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Category: Financial Tips

Don’t Raid Your Retirement Accounts

Don’t Raid Your Retirement Accounts

Let’s be honest, we all run into a bad patch financially once in a while. We might lose our jobs, have extra expenses that we didn’t see coming, increased debt because of an illness or death in the family or sometimes we just plain overspend. In these situations, our immediate impulse is to get out of the jam as quickly as possible and if we don’t have the money saved in an emergency fund one of the impulses that people…

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Best Mutual Funds for Socially Conscious Investing

Best Mutual Funds for Socially Conscious Investing

This blog has truly been an adventure. Originally, I started this blog to keep myself in check and track my progress to financial independence. I have been somewhat successful over the past few years in reducing debt and increasing my overall net worth. A wonderful side benefit of this blog is that I get e-mails asking for my advice. Those e-mails have increased over the past couple of months. Now it isn’t a lot. I get maybe 10-15 per week…

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Building Wealth? Own a Home

Building Wealth? Own a Home

I have written on this blog a number of times about my housing blues. We have certainly done our share of home repairs over the three years we have been home owners. In fact, I think we have spent at least $15000 in just the past three years on new insulation, appliances, mold remediation, and other small items. That, of course, doesn’t include buying furniture and other things we did to our house. There are also all kinds of future…

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Financial Tip Friday: How Much Car Can/Should You Buy?

Financial Tip Friday: How Much Car Can/Should You Buy?

I have to admit I love the idea of having a nice brand new car. I mean who doesn’t love that new car smell. It’s all clean and wonderful. But I then snap back to reality pretty quickly because I realize that car will be worth at least 10% less the minute I drive it off the lot. And if I have to finance it that car payment will probably be with me for 3-4 years. Plus, the car goes…

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Let’s Talk About Target Date Mutual Funds

Let’s Talk About Target Date Mutual Funds

The wonderful bloggers over at Millennial Revolution had an excellent post last week they entitled “Is Too Much Freedom Bad For You?” Personally, I think the answer to that question depends on the person. Politicians constantly promote the idea of freedom. More choices will drive down the market. The amount of choices we have on the internet is fantastic. The amount of television shows makes this a great time to be a fan of TV. That maybe true in the…

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Should I Invest in Real Estate?

Should I Invest in Real Estate?

*This post is updated from its original posting about six months ago. I have been thinking about buying real estate to add to my portfolio. I thought a multi-family home next door to us would come on the market as a foreclosure, but that isn’t going to happen. So I have been thinking about how else, if at all, do I get into real estate. So while this was a thought experiment 3 years ago I still think about it…

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How to Evaluate Mutual Funds

How to Evaluate Mutual Funds

Last week I talked about strategies I try to use to conquer the fear of missing out. Part of that post was focusing on staying the economic course. Part of my course is a focus on buying cheap, index funds. In fact, many personal finance bloggers (it might be most, but not all) also adhere to this rule. Warren Buffett has even argued his financial advice to people would be to stick their money in a low-cost index fund. I…

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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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