15 Financial Lessons I Have (tried to) Given my Children

Over the last year my kids started their college years. The "first" step into adulthood.  We as parents can only try to prepare them for life on their own.  These are some of the financial lessons I have passed along. While some may simply be cookie cutter advice, they are functional.  Many were learned the hard way, but sometimes I took notes!   

They were free. Hope they are listening.
1.  Learn to delay gratification.  Save for goals instead of borrowing from your future.   The future you will thank  you countless times.
2. Do not feel guilty for spending money on what is important to you. 
3. That happiness you feel when you purchase that (unneeded) expensive toy is just a temporary rush and will soon be gone. 
4. Automate everything. Your savings so you don't spend any money earmarked.  The bills so they get paid on time; Many offer discounts when the payments are automated. Save that discount.
5.  Use credit cards wisely.  They are simply tools.  Use them to make y…

Your Pennies Do Count

I have always been frugal, just didn't know there was a name for it.  Just thought I was  smarter.  Not so!

Some believe that frugality, being economical with our resources, primarily money; is an important step  towards financial freedom  That owning 25 pairs of shoes, a closet full of dresses, suits and jeans is quite an unnecessary waste of money.  
Many use David Bach’s Latte Factor, how saving just a few dollars a day rather than spending it on small, seemingly harmless purchases do make a difference.  The Latte Factor is not just about that morning coffee. Your “factor” may be the bottled water at the gas station or the magazine you pick up at  the checkout line. Harmless they are not.
Many take this to the extreme and live on a steady diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and noodles to save a couple of dollars.  That is not  frugal, it's just cheap and rather unhealthy.
Other extreme measures include buying two-ply toilet paper and splitting each roll into two,  …

The $25 A Week Master Plan To Retirement

My kids overheard a conversation I was having regarding saving for early retirement and were intrigued, not about retiring, but about having their money grow into  what for them seemed like an insane amount. Since their earning potential was limited to washing the neighbor’s car, or mowing a lawn, I tried to show them how easy it would be to start small.
A small amount is all that is needed, say $25 a week. I used the morning coffee their uncle buys every day as an example.  Coffee should be brewed at home; Easy math, $5 a day is $25 a week.
I also mentioned the lunch they buy at school every day.  They could brown bag it and save all that cash. They said that they saw my point but that my math was flawed as the ingredients had to be purchased. At least they saw my logic.
$25 a week is roughly $100 a month, $1,200 a year.  That may not seem like much, but I found an IRA calculator and plugged in the numbers. That money contributed from the ages of 19 to 65 could easily add up to more th…

Your American Dream is Dead

The American dream of yore is no more.  The days when your steps on the road map of life were sketched out for you,  even if in pencil,  have passed. What worked for your parents, will not work for you.
Used to be you graduated from high school and moved on to college. Once you graduated, you got a job, you met that special someone and got married, eventually bought your first house and had 2.5 kids.  Somewhere along the line you bought the car of your dreams.
The rat race, pay check to pay check life is not a happy life and none of us have to live it.  Get out while you can, or better yet do not get in at all.

As planned you received several promotions, upgraded to a bigger house once or twice, the cars also got bigger and better.  The kids, college educated adults, left home. Now you are empty nesters with way too much house.
You now attempt to downsize, retire and sadly realize that you are way too tired and all the things you wanted to do have passed you by.  Don't worry,  your ki…

How I Funded my IRA While Working Less

For a very long time money was the driving force leading me to work an absurd amount of overtime.  Much of it was going where it should; retirement savings in the form of a 401k and an IRA, the must haves like housing and food and of course the much-needed vacations.
One day I woke up to the realization that my time could be best used elsewhere.  I began to place a higher value on free time instead of making more money.
Spending quality time with my sons, one is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, while the younger played baseball for a few years and then moved on to soccer, was important. I did not want to miss anymore of their achievements! I also wanted to be present to cheer them on, celebrate a win, and be supportive when that heart-breaking loss came about.  

I started looking around and found that I could earn passive income and thought to myself "I could do that" and make some extra money.  Boy, was I disappointed when I dug in.  There were many suggestions ranging from drive …

What We Can Learn From The Financial Independence Movement

Financial independence is a term that has many a different meaning. Is it complete freedom from debt, or when you are simply self-sufficient?  Some see it as the ability to make decisions based on what makes you happy and not what makes you money.  Yet others see is as that moment when you do not have to work  another day in your life.  All different and  all correct. Never one-size fits all.  Nothing ever really is.
For most retirement, by default becomes financial independence; when social security and the pension plan kick in, but do you want to work 40 plus years so you can one day finally say “I am done”?  Why wait until then to do all the things you always wanted to, but never could do? This should not be your life’s goal.  Imagine learning to skydive at 67.  Pretty neat, but would you rather take that leap on your 40th birthday instead? For a growing number, financial independence has become the ultimate goal.
Do you want to spend more time with your loved ones, travel more?  Jus…