Monday, March 6, 2017

Financial Resolutions

We're now into March, which is about the time when I realize that this is not the year that I'm going to finally lose those fifteen pounds, or learn to play guitar, and I'm going to be the same, overweight, non-musical slob I was last year.

Now, maybe you're one of those annoying people who "betters themselves" and "uses an accountability partner" and "doesn't eat four doughnuts for breakfast" which, if so, good for you. I am not one of those people. Still, I set goals each and every year, even if all past evidence points to me falling short again.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

How Millennials Are Changing The Way We Handle Money

How Millennials are Changing the Way We Handle Money

The following is a guest post authored by Jessica Cooper.

Born from the 1980s to the turn of the century, Millennials are careful with their money, but unlike their baby boomer parents, they're had to manage their money in tough economic times. Many of them put off marriage because they can't cope with the expense of a wedding - they also can't bear to be seen to be doing anything in half measures.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Backloaded Traditional IRA?

Backloaded Traditional IRA?
Not that Ira.
Disclaimer: the following post includes discussion of both taxes and investments, two painfully boring topics that are liable to put you to sleep. It is strongly recommended that you drink no fewer than two espressos prior to reading this blog post, and wait at least an hour before operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery. Additionally, nothing contained below constitutes tax or investment advice.

We just filed our taxes, and got back about seven hundred dollars. This is just as we'd hoped for: to land within spitting distance of what we owe. With a couple of rental properties that might have unexpected expenses, and whose tenants might vacate unexpectedly, too, it's tough to predict a whole year's income and expenses ahead of time.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Unsustainable American Dream

The Unsustainable American Dream
I like thinking about cliche stuff. Like what it means to be middle class, and how we're supposed to feel when we get there. And what it means when we talk about "the American Dream," since we spend so much of our lives pursuing it.

Personally, I think the American Dream means providing a better life for your kids than the life you had. We're most often talking about economics: we want our kids to have a better chance at a successful career, to be able to afford a college education, to buy a home, and to live a comfortable life.

Monday, February 6, 2017

2016 Was the Worst (Our Annual Spending)

Of all the terrible things that happened in 2016, with Russia and the head of the FBI openly messing with our elections, and the president of the Philippines calling Obama "the son of a whore" like it's no big deal, and a sixty eight year old Peyton Manning somehow winning another Super Bowl, the worst thing of all may have been all the money we spent last year.

Maybe I'm too self-centered.

Let's just get in to it. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?
I have a recap in the works for our Asia trip, but I'm working on a new format (and website) for that post, so you'll have to wait to suffer through my amateur photographs and mundane anecdotes. But in the interim, please step into our latest, ongoing mental anguish: whether we should stay in our current home, or move to a new one.

I know we've written about this in the past, and came to a decision that we thought was firm: to renovate our current home and make it pretty. And low and behold, we hem, we haw, and question our past selves. So why not crowd-source our living situation?

Come on. It'll be fun.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Leap Away from Work

We're finally back from Asia, which was lovely. I'll have a summary next week, but today I have a quick post on leaping away from work.

I’m finishing Tess Vigeland’s Leap, which is maybe the best book I read in 2016. It documents her decision to leave the big, fancy job hosting Marketplace Weekend, without a specific plan for what would come next. No job lined up. Not starting a charity or a business or writing a novel: just an understanding that what she was doing wasn’t working all that well anymore, and that something needed to change. A real leap, without knowing where she would land.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Off to Asia

Off to Asia
This Saturday is Christmas Eve, and our gift to ourselves this year is a trip to Asia. We're visiting Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Siem Reap, doing our normal thing of visiting each city for about four days or so, and with our usual partners in crime: our good couple friends who've leaned into travel hacking as much as we have.

This trip is bittersweet, since my mother's recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. She just started chemo this month, and I've been driving back to Southern California to visit her. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a lot of stress, but I'm choosing to trust her doctors' recommendations, and to be optimistic. The last few days have been especially hard. She's been in the ER and hospital on separate issues, which is the last thing she needs while she's trying to beat cancer.

Monday, December 12, 2016

My Two Selves

Thanks to an introduction from a friend, I might have a freelance writing opportunity. It was just a meeting, and nothing may come of it. Still, it's exciting to think I might earn some money doing something I enjoy. While I have some fears about what might happen to the joy I get from writing if I turn it into another j-o-b, I'm learning to come to terms with that fear because I think it might be what I'm supposed to do with myself.

There is one tricky detail to decide on: which name should I put in the byline?