Is there such a thing as good debt?

I am sure that you’ve heard the terms “good debt” and “bad debt”. People use these terms and have great and glorious conversations and debates around them. There is merit to the discussion as maxing out your credit card and struggling to pay it back for years can’t possibly bring any good. But on the other end of the spectrum, using debt to grow your company might be a great use. This is an area that can be very clear or very murky, and it often comes down to circumstance and perspective. What is debt? When you search for the definition of debt, google comes back with the following: Debt – something, typically money, that is owed or due. While debt isn’t always about money, the typical definition in our world is a person who owes an institution or company money. That might be a little clinical sounding, but when Continue Reading

What is an FI Number?

The world of personal finance is filled with all sorts of terms and definitions with the holy grail being financial independence, that magical point where you are not bound to your daily grind. Over the last 30 years, there has been a movement around financial independence called FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early), which essentially comes down to being well off enough that you don’t need to work to be able to live a comfortable life (AKA retiring). This is where the FI or Financial Independence number comes in. What is an FI number?  The net worth at which the annual growth of that net worth by itself covers your annual expenses. Simply put, when you hit a magic number in your net worth, it will allow you to live off what you have saved up for the remainder of your life.  Calculating this number can get complicated if you want Continue Reading

Vacationing Pandemic style – in isolation.

Summer is a time where kids are out of school, and more importantly, the weather is beautiful. It’s a time where a lot of people take a vacation to soak it all in and enjoy themselves. The idea of a summer vacation is ingrained in our culture for a good reason. We’ve been going on an annual summer trip for the past few years, actually ever since my daughter started going to school.  But this year, the world decided it was a good time to change, drastically. We just got back from our summer trip, we have a small RV and go camping (really, it’s glamping).  We had a vacation booked that we had to change and alter, but we still had one planned and considering everything that’s happened this year. Having an RV is great because it allows you to be pretty self-contained, it’s the perfect way to stay Continue Reading

#AwesomeBloggerAward – OMB

This post will be a little different from the usual personal finance posts as this site is a #AwesomeBloggerAward nominee. Fire and Wide (@FireAndWide) has honored us with this distinction, and I’m flattered. I’ve been blogging for a long time and never got an award. Thank you very much Fire and Wide!! The #AwesomeBloggerAward is pretty straightforward; you get a series of ten questions that you then answer, then nominate a few people. That’s it, no crazy chain letters about misfortune or luck, and the only thing this has in common with them is that you pass the nomination along to at least 5 people with new questions. I’ll keep my nominations to the end. Now onto the questions: The questions are broken into two categories, the first five about blogging and the second five about my favorite person in the world, ME!! I hope the humor comes across in Continue Reading

Living within your means

One of the basic tenets of personal finance is that you need to do one thing and one thing only if you really want to get ahead. Surprisingly this one thing is both simple and, in some ways, very challenging. All of the tips and tactics are great, but if you only manage to achieve this one thing, you succeed. What is this magical, mystical unicorn, you may ask? It’s simply living within your means. If you’ve been around the personal finance space or read a few blogs, you’ve probably heard this fantastic term. I think instinctively, we all get it, but I want to step back and define this, so we’re all on the same page. This is partially because everyone’s circumstances are different, and when I say living within your means, pardon the pun, it means different things to different people. Taking a very simple view, ‘Living within Continue Reading

We’ve become a Throwaway society

We all know the pleasure of buying something brand new, the aura of freshness that comes when you first open the package. For me, this comes with an air of excitement as the packaging falls away, and the new item is first taken out still in its protective wrapping. That distinctive smell of ‘new’ in the air comes with the item’s promise radiating forth. Very often, as you open the package up, there’s a smell that comes with it, a real scent, not just a metaphorical one; it’s the smell of newness. When it comes to cars, they’ve tried to bottle that new car smell, which we all seem to know, though I think we might be collectively horrified if we knew what chemicals that produce it. All of this excitement, we feel for something new.  Most of the time, we’re replacing something; BUT what happens to the old one?  We’ve Continue Reading

Balance – I’ll take that with a dash of normal!

Last weekend we did something we haven’t been able to for a couple of months, we got out of town to go camping. For us, they just opened up the campgrounds with restrictions and since we already had a booking, we took advantage of it. Now I have to add a little context, our ‘camping’ is taking the RV which has not only a bathroom, but a stove, a shower, and most importantly air conditioning! I should adjust my earlier statement, we went glamping! It was a very nice change from being locked down in the house, we went hiking, cycling, and swimming. It was great! There was a distinct feeling of normal on our trip which was much needed. With everything that has been going on in the world a little bit of normal and balance were just what we needed. It got me thinking more about balance and Continue Reading

The power of small increments.

When you look at a brick wall, there is strength, power, and utility in it. If it’s part of a house it keeps the occupants and their belongings safe from the elements and potential predators. It is strong and whole; we see it as a unit unto itself. But if you look at the individual pieces, the bricks and mortar they become much less imposing. A brick is tough, but it can’t keep you safe by itself unless you are a very small creature. The mortar to starts off as nothing more than powder. But add enough bricks and a little mortar together and you have an imposing wall.  All of the small increments that we take for granted can add up to so much more. But we discount that all the time and when we stop adding these small increments we’re left with something very unimpressive. Add these small increments Continue Reading

Rise of the Machines – the appliances that fought back!

This is a woeful tale of appliances that decided to strike out at their owners, causing grief and strife at the worst times! Thankfully these appliances at least had the presence of mind not to do this all at once. Today I write as the last of our pretty new appliances has decided to stop working correctly, in this case, the clothes dryer has stopped heating. Let me back this up a touch and paint the full story. When we got and moved into our current house, we completed a significant renovation and rebuilt the kitchen getting all new appliances. This was just over 7 years ago. Just to make sure it’s really clear these were brand new appliances. We specifically didn’t buy the lowest quality ones, we checked reviews and while the appliances weren’t top of the line, they were supposed to be pretty good. For the first three Continue Reading

When Pandemics make Vacation plans for you!

As a child I always looked forward to summer vacation, it was two months of pure bliss. That bliss was largely because there was no school and we could hang out with friends and do a lot of nothing. As you get older this summer break holds true until you start working, though your choice of activities might change. Then as if by some cruel act of fate, summer breaks are cut short, pretty much at the knees. You have to squeeze them in, like fitting in pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The biggest challenge becomes convincing yourself to actually take the summer vacation. I look forward to my vacation, I plan for it months in advance but that’s because you need to book the best campsites early! My summer vacations are simple, we have an RV so we camp as a family most long weekends and if it’s possible Continue Reading