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Showing posts from 2015

5 Best Guides to Beginning a Life Free of Financial Worry

It is beginning "the thing" or "the change" that can be the hardest, isn't it? When I was at my lowest financial point of worry and anxiety, these five books lifted me up and over debt toward a life of fun frugal living and some financial security.  So I'm sharing the wealth. Amazon has it on sale from time to time   1.  How to Get Out Of Debt, Stay Out Of Debt and Live Prosperously This was the first book I read that took the shame out of debt and addressed some of the emotional issues.   It inspired me to take a second job as an adjunct professor.  This didn't pay much per hour but the extra $2K in a year helped lift my family out of debt.  I felt like a cork, bobbing above the water and suddenly seeing the shore.  What a relief that was!  I found a copy of this one for .01 on Amazon! 2.   "The Only Investing Guide You Will Ever Need"  This was the second financial self-help book I purchased and still have on my bookshelf. 

Deadline 12/14/2015! Special Offer to Get 10% Rewards on Chase Freedom and Amazon Purchases

If you enjoy Chase Freedom credit card rebate points like I do, then be sure that you sign up TODAY for your 10% cash back rewards through 12/31/2015. The deadline is December 14th for this extra cash back offer. (And even if you are reading this after December 14th, 2015, use it as a reminder to check your Chase Freedom Cash Back status. There are plenty of juicy deals for the basic 5% to take advantage of before the end of the year.)   

Why Your Monthly Budget is a Dangerous Myth

  Caution:  Your Monthly Budget is Only About 66% of the Story  I have a budget built after years of study – and it’s about $3K per month in expenses .  At least that was the target amount that would allow me to claim financial independence from the MegaCorp life while still living well on less .    It even included money for several “sinking funds” of savings for the nasty surprises that will happen eventually, but of course -   just not this month .     For example, I will need a new car someday, just not this month.   I will need new glasses that cost about $500, just not this month.      The appliances will someday go ka-put, just not this month.    Hmm….   But as smug as I’ve been about building a great budget including savings accounts for the “just not this month” expenses – the last few months of backing away from MegaCorp life have given me the time to examine what’s really happening in my financial life. Basically, I’ve been fooling myself by woefully under funding Reviews

Have you used  yet?  If so, what did you buy?  How was the process?  Our readers are loving the service so far.    Amazon's newest rival certainly took off this week.   And according to Forbes Magazine's Pricing Comparison Research , their claims to have lower prices than Amazon or Wal-Mart are holding up.  In a price comparison of 16,000 items, they were overall 9% lower than Amazon and the best deal by far for pet supplies (12% under).    (See how our reader Linda benefited from this below).

Pay Off the Mortgage or Not?

Just my opinion, but.... this hotly contested question is really the wrong question to ask.  Which is why there is so much debate about it, perhaps.      The important question to ask is "how much does housing cost me every year?"    And the answer tells you whether or not you can and should pay off the mortgage, or if you should have a big juicy mortgage the rest of your life.    What?  NOT pay off the mortgage -- ever???  The idea of not paying off my mortgage came from Ric Edelman in his book The Truth About Money," 4th edition . He outlines great reasons to carry a big, long mortgage.   A mortgage is cheap money.  Greater liquidity.   You can sell without selling (get your equity back by refinancing your mortgage).  The list goes on.  Most telling is the story about the widow who had a lovely $500,000 home - paid off.  But had no cash to maintain it, travel, etc.  It's an important read. Whether you pay off your mortgage or not, you stil

5 More Reasons to Escape the Corporate Cube & How - Money In Real Life Stories

  6.  You want to be (a little) like Sofia Varga .    You know, "Gloria" from TV's Modern Family.  In real life she's savvy, hip, wise, and quietly building her own media empire.   Latinas are dropping out of Corporate America and cutting their own paths to financial AND emotional well-being.  7. You Can Exit the Party Slowly, and Take a Few Cookies With You.    There is still something to be gained out of your current Corporate Cube Job.   Contacts in the next cube are your potential clients, future collaborators or even your investors.   You are still learning. Money In Real Life (MIRL) Story:   For example, my partner became an seven figure entrepreneur after spending a few years as a CPA.   He learned from every client – what to do, what is realistic, what things cost, how taxes worked.   This knowledge was invaluable for his future as a business owner and real-estate developer. That Guy In IT probably has a side-hustle too and can help you wh

Financial Freedom: 5 Reasons to Run from the Corporate Cube

I've been out of the corporate cube for two months.  I've seen it from both sides.  Being on the outside looks and feels a lot better.  Here's 5 Reasons Why: 1.  It's tough to earn financial freedom in one lifetime by working for someone else. If you still need to earn money, (i.e., your parents haven't willed you a couple of million in a trust fund), just know that owning our own business is one of the few ways in this country to create wealth in one life time.    I picked up these tips from the Millionaire Next Door classic book.    But I suggest you get your own copy and pour through it.  Let's start with taxes.   I learned a lot in the Jackson Hewitt Tax School and I learned that Earned Income you get in the Cube is taxed more highly than any other kind of income.    Taxes are one of your biggest ongoing expenses.   Those who are self-employed, or who earn money from dividend income, or rental income -- well, they don't have as high a tax bur

Financial Freedom: the Marie Kondo Life Changing Magic Way. But Watch Out for Those Emotional Barriers

From 2600 square feet (2010) to 1500 in 2010.      From 1500 square feet to   697 square feet in 2014.    I’ve cut my living space and stuff by 66% in the last five years and never felt freer or happier.   But each time I scaled down, I had to step over and toss out more than unused clutter – I had to face the accompanying fears and bogeymen haunting my psyche.   The T op 3 F ears : Wh at if all my stuff fit in the new space?  W ould I end up embarrassed, with furniture or boxes of ( fill in the blank) at the doorway , left by the movers who couldn't fit it into the new place?     If I have to get rid of it -- h ow will I manage without it?   (i.e., )   Could I really live without a (fill in the blank ? )   Wouldn't I be spending more money to replace the stuff I tossed ?  Because obviou sly I would not be able to live with out. Reality Check:    The on ly things I ever gave away to movers becau se they wouldn't fit in my new spac e: A

Finally Financially Independent: Can You Live a Rich Life on $3,000 a Month?

Yesterday was my last day at Megacorp (gulp) and I'm not 65 years old yet, I'm not even 59 1/2!   Anxious?  Excited?  Terrified?  Yes, yes, yes.    Is it something that you could do too?  Yes, you too. Call it semi-retirement, retirement, a mini-retirement, early retirement, embracing the simple life, the mid-life crazies, taking a break from burn-out...I'm not sure what label fits yet.   The truly kind people at Megacorp gave me a subtle kick-in-the-pants and I am eternally grateful.  The choice was to conform to a job that just wasn't a great fit or get the heck out of the way.   I took it as a sign from the universe to RUN, not walk, from a bad fit to finding th e people who need exactly what I have to offer.   I may never work full-time again and just volunteer, or work by-the-hour, or even find another, better-fitting job -  not sure yet.  But I do know that this will test the financial freedom plan I'd been preparing for years.  Nothing is more satisfying