Planning Your Retirement Savings Using Expenses (Not Income) – with Joe Saul-Sehy

Have you ever wondered if you are on track with your retirement savings? We’ve all seen the articles that suggest how much money you should have saved by certain ages. But is that really the most effective way to approach retirement planning?

Joe Saul-Sehy, host of The Stacking Benjamins Podcast and former financial advisor, stopped by to share a different approach to retirement savings. Instead of focusing on income, Joe says we should look at something else. If you’re ready to rethink retirement savings, let’s explore the importance of focusing on expenses instead of income. 

Continue reading “Planning Your Retirement Savings Using Expenses (Not Income) – with Joe Saul-Sehy”

How to Achieve Financial Independence Through Index Fund Investing – with JL Collins

As you explore the FIRE movement, you will quickly learn that investing is a key component of financial independence. You might be thinking that now is the right time to invest. After all, there’s a good chance you’ve heard more than a little talk lately about “buying dips” and taking advantage of the recent market downturn. But how do you get started when it comes to FIRE investing? 

I sat down with JL Collins, the writer at and author of The Simple Path to Wealth, to learn more. There’s a reason MarketWatch calls his book the #1 book to read if you want to retire early. His simplified investing wisdom has helped thousands of readers in their pursuit of wealth and financial independence.

During our talk, he shared his own investing history. He also breaks down index fund investing and explains how to know which account to fund first. JL also offers an overview of how to get started investing for financial independence. 

Continue reading “How to Achieve Financial Independence Through Index Fund Investing – with JL Collins”

Student Loans and Coronavirus: Why You Shouldn’t Pay Your Federal Loans Right Now

Stock market volatility, staggering unemployment, and a global pandemic. It’s no wonder that people keep talking about how different our world feels right now. In times of uncertainty, people find themselves with more questions than answers. That’s certainly true for student loans and Coronavirus.

To make sense of these unprecedented times and the impact on student loans, I sat down with Robert Farrington, a student loan expert and founder of The College Investor.

Student loans are confusing enough as it is. With student loans and COVID, there is a lot of unpacking. That’s why Robert breaks down the CARES Act and explains why you actually shouldn’t pay your federal loans right now. 

Continue reading “Student Loans and Coronavirus: Why You Shouldn’t Pay Your Federal Loans Right Now”

How to Create Your Family Will in 6 Easy Steps

A few years ago, Nicole and I finally completed our family will.  We procrastinated for the better part of two years because we were binge-watching Game of Thrones and House of Cards. Excuses yes, but these are some epic shows!

Nevertheless, (GAME OF THRONES SPOILER ALERT!) when Jon Snow ended The Mother of Dragon’s reign early, it was a wake-up call that life is short! Thanks to Jon’s rage (and the fact that we love each and want to take care of our kids), we got that family will completed right away.  

To show you that this very important task can be easily done, I’ve listed out the 6 steps that Nicole and I followed to get the family will prepared, signed and stored.  

Continue reading “How to Create Your Family Will in 6 Easy Steps”

Pay Cuts: 10 Ways to Save Money When Your Income Drops

The global pandemic has been wreaking financial havoc on families across the US. People are losing their jobs, getting furloughed or taking pay cuts. With no guaranteed end in sight, this can be a frightening time for a lot of people across our country.

Our family has seen pay cuts recently as well. Like a lot of other families, we’re looking for ways to save more money so we can survive this Coronavirus season and protect our family.

Some areas of saving have been immediate. With the quarantine order keeping us inside, a lot of us are probably spending less on fuel, oil changes, gym memberships, and daycare. Even with these decreases, it’s important to look for other ways to save as well. 

Here are 10 ways to save money when you’re facing job loss, furloughs or pay cuts. 

Continue reading “Pay Cuts: 10 Ways to Save Money When Your Income Drops”

Stimulus Checks: 6 Smart Ways to Use Your New Money

We got our stimulus check today! But what should we do with it?

A lot of Americans are asking themselves this same question right now. According to the Treasury Department, 80 million US taxpayers should be expecting their stimulus check this week via direct deposit. This could range from $1,200 if you’re single to $3,400 if you’re married with two kids.

This new found money can mean a great deal to families on their path to financial independence. Also, it could provide some much-needed relief just to make it through the month.

Nicole and I are somewhere in between. Our income has decreased significantly this month. My small business revenue is down and Nicole’s hours have been cut. We’ll be taking our $2,400 and using it to live our typical month of spending, saving, giving and investing.

No, we’re not buying a 90″ TV or some hot stocks. During this time of uncertainty, it feels more comfortable to just stick with our plan.

Wondering what you should do with your check? Here are some options to consider based on your current financial situation.

Continue reading “Stimulus Checks: 6 Smart Ways to Use Your New Money”

Top 15 Budget Apps to Make Your Personal Finance Goals Easy

There are mobile apps for just about everything nowadays. This includes apps designed to help you improve your personal finances through budgeting.

Using a budget is an excellent way to eliminate debt, save money, and reach your financial goals faster. With new budgeting apps available to download every year, which ones are the best for you and your family to improve your finances?

Here are 15 budgeting apps that we like.

Continue reading “Top 15 Budget Apps to Make Your Personal Finance Goals Easy”

Investing in a Financial Crisis: How to Stay Calm During a Global Pandemic

The stock market is going up and down like crazy lately. It’s hard to predict what will happen next.

I was an “investor” during the last recession, but my tiny 401k balance at the time was the last thing I was worried about at 27 years old. I was too busy playing in a cover band (oh, we rocked!) and chasing the woman of my dreams (I ended up marrying her by the way).

With this new downturn, I wonder if I’ll keep the same carefree attitude.

As a long term investor, I’m supposed to feel comfortable NOT knowing what will happen next. I set a plan years ago and I’m supposed to stick to it in good times and bad. In theory, all will turn out well in the end.

In an attempt to convince myself that I should pay more attention to my family and my health instead of the stock market, I’ve outlined 5 reasons to stay calm and stick to my investing plan.

Continue reading “Investing in a Financial Crisis: How to Stay Calm During a Global Pandemic”

FIRE Movement: Pros and Cons of Pursuing Financial Independence

There’s more to life than working and paying bills. If you’re like most people, you dream of a week filled with more time and more freedom. That’s why a growing number of people are joining the FIRE movement. Here’s a crash course on the pros and cons of financial independence, as well as some insight into how our family is pursuing FIRE.

Continue reading “FIRE Movement: Pros and Cons of Pursuing Financial Independence”

Preparing for a Recession: Our Family’s 5 Step Financial Plan

This pending recession has thrown our happy family schedule all out of whack.

  • School: Our kid’s school is closed for the next 3 weeks. It’s looking likely that might extend at least 8 weeks and maybe through the rest of the school year.
  • Work: Our President recommends against gatherings of 10 or more so Nicole will more than likely be joining me as we work from home with kids.
  • Money: Although it probably wasn’t smart, I tracked our net worth losses over the past month and we’re down by at least $100,000 (and that is before the crazy stock market activity this week).

I’m sure our situation pales in comparison to other families who may soon be out of work. That’s going to affect a lot of families, small businesses and our country’s economy.

As we figure out what’s next, I wanted to share 5 things our family is doing to deal with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) season. I hope it helps you as you’re planning for your family. 

Continue reading “Preparing for a Recession: Our Family’s 5 Step Financial Plan”