To The HATERS…..

2019-01-03T18:00:06+00:00

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To The HATERS….. 2019-01-03T18:00:06+00:00

Money Dials: Why you spend the way you do

2019-01-03T16:00:04+00:00

Do you ever wonder why people spend their money the way they do?

Why take an expensive Uber when you can walk 20 minutes to get to the same place?

Why pay for first-class tickets when we’re all going to the same place anyway?

Growing up in Sacramento, I used to see guys who loved buying old cars and repairing them. I didn’t get it. Why spend money to create more work for yourself?

Later I realized I was looking at it all wrong. In fact, now I completely understand why people would pay money to do any of these things.

It’s all about Money Dials.

What are Money Dials?

Every one of us has an area that we naturally love to spend money on. I call these areas Money Dials, and I’ve identified 10 Money Dials that we LOVE to pour our money in. If you look at your own spending, what gets you excited? Think about:

  • Travel
  • Health / fitness
  • Freedom
  • Relationships
  • Self-improvement

The above are five examples of our Money Dials, and I’ll share all 10 Money Dials below, but if you had $25,000 to spend on any of the above, which would you put your money into? Your answer — the one you instinctively came to within seconds — is likely your number-one Money Dial.

Knowing your Money Dial can transform the way you think about your spending, because it lets you understand what you spend money on and why, and it enables you to redirect your spending from other areas to spend extravagantly on your Money Dial. THIS is what true Conscious Spending looks like.

You might recognize this concept in my Conscious Spending system. Money Dials are the evolution of that system and zoom in on the concept of spending extravagantly — guilt-free.

Let’s take an example: LeBron James.

He spends $1.5 million a year keeping his body in top form, according to this article from The Ringer, investing in nuanced health-promoting practices like cryotherapy and hyperbaric chambers. Not to mention his personal chefs and trainers who help him adhere to a strict diet and routine.

I LOVE IT.

Everything in his life, down to the last detail, is focused on achieving peak physical fitness. He’s not just spending $100 on a massage and calling it good. His number-one Money Dial is health and fitness, and so he’s architected his life and finance around physical fitness and investing a significant amount of money in it.

Fitness isn’t the only Money Dial, though. For example, I have a friend who’s in his 40s and earns multiple six figures every year working in tech. He has enough money to do basically anything he wants to do. He can travel the world. He can retire early and buy a bunch of cars.

Instead, he chooses to live in Palo Alto — one of the most expensive areas in the U.S — to be close to his family. He’s not considered rich there. If anything, he’s middle class where he lives. He also chooses to send his kids to private school, which costs tens of thousands per year. To top it off, he just bought a house AND he’s building a dream house with a special suite for his parents.

He chose to make his relationship with his family his number-one Money Dial. The trade-off means he almost never goes on lavish trips or buys anything fancy for himself — but none of those things matter to him.

The common theme between LeBron and my friend is that they’ve built a life that allows them to spend extravagantly and unapologetically on the things that truly matter to them (fitness and relationships, respectively), but also allows them to cut costs mercilessly on the things that don’t matter.

This is the power of Money Dials.

Finding your own Money Dials

To find your Money Dials, you just have to ask yourself one question: What do you LOVE to spend money on?

That can be a deeply uncomfortable question to ask. It can actually be a little scary for some of you. Our culture and society love to demonize spending, especially when it comes to spending on yourself. It comes with guilt, shame, and judgment. Don’t believe me? Head to the comment section of any Money Diaries piece. You’re going to find a TON of comments like these ones:

image1 31
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What a judgmental reaction — as if it’s forbidden and downright evil to spend on the things you love (and have the means to).

But what if we take these same judgmental people and examined their spending for a month? I bet you I’d be able to find areas in their life where they’re “wasting” their money, too.

It’s OK to recognize that you have areas you naturally love and want to spend on. What others think of your spending doesn’t matter because everyone has different Money Dials. It’s simply a matter of different priorities! In other words, what you value will be different from what others value. If you LOVE to spend your money on week-long trips to exotic locales every week, but someone else would rather spend that same amount of money on having the latest iPhone, then that’s great — and perfectly normal!

It’s just being true and honest to ourselves and what our Money Dials are.

