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Cutting The Grocery Bill

lifestyle Jul 20, 2020

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may be compensated at no additional cost to you. For my full disclosure, click here. 

Groceries are a HUGE money suck for families. Let's be honest, you go to the grocery store in a rush and probably hungry. You start adding things to your cart. Next thing you know, you're checking out and wondering why your weekly groceries are somehow hundreds of dollars. 

Finding ways to reduce your grocery expenses can free up a LOT of room in your budget, which can then be channeled into debt payoff or investing.

Let's break down some ideas:


1. MEAL PLANNING
- Honestly this is fundamental. If you don't know what you're going to eat, you don't know what you need to buy. If you're not one to want to sit down and craft a meal plan, check out $5 meal plan. It's a service that will provide you meal plans for $5/month and then auto create a grocery list based on the plan. I've used it and felt it saved me a lot of...

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Financial Independence

wealth Jul 13, 2020

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may be compensated at no additional cost to you. For my full disclosure, click here. 

People talk a lot about "financial freedom" or "financial independence". But what does it really mean? There are so many different variations of this out there and different people use different terms. We will keep things simple. 

Financial independence means you can live entirely off of your investments. 

Some people utilize stages to describe financial independence. One example is the following:


1. FINANCIAL SECURITY
- This means your investment returns could cover your bare minimum expenses, with no thrills or extras. Few people will quit their job at this stage (unless they have some source of additional income), but it allows you the security of knowing your investments could cover your major bills should you need them to. Some people call this "lean financial independence". 


2. FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
-...

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How To Increase Your Savings Rate

wealth Jul 06, 2020

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I will be compensated at no additional cost to you. For my full disclosure, click here.

 

The key to wealth is your overall savings rate. I say this ALL THE TIME. Recommended savings rates vary from 10% (see books like The Richest Man in Babylon), 15-20% (Dave Ramsey), and upwards of 50% (see the entire FI/RE movement). Regardless of if you are saving nothing at all, or just a small amount, increasing your savings rate even slightly will make a HUGE difference in your future.

But how do you increase your overall savings rate when you're already feeling strapped for cash?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. GET ORGANIZED
- If you're not tracking your expenses routinely, it is nearly impossible to know where you can cut expenses to increase your savings rate. A monthly budget is a fundamental requirement. 

2. PAY OFF HIGH INTEREST DEBTS
- Carrying high interest debts is the equivalent of running a race with...

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Your First Million

wealth May 25, 2020

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I will be compensated at no cost to you. For my full disclosure, click here

 

Becoming a millionaire isn't as hard as you would think. For ease of numbers, let's talk about how to become a millionaire using only your retirement accounts. This is an incomplete picture because your home and other accounts contribute to your net worth and would help push you over the millionaire net worth mark, but for simplicity we will use only retirement investing for now.


SO HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU HAVE TO SAVE MONTHLY TO BECOME A MILLIONAIRE BY 65?


This varies depending on your current age, as one of the major contributors to the end balance is how much time you have left before age 65 for compound interest to work in your favor. Let's look at the numbers by age. We will assume you are starting with an initial investment balance of 0, and that you receive an 10% rate of return.


  • AGE 25 - $171/MONTH
  • AGE 30 - $280/MONTH
  • AGE 35 -...
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What Am I Investing In?

wealth May 18, 2020

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I will be compensated at no additional cost to you. For my full disclosure, click here.

When you go to select your investments within your 401(k), other retirement account, or miscellaneous investments, how do you know what investments you're choosing? Remember, a 401(k) or Roth IRA is simply a tax designation for an investment. The tax treatment matters greatly, but so does what you choose to invest in within it. 

HAVING A BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR INVESTMENT SELECTIONS WILL EMPOWER YOU TO MAKE BETTER CHOICES.

Let's review a few basic investments types:
1. ACTIVELY MANAGED MUTUAL FUNDS
- When you select a mutual fund to put your money in, you are selecting a group of stocks and/or bonds. What stocks and/or bonds are in each mutual fund have been selected by a professional who is actively managing the fund - or in other words buying and selling assets he or she thinks will maximize your dividends. 
2....

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How To Save For A Major Purchase

lifestyle May 13, 2020

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I will be compensated at no additional cost to you. For my full disclosure, click here

How do you prep financially for a major purchase - like a car, pool, trip-of-a-lifetime, etc? We are in the midst of a major kitchen and dining room remodel, which is our big purchase this year, so this is fresh on my mind. 

ADVANCE PLANNING IS KEY.

The only way to pay for ANYTHING is in cash. Utilizing a loan, payment plan, or credit card is digging yourself into a hole you will have to crawl out of later, with interest. The only way to pay cash for a major expense is to plan WELL in advance.

HERE IS HOW WE PAID FOR OUR REMODEL IN CASH:
1. DETERMINE THE TOTAL COST OF YOUR PURCHASE
- For us, that meant getting approximate quotes on the various aspects of the remodel well in advance. If you're buying a car, determine the average price of the car you want. Be warned though, the process of looking before you buy can get tempting....

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Multiple Income Streams

wealth May 07, 2020

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I will be compensated at no cost to you. For my full disclosure, click here.

I talk a lot about creating financial security through minimizing debt, creating significant savings as a financial buffer, etc. Another layer to the idea of financial security is creating multiple income streams. 

ONE OF THE WORST BLOWS TO YOUR FINANCIAL STATUS COULD COME IN THE FORM OF JOB LOSS.

One way to minimize the magnitude of this type of event is to develop multiple streams of income. This is something that may take several years to put into place. Creating a plan to develop this type of financial picture may be something that you start now, with the realization that it may not come to fruition immediately. 

The higher percentage of your overall income that comes from additional sources, aside from your primary job, the less likely any single event can substantially reduce your income. 


HERE ARE A FEW...

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Your Emergency Fund

lifestyle Apr 01, 2020

One of the things that this pandemic has shown us with certainty is that nothing is certain. People have lost jobs, businesses, commissions, etc with little to no notice. You may have not been financially prepared this time around, but you can use this as a learning experience and motivation to be better prepared in the future. 

An emergency fund is the key to financial security in an uncertain world.

This is one of those paramount "must haves" to protect you and your family. Determining how much you need and where to put it is fairly simple. The hard part is accumulating the money, and then having the self discipline not to touch it unless there is a TRUE emergency.


LET'S TALK THROUGH IT...
1. HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED?
- Take a look at your budget and calculate your monthly expenses. This includes all bills and essentials like food and household items. I wouldn't include entertainment or shopping "extras" in this. Take this amount times 6 (some say 3, but I like the extra...

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