Stop lying to yourself. … About your expenses that is. If you are constantly finding yourself short on funds every other month, or if you have to keep dipping into your life savings just to keep the checkbook healthy, then something is wrong. That was a harsh realization I had recently. Even after all the budgets and spreadsheets I’ve made, we were forecasting a huge deficit for the year. The only solution? It was time to get real about our household expenses. … [Read more...] about It’s Time to Get Real About Our Household Expenses
Frequently when you think of planning for retirement or becoming financially free in general, you think about how much money you’ll need to save in order to generate the kind of income that you’re use to. For example, how can I save $1,250,000 so that I can draw 4% and take out $50,000 each year? In this post, we’ll look at the other side of the coin. Instead, we’ll look for a way to reduce how much income you’ll actually need while on your own. And how will we do this? By focusing in on one of your largest expenses – your mortgage. … [Read more...] about Before Retirement, Eliminate Your Biggest Expense
In the first part of this series, I wanted to test the claim that dollar cost averaging (DCA) was an effective strategy for protecting your investments. Too often I’ve heard claims against investing within the media saying that if you had bought stocks (particularly) during “The Lost Decade” between 2000 and 2010, then you would have had a -23% return on your money. After crunching the numbers, we determined that dollar cost averaging would have beat a static investment in the S&P 500 and returned a -6.8% return instead of a -23%. That’s great, but who wants a negative return?! Why … [Read more...] about Would Dollar Cost Averaging and Bonds Have Saved You From “The Lost Decade”?
I’d like to be the first one to give you a gift this Christmas season: My free, downloadable Christmas Present Planner. If you really want to save money this season, the first thing you need to do is get organized so you don’t over-spend. This handy Microsoft Excel file will allow you to keep track of both your initial budget and the amount you actually spent on each individual. Overall, it will help you keep your spending on track and make sure that everyone on your list is well taken care of. … [Read more...] about Download My Free Christmas Present Planner!