In fact, when we’re honest about acknowledging our Money Dials, we can adjust the dial (hence the term) as we need to be moderate or turn them all the way up to spend even more on the things that bring us joy and more pleasant experiences (think splurging on first-class tickets instead of economy all the time, for example).

This is crucial psychologically.

Not only will we have more money and energy to spend on the things that bring us happiness, but we’ll be able to spend on those things guilt-free, since we know we’ve freed up the money by ignoring everything else.

It’s intimidating and liberating at the same time. It allows us to say, “Hey, this is important to me — and that’s not.”

The most successful people I’ve met are all very conscious about how they spend their money. That doesn’t mean they don’t spend at all. It means that they choose HOW and WHERE to spend their money, and are unapologetic in allocating significant resources to live a better life.

10 most common Money Dials

Do you know what you naturally gravitate toward spending on? Most people don’t — even though everyone tends to have a few overriding priorities for their discretionary spending.

When it comes to Money Dials, though, people’s spending almost always matches up with these 10 priorities.

  1. Convenience
  2. Travel
  3. Health / fitness
  4. Experiences
  5. Freedom
  6. Relationships
  7. Generosity
  8. Luxury
  9. Social status
  10. Self-improvement

I want to take a look at the four most common Money Dials. As you read, take note of how they fit into your spending habits.

Money Dial #1: Convenience

This Money Dial means spending on anything that makes your life more convenient.

Examples:

  • Travel apps
  • Ubers
  • Extra iPhone charger
  • Pre-cooked meals
  • Everything delivered
  • Automated bank accounts (and automation in many parts of life)

I love spending my money for convenience. I spend more than $50,000 a year on a personal trainer, chef, and other luxury services to streamline my life and reduce stress in those areas. However, this is my extreme end because I’ve turned the Money Dial all the way up. That’s why I have a VA who…

  • Optimizes my calendar for me
  • Arranges all my travel — right down to the perfect seat on the perfect flight and the perfect route to the airport
  • Schedules all my appointments and calls

If you want more convenience, simpler examples would be buying pre-cut vegetables at the grocery store so you can avoid the messy chopping work at home. Here are other examples from our readers:

For a year we spent money on Blue Apron. It made life easier to come home and know what we were having for dinner and everything was right there in the fridge. We’d still be doing it if I hadn’t been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and unable to eat many of the meals. I love buying back my time!”

“Splurged on a luxury car service to take me from Los Angeles to Huntington Beach. Cost hundreds more than an Uber would have, but I wanted the convenience of *knowing* I’d have a ride at the time I wanted. I rode in style and comfort and didn’t need to worry about the logistics of that trip: I learned that when you splurge on a ‘luxury’ experience, they take care of things like showing up on time for you — you don’t need to worry about that.”

“The $350 I spent on a Roomba was a game-changer in the dog hair game.”

Money Dial #2: Travel

People with the Travel Money Dial spend heavily on travel.

Examples:

  • On January 1st, they already know where they’re traveling this year
  • They’re often masters of points/travel hacking
  • They have an overflowing list of travel destinations saved and their conversations revolve around where they’ve been and where they’re going
  • They have strong opinions about the “right” suitcase, the right way to pack, and the best seats on the plane

If you turn this Money Dial all the way up, it means traveling for months every year; joining a travel group; splurging on high-end travel experiences like a safari, Inspirato membership, or multi-generational travel; and developing strong perspectives on travel, including which friends to invite, how much “authenticity” matters, and specific parts of the world to return to.

Some examples from our readers who value travel as their primary Money Dial:

I didn’t really think it would be travel, but realized that my husband and I have owned three campers now (which is still much cheaper than a flight — so it doesn’t feel extravagant) but still eats into a significant amount of our free time and discretionary funds. I am not into camping at all, so this is shocking to me. Having a camper allows us to travel with our dogs without worrying about whether a place will be pet-friendly or trying to get them on a plane. My husband gets to do the type of travel that he wants, which is to be in the middle of nowhere, and I get to do the type of travel I want — which is to explore a new city — all in the same trip because we can move every day (or not) without the inconvenience of changing hotels. Between the payment, insurance, and parking, our monthly cost is about $550. That doesn’t include gas or fees for parks (if we stay in one). That is a lot of money on our budget, but it’s worth it because it gives us the type of freedom we want to explore.”

