I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always wanted to become financially independent (FI). I may not have known the term “FI,” but it’s always been my goal. With that in mind, I was focused on making effective financial decisions. At the top of my list: becoming a homeowner. I heard that renting meant “throwing money away” (in reality this is not always true) and I never wanted to do that. Here’s the story tallying up my wins and losses from buying a condo at 24.
So… it’s official. I’m not only the least fascinating financial blogger in the industry, but also the worst. I tried to cut the cord and failed! You can’t ever accomplish your financial goals and pay for cable at the same time, right? I’m doomed.
Reading hundreds of blog posts surrounding the personal finance community, it’s easy to get a little jealous of others’ success. I mean, on a daily basis I read about people going from rags to riches, or having a $1M income, or people retiring at an obscenely young age. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I think it’s time to step back and focus on all the reasons I have to be thankful.
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My family recently received the best kind of dividend. He’s small in size and already has made a huge impact on our lives. Our family of three has become four, as we welcomed our second son into the world.
Once the initial shock and joy wore off, I remembered that kids are expensive. They’re also unlikely to speed up a plan toward Financial Independence. Well, unless that plan is to have your kids support you.
When it was time to write this post, I was a little sleep deprived. With a foggy brain, I decided to reach out to some experts in the Personal Finance Blogging community. I asked for their strategies on keeping the cost of children under control. I think you’ll like their answers and expect you’ll also find some ways to save money on child expenses. Continue reading “New Baby!?! How To Save Money on Child Expenses”
This post is going to be short and sweet. I have two Winning Moves to share with you, both which allowed me to stop giving interest free loans and in turn, earn additional returns on my savings.
Since we recently walked through some advantages of financial independence here and here, I thought it was time to share more moves I’ve made to get me closer to my FI goal. Hopefully, one or both of these will get you to take the same action, or motivate you to find a winning opportunity in a different area of your life.
There are a whole bunch of bloggers talking about their biggest financial mistakes on the magnificent web of information. I think this is a fantastic exercise because we can learn so much from these errors. Since you are reading Winning Personal Finance, I of course haven’t made any mistakes (cough cough). Luckily, I’ve avoided some of the big ones like consumer debt, high investment fees and not saving at all. Unfortunately, my financial life has not been perfectly streamlined. Without further ado, here are my 7 most regrettable financial decisions and more.
One of the responses I received from “How Much Do You Need to Retire?” was that chasing financial independence is about making sacrifices. The logic behind this comment was that anything you save today is a “sacrifice” because you are not spending that money. I have a different view. Chasing financial independence is not about sacrifice, it’s about prioritization, intentionality and focus. Continue reading “Chasing Financial Independence is NOT About Sacrifice”
To explain why I think financial independence leads to less stress and more happiness, let me tell you a brief story. One day at work my boss called me into an unscheduled meeting:
Boss: “Jason, we are going to have to let go you. The company has decided to go in a different direction.”
HR Woman: “We are prepared to offer you 6 weeks of severance…”
3-Year-Old Son: Daddy, can you play trains with me?
Me: I’m sorry, I can’t play right now, I need to go to work.
3-Year-Old Son: [Sad Face]
Me: One day, I’ll have enough money that I won’t have to work.
3-Year-Old Son: And then you can stay home and play with me all day? [Happy Face]
Unfortunately, by the time I have the money to stay home, I’m not sure my son will want me to play trains with him all day. I expect that he may have other interests by then. I was very impressed by how quick he grasped the concept of doing what you want with your time once you have enough to support yourself.
Once You are Financially Independent You Can:
- Continue working to increase your lifestyle
- Quit a job that makes you unhappy
- Start a business without the pressure of needing to succeed right away
- Spend more time with friends and family
- Spend time on a hobby you are passionate about
- Work to financially support or volunteer for your favorite cause
- You may even be able to do a number of these things, – or thousands of others – the possibilities are endless!
In the Coin Flip Risk Assessment, I presented a hypothetical coin flip as an introspective view of your feelings on risk. Well, one of my readers, (OK fine, it was my wife) put the screws to me and gave me a hypothetical Super Coin Flip Risk Assessment with the same premise as my initial question.