We Live in an Awesome House that We Almost Certainly Can’t Afford

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Fun Fact: If you type “rhododendron” as “rotodendrum,” or “rodadentron,” spell check just basically looks at you and says, “You really should have paid more attention in school.” I had to Google that sucker.

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You people better buckle up, because I’m about to get real with myself on a number of levels with this post. Come to think of it, I guess I had better buckle up too…

We live in a rad house that we purchased a year ago this past June. We’ve had 3 homes go on the market in our gated community this year, and each has been listed (and sold) for $1-$1.5 million bucks. At the same time we’re kind of “out there” in the country, so it’s a really nice quiet community mostly filled with hard-working blue collar Contractors and Boeing Engineers who have built a hell of a good life for themselves and their families.

Our house wasn’t a million dollars for sure, but we do get million dollar views. We have views of both the Cascades and the Olympics, and I tend to post buttloads of these photos on my Instagram Account.

I mean, just look at this view I get to experience from my back yard:

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(Ignore the  ratty lawn in the middle one. I hadn’t mowed yet this year.)

Now I know what you’re thinking right now; you’re thinking, “Awesome, d*ck. Great of you to post on your blog about your awesome view and house. Maybe for tomorrow’s post you can show us your killer sports car. JERK.”

BUT IT GETS EVEN BETTER! The absolute BEST part of my house?

I don’t think I can afford it.Read More »

Tuesday Tip Jar: Get Involved with the Online Financial Community

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Welcome to another “Tuesday Tip Jar” where I will share awesome savings and financial tips as I find them. I might not have something for you every Tuesday, but when I do, you’ll find it here!

If you’ve got a financial tip you think others would benefit from, please send it to me via my contact page at the top of the blog!

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Family is important. A good strong family will support you when you are down, cheer you when you are up, and tell you candidly when that all-natural deodorant you’ve switched to isn’t doing its job as well as you think it is.

With some things however, you may not always feel comfortable discussing the matter with your family. For me, finances fall squarely into that category for a few reasons. Unless it’s my wife, who I blabber to about finances until I’m blue in the face.

So when my wife finally told me I needed to go at least 30 minutes without saying “401k,” “savings,” “bills,” or “debt,” I knew I had to find an avenue for discussing financial strategies and seeking others who could aid us in our journey to financial independence.

Luckily we live in a day and age where there are a million ways to find people willing to talk with you about any subject you could possibly imagine. Reddit, Facebook, YouTube, Forums, and on and on. There are lots of options for finding like-minded folks, and I’m already blown away by how supportive the people in these virtual communities can be.

Last week an awesome reader to the blog told me that I should check out a group on Facebook called ChooseFI. I had never heard of it before, but he told me that it was a podcast as well as highly supportive Facebook group dealing with helping people to achieve their goals.

Awesome for sure, but let’s roll this back even a bit further…Read More »

Tuesday Tip Jar: An App for Teaching Your Kids to Invest

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Welcome to another “Tuesday Tip Jar” where I will share awesome savings and financial tips as I find them. I might not have something for you every Tuesday, but when I do, you’ll find it here!

If you’ve got a financial tip you think others would benefit from, please send it to me via my contact page at the top of the blog!

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Quick Tip Jar Follow-Up: A few weeks back I posted about a government run service that allowed you to search for and reclaim lost money. At the time I was somewhat skeptical, but today I got two checks in the mail for both of my claims!

So if you’re in need of a bit of extra cash (or even if you aren’t), go read that post and find out if you have missing money owed to you. All the credit goes to David Bach and his readers for turning me on to this rad site!

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Today’s “tip” is going to be a bit odd in that I haven’t actually even fully tried it out to see if it works yet as well as I hope it will. Here’s the story:

Part of the lesson my wife and I have learned being in debt is that we never want our children to find themselves in this kind of situation. While the goal is to be able to help them financially one day if needed, we’d very much prefer to instead just simply teach them how to never need help!

Part of this lesson comes in the form of teaching them to invest their money, and so I’ve been on the hunt for a good investment app that frankly skews a bit towards kids. Now obviously kids can’t go around buying stock in Starbucks or Tesla, and they need a parent or some other adult to do it for them. So you need what is called a “Custodial Account” where an adult buys the stock for the kid and helps them build a portfolio, and then when the kid turns 18, they get the investments turned over to them.

Kind of like the nerdiest beer purchase for underage kids of all time.

But not all apps allow for this, and the ones that do are often so dry that your average kid isn’t going to be interested in paying attention to their cold design. So I started asking around and doing some research, and it shook out to 3 frontrunners…

Read More »

Having Tea with a Gorilla in a Dress

The analogy I use is this: Let’s say you’ve gone and purchased yourself a pet gorilla… as people often do. Years of work have gotten you to a point where the gorilla will even let you put a pink dress on it and have pretend tea parties together...

Starting Credit Card Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Credit Card Debt: $108,870.87
Total Paid Off: $17,439.90
Income Going to Savings: 2%

Being in debt has been incredibly stressful on me and my family. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my debt, and frankly there are times when it crosses my mind several times per hour.

I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but it’s all I can do to keep exercising and meditating daily just to keep my heart from exploding clean out of my chest at times!

The stress has lifted a bit now that we’ve regained some control and have our monthly bills covered. [Note: We started close to $4,000 upside down every month!] I’ve also got everything set up to auto-pay now, so nothing is late and no late charges are assessed and for the most part we can cover everything each month.

The problem is that it leaves us with almost nothing to put aside. On some months I can spare a couple hundred bucks to toss into savings, but until we get some things paid off later in the year with a bonus and some vesting stock, we’re in a literal paycheck-to-paycheck cycle right now.

The analogy I use is this: Let’s say you’ve gone and purchased yourself a pet gorilla… as people often do. Years of work have gotten you to a point where the gorilla will even let you put a pink dress on it and have pretend tea parties together.Read More »

Tuesday Tip Jar: Robinhood Investment App

Welcome to another “Tuesday Tip Jar” where I will share awesome savings and financial tips as I find them. I might not have something for you every Tuesday, but when I do, you’ll find it here!

Starting Credit Card Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Credit Card Debt: $109,070.87
Total Paid Off: $17,239.90
Income Going to Savings: 2%

When people ask me what two skills on this planet I am probably the worst at, my answer is as follows:

  1. Investing Money
  2. Archery

So I figure it only makes sense that my favorite app for investing money is one named after a fabled deadeye archer, Robin Hood.Read More »