August 28, 2012

Save Money on Overhead Garage Storage

With the upcoming expansion of our family, my wife and I have been discussing the space in our home. While we have a good size home (~2,600 sq ft), its currently laid out with 3 bedrooms and 1 bonus room...
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May 14, 2012

When is a SmartPhone the Right Financial Decision?

I last purchased a typical cell phone back in October 2008 with a 2 year contract when we returned from China. My old cell phone broke while we were on assignment in China and I needed something once we...
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November 27, 2011

Black Friday Shopping Highlights

I have little interest in going out and standing in long lines to pick up a few deals on Black Friday. However we did pick up a few deals over the weekend mostly online: $159 GE Front Loading Washer @...
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July 5, 2011

Roomba Accessory Upgrades

Well my Roomba finally succumbed to a common issue with the cleaning head module (CHM) that plagues many of these devices. We've been using the Roomba for over 2 years now and have been generally pleased with our investment. See...
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June 1, 2011

A Simple Way To Re-Invigorate Yourself at Your Job

Lately I have been feeling a bit run down at work. Some things haven't gone my way in the past several months and I've been in the doldrums about my position in general. Lets just say my feet have been...
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January 28, 2011

Are Energy Prices Skyrocketing?

We heat our home with a heat pump (upstairs) and propane furnace (downstairs). Last week we got a propane tank fill and was shocked with the bill that was left on the door. The price of propane was up to...
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December 20, 2010

Tips for Building Your Brand on the Internet

Everyone has a personal brand. Your good name, your personal value proposition, your network and your career are all at least partially tied to your personal brand. Investing in your personal brand can be a powerful way to further all...
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September 27, 2010

The Frugal Vacation

My family and I got back from our first real vacation last week since returning from our assignment in China in 2008. In 2009 we we were busy settling into our new home, welcoming our first child, and doing our...
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June 16, 2010

The Cost of Painting Yourself

My wife and I spent the better part of two weekends painting our 2 story foyer. We finally finished the painting this weekend and with the work complete we both still have lingering thoughts about whether it was worth the...
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June 4, 2010

Mattress Shopping Tip

Last October my wife and bought a new mattress. We had been sleeping on my wife's full-sized mattress that was nearly 20 years old and were desperately needing a bigger, more comfortable mattress. We ended up purchasing a pillow...
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May 21, 2010

My Wife and I Booked Our First Cruise

After many months of brief discussions and a recent realization I'm really burnt out at work and need a vacation, my wife and I finally decided to book a short cruise this week. We paid (after taxes, fees, port charges,...
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March 4, 2010

Unemployment Rate By County for Past 2 Years

Check out this map of unemployment rate by county from Jan2007-Dec 2009. Scary!...
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December 31, 2009

2009 The Year That the Value of Time Went Up for Us?

As 2009 begins to wind down I have started reflecting a bit on the year. While the biggest event for most people may have been the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, my wife and I have been through...
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November 18, 2009

Warrent Buffet Town Hall Event, Charlie Rose Interview

Here are a couple videos featuring Warren Buffet in the past week. A CNBC Town Hall Event with Warren Bufft, Bill Gates, and Q&A with Columbia MBA program students. CNBC Town Hall Event Warren Buffett and Bill Gates: Keeping America...
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June 18, 2009

MS Money Going Bust

Wow I started using Microsoft Money back I think back in 1998 when I got a free copy from a Discover Card promotion. After over a decade of use, it looks like the software is going bust. Here is a...
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June 15, 2009

Government Employee Benefits Perks

I distinctly remember a comment made by a college professor in a personal finance class I took during college. This professor had told our class how valuable his accrued leave was from the state benefits program. He was an older...
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April 14, 2009

New vs Used: Our Car Buying Breakdown

Last month my wife and I bought a replacement car. We started at Carmax, found what we wanted and then shopped around for a better deal. We walked out of Carmax with the following quote for what we decided we...
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March 25, 2009

One of Our Cars Died, Tapping the Emergency Fund

Well the engine went on my wife's car this past week. Long story it sucks and we either needed to cough up $3,700 for a new engine or look at getting a replacement car. My wife's car is about 14...
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December 5, 2008

We're Expecting!

