I Dream of FIRE

In pursuit of financial independence and personal fulfillment

Author: I Dream of FIRE (page 1 of 21)

My credit card company almost paid to fix my phone

A few months back, I wrote about “The credit card superpowers you probably forgot about.” I pored over all the benefits tucked away in the information booklet you get when you sign up for a credit card, including travel protection, life insurance, and an extended warranty on most purchases.

So when my cell phone started dying with more than half the battery life remaining, I figured it was time to put this warranty business to the test. Continue reading

Mini-retirement is not a magic elixir

The to-do lists are still there. The calendar notifications, too.

These are the ways I’m used to measuring productivity, and I find them difficult to break free from. I probably won’t actually get away from the traditional trappings of work life, at least not in this mini-retirement. I’m not going feral, after all.

But I need to find new ways to appreciate results that are less tangible. Continue reading

We just took a 5-day Carnival cruise – Here’s what it cost

This time last week I was sitting aboard the Carnival Imagination, probably sipping a pina colada and wondering whether my daughter would ever actually get out of the hot tub. (For the record, she eventually did, but not without intense negotiation bordering on fisticuffs.)

My wife, daughter and I took a five-day cruise in part to mark the start of my mini-retirement, but mostly because we really like cruises and it had been a year since our last. We decided to see if we could keep the expenses in check but still have loads of fun. I am, after all, not bringing in a steady paycheck anymore.

Here’s a look at what the whole trip cost us, and what we might do differently the next time around. Continue reading

FI-ku: Money wisdom in the form of haiku

Today I offer something a little different. A post of FI-inspired haikus — FI-kus, if you will — as part of a multi-blog effort spearheaded by Crispy Doc.

Continue reading

How a healthy college 529 account could cost you $10K in taxes – #FinHealthMatters

By the time my oldest stepson started going to college, we had almost two years of tuition socked away in a 529 account. The tax-advantaged education savings plan is a favorite of parents and grandparents alike, and many families start pumping money into them before a child’s first birthday.

Saving for an advanced education is a great idea, especially with the cost of college mirroring or even outpacing the outrageous cost of healthcare in the U.S. over the past two decades. But did you know that 529 plan could cost you money if you’re not careful?

Neither did I, until it was time to do the taxes after my son’s freshman year. Continue reading

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