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3 Financial Things To Do Before The End Of The Year

It’s hard to believe we only have a few short weeks until the end of the year. It’s down to the wire on getting our financial houses in place before New Year’s Day. Hopefully everyone can take a few minutes away from eggnog and holiday festivities to make sure we’ve made the best choices with our money. Here are three things I believe are worth doing before the end of the year. Flex Plan or a Health Savings Account for Health Care Spending Flexible spending plans are a great way pay for health care expenses pre-tax for a great discount. They used to be use it or lose it, meaning if you didn’t use all of your allotted money by the end of the year, it went back to your employer. In 2013, Congress passed a law that says you can roll over $500 into the next year if you procrastinated or didn’t need to use all of your flex money during the year. Health savings accounts are a totally different animal.You don’t have to use money by the end of the year. In fact, you can let it grow until retirement if you want. Some people, self included, think ...

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Did We Manage to Live On 50% Our Income This Year?

living on half your income

My regular readers might have some big question marks about this post because I’ve never talked about living on half our income or made it a public goal. I don’t even know that we’ve been consciously trying to live on half, but we do try to invest and save as much as possible with the goal of leaving the rat race within the next decade. I actually had another post title picked out but when I read this post on Budgets are Sexy, I decided to copy change the name in tribute to all those other people out there who are working toward a similar goal. When you track your spending it can be really eye opening, in a good or bad way, to see where your money went. So without further ado, let’s see if we managed to live on 50% of our income this past year. I won’t  give  exact numbers as to how much money we bring home. Some people would say we are wasting our time with the amount we make and save. Others would say we are rich, and there is no way to save much because their income isn’t as high as ours. I ...

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Can You Get Ahead Without Burning Out?

burning out to get ahead

  Shannon at Financially Blond had a post earlier this week about how she had taken on too many projects and was Running On Empty. She is in the early stages of self employment and feels like she can’t say no to projects, just in case one of them might be the golden ticket.  I can relate 100%. When I was trying to run a two office practice, work a second job, and start a blog, 5 hours of sleep each night would have seemed like a luxury. While I knew it was not forever, it was still really stressful. There were days when I would have rather poked my eyes with forks than look at a computer. Isn’t there an easier way ? Can you get ahead without burning out? The Easy Way Actually, there is an easier way. It’s called spending less than you earn from day one. In this scenario, we would have started maxing out our retirement accounts from the first jobs we ever had and never spent more than we earned. We would have never gotten into debt or lived beyond our means. In this case, we didn’t have to take out student loans to ...

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Things Everyone Should Do Before Turning 30

Sunset at Ke'e Beach

I’m not sure when the feeling of invincibility we all have as teenagers and young adults starts to fade. I’ve never been one to test my boundaries too much, but I certainly did things in my 20’s that I wouldn’t dream of now. We had a family tragedy of sorts last week, and it has really caused me to think about life, youth, and all the things everyone really should do before turning 30, especially if you are a parent or are thinking about becoming one. Gone Too Soon One of my younger cousins passed away last week. He was 30 years old and died of a massive heart attack. We were not close, and I hadn’t seen him in over a decade, but his Mom is my aunt, so I’ve kept up with him over the years. At first glance, you would have thought he was the picture of perfect health. He wasn’t obese. He was apparently a genius with construction type jobs and did really well in his career. He looked handsome and strong, someone you’d think would have his whole life ahead of him. There was also a darker side. Without going into detail, I guess you ...

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Society Makes It OK To Be Broke

society says it's OK to be broke

We all know that millions of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and often turn to credit cards to get by until the end of the month. I don’t believe anyone sets out to bury themselves in debt, but there certainly isn’t a stigma attached like back in the old days when you didn’t buy it if you didn’t have the cash. I think our society makes it OK, even revered, to be broke. I had a patient recently who could be the poster child for paycheck to paycheck. He had no idea what his insurance coverage was other than “it was through his wife.” His wife had never been to our office. He was told he’d need to go ahead and pay for the exam and we could reimburse him after we had the correct insurance information. Him:“But I don’t have any money and I don’t get paid until Friday.” Office: “We can reschedule your appointment.” Him: “But I’m playing softball tonight and need a pair of contacts. My last one tore yesterday.” Office: “Do you know what your wife’s insurance plan is?” Him: “She works at the post office.” Office: “Well, we can check some of the more common ...

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