Financial Websites

I really enjoy searching the web for high quality financial websites that I can learn from. It's amazing how much information is available online. Below is a list of sites that I visit frequently.Early Retirement ForumFinding this site started it all for me2millionMy favorite personal finance blogMorningstarMore finance information that you can ever readBloomberg CalculatorsMany useful financial calculatorsVanguardOffers a wealth of resources and low expense Roth IRA choices Read more [...]

Why Don’t We Talk About Money?

Other than my family, I only have a couple of friends that I talk with about money. Even then, our conversations are usually limited to vague references, and not actual numbers. I can see pros and cons to keeping money matters private. ProsLess chance of jealousy if your financial situation is better than another person's Less possibility of embarrassment if your financial situation is worse off than another person's Less likelihood that someone will hit you up for a loan / try to steal from youConsLack Read more [...]

Net Worth Milestones

To achieve our net worth goal of $1.5M in 20 years, we need a plan. Below are our net worth goals for each year (click on spreadsheet to enlarge). This plan assumes an average annual return of 8%, and our ability to increase our investments as our careers develop.As you can see, if we are able to hit our targets, we are still almost $300K short of our $1.5M goal. I guess that’s why they call them "stretch" goals. Read more [...]

Roth IRA vs 401(k)

We currently have $12,688.05 invested in my company's 401(k) plan and $630.00 saved up to begin funding Roth IRA’s for my wife (minimum required to open a Vanguard Roth IRA is $3,000).The 401(k) money was accumulated (no company match) over the past 5 years of off and on investing without a plan or a goal. Now that we do have a plan and a goal, we have decided to focus on fully funding our Roth IRA’s this year, while still contributing a small amount (2% of my salary) to my company's 401(k) plan. Read more [...]

Northern California Coast Trip

We just returned last night from a friend’s wedding in Northern California. It was a great time, but we spent almost $400 for the 2-1/2 day trip. Our portion of the cabin was $160, our share of the gasoline (we drove) was $115, and meals totaled roughly $100. The Northern California coast is absolutely beautiful – lush green countryside, quaint cabins, and dramatic ocean views. The small town they had the wedding in was so remote that our cell phones did not work, internet access was via Read more [...]

Nice Commission

My wife just got word today that the commission she is expecting on 4/20 will be more than we thought. She’s getting $1,599.68 ($1,147.24 after taxes)!We have earmarked the money for the following:$656 to pay off American Express$200 to Emigrant Direct emergency fund$171 to church$120 to buy wife new jeans (she earned it)What a blessing! Read more [...] Update

I posted last month about how we were gambling with some play money in We currently have $100 spread over two $50 loans and an average return of 12.21%. Both borrowers are current with their payments.Loan 1: 2: all sounds pretty good, but one drawback of the system is that you do NOT earn interest on money in your prosper account (where the borrower’s payments Read more [...]

$25 For Opening An ING Direct Savings Account

One of the simplest ways to get your money working harder for you is to open a high yield online savings account. We use Emigrant Direct and ING Direct because I have read many good things about both banks in online forums, and have been very happy thus far. These banks are FDIC-insured and pay a much higher interest rate that your typical brick and mortar bank.If you would like to receive $25 for opening a high yield ING Direct savings account, send me an email and I will forward a referral link Read more [...]

Counting Easter Egg Before It Hatches

My wife just did some back of the napkin calculations for her commission check this month. If all of her orders go thru as expected, she should receive a $1,033 commission check (less taxes) on 4/20. This would be a sizeable boost to our net worth for April. Go wife and thank God! We’ll use the money to immediately pay off our American Express credit card, leaving us with just one credit card balance of roughly $1,800.I love counting our eggs before they hatch. Happy Easter! Read more [...]

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 [...]

Our path to financial independence and retiring early.