This announcement is well overdue, but as it turns out with all of the other stuff going on in our lives (moving back from China, new job, buying a new house), my wife and I are expecting our first child...
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October 27, 2008

Warren Buffet OpEd Piece in NY Times

Maybe old news, but its worth another mention. Warren Buffet submitted an opinion piece in the NY Times last week saying he is buying American stocks right now and will continue to buy if stock prices remain at the level...
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October 8, 2008

Licking Wounds, Feeling Optimistic

Anyone who has logged into their stock investment accounts has felt the sting of their account balance drop. My 401k is down 33.1% YTD as of Oct 8th and the rest of our stock holdings have lost similar percentages. House...
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September 27, 2008

Weekend Trip to Yangshuo, China

My wife and I decided to take a last minute weekend excursion to Yangshuo, China this past weekend. It was an unforgettable experience. If you haven't heard of Yangshuo, its a small town on the Li River that is famous...
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July 11, 2008

A Reminder About How "Stuff" Costs Us

I have always described myself as a non-material guy - after all I pride myself on living on less back home and avoid buying "stuff" as much as possible. It allows me to save and invest more of my income....
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June 11, 2008

Attacking Subscriptions -- A High Level Plan to Cut Expenses

There are all sorts of techniques to spending less - buy used or generic, clipping coupons, dine in instead of eating out, etc. However for the average family I believe the biggest best value comes from focusing your time and...
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June 6, 2008

Financial Incentives for Going Green?

On June 1st Shenzhen, China (our home for our international assignment) implemented a tax on plastic bags. It now costs 0.3RMB for each plastic bag we get at the store. Granted its not a lot of money - about $0.04USD...
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March 31, 2008

Weekend Reading:Pay More and Feel Better

Price Placebo Effect - An interesting article that talks about how people who pay more for the same thing actually derive more pleasure from the product or service. For me it explains why my wife likes shopping and I hate...
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March 16, 2008

Weekend Reading:Sad People Overpay

Buffett's 3hr interview on CNBC. An excellent transcript to read though -- its lengthy though. Couple nuggets I picked out: Muni bonds. A college buddy of me recently emailed me about interest in municipal bonds. All I know is I...
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March 12, 2008

Personal Finance Issues and the US Election

Politics aside, there are some major personal finance issues that are going to affect how folks plan and pay for things like retirement, job loss, unemployment, and of course financial freedom. Universal Health Care To me perhaps the most significant...
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March 10, 2008

The Effect of the Decline of the Dollar in China

Since the start of my China assignment in July, I have seen the dramatic effect of the devaluation of the US dollar in very real terms. Given that China's economy runs mostly on cash I have to make regular ATM...
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March 7, 2008

Example of Real Inflation in China

Here is a tell-tale sign of what’s happening while my wife and I have been living in China. On a regular basis we order a Papa Johns Pepperoni Pizza to enjoy some food that tastes like home. Its not...
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March 3, 2008

Weekend Reading - Magically Cut Your Mortgage in Half with $3,500

Random articles that caught my eye this weekend: Money Merge Accounts - I hadn't heard about this till I stumbled on this article over the weekend. The buzz is on buying a piece of software (and HELOC account I guess)...
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February 18, 2008

Retire to Thailand?

My wife and I spent the past week in Thailand escaping the cold in China. We loved every minute of our trip and it was tough for us to leave. There were several things that really hit us while we...
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February 13, 2008

Vacation in Thailand

One of the goals that my wife and I have while we are on assignment in China is to get out and see this part of the world. We have done a pretty poor job so far as I have...
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November 15, 2007

Cheap Activities in Waikiki, Hawaii

My wife and I only spent 3 full days in Waikiki for our abbreviated honeymoon, but we spent plenty while we were there. I was mentally prepared for it to be expensive, but I was still shocked at just how...
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October 2, 2007

Lost Luggage Tips

Up until yesterday, I was one of the few that could say that they have never lost a piece of luggage. This is pretty rare since I always check luggage and fly pretty often all over the world for work....
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June 18, 2007

Sunday Paper Isn't Even Worth $1

Back in January I got an offer from the local newspaper to subscribe to the Sunday paper for just $1 an issue. I gave it some thought and drooled over the idea of getting all the Sunday coupons, the Sunday...
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June 13, 2007

Could the Forever Stamp Replace the US Dollar?

