Odds & Ends In Preparation for 2019

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2018 is quickly coming to an end! The weather is cooling down as we shift from summer to fall and the holidays are just around the corner. I like to get a head start on planning for the next year by starting that process at the beginning of November and finishing by Thanksgiving. I’m not quite ready to share my goals just yet but there are a few things that I do want to share. My goals will be mixed, but this post will be dedicated exclusively to the GYFG financial arm. I’m currently in the process of laying the groundwork for our finances in 2019. I’m programming “the machine” so that most things will happen automatically. That’s right – …

Control-Based vs. Allocation-Based Budgeting

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To budget or not to budget, that is the question… It may not be obvious at first glance but to me all budgeting boils down to two distinct different flavors: Control-Based Budgeting Allocation-Based Budgeting I believe that there is a time and a place for both, depending on where you are in your own unique financial journey. However, if you follow the GYFG path to wealth, you will learn to favor one of these methods over the other.  What’s the Difference Between These Two Methods? Early on in the financial journey, most will start with Control-Based Budgeting, where the focus is primarily directed at the expense portion of the income statement. A control-based budget is used to manage how much is spent on …

4 Years of Blogging – Annual State of the Blog

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I’m proud to say that this blog I started is officially four years old. Happy Birthday, GYFG! I’m pretty sure that puts my blog in the top 1% of blogs that make it past the one year mark – the percentage making it to four years must be tiny. I’ve lost count of the number of blogs I have seen pop up, only to disappear in six months (or less). It’s not easy to produce new content on a regular basis, especially if you’re not passionate about your topic. I think many people get allured to begin by the money that can potentially be made from blogging. Yes, there are bloggers earning six and even seven figure sums from their blogs. But …

Income Report

October 2018 – Detailed Financial Report #46 – Net Worth $872,091 | Income $32,672

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I’M A DAD! We weren’t expecting our son to make his debut until early November but he had other plans and came about three weeks early. I guess he got the memo that the theme for October was “finish,” so he decided to finish the gestation process and hit the eject button. Mrs. GYFG and I are completely infatuated with the little man. Yes, he looks like a little man. The good news is that he did give us enough time to complete the nursery and our office project so there were no loose ends even though he arrived early. Last month I promised some photos of the completed nursery and home office project: The only item left on my …

Warren Buffett on Betting Against America – Don’t Do It!

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Given the recent turbulence in the markets, I thought this was a good a time as any to remind people to stay calm. As I peck away at the keyboard the DJIA is down 2,523 points (24,446 on 10/29) from its all-time high of 26,966 set on 10/3/18 (that’s about a 9.4% sell-off that has taken place over the last four weeks). Let me present a few additional points for proper context: (1) It’s normal for the market to go up and down. This is the normal ebb and flow of market movements. You know that 8% return you expect? Well, that doesn’t come without a bit of volatility. (2) This could be the start of the next recession but no one …

Huge BOO-st to Your Savings Just in Time for Halloween

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Happy Halloween! There are Monsters and Gremlins out to gobble up your treats, Freedom Fighter! Except this fright night will happen 365 days this year if you don’t keep watch. Maybe you’re building your war chest, waiting for the opportunity to deploy massive capital. Or, you’re working your steady-as-she-goes savings plan every month. Maybe you’re just keeping that emergency fund full? Somewhere, you’ve got cash. Now some investors like fat stacks of cash – “cash is king” – and some people do not – “cash is a drag.” But hey – some trick-or-treaters like Snickers and some prefer candy corn. Whichever cash camp you fall into, one thing is true: you want the highest interest paid on your savings. Period. …

Amazon Prime

I Confess: The Cost of My Love Affair

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That’s right – I’m in love! I don’t know how I let this happen…it started out so innocently. Please don’t judge me before you read on. I think if you know the full story you will understand. I had no idea that it would last this long…I thought it was just a phase that I would eventually get bored with. But the complete opposite happened. It’s so intense that I don’t think I can ever stop. It just feels so right. It’s been ten years…and it’s no phase. My obsession and infatuation have only grown stronger. At the beginning, it was an infrequent kind of thing. Seriously, months could pass with no interaction. But my love of books kept bringing us …

Income Report

September 2018 – Detailed Financial Report #45 – Net Worth $870,156 | Income $35,981

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We have officially put 75% of the year to bed with the close of September. That means there are only three months remaining to tie up loose ends and I’ve been doing just that. I don’t know about you but this time of year fills me with an obsession to finish things. It also means I’m reluctant to start anything new. I just finished my last trip to New York for the year. I’m happy to be grounded for the next three months. We finished moving everything over to our newly created family trust. Essentially, this means we have put every eligible thing we own (retirement accounts cannot be put into a trust) under the name and “ownership” of our trust. …

Mortgage Deduction

Tax Savings for Home Ownership Are Very Overrated (Especially Under 2018 Tax Reform)

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Do you believe that one of the primary benefits of owning a home in the USA is the tax savings from itemized deductions like mortgage interest, and property taxes? Weeeellll…I have some bad news for you. Despite the fact that this idea is so ingrained in most of us that we don’t even question it, any of that savings is a lot less than you – and I – might have been led to believe. Personally, I have to be the first to admit that I have overvalued these primary residence “tax savings.” And this was before the 2018 tax reform, which has only made things worse. For most of the homeowners in the USA this tax benefit has now been eliminated due …

Do You Live Life By Design?

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I have been going through all the guest appearances I’ve had on different blogs over the past four and a half years of blogging and it’s been so much fun to revisit some of these posts. I’ve linked them all up on this “As Seen On” page so you can see them all in one place. Today I want to share one I wrote a little over three years ago, originally published on Untemplater. It’s always so interesting to reflect back and see where my head was at a given point in time.  “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn …