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Advice To My 20 Year Old Self

I really try to live life with no regrets. After reading Stephanie’s post about turning 28, it made me think back to my 20’s. It doesn’t help much to beat yourself up over the past and what might have been, but sometimes I do look back and wish I’d done some things differently, so here is a bit of the advice I’d give to my 20 year old self. Start Investing Early My friend DC wrote a great post at Young Adult Money last week about millennials and how they need to start saving early for retirement. I would have to say that’s the biggest thing I’d tell my former self. If I’d maxed out my retirement account from day one, I’d have so much money now. It seemed like a huge monthly chunk at the time, but if that’s what I’d learned to live on, it would have been fine. Going from nothing in college to even half my salary would have been an improvement. If you don’t make lots, you can still save if you keep expenses low. Think Really Hard About Student Loans I would have loved to travel before I started my career. I was probably ...

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Should You Give Money To Family?

helping parents financially

I am a big believer in not supporting adult children to the point of discouraging their independence and ability to provide for themselves. I think it’s fine to help your children, but not put yourself  or them in a bad financial place because of it. However, looking at the other end of the spectrum, when is it an adult child’s responsibility to help their parents or family financially? I think with any money decision, it’s good to make a list of pros and cons. I’m not sure where I stand on the issue of whether or not to give money to family. Reasons To Give Money To Parents or Family You’re Grateful Maybe your family spent all their money helping you get established by paying for college or helping with expenses while you were starting out. Maybe they never made much money but supported you in other ways that helped you become successful. I think helping family in a time of need or with regular expenses they can’t afford would be a nice way to return the favor. You Can Afford It If you’ve lived within your means, have adequate savings, and don’t have debt,  helping family financially might be ...

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Life Updates

Glenwood Springs tourist attractions

Hopefully today, I’m hiking up to Hanging Lake or biking along the Colorado River. Jim had a work trip this week and we are joining him for a little mini-vacation. Sometimes the best vacations are in your own backyard! I thought this would be a good chance to share some life updates. I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat. Foster Dog Update Foster dog Blake got adopted right before Memorial Day. We usually give adoptions a few weeks to make sure they stick, and it looks like this one is a done deal. His new family loves him and have renamed him Dobby after the house elf in Harry Potter. I would be lying if I said I didn’t almost have a mini panic attack turning him over to strangers. They had a big dog with a history of aggression toward other alpha dogs. This dog was not a alpha, so we were hopeful. I still had dreams about Blake getting ripped to shreds. It seems they get along fine and my fears were for nothing. It’s so good not to be a foster failure! Saver Express Probably is a Scam If you remember, Jim and I ...

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Hidden Benefits of Cutting Cable or Satellite TV

many benefits of cutting cable or satellite TV

It’s been almost a year since we cancelled our satellite TV. The main reason was to save money. It cost about $70 per month,  but were almost never home to watch it. When we did, it still felt like there was nothing on, we ended up renting a movie. We decided to try three months without our satellite TV to see if we missed it. Guess what? We didn’t, and besides saving money, we have found several hidden benefits from cutting out cable or satellite TV. The Sound of Silence Jim and I both grew up in homes where turning the TV on and off were the first and last items of business every day. TV was always on, even if no one was watching. We got used to background noise, and it seemed kind of scary not to have some sort of show going all the time. In all honestly, once you get used to not having Law and Order or Pawn Stars always blaring in the background, it’s much more relaxing.  Improved Conversation We are pretty busy with work and school activities. Many days, the only time all three of us sit down together is for dinner. We ...

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How Far Do You Follow The Impossible Dream?

following a dream

One of my guilty pleasure shows is The Voice on NBC. Even though the show hasn’t really produced huge stars outside of the country artists, it’s still fun to watch. I’ve never been interested in American Idol or most talent shows on TV, but there is something about The Voice. Maybe it’s the big spinning chairs, but I’ve watched just about every season that has aired so far. One thing that sort of bothers me, though, is how many of the contestants seem to have families or have left behind something solid to pursue a music career. I’m all about making your dream happen, but how far do you go to pursue the impossible dream? Drop Out of School For a Dream? I remember one contestant from a few seasons ago who dropped out of medical school to be on The Voice. Another time, there was a mother/daughter duo whose family had sold their home so that they could perform and travel. This year, one of the hopefuls is a gentleman whose wife is currently pregnant with their 6th child. I’m not sure how much if anything you get paid to be on a reality TV show, but I’m sure ...

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