What's Your Story?

What’s Your Story?

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a tendency to make a quick judgement on people when I first see or meet them.  I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that either.  As I’ve grown more in the past handful of years though, I’ve made a real effort to give people the benefit of the doubt because maybe there’s a story going on that I’m not aware of… Maybe that $%^&* driver is not just some reckless, haphazard driver, but …

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Just One Thing...

Just One Thing…

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably someone interested in or already on the way to the world of financial independence.  Regardless of why you’re here, I think we all know some of the basics of reaching that goal: Get out of debt ASAP – This is the #1 step that needs to be done… and this refers to bad debt like credit cards, car payments, etc.  This does not necessarily mean good debt like mortgages on rental property that serve as assets helping to provide you with cash …

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Why a $5,000 Tax Return Refund is Actually Good News

Should I Use a HELOC to Pay off My Rental House?

Last week I was listening to a BiggerPockets podcast and their guest was Clayton Morris from Fox & Friends Weekend.  I’ve never seen the show and didn’t know who Clayton Morris was, but it was actually a very good podcast.  Clayton’s one of those guys you can tell just by listening to that he’s extremely intelligent and the show was very entertaining as well.  After I was done listening, I found his blog online and that led me to an interesting article he …

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Tying Up Loose Ends...

Tying Up Loose Ends…

I recently realized that I have a number of loose ends out there from previous posts that my regular readers might be wondering about.  So I thought I would take an opportunity to put out a post following up to hopefully tie up those loose ends a bit… Switching to an Accountant This was the first year I decided not to use TurboTax and go to an accountant.  If you remember, I had three goals with this: Check over my work Get …

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The 4 Ways to Make Money with Rental Properties

The 4 Ways to Make Money with Rental Properties

For those of you who have been regular readers, you know that I’m starting to get a little more involved in the real estate world with rental properties.  As of this posting, I have a single-family home that I’ve been renting out for several years now and I recently purchased a duplex.  I think that owning rental properties is not only a great way to start an income stream, but it’s also a hedge against having almost all our eggs in …

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The Rental Property Investment Chase [Part 3]

The Rental Property Investment Chase [Part 3]

It’s time for the final segment of this series.  In Part 1, I talked about how I decided that it was time to stop letting life pass me by and get back on track with finding another rental property.  In Part 2, we went over the deal that we had found on a good duplex.  Now, I want to give you an update on where things stand with the duplex. We closed on the property in mid-December (2015) and everything was …

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To Reveal or Not to Reveal the Numbers...

To Reveal or Not to Reveal My Numbers…

We’re coming up on a year of my site’s first post in a couple of months and with that, I’ve been able to really get to know you guys as well as some of the other financial independence sites out there.  As I’ve been investing a lot more of my time reading the other blogs, I’ve noticed that it really makes for an interesting read to see where people are at on their journey.  One of the dilemmas that I’m facing …

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Mistakes and Lessons of a Real Estate Investing Newbie

3 Mistakes I’ve Made as a Real Estate Investing Newbie

I’ve learned that real estate rental property can be one of the best methods of passive income.  Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket with the stock market, you can set yourself up with steady rental income that can last a lifetime.  Additionally, you pick up some tax benefits and might even get some appreciation off the properties as some icing on the cake. Because of that, I’m starting to chase this a little more.  However, I’ve also made some mistakes …

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Time to Say Goodbye to TurboTax!!

Why I Dumped TurboTax for an Accountant

I started using TurboTax in the year 2000 and I’ve used it every year since then.  Going to a tax preparer didn’t make sense – it was expensive and TurboTax made it easy enough to do my tax returns myself.  All the TurboTax alternatives (H&R Block, TaxAct, TaxCut, etc.) are all similar in that can guide you through doing your taxes to make life smoother when doing your returns. Sure, sometimes I would stare at the screen for hours and try to figure out …

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Is 50¢ Too Much Money for Garbage?

Is 50¢ Too Much Money for Garbage?

50 cents…  two quarters. That’s what we pay our daughter every week to gather the trash from all the bedrooms, put new bags in the cans, and bring all the garbage downstairs to stuff in the bag to go out.  50 cents a week for one of her chores. Ah, chores – a subject of great debate. Now, there are a couple different ways to look at this.  Maybe you’re thinking… “Jim, you can’t pay your daughter to do chores!  Aren’t …

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