“We have spent $15,000 two years in a row (and will probably do it for another five years, even though it extends our budget and we make sacrifices in other places) for a week-long family trip with kids (8 and 11) to Tavarua Island in Fiji. Best family time, surf time (my passion), and dedicated time with family and friends every year. My kids want us to book it for next year the second we start to pack up. May have to sacrifice a year or two at some point to make sure we keep overall finances in check.”

“I spent on family Disney vacation. We stayed at the Disney’s Polynesian (right on the monorail line) and bought the full meal plan and the full ‘Park-Hopper’ tickets for the entire vacation. I know it was a crap ton of extra money than trying to go cheap. But my family and I spent the entire vacation just having fun. We never worried about food. We never worried about where we wanted to go that day because we had complete freedom. The memories are priceless.”

Money Dial #3: Health and fitness

This Money Dial is becoming more and more common, especially in big cities.

Examples:

  • Membership at a gym based on quality, not necessarily distance to your house / apartment
  • Personal trainer + nutritionist
  • Choosing food based on macros, not simply taste (e.g., Ezekiel bread)
  • Selective about your workout gear (Lululemon + Nike are the best)

Taken to its logical extreme, the Health and Fitness Money Dial can mean annual yoga retreats, always checking restaurant menus before you go, joining social groups based on fitness. I’ve added this as a Money Dial in the last few years. Some examples from readers whose number-one Money Dial is health and fitness:

Currently paying a nutritionist $275/month for a six-month program.”

“I spend around $12,000 per year in personal trainer for Pilates and Gyrotonics class. It’s absolutely worth it.”

“Right now I am spending a bit more than average of my monthly income to go to a specific karate dojo in town. I take classes with one of the best masters of karate in Europe. It was one of the best decisions. I am in better shape than ever, physically and mentally (this master is old school so he includes all the spiritual parts of karate in his classes).”    

Money Dial #4: Experiences

This Money Dial focuses spending on fun and unique experiences.

Examples:

  • Skydiving
  • Concerts
  • Unique vacation activities like swimming with blue whales
  • Dinners at Michelin-starred restaurants

The Experiences Money Dial is perfect for anyone who values novelty and unique experiences over material possessions. Here is how our readers spend money on experiences:

I always buy concert tickets VIP.  Box seats have a great view, private wait staff with better food, etc. I’m not smashed next to sweaty armpits (I am short so this is reality), and VIP parking is usually included and is extremely close to the venue. Sometimes there’s a catered event pre-show or meet and greet with different bands. I’m not 15 anymore — roughing it is not my style. I’ve spent $100 and [as much as] $1,000 on a single concert ticket. It’s like a game to find the best tickets, and I never regret going to a show.”  

“I bought 2017 World Series tickets: $2,600 for two bad tickets, but I HAD to experience it.”

“I spent $1,000+ (a LOT of money for me) to go to Las Vegas to see Stevie Wonder in concert. I didn’t care about going to Vegas, but it was one of only two places Stevie was performing this year. He is my favorite living musician, but I’d never seen him live before. I splurged and got a great seat — on the floor, in the center, 13 rows back. He was, as you would expect, a wonderful performer, and I had a fantastic time. It made me so happy to be alive. I would absolutely do it again.”

NOTE: I cover all of the Money Dials in my course How to Win the Game of Advanced Personal Finance.

What’s your Money Dial?

I always say, “Show me a person’s (Google) calendar and I can show you their priorities.

Well, I have a newer version of that: Show me a person’s spending, and I can show you what they love.

And I find it incredibly fascinating for several reasons (not just because I’m a big weirdo):

  1. People go to where their time and money go. Fit people spend time and money being fit. Fashionable people spend time and money on fashion. Etc.
  2. People often get their own spending priorities wrong. For example, some might say that family is their #1 priority, but if you looked at their calendars and spending, family isn’t even in the top 10.
  3. People’s Money Dials are an easy way to determine what they claim is important vs what is actually important. A lot of people say they love to travel, and when they actually do spend money and time on it they have a miserable time and just want to be back home. Clarifying their Money Dials can allow them to refocus on what’s important to them.

