Paying off my mortgage

Roth IRA Challenge: Mustard Seed Money Mortgage

Today we have a FABULOUS guest post about paying off your mortgage. If you haven’t noticed, I am SO SICK of my mortgage. On my September plan update post, I expressed my disdain of my mortgage balance and Mustard Seed Money wrote the greatest comment about paying off his mortgage. I basically begged him to write this post. By way of introduction, Mustard Seed Money works for the federal government as an accountant and is on the way to financial independence in just a few years! When he’s not inspiring my comment section, he shares amazing wisdom over at Mustard Seed Money. And now, his thoughts:

Paying off my mortgage was the best thing that I ever did in my financial life.  In the beginning, I thought of my mortgage as a necessary evil.  I was pretty grateful to get a 15-year mortgage with an incredibly low 3.5% interest rate, when I purchased my home in 2004.

All of the financial pundits at the time were encouraging people to take advantage of the low interest rates and to use any excess money towards the stock market.  Meanwhile, I was considering whether I should pay off my mortgage or invest any leftover money.

I knew in my head that putting the money in the stock market was probably the smartest move, but my heart wouldn’t let me do it.  Every month though, it was gut-wrenching for me to see half my paycheck go towards the house.

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Seward's Folly: Happy Alaska Day

Seward’s Folly (Happy Alaska Day)

Let me tell you a little story about taking chances that people think are stupid.

There once was a guy who bet $7.2 MILLION DOLLARS on real estate. I mean, Crazy right? And this was WAY back in 1867, so those dollars were worth WAY more back then!

His name was William Henry Seward and his purchase? ALASKA! He bought the state for the equivalent of 2.5 cents per acre!

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Ways to so no to spending money

Ways to Say NO to Spending Money (and still be cool)

What is the number one reason you can’t save money? You spend it!

It’s hard not to! Everyone wants a piece of it.

“We’re just going out to eat!”

“It only costs $15!”

“You don’t want to miss out!”

You want to say: “NO YOU DUMMY, I’M SAVING MY MONEY!” But you don’t. Because you’re nice. But don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Today, I’m creating a handy-dandy list you can print off and keep in your wallet. Reference this the next time you get a proposal to spend that hard-earned cash!

There are three ways to successfully extricate yourself from a money-spending predicament: excuses, possibilities, and alternatives.

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Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: The Purpose of Work is to Create

You guys, maybe you’ve seen this around, but if you haven’t stopped to watch it. DO IT. This is Mr. Money Mustache talking about how the purpose of work is to create and when money isn’t in the equation, we can truly be authentic in our creativity. 

I watched this and was audibly yelling “YES! YES!” multiple times (reminding myself to be quiet to not wake up the kids!). THIS IS WHY WE WANT THIS!

I won’t take up any more of your time. WATCH THIS:

Happy Friday, Friends!

Love, Maggie

Be an amateur and an expert

Why You Should Be An Amateur AND An Expert

On Monday, I made a case for not swimming alone, but finding people passionate about your subject and swimming with them. You’ll notice I did not use the word “expert.” When you’re seeking out someone with that passion, you want them to be both an amateur AND an expert.

“Amateur” Definition (Oxford English Dictionary):

1. One who loves or is fond of, one who has a taste for anything.
2.  a. One who cultivates anything as a pastime, as distinguished from one who prosecutes it professionally; hence, sometimes used disparagingly, as = dabbler, or superficial student or worker. b. Often prefixed (in apposition) to another designation, as amateur painter, amateur gardener.
3.a. Hence attrib. almost adj. Done by amateurs. Cf. amateur gardener with amateur gardening.
b. Used disparagingly. Cf. sense 2.

Following this list of definitions, “amateur” both means someone with such a passion about a subject, it goes beyond everyday interest as well as someone that “dabbles” instead of seriously studying.

“Amateur” comes from the Latin “Amatore” meaning “Lover of.”

