Hello and welcome to My Money Design!
My belief: You can reach financial freedom.
It doesn’t matter what your bills are like. It doesn’t matter how much (or little) money you make.
You can truly achieve financial freedom if you REALLY want to. All it takes is the right amount of knowledge, discipline, and (most important) “a plan”.
These are exactly the things I want to give you with this blog. I started My Money Design not just as way to improve the lives of my family, but also as a means to help others who wanted to accomplish the same incredible goal.
For as long as I’ve been a student of money, one thing I’ve learned is that even though everybody’s financial situation is different, there are a few core, fundamental strategies that simply just “work”. Though there are times you may have to find creative solutions to solve real-world problems, I’ve found that if you truly practice these underlying techniques when it comes to handling your money, I promise you: You’re going to see a BIG difference!
My hope is that the information I share with you impacts your life in some meaningful way. Whether its realizing that you might be able to retire 10 or 20 earlier than you originally thought, or even a simple trick that will help you save a few more dollars per month, I really do wish that everyone who stops by this site learns something that will improve their life.
Sound good so far? Then read on to see my most helpful articles below. And while you’re at it, please sign up to get free updates every time we have a new post or something cool to share. (I promise not to spam you!)
Who Am I?
My name is DJ, and I’ve been on the path to financial freedom for quite some time.
Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been fascinated with money and the ways people become rich!
Starting in my early 20’s, I began studying everything I could find that had to do with money. I read through dozens of books and thousands of websites looking for all the best secrets in budgeting, investing, and early retirement. More importantly, I’ve tried most of the things I learned about to better understand what really works and what doesn’t.
While I’m not a trained financial professional, I have spent most of my adult life optimizing every aspect of my financial well-being. This includes everything from finding ways to max out our retirement accounts to taking dream vacations for pennies on the dollar. In total, this effort has created an ideal frame-work for my wife and I to be able to retire in our 40’s (if we choose) and live comfortably for the rest of our lives.
If you’d like to know more about this site (like why its called “My Money Design”), please feel free to check out our About page.
All-Time Favorite Posts
I’ve published A LOT of material over the years! There are literally hundreds of articles on this site. So if I could convince you to read just a handful of them, these are the ones I would tell you to check out:
- 10 Steps to Retire Early – What You Should Be Doing Right Now!
- How to Retire on $500,000 In Your 50’s or 60’s
- Financial Freedom Has Never Been About The Money
- 5 Secrets About Money That the Rich Know and You Don’t
- The Top 7 Money Excuses That Hold You Back From Financial Independence
- How to Retire By 55 (or Sooner) on a Salary of $50,000 or Less
- How to Stop Worrying About Money – 5 Effective Strategies That Will Improve Your Finances
- How Much Passive Income Will a Dollar Saved Today Buy Me in the Future?
- What is the Minimum Retirement Savings You Could Comfortably Live On?
- How This Couple Was Able to Retire Early After Just 15 Years of Saving
- How to Become a Millionaire – The Simple Way to Save $1,000,000
Gaining Control Over Your Finances
Before you can improve your financial situation, there’s one thing you need to do first: Gain control over what’s coming and and what’s going out.
Why is this important? Because when it comes to money, we all must follow one simple golden rule:
Income > Expenses
It doesn’t matter how much money you earn or what your reasons you have for spending the way you do. To really gain control over you finances, you’re going to need to create a budget that works, stick to it, and always be working on ways to improve it.
To get you started, please check out the following:
- The 10 Best Practical Ways to Budget Your Money and Save More
- Monthly Budget Not Working? Why An Annual Budget Is Better
- 1,000 Ways to Save More Money!
- How Should I Set Up My Financial Plan?
- Free software for tracking your money: Personal Capital
Your Path to Financial Independence and Early Retirement
Why is it so important to achieve financial freedom?
Financial freedom is the point where you have enough assets to cover your living expenses for the rest of your life.
Think about that for a minute … you have enough savings or income from your investments that you never have to work again for money if you don’t want. That’s a huge accomplishment! Think of all the time you could spend and things you could do with your life if money wasn’t the primary concern or motivator.
Sound good to you? Then let’s get you started.
Learning the Basics:
- How Much Do I Need to Save for Retirement? The Incredibly Simple Answer
- The Power of Compound Interest and How It Can Make You Rich!
- What is a 401(k)?
- Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA – Which One Is the Better One to Have?
- 401(k) vs IRA – Which Is Better For My Retirement Savings?
- Should I Put Money in a 401(k) or IRA First?
- How Much Should I Contribute to My 401(k) Plan?
- 403(b) vs 401(k)
- 401k to IRA rollovers
- Social Security Part 1 and Part 2
- What is a stock?
- What is a mutual fund?
- ETF vs Mutual Fund
More Advanced Techniques:
- How to Unlock Your Retirement Savings Before Age 59-1/2 to Retire Early
- Saving beyond a 401(k) or IRA with a SEP IRA
- Traditional vs Roth 401(k)
- Your ideal portfolio asset allocation
- Why you need to get your full 401(k) employer match
- Tax-Deferred vs Taxable Savings
- The smart way to double your money
- How to read stock metrics; in particular these important ones: Dividend Payout Ratio, Dividend Yield, PE Ratio
- How to use a 72T
- A Backdoor Roth IRA Ladder
- Using long term capital gains and dividends
Creating Additional Income Streams:
Who says you’ve got to be limited to just how much money you get from your paycheck?
In addition to planning for retirement, you can really take your finances to the next level by adding additional, multiple streams of income. Not only can these extra sources of money reduce how much you’ll need to save for retirement, but then can also help you to add stability to your income as well as achieve financial freedom more quickly.
Plus, who doesn’t want more money?
Have you ever heard of the concept of passive income? If not, read this post here. Then check out our extensive list of passive income ideas you can start trying.
I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars since I’ve started blogging. Its a ton of fun and easy to do because it doesn’t feel like work.
Plus it costs hardly anything to get started. Just go to a reputable site like Bluehost, sign-up, and you’ll be the owner of your own blog in minutes!
Find out everything you need to know about blogging by checking out this extensive, 4,000+ word guide I’ve put together.
Receiving dividend payments from the stocks you own is the ultimate form of passive income. You don’t have to lift a finger and the payments come rolling in!
To help you get started:
- Read this book: The Little Book of Big Dividends
- Check out this post on a strategy I personally use called the Dogs of the Dow
Thinking about becoming a landlord? Read:
- How Much Money Would I Make If I Rented Out A House?
- Which Is Better – Rental Income or a Stock Market Index Fund
Reducing Your Lifestyle Costs:
Want to really optimize your finances? Try the following:
- Which is Better – Paying Off Your Mortgage or Investing the Money?
- Which Is Better – Paying Down Your Auto Loan or Mortgage?
- Which is Better – Points or No Points on Your Mortgage?
College Savings for Your Kids:
Motivation and Guidance:
Sometimes personal finance is more “mental” than it is “technical”. We all get lost along the way and need some help getting our priorities straight. Please enjoy these posts as they help you reflect on your goals and needs.
- Why Care About Money?
- Why Do You Want to Retire?
- Let Curiosity Guide You, But Common Sense Protect You
- Don’t Quit Your Day Job Yet
- The Value of What You Know
- Embrace That You ARE in Sales
- Do You Fake It?
- Go Ahead and Buy Yourself a Coffee – You Deserve It
Photo Credits: Unsplash / Pexels / FreeDigitalPhotos.net