Monday, April 9, 2018

Want Riches? Get Money.

How's my thumb taste, Ben?
This blog has never been very good at dispensing actionable advice, or even many helpful tips. We like to keep things at the conceptual level around here.

For one, theories that can be debated are what I find most interesting. Plus, so many great ideas get shot down by others when they point out that they do not actually work, as if practicality were such a big friggin deal.

On the downside, this blog doesn't do much to actually "teach others about personal finance" or "help people" or "do anything useful". But that's where other writers come in.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Budget Porn, March 2018


Budget Porn, March 2018
We are entering the home stretch of baby mania, 2018, dear readers. I owe you an apology for missing last week's post but we were hosting friends and family for a baby shower. I underestimated how little time we'd have to ourselves that weekend, as well as the stress level involved.

Am I the only one who finds it crazy stressful to have guests in town? I love people, and as an extrovert I even feel like I'm happiest when I'm around a lot of people. But when those people are staying in my home, something changes. It's no longer fun: everything's a chore. Literally, as I work through our chore list, cleaning our house far beyond what is normal for us. 

I'm actually making up excuses to keep these lovely people out of our home after the baby arrives.

Monday, March 19, 2018

KFC & the Middle Class

KFC & the Middle Class
As so many other children of Asian mothers, I was punished for any grade other than an "A". After the divorce, when my mom was raising us on her own and she had free reign when establishing academic consequences, I was grounded a full nine weeks for earning a "B".

If the next report card showed the straight A's as it was supposed to, I would not only be free to hang out with the other kids in our apartment complex after school again, but we got a treat: a whole bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, complete with a styrofoam side of coleslaw and another full of mashed potatoes and a container of gravy.

This, friends, was the good life.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Dual Income Dilemma, Daycare, & the Wage Gap

The Dual Income Dilemma, Daycare, & the Wage Gap
Disclaimer: I should start by saying that I have a penis. As such, I'm pretty unqualified to talk specifically about issues that impact women. I'm going to be wandering into those areas a bit today. I just want to note that I'm really just talking about our household, and about the things that Mrs. Done by Forty and I think and talk about when it comes to our family, and how we personally feel about things like time away from work, options like dual incomes, daycare, and the fucked up wage gap.

With that out of the way, let's dive in.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Budget Porn, February 2018

Sometimes I wonder what google searches bring readers to this post series. What kind of weird, low-budget (or should I say, "affordable") porn is someone looking for when they stumble upon this blog?

But we don't judge here, friends. If you're here to satisfy your financial voyeurism by looking at what someone else spends on groceries or restaurants, that's just fine. And if you are here by accident, and were instead looking for actual pornography, that's fine, too.

I hope you'll stick around.

Monday, February 26, 2018

PF Chat: Financial Independence & Early Retirement

PF Chat: Financial Independence & Early Retirement
Good morning, good readers. This month we have another edition of our personal finance chat, and we again got very lucky with our guests.

Today we are hosting a conversation on Financial Independence and Early Retirement with JL Collins, Liz from the Frugalwoods, Brandon from Mad Fientist, Tanja from Our Next Life, as well as Kristy and Bryce from Millennial Revolution.

Let's get right to it.

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.