Now that the USPS has stamps whose current value will "rise" over time as postal rate go up, do we have any need for the US dollar? I've been thinking about it - I think rather than holding USD in...
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June 4, 2007

Big Steps In My Race Through 2007

The year has been a whirlwind for me so far as I spend just about every free minute working on some project that helps get my house ready to rent, prepared for my China assignment, gets wedding plans in order,...
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May 29, 2007

Getting Cash in China

Since I have an upcoming assignment in China I tried out a couple avenues to get cash on a recent trip to China last month. The last time I was over in China was 3 years ago and at that...
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May 7, 2007

Universal Life Insurance Through Employer - A Great Deal for Me!

I recently received a mailing from Prudential for a Universal Life Insurance Offer made available through my employer. I almost threw it away. However, thankfully I didn't. it was a one time offer to purchase universal life insurance through payroll...
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April 30, 2007

How Much Are Funeral Expenses?

My apologizes for a lack of new posts recently, there was a recent death in my family and I needed to take some time off to grieve. I also had my first experience planning a funeral. Even when death is...
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January 4, 2007

Bought a 32" LCD HDTV for Net $463

Well I broke down and bought a TV. I had been tossing around several possibilities, but in the end I found the Olevia 32" LCD 232V HD TV on sale at Circuit City for $599 and started thinking that if...
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January 2, 2007

The Cost of Television

As I have previously mentioned, I have escaped the 1st 30yrs of my life without buying a TV. That is all coming to an end as I wrap up my assignment and move back into my house. This will be...
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December 20, 2006

Five Things You Didn't Know About Me

I'm running a little behind on this since I have been in the process of wrapping up my temporary assignment and coming back to NC, but LAMoneyGuy was kind enough to tag me. So Here is Five Things You May...
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December 11, 2006

Insurance Policy Breakdown

A reader recently asked about what insurance policies I have. Here is a breakdown: 1) Car Insurance I only have liability and uninsured motorist coverage (required by law) on my car insurance. My current premium is $187 for 6 months....
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October 30, 2006

Why Didn't I Think of That?

Another pyramid scheme for the internet. mmmzr, created by Tadashi, has made another smart kid rich, leaving me in the dust :-). Seth Godin, a marketing guru, has a great article about MLMs etc and why he doesn't think they...
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September 27, 2006

Cheapest Soft Drinks

I was in Target this week and noticed they had Pepsi products (4) 12 packs for $10. If you bought (4) 12 packs you also got a $5 Target gift card. As long as you treated the $5 gift card...
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September 26, 2006

Living Like a College Student

It has been about five years since I joined the working world and it is a good time to reflect on the one mantra I have been trying to live by the last 5yrs. It came from one of my...
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September 24, 2006

Repaired HVAC

Despite a lot of great advice to the contrary, I opted to have the heat exchanger replaced this week on the gas pack (HVAC) unit on my new house instead of getting a whole new HVAC system. A couple things...
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September 15, 2006

1st Discussions on our Wedding

Well, I knew it couldn't last forever. My fiancée has finally turned full speed on wedding planning. She had been distracted by other projects for at least a few weeks; however, she has suddenly decided we need to book a...
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September 14, 2006

I am Cash Poor

No surprise here - as I suggested when I was setting my 2006 goals, I knew I was going to be spending a lot of cash this year. A quick glance at my August net worth readily reveals I now...
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September 11, 2006

Repair or Replace HVAC?

The house I purchased in June has a gas pack heating/cooling system that was installed around 1993. I had it inspected while I was purchasing the property and a rust hole was discovered in the heat exchanger. I tried to...
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September 1, 2006

2million's One Year Anniversary

Wow - time flies - It was one year ago this week that I published my first post that started 2millionblog! What a ride it has been so far. I have learned so much from my efforts to keep this...
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August 31, 2006

Buying the Engagement Ring Part 2: The Big Purchase

So I had an idea of what my girlfriend likes and a price range of what I thought was reasonable to spend on the engagement ring. Now I had to figure out what I was looking for and what I...
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August 30, 2006

Buying the Engagement Ring Part 1: Justification

Before we got engaged a few weeks ago, my fiancee and I had been dating for almost 4 years. Future plans for us had been discussed many times over the course of our relationship, but our future was somewhat on...
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August 21, 2006

Letter to Request List of US Savings Bonds

If you think you might have some US Savings Bonds, maybe as gifts from realatives over the years, but can't physically locate them, you can submit a request a list of U.S. Savings Bonds in your name. Here is a...
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August 16, 2006

