We are big fans of lists. To-do lists, grocery lists, etc. They keep us on-task and functioning. In blog-form, lists are practical and easy-to-read, and we all know I like easy reads.
If you want more money to spend on something specific (*ahem* paying off your loans *ahem*) but your income is static, the only way to get that extra money is to save money on other expenses. In other words, you need to spend less money on some things so you can spend more money on other things. Sometimes you need that money tomorrow.
This is the first in a series of book reviews by Mr. DoD. His New Year’s resolution is to read 12 finance related books in 2018, which would be 12 more than he read in 2017. We hope you enjoy the first entry in the Doctors On Debt Prescribed Reading series.
Becoming a parent is hard. There is so much to learn about how to take care of this little life you’ve been given; it can become overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like you’re doing everything you can just to not screw it up.
Have you seen the recent announcement about Amazon’s new grocery store, Amazon Go? I’m a sucker for technology, and the concept is awesome: You go in the store, take what you want, and… go. Clever, huh?
Inside the typical looking storefront is some amazing tech. Amazon has an advanced array of motion detectors and cameras that are able to sense what items you pick up and leave the store with, versus which things you put back on the shelf. Walk out with your basket-full of stuff, and Amazon will automatically charge your Amazon account. How cool is that?!
We love to travel, and although we don’t do it as much as we’d like we still try to get in a couple of trips a year. Most people would probably agree that the worst part of traveling is paying for it. I mean, if we all could travel for free, everyone would do a whole lot more of, right?
The thing is, sometimes you can travel free. You do it by what’s called Credit Card Travel Hacking, and it’s awesome.
We hope the new year has been treating you well! Did you think we closed up shop and shut down?! Our bad. We know we haven’t been around much lately; it’s been a couple months since we’ve posted. So where have we been?
Well, a sizeable investment we made in Bitcoin back in 2013 has paid off over the last couple of months and we are happy to say we’re now Financially Free and newly retired… we wish! You weren’t really buying that were you?
The truth is, life got in the way so-to-speak and we haven’t been able to put our complete focus into the blog. We plan to get back on track and look forward to settling into a good routine in 2018 of giving new and original content to our readers on a regular basis, and that starts today.
Speaking of Bitcoin, how about that run it was on, huh? If you hadn’t heard of Bitcoin in the middle of 2017, you had by the end of the year. The frenzied pace at which the buying, the media coverage, and the hysteria occurred was fascinating to watch. If you had any skin in the game it was even more than that. Continue reading
Well, this is awkward. We just made a decision that is going to change our financial plan forever.
We feel like such hypocrites. For 6 years we’ve been slogging away at our student loans, throwing as much money at them as we can each month in order to become debt free. We’ve championed the virtues of frugal living to our friends and family, and in July 2016 we even started this blog to bring our views to the masses.
Our plan had been to live frugally, keep expenses small, keep loan payments big, and get out of the student loan vortex ASAP.
Did we just ruin it all?
I read an article recently by Live Free MD, via the White Coat Investor. It was about Financial Indpendence being a continuum, not a specific number. In other words, it’s not something you reach all of a sudden; as your portfolio grows your goals should grow with it.
I like Live Free MD’s philosophy on money, and you should head over to his blog if for no other reason than to read about how he paid off $400,000 in debt in a few short years.
His post on Financial Independence being a continuum was a fun read. It laid out specific goals he has at different stages of his net worth. He is absolutely dedicated to reaching FI, and it was interesting to see how he laid out specifics for what he would do at each stage, especially in regards to how much vacation he would allow himself if he was at $0 net worth vs. $500k net worth and beyond.
One decision we made (albeit a little late) in regards to our careers was to leave the bright lights of the city and move to a more rural location. When our early jobs weren’t working out the way we wanted them to, we made a choice: Go where the money was.
What we gained with the move was an instant rise in income (that has continued to go up) in exchange for living somewhere that others may see as less than desirable. Obviously, there are a lot of downsides to living “in the sticks” as well, but I feel that those have been hashed over plenty of times in pop culture and the mainstream, so I won’t delve into them too much, at least not today. This is a Rural-Positivity thread!
Saving money on stuff really isn’t that hard. Honestly, it’s not. It’s a matter of looking at what you’re spending money on, deciding what matters and what doesn’t, and cutting out the stuff that doesn’t. It’s not a magic formula, but it takes a little introspection and some discipline.
Some things aren’t really optional. Life and disability insurance, rent or a mortgage, food and utilities; these are things that you really can’t live without. There are certainly ranges of costs that you can choose from in those categories, but the bottom line is you’re going to spend some money on those things because you have to.
It’s the other things in life – the vacations, the dinners out, the entertainment – that are harder to reduce or eliminate, because we just aren’t wired to give up things we like. Still, grown ups have to make tough decisions sometimes, and we did that when we decide to cut the cord (and yes, I realize that giving up cable is not a life or death decision, but still… it was tough for us!).
Having a child changes your perspective on things, as every parent knows. Recently, I’ve been thinking more about the advice I’ll give once my kid starts talking about what they want to be when they grow up.
A common response I hear whenever this question is posed (by someone of any age), is “Do what you love.” In a perfect world, that is absolutely the best answer. It’s the answer I’ll give when my child is young and lives life with no preconceived notions of what’s possible.
The reality is, as idyllic as it may be, doing what you love isn’t always the prudent decision. When you’ve got bills to pay and loans to honor, the first thing you need is a paycheck. Maybe that sounds harsh, but it really shouldn’t. It’s just the fact of the matter.