amazon Prime Day happened.  I told my wife to stay away from Amazon for the day and not to get sucked in.  I warned her about it.  Unfortunately, nobody warned me and somehow I ended up in the vortex and bought a $35 sleeping pad before the day was over. I debated it while it sat in my cart and the 15-minute countdown clock was ticking away.  I even deleted it out of my cart and re-added it just …

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It Doesn't Matter, So Stop It!

It Doesn’t Matter, So Stop It!

In general, we seem to have a tendency to focus a lot of our time and money on the things that don’t really matter.  It’s time to stop it and instead concentrate on what does matter… So far this summer we’ve taken a fantastic trip to Panama and spent a few days at a cottage on Kelleys Island on Lake Erie.  We’re starting to pack for a week-long vacation trip to Tennessee we have coming up in the next couple …

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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 …

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Why I Ended My Costco Membership

Why I Ended My Costco Membership

Once upon a time, there was a guy who wanted to save money and heard that buying in bulk would help him with that.  So he bought a Costco membership to reach that goal. It was glorious!  He saved a ton of money, enjoyed loads of free samples, and took advantage of all the amenities it had to offer. There were unicorns, pixies, pots of gold, and all sorts of other wonderful things that don’t really exist anywhere but here. All this …

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