Vesting My Pension

Cha-ching! Today I hit 5 years of service with my employer and vest in my cash balance pension plan. My employer currently contributes 5% of my salary to the pension account plus monthly interest on the balance.This pension is now...
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August 14, 2006

Aging Family Finances

One of the benefits of having my temporary assignment in NY is the closer proximity to my grandparent's home. Taking advantage of a free weekend, I spent it visiting with my aging grandparents. While I think my grandparents are amazing...
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July 21, 2006

Opportunity Cost on Discretionary Expenses

Here is a great post from Jeff at pfadvice that to me really gets at the heart of your opportunity cost when you buy something.I have gotten in the habit of everytime I make a discretionary expense I ask myself...
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June 30, 2006

Finally Closed on My House

I can now say I own more than one property! I'm almost a land barron :) Closing was uneventful. Luckily the closing was only delayed a total of 6 days as a result of the last minute issue uncovered at...
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June 28, 2006

Closing on My Next Property, Back on Track

As I previously mentioned, I walked away from closing because the appraisal on the property was not complete as I had been led to believe.A lot has happened since then:Lender: After being handed off many times, I finally was connected...
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June 26, 2006

Walked Away From Closing On My New Property

I and the seller met at the attorney's office for our scheduled closing. We sat down with the attorney to review the settlement statement. The attorney went line by line through the statement identifying each line item. Everything looked good...
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June 12, 2006

Mortgage Appraisal Not Required?

I got a call from the mortgage lender to let me know that my loan didn't need an appraisal for approval. Huh? I never heard of this. Apparently Fannie Mae has this option to waive an appraisal when you get...
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June 7, 2006

Averting My Liquidity Crisis

I ended up pulling $5,500 from the HELOC on my 1st house to avoid any liquidity issues with paying off both 0% balance transfers and trying to stretch and put 20% down on the house I am trying to purchase....
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May 24, 2006

Small Liquidity Crisis

Talk about bad timing. I just realized that BOTH my 0% balance transfers expire within days of when I am trying to close on my mortgage. While I have a fair amount of cash, enough to pay off both 0%...
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May 15, 2006

Carnival of Personal Finance

Welcome to the Carnival of Personal Finance, now in its 48th week!If this is your 1st time at 2millionblog, you can learn more about this blog, or find a semi-up-to-date index of personal finance articles.My attempt at having a portion...
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May 7, 2006

Hosting the Carnival of Personal Finance

I am excited to be hosting my first carnival next week. The Carnival of Personal Finance will be passing through here at 2millionblog. I would like to "theme" next week's carnival around a personal finance topic, the 401k. I would...
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April 21, 2006

Get Vanguard Voyager Premium Service

Vanguard, like many investment management companies has personalized levels of service for their clients with significant assets. For instance, clients with $1 million or more at Vanguard qualify for the Vanguard Flagship Service or clients with $250,000 to $1 million...
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April 17, 2006

Wachovia Free Checking Account

I currently have a Wachovia Express Checking account with a Ready Reserve account that acts as overdraft protection. I opened these accounts in college and have used them ever since. I have been very happy with these Wachovia accounts. I...
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April 5, 2006

Taking Assessment of My Portfolio Returns, Part 6: Investment Property

In the 1st part of this series I determined that the total return for my net worth was a measly $2,094. In the 2nd and 3rd parts, I found my retirement and cash accounts had respectable returns of $8,331 and...
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March 29, 2006

IKEA's Frugal Founder

I have a suspection that a majority of those that are truely wealthy share this trait. With the exception of many of the millionaire/billionaires created by stock options or inheritances I bet some form of frugality exists with all of...
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March 10, 2006

Taking Assessment of My Portfolio Returns, Part 5: Company Ownership

In the 1st part of this series I determined that the total return for my net worth was a measly $2,094. In the 2nd and 3rd parts, I found my retirement and cash accounts had respectable returns of $8,331 and...
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March 8, 2006

Taking Assessment of My Portfolio Returns, Part 4: Investment Accounts

In the 1st part of this series I determined that the total return for my net worth was a measly $2,094. In the 2nd and 3rd parts, I found my retirement and cash accounts had respectable returns of $8,331 and...
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March 7, 2006

I Have Hit a Personal Finance Milestone!

