Stong Financial Foundation

Simple ideas for a strong financial foundation:Live below your meansI believe this is one of the most important steps to a strong financial foundation and, for me, one of the hardest. If you try to keep up with your rich looking friends and associates, you may end up like most of them: lots of nice stuff, but a low net worth. Every dollar that you save is worth more than an extra dollar earned because the extra dollar earned is taxed.Start an emergency fundJob loss, health issues, and expenisve repairs Read more [...]

Target Retirement Date

Our ideal target retirement date is 2027, twenty years from now, when I am 52 and my wife is 43. Realistically, this goal is going to be a stretch, but we have a long enough time frame that I think it is possible under favorable conditions.If we believe that we can live on $60,000/year when we retire, then using a 4% Safe Withdrawal Rate (SWR), our nest egg goal is $1.5M. However, with inflation averaging 3.43% annually, our nest egg may need to be substantially larger.We will refine and better define Read more [...]

Frequent Flyer Miles

I have been traveling for business for 6 years. It took me 5 years to finally bother to sign up for frequent fly miles, even though I have had plenty of co-workers and friends recommend it. I felt like I didn’t want to have to arrange my schedule to fly with a certain airline. That was very, very dumb.In the last 12 months, I have accumulated 31,368 miles on Delta SkyMiles and 11,316 on American Airlines Aadvantage. .. . for doing nothing more than enrolling and entering my account number when Read more [...]

Short Term Financial Goals

Below are some of our short term financial goals (1-5 years). I have checked off the items we have completed. a Pay off 401K loana Pay off credit card debt with rate interest over 0%a Save up 2 weeks worth of vacation (in case of job loss / unable to work)Pay off 0% interest rate credit card debt Open and fully fund Roth IRA for wife Open and fully fund Roth IRA for husband Sell Car 1 Pay off Car 2 10% (of gross income) contribution to 401(k) Build emergency fund to $12,000 We’ll be selling Car Read more [...]

March 2007 Income Statement

We had a great net worth increase in March, but did a poor job staying within our budget. We were sadly over budget $775.68 in March (click on spreadsheet below).A lot of non-monthly bills hit in March, such as both cars needing servicing, buying a baby shower gift, enrolling wife in new insurance program, and a mini vacation. That's not a good excuse though because we also went over budget for some of our standard monthly bills.Time to take back some ground by coming in under budget next month!Stay Read more [...]

March 2007 Net Worth Update (+$6,462.28)

A lot of progress was made since our February 2007 Net Worth update. We have a positive net worth! Thank God! It’s a great feeling to finally have a positive net worth, even if it is only $3,293.43.I can’t believe we were able to post a $6,462.28 change (click on spreadsheet below) to our net worth in one month. Over half of this increase was due to our Federal and State tax refunds ($2,044) and my wife receiving a $1,463 tuition reimbursement.Here are the highlights from March:Our 401(k) has Read more [...]

Business Travel

I am currently on a business trip and have been thinking about the money I save when I travel.I travel 6-7 times per year, usually for 1-3 weeks per trip. While it's hard work being on the road, there are perks. My company reimburses me for my travel costs (i.e. hotel, rental car, meals, etc.). I also use a 1-2% cash back credit card for all trip costs that helps put a few extra dollars directly into my pocket. In addition, my American Airlines Aadvantage and Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer accounts Read more [...]

Cable/Internet Savings

My wife cancelled our old Time Warner cable/internet plan and restarted our service to take advantage of a 2-year promotion they are running for digital cable. She was even able to coordinate it so that there was no interruption in service.We just received our first bill, only $72 compared to the $94/month we were paying previously. This represents an annual savings of $264 for us. With digital cable we get many additional channels including music channels and On Demand. Plus, Time Warner provided Read more [...]

Affordable Movie Rentals

There is nothing like relaxing on the couch with your girl, a cocktail, and a great movie to watch. At $4.95/movie for new releases, movie rental costs add up. We’ve thought about signing up for Netflix, but never liked the idea of having to wait for the next movie to arrive in the mail. Blockbuster Total Access solved that problem by offering low cost online movie rentals, and the ability to pick-up rentals at your local Blockbuster.We chose to go with the $14.99/month plan that allows us to have Read more [...]

Investing Plan

My wife and I have been putting investing on the backburner while we paid off some debt this past year. We feel that we’re in a position now to begin investing again.We currently have $12,242 invested aggressively in my 401(k), broken down as such:25% - JH Lifestyle Aggressive (1.15% expense ratio)25% - Pacific Rim Fund (1.72% expense ratio)25% - Real Est. Securities Fund (1.54% expense ratio)25% - Natural Resources Fund (1.51% expense ratio)We also have $700 in ADVENTRX Pharmaceuticals stock.We’re Read more [...]

Our path to financial independence and retiring early.