My favorite part of Money Dials: Once you recognize yours, and you accept it, you can zoom in on what you love by turning the dial all the way up, as I’ve done for myself for convenience.

This might seem extreme to some — but for me it’s a complete no-brainer. Because I know my Money Dial and can focus on it, I actually free up time to invest in my company … and I can earn even more money as a result.

Money Dial Challenge

Here’s my challenge for you to do this week: If you can afford to, take $500 and spend it extravagantly on something you love.

That’s going to be a lot of money for some of you — but that’s the point. Spending money on the things you love can be uncomfortable at first. Especially when you consider all the Invisible Scripts, the ubiquitous assumptions that we no longer question in our lives, and noise around spending.

Guess what? I’m giving you permission to put that $500 toward your Money Dial this week.

I also want you to go to the comment section and share two things:

  1. What’s your #1 Money Dial?
  2. What are you going to do with your $500 to start implementing it this week?

I can’t wait to read your comments.

Money Dials: Why you spend the way you do is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

Money Dials: Why you spend the way you do 2019-01-03T16:00:04+00:00

Getting started with gratitude — a 30-day challenge for the new year

2019-01-03T15:00:04+00:00

Bring GratitudeIt arrived. I opened the box and held it up to enjoy it. It was a new wireless speaker. It was solid black, a beautiful piece of technology. I couldn't wait to listen to it.

I plugged it in and for some reason I couldn't connect my phone to it. I googled it. I found out I needed to update the software. It took almost an hour to figure out the issue. When I updated the software, it worked!

I played “Stray Cat Blues” by The Rolling Stones. It sounded pretty good, but as the song played I felt a pang of regret. I had an older speaker that didn’t sound quite as good…but it was good enough. I didn’t really need the new speaker.

I’ve seen this habit surface again and again. I’ve gotten better, but it’s a daily struggle: Why can’t I be happy with what I have?

Bring Gratitude

A few years ago, I put myself on a mission to be more grateful for the small things in life. It’s done wonders for my mindset. As I continue to grow and improve my practice, I'm more aware of my internal dialog:

  • I “need” a new speaker.
  • I “need” a new bike.
  • I “need” a new jacket.

The reality is none of these are needs. My old speaker was fine. My old bike is okay. My old jacket can be cleaned.

As I listen to my internal dialog, I’ve noticed my desire to want more things and newer things. The awareness helps. This is not who I want to become. Besides, it costs me too much money.

I’m working on appreciating what I already have instead of wanting to buy something to replace it.

That’s why gratitude is so important. Gratitude helps us shift our mindset to enjoying what we have instead of wanting more. Do you ever struggle with the desire to get that new gadget or another pair of shoes?

Those are two of my main vices that I turn to when I’m feeling down. It’s why I wanted the new speaker. I wanted that feeling of having something new. I thought it would make me feel better.

I’m not perfect, but I’ve learned a lot over the past few years. I keep a daily gratitude journal and it’s done wonders for helping me appreciate what I have instead of focusing on buying that next thing on my list.

The Gratitude Journal

I’m always surprised that it took me so long to keep a gratitude journal. Perhaps the most powerful mindset tool that we have is gratitude!

I’m really big into self-help books and learning new things, but I always consumed instead of taking action. I think it’s this attitude that also encouraged me to collect new gadgets instead of appreciating what I had or knowing that I didn’t really need to buy anything new.

In one book, Why We Do What We Do, researcher Edward Deci explains that when someone has six positive interactions to one negative, they are 31% more productive.

When you have positive thoughts and interactions, it’s easier to focus on what matters. That may be spending time with your family, traveling, or writing. Positive interactions free you up to have the energy to do what matters to you.

One terrific way to foster positive thoughts and interactions is to deliberately and consciously bring gratitude into your daily life. For me, keeping a gratitude journal serves this purpose.

Great Questions

I believe everything starts with our internal dialog. If we let our negative inner voice dictate our happiness, then we’ll constantly feel like we’re not enough. That we don’t have enough.

Next time you are stuck in a difficult situation, watch how you talk to yourself.