This month I have hit a personal finance blog milestone. As you know the focus of this blog is to track my journey to financial freedom. I have defined this goal as a net worth of $2 million plus the...
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March 1, 2006

Taking Assessment of My Portfolio Returns, Part 3: Cash Accounts

In the 1st part of this series I determined that the total return for my net worth was a measly $2,094. In the 2nd part, I found my retirement accounts had a respectable return of $8,331 for the year.Now I...
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February 27, 2006

Taking Assessment of My Portfolio Returns, Part 2: Retirement Accounts

In the 1st part of this series I determined that the total return for my net worth was a measly $2,094. Its a painful pill to swallow and after crunching the numbers, my head immediately filled with logical explanations/excuses as...
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February 22, 2006

Taking Assessment of My Portfolio Returns, Part 1: The Bottom Line

It is finally time for me to sift through all the financial data I have for 2005 and begin to understand how my portfolio worked for me in 2005. My net worth went from $157,340 on 12/31/2004 to $206,990 on...
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February 8, 2006

My Personal Finance History

Based on requests, I thought I would give you more information about my personal history. My life's choices has a lot to with my journey to financial freedom so I think its important to know more of my background to...
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January 25, 2006

A Starting Point for New Visitors

With all the new visitors that have stopped by this blog recently I thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of the basics of this blog.1) Reads this blog's disclaimer.2) This blog is a record of my...
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January 24, 2006

Starting off the Year on the Wrong Foot

According to a British psychologist, today (January 24th) is the most depressing day of the year. This is due to many factors converging this time of the year - among them is the realization of the debt accumulated from overspending...
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January 23, 2006

Tallying My 2005 Passive Income

So where am I at with my passive income? After all this is just as important as measuring my net worth, if I can't generate enough income to pay for my living expenses, that I won't be financially free no...
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January 20, 2006

Accounting Software for Self Employment Income

This year I expect to begin receiving an insignificant amount of self-employment income from this blog and other activities. I only expect it to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $100-$500 depending on how much time I put into everything....
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January 12, 2006

Gambler's Scorecard for the 2005 Football Season

Some background on my bad habit.Another college football season has come to a close and I can revel in the spoils. I ended up netting $91 in profit from the entire season. I deposited a total of $250 into my...
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January 5, 2006

How Much Money Does a 29yr Old Man Drink Away?

Well I don't exactly have the answer, but going through my 2005 receipts, I decided it would be interesting to try and total the amount I spent on beer. This turns out to be a nearly impossible task due to...
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January 1, 2006

Finalizing My 2006 Net Worth Goal - $265,000

Earlier this month I tried to determine what a good net worth goal for 2006 would be, although at the time I didn't know exactly what my net worth would be at the end of the year.I am in the...
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December 27, 2005

The Best Time of the Year to Buy!

Being as frugal as I am, I typically don't buy things that are aren't an immediate necessity. Any purchase I can put off or convince myself I don't need right away (even when I think I find it at a...
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December 14, 2005

What is your Savings Rate?

A big part of reaching my goal is saving a high percentage of my earned income. While it sounds like it is an easy thing to calculate, up till now I haven't had any idea how much of net worth...
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December 9, 2005

Adjusting for my Potential Tax Liability

As you may have noticed from my net worth reporting, I don't really report liabilities that are accruing such as taxes on a monthly basis. I typically receive a small refund from my income taxes each year so it has...
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December 7, 2005

My $2 Million Net Worth Goal Part 3: Lessons Learned

Previously I discussed the starting points and assumptions I used to develop a forecast of my annual net worth that I used as a basis for formulating my $2 million net worth goal. Since I have been chasing this goal...
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December 1, 2005

Profiting from S&P 500 changes

I remember reading about a stock trading strategy that involved changes in the S&P500. I can't remember the details, but the idea was one of simple supply and demand. Any stocks that were added to the S&P 500 stock index...
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November 28, 2005

Worried About My Potential Tax Liability

This has been a big year for me. I started a new stage in my IBM career with a position that may force me to relocate a couple times in the near future. I took on an improvement project to...
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November 17, 2005

Should I Continue Participation in the IBM ESPP?

