• LED Filament bulbs
    DIY,  Saving

    Make the Switch to LED Bulbs

    Early on, LED bulbs were expensive, did not start immediately, could not dim, and had a weird color that was nothing like traditional bulbs.  These days, those concerns have all been addressed.  LED bulbs can be had for under $1 for a 60W equivalent bulb.  I recently priced one at my local hardware store for a mere $0.74.  It puts out the equivalent light output as a 60W bulb, but uses only 6.5W to do it!  In addition to the power savings, you will also reduce unwanted heat in your house.  Not a big deal in the winter, but in the summer, not only are you using more power with a traditional…

  • Setting Savings Goals
    Featured,  Personal Finance,  Saving

    Managing Money as a Couple

    Now that we’re in our 30’s, the topic of money comes up occasionally with our friends. It is interesting to hear how each couple has a different approach to managing money within their relationships. Some couples view their money as “ours” while others keep it completely separate.  Each couple has their own reasoning for how they decided to manage their money. This is one topic where Christian and I have always been on the same page . We created a system that we love. While our core approach hasn’t changed much over the 7 years we’ve been married, it is something that we discuss and evaluate often to ensure that…

  • Investing

    Doing Your Own Work

    In school, teachers always told us to do our own work.  We were not to copy other students homework or cheat off their tests.  While not enforced in your investing life, it is a good practice to always do your own work.  What does this mean?  Never rely on any statistics published by a financial site when making an investment decision.  I cannot count the number of times these statistics have been off, or just flat out wrong.  The issue is that these statistics are generated automatically, and are not checked for accuracy by anyone.   A friend of mine once bragged about buying a company at 4x earnings, a…

  • Investing

    One of the Best Shortcuts in Stock Research

    As I mentioned in this article, you should never use statistics from a finance site (like Yahoo! Finance) to make your investing decisions.  However, one shortcut I recommend is exploring Value Line.  Each Value Line report is created by expert analysts. Because of this, the bad data issues I have come across on sites like Yahoo! Finance and Google are not a concern. A subscription to Value Line is not cheap, ranging from $200 to $800 a year.  Before you write this off, I’ll let you in on a special secret for getting these reports for FREE. How to Get Value Line for Free   Ready for it…? …your local library.…

  • Featured,  Investing

    Investment vs Speculation

    What is investing?  In theory, it is quite simple.  It is the outlay of money today with the reasonable expectation that you will get more money back in the future.  The concept is very simple, but in practice it is much more complex.   What makes a good investment? What is the difference between an investment and speculation? Are you investing or speculating? Lets start with narrowing down the difference between investment and speculation.  An investment involves purchasing a productive asset.  What is a productive asset?  A rental property, a share of stock in a company, or purchasing something larger like a car wash, self storage facility, or other business.  The…

  • Personal Finance,  Saving

    Starting Out – Calculate Your Net Worth

    Investing and saving can be a daunting task. There are so many options it can make your head spin. Roth IRA’s, traditional IRA’s, 401k’s, annuities, 529 plans, CD’s, and countless other options abound. Where do you even start? Well for one thing, it is best to take things like this in small, digestible, steps. Build your understanding, bit by bit, and soon you will be in full control of your financial future. This blog is designed to lead you from lost, to mastering of your money and financial future. Just by reading this far you deserve a small pat on the back (not too big there, you are still just…