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Today was a big milestone for me. I’ve been vested! So I thought that I would discuss it a bit and what all it means. Read More


118. Monthly Progress: April 2017
                The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $216,882.83, up $3,922.86Investment income: $1,891.34Financial plan savings: $800.93 Read More


117. Cheap Breakfast Options
We all know that cold cereal is an expensive breakfast option. But the problem is that it’s just so quick and easy. All through college I made oatmeal for breakfast basically everyday (occasionally pancakes on special occasions), but never splurged on cold cereal. But for the past 3 years I’ve slipped into complacency and I’ve turned a bowl of cereal into a morning ritual. But now I’ve found a healthy solution. Read More


116. What’s On Your Phone? - My List of Financial Apps
I try not to clutter up my phone with a ton of apps. In the past I’ve rotated through several financial apps but most of them were eventually deleted because I found that I didn’t use them and they were just taking up space on my phone. So, while this app list might not be very long, you can be assured that they are good ones that I consistently rely on. Also note that these are all free apps, I’ve never paid for an app and don’t plan on it in the future, so I’m not trying to sell you anything. Read More

115. How to Negotiate a Higher Salary
            Like many of you out there, I have been a bit dissatisfied with my current employer recently. So, with my full vesting date quickly approaching I have officially begun my job hunt again. In my attempt to be better prepared for the inevitable salary discussions I’ve started listening to a few books about negotiation. One in particular has been a game changer for me so I wanted to share with you my notes that I’ve taken about salary negotiations. Read More


114. Growing Your Nest Egg: Cash or Investments?

I hope you are prepared for a great guest contribution about … oops, I almost pulled a spoiler alert and gave it away. Instead I’m going to let you have the joy of reading what Steph has prepared for us to find out for yourself. Hope you enjoy and get some useful insights out of it! Read More


The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $212,959.97, up $6,850.38, Investment income: $356.51, Financial plan savings: $1,011.56 Read More



Every once in a while my electric company sends us a little home audit on our energy usages compared to other homes in the area. I like getting them for a few reasons. First, we are always below their Energy “Efficient Home” and way below their “Average Home” (2,511 nearby homes build around the same time with similar sq. ft.) and it makes me feel good to see that.  And, second, because they always have a few short tips on how you can save electricity. Read More
I wish I actually did a money quote each day but I haven’t found the time for that. But I did hear a good one today that I felt like I needed to share. “Companies aren’t families, they’re battlefields in a civil war” ~ Charles Duhigg – The Power of Habit. This is an awesome book about habits and human behavior. I strongly recommend it. But the quote above hit me because… Read More

We have a guest contributor today from the Czech Republic. Michael is an expert in trading binary options and Forex. An he’s here today to teach us about the basics.
“Letting your savings sit in a regular bank account means to voluntarily give up a part of it due to rising inflation. People who are aware of this, search for an alternative way to effectively evaluate their finances. Saving accounts do not even cover inflation, let alone make you extra money... Read More

We’ve got a guest contribution for you today about debt settlements. Many debtors are tempted to settle debts since they have to pay less than what they owe. But, they are not sure about its effect on credit score. Perhaps this is why if you check out any credit card debt settlement forum, you’ll find that it’s filled with questions like “what is your credit score after settlement?”, “how does debt settlement affect credit score”, “can debt settlement boost up my credit score?” Read More

I was reminded about something that we use to do in college that I thought would make a great saving tip for you today. By the time I graduated from college my wife and I both had bachelor degrees, a two year old who my wife stayed home with, and a net worth of about $80,000. Of this, we had $50,000 set aside as the down payment for our first home. We did a fairly good job of saving money while in college and here is one of the ways that helped us do this. Read More

The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $206,109.59, up $7,539.41Investment income: $4,531.33, Financial plan savings: $805.13 Read More

Do you know what feels ridiculous? How much the government takes out of your bonus. I just opened up my bonus check and was shocked when I saw it. So while I was still in the heat of the moment I figured that I should jot down my thoughts before clarity and time made me a little less passionate. Normally this is the worst time to write out how you feel about something but I’m going for it. And, no, I do not plan on taking that age old advice of re-reading the email an hour later before hitting send, I’m posting this, raw emotions and all. I'm not even going to edit it, just to make sure I don't decide to change something or change my mind about posting it. Read More

I’ve found that it’s fun and easy to write about our financial successes. But what about our financial fails? Those are much harder to have the desire to write about. In an effort to try to stay fully open I’m going to break down and share a fail I experienced  had over the weekend. Read More