Ever since I started working at IBM I have been contributing to the IBM ESPP plan. If your not familiar with ESPPs (Employee Stock Purchase Plan), it is a company plan to encourage stock ownership among employees. Many large publicly...
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November 16, 2005

Keeping up with S&P changes

Here is a great investing tool that I use all the time. It is a link to free daily listings of S&P rating changes on stocks.Several years ago one of the best things I loved about my Etrade brokerage account...
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November 7, 2005

Itching to buy a home

As I have posted before, I have rented my house out and as a result I am renting a room from a buddy of mine. This was done in anticipation that I would be going on a couple temporary assignments...
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October 31, 2005

I have recently realized that

I have recently realized that my credit score is lower than I anticipated as a result of taking advantage of the 0% balance transfer offers. I am under the impression that as long as I keep my score at or...
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My $2 Million Net Worth Goal Part 2: Forecasting My Net Worth

In Part 1 of this series I covered my starting points and assumptions in developing my net worth goal. In this post I am going to discuss how I used these to forecast what my net worth could reasonably be...
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October 27, 2005

My $2 Million Net Worth Goal Part 1: Assumptions

The purpose of this web log is to document my journey to financial freedom. I have defined financial freedom as a net worth of at least $2 million. It may be a moving target, but I guess we will see...
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October 21, 2005

Highlights of Benefits Enrollment Package from work

What a wonderful time of the year; football, cool brisk mornings, state fair, and of course benefits enrollment.I actually don't think I am going to spend much time this year analyzing my choices. I spend a lot of time last...
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October 18, 2005

You'll need no more than 92.35% of your income when you are financially free

Well sort of. I am talking about the Social Security and Medicare taxes on your paycheck. If you can live off the same income (passive income) after quitting your job that you do before (as wages), you'll only need 92.35%...
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October 17, 2005

Dogs of the Dow

Have you heard of the Dogs of the Dow? I first heard of this investment strategy in the 1990s and it seemed to fall out of favor during the dot com bubble. However I think it is again gaining attention...
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October 15, 2005

CF Results for Week 6, Picks for Week 7

Background on my bad habit.Recap of Week 6Previous Balance $407.41Trans DateWagerTo WinResultDescription10/5/05$40$34.78LostOSU(-3) over PSUCurrent Balance: $367.41Net Deposit: $250, Current Profit: $117.41 (ROI 47%)My second losing week in a row. I almost didn't post because I was so pissed off at...
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October 13, 2005

Just Earned a $5 Amazon Gift Certificate for taking a 5 min Financial Quiz at Citi

This morning I found a link on slickdeals to Citi Cards which is currently offering a credit education module with a 5 minute quiz at the end to test your credit knowledge. Score a 70 or better and earn $5...
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October 10, 2005

Free I-Watch Investing Tool

A co-worker of mine pointed me to this free I-Watch Investing Tool on the Lycos web site today. This tool provides insight into institutional buying and selling on individual stocks. Check out this chart of IBM from the last week...
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October 6, 2005

CF Results for Week 5, Picks for Week 6

Background on my bad habit.Recap of Week 5Previous Balance $424.37Trans DateWagerTo WinResultDescription9/28/05$10$8.33WonVT(-10) over GT (VT 51, GT 7)9/29/05$20$19.76LostClemson(-7) over WFU (WFU 31, Clem 27)10/1/05$5$4.76WonNavy(-7) over Duke(Navy 28, Duke 21)10/1/05$10.05$8.38LostUM(-20.5) over SFCurrent Balance: $407.41Net Deposit: $250, Current Profit: $157.41 (ROI 62%)My...
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Finally finished paying off my car loan! Whats next?

Well I have finally done it. After 4 years and $8250, I have finally finished paying back my parents for my car.Back in 1999, I came home from grad school for Memorial Day weekend to find my parents ready to...
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October 3, 2005

Picked up 3 new tires for my car

I have always felt I get screwed when it comes to maintaining on my car. This is in large part to my own ignorance.So when I decided I couldn't put off getting new tires any longer I thought I was...
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October 2, 2005

End of a belt-tightening month and I feel great!

September is finally over - I can't wait to crunch the numbers and see how I made out. I made an effort to reduce dining out expenses this month since all summer there have been lots of things going on...
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October 1, 2005

Would a townhome make a good investment?

