Finance

Procrastination, Anyone?

[ Day 46 of 2000 ]

As a new immigrant, I had my concerns about the 401(K) program. First of all, I didn’t know too much about it. With all the other things going on – getting a credit card, getting a license, settling into a new position at work, that was on the back burner. Our plans at that time was to go back in a couple of years (mainly because I thought we would have to work forever in this expensive country to be able to retire here). So if we contributed into the 401(K), and had to pay 10% penalty and taxes on it, was it worth it? But then my employer matched up to 6% of the pay. Did I want to waste that? I wasn’t eligible for the 401(K) program for the first few paychecks, that gave me time to make the decisions.

Misc

Confession: We Didn’t Decorate Our House This Christmas!

[ Day 42 of 2000 ]

Before I start, I want to wish you a very very happy Christmas! We have been enjoying Christmas in spite of not decorating our home, and hope you are doing the same – enjoying, I mean!

Not decorating our home for Christmas was a hard decision to make. It wasn’t for the money – Our electricity bill never went up a lot in December. I knew that I wasn’t going to save any money by not decorating the house. I saved something else – my sanity.

Finance, Saving Money

The One Thing We Do To Avoid LifeStyle Inflation

[ Day 39 of 2000 ]

Our salaries have been going up every year. I even changed my job in between – that resulted me in getting an increase in salary, and some joining bonus. They spread it out over a few years, which means I keep getting it in chunks. BusyDad’s employer pays them bonuses four times a year. Altogether, in 2017, we have had at least 8 paychecks which was more than the routine, and two salary increases (one for each of us). That is just 2017. If you look at the last four years that we have been saving, I am sure our pays varied a lot.

Through all of this, our spending has remained the same. I am not saying that it doesn’t vary from month to month – Some months are really expensive. Like summer for instance. I was looking at the child care expenses to claim what is tied up in our FSA, and realized that we spent close to 2700 dollars on summer camps. And this is after we took a two week break to travel cross country. In my defense, both of us work full time, we need the child care.

Downtime Diaries

The Three Best Books I Read This Year And My First Free Giveaway

[ Day 37 of 2000 ]

I cannot believe that I got to Day 37 with only posts that talk about Early Retirement, Saving Money or Finance. One of the joys of my life is reading. I somehow find time for it even if that means forgoing sleep. 2017 is coming to an end, and let me tell you about the three best books I read this year. One of them was one of the best books I have ever read in my life. And I do not even identify with the main character – He is not a mom, he is not busy, he doesn’t like reading and he is not even working towards early retirement.

Finance, Saving Money

How Losing Weight and Saving Money Are Similar; And How They Are Not

[ Day 35 of 2000 ]

I know a lot about trying to lose weight. I should know, I have been trying for a while now.

I have good discipline when it comes to saving money, but not so much when it comes to avoiding yummy food. Going through a lot of finance related blogs recently, I noticed that financial issues people face are different. There are some like me who want to retire as soon as possible, and at the other spectrum are those who deal with getting out from debt.

I have never been in debt (other than our mortgage, and car loans that was paid off quickly), so you would think that it is hard for me to understand that part. However, having been overweight for the last 10 years of my life, I understand people who have little to no control over their spending. Because that is how I am with food.

Finance

Money Is What Money Does!

[ Day 32 of 2000 ]

We had economics as part of our curriculum when I was still in school. It was not my favorite subject. To be honest, I didn’t like any thing other than mathematics. I also liked reading about history, but couldn’t remember anything when it was time for exams.

There are exactly two concepts I remember from economics. The first one is the law of diminishing returns. It says that the amount of pleasure you get from something decreases as you have more of it. That was easy to understand. And the teenage me had never thought of it. It stuck in my mind just because it was so logical and I had not thought of it.

The second concept was that “money is what money does”. This wasn’t that clear to me. It sounded like some vague quote or piece of poetry that could be explained according to the person trying to explain it.

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