Monday, February 19, 2018

Would We Already be Financially Independent Abroad?

An interesting possibility has presented itself in the Done by Forty household. We could potentially be financially independent immediately, if we changed our plan a bit, and sold our home.

If we sold our house, and maybe our one remaining rental property while we were at it, we could blatantly steal the plan that Kristy and Bryce at Millennial Revolution and Jeremy and Winnie at Go Curry Cracker have used to enjoy a financially independent, and somewhat location-independent, life.

Assuming we could similarly find affordable housing to rent abroad, and that we could leverage traveler's health insurance, we might be able to rock an inflation-adjusting $40,000 annual budget...indefinitely.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Haters Gonna Say It's Fake

Haters Gonna Say It's Fake
Sometimes I wonder how the Financial Independence, Retire Early movement (what the cool kids call FIRE) has spread as far as it has. The details for reaching financial independence sound so ridiculous, that typing them out makes me feel like a scam artist.

People saving fifty, sixty, or seventy percent of their incomes? Retiring in their mid-thirties or late twenties? Living on twenty or thirty grand, total, a year, without having to eat plain rice for dinner each night?

That sounds like a hustle, friend.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Budget Porn, a Look at 2017, and a Free, Simple Path to Wealth

We're told never to bury the lede, so here it is. We are giving away two audio copies of Jim Collins' excellent book, The Simple Path to Wealth. This is my favorite personal finance book, by far, and you can read why here

But if you haven't read Jim's book, let me tell you, friend: you are tempting fate. I know people who haven't read The Simple Path to Wealth, and they are universally unhappy people: unlucky in board games and in love, terrible dressers with ill-fitting clothes hanging off their slumped shoulders, and while I do not have any firm proof, I'm fairly certain that they are all underwhelming in the sack.

But with a little luck, by next week they could be listening to Jim's book, fixing both their finances and their bedroom shortcomings in one fell swoop.

Plus, you don't have to follow me on Twitter or Facebook to win a copy, either. All you have to do is make me laugh.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Las Vegas, the Gambler's Ruin, and Index Funds

Las Vegas, the Gambler's Ruin, and Index Funds
Earlier this month, I went to Vegas for my buddy's bachelor party. I had a great time, even if that city was a lot more appealing to 20-something me than it is to 30-something me. Still, I love gambling. It combines two of my favorite things: games, and stakes. Things matter when you have skin in the game.

Don't believe me? Try playing poker without money sometime.

I came home with more money than I left with, somehow. And the bachelor was the big winner: I has a seat next to him Saturday night (well, Sunday morning) as he went on a fantastic run at a blackjack table. As we stumbled home, he was up over five hundred bucks.

Monday, January 22, 2018

A Peek at the Future

A Peek at the Future
I had surgery on Friday. As a sign that I'm getting older, I somehow gave myself a hernia picking up my backpack on the first day of our last trip to Europe.

Mrs. Done by Forty and our friends were kind enough to carry my pack for me the rest of the trip. And my doctor said it wasn't serious. As long as I didn't lift heavy stuff, I could postpone the surgery until January in order to pick different insurance during open enrollment. 

Waiting saved us over a thousand dollars, but came with the cost of not being able to play kickball in the fall.

Monday, January 15, 2018

PF Chat: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

PF Chat: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
You're in for a treat today, dear readers. Instead of being subjected to my "thoughts" and "expertise" all on their own, they will thankfully be hidden among those of some actually intelligent and accomplished experts in the personal finance community.

We have Jamila from Journey to Launch, Piggy from Bitches Get Riches, as well as Kara from Bravely and Tanja from Our Next Life. The latter pair also are the creators of The Fairer Cents podcast. 

This week the PF Chat focused on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and, friends, we did not pull any punches. As always, there is some NSFW language. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Few Simple Changes

A Few Simple Changes
I cannot resist the siren call of the New Year's resolution. Sure, this system of goal setting has literally never worked for me. And yeah, I am now in my thirty seventh year, so why should things change this late in the game?

But motivation is a rare thing, and I should at least try to capture it the one time a year it predictably shows its head like Punxsutawney Phil.

My goal is to bring our annual spending back to $40,000 again. That translates to a very attractive looking $3,333 a month. We used to come in under that figure, no problem... back after we'd paid off our mortgage. So, yeah, apples and elephants now that we have a big honking mortgage again, I know.

Still, when I look at a single month, it sure does seem possible. Plus, I have a secret weapon, as shown in the picture.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Fresh Start & Rockstar Finance

Somehow, 2017 is nearly at an end. And despite how busy we always seem to get in the Done by Forty household each December, I really do treasure this time of year.

It's a time when we're reminded of the joy of spending time with the people we love and who love us back, the simple pleasure of a glass of eggnog and warm wool socks, and the importance of giving to others.

J Money and the good people over at Rockstar Finance were kind enough to grant us $100 from their Community Fund, so we could do a little good in our hood here in Arizona. 

I immediately thought of the organization our good friend Mandy works for: Fresh Start Women's FoundationMandy was cool enough to answer some questions for us. 

If you're interested in awesome charities devoted to empowering women, give the interview a read, and please consider donating if you're able.  

Monday, December 18, 2017

Football, Choking Puppies, and Perspective

As a football fan who grew up in Western Pennsylvania, I spent most of last week thinking about the Steelers game against the Patriots. Whoever won the game would likely be the AFC's #1 seed, and the road to the Super Bowl would then go through their home stadium. The stakes were high.

History hasn't been kind to the Steelers in this match up: the Patriots have won 10 of the last 13 games, including some truly lopsided AFC Championship Games. Tom Brady & Belichick just have the Steelers' number.