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Do not swim alone

Do Not Swim Alone, Swim with Swimmers

When I was working in the office last month, I stayed in a nearby hotel and made myself go swimming each evening after work to get some exercise and relax. Each evening I was the only one in the pool. The last night (that’s right, I blatantly ignored them for four days), I read the posted rules for the pool. The last one read simply: DO NOT SWIM ALONE.

My first thought? Oh no! I’m going to die in here and no one will even know! Second thought: That’s ridiculous. I’m an adult and a competent swimmer. Third thought: I think I feel a metaphor coming on…

If you’ve read this blog at all, you know I love a good metaphor whether it comes from watching some fishermen or straight out of a fortune cookie. And here was a brilliant one, right on the wall of the hotel pool.

The Metaphor:

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Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: Believe You Can Be Successful

"You must believe that your quest can be successful, even if no one else does. You can deal with setbacks, misadventures, and even disasters as long as you still believe you can... see your way to the end." - Chris Guillebeau, The Happiness of Pursuit

“You must believe that your quest can be successful, even if no one else does. You can deal with setbacks, misadventures, and even disasters as long as you still believe you can see your way to the end.” – Chris Guillebeau

Today’s awesome inspiration is from Chris Guillebeau in his awesome book, The Happiness of PursuitI loved this book. It was all about people that went on different quests (visiting every country in the world, not speaking for years, walking across a continent, etc.) and what drove them to do what they did. It was fascinating and inspirational and well-written.

There’s truth in this one little quote. We know we should believe in our dreams, but if we don’t actually, solidly believe we can see our way to the end, we stop. Setbacks, misadventures, and disasters WILL happen. They are inevitable in any journey. The difference between those who succeed and those who fail is how deeply they believe they can succeed.

If your goals aren’t worth it, you won’t fight for them. If you don’t have confidence in them, you won’t make it. If you listen to the naysayers, you’ll never try in the first place. Believe, friends. Believe.

Happy Friday!

Love, Maggie

If I had and how to spend my life insurance

If I had… & How to Spend My Life Insurance

Periodically, I like to run through what I would do with a windfall. Tomorrow is PFD Day and we’ll be receiving $5,110 overnight. In celebration, here’s what I would currently do:

If I Had $5,000

(Or $5,110) in this scenario. In case you forgot, we tithe 10% of all increase. So, our PFD amount left after that is $4,599. With this money, we will be putting $1,600 extra toward our mortgage (on top of the extra $1500 we’ve been putting toward it the past few months) bringing our mortgage balance under $60,000 (I’m already looking forward to the October Plan Update!). The other $3,000 will go toward my Roth IRA which I hope to max out with the other $2,500 by the end of the year.

If I Had $10,000

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September Update

September 2016 Plan Update

September has come and gone. Instead of attending FinCon, I headed to the Midwest for work and then to celebrate a birthday weekend with my sister! It was great fun (and, as a bonus, I even found a pair of skinny jeans that don’t make me look like a chicken!).

The Numbers:

You guys… if you haven’t signed up for Personal Capital, I think you’re nuts! It’s free! I look forward each month to logging in and seeing all of my accounts in one place. It shows all of my credit card accounts, my mortgage, my investment accounts, analyzes my fees, and is very visually compelling. I mean, it’s a geeked-out way to see it all in one glance without spending too much time. Sign up here to help yours truly speed toward financial independence! It has cut down my end-of-the month reckoning significantly since I can see all my accounts together (with graphs!).

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Roth Ira Challenge: On Getting Started

Roth IRA Challenge: On Getting Started

Today on the blog we have Andrew from Quest for Billions. Andrew is a young Canadian trying to optimize his life and finances.  Today, he’s here to talk about how he got where he is today. His progression is so similar to my own and maybe you can relate as well. If you’re earlier on in the progression, it will give you an idea of where to go next! And now, here’s Andrew…

I didn’t even know what a Roth IRA was three years ago. I was in my junior year of my undergraduate degree and up until this point in my life, I had always been good at saving, but I knew very little about investing. I by no means have everything figured out today, but I am miles ahead of where I was three years ago. Here’s what I did…

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