I Dream of FIRE

In pursuit of financial independence and personal fulfillment

Month: October 2017

Our Halloween nightmare: surgery, setbacks and insane stress

“I want you to get in the car and drive directly to Primary Children’s. I’ll call ahead and let them know you’re coming.” I knew the measured, even tones in which the pediatrician spoke meant we were in for a hell of a day. “Don’t bother going to any closer hospital. If she has what I think she has you’ll need a pediatric surgeon, and there’s only one hospital in the valley that has one on call today.” Continue reading

Review: Cinch – a fintech fiduciary to put you on the right path

Note: This is a sponsored post. I received compensation to provide an honest, accurate review of this product.

If you’re just starting to get your financial house in order — or you’d like to get started and don’t know where to begin — a new entrant in the financial technology space may be just what you’re looking for.

Cinch bills itself as “the future of autonomous personal finance,” a product that strives to serve its customers first and foremost by taking a fiduciary approach to its recommendations and analysis. I was asked to join a closed beta to take Cinch for a spin and see what it could do. Continue reading

Your house is burning and you can only save 10 things – what do you choose?

It wasn’t the woman screaming outside that woke me up; it was the strange popping sound. It was 5:45 a.m., and I’d only been asleep maybe two hours. Groggy, I shuffled to the window and pushed a slat of blinds up with my finger.

Pop. Pop-pop-pop. Pop.

The girl who lived in the townhouse unit next to mine stood on the sidewalk, illuminated from what I gathered was every light in the house shining through her window.

“The dogs are dead!” she screamed at her boyfriend between sobs. “Get out of the house!”


Suddenly reality came into focus. The building was ablaze. The intense heat was shattering windows. Pop-pop. Pop. She was lit by the glow of a raging fire on the other side of two pieces of drywall just six feet from where I stood.

I had to get out of the house. Now. Continue reading

Dreamcatcher: Posts and podcasts that inspired me this week

Welcome to the Dreamcatcher, where I share the posts and podcasts that inspired me to action or deeper thought during the week. Continue reading

The highly effective money management matrix

For almost three decades, top performers have used the time-management matrix Stephen R. Covey introduced in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” to maximize the time spent on meaningful work and minimize the time spent on distractions. It is among the book’s most memorable and effective tools.

What if we apply the same concept to personal finance? Continue reading

30-day experiment update: Journaling

At the beginning of October, I decided to kick off my experiment series by committing to 30 days of nightly journaling.

I’ve heard from so many people of all different types that they consider journaling a key component of success. It’s never been my thing, but with so many proponents I decided to give it a try. Continue reading

Dreamcatcher: Posts and podcasts that inspired me this week

Welcome to the Dreamcatcher, where I share the posts and podcasts that inspired me to act or to think critically or differently about something this week. Continue reading

Forget Equifax, you should be worried about your craptastic passwords

Would you stay at a hotel where every room could be opened with the same key? Or would you smile at the desk agent, get back in your car and drive to an inn with at least a basic sense of security where you could feel safe staying the night?

If you’re like most people, you have one — maybe two — passwords that you use across all of your online accounts. One key to rule them all!

Oh sure, sometimes you make slight variations to add numbers or capitals as each site requires. Your password “bumblebee” becomes Bumblebee, Bumblebee123, or bumb1eb33. You’ve also got it all written down on a piece of paper taped to your monitor or under your keyboard. Rock-solid security!

The Equifax breach got everyone all excited about security. But there’s another glaring problem most people overlook. What happens when one or more of your accounts, say like Yahoo, LinkedIn, or Adobe, is compromised and your user name and password are sold along with millions of others on the dark web? How many doors can that key open, and what’s behind them? Continue reading

Dreamcatcher: The posts and podcasts that inspired me this week

Welcome to the Dreamcatcher, where I share the posts and podcasts that inspired me in some way this week. Continue reading

Put your piece of junk car out of its misery — donate it

It was the third call for a tow truck that month that finally snuffed out any hope of selling the cursed piece of crap.

“Buy an older car and drive it into the ground,” many frugal and FIRE bloggers say. I not only found the ground — I kept digging. Continue reading

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