Weekend Links

I haven’t done this for a month, so I think I’ve accumulated a few :) Happy December everyone!

Emily at Evolving PF asked for a gift giving revolution for Christmas. I am absolutely on board with this! I find gift shopping incredibly stressful, as well as gift receiving. How many times have you gotten a present that you absolutely hated from someone and you couldn’t return it?

Joe at Retire By 40 shared his Keep It Simple strategy for credit cards. I am so with him on this one as well! I think that there are some things worth chasing and maybe I’ll change my mind some day, but for now, having one credit card is the easiest. If you’re not going to remember which one to use, having just one is a pretty good idea.

Where’s My Trust Fund? did math on how much to save for college. I may not have kids, but I’m a huge fan of math and I think the numbers she came up with are definitely pretty scary!

White Coat Investor has been doing a Q&A series on Fridays, which I have been quite enjoying. This week he (she?) talked about HSAs and last week, old 401(k)s. His posts have been a nice summary on the topics.

Bridget at Money After Graduation told women to work wherever they want. I’m pretty sure, dear readers, that she is preaching to the choir here. Sheryl Sandberg is definitely one of my favorite speakers. I would highly recommend watching her speak. Here’s an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMVCSrm65kg

Grumpy Rumblings got their mortgage under $100k! (and talked about recasting) Recasting is definitely an interesting concept, particularly if you can’t refinance (e.g. you’ve quit your job, but have cash in the bank).

Emily at Evolving PF did some excellent math comparing 15 and 30 year mortgages. I actually did very little math before deciding whether to pay off the mortgage or not. I just looked at the fact that I was maxing out my retirement accounts and the fact that I could pay off the mortgage entirely in the next five years with the income that I forecasted and started paying extra on the mortgage. Earlier in the year, when I was on track to close on a different condo, I had planned on splitting my monthly discretionary savings half and half between the mortgage and taxable investments, but then I got a large enough raise that bumped me over the full Roth IRA eligibility for the year and my bonuses were much larger than I had originally expected, moving my mortgage payoff calculation from 7 years to 5 years and I’m now estimating it closer to 4 years…


Weekend Links

Looks like I did a bit better at starring posts in my Google Reader this week :)

The Finance Buff compared the return of investing in bonds to paying down your mortgage. I thought that this was an intriguing idea, especially considering that I’m aggressively paying down my mortgage.

Where’s My Trust Fund described the purpose of a fund to allow you to leave your job in a hurry. I love this idea! It’s kind of scary that paying off my mortgage in full quickly is dependent on having a high income, but once it’s gone, that will help with this fund since then my six months of expenses saved up are actually worth nine with no mortgage payment.

Million Dollar Journey explained where real financial security comes from. I thought that this was a great complement to the above post! He said that real security comes from having a huge nest egg, not from having no debt. Interesting food for thought and I do mostly agree with him.

Oblivious Investor  talked about the idea of living off interest + dividends each year instead of using the 4% rule. I definitely agree with him and I think long-term, I will look to the 4% rule in practice, but I still like tracking interest + dividends and comparing them to my expenses, just for fun.

Weekend Links

Happy weekend, everyone! I can’t believe it’s November next week already. Time to start planning for Christmas :)

White Coat Investor talked about the “compulsive saver” mindset this week, which really resonated with me. The solution for me was his first one: Grow Income. I need to work on #2 though (Stop saving when you reach your goal). With the income I have now, I can have a lifestyle I enjoy, max out my retirement accounts, invest in my taxable accounts, AND pay down the mortgage. So now I don’t worry quite as badly about saving as I once did on a low income. Saving 80% of my net income in high school sure didn’t leave me with much spending money. But now I’m at closer to saving 60-70% of a high net income (including bonuses) and that means I can spend plenty of money and not worry (as much) if I’m saving enough.

The Finance Buff reported that Ally Bank now requires consent before allowing early withdrawal from CDs. I’m sure glad I didn’t open any 5 year CDs with them!

Harry of Your Personal Finance Pro had a great explanation of I-Bonds. I know very little about them myself so that was a great primer!

May Personal finance links round-up

I didn’t star very many posts this week – things have been a bit crazy, but here we go! Hope you guys are having an awesome weekend!

Congratulations to Young and Thrifty on selling her blog – that is such exciting news!

Christa at MomVesting wrote about the common misconception that the stock market is scary. I certainly agree with her that knowledge is power!

Sam at Financial Samurai explained why an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) is more logical than the fixed rate mortgage. I chose a 7/1 ARM for my previous condo deal and will probably end up going with an ARM again when I purchase another place.

Mike at Oblivious Investor answered the question “Is It Safer to Use Multiple Fund Companies?”