There was once an old farmer who was widely known for having the straightest rows of anyone around. When the other farmers would ask him how he was able to always make his rows so straight he would just smile and say, “You just gotta set a goal and stay focused on it.” … It’s never too late, or too early, to sit down and take some time to figure out what your big goals are so that you can set them in your sights and start working towards them. Read More

For many Americans, it is far too easy to fall into credit card debt — and incredibly hard to work their way out of it.  With high interest rates and fees, it is no wonder that many people find it challenging to get out of credit card debt.  But eliminating credit card bills is far from impossible — it just takes time, patience and a smart strategy. Read More

Recently a friend of mine ours was searching for a wealth management company to help her out. After some extensive research she finally found one that seemed to fit all of her needs and has agreed to share a brief article about what she learned on the journey. Read More

101. Monthly Progress: January 2017
            The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $198,570.18, up $6,437.24,Investment income: $2,856.26Financial plan savings: $700.12 Read More

I got an awesome guest contribution for you today from an old friend of mine. He told me that he had a great idea for an article and made a special request to have it be article #100. And since I’ve never been able to tell Mr. Yazzie no, here he is with an awesome tip for getting some free entertainment. Read More

On Wednesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke a new barrier. For the first time yet it crossed over the 20,000 point marker. This was a pretty big deal and it has Wall Street celebrating. The next day I saw this poll above that asked if you would be buying, selling, or holding now that the market was at record highs. Read More


I wanted to go back a bit and add to the investment series that we had started up a while ago. The start of a new year is always a great time to re-evaluate your retirement contributions. I always wait until the first paycheck of the new year so I can see how the new health/dental/HSA deductions will affect my take home pay, then I re-evaluate if I should increase the amount that I’m putting into my 401(k).  Read More

Keepin’ it short today. I’m not really that into politics and I don’t want this to turn into a politically charged site but I saw these articles this morning and thought that I’d throw them out to you real quick as a fun piece of trivia. Since we love seeing net worths, and in light of the upcoming presidential change here in America I thought it was pertinent for the occasion. Read More

I heard a great quote today that I wanted to pass along. It was said in relation to overcoming an addiction but I thought that it sounded like a golden nugget of financial advice as well.
“If you don’t want to slip, don’t …” Read More  

Hey, I got another short and simple savings tip for you today. Hopefully it will help you save a few dollars a month, especially during these cold months. Keep Your Furnace Clean. Energy is lost when… Read More

With the closing of a year the time to start preparing for tax season has arrived. This can be a time of joy, dread, or anywhere in between. I typically see it as a time to put off starting taxes until mid-March when I finally sit down for a few hours and crank it all out and see how much of the money I've been loaning the government will come back to us. The goal of the game is always the same. How much can you legally get back from them? And since deductions are where this game is won and lost we have a nice cheat sheet for you today.Read More


The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $192,132.94, up $3,428.85,Investment income: $1,199.70Financial plan savings: $710.36 Read More
Hey all. I’ve got another guest post for you today from our friend Andrew. In the past he has helped us get a Tax ID set up for our small businesses, and now he’s back with a recommendation that he has found for getting our business transactions processed. Read More

This post has been a long time coming but I really wanted to give a cost breakdown, complete with suggestions, on my trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro back in March of 2016. This trip was a bit of a splurge for me and did end up costing more than I had hoped that it would but, as a family, we decided that I might not ever have a better chance to do it so we might as well capitalize on the opportunity. Read More

90. Why I LOVE the Winter Solstice
            Happy Yule Y’all!
I wanted to let everyone know that tonight, December 21st, is one of my favorite times of the year. Better than Halloween, my birthday, last day of school, or even Christmas Eve. Why? It’s winter solstice! While I might not recognize the winter solstice as a time of worship like so many old religions did/do, it has a special place in my heart because of its astrological significance. Read More

I don't know what the temperatures are like where you live right now, but around our place it has started getting cold over the past month or so. By cold I mean below freezing at night and not getting above about 45 F° during the day; it's not like I live in the Arctic or anything, but I don't live in the tropics yet either. I figured that since this is the season of increasing heating costs, now would be a good time to divulge this little secret that we came across a few years ago and have been using to save money on our heating bill ever since. Read More


Shortly before my Junior year at college my wife and I were preparing to welcome our first child. As poor college students trying to make ends meet on my part-time campus job we were looking for any ideas that would save us some money. Thankfully the OBGYN in this college town was use to this situation and was able to provide us with some suggestions that would save us some money on our hospital bills. Read More

When I was in high school I went on a few 50 mile hikes with some members of my church. Every year we would hike a 50 mile route through Dark Canyon in southern Utah. I grew to love that canyon. In total I went 3 times as a youth (ages 16, 17, and 18) and twice as a leader (ages 21 and 25). Over those 250 hard miles I’ve learned a ton about myself and life in general. Read More

