Denali Northern Expenditure

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Roth IRA Challenge: Freelancing

Today’s Roth IRA Challenge comes from fellow freelancer Patricia Sanders. You can find her on Facebook if you’re looking to connect after hearing her story:

How I fully contributed to Roth IRA after moving out of my parent’s place

I grew up in a median household. The only bread earner was my father. From the very childhood, I knew about the importance of budgeting, as my father preferred to spend every dollar for a reason and wanted everyone to follow the same. During my college days, he retired with modest retirement savings. I didn’t ask my parents to fund my studies as the savings was for their future expenses.

I took a private student loan to complete the studies. Since the final year of the graduation, I was doing part-time job to deal with the student loan.

After completing studies, I left my parents place to join a company, in California, with whom I am currently working as an editor.

My current income is about $50,000 in a year. I took a rented apartment, which cost me dearly in every month. I don’t have a car yet; but still, the income is quite low to manage all the expenses including the student loan bills.

During the first year of the journey, I couldn’t save a single penny. I lived paycheck to paycheck almost all the year. I talked to my father who told me to set aside at least 10% of income, but I failed to do so.

Mostly Mindful

Roth IRA Challenge: Mostly Mindful

Today’s Roth IRA Challenge comes all the way from South Africa! Ang and Sporty live in Cape Town with their stuffed tortoise, Terence, and not much else. They spend their days drinking coffee, eating Thai food and blogging about their urban hippie adventures and everyday, not-so-hardcore minimalism on a blog they call Mostly Mindful.

In July 2008, when Sporty and I set out on this minimalist journey, our finances were in horrible shape. We were in debt to the tune of $95 000, we had no investments, no rainy day savings account and no plan to dig ourselves out of the deep, dark hole we were in.

Fast forward eight and a half years and things are looking pretty sweet.

Start Early

Roth IRA Challenge: Start Early

Everyone has a story to tell and today, TJ Pridonoff is here to share his! TJ has a self-titled blog that is awesome. He’s getting ready to take off on an epic road trip. During his preparations, he’s written about his spending, his investment portfolio, and other personal topics. His perspective is always fresh and you should definitely go check him out. Without further ado… Take it away TJ!

After I read Ms. Montana’s fantastic take on the Roth IRA challenge, I knew that I had a unique story to tell. Like probably all my blog posts, this is full of first world problems that several readers are just not going to relate to. If that’s not your jam, I promise that Maggie will post something a million times more awesome on Monday!

For those who aren’t familiar with my story, I’ve had a very fortunate upbringing and we are (I am?) counting down the days until I get to quit my job and travel America by automobile and AirBNB room rentals/campgrounds.  After that, I plan to “settle down” in a lower cost of living area so that I can understand what my future expenses look like and then work on how to generate the necessary income to supplement my investments in supporting that spend. If that means no full time job, then I get to call myself early retired. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Making the Most of Missed Opportunities

Roth IRA Challenge: Making the Most of Missed Opportunities

I can’t express how excited I am to have Ms. Our Next Life on the blog today. She blogs over at Our Next Life and has one of the best, most grounded, reassuring perspectives on the journey to early retirement out there! Seriously, if you’re not already a fan of Our Next Life, it’s time to figure out what all the buzz is about! Go! On top of that, though we’ve never actually met in person (yet!), she’s one of my real friends and I’m delighted to feature her and a bit of her journey here today…

Before we dive in, I just have to share with you guys that Maggie is one of our very favorite humans in PF blogland. She will never tell you herself how awesome she is, but it’s true. I’m especially grateful for her friendship and support since our blogs were both baby blogs – and, of course, all the Clueless GIFs. So needless to say, I’m thrilled to be here.

Max it out, no excuses!

Roth IRA Challenge: Max it Out! No Excuses!

Today, Ms. Montana is here to take the Roth IRA Challenge. She writes over at Montana Money Adventures and is currently in the middle of a year-long family sabbatical! Not only did Ms. Montana take the Roth IRA Challenge, she has annihilated the challenge! Remember how we’re failing on maxing out our Roth IRAs this year? What’s our excuse? Well, uh… Yeah. Now read all of the setbacks the Montana Family had. After this, I hope your resolve for 2017 is much greater (mine is!). Take it away Ms. Montana…

Mr. Mt and I wasted nearly 3 years before we started maxing out our Roth IRA. There were other things we felt needed taken care of first. Credit card debt.  Emergency fund. Student loan debt. Medical debt. Yeah, we had a lot of debt. $50,000 to be exact.

But now I regret that.

While it sounded smart at the time to tackle the high interest rate, urgent stuff first, in reality there will always be something “urgent” to put that money towards. There is no need to speculate what those things could have been for us. Here is a recap of all 14 years we have been married and all the things that could have prevented us from saving for retirement. You know, till later.

Excuses from before we started.

Roth Ira TFSA Challenge

The Roth IRA… I mean TFSA Challenge

Today’s post comes from my blogger friend, Tawcan. He’s a fellow parent with two children. He’s also an all-around awesome and fascinating guy. In his spare time, he adventures outside, writes cookbooks, does some amazing photography, and blogs over at Tawcan on the journey to financial independence, dividend paying stocks, and living a good life. Tawcan also lives in Canada (our next door neighbor!) and he comes today with his Canadian perspective. Take it away Tawcan!

When Maggie asked me to write about the Roth IRA Challenge I thought she had lost her mind completely. In this hockey-playing-toque-wearing-polar-bear-riding-igloo-living-poutine-eating country that we call Canada, we don’t have anything called the Roth IRA. So I was confused why she wanted a Canadian to write about the Roth IRA Challenge. Did she think that Canada has become a part of the US? After chatting with Maggie a bit more, I realized that the challenge isn’t tied to Americans only. The challenge has more to do with… how do you save $5,500 or more each year so you can put that money toward a tax-free savings account?

Lucky for us Canadians, we have an account that is very similar to the Roth IRA. This account is called Tax Free Savings Account. Boy us Canadians sure are original when it comes to names eh?

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.

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…

Self employment

Reverse Roth IRA Challenge: The Self Employed Movement

Today, I get to feature Marc from The Self Employed Movement. As aspiring (more like wannabe) entrepreneurs, Marc’s blog attracted me pretty early on. Since Marc began the blog, he’s had a very dramatic journey. When I approached him about writing a spin on the Roth IRA Challenge, he hesitated about writing it because he didn’t fit the “criteria” (for the record, there really isn’t a criteria. It’s more of a prompt, so let me know if you want to participate!). I told him to tell his story about GIVING UP money and why that was the better choice. Here’s Marc with his story:

This isn’t your traditional “IRA Challenge” post, which are all awesome in their own regards. Rather, it’s a cautionary tale of what could happen when you put money in front of your health.

I was a couple of years into my career in the Finance industry. It was nothing that I was ever passionate about; I kind of just fell into it. It was at a point in my life where I didn’t know what I wanted. I just knew that I wanted to not smell like tacos when I came home every night. (I worked at a Mexican restaurant at the time.)

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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