Emily at Evolving PF explained how their car targeted savings account works. This sounds so similar to my spending plan system, but she explained it far better than I ever could :)

Kathryn posted a video explaining the #1 thing you forget to ask when buying a condo. I absolutely love her purple wall!!!

Well Heeled Blog talks about “committing (or not committing) to financial independence as a goal”. It is definitely a goal for me and I would love to be FI in ~< 10 years. I think that the math is still a bit fuzzy at this point, but I’m working my way there. [site is gone, so took the link down]

Mochi and Macarons asked if single women are too successful and intelligent to find love.

April Personal finance links round-up

Well apparently I starred quite a few posts in my Google Reader this week! I don’t know how – it’s been absolutely gorgeous here. Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend :)

Canadian Couch Potato shared why daily market commentary is a joke. I particularly enjoyed his analogy, once I finally got it.

Free Money Finance shared a reader profile of a woman in her mid-twenties who wants to stay in her small hometown. I’m definitely glad that I moved out of my hometown, but it’s also incredible that this young woman knows what she wants at her age for so many life decisions. Some might say that I do, but I am most definitely single.

Krystal at Give Me Back My Five Bucks discussed when minimalism and personal finance collide. I am definitely not a minimalist – I am planning on buying a two bedroom condo just for myself :) That said, I do try to keep a limit on the quantity of shoes and clothes that I own.

Mr. Money Mustache guest posted at Financial Samurai about how early retirement is not as risky as you might think. As someone who is actively thinking about this, I really enjoyed the graphs and numbers that MMM shared, just as I do on his blog.

PFBlogWatchDog told us why you should use 5 year CDs for your emergency fund. I’m definitely a fan of that idea!

Meg at World of Wealth shared a story about a new friend with a different perspective on wealth. This is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately as well, as I encounter more and more people at similar income levels, but everyone has a different idea of how to spend and save their money or what wealth feels like to them.

I Am 1 Percent talked about why it is important to identify your talents early (dead link) (if possible). I know I’m a bit of an oddball, but I knew what I wanted to do when I was pretty young and I’m definitely reaping the rewards from that knowledge.

Kevin at Thousandaire asked if you could go without a car. I ran that experiment when I first moved to my current city after college and survived for almost a year with a combination of a car sharing program and public transit. Eventually for my use cases, the cost of the car sharing program exceeded the costs of car ownership, so I bought a car. I’m glad I waited, but I’m also glad to have the car now.

Kathryn shared a crazy story about when you should fire a broker (dead link). I’m glad that I never got caught in the financial advisor trap!

Emily and Kyle of Evolving Personal Finance shared five money-saving moves from their wedding. I loved their ideas, even ignoring the fact that it saved them some money. Who doesn’t want to have a wedding reception in a science museum or at a family home? That sounds pretty awesome to me!

Nicole and Maggie of Grumpy Rumblings asked their readers what they would do if they didn’t have (to have) a job. There were a lot of fascinating answers to that question :)

February Personal finance links round-up

And here is to February being over! Enjoy!

Personal finance links round-up

I haven’t done a personal finance links round-up in a while. Between a two-week vacation, my full-time job, and buying the condo, I simply haven’t had the time to do this in the last month and a half. I’ve picked my favorite blog posts from other PF blogs over the last half of the month of January. Enjoy!

  1. Free Money Finance gives a great idea of how to decide which tax preparation method is best for you. I have definitely used a combination of this method over the last few years. Maybe eventually I’ll stop doing my taxes two ways each year…
  2. Kate of Her Two Cents discovered an awesome way to save for her girls’ college education! Basically, she figured out that she can replace “daycare” with “college savings” in her budget when her girls go off to public school. So simple, but so brilliant!
  3. Gail talked about how having too many investing choices can prevent you from saving at all. I’m glad that even though my 401(k) choices were daunting at first and I picked ridiculous funds, I did at least put money into my 401(k) and now I have those funds around to allocate better.
  4. Vicky Vo shares her income from December 2011. She is doing great without a full-time job!
  5. Christa at MomVesting discusses pre-nuptial agreements. Even if you don’t sign one when you get married, it’s still good to discuss what would have otherwise gone into one and it’s just yet another way to make sure that you are on the same page as your future spouse financially.
  6. Well Heeled Blog praised “Zooey Deschanel, her celebrity crush, for being a responsible celebrity spender”. [site is gone, so took the link down]
  7. Get Rich Slowly shared a reader story about paying cash for their first home. Wow, this couple managed to save $100,000 in 2.5 years! That’s pretty impressive.
  8. Retire by 40 asked his readers where he should stash $50,000. My vote was to put some of it in Ally’s no-penalty 11 month CDs to lock in the current rates without looking at any early withdrawal penalties – that’s pretty much cash.