Learn How to Manage Money Wisely By Doing This One Thing

How to Manage Money Wisely

A few months ago a coworker and I got talking about our company’s retirement plan and I could tell he needed some help understanding some of the fundamentals.  So the next day I lent him a copy of one of one of my favorite books on finance in hopes that it would help him to manage his money better.  However a few months later when I checked in with him he said he still had not read the book because he hadn’t found the time for it. “I don’t have time for that” – It’s one of the biggest illusions we fool ourselves into believing.  We say it about exercising more, going back and getting that degree, spending more time with the people that matter, etc.  Yet for many of us I’m willing to bet that if you really did an audit of what actually do … [Read more...]

How to Become Independently Wealthy … Outside Your Job

How to Become Independently Wealthy

How does someone actually get rich? Should they make more money at their jobs by working harder?  Should they take on longer hours and more responsibility … all in vain hopes of getting a better raise or bigger bonus? Is your job even really the only way how to become independently wealthy? In this post I want to dig a little deeper into what it takes to actually become “rich”.  People who have made it – whether they are in the top 100 of Forbes or even people that you know in real life - more than likely didn’t get there by running the rat race and working themselves to dead.  While that might be the case for a small fraction of individuals, I think you can find in just about any good book or biography that the successful and … [Read more...]

Stay Humble – You’re Still Just a Ditch-Digger

Stay Humble

Sometimes I feel like all throughout my life I was lead by the media to believe I was going to be entitled. When I was a little boy I used to watch Scrooge McDuck swim through his giant money bin full of cash. When I was teenager I watched MTV’s The Real World and couldn’t wait to live in giant apartment with no job for 2-3 months. When I was an adult house hunting shows made me think that living in a beautiful, luxurious $300K home was completely normal. With messages like that, how is someone supposed to stay humble?  By getting back to their roots every now and again.  By serving those who need served.   Helping My Dad with Building His Deck: The summer is not just a great time to be outside, but also a good time to … [Read more...]

Never Let Anyone Compromise Your Goals in Life

goals in life

My wife and I have been having a lot of discussion lately about some of the changes we want to make that will help us reach our goals in life sooner rather than later. Don’t worry – there’s nothing wrong with us or our marriage.  But for reasons I won’t get into publicly, let’s just say that the working-world has decided to pose some complicated challenges that would otherwise make it take longer to get there. Since going down this path of reaching financial freedom, we’ve both been so completely infatuated with the goal of getting there.  We’re seduced by the thought of what our lives will be like when we do. Unfortunately though sometimes even though you think you’ve got all the pieces to your life in place, things beyond your … [Read more...]

Even Though I Want Financial Freedom, I’ve Still Got a Long Ways to Go

I Want Financial Freedom

Recently when I was asked to do an interview with the Mint website, it got me thinking a lot about how much I want financial freedom and where I’m at so far with my own savings goals. So I decided to try this fun game - You can try it too.  Pretend you decided to stop working tomorrow and were going to live off of absolutely nothing else other than your financial assets (and good looks) for the rest of your life.  Call it an early retirement.  Call it what you will. The magic question would then be: How much money would you be able to pay yourself each month?   How Much Money Would You Need? In the past I’ve determined that my magic number to reach financial freedom was somewhere around $5,000 per month.  In other words, if … [Read more...]

How Do You Keep Yourself From Becoming Who You Don’t Want to Be?

Don’t Want to Be

Have you ever looked at someone and just plain thought to yourself: That’s who I don’t want to be in 20 or so years from now? Recently I was re-reading a great book “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss.  One of the thoughts that stuck with me was his conversation in Chapter 4 about how he and a friend keep trying to avoid becoming that “old, fat, bald man in the red convertible”. To them, that was the epitome of a pathetic, wasted life.  It was their stereotype (and we all know someone like this) of a broken middle-age man making his last desperate effort to experience life when he had already wasted too much of it working long hours in the office missing out on the prime of his youth.  It was someone who waited too long to see the true … [Read more...]

Learning About Yourself and What You’re Really Capable Of – Through Travel

Learning About Yourself

One of the most over-looked and under-appreciated arts around is that of travel. Every year 1.5 billion fly somewhere.  Some people do it well.  Others completely freak out. The interesting thing about when you travel alone is that it really gives you the opportunity for learning about yourself and what you’re really made of.  You’ll find out just how brave or scared you are to try new things.  You’ll also find out how resourceful you are when it comes to un-foreseen challenges and bumps in the road.   How Traveling Leads to Learning About Yourself: I’m reflecting on this subject after having recently had the privilege of traveling overseas to the UK for a business trip.  This was actually my third time traveling to England … [Read more...]

When Conventional Wisdom About Money Clashes With Conviction

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My understanding and beliefs about money began at the same place most do - with one’s parents. My parents' handling of their personal financial life was truly a work of art. Transferring money from one budget envelope to the next to meet a need, hitting all the local auctions and thrift stores, and using the credit card for emergencies were all the norm in our household. One can’t help but carry those same patterns of behavior into early adulthood. Parental modeling of behavior has that much impact. So after college, I tried to follow the conventional wisdom about money by being as frugal and disciplined with spending just the same as it was instilled in me during childhood. I also became more in tune with what society had to say … [Read more...]