Do you ask yourself things like:

  • “Can this person be more boring?”
  • “Why is this taking so long?”
  • “What do I have to do to get noticed?”

Try switching this inner dialog on its head. Try tapping into your curiosity to see if you can ask questions that help you see the interesting parts of the situation.

  • “What am I learning in this situation?”
  • “How did I get so lucky to be in this warm environment?”
  • “What do I notice about this situation that is interesting?”

Great questions help you focus your attention. They enable you to fuse gratitude onto your attitude. Exploring questions like these in your a gratitude journal can help you discover your mindset and motivations.

Keeping a gratitude journal

Start Small

If you're like me and sometimes get jealous of what other people have, this envy can be a great place to start appreciating what you currently have. As you become better at appreciating what you have, move on to appreciating the people and situations in your life.

Explore these emotions in your gratitude journal. You can start by making gratitude entries about what you appreciate. You could start with looking around your home and being grateful for the kitchen table or your shoes that fit comfortably.

You’ll probably notice what entries energize you, and then you can continue down this path for a few days.

For seven days, try writing what you're grateful for and why. Start small, and if it feels good then keeping going. I suggest something like this:

  • “I’m grateful for my shoes because they are so comfortable.”
  • “I’m lucky to have a phone that can call my mom, brother, friend, etc.”
  • “I’m grateful for my coworker because she is always willing to listen and help.”
  • “I’m grateful for my ability to dance in my car seat when I’m stuck at a traffic light because it allows me to release my stress.”
  • “I’m grateful for my pets because they make me feel loved and needed.”

The key component here is your why. It’s important because it helps deepen the gratitude journal experience. Within just a few days you’ll probably notice an improvement in your attitude.

If you're interested, you can join the free 30 Day Bring Gratitude Challenge (running January 1st thru 30th) to help you strengthen your mindset. Come join us and you’ll get email updates and a private Facebook group. If you have any questions, I (Karl Staib) am available seven days a week.

The post Getting started with gratitude — a 30-day challenge for the new year appeared first on Get Rich Slowly.

Getting started with gratitude — a 30-day challenge for the new year 2019-01-03T15:00:04+00:00

My 2018 year in review

2019-01-03T14:00:05+00:00

Across the web, I see other financial bloggers sharing their year-end financial summaries. Some folks had good years. Financial Samurai's net worth increased by 6.5% in 2018. Others had mediocre years. Fritz at The Retirement Manifesto saw his net worth decline by 2.1% thanks to a volatile stock market.

Me? Well, I'm embarrassed to share how my year went financially. It sucked. No, seriously. It was terrible.

My net worth declined by 15.2% in 2018 — nearly $250,000!

Here's a graph of the monthly changes to my net worth during the past two years:

My monthly net worth over time

What happened? Did I buy a Lamborghini? Did I spend a ton during my recent three-week trip to Europe? Have Kim and I been binging on cocaine and chocolate? Nope. While there's no doubt that my habits contributed to my loss of wealth, there are larger forces at play here.

Let's take a closer look.

Note: As a reminder, your net worth is a snapshot of your financial health. It's what you own minus what you owe. While not a perfect measure, net worth is a useful tool for tracking your financial progress. Want more info? Here's how to calculate your net worth (and what to do with it).

Three Big Bruises

It's easy for me to rationalize my huge decline in net worth, to explain that it's mostly just smoke and mirrors. But I can't help thinking I'm fooling myself. Let me explain.

My loss of wealth seems to be due to three main factors:

  • Ongoing home improvements. Kim and I moved from our penthouse condo to this country cottage eighteen months ago. One of our goals was to reduce the “carrying costs” of owning a home. We achieved that. Living here costs us about $725 less each month than living in the condo. But we've also dealt with over $100,000 in necessary home repairs. Holy cats! (And right now, the kitchen sink is leaking. Ugh.)
  • The re-acquisition of Get Rich Slowly. I can't reveal how much I paid to purchase this site from its previous owners, but it's a significant chunk of change. Plus, I've put additional money into GRS for growth and development.
  • Investment losses. In 2018, the S&P 500 fell by 6.2%. That hurt my net worth. But I also lost money investing in other small businesses. (I'll write about this in the future. It's one of those “it seemed like a good idea at the time” things that's actually been a poor choice for me.)

