Could Buying Your First House Be a Financial Mistake?

Buy a house

It’s official – we’ve moved!  We’re finally all settled into our new house in our new city, and we’re loving every minute of it! This is only the second house my wife and I have purchased in our adult lives.  Our first one was back when I was 24 years old. With our first house for sale on the market at almost the same price we paid for it back 11 years ago, this got me thinking: What if we hadn’t bought a house when we first got married, and did something else with our money?  Would we be better off financially? Although this is a fun little question to ponder, it’s actually a very … [Read more...]

How to Use the Power of Customer Retention to Lower Your Bills

Lower My Bills

Me: So I get to add an extra line, get a brand new iPhone 6, and my monthly bill is going to be exactly the same? Sales Rep: Yes. Me: You’re sure?  It’s not going to go up after a month or two? Sales Rep: Correct. Me: And we’re not getting any less service at this price? Sales Rep: Right.  Oh, there is one thing …  you’re also going to get this new Samsung tablet as part of the package.  That’s already included in the price I quoted you.   Shopping Around for a Cell Phone: That exchange of words above is exactly what happened just a few months ago when I started … [Read more...]

What If You Stopped Saving Money for Retirement?

saving money for retirement

Here’s a fun little game to try on yourself and see how your finances are coming along. (… Depending on the answer, it might also make you feel really good about your savings efforts so far!) Suppose you were suddenly let go from your job.  You find a new place to work, but it doesn’t pay as well. So in order to maintain your standard of living you decide you’re going to cut corners and completely STOP saving money for retirement. The big question: Would you still be able to comfortably retire when you want to?   My Answer … (... Kind of a funny question to ask on a … [Read more...]

What is the Best Safe Withdrawal Rate for Retirement?


The 4 percent rule… It’s arguably one of the most highly debated figures in retirement planning. Since its inception in 1994 by Bill Bengen, it seems as though you can find just as many people who love it as those who hate it. Why so much fuss over one tiny, little number? Because of what it stands for!  Planning your nest egg size using the right safe withdrawal rate figure can mean the difference between playing with fire during retirement or having 100% confidence that you’ll never run out of money. But if you pick a number that is too conservative, it can also mean the … [Read more...]

How to Retire By 55 (or Sooner) on a Salary of $50,000 or Less

How to Retire by Age 55

If you’ve got dreams of retiring early by age 55 or sooner, then you’ll be very delighted to know that this goal is well within your reach! Believe it or not, our ability to reach financial independence is something that is always possible to achieve. Though the path to get there may not always be clear, there are always certain actions we can take that will cut through the brush and reveal a clearing at the end of the forest. The biggest question and sometimes most challenging obstacle: How? You might think that the dream of financial freedom is something that is only reserved for … [Read more...]

Countering The Arguments Against P2P Lending

p2p lending

MMD: Today we have a mega guest post from fellow personal finance blogger ARB.  Take it away! Hello, readers of My Money Design! I am ARB, the Angry Retail Banker! Over on my blog, I offer what I call “An Insider's Take On Retail Banking”, which means that between bouts of raging out and threatening my entire customer base with physical harm, I talk about both life as a branch banker and ways for you to maximize your banking relationship. I am here today to talk about absolutely none of that stuff. Before you all hit the back button on your browser and type “funny cat videos” into … [Read more...]

How Much Do I Need to Save for Retirement?  Probably Much, Much Less Than You Think!

how much do i need to save for retirement

When it comes to your retirement savings, how do you know when enough is enough? According to an article from CNBC, a global investment management firm surveyed investors and you know what they came up with? An average retirement nest egg of $2.5 million! That’s how much they believe it will take to have the same quality of life they’re enjoying today. As I found out first hand at a lunch outing with a friend, this sort of belief is all too common! But what if it’s not at all true?  What if you really sat down and actually figured out how much do I need to save for retirement and … [Read more...]

A No-Brainer Way to Lower Your Bills – For Free!

lower my bills

One of my favorite blog series to follow along with is J Money's "Challenge Everything" series over at Budgets are Sexy. In case you don't know this one, basically what J does is take a different bill every month and tries to get it lowered. Or another thing he'll try is to look for some other side hustle to make a little extra money on the side. Collectively this ends up going into a special fund that he can do whatever he wants with when it's all done. So far he's done quite well with himself. At last count he was over $4,000 bucks!   Lower Your Bills With a Little … [Read more...]