            The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $188,704.09, up $6,692.38,Investment income: $4,133.43, Financial plan savings: $633.94 Read More

I’ve heard this story several times over the past several year but just go an email about it again and I thought that you all might enjoy hearing about it if you hadn’t already. “A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.” Read More


One year older and wiser too. My 29th birthday recently passed. And for me that means that it's time to evaluate the goals I set last year and make new ones for the coming year. I've never liked the New Year's Resolution practice, not sure why, probably because it always annoyed me when people would ask what mine were (and it seems like most people forget about them by the end of January anyways). So instead, I started setting my yearly goals on my birthdays. Read More

            The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $182,011.71, down $424.67,Investment income: ($3,267.68)Financial plan savings: $907.47 Read More

Today I wanted to back up a bit and give a little background and overview to you all. I’ll try to do this type of thing periodically to save any new readers from having to scour the archives to learn the basics about us (cause let’s be serious, I know that nobody is interested in me enough to go through that amount of effort). Read More

We don’t do a lot of traveling in our family and if we do we choose to drive since it seems to be cheaper and easier than flying with all of the family. But when my uncle invited me to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with them it became apparent that I would have to buy my first airline ticket in almost 6 years. But the cost of the ticket to Tanzania was a pretty big barrier for me to get over. With just under a year before the trip I started looking to see if I could find the cheapest fight option possible. This is when I first learned about the world of travel hacking and ended up only having to pay $125 for the flights. Read More

It’s that time of the year again when we have to take a look at the benefits that our company offers and lock in our elections for the coming year. I just finished making my elections and it made me want to put together some thoughts about benefits that I’ve had for anyone out there who might be going through the same thing.
First off, I’d like to come clean and make a confession… Read More

            The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $182,436.38, up $4,361.96,Investment income: $603.01, Financial plan savings: $1,590.59 Read More
Have you ever flushed a load down the toilet and thought, “It sure is a pitty to see that beauty go down the drain. Surely there’s someone out there who would be willing to buy my poop because, not only does my $hit not stink, but it’s as good as gold because I am that important.”?  If you’re ready to stop flushing away your feces and willing to put it to work making money and saving people’s lives instead, then I’ve found the right opportunity for you. Read More

Today I wanted to step back to some of the basics of investing again. If you don’t already know, we love investing in the stock market, and have chosen to go 100% into stocks. We can feel comfortable doing this because of our long investment horizon and because we only invest in mutual funds which decreases our investment risks. Read More

Today we have a great post for you from our friend Ethan over in the UK. He shares some good points with us that can help us save thousands on transportation expenses.
"Once upon a time, when the month of September rolled around, it marked the arrival of the next year’s car models, and with them, a rekindled lust among motoring enthusiasts and common folk alike.” 
Read More

Can I let you in on a little secret? I really hate spending money. I often view money as more of a safety net to get us the necessities of day to day living than a tool to be consumed to gain the luxuries of life (ie. Quilted Northern toilet paper).  When I walk into a store where I am required to make a purchase my blood pressure quickens and I start inventorying every possible (honest) solution that I can think of to allow me to spend as little as possible or, my preference, nothing at all. Read More

            The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $178,074.39, up $3,465.76,Investment income: ($386.82)Financial plan savings: $964.32 Read More
Hey all. I don’t travel all that much, mainly because of the perceived costs associated with it. So in looking for ways for you to save some money on travel related expenses we’ve called in the experts to speak about the experience that I lack. With that I’ll turn the time over to Dan to tell you all about the great solution that he has found to alleviate the financial strains caused by exploring the world. Read More

Mornin’ y’all. I wanted to take a few minutes and share with you guys something that I’ve spent quite a bit of time creating lately (don’t tell my boss please ;)). For a little over two years now I’ve started off every work day by logging into Personal Capital and logging my net worth in a spreadsheet that I made for my personal finances. A few months into this schedule I started breaking it out and noting how much I had in each type of account. i.e. Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, Mortgage, Home Value, Investments. So, now I have almost two years worth of data summarizing the nearly daily change in our investment situations. Read More
    
Hey all, can you help me? I have a quick survery that I was hoping you guys would take a few minutes to fill out for me. These questions that I have listed below were given to me on a preparedness survey that I saw recently. I already have several responses from it but was hoping that you guys would help me collect some additional data on the subject. In a hope to build your trust in me I'm going to share my answers with all of you. Read More