It's obvious how the investment losses effect my net worth, but let's explore the first two points.

In theory, the improvements we've made to our home should increase its value.

We've spent a grand total of (drumroll, please) $143,290.09 on remodeling projects since we moved in, which is nearly one-third of the $449,665.36 purchase price. However, that doesn't mean the home is now worth $587,959.64. (I wish!) I'd be happy if we recouped 50% of our costs, which means our place is probably worth about $516,314.60.

That said, for accounting purposes, I treat remodeling expenses as if that money is simply gone, as if I'd spent it on something disposable. Meanwhile, Zillow says our home is worth $428.068.00. In other words, the combination of home improvements and declining property values has dinged my net worth by $160,000!

A similar thing happened with Get Rich Slowly. Technically, purchasing the site shouldn't have affected my net worth (assuming it's worth what I paid). I'm merely converting one asset (cash) into another (the website). However, I've never included the value of my businesses in my net worth, and I don't intend to start. That means (from an accounting perspective), the money I've put into this site has vanished.

So, you see, it's easy for me to rationalize and justify, to explain away my loss of wealth. Easy, yes, but stupid. I am part of the problem.

Lifestyle Inflation and Frictionless Spending

There are some good reasons that my net worth dropped in 2018. But there are some bad reasons too. Some of the drop comes from increased consumerism on my part. To wit:

  • Although we're dining out less than we used to, we're still spending too much on restaurants. In 2018, I spent an average of $389.63 per month dining out. I'd love to get this number down to about $200 per month.
  • Meanwhile, my grocery spending hasn't decreased at all since moving. In fact, it's increased by $20 per month. This is ridiculous. We have plenty of low-cost grocery options around us. I need to make use of them.
  • I spent a lot on health and fitness in 2018. For much of the year, I was seeing a personal trainer twice per week. I caught pneumonia. I bought a kayak and an expensive bicycle. I had more testing for my sleep apnea. In many ways, I've been paying for external motivation to stay healthy. It's too expensive. I need to shift to internal motivation, which will allow me to get fit for less.
  • I've been sucked into what my pal Douglas Tsoi calls “frictionless spending”. My Amazon Prime account makes it easy to order whatever I want, whenever I want. My iTunes account makes it easy to find a movie and buy it — with no effort, no “pain of paying”. Companies are finding ways to lower the barrier between impulse and buying. I need to build barriers to spending.

After my divorce in 2012, I was proud that I created a lifestyle that cost me about $3000 per month. This seemed like a completely reasonable amount for the level of luxury it gave me.

When I bought the condo in 2013, my expenses increased to about $4000 per month. While this bothered me a little, I felt like it was a worthwhile price to pay for what I received in return.

After Kim and I returned from our RV trip across the U.S., I found that our lifestyle was costing me closer to $5000 per month. Holy cats! I decided to take action, which is why we moved from the condo to our country cottage.

The trouble is that my monthly expenses haven't dropped since moving. Yes, the monthly carrying costs on this house are about $725 less than the condo, but I haven't banked that savings. Instead, I've used it to fund lifestyle inflation. I'm still spending about $5000 per month.

This needs to stop.

In Pursuit of Personal Profit

I've spent much of the past ten days poring over my finances. I created a spreadsheet of monthly spending, then systematically worked my way through, looking for expenses to cut. With two hours of work, I found $464.27 of recurring costs that I could trim from my budget immediately. That number will increase to $741.97 after a couple of contracts end.

My expenses spreadsheet

On top of that, I want to change my current spending patterns. How much can I save by curbing my epicurean habits? A ton, I hope. Plus, I plan to build barriers between me and frictionless spending.

Ultimately, I have two financial goals for 2019.

  • First, I want Get Rich Slowly to become profitable by the end of the year. Ideally, it'd generate enough income to cover most of my living expenses. (To be fair, the site recently moved from the red to the black, but I don't have enough data yet to call it profitable long-term.)
  • Second, I want to decrease my spending from about $5000 per month to about $4000 per month. (Truthfully, I'd love to cut my expenses to $3500 per month — or lower.)

