I Dream of FIRE

In pursuit of financial independence and personal fulfillment

Category: General finance (page 1 of 2)

The I Dream of FIRE money map

A while ago, I did a different take on the money map concept by making a visual representation of how much of my money went to each expense. Since then, several bloggers have jumped on the money map chain gang inspired by Apathy Ends, Budget on a Stick and The Luxe Strategist, so I thought I would also add a more conventional money map that shows how my money flows between accounts. Continue reading

Why have an emergency fund? So you won’t have an emergency

I just had an unexpected expense that would put almost half of Americans into a tight spot financially. Continue reading

Is an employee stock purchase plan a good deal?

My wife works for a Silicon Valley mega corp. Recently, her boss was talking up the incredible benefit of the company employee stock purchase plan. He couldn’t understand why people would pass up the chance to buy company stock at a discount.

I had seen The Friendly Russian’s write-up about his company’s killer ESPP, and my wife and I talked about whether that was something we wanted to take advantage of when the enrollment period for her company’s plan came around.

Recently, she got an email outlining the plan and announcing the next open enrollment period. So, I did what any good investor does: math. Continue reading

A visual look at where all of my money goes

Have you ever thought about where your money ended up, cradle to grave? Not just the money that shows up in your checking account every pay period, but all the employer benefits, the taxes, and the random birthday checks?

I was inspired to create a money map after seeing The Luxe Strategist’s take on the concept (which she borrowed from Budget on a Stick and Apathy Ends). Continue reading

Dreamcatcher: Posts and podcasts that inspired me this week

Welcome to the Dreamcatcher, the personal finance posts and podcasts that inspired me this week. Continue reading

Coming to terms with all the debt I never thought we had

As I scan the personal finance blog sites and headlines, I can’t help but notice how many people paid off big chunks of debt.

“See how we paid off $56K of debt”
“I crushed $24,000 in student loans in one year!”
“Our journey out of $83K of consumer debt”
“I paid off $40,000 in debt, and you can, too”

I’ve largely ignored these stories, because I don’t really feel like they apply to me. I’ve never defined my financial situation around debt. But I’m just now coming around to think about the debt we’ve already paid and debt have today and realizing these stories are more relevant to me than I thought. Continue reading

I’m wired wrong – I spend more with cash than with credit

One of the oft-cited tricks to break people of their consumerist spending habits is to pay for everything with cash instead of credit. The theory goes — and research and other people’s experiences have shown — that people spend less when they have to fork over actual green vs. swiping plastic.

I’ve seen the opposite effect for me. Continue reading

I got my MBA at the flea market

When my grandpa retired, he wanted a hobby to occupy his time. So he would go to garage sales, business closings, warehouse sales, etc. and buy tools, boxes of screws and nails, Army surplus and all sorts of other random stuff.

On the weekend, he would go to the flea market and sell it. Continue reading

Dreamcatcher: Posts and podcasts that inspired me this week

These were the posts and podcasts I found this week that inspired me — to think, to take action, to be grateful for what I have. Continue reading

Fireworks: Because you have money to burn

I’m going to get all old man on you here. It’s probably going to end with me shaking a fist and protecting my lawn, and you’re going to walk away shaking your head.

Now that we’re on the same page with that, let me talk about fireworks. Continue reading

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