Posts Tagged ‘personal finance’

Saving for a Kayak

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

kayakSaving Discover Card points that is.  The plan is simple…every time I accumulate $40 cash back bonus, I buy a $50 L.L. Bean gift card from Discover.  If I have the patience to save the full amount, I’ll save 20% off a great kayak.  I’m also watching Craigslist so we’ll see what comes first.

What creative things are you doing to save money?

Financial Independence

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

adirondack jakeMy friend Paul recently asked me to define Financial Independence.  I gave Paul my short version and promised to expand in an upcoming blog post.  Here we go…

To me financial independence is when you have enough money coming from sources other than your job to support your desired lifestyle.  You can live “independent” of your day job paycheck.  You may love what you do and choose to go to work anyway, but knowing that you don’t have to will free you from the stress and worries that the paycheck to paycheck employee often feels.  Your monthly bills may be paid by dividends from stocks that you’ve invested in, rental income from real estate that you own, or distributions from a small business that you own.  The important thing is that the sources of income don’t require your day to day involvement to continue paying you.  The freedom that comes from investment income is freedom of time.  You have complete freedom to choose how you spend the limited resource called time.

I haven’t arrived at full independence yet, but I’m working toward it…how about you?

Books for the new year Part 2

Monday, January 26th, 2009

My absolute favorite book on personal finance is The Richest Man in Babylon.  It’s a good story which helps the financial principles stick.  I love the simplicity.  There are plenty of good books that get into the details of which funds are most appropriate in your 401k.  Richest Man is not one of those books.  This book gives basic steps that you can take now to move toward financial independence.

Some of the timeless advice:

1.  Decide to improve your financial lot in life.

2.  Save at least 10% of your income.

3.  Come up with a plan to pay back your debts while keeping your living expenses low.

4.  Make sound investments with your 10% savings.

I have read this book each year for the past several and will continue to do so.  Please join me.