Since starting this blog I’ve had a few people contact me with entrepreneurship questions. I’ve done my best to answer them but I have to admit that this is not me specialty, and I don’t really like taxes either. So, today we are calling in the professionals to get us started. Introducing Andrew Burgess from irs-ein-tax-id.com. Now please join us in welcoming our first guest poster here on the site. Read More

I came across this saving tip be accident the other day. I had heard about it but never had an opportunity (that I was aware of) to try it out. But when I did get the chance it saved me a quick $10.84. Read More

A few weeks ago I came home from work to see that my wife and son had checked out Duck Tales Season 3 Disk 2 from the library. I think I was the only one who was genuinely excited about it but my son decided that he loves Duck Tales after the first few episode. I tried explaining the concept of Saturday morning cartoons to him but I think that went over his head a bit.
While I watched these old cartoons that I use to watch when I was little I was amazed at how much financial information they had scattered into the storylines. Read More

67. Monthly Progress: July 2016
            The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $174,608.63, up $5,761.64, Investment income: $3,870.07, Financial plan savings: $1,065.84 Read More

I saw an article titled “Finances: Oatmeal, Bread, and Rice and Beans” in a magazine that my family gets and I wanted to share it with you because I enjoyed the message that it shared and some of the points that it made, all in the context of a real family and event in their lives. It is written by a mother of 5 living in Hawaii and describes how they were able to get out of credit card and student loan debt. Read More


When I lived in Zimbabwe I spent all day out in the ghettos teaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ. As you can imagine there was a lot of very very poor people that I met and learned to love in those two years. The color of my skin made it very obvious that I was an outsider there. And as you would expect, I had people asking me for handouts every day. One such time made a profound impact on the way that I view "small purchases". Read More

Hey, there. This is just a real quick, fun activity for you to go do.
I got an email from my 401(k) provider (Fidelity) the other day that I wanted to share with you all. It was titled "Financial tips for you in 10 minutes or less". I opened the link and filled out the info and had some fun with it and thought that you might enjoy playing around with it as well. 
Read More

This is written to all those younger people out there that are just starting on the path to finding their career. But hopefully anyone can find some helpful advice and insight from it.
I’ve never know what I wanted to do for a living. I have never had a job that I felt passionate about. I feel stuck in the job/industry that I am in, chained to it at times but by my own doing.
And I don’t want you to end up feeling the same way. Read More

This is going to be a pretty short post but I just wanted to let you all know about a little trick that we just discovered to save an additional 25% off of your total purchase at Kohl's.
Let me fill you in on the back story a bit. My wife likes to walk, a lot. So she had literally walked through the soles of her shoes before telling me that she needed a new pair of running shoes. Read More

I can’t believe that I’m actually having to write about this but I was so pissed off when I heard about it this morning that I couldn’t refrain from saying something. On my drive to work I was listening to the radio and they had a caller talking about his desire to become a millionaire. He was a young father who worked as a truck driver and his wife was a stay at home mom. Sounds like a good goal right? My ideal audience. With hard work and financial discipline I fully believe that they could make it and retire as millionaires. But apparently hard work is just too hard for some people. How is he planning to become a millionaire? Read More
           
First off, I love mutual and index funds. Nearly all of my stock investments are in one of these types of funds, the only exceptions being about $50 worth of a stock that I purchased as part of our coin finding competition and the company match that my employer gives me that is automatically invested in their stock by default. Other than this I have chosen to leave the management to the professionals and invest in funds that follow specific sectors or indices of the market. So most of my investment advice will trend along that line of thought. Read More

My ideal shower would feel like standing in a hot waterfall. I love feeling the pressure of the water hitting me. I can’t think of many things that I consider to be more relaxing. But, while I might want to turn my bathroom into a tropical waterfall, my wallet would never let my do it. So instead of upping the water pressure and associated bill, I went the saver’s route and dropped the bill by… Read More


58. Monthly Progress: June 2016
            The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $168,846.99, up $2,256.58, Investment income: $369.23, Financial plan savings: $890.32 Read More

This is my first year having to deal with allergies but they have been killing me recently. Is there anyone out there who has found a cheap way to bear their seasonal allergies? Read More

It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of our tips for saving money. Since I have a huge list of topics that I keep wanting to discuss but a shortage of time to put them together I figured that I’d do a quick and simple one to start off this week. Here’s a solution that saves us a ton of money on entertainment related expenses.Read More
 
But that's totally OK. This is what the markets do. They go up, they go down, they sore and they crash. We can't stop it, we just have to ride with it. Sometimes we are to quick to recall the bad and to slow to remember the good. Everyone remembers that 8 years ago the markets went into a recession and people panicked and sold and thus lost a lot of money. But do you remember what happened after that? The markets sored and the people who had stayed in made a ton of money. That's the part of the story that everyone leaves off. Read More