I have been watching the real estate in the area that my house is located in. I am currently renting a room from a buddy of mine and I don't have any weekend home improvement projects to work on. I'm...
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September 30, 2005

My tank was on Empty

My tank was on Empty last night coming home from work and I was shocked to see gas prices were headed up. The cheapest price I could find was $2.99/gallon so I opted to drive home and use the "reserve"...
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September 29, 2005

CF Results for Week 4, Picks for Week 5

Background on my bad habit.Recap of Week 4:Current Balance: $417.33Trans DateWagerTo WinResultDescription9/22/05$10$7.69WonVT(-10) over GT9/24/05$5$4.35WonUT(+7) over LSU9/26/05$5$5.00LostToledo (+14) over FSUBlew the week with the Toledo pick - Monday evening I realized I was perfect the past 2 weekends and felt like...
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September 27, 2005

New Weekly Reading Material from Yahoo!Finance

Yahoo!Finance launched a new section last week for various Yahoo!Finance columnists. This list of names is impressive: David Bach, author of the Automatic MillionaireKen Dychtwald, Ph.D., aging guruRobert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor DadSuze Orman, that loud annoying talk...
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September 26, 2005

Never lose money - W Buffett

"Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1." Warren BuffettThis quote is very powerful to me, here's why:Question:If you have $100000 and in successive years, you are +20% and -20%, your end result is:A. >$100KB. C. Even...
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September 25, 2005

Hedging Against Energy Prices, Part 3:An Improved Energy Hedging Strategy?

The first and second posts in this series look at my Exxon and Chevron investments and how well they have hedged against my increased monthly gas spend as a result of higher gas prices.This post details my proposed idea to...
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Hedging Against Energy Prices, Part 2:Chevron Stock Performance vs Gas Prices

Earlier I took a look at my Exxon investment as a hedge against the rise of energy prices. The result was a very compelling argument for an investment in Exxon (XOM) to hedge against energy prices.I have also made investments...
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September 23, 2005

CF - Results for Week 3, Picks for Week 4

Background on my bad habit.Recap of Week 3:Account Balance: $331.29Deposited 9/17/05: $50 + $10 bonusTrans DateWagerTo WinResultDescription9/16/05$10$9.10WonVT(-34) over Ohio (VT 45, Ohio 0)9/17/05$10$6.90WonPitt (+10) over Neb (Neb 7, Pitt 6)9/17/05$25$10.04WonUF over Tenn (UF 16, UT 7)Wow! 100% track record -...
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September 22, 2005

Bought 2 small gas tanks last night at Walmart...

Call me crazy but I was walking around the local Walmart last night after work and decided to purchase (2) gas tanks for $3.12 apiece + tax. The adjacent gas station still had gas posted at $2.59 a gallon which...
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September 21, 2005

Just Earned an Easy Amex $10 Gift Card

Found this link on slickdeals.net this afternoon. Watch the 5 min tutorial, answer a few question in the Amex Open Network survey and they claim they will send you a $10 Amex gift card within 6-8 weeks. I love freebies...
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September 20, 2005

Signed up for the HSBC Online Savings Account

I received a flyer in the mail yesterday from HSBC for an offer to sign up for their Online Savings Account currently yielding 3.75% APY that included a $25 bonus. Since it is .25% higher than Emigrant-Direct (my main savings...
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September 17, 2005

Hedging Against Energy Prices, Part 1:Exxon Stock Performance vs Gas Prices

A review of my current hedging strategy on energy prices.When I started my job in 2001 one of the strategies I planned with my savings was a hedge on rising energy prices. I ended up investing a modest amount in...
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September 16, 2005

CF - Results for Week 2, Picks for Week 3

Background on my bad habit.Recap of Week 2:Account Balance: $255Deposited 9/8/05: $50 + $10 bonusTrans DateWagerTo WinResultDescription9/7/05$25$21.74WonVT(-20.5) over Duke (VT 45, Duke 0)9/9/05$10$3.57LostUM over ND(ND 17, UM 10)9/9/05$5$4.55WonLSU over ASU(LSU 35, ASU 31)Current Balance: $331.29Net Deposit: $200, Current Profit: $131.29Picks...
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September 14, 2005

Inspiration for the day

I saw this quote on Motley Fool the other day and I love it - I need to tuck this one away for when I am thinking about a value investment decision."Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when...
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Making Room, Making Money

Since I recently moved out of my house, I have come to realize I have a lot more stuff than I thought. I have been trying to get rid of it and generate some extra cash. I have a large...
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September 12, 2005

The upside to high gas prices

I like most people get angry and fustrated everytime I have to put gas in my car. We are all at the mercy of oil prices and oil prices haven't been kind to us recently. Even Bill Gates and Warren...
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September 10, 2005

Free Books!

