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Month: May 2017

Earmark Extra Income Ahead of Time

Earmark Extra Income Ahead of Time

One of the favorite things my dad would always tell me was that when I had money it was “burning a hole in my pocket.” And in some respects that was/is true. I remember using my allowance to buy toys, food, and games or other items. I don’t remember saving a lot of my money as a kid. I mean I had a savings account, but when I went to college I had enough money for spending money, but that…

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Planning Your Legacy

Planning Your Legacy

Guest Post: Today we have a guest post from Samuel Murdoff, an attorney who specializes in real estate, business law, and estate planning. Full disclosure Sam is my cousin. However, Sam is also one of the most ethical people I have ever met. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University, where he spent 2 years doing mission work in Europe and he graduated with a J.D. and MBA from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. I think his advice…

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Rules of Thumb for Buying a House

Rules of Thumb for Buying a House

A few days ago CNBC had an analysis where they put out what salary you needed in order to afford a home in 20 cities. Their basic criteria is how big of a salary you needed if you put down 10% or 20%, 4% 30 year mortgage with a 45% debt to income ratio. For example, to afford a median priced home in San Antonio (140k) with 10% down you need a salary of 23k and 20% down you would…

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Public Service Loan Forgiveness Storm Clouds, Part 2

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Storm Clouds, Part 2

A few weeks ago I wrote about the potential for storm clouds surrounding Public Service Loan Forgiveness. A program that Mrs. ROB and I are enrolled in that we can use to combat our student loan debt. The initial controversy stemmed from lawyers who worked at certain non-profit organizations but those organizations weren’t classified as 501 3(c)s, which were the specific non-profits covered by PSLF. Apparently, these lawyers were told that their jobs were initially covered by PSLF, but then…

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What Are Your Financial Dreams?

What Are Your Financial Dreams?

The last year has been somewhat of a tough one for the ROB household. As many readers know, Mrs. ROB and I are actively trying to have a family. Our initial IVF treatment was successful, but Mrs. ROB unfortunately miscarried so you can imagine what Mother’s Day was like for her. Our 2nd round didn’t go as well. So we are starting another round and it was recommended that Mrs. ROB/we join a group where couples/particularly women can go, talk about…

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My Advice to New College Graduates: Live Like a College Student

My Advice to New College Graduates: Live Like a College Student

The end of the school year is always bittersweet for me. On the one hand, I get to watch several students graduate who I have become close with over the past few years. On the other, my world is much sadder that they are gone. It is also the time when commencement speakers will offer all kinds of advice to upcoming graduates. So consider this my version of a commencement address to my students on personal finance. My Advice to…

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Want a New Financial Future? Own Your Past

Want a New Financial Future? Own Your Past

In some respects this post is like a Dr. Phil episode. I fully admit I watch Dr. Phil every once in a while because I am fascinated by the stories. Frankly, if your life isn’t a Dr. Phil, Maury, or Jerry Springer episode can life be really that bad? The truth is it can, particularly financially. A lot of us make New Year’s resolutions regarding personal finance, but we don’t follow through with them for a variety of reasons. In…

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Book Review: Strangers In Our Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Book Review: Strangers In Our Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild

A few months ago one of my colleagues wanted me to review Arlie Russell Hochschild’s book A Stranger In Our Own Land for our faculty magazine. I think the book helps to explain narratives that seems incongruent with each other: why do white working class people vote against their interests? I highly recommend you read it. Here is my review of the book: Can We Bridge America’s Political Divide? Ever since the election of Donald Trump pundits, policymakers, and politicians…

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