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Author: thefamilyfire

2019 Goal Progress – January

2019 Goal Progress – January

At the beginning of the month, I resolved to write two blog posts a week and work out three times a week. Today’s the last day of January, so how did I do? In a word, meh. In each case, I can make an argument that I either barely succeeded or failed miserably. On the blog front, this is my 9th post of the month so I’m right there on the line for a 4 ½ week month! Conversely, however,…

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Should I leave an inheritance?

Should I leave an inheritance?

A few years ago, I read Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. This behemoth of economic research covers the history of income and wealth inequality in Europe and the US. One thing that struck me at the time, and has left a lasting impression, are the statistics on capital vs. wage growth over time and the significance of their implications. His research shows that historically, the rate of return on capital outpaces the economic growth rate (and therefore…

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The Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass

One of the major challenges for families who move away from home (including military families) is living away from parents, siblings, and close relatives. It can be incredibly frustrating trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for a family vacation when you feel like you have to go home to visit family every year. And even worse is trying to choose between the two. That is one of the major advantages of using credit card rewards, or travel…

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My favorite free experiences

My favorite free experiences

Experiences can be expensive. But many of the most fun and most rewarding experiences don’t have to be. While many choose to put their finances at risk by taking expensive vacations and dining out excessively, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here is a list of my favorite free, and almost free, experiences. Game night Whether getting together with a group of friends to play Cards Against Humanity or having a quiet game of Sleeping Queens with the kids,…

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Experiences can be expensive

Experiences can be expensive

One of the tenets of the FIRE movement has been to avoid accumulating things. Our society’s consumerist culture is overtly shunned by most in the FIRE community. This makes a lot of sense since buying things is expensive and research has shown that material items don’t seem to give people lasting happiness. So, what can give us lasting happiness? Life’s experiences and spending time with friends and loved ones. When we purchase a new thing, we receive a momentary boost…

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Why Real Estate is the best investment for building wealth

Why Real Estate is the best investment for building wealth

*The following are opinions and should not be taken as advice. Always consult a legal or tax professional prior to making financial decisions. When I first thought about buying a rental property, I had no idea what I was doing. I was familiar with exactly one rental market (where I was attending school). I wasn’t even really familiar with the housing market at all, just rental prices in the town. But I did know where students wanted to live (close…

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My biggest financial mistake

My biggest financial mistake

I have been interested in personal finance for a long time – most of my adult life. I enjoy reading articles about personal finance and learning how to optimize investment returns. Buy low, sell high. Don’t try to time the market. Invest in low cost index funds. I have studied the traditional finance rules and proudly implement them in my own investment strategy. At the end of 2013, I was completing my MBA. As part of one of the courses,…

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Setting Achievable Goals – and mine for this year

Setting Achievable Goals – and mine for this year

It’s that time of year again when many people make New Years resolutions. They resolve to eat better, lose weight, save money, take up a hobby, and many others. It’s no surprise that by February or March, they have given up on their resolutions for any of countless reasons. So why are we so bad at sticking to our goals and what can we change to help accomplish them? First of all, many goals are really just wishes people have…

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How to start Travel Hacking today!

How to start Travel Hacking today!

Perhaps one of the most fun money saving strategies I’ve found from the financial independence community is “travel hacking.” Travel hacking is the process of using credit card incentives to pay for a portion or all of the cost of travel to include airfare, lodging, and sometimes even attractions. My first glimpse into this strategy came from a family member who is completely outside the FI community. I learned that he was able to score tickets to Europe using the…

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