The other day I was walking on the side of a road that doesn’t get much foot traffic and found someone’s credit card laying there. My first though was, “I wonder how long this has been lost.” My second thought was, “I wonder if they have deactivated it yet.” Which lead to my third thought of, “I should call Discover and make sure that I’ve been reported as lost.” And finally, “I wish it had been a roll of untraceable cash instead.” – but if it had been a roll of cash I would have felt like I needed to look around for the hidden camera, assuming that I was being studied to see if I would turn it in to the police or something so that they could then show a video of me all over the internet labeled “New study shows that Americans are dishonest and unethical and this guy proves it!” And if I had seen that video I would have spent the next year paranoid that someone that could recognize me saw it because I look like an idiot searching through the bushes looking for a hidden camera. Read More

I finally did it. I broke down and tried out Digit. And I can’t say that I have not been disappointed like I had expected to be. I’ve been hearing about Digit being a great way to effortlessly save money for over a year now but I was slow to really do anything with it since it caters to a need that I don’t currently have. But I finally signed up for it so that I could test it out and see if it was worth suggesting to others; and I had recently received an email from someone saying that they desperately need help learning how to save money because they can’t stop spending everything they have and I thought that this might be a good option for them to try out. Read More


52. Can a drop in the stock market be good?
            Here's a tricky question for you.
When is a drop in the stock market a good thing? Read More

When you are investing it is important to make sure that your investments are well diversified. One way to diversify your investments across asset classes is based on a company’s size. When looking at mutual fund option you might see labels like large-cap growth or small-cap value in the names of investments. When you see this information, you will know the cap refers to the general size of the companies included in the fund. Read More

Let us start our investing articles at the very beginning, because it’s a very good place to start (according to Maria anyways). When you are young, funding your retirement is often far from your mind. It’s much more enjoyable to use your money to buy things that will improve your standard of living right now because you have plenty of time to amass your fortune for retirement; it’s too early to start worrying about that, right? Read More

49. Monthly Progress: May 2016
            The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $166,590.41,Investment income: $1,735.05, Financial plan savings: $1,047.64 Read More

WARNING: This post is meant to serve more as a glossary for your reference than an article. If you would like me to add any other terms to this list please let me know. I’m planning to start sharing a series of articles that revolve around investing, but there are a ton of terms and phrases that are used in the investment world. Without at least a basic understanding of these terms it can be very difficult to understand what is being said, and it is very difficult to teach someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you. Read More

47. How To Reduce Your Hospital Bills
            
Discount Weekend: Get your kids from the clearance rack and save!
We had never even thought about financial aid options before. Even when our first son was born and we were poor college students living off of one part time income. And this time I had assumed that there would be no way we would qualify since I was working a full time salary job. We don't make a ton, but we do make considerably more than the "poverty line". I had figured that since we don't qualify for WIC we wouldn't qualify for any other types of aid. We were shocked to find out that you will qualify for financial aid at most hospitals if your income is less than 400% of the national poverty income level. Read More

Recently on here we’ve been talking about figuring out what we want to accomplish in our life and creating the goals and plans that will get us there. Remember how the old saying goes? “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Creating an achievable plan by setting effective goals is the first and most critical step in our journey to success. But the key is to learn how to set “effective” goals. Read More

One of the biggest struggles that I have had with our personal finances over the years has been patience. I was so eager to get into the workforce and start making money that I chose my college major by whichever major I was the closest to finishing at the time. After graduating I accepted the first job offer that I was given even though it was half way across the country because I was tired of looking and wanting to begin a career. We bought a house as soon as we could, partially because I was tired of moving around and wanted to be settled. And now I keep a close eye on my meager 401(k), anticipating the day that can retire. Read More

Last Saturday I played my first round of golf. I shot a 74 on 9 holes (no idea what par was so don’t ask, just know that it was much less than 74). My biggest accomplishment was that I only lost one ball. However, it’s really hard to lose a ball when it’s only going 50 yards in front of you at a time. The main reason that this was my first time golfing was because the sticker price on golfing has always scared me away from looking into it. But when my neighbor invited us to play golf for free I figured that I couldn’t pass up that opportunity. Read More
Over a year ago I was sitting in a meeting at work where we were discussing some shortcomings in our division’s financial forecasts for the year. Due to some unforeseen complications it was looking like we were going to be below the numbers that our mother company was holding us to for the year. After looking at some of our other options we found that there were foreseeable paths to get to the required forecast, but we had to hope that everything went right for us to make it. This is when the VP of Program Management dropped a quote that ended up being written on our CFO’s whiteboard for the next year at least. He said, “Hope is not a sufficient procurement strategy.” He wanted to know what the takeaways were going to be that would allow us to go out and get those new contracts that we hoped would come through. Read More

