Month: July 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

The Money Mine

Roth IRA Challenge: The Money Mine

Today’s amazing post is from our friend Nick over at The Money Mine. One of my favorite things about The Money Mine is the variety of topics Nick covers (from amazing interviews with Greeks about the economic crisis in Greece to negotiating fees with your dentist). Nick’s post today covers a variation of the Roth IRA Challenge: finances in a marriage and the steps they took to start saving money together! I hope you enjoy this post as much as I do!

A little over 2 years ago, my finances were very stretched. My girlfriend (now wife) was finishing her global MBA. Global is key word here, because it means that each module was held in a different location. We ended up traveling to San Francisco, New York City, Shanghai and Barcelona.

Life was awesome. And unreasonably expensive: we were saving <5% of our combined income.

After she graduated, we planned on getting married. We knew that weddings are large expenses and we started to talk about our finances to plan the event. Then we had THE financial talk: “So how much do you make? Do you have any debt? How many accounts do you have and how much is there?”.

That wasn’t sexy at all, but oh so useful.

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Don't be a retirement newsletter poster child

Don’t be a Retirement Newsletter Poster Child

Periodically, the company that runs the retirement funds at Mr. T’s employer sends out a retirement newsletter. This is the standard single-fold document that tells you to save more money, think about your future, and think about your taxes.

Here’s the Problem:

I read this newsletter religiously (mail about saving more money!? Yes!). It’s terrible. One of my earliest posts rewrote one of Mr. T’s newsletter scenarios because I think someone should jazz this stuff up!

This past newsletter threw in some more horrible stories. I’m changing the names (so I don’t offend the real fictional dummies), but everything else is the same. I’m not making this up!:

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We're early retirement frauds

Retiring Early? We’re Early Retirement Frauds

While we were off traveling, our dear friends over at Our Next Life issued a challenge. You see, the early retirement community is full of “Commandments” (as Our Next Life so hilariously outlined in their original post). This challenge called for a celebration of differences. A manifesto of what we’re doing differently. After I read it, I was immediately THRILLED about the opportunity to come clean. You see, Northern Expenditure is a fraud. I’m not sure why anyone reads us at all. We’re on the path to early retirement, but we’re doing everything wrong differently.

Why We’re Early Retirement Frauds:

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Northern Expressions: Hang On To Your Hat

Hold on to your hat. Hold on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day. -E. B. White

Happy Friday, friends!

I’ll be honest. The news this week (and previous weeks) has really started to weigh on me. Darkness feels like it’s closing in so much. But then I read this FANTASTIC letter written by E.B. White (known as the author of Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web) in 1973. It’s worth repeating the entire letter:

As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.

Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society—things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.

Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.

Sincerely,

(Signed, ‘E. B. White’)

Man. Nailed it. The whole thing is so amazing. So, friends, let us be those upright men and compassionate women. And let’s hope tomorrow is the day the darkness clears. Hope is the only thing that is left to us.

Love, Maggie

First 100,000

Saving The First $100,000. The Hardest?

The First $100,000

In our May update, we mentioned the possibility of breaking $100,000 in June. It seemed surreal, but definitely possible. Cheers to Amber Tree Leaves for this comment:

Would it not be great to reach 100K while enjoying a holiday. I hope you reach that milestone

This comment blew my mind.

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Dipnetting for Alaskan Salmon

Dipnetting: Subsistence Salmon Fishing

Hey friends! We’ve updated our newsletter to be a weekly email that goes out on Saturday mornings complete with blog post links, random spattering of other interesting links from the interwebs, and some friendly updates on the Banks. Sign up on the sidebar. Try it out. If you hate it, unsubscribe after the first email! I won’t be offended. I have heard several express interest in knowing more about the kind of things I read outside of the blog. I’ve changed our newsletter to share those interesting things that just don’t seem to fit here (and there are loads!)

You may have noticed last week I posted our UK post without pictures. It’s now updated, so check that out. The reason? The reds were running! If that phrase makes no sense to you, I’ll translate: “Over 50,000 Sockeye salmon are running up the Kenai river every single day and everything must stop so we can go catch them!”

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Amber Tree Leaves

Roth IRA Challenge: Amber Tree Leaves

The reds are running and I’m off with the family to go fishing! (I’ll reveal this year’s catch on the blog next week!) Meanwhile, today’s Roth IRA Challenge comes to us from Belgium! The author of Amber Tree Leaves is another parent on the journey toward financial independence. Go check out his blog! Today’s post discusses real estate in Belgium with fascinating perspectives on ownership and its implications. Enjoy!

Back in 2001, when I broke with my girlfriend, I moved back home. After a few years living alone when studying, and then with the girlfriend, it was a change in life. Time to get a place of my own.

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UK on a budget

UK Travel on a Budget

We’ve talked about how to save money in London, but what about once you leave the city? Most of the food tips remain the same, and it’s easier to find inexpensive accommodations outside of London (many with breakfast included!). There is so much to see and do in the UK and you surely can’t see it all in one trip. And entry fees start adding up if you just go to see the “big” places. Here are a few tips for outside of London (and awesome pictures of our trip!).

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London on a budget

Traveling London on a Budget

London is notorious for being a super expensive city. I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to spend time in London without breaking the bank (we stayed for 8 days!). Here are a few ways to save money and travel London on the cheap.

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Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: Virtue, Wealth, Liberty, Power

Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power

I hope everyone in the U.S. had a great Independence Day week. Today’s Northern Expression comes from a patriotic thinker, Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanack. Franklin was so good with short, powerful phrases. Today’s sentiment is a good one. Money is not worth more than virtue. And ultimately, the path to financial independence is one of eschewing power to gain liberty. Keep your priorities in order. Be good. Be kind. Be virtuous.

Happy Friday, friends!

Love, Maggie

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