I Dream of FIRE

In pursuit of financial independence and personal fulfillment

Category: Budgeting (page 2 of 5)

Uncover your financial values with this simple exercise

People often think of money as the goal — what we’re all after that will make our lives easier or better. But money is just the concept by which we measure the value of something. It is only a proxy for something else.

What is that something else? Continue reading

My top tips for getting out of debt

I’ve started doing some pro bono calls to help people in debt understand their finances better and make a plan to put their debt behind them.

In just the few calls I’ve had, I’ve been surprised how many different ways there are to accrue debt that aren’t just the stereotypical splurging on consumer goods. Debt is a complex animal, and it burrows in, lunges out and breeds in unique ways for each family and situation.

There are, however, some universal suggestions to help anyone in debt move toward a better situation. Here are my top tips. Continue reading

Our completely ridiculous 2017 spending recap

I’m in a bit of shock right now.

For the first time ever, I’ve completely consolidated our annual household spending on one spreadsheet. My wife and I maintain separate financial accounts, although we each have full access to all of them, and while we talk about our finances fairly often we stay at the big picture level and don’t obsess at a micro level.

This was an eye-opening exercise.

I’m not going to lie, this isn’t a post I’m particularly happy about writing. As much as we like to think we’re fairly frugal and avoid most frivolous spending, there’s just no way around the math. 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.

UPDATE: As of Oct. 2, 2018, Cinch has discontinued its individual accounts and shifted toward an institutional-based approach. Consumers may no longer sign up for Cinch on their own.

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

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

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