42. Monthly Progress: April 2016
            The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $161,529.83,Investment income: $1,152.45, Financial plan savings: $341.80 Read More

The Problem: When I began this blog I set the goal to make at least one post each week. Since writing is not my strong point and I am already juggling a full-time job and the domestic responsibilities that come with being married with two young boys I knew that this goal was going to be a bit of a stretch. This is one reason that I try to keep my posts rather short, because they take less time to write, but also because I rarely enjoy reading long articles myself. Because my goal for this blog was to be a way to share a hobby of mine and not as a method to supplement our income I haven’t been too good at carving out time to spend on writing. Read More

If you've read very many of my posts about small, everyday, actions that can help you save money you've probably noticed that I like looking for ways to reduce our electric bill (our entire house is electric). Usually these don't have huge impacts by themselves but I like knowing that the monthly payment that I have to make is as low as possible, and collectively they do make a noticeable difference. So today I actually have two small tips for you that each will help you to save money in the kitchen.Read More

During my last semester of college I took a personal finance class. This was the first, and only class that I took simply because it sounded like fun to me, and I am so grateful that I did. At one point in the class we were discussing the cost of food in America. My professor presented a list of ways that you can save money on your grocery bill. At some point I will discuss the other topics that were in that list but today we are discussing the venue.Read More
           
This has probably been our best financial move in the past year for several reasons. For the first four years of our married lives we had the same AT&T plan that my wife had before we got married. We thought that we did pretty good at making sure that we found the cheapest phone coverage possible but ended up with little flip phones that could only make calls. We shared 550 minutes (but got free nights and weekends) with no texting or data and paid about $75 per month. But last year we finally got fed up with paying so much to receive so little. So we made the switch toRepublic Wireless and in the past year it has saved us over $300 on top of the expenses associated with making the switch. Which has now translated into about $650 of savings every year. Read More

Our tax return cleared the bank today and it came time to spend it as we had planned in advance. The 10% going towards tithing was easy and the transfer was scheduled in only a few minutes. But the other 90% was a bit harder to pull the trigger on. The plan was that half would go to paying down the principle on the mortgage and the other half would go to Vanguard. Read More

36. Monthly Progress: March 2016
            The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $154,193.04,Investment income: $4,517.91, Financial plan savings: $93.34 Read More

It seems like this time of year things happen to get piled up and stressful. Then I realize that taxes are due and the to-do-list seems to get downright overwhelming. I don't know why doing the taxes stresses me out so much. I've never had to pay anything and have always received a few thousand dollars back every year that I've filed, and it doesn't even seem to take that long for me to do them. I think that one of the things about them that cause me anxiety is that I don't like spending money so I always opt to do them myself instead of paying someone to do them. And I seems to always be searching for the cheapest online software to use. Read More

34. 
Monthly Progress: February 2016
            The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: $148,773.62,Investment income: -$225.53, Financial plan savings: $990.99 Read More

Investing 101 teaches you that you need to invest money so that it can start earning you interest and making you money. For every dollar that you invest you can expect to make some amount of return on that dollar. The principle of compounding interest, which Einstein referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, then takes effect when you can start earning interest on the interest. This goes on and on and soon your money is earning exponentially. This is the power of investing early and as much as you can. Read More


This morning on my drive to work the "Low Tire" light came on in my car. And it made me realize that it had been a while since I had had the tire pressures checked and gave me the inspiration to make a quick Saving Tips post about it. So today's Saving Tip is … Read More


This has been a bad week for me. Earlier in the week I was looking at one of my financial spreadsheets that I use to track our income and expenses and noticed that back in 2012 while in my Junior/Senior year of college we managed to find a way to live off of only $860 per month on average. Even I was a little bit shocked by this. We might have only made $28,430 that year but we were able to save over $18,000 of it and only spend 36% of our income. So all week I've been wanting to put together an awesome post for you that would provide insight on how we were able to do this and how a few years like this we were able to have $50,000 cash for a down payment on a house, a full emergency fund, and about $10k in Vanguard when I left college. So today we have one of the Saving Tips that we learned in college that allowed us to do this. Read More

We finally did it, we bought a car. We have been driving a 1996 Plymouth Neon for the past 6 years. For the past year it has been leaking oil pretty bad. We were told it needed a new headgasket but it would cost more than the car is worth. This was our only car so my wife was stuck at home with the two boys during the day and I was constantly worried that it would die any day and I’d have no way of getting to work.  Read More


