Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back

Over the past two years or so I have chronicled my efforts to pay off almost 260k in debt. I think I have done an ok job trying of trying to pay down debt. I have paid off over 50k in the last two years about 10% of the total each year. I also have been doing pretty good in staying OUT of credit card debt. I do have a rewards card that I use, but I have paid it…

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Getting Credit–A Rant

Getting Credit–A Rant

Based upon the title you would think this post is about getting credit for a credit card, a mortgage or otherwise. What I am talking about is getting credit for something that one should do anyway. In other words, why do people expect to get “credit” for things they should just automatically do. What set me off on this rant is that one of the things I hate about teaching is the grading. I don’t know any teacher that really…

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Our Overstock Mattress–A Great Investment

Our Overstock Mattress–A Great Investment

This post was inspired by the fantastic blogging couple the Frugalwoods. If you want to take inspiration about how to live a frugal lifestyle, but do it with some verve and inspiration their blog is pretty awesome. Anyway, a few weeks ago they provided an update on their “Amazon” mattress. They got a fantastic deal on a king-size mattress and only paid $279 for it. Mrs. ROB and I did not get the same deal as the Frugalwoods, but we…

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Neighborhood Real Estate Observations

Neighborhood Real Estate Observations

I have a couple of friends of mine who are actively looking for a house. I actually have been helping them out a bit by using what I learned when bought our house and some additional lessons I have learned. When helping my friends look for houses I noticed some things in our own neighborhood that I think are reflective of some national trends. Prices for starter homes are rising faster than those for the “next” house. Now this might…

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Are You “Retirement Free”?

Are You “Retirement Free”?

I don’t know what it is lately but I have been reading and writing a lot about retirement, even though I have no plans for retirement any time soon. This past weekend I had a great time talking with a couple of colleagues about retirement, finance in general, and our discipline. I get a high off of helping others, talking about these items and I am not sure why. Now what does this have to do with this post. Well,…

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What is Your FIRE Number?

What is Your FIRE Number?

In the title of this post some of you may not know what FIRE stands for. FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. Well in the personal finance blogosphere one of the big things is determining when you can achieve financial independence (e.g. what date, what amount you need, etc). Since I began writing this blog just over 2 1/2 years ago I said that I had three goals: To track my debate repayment progress. To hold myself accountable to…

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Financial Tip Friday: Do You Need A Financial Adviser?

Financial Tip Friday: Do You Need A Financial Adviser?

Yesterday on the way home from work I was listening to a fascinating interview on NPR with the author of the book Death of Expertise. I went out and immediately ordered the book. The interview sparked a number of questions about anti-intellectualism in America, the fallacy of reasoning by anecdote, the lack of trust in our institutions, etc. It is also got me thinking about personal finance and how many people actually seek out financial advice from a specific expert? If…

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Track Your Finances With Personal Capital

Track Your Finances With Personal Capital

Before I begin this post I should note that I use Personal Capital to track my expenses, but I am not affiliated with the company. I get no money or anything for promoting their services (although I wish I did). One of the things that can improve any financial situation is tracking your finances. I actually track some of my finances with three different services. Specifically, I use Credit Karma, Mint, and Personal Capital. I like Credit Karma because it…

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Medical Debt/Travel Insurance Update

Medical Debt/Travel Insurance Update

In a couple of posts earlier last month I alluded to a trip I had taken to South Africa (read here and here). In one of those posts I mentioned how one of my students broke her ankle abroad and I had to put up over $5000 in medical expenses. To recap, about a week into our trip one of my students slipped and broke her ankle. Before the trip our university issues insurance cards for all the students and…

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The #1 Rule of Personal Finance

The #1 Rule of Personal Finance

If look at personal finance articles there are all kinds of rules to pay down debt, budget, buying a house, etc. However, all of those rules pale in comparison to the #1 rule of personal finance. That rule is: PAY YOURSELF FIRST!!! What Does Pay Yourself First Mean? So now you know the rule, but you may not know how to carry it out. What does it mean? Does it mean you physically take your paycheck and give yourself some…

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