I Dream of FIRE

In pursuit of financial independence and personal fulfillment

Category: General finance (page 1 of 3)

10 punk rock songs for the frugal badass

Kanye West and Jay-Z can sing about living the expensive life, and 50 Cent can be broke as hell and still pretend to be rich. But punk rockers don’t play that game. They get by on minimalism, DIY and not caring what other people think. Here are 10 punk songs to help you get your frugal on. 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

5 things new college grads can do to kickstart their career

Today I have a fantastic guest post from J, a twenty-something professional and lover of side hustles. She built a $200,000 net worth and paid off $100,000 debt by 27 years old. Continue reading

Don’t pretend your house is an investment

Homeownership has been a key component of The American Dream for generations. Long considered something you’re “supposed to do” when you become an adult, buying a home has an almost mythical allure for millions of people in the U.S.

But is it as brilliant a pure investment — a surefire way to wealth — as many people believe? Continue reading

The amazing benefits of a practical Christmas list

Were your childhood Christmas dreams filled with visions of a 200-shot carbide action official Red Ryder BB Gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time?

Did you long for the Sears Wish List catalog to arrive in the mail, so you could etch circle after circle into each glossy color page filled with the year’s hottest toys?

If your adult Christmas list is just a slightly more elevated version of the same youthful exuberance for the shiny object du jour, let me lay an idea on you. Continue reading

The Dude abides: The Big Lebowski’s hidden lessons about homeowners insurance

A way out west there was a fella, fella I want to tell you about. Fella by the name of Jeff Lebowski. At least, that was the handle on his insurance forms, but he never had much use for it himself. This Lebowski, he called himself the Dude. Continue reading

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

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

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

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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