Just found this link on slickdeals.net this morning:Free Book ProjectI have not downloaded any books but I plan too - I have been looking for some audio books to listen to on the way to work and the local library...
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CF - Wagers for Week 2

Background on my bad habitOk I have 2 picks so far for week 2 - VA Tech (-20.5) and Michigan to win. You may notice I have been moving more and more money into my account. This allows me...
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September 9, 2005

Comparing Gas Spend to Gas Prices

I found raleighgasprices.com which had the best information I could find on local gas prices (turns out lots of cities have these sites as well). It didn't have avg historical prices, but it did have a 3 yr chart with...
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September 8, 2005

Gas Spending

I was complaining the other day about the amount I was spending on gas to some co-workers so I thought I would pull out my gas spending from MS Money. I am not sure whether some of the avg increase...
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September 7, 2005

Tracking My Progress

I am trying to determine the best/easiest way to report my monthly progress. I would like to report a easy to create net worth chart with assests & liabilities, etc. I would also like to have it similar to other...
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September 6, 2005

I am currently homeless....

As I posted earlier I bought a 3 bedroom house in July 2002. I had been working for about 1 year and I realized that decided that the next big step in my strategy for reaching my goal of a...
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Results - Wager for Week 1

Wow! What a game. It was closer than I hoped but it is a great start to the football season. With this 1st wager I have effectively made a 100% return and the season has just started. The smart thing...
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September 4, 2005

A Bit of My Personal Finance History

Here is a chart of my net worth reported via the Net Worth Over Time report in MS Money:The months of 7/02 , 7/03, 9/03 are inaccurate because I purchased a 3 bedroom home in 7/02, refinanced the 1st mortgage...
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September 3, 2005

Just sent a check in to my Merck DRIP

After last week's news of the Vioxx award in Texas I decided it was a good opportunity to add to my Merck stock position. At roughly ~$28 a share, Merck is now sporting a dividend yield of ~5.4.%. Forget everything...
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My Personal Finance Goal

As I mentioned earlier my primary goal is to reach a net worth of $2 million excluding my home. I have been steadily working towards this goal since I starting working in 8/2001.One of my goals for this blog is...
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September 2, 2005

Frequent Flyer Miles/Hotel Points Results for August Business Trip

My nearly 4 week trip resulted in a nice inflow of points and miles.ProgramAmount EarnedBonus EarnedTotalDescriptionSkymiles7142714214284all airline flights on delta for tripAAdvantage9000900reward for 2 budget car rentalsUnited1000010002 stays at Hilton hotels @ 500 per stayHHonors57645161109252 stays at Hilton hotelsPriority Club11180156172679712...
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September 1, 2005

College Football Opening Weekend - Wager for Week 1

The season begins!I recently decided to keep track of my collge football wagering to see how it benefits or hinders my progress to reach my personal finance goals. On Monday I funded my Bodog sportsbook account with $100 of fun...
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August 31, 2005

My bad habit

I love to wager on college football games. It is my "bad" habit. I am actually not a big gambler - I am a fairly risk adverse person. However my favorite sport is college football, I am a big VA...
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You too can enjoy Hilton HHonors Gold Perks!

During my last business trip I was able to take advantage of all the Hilton HHonors Gold Status benefits. I think these perks are the best around and include free happy hour, free breakfast, extra bonus points, etc. at Hilton...
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August 30, 2005

My Frequent Flyer/Hotel Point Strategies

As I mentioned earlier I just got back from a extended business trip in which I enjoyed some nice perks and earned frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I thought I would break down some of my strategies when it...
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August 29, 2005

Just got back from 4wks on the road!

Just got back from a nice little business trip that consisted of 1.5 wks in San Jose, a week in Tucson, and then a week in NY. This was my 1st and only trip of the year - in my...
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Welcome to 2million!

This is my 1st post. I am starting this blog to track my thoughts, musings, and progress as I focus on my primary goal: A net worth of 2 million dollars + my primary residence. What I mean is my...
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About 2millionblog.com

A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
Current Net Worth: $1,252,129

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