The # 1 Investment Advice I Didn’t Follow

Though index funds are the #1 piece of investment advice that most follow, including myself, that’s not where this post is going.  Let’s talk about the other main piece of advice…
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Seriously, my decisions in the past few months have led me to quite the predicament for the upcoming month.   You see, up until 4 months ago, I only got paid from my airline gig once per month.  It was a choice I made years ago when I wasn’t working much and didn’t want a “draw” on my paycheck at the start of the month (5th) in the event I couldn’t cover it at the end of the month (20th).  We’ve all heard about writing checks your butt can’t cash – same idea.  
For those who aren’t familiar with what a draw is, in our case as hourly employees, we are paid for a certain amount of hours at the beginning of the month regardless of if we have worked them or not.  When the second check rolls around they calculate our total pay for the month then deduct the draw we had at the start of the month.  It is a great option for those who need help budgeting or for those that enjoy the twice monthly pay…I needed neither.  However, what I thought I needed was to get a hold of my money earlier each month so I could invest it sooner.  

Enter Dollar-Cost Averaging… Continue reading “The # 1 Investment Advice I Didn’t Follow”
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5 Frugal Ways to Bust the Summer Heat

A heat wave is crashing down on my home sweet home Chicago for the next few days…and when I say heat I don’t mean that dry heat that all those Phoenix folks are always bragging about.  I am talking about the humid wet blanket kind of heat that wraps itself around you and smothers you to death.  Yes.  It is that brutal.  On the up side, as a long time resident of the nary-a-wind-in-sight city, I have found some frugal ways to keep cool whilst the city melts around me.

Must be wicked hot outside….
 

1.  Go to the Library!  Free fun for the whole famdamily…books, movies, CD’s, free wifi and interent, magazines, story times, and the list goes on.  One of the best features of the Chicago Public Library system is their museum passes.  You check them out like a book and they give you free entrance to local museums provided you have at least one child under 18 with you.  More info in the link provided above.  Which brings me to #2… Continue reading “5 Frugal Ways to Bust the Summer Heat”

Savings Rate Showdown…It’s a biggie!

Did you know that as of December 2015, the average personal savings rate of Americans is 5.5%??!!  Research says that number is on the rise, however, it is still much lower than the long term average of 8.34%.  That’s seriously nutty!  So, if the average American takes home 50K a year after taxes, they only save $2750 a year?!

 OUCH!  Ouch

Now let me preface the following with a few key points:

In terms of debt – I have none.  We’ve already discussed my lack of mortgage but, to add to that, I have never held a credit card balance, I missed out on student loans by skipping college minus a few semesters at a CC, my car is old but paid off and, thankfully, I have been healthy enough to have no past medical expenses…oh, and having no kids helps with keeping my costs down.

Though my debt (or lack of it) looks pretty rockin’, I am not without my financial failures and FICO score fuck ups…but for now, that’s a story for another day.

Ok…back to the showdown… Continue reading “Savings Rate Showdown…It’s a biggie!”

The Power of the Penny – 1 to 1 Million in 27.5 days!

Some people like to joke that they are worth more dead than alive.  Ummmm, no – no you’re not.  No matter how much insurance you have on your life, when you are alive you still have the power to make money and money MAKES money.  Perhaps your financial worth is less at this moment but it wont always be so…

Think about currency in our country’s smallest form – the penny.  One single cent.  Oh man, the poor penny gets a bad rap.  People leave them behind in tip jars, couches, and tossed on a floor.  I know many people who won’t bend over to pick one up…even when said penny is heads up!  Shame, I say!!  This is FREE MONEY from The Money Gods!!

Ugh… Regardless of what those people may think, the penny has great exponential power – let’s consider it as a jumping off point.  There are so many things you can do with pennies…

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Continue reading “The Power of the Penny – 1 to 1 Million in 27.5 days!”

Being Thrifty With Spendy Friends

Ugh – I made my friend cry.  And not the single tear shed type of cry but a weepy, snotty, high pitched squealy type of balling that can make some recoil in horror.  Mind you, these tears came a flowin’ after her polishing off a bottle of wine so regardless of the topic I am pretty sure the end result was inevitable…

Anywho, here’s how it went.

Her – Girl, I miss you!!  We need to hang out like this more often!

Me – Yes, we do!  But, I have to be honest, as much as I love seeing you, I can’t afford to hang out with you!  Every time we go out I come home with a spending hangover that takes me days (sometimes weeks) to recover from. 

Now her eyes start to tear up…

Me cont… – Well, that’s not true.  It isn’t that I can’t afford to go, I just choose to spend my money in different ways.  And that’s ok!  I have asked several times if you want to go for a walk or Ill bring wine up to your pool deck and we can hang and chat, but you always want to go out instead.  Going out like you do (everyday) is a major splurge for me and my lifestyle so it is something I have to limit myself in doing.

Her eyes are spilling over and the lip is quivering…here it comes!

Her – But we all have the same job and make the same amount of money!  I am sick of people saying they can’t afford to go out with me!!!

Apparently, I am not the only one telling her this…

Me – Yes, we all make the same amount.  But we all choose to spend it differently.  You like your nice centrally located apartment with the finest of furnishings, lovely labeled clothing, and fine meals out.  I love hanging with my dog, travelling on a dime, and my small Ikea furnished condo off the beaten path.  I love to cook and drink wine from a box (it’s a new thing I’m testing and although I love the environmental impact of less bottles and packaging, I am still not sold on the wine itself).  So we have a lifestyle conflict.  Of course, we are still friends, but I need to be more ME in this friendship.  

Now – if it wasn’t for our other friend at the table backing me up, I am pretty sure she would have gotten up and walked out.  But she didn’t and so the conversation continued.  We assured her that we love her no matter what but we were making choices in our financial lives that no longer align with hers (not that mine ever did but softening the blow in these situations is a more effective approach).  Our friend just had baby #2 and I am within 6 years of financial independence.  Those are OUR priorities.  She took a moment to listen and then declared:

Her – Well, I have chosen to live in the moment.  

Me – And I LOVE that about you!!

End scene.

All she needed was to realize that she was making a choice as well.  Now that she has a mantra, she will be able to go out and feel good about the choices she is making – regardless of what others think.  And besides my favorite money mantra, A million dollars starts with one cent, I have adopted a revised version of hers…

I will live in the moment provided I won’t regret it in the morning.  🙂

** Have you made a friend cry or do you have any spendy friends you are avoiding?  Have you made it work with them in another way?  Share your knowledge!!  I feel I may be up for round two with this friend in the months to come! 🙂 **