Category: Money Management

How Much Should I Be Saving?

How Much Should I Be Saving?

I always recommend at minimum that you save 15% of your salary to put into retirement accounts, although it potentially means 40 years of work.  (If you start at age 25, you can retire at age 65.  Fair enough.)  Always take advantage of any employee matching programs, and contribute the minimum required to get the full match.  There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer for an overall savings rate, so let’s talk about what works for your situation.

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Long Hair Nightmare

Long Hair Nightmare

As I was roaming the aisles aimlessly at Marshall’s, one of my favorite discount home goods stores, I stumbled across a Keratin shampoo and conditioner.  I thought about all the articles I’ve read saying Keratin is great for keeping hair healthy and strong, and the ends of my hair were a bit dry, so I thought it might be worth the $12 per bottle.  Not exactly an expensive experiment, especially since my usual Aussie is $5 per bottle for approximately the same size.  So onward, for science!

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Adventures with Engagement Rings

Adventures with Engagement Rings

Huge kudos to my partner for nailing my ring.  Having never been engagement ring shopping before, I had no idea of what I wanted.  I like clean lines and delicate details.  I definitely wanted something durable (I’m accident prone, although my partner kindly calls me all-terrain).  Most importantly, I knew that I wanted something custom that came from the heart.

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Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Or maybe dessert, although there isn’t any icing on this silver cake.  I’ve bought myself lovely rings from Tiffany & Co. that I wear on a daily basis (and expect to for quite some time), and the cost per use is dwindling.  I keep the boxes, ribbons and bags lined up on my window sill in my bedroom.  Although I don’t do it often, I happened to give a house tour to my guests when they arrived for a game night last month.  Later during the Game of Things, “What’s something to be jealous of” prompted a response of “Tiffany’s” and all eyes turned to me.  What?!  No!  Absolutely not me!  There’s no need to be jealous!

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So I Bought a New F-150…

So I Bought a New F-150…

I take pride in my frugal habits, especially house hacking (basically living in a 2,300sq ft luxury home for free).  When it came time to buy a car, shouldn’t it have been small and gas-efficient?  After all, a truck is a very non-mustachian vehicle.  To all my mustachian friends, I must simply say that I had different priorities than the money alone.  However, I was honest with myself about the true cost of ownership and had firmly evaluated the decision before pulling the trigger.  In sharing my reasons, I’m not advocating the purchase of a truck.  Instead, I’m trying to paint a clear picture of my approach to this large purchase.  I’ve now owned my truck for a year, and it was definitely the right choice for me.

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Optimize with a Good CPA

Optimize with a Good CPA

I’ve already started organizing for tax time, but it only means gathering my receipts and organizing my bills.  I have a great Certified Public Accountant (CPA) on my team who will be doing the actual preparation and filing for me, which means a little less work on my end.  I consider my CPA to be an MVP on my team, but not just because he will be preparing and filing my taxes.  No no no, he will be busy optimizing my return now that we’ve strategized all year

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Parents: Open a Roth IRA for Your Child

Parents: Open a Roth IRA for Your Child

Opening a Roth IRA is the biggest thing you can do to give your child (or your grandchild) a head start on their path to financial independence.  The money deposited today has the potential for 50-60 years of tax-free growth. You can open the Roth IRA for them at Fidelity. As the adult, you control the account until age 18, even if it’s in the child’s name.  (It does have to be registered with their social security number.)  At age 18, the account is theirs, so don’t tell them about the account until later if they are not good with money.  Just think of that extra 18 years of compounding before they even reach adulthood!

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Meet Your Friend, the Roth IRA

Meet Your Friend, the Roth IRA

I’ve been investing in my Roth IRA since I was 17.  I had landed my first job as a bagger at a grocery store and held multiple other jobs through college.  Each year, I diligently tucked away money that will be able to grow until age 60, which is over 40 years.  At certain points, my effective tax rate was essentially 0%, which is the ideal time to contribute.  Every penny withdrawn will be tax free, and $5,500 with 40 years to grow will be worth over $100,000* tax-free dollars without adding a penny more!  If you’re still young and paying minimal taxes, open a Roth IRA.

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