Monday, August 22, 2016

House Lust

House Lust
Back in June, we decided to take out a mortgage on our paid-off home. Why would we do such a thing? Opportunity costs. Paying off the low interest debt on our mortgage gave us a guaranteed return, though not as good of a return as we expect to get in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds. Any dollar you put towards one goal can't also be put towards something else, and all that. So we're investing the funds...mostly.

But that's just the sensible, personal finance reason that I'm obligated to state on the blog.

Another reason, the real reason, was that we wanted to buy another house. One in Tempe, close to our friends' new house, with visions of us walking with our future children over to our buddies' place for board games and beverages. If we couldn't use our wealth to buy the kind of life we imagined for us and our family, what's the point?

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Privileged

The Privileged
I'm a fan of Marketplace, the NPR program on finance and economics. But I especially love Marketplace Weekend, their Saturday show that takes a look at personal finance. I loved it back when Tess Vigeland hosted, and it seems even better now with Lizzie O'Leary.

This week's show had a segment on one of the uniquely modern career dilemmas: work-life balance. I'm sure we're all too familiar with this problem today's worker deals with daily, trying to find the happy medium between career, and everything else we label as life.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Writing it Down

Writing it Down
Writing is hard right now, especially in the mornings when I remember stuff all over again. But I am trying to keep up with good habits. I figure you're always reinforcing some sort of habit, no matter what you're doing...or avoiding doing. It's all building a routine.

So I might as well reinforce something healthy, like brushing my teeth and showering, shopping for food and cooking our own meals, or taking walks with the family, instead of drinking too many beers, wasting time on the internet, watching too much television, or playing hours of Fifa on the PlayStation.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

To Pepper

To Pepper
That's Pepper. Yesterday, I got up early to take her to the vet for dental work. Her breath had gotten bad lately and our regular teeth brushing didn't seem to be helping. On a prior visit, the clinic's doctor explained they might need to extract a tooth or two depending on the x-rays. We brought her in on Tuesday morning, and the vet would call us when it was time to pick her up. But when they called, they told us she passed away after they gave her anesthesia. The doctor gave her epinephrine and performed CPR for over half an hour, but none of that worked.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Are We on Track to Retire by Forty?

Are We on Track to Retire by Forty?
It's my birthday later this month, my thirty sixth. This month is my annual reminder to do a lot of things I usually don't care to think about, but still have to do. Note to self: remember to eat a bunch of cake while your friends and loved ones sing for you, pay for your life insurance policy, take a look at that beer belly and make some fitness goals, and check in on this plan to retire by the time you're forty.

Our early retirement goal is a scant four years from now, which on top of putting some real pressure on us to kick our savings into gear, is just plain old depressing since, you know, I'm going to be forty dang years old.

To the kids reading this, that whole YOLO thing has some legs. Get out there and live life while you're young and mistakes are encouraged.

Monday, July 25, 2016

What Happens When Humans Need Not Apply?

What Happens When Humans Need Not Apply
Last week we wrote about our trip to Africa which, given the state of affairs, was perhaps a little too upbeat and cheery. Life isn't all vacations and new experiences. Life is work, and disappointment, and setbacks, and sometimes dealing with hardship. Especially the kind of upcoming hardships that CGP Grey talks about in depressing-but-fast-paced-and-somehow-still-entertaining videos.

In case you hadn't heard, automation is coming for us...and probably not the kind of automation you're used to, either.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Our Trip to Africa

One of our not-so-secret goals is to visit six of seven continents before we start a family. I assume that as soon as we have babies, that our international travel will change dramatically, if not go on a multi-year hiatus altogether.

Stupid babies, they ruin everything.

So far we've been able to visit a lot of North America (layup!), South America a few times, a few trips to Europe, and, as of last month, Africa. Here's a little breakdown of where we went and what we did, with a couple travel hack tips, to boot.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Mortgages, Student Loans, and Good Debt

Mortgages, Student Loans, and Good Debt
Like so many other personal finance nerds, I've spent the last week digging in to JL Collins' new book, The Simple Path to Wealth. I'll spare you another positive review trying to convince you of its merits, or why you should buy it. Not my job, pal.

If you're too cheap to spend eleven bucks on the one book that will finally make you rich and happy, then don't come crying to me in six months when you find yourself destitute, friendless, eating cold pork-n-beans out of a can at the public library, and creeping everyone out.

These are your choices, Bean Can McGee. You just have to live with the consequences.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Oops, We Have a Mortgage Again

That's the title of our terrible Brittany Spears spoof. But it's true, kind of. After aggressively paying off the mortgage on our primary residence a mere three years after buying our first home, mostly thanks to Dave Ramsey and his crazy baby step number six, we're now in the process of a cash-out refi and tapping that equity, so we can end up right back where we started with a one hundred thousand dollar mortgage.

No one ever said we knew what we were doing with money.