Wishing You a Happy Independence Day Weekend!

I’m taking a break for the long holiday weekend, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Independence Day! Enjoy your celebrations, stay safe, and join me in thanking our troops and our veterans for protecting our freedom. I’ll be back on Tuesday morning with the regular personal finance post.

Independence Day flag and fireworks

Can Love Actually Make You Rich?

I don’t think I have ever shared this with you about myself, but here goes, for better or worse. When I was a student in college, one of my dual minors was Philosophy. I remember taking one course on Aesthetics. But truthfully, I didn’t really appreciate it. 😉 So, yes, I actually took Philosophy and looking back on it, I have to ask myself one simple question:

Did I think I wanted to be a philosopher?

You've heard the phrase, "do what you love and the money will follow"? Well, it's true to a certain extent. But sometimes you need to find the money in it.

I am guessing now the answer was “no”. Most of the great ones are all dead and while they were alive, no one seemed to appreciate them very much. It somehow seems that dying and being appreciated as a great philosopher are linked and that really doesn’t seem very rewarding in just about every way, does it? Well, I guess being remembered and read and talked about after you’re gone does have value. Not much on the money side for you there, but still…

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Before Financial Independence, It’s All About the Job

Before you say goodbye forever to your 9 to 5 daily grind and the commuter train ride that you have been “enjoying” every day for the past umpteen years, you more than likely have to be somewhat successful at a “job” to get to your true dream. You know the one you’ve had since you first started out working: financial independence!

For job success, there are certains things you need to do, and other things you need to avoid. Here are the no-go's that could tank your career.

Look around though and you will probably see many “long-timer” faces that are plugging away at what they do, even if they dream about FI and yet still haven’t moved off square one in their pursuit of that dream. Others, scores of them, come and go from your work arena and almost all of them leave not for FI. They leave in many cases like the Christians left the arena back in ancient Rome did, or they migrate to some other dead end job that leaves them grinding and commuting forever. That’s not what you want, is it? But before FIRE (financial independence, retire early), it’s all about the job! Job success has to come first.

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How Do You Live a Debt Free Life?

Why do people wind up in big debt? You probably weren’t born into debt like was common back in the feudal age hundreds of years ago, so why does it seem so many wind in debt that way today?

It's possible to live a debt free life, but to do so, you need to prepare and to have the right attitude. Read on to learn how to plan to avoid debt.

These days when someone has a money problem, like when and if their car dies or they need to replace something like an air conditioning system for their home or pay off a big shopping spree that they impulsively made on their credit cards, they don’t have the money to pay for it all when the bill comes in. They really need the car fixed to get to work or the air conditioning fixed in the middle of a sweltering summer, so they end up having to purchase it on credit. Ironically sometimes that debt lasts longer than the item that they purchased! And then there is student debt, and we all have either heard about that disaster or worse, experienced it. So that raises the question, can anyone actually live a debt free life?

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When Financial Knowledge is Wasted on the Retired

I am really amazed about how things work out in life. For one, we spend so much of our lives mulling over money that when you think about it, it is kind of scary. I’m not claiming here that I don’t, hell I always have and now even in my retirement I spend hours every day writing and thinking about it. But the time I devote to the subject these days is much more balanced than it was all the years that came before. Know why? It’s because as I have aged, I have learned and re-learned the ups and downs, the trial and tribulations, and the financial knowledge that makes money make much more sense to me! I’m not claiming I have all the answers but I can say at least this: I know most of the questions. And that’s something.

Financial knowledge is critical for success, but it's often wasted on the retired. Here are some considerations for those pondering early retirement.

One of the good things in life is that I have lived long enough (69.833 years) to have learned stuff and yet one of the great mysteries is why all of that financial knowledge is wasted on the retired?

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How to Better Your Financial Decision Making

Life isn’t easy. We all make little and big decisions every day and sometimes it feels like there isn’t a minute that goes by that we can just veg and not have to do any decision making at all. Oh, and by the way, if you actually try to do just that, someone will probably call you out and tell you that you’re shirking your responsibilities or not facing up to reality or must be plain lazy or stupid. Is that why you never avoid making a decision or you agonize over one and never ever take a few minutes to take a deep breath before you do?

Financial decision making can be difficult and overwhelming, but here are some ways to make it easier and more successful.

When it comes to your money decision making, the pressure is even more ridiculous. Why? Because not only are those decisions important to you, but they show up and stand out. I mean they are pretty visible to the naked eye and often are the main ways that others can see how you function and judge how good your decision making actually is. Even though it sometimes doesn’t show up immediately to the naked eye, your money decisions will eventually be very visible and will affect you, your family, friendships, and even your job. Perhaps you can hide a few bad decisions, at least for a while. But when that day of reckoning arrives, everyone will know what really happened. When that happens, it’s not just bad for you, but for everyone around you and that just sucks!

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How to Not Fear Your Finances

Do you have any idea how many debt-burdened people don’t want to open up their mail every day? According to a 2018 Bankrate survey, 36% of Americans are losing sleep over their money troubles every day. I don’t have that financial fear and in fact, I actually look forward to getting and opening up my mail each day. That is a symptom of getting old I guess more than a result of my “braveness” when it comes to money. I just look forward to getting the coupons and sale flyers and yes, that is fairly sad, isn’t it? But for others, it is very different.

Financial fear can keep you from handling your money well and can lead to all sorts of consequences. Here's how to overcome your fear and take charge.

Can you imagine hiding from the mailman or being afraid to answer the telephone in fear that the next thing you might see or hear is that someone is coming for you or worse, your money? That may sound like high drama (and it actually is), but if you were to check around, you would find that there are way too many people who live in this kind of fearful existence. The shoeboxes they have full of those unopened bills would make some of us seek immediate emergency cardiac care. I hope that isn’t you.

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Sooner or Later You Will Learn From Your Regrets

Have you ever looked back at times and moments in your life and said to yourself “What could I have said or done differently” that might have changed the outcome of something? You know, like when you took on a new job and realized later that was a mistake or perhaps breaking off a relationship with someone that now you know shouldn’t have happened. We all have those moments of doubts and regrets, and they cover a spectrum from the ridiculous to the sublime, from love to money. Well, I can’t supersavingtips my way to saving you on love…you’ll have to go to Dr. Phil or Ellen or someone like them for that. But, I can advise you a little bit about the money thing. So here goes.

It's easy to look back at parts of your life and have regrets, but the important thing is to learn from them. Here's 6 lessons my regrets have taught me.

It is an exercise in futility to question yourself over and over again about your past because you cannot alter it! 30, 15, 10, or 5 years later—it doesn’t really matter when you do it. It’s like trying to put the toothpaste back into the tube. It’s done, over and out, history. However, you can use the lessons learned to alter your future. That’s advice you can bank on, and sooner or later you will learn (and the sooner you learn that the better off you will be!).

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