Cars Part 1 – How We Saved $26,200

About 4 years ago, Elisa purchased her first (and so far only) car. I thought it would be interesting to look at how much this car has cost us and see how it compares to what the average American spends on his/her vehicle. At the time, we were not thinking about financial independence. In fact, we didn’t even know what it meant. We just wanted to make a responsible decision, so we looked at the things we were hoping to get out of the car: Safe and reliable transportation Efficiency and low maintenance That’s it. In my opinion, that’s all a car … Read more…

Tracking Expenses – Lessons Learned From 2015

Management guru Peter Drucker said “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it“. So in order to take control of your finances, you first need to know where your money goes. I know a guy who thought he was saving about $200 per month. He wasn’t actually tracking his expenses, the $200 savings was just his best guess. After a couple of months of actually tracking his monthly expenses, he found out he was actually losing $300 per month! Don’t be this guy. There are many approaches to budgeting and staying on top of your finances. We actually don’t … Read more…

Financial Independence: Our 10-year Plan

Every time financial independence comes up in a conversation with somebody who is new to this idea, it is often received with skepticism. This is understandable. When I first heard about it, I was skeptic as well. After reading stories about early retirees, meeting some of them, and crunching the numbers myself, I realized that reaching financial independence long before you are 65 years old is actually possible! At that time, spring of 2015, I didn’t have any significant sources of income as I was just about to begin grad school, and Elisa had been working for about one year. … Read more…

The Millionaire Janitor

This past February, the story of Ronald Read, “The Millionaire Janitor”, started making headlines in mainstream media channels including CNBC. Mr. Read passed away in June 2014 at the age of 92. Most of his life he worked as a janitor and as a gas station attendant. Upon his death, his estate donated $4.8 million to a local hospital and $1.2 million to a local library, and his total net worth was estimated at over $8.0 million. How could someone who worked minimum wage jobs for most of his life amassed such wealth? Did Mr. Read win the lottery? Did he stumbled upon … Read more…

Key Money Lessons From My Childhood

One of the reasons I started this blog, was to help people become better at managing their own money. Most people don’t receive any formal education on personal finance and just tend to follow what everybody else does, which is terrible! How terrible? About 75% of people in the U.S. are living paycheck to paycheck! Which means they have basically nothing saved up for emergencies, retirement, and let alone financial independence. This is sad because personal finance is one of the most powerful things we can learn and master in order to improve our lives. Through some of my personal experiences, I … Read more…

Think Differently About Your Money

Most people think of money as something they earn through work in order to cover life’s basic necessities and other purchases. This way of thinking is not necessarily wrong, but it is also not enough if you want to be wealthy and financially independent. Take it one step further and think of your money as soldiers under your command, they can do lots of different things for you. These soldiers ensure that you can cover basic needs such as food and housing. They can also get you other things such as new cars, cable TV, gadgets, massages, and so forth. But most … Read more…