The bottom line? I want to earn more than I spend in 2019. In my dream world, by the end of the year I'll have a positive saving rate for the first time since I sold this site in 2009. My goal is for my wealth to grow, not shrink.

I know that I'm in a fortunate position. I have a substantial nest egg and can afford to live well. There are many others for whom living on $4000 per month would seem like luxury, not like cutting back. I get it.

That said, it's scary to crunch the numbers and see that my net worth declined by $250,000 in one year — especially when all of that money vanished from my regular investment account, the one that contains the pool of cash I need to live on for the next decade until I can access my retirement accounts.

In a way, this situation has brought me full circle. When I started Get Rich Slowly back in 2006, my primary focus was frugality. As I earned and saved more, my attention turned to building wealth. After I sold the site, I was more concerned with maximizing happiness through managed spending. Now, though, I feel like I'm returning to my roots and it's exciting!

The post My 2018 year in review appeared first on Get Rich Slowly.

My 2018 year in review 2019-01-03T14:00:05+00:00

Did You Rob Aldi After Christmas Too?

2019-01-03T13:00:04+00:00

I hope everyone who celebrated holidays recently had their best ever. We got back from our annual vacation on the 23rd and proceeded to have 3 Christmas celebrations in a 24 hour span. I had to set my alarm to wake up at 3:30AM so that I could wrap presents.

In the end it was worth it. The kids said it was the best Christmas ever. (However, being 5 and 6, the sample size of what they remember may be limited.)

Of course their favorite gift where these Throw ‘N’ Pop Charmander and Throw ‘N’ Pop Squirtle toys that I picked up for around $8 each on ThinkGeek’s Cyber Monday sale. It’s a strong reminder that a great toy doesn’t need to be expensive.

With it being the end of the year, I thought I’d go with a lighter article and save some of the more thought-provoking ones for the fresh new year.

Yesterday, I found that ’tis the season to find tremendous deals at Aldi. Actually, you can find great deals there year round. However, it seems like their after Christmas deals are better than usual. I’ll let you be the judge.

I went to Aldi to get eggs and some sliced cheese. Here’s what I came back with:

Aldi Christmas Robbery

That’s what $41 bought me.

Some of the stuff like Christmas wrapping paper, gift bags, gift tags, and Santa sacks are a deal everywhere after Christmas. My dog doesn’t mind a second stocking of dog chews. He’ll snub quite a few things, but not treats just because they aren’t shaped for the current holiday season.

The bag with the trees is a sheet set. It’s normally $17, but was $7. Maybe they are clearing out the winter stuff early. It’s probably not the best sheet set, but we’ll find $7 of use out of them.

The luggage was the priciest item on the list… $11, marked down from $25. It seems like it might be cheaply made, but the American Airlines one that I’ve had for more than 10 years has lost some wheels and is a pain.

The 2 Tier Wire Basket will save us some counter space over the couple of bowls we have now. Usually that’s $8, but it was on sale for $3.

Finally, I found a couple of good food deals. That alfredo sauce is bacon flavored. I don’t quite know what I’m going to do with it, but I’m sure it’s great. It’s a specialty item that I think typically goes for $3, but for $0.79 I’ll give it a shot. I’ve rarely seen any good deals on fish at Aldi, but I couldn’t pass up the fresh tilapia. Normally around $4.50 each (3/4 of a pound), each package was $3 off, making them about $1.50 each. The only downside is that we have so many Christmas leftovers that I had to freeze them.

If you have an Aldi’s near you, I suggest you give it a look. It seems like they are trying to clear out old inventory, so they can bring in some new stuff.

In case you are curious, here’s my receipt:

Aldi Christmas Robbery Receipt

The post Did You Rob Aldi After Christmas Too? appeared first on Lazy Man and Money.

Did You Rob Aldi After Christmas Too? 2019-01-03T13:00:04+00:00

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Most young adults in their 20’s tend to focus more on building their careers, achieving their goals and of course, making money. Very few think about getting life insurance and even fewer actually get life insurance.   But I am sure you are wondering, do I really need to get life insurance in my 20’s? […]

The post Should you get life insurance in your 20’s? Here’s how you do it appeared first on 1st Million At 33.

Should you get life insurance in your 20’s? Here’s how you do it 2019-01-03T10:00:04+00:00