The Carnival Of Personal Finance, #106

Special thanks to Silicon Valley Blogger at The Digerati Life for doing a superb job hosting the 91 Ways To Wealth: The Carnival of Personal Finance, Epic Journey Edition. Out of 91 posts, I'm proud that my post Credit Reports and Credit Scores was selected as one of the Editor’s Choice.Thank you also to Clever Dude, Blunt Money, and Cheap as chips for picking my post as a one of their favorites in the carnival. Read more [...]

Investing Plan – Update

We have made good progress with our Investing Plan, and have tweaked it a bit along the way.401(k)Our 401(k) is currently at $13,184.13. We have increase our contribution from 2% to 3%, effective July 4. To better diversify our 401(k), we have reduced the percentage allocation of each mutual fund, and added a couple of additional funds. Our current holdings are:16% - JH Lifestyle Aggressive (1.47% expense ratio)16% - Pacific Rim Fund (1.46% expense ratio)16% - Real Est. Securities Fund (1.19% expense Read more [...]

Free Gas

Another benefit that we received as a result of purchasing the new (old) car is $35 worth of FREE gas. The credit union we funded the loan thru gave us a $10 gas card since a friend referred us to them, we also received another $25 gas card since we opened an auto loan within 30 days of our new credit union membership. They’re not big perks, but they’re free. Read more [...]

Opened Roth IRA

As you may recall, we opened a Roth IRA for my wife last month. I’m happy to report that we just opened a Roth IRA with Vanguard for myself as well. I invested in Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX).We had planned to open my Roth IRA next month, but I received a $1,000 reimbursement check from my company a month or two before the business expense will post to my credit card. So, we used the $1,000 reimbursement check and $2,000 from our savings account to open my Roth IRA. The $1,000 Read more [...]

The Benefits Of Acupunture

My wife has suffered with severe allergies her whole life, and none of the prescriptions her doctors have provided gave any lasting relief. She began going to an acupuncturist a little over a year ago on the recommendation of a friend. I’m a bit of a skeptic, so I didn’t expect results from such an unusual field of medicine. Acupuncture seemed so foreign to me and more of a novelty than anything. However, after a few visits, she was able to reduce her allergy medicine and, eventually, quit taking Read more [...]

Steady Progress

Although I only post our net worth in this blog once a month, I check our progress almost daily. Well this morning, we broke $20,000 ($20,235.09 to be precise) in liquid assets (Pre-tax Retirement Accounts, Roth IRAs, Taxable Accounts, Cash & Savings Accounts). Unfortunately, our net worth is well below this amount because we have liabilities that pull it down (0% interest credit card debt, student loan balance, and a mortgage that is slightly higher than what our condo is worth).The details Read more [...]

Cashing In Some Vacation Days

My company provides 4 paid days off (PDO) each year. The vacation days are structured as follows:After your 1st year, you receive 1 week of vacation After your 2nd year, you receive 2 weeks of vacation After your 5th year, you receive 3 weeks of vacation I have been with my company for just over 6 years, and currently have 92.29 hours of Vacation/PDO saved up. My goal was to always have 2 weeks of Vacation/PDO available in case of an emergency. Today, I decided to cash in 48 hours of vacation so Read more [...]

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 [...]

Our path to financial independence and retiring early.