Americans have been cash-poor for decades leading into the pandemic last year. It seems that using credit – mortgages, student loans, car loans, and consumer credit – have just become an unfortunate part of American life. Related: Debt Has Spread Like Virus With the pandemic, people are spending less on discretionary things like travel and eating out and the government has sent out several rounds … Continue reading A Tale Of Two Charts
Financially, when does spending on a hobby become crazy? I have a number of hobbies that come with very different price tags. We have a sports car – that’s expensive in annual depreciation, insurance, and repairs. We like to travel, but flights, hotels, and sightseeing also add up quickly. Activities? Softball costs money, curling costs money, and the tennis club costs money in the winter. … Continue reading Crazy Bricks
Late at night on Halloween a notification came through on my watch that didn’t make sense: a PayPal billing alert. It said that I had a charge from eBay for $71. I buy a lot of things oddball things on eBay, but I couldn’t recall anything quite that expensive. When I looked, I saw a I had paid a recurring fee to eBay for 5 … Continue reading Paying Attention?
I love cars, but I hate car dealers. Unfortunately, it seems that over-engineered, unreliable electronics are making us more reliant on dealer service than ever. That makes cars more costly than ever. Related: Sports Cars: ‘Every Day This Man Takes A Vacation’ Our sports car recently suffered a blow to its stereo/navigation system. I stopped at the grocery store a couple miles from our house … Continue reading Taken To The Cleaners – Dealer Service
We are blessed to be able to live a comfortable lifestyle in early retirement, by almost anyone’s standards. Our son thinks we are sometimes too frugal, but we’ve enjoyed many vacations, entertainment experiences, and everyday luxuries over the last 4 years. In general, our spending is still in line or even slightly below what we planned for our FIRE escape. Still, like most people, we … Continue reading What Are You Wasting Money on?
Our son signed up for his company 401k plan as quickly as he could after starting work last month. The company has a good match, but he wants to make sure he is saving as much as he can to really put himself ahead in the future. He wondered how much more he needed to save – beyond the 401k to really be on track … Continue reading Playing The Percentages For Savings
June is typically the month of weddings, but the CV-19 pandemic has largely eliminated the big, traditional wedding. We were planning on attending a couple weddings this summer, but they have both been converted to small, family-only affairs. Such is 2020. Perhaps it is all for the best when it comes to the cost of hosting a big wedding. The analysis I did a few … Continue reading Small Wedding Sensibility?
We had a frosty beverage with an old friend recently that we had not seen since before I stopped working 4 years ago. He was astounded that I had retired early and asked if we had made any lucrative investments to make it happen. I told him that our investment strategy had been pretty vanilla – simple index funds in our 401ks and after-tax brokerage … Continue reading Keep Savings Simple
It’s been a few years since I lamented recurring payment schemes that many companies advance now a days. When I first wrote about this, I had five different subscription-based purchases … Link: The Ongoing Drip of Subscription Purchases My goal at the time was to trim some of them back. Who needs so many, anyway? Of course, the road to hell is paved with good … Continue reading Drip Payments Gradually Accelerate
I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving yesterday! We had turkey and watched some football at my brother & sister-in-law’s nearby house with our broader family. Wonderful day. When we were there, we got into the annual conversation about the Thanksgiving turkey, how much it weighed, and how much it cost this year. It got me thinking that most people do not probably realize what an … Continue reading Turkey Economics