Moving Guide
The Power of Baby Steps
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The path from helpless baby to world-changing adult is walked via baby steps. Tried-and-true improvement through marginal gains.
75 Personal Finance Rules of Thumb
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Don't re-invent the wheel. Personal finance rules of thumb let you apply wisdom from the past to reach quick solutions.
Improve Your Finances in 2021: A Guide
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Looking to improve your finances in 2021? These four simple steps apply to anyone looking to improve their personal finance.
For Folks with no Free Time
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If you focus on identifying the best opportunities to affect your personal finance, you can profoundly improve your life without wasting time. And those best opportunities are...?
By the numbers: My spending for March 2019
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March was a mixed month in my financial world. I ended March with a slightly higher net worth (up 0.6%) but my spending was the highest it's been this year: $5989.10. Yet, that spending was mostly mindful. I wasn't frittering away money on silly things.

If I wasn't buying dumb stuff, then where did my money go? A few worthwhile places:

  • I spent $653.31 on the yard and garden. Specifically, Kim and I tore out a big cedar tree in the corner of the yard, then converted that space to a small orchard. I use the word "orchard" loosely here. We planted three fruit trees, four blueberries, four grape vines, and a bunch of strawberries. I hope to write about this more in the near future.
  • I spent $625.72 on health and fitness. In the middle of the month, I had quite a scare. Out of nowhere, I had chest pains, so I visited the local hospital ER. My co-pays and prescriptions are reflected in March's spending -- and there's more to come. (We're about to have a l-o-n-g article on the $6800 hospital bill I received in the mail yesterday. That'll happen in April or May.) Meanwhile, Kim had knee surgery at the end of the month. I paid for some of her stuff out of my pocket.
  • I spent $579.36 on gifts in March, which is very very unusual.
  • I paid the $450 annual fee on my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. (Yes, I know this seems like a lot. But remember the card comes with a $300 travel credit, which means my effective annual fee is $150. I believe I receive $150 in value from the card's other benefits.)

I don't consider any of that spending frivolous although I recognize that some of it isn't necessary. (Do we need an orchard? Do I need to give gifts?)

Net Worth Targets by Age
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Are you on track to meet your goals? Understanding your net worth targets by age will help you plan for your (and your loved ones') future.
Struggling with money anxiety and finding balance
By admin | |

On Saturday evening, I had a chance to chat with my friends Wally and Jodie. You might remember them from a reader case study from last August. They're the couple that wants to get their finances in order but they're worried because they're starting with less than zero.

When we chatted in August, Wally and Jodie had over $35,000 in debt. They had variable incomes, but somehow seemed to spend exactly what they earned -- about $3000 per month after taxes. Worst of all, they were behind on some payments.

Now, eight months later, their situation has improved.