Credit Score Update

Another benefit of buying a new (used) vehicle is that I was able to get updated credit scores from Experian and Equifax thru a couple of the car dealers. Best of all, my scores were they highest they have ever been.Experian: 784Equifax: 756My understanding is that your credit score for financing a car may be different than your credit score for, say, financing real estate because they are calculated slightly differently. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have current credit reports to review for any Read more [...]

Cash Back Credit Card

As I have mentioned before, my Wife and I use our Citi Dividend Platinum Select credit card most of our monthly expenses. We receive 1%-2% cash rewards for these purchases and have been averaging a $50 cash back check every two months. It’s free money for bills we have to pay anyways. Plus, charging the expenses to a credit card helps with our monthly cash flow.Citi Bank recently sent us a special referral offer. If you would like to sign up for a Dividend Platinum Select credit card, I can request Read more [...]

Sold One Car, Bought Another

After 3+ months of trying, we were able to sell Car 1 over the weekend. We sold it to help reduce our monthly expenses and allow us to tow a ski boat my father-in-law is giving us. So, after the selling the car, we bought a used truck.The 2001 truck only has 55,000 miles, 11,000 less than the 2002 car we sold. We will save $140/month on car payments and $15.66/month on auto insurance. This money will be deposited into our Emigrant Direct savings account each month. An added bonus is the truck gets Read more [...]

May 2007 Income Statement

We've gone over budget each month, so I decided to revise our monthly budget to more accurately reflect our expenses. Our new monthly budget is $6,113.42, to help better account for household expenses, entertainment costs, and a little extra buffer for random expenses.Nonetheless, we still went over budget, but by a smaller margin. Our total expenses for May were $6,251.88. Click on the spreadsheet below to see the breakdown. Read more [...]

May 2007 Net Worth Update (+$2,604.03)

Our net worth is now at $9,042.53, a $2,604.03 increase from last month (click on the spreadsheet below). Our biggest gain came from a $600 increase in our 401(k), only $100 of which was from contributions. We also checked off another short term goal by opening a Roth IRA for my wife and funding it with $3,000 (thus the hit to our savings amount). Our liabilities were reduced by their standard monthly amounts, except for our Chase credit card that we paid $105 extra on.God willing, we should reach Read more [...]

The Value Of A Dollar

My parents did a great job of teaching me the value of a dollar.I've never wanted for anything. I was blessed by them paying my way thru college (school, room, and board), paying for nice family vacations to Europe, and generally helping me when I was short on cash. But, at the same time, I started working at age 15-1/2, paid for half of my first car (they paid the other half), and have never been unemployed.I remember at a young age my Dad explaining to me that, if I started saving early enough, Read more [...]

Memorial Day

My Wife and I just returned from spending some time with her dad and mother-in-law on the lake. Lots of sun, food, and fun.It's important to remember that today is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Please take a moment to remember our fallen soldiers. Read more [...]

Cash Back Credit Cards

My wife and I pay most of our monthly bills using our Citi Dividend Platinum Select MasterCard cash back credit card. We pay for our groceries, gas, cable/internet, gifts, etc. using the card. We have also arranged to have my Wife's medical insurance bill, my cell phone bill, and our Blockbuster Total Access bill automatically charged to the card each month. There are only a few things that we can't charge to the cash back card such as our mortgages, HOA dues, and auto loans.We have been averaging Read more [...]

Hard Math

I rarely eat fast food anymore, but got the urge to indulge in a value meal.My bill total came to $7.42, for which I paid with a ten dollar bill and two pennies. I received a funny look for handing over the two pennies. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to received $2.56 as my change.Go figure. Read more [...]

Just Got A Ticket

I was wondering what I should post about today and, after leaving the office, I got my answer.Down the street from my office I noticed a number of police offices standing at a stop sign. I fastened my seatbelt before reaching them, but was still flagged to the side of the road by one of the officers. He said I was a little too late with the seatbelt and that I was receiving a seatbelt ticket.I tried to get some sympathy, but the officer said they were out there on their day off giving out seatbelt Read more [...]

Our path to financial independence and retiring early.