Month: August 2015 (Page 1 of 2)

The About Series: The Banks!

At the beginning of the month, Think Save Retire issued a challenge to go beyond the “About Page” and give more detail about ourselves and our blog. I enjoyed the challenge as well as the participation of others, so we’ve decided to jump in to the party as well. So, here are a few juicy details about the Banks Family and Northern Expenditure.

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How to Navigate Finances in Marriage

I’ve read a number of articles claiming to know the number one reason for divorce: selfishness, social media, infidelity, etc. I don’t claim to know what the right answer is, but one that comes up a lot as a main problem in marriage is money. And rightfully so. There you are, minding your own business, making your own money, spending your own money, and then all of a sudden, you get married and all that money (or lack thereof) is pooled together. Now your debt is his debt and his debt is your debt and your earnings are his earnings. It’s a tricky situation to navigate. Here are some ways to successfully navigate finances in marriage:

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Life Asset Allocation

In the personal finance world, we like to discuss asset allocation and rebalancing our funds. Where will you put your money? How much will be in stocks or bonds? Will you choose an index fund or buy individual stocks? With the stock market plummet of the past week and people freaking out, I thought about how we undervalue ourselves while we focus so much on money. If we were to manage our lives like we manage our assets, we would ask ourselves similar questions. Let’s explore the possible life allocations:

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Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last week, Mr. T stopped by the library on his way home from work. Because of construction, the outdoor book drops were unavailable and he had to run in to return some things. He locked his bike, ran in and returned the books, and came out to find his bike was gone. In five minutes, someone had taken his bike and he was stranded at the library. (They were kind enough to leave him his water bottle.) Mr. T said the worst part was that he was only gone for such a short time. Because he mostly processes these things silently, I know he’s upset about it, but has moved on to “It’s Okay.”

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Common Business Regrets

After looking the research about regret and the biggest life regrets, I thought we covered it. (“WHAT?! More regret? Get over it Maggie!”) But then I came across an article published in 2012 the Harvard Business Review blog network about the top five career regrets. Since we’re still mid-career and this is still primarily a personal finance blog, I had to talk about it. (Last in the series of regret, I promise.) So, what do 30 professionals say are their biggest career regrets? I’ll tell you (along with additions as to how I think Mr. T and are doing on these potential regrets):

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Sunshine Blogger Award

Our friends over at Two Cup House nominated us for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thanks guys! If you haven’t checked them out yet, you should. They just got their small house delivered! Exciting times in the Two Cup life!

So, here are my answers to the questions they posed:

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frugality sucks frugal

Top 5 Life Regrets of the Dying

Attending my grandfather’s funeral last week prompted me to delve into the research about regret. And as I researched, I realized regret is a big topic. Everyone experiences regret and no one wants to. So, I decided to keep the theme going. I started to wonder what Grandpa would have said if I had asked him his biggest regrets. I wrote most of this post on the airplane ride home from the funeral. When I returned, I found that Financial Samurai had covered this exact same thing. I recommend his post. In the Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Bronnie Ware shares her experiences as an Australian hospice nurse. As she spent time with all of these patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives, she shared their end-of-life thoughts, epiphanies, and regrets. The top five regrets she said people experienced before death were:

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Research Highlight: How to Experience Less Regret

We all have regrets. Sometimes those regrets can even haunt you. So let’s examine the research behind regret to see if we can start making wiser choices and regret less. Regret, as defined, is both a noun and a verb involving feelings of disappointment or sadness about something you did or did not do. In terms of opportunity, there are three stages of a potential regret situation. The first stage is action, followed by outcome, and finally the recall. At the action stage, a choice is made. If the choice is not completely up to the individual to decide, regret is not experienced (ie: someone made the choice for you or an unforeseen event such as weather impacted the choice). The choice is made using goal-based decision-making. At the outcome stage, it is made apparent whether the goal was successfully achieved or not. Regret is not experienced if the goal is achieved. If the goal fails, the “what-ifs” take over. During the recall stage, one can remember the regret of the decision and use that regret to make future decisions. Here are a few research-based tips on how to diminish regret:

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My Biggest Money Regret

Luckily, I made my biggest money mistake when I was quite young. I was 8 or 9. As we did every year, we headed to Tillamook for our annual family reunion.

I spent a great deal of time at my great aunt’s house and she had an amazing doll collection. I wanted to be just like her in a lot of ways, but I had no fancy dolls. I had an American Girl Doll (Molly, if you were wondering), but nothing shelf-worthy like my great aunt.

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What Grandpa Taught Me About Money

My grandfather passed away last week. By the end, he was pretty angry to still be alive, so it was an expected, good change for him, but sad for the rest of us. I flew down to Portland this past weekend for the funeral.

My grandpa owned a printing store he had started with a partner of his in 1961. His obituary said “He retired 15 years ago” which simply means that at 72, he sold the company to his son. He still went to the office every single day until his mid-eighties and managed the payroll long after he “retired.”

I interviewed him once when I was in high school about how he picked his job. “Well, I was walking down the street on my own one day and I got hungry, and I walked into the first place I saw. And I’m still in the printing business. No one decided what they wanted to be, they just did what they could to get money.” (How’s that for a great financial phrase?)

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