29. Monthly Progress: January
            The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets.
Net worth: dropped by $2,651.91, Investment income: down $4,384.23, Financial plan savings: $200.76 Read More

The last day or so I've been unable to stop thinking about the past and some of the circumstances and opportunities that I've had. And I've been feeling a bit of regret about how things went down and some of the decisions that were made. I'm not going to go into the details but I can't help but look back at it now, knowing how things turned out, and think about what I should have done differently if only I had known the outcome. This series of flashbacks have also got me pondering what I would have done differently with my finances if I could go back with what I know now. To put things in prospective, I'm 28. 10 years ago I was about to graduate from high school. So here's my list of things I wish my high school self had done financially. Read More

You might remember that I love quotes and this morning I was in a church meeting and heard a quote that I wanted to share with y'all. It might not be a quote about money but I believe that there are true principles in it that can be related to many areas of our lives, including financially.
The quote said, "There is no growth in the comfort zone and there is no comfort in the growth zone." Read More
Sometimes I feel like I'm constantly turning lights off or asking my 4 year old to go turn off a light. Apparently when your 4 you think all lights need to be on if your in the room. Maybe it's just a complex that comes with finally being able to reach the light switches or something but when he enters a room the lights go on and when he leaves it, nothing changes. Read More

Before making any purchase we always want to know how much money it costs, but when was the last time you thought about those dollars as a direct representation of your time? Here's a good little trick to help you put the cost of something into better perspective. Before your next expenditure ask yourself:"How many hours will this cost me?" Read More

For today's savings tip I wanted to share some personal experiences that I had yesterday that allowed me to save about $125 and still get exactly what I needed. Let me quickly mention though that this tip is something that I am not inherently good at. I am a very quite person who doesn't like bothering others and I have social anxieties that make it hard for me to talk to people or express myself properly. So, this is a tip that I often struggle with even though I know it works wonders. Read More

Trying to stay true to my new resolve. Here's another little tip on how to save money, today's tip? TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. I understand that this one will be limited to those who live in areas where public transportation is available. I grew up in a small community where there were no public transportation options. The closest thing that we had was called the Red Apple in the larger city near us and it was a government provided bus that was only there to provide a ride home for the bars since we also didn't have any cabs.Read More

For this year I'm going to try to make more, albeit shorter, posts. So I'm starting a series of short posts to give tips for ways to save money. Most of them will be simple things that just require a small level of effort and some conscious decision making. Hopefully they come across as no-brainers to you, that means that your already a certified saver and fully deserving of being part of this tribe. Read More
I just had to quickly mention this since I'm pretty proud of myself today. I started running again about a month ago as a way to get ready to climb Kilimanjaro. I haven't ran hardly any since I finished high school over 9 and a half years ago so this has been a big deal for me. But this morning I charted out a course on MapMyRun.com and ran my first (non-official) half marathon. As best as I can tell it was exactly 13.1 miles and I ran it in 2 hours 9 minutes and 32 seconds. Before starting out I set a stretch goal of 2 hours and 10 minutes but was shocked that I, not only was able to finish it at all but that I was able to average less than 10 minute miles for the whole thing. Read More

The other day I was speaking the president of the division of the company that I work at. During the last conversation I had with him at a church activity he gave me a piece of advice that I had never thought about before, but think is quite profound career advice even though it might sound simple. Read More

We made $600 on Friday (BOOM) without having to do any work (double BOOM), and it only took about an hour and a half (JACKPOT) and basically anyone else can do it too (it could have taken shorter but we didn’t feel like rushing the banker). Read More

Whether you are currently looking for employment, looking for a career change, like to network, or enjoy drinking Hot Cocoa I have an great idea for you. A group of my friends and I have recently started what we call Cocoa Night. The name came because we started them as a "sit around and drink hot cocoa while networking" time. Last Wednesday was our first official meeting and we had 5 guys show up and it was a great experience. Read More

I just finished the book “Mind Over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health” by Ted Klontz and Brad Klontz, so I thought that I would write up a quick review of the book. The main purpose of this book is, just like the title says, to help people to overcome any of the money disorders that they might have so that they will be able to develop a better relationship with money. They discuss several of the main money disorders that exist and help us to understand how these disorders can develop.Read More


In light of the coming holiday season I wanted to share a story that I heard last weekend.
A man was walking down the street and ran into one of his good friends that he hadn't seen in a while. He could tell that something was obviously troubling his friend so he asked what was wrong.
He responded, "My grandfather died two months ago and left me with a $30,000 inheritance." Read More

