8 Tips to Help You Live Within Your Means

8 Tips to Help You Live Within Your Means

The first step to financial independence is to live within your means. To me, that automatically means living frugally, but that’s just how I think. My family struggled financially when I was growing up so I default to saving first. When I first started working, I lived modestly and saved what I could. I lived within my means, but I think I probably could have done better knowing what I know now. What would I tell my 21 year old self? Let’s see… Track your income and expenses When I was in my 20s, I never tracked my income and […]

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Why We Buy So Much Useless Stuff

why we buy a lot of useless stuff

Recently, my friend Jerri visited from Seattle and brought a friend along. We had coffee, went for a stroll around Portland, and her friend purchased a Portland mug from Starbucks. She jokingly said, well, I gotta have a mug to show I was in Portland. I overheard this and I thought to myself, oh man, another piece of junk to clutter up the house. So we got into a discussion of why people buy these kitschy stuffs. They thought that it’s because we worked hard so we deserve to treat ourselves. I thought people just have too much disposable income. […]

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Retirement Investing 101: Track Your Expense

Retirement Investing 101: Track Your Expense

One of these days, I’d like to put together an early retirement guide, but I just don’t have time to write the whole thing at once. I’ll have to write it a piece at a time and then put it together later. Our kid just takes up so much time. I don’t know how my mom did it with 3 boys. Let’s take a step back and start at the beginning. The first step to retirement investing is actually quite simple, but it can be a lot of work if you haven’t done it before. It’s essential to track your […]

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Our Kid Doesn’t Cost That Much (So Far…)

Our Kid Doesn't Cost That Much (So Far…)

We all know kids aren’t cheap. If you’re not financially secure, a baby can wreck havoc on your budget. That’s one of the reasons why we waited to have a kid until we were in our late 30s. I’m sure you have seen the ridiculous amounts the USDA estimated a kid will cost. You can use the estimator at CNN Money (based on USDA’s 2012 estimates.) It shows we’ll spend $255,237 raising our kid until he’s 18 years old. That’s not even including college, so it’s a bit scary. Actually, I wrote about this topic two years ago, but now […]

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