WARNING, this post contains lots of numbers and few graphics. It may not be as entertaining or short as my other posts. But if you apply what I'm saying, it'll likely save you a few thousand dollars the day you sign for your next home purchase... and maybe a little bit every month thereafter on … Continue reading You need to shop harder for a mortgage
Over the last few years, I've occasionally wished that I had bought big into Amazon, Apple, Bitcoin, or something else with explosive growth. I keep most of my money in cheap index funds like VFIAX, VFWAX, and VTSAX. VFIAX is the S&P 500 fund. Here's how the results of $10k purchases 2 years ago compares for … Continue reading Why I hate trading stocks
One of the more frequent questions I get from friends is "how much should I contribute to my 401k?" While there is not 1 right answer for everyone, there are a few things everyone should consider. Also consider that 401ks are still relatively new in the investment world. They've only been around since about 1980, … Continue reading How much should I contribute to my 401k?
If you're not familiar with the term credit card churning, here is a quick summary: you apply for multiple credit cards, get all their sign-up bonuses, pay them off, and close them (often before getting charged annual fees). I've churned through several credit cards and will probably go through several more. There are a lot … Continue reading What is credit card churning and how do you do it?
I get a thrill out of saving money. Some saving comes with more hassle/work than other saving. I'm sure my tolerance level is higher than most, but I'm definitely not cut out for Extreme Couponing at the grocery store. Often the benefit/thrill of saving 20¢ on a jar of pickles isn't worth the hassle of … Continue reading Savings on Every Purchase
Kauai is probably our favorite travel destination so far. After our first trip, we seriously contemplated moving there. We went two years ago with some friends, and several of us used credit card hacks to keep costs down. Between a couple credit card bonuses, it's pretty simple to get flights and fancy hotels covered. Here's … Continue reading How to book a Hawaiian vacation for free
When I got married, my wife had just graduated with a degree in HR. I was completing an internship between my sophomore and junior years. We were broke. We had a little bit of debt and still needed to pay for school. On our honeymoon we packed a cooler full of soda, ham sandwiches, and … Continue reading Frugality or deprivation?
I'm a huge basketball fan. Prior to self-employment, March Madness usually involved me trying to discretely follow tournament games while at the office. In 2016, I told myself that next year I'd take two vacation days to watch the opening round of March Madness. I pursued self-employment in summer 2016, but I made sure to … Continue reading March Madness and Financial Independence
The banking and investment worlds are full of fees. I really learned this while working at Wells Fargo. Boy did they charge fees! Some avoidable, some inevitable. Just want a checking account (no savings or credit card)? $10/month fee. Sending a wire transfer? $35 fee. Receiving a wire? $15 fee. Want your credit card to … Continue reading How fees can ruin your retirement
In 2011, I enrolled in a real estate agent licensing course. I knew there was a lot of money to be made, but didn't think I would ever give up the security of a regular paycheck with benefits. I was working at Wells Fargo, got a few promotions, and learned about a "conflict of interest" … Continue reading What I’ve learned about self-employment