I found a site with 15 different financial calculators today that I started playing with that I thought I should share. While not all of them will be useful for you, but I'd be willing to wager that there is at least one that you will receive benefit from. I also teach that by simply keeping these types of numbers in the back of your mind will help to propel you into making more sound financial decisions. Read More

How long does it take to double you investment? The obvious answer you be "it depends on the rate of return." But even if you know the expected rate of return it can be a lot of math unless you have a financial calculator or know how to do time value of money calculations in excel. The trick that I want to show you today will allow you to make a fairly close estimate with a basic calculator or even in your head. Read More


13. "He's obviously a werewolf!"
            Last night I had a financial dream that I thought was pretty impactful for me.
I happened to be the only customer in a big bank where the board of trustees were preparing to have a meeting. I was talking with a banker who happened to be one of the owners so I got pulled into this board meeting. I had gone in wearing my regular street clothes so felt very out of place sitting in a circle with a bunch of older people who were all dressed very nicely. Before the meeting one of the oldest ladies was talking and joking around with me to involve me in the pre-meeting conversations. Read More

My tip for today has to do with your hot water heater. See if you can answer the following question without having to go look. Ready? What temperature is you hot water heater set for? Read More
Today I wanted to give a quick call out for the need to, and benefits of, creating a detailed financial plan (and writing it out so that you will be better able remember the details of it).Recently my wife and I sat down and took a look at our finances together. We had created a budget a few months ago but other than following it we haven't really revisited it since then. Since it seems to be working for us we haven't felt the need to change anything with it so we've just kept an eye on it. Read More


Just so you know, I Love quotes. And I just heard one that I wanted to share. Sorry that I don't know who said it but it was just shared in a meeting that I was sitting in. It said, "Money is an article that can be used as a universal provider for everything except happiness."Read More


We live in a society that is continuing to orient itself around dual income families. Sometimes I fear that this is going to make our single income too little to raise a family with. But when I really pause to think about it I realize that I can't imagine being able to afford my wife joining the workforce. Read More


I have to admit it. My 28th birthday is quickly approaching. And for me that means that it's time to evaluate the goals I set last year and make new ones for the coming year. I've never liked the New Year's Resolution practice, not sure why, probably because it always annoyed me when people would ask what mine were (and it seems like most people forget about them by the end of January anyways). So instead, I started setting my yearly goals on my birthdays. Read More

7. DIY Savings: Toilet vs. Man
            Drip...Drip...Drip...Drip...
For the past few weeks now that is what I would hear every time I layered down to go to sleep.
Solution? Close the bathroom door so I couldn't hear it. For a while it was driving me nuts to hear water leaking and know that it would be effecting my bill (and wasting resources) but I couldn't figure out what the root problem was. Read More

6. Don't Give Up Fighting for Your Money          
When we finally had our fill of AT&T we did our due diligence to make sure that we would be able to cancel our plan without any consequences. We had been with them for three and a half years and never resigned a contact with them. We went into the local store and had one of the sales reps pull up our information to make sure that there weren't going to be any cancellation charges. He looked up our account and told us that we would be able to cancel without any charges. Therefore, we went home and ordered our newRepublic Wireless phones and canceled our AT&T plan. Then a few weeks later we were shocked to see a bill from AT&T for over $100 (our normal monthly bill was only $60). Read More

Have you ever wondered what God is saying about our current financial situations? Here it is. In the October 2015 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintswe were given some wonderful prophetic council for our days. Since some of these applied to money issues I thought that I needed to take advantage of the opportunity and pass the council along. Read More


4. Coin Finding Competition
            "I bet I can find more change than you."
My wife is much more interested in physical activity that I am. And when she was pregnant with our first child all she wanted to do was walk as much as possible. During the week she got her need to walk satisfied by walking to and from campus and from class to class. But on the weekends there weren't as many miles built into her day. So after church on Sundays she was begging to go on a long walk. This never sounded very appealing to me though, Sunday is a day of rest right. But she found a way to get me out the door with her. Read More

3. Refinancing: Episode 2         
We finished up or refinance the other day so I thought I would let you know about the rest of the process and the associated costs. Recall that we were refinancing from a 30 year mortgage at 4.625% to a 15 year mortgage at 2.875%. Read More

2. Refinancing: Episode 1         
We are just starting the process of refinancing our home so I thought that I would take the time to document the process a little and share some of the information that we have learned along the way. Read More

First Post Ever!
Well, here we go. For the past year I have been wanting to start this journey but fear of the unknown has held me back. But now I have finally gone for it and taken the plunge. Read More