This week: What are personal finance bloggers wrong about?

No question, some of the best things about starting a blog that dabbles in personal finance are the relationships I’ve formed with other bloggers. I’ve never been one to hold virtual friendships in high regard, but these are new times, and these are some knowledgeable and, at times, like-minded individuals. The other thing? They also think talking about numbers sounds like a good time.   With these friendships made through Twitter, Google searches, or other social media platforms come the opportunity to discuss topics we’re passionate about, comment on each other’s posts, and guest post occasionally on other sites. It’s good for the readers to get exposed to other points of view and, let’s be honest, it’s nice to share some clicks now and then, too.   I say all of this to introduce a new approach to this week’s posts.    One of the bloggers I’ve talked with recently […]

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How a $10k IRS bill makes you re-evaluate your tax strategy

  First off – Happy Tax Day, 2017!!   The tax year was 2015 and we had been through some changes financially. Up to this point, we had been a 1-income family for years, no kids, at least 1 of us (sometimes 2) in grad/dental school, apartment living, … You get the idea. But in 2015 we decided to gradually dip our toes into the water of life (this is a complete and total use of sarcasm).   Here were some of our family’s changes in 2015:   Went from 1 income to 2 We quit taking out loans to fund dental school (I hear you – cash flowing college die-hards, but to come out of dental school if your parent isn’t a dentist with less than $200k is considered a huge victory… stuff’s expensive) We had our daughter (technically Monica had our daughter) We bought our first house The 2nd income […]

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Weight loss might be much simpler than advertised (guest blogger – Paul)

Below is an awesome infographic covering weight loss, nutrition, and an overall healthy lifestyle from Paul at DNA-Lean. His blog covers weight loss, building muscle mass, calories, healthy eating, and a whole host of other topics while his company offers supplements to help you get there. Full disclosure: I haven’t taken the supplements, but let me say I loved his infographic below. If you’re looking for some helpful tips on your health journey, then this post is for you. As always, thanks for reading! -Mike     In the modern day quest for weight loss, people often find themselves doing many a weird and wonderful thing! Perhaps you have tried following the pea soup diet to lose weight? Or perhaps you can bear witness to seeing folk wrapped up in cling film in a sauna room?  It would appear that fat and weight loss has become like old wives tale; unscientific and incorrect! With so […]

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I’m not allowed to say “Jiu-Jitsu” for the next 4 months…

My wife had a point…   There was work, our daughter, ‘the project,’ my daily workout, life, the blog, and now I come to her with a detailed, concise, and targeted pitch about why I (and we) need to start training jiu-jitsu.   She stared through me with a bewildered look on her face, let me finish through my rehearsed closer line, and simply said (I’m paraphrasing), “You’re not allowed to say jiu-jitsu for the next 4 months. Don’t think it. Don’t say it. And you know exactly why.”     I didn’t take offense. The comment wasn’t made in a condescending or exasperated tone. It was matter-of-fact. Cold. Straight. Truth. So in order to see it as such in the moment, I had to detach from the situation and see her point of view, because very rarely will she put the foot down so emphatically. “She must have good reason to do so,” I thought to myself. […]

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No excuses – pay like a champion (response to the few who say it can’t be done)

    I wrote an article back in spring 2016 about a young couple that paid off $89,000 in 15 months. The article was very well received, as most applauded the couple’s tenacity and hard work. I’d be lying to say the article didn’t help me out, too. It was the 2nd most popular post I’ve published (to date) and has helped introduce me to a few credit counseling clients that I currently work with (more on that below).   As is typical, though, not all reviews were roses and sugarplums.   Many conceded the hard work and the fact that Jon and Heather sacrificed a great deal in the short term to get out of debt, but many have commented that because the couple ended their debt free journey earning $110k/year, their situation doesn’t extrapolate to the majority of regular folks.   I see the argument that big numbers like […]

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Charting the uncharted – one of earth’s most naturally beautiful and dangerous rainforests

At the ripe age of 22 (when you think you know everything then eventually hit 30 and realize you didn’t know anything – I hear this cycle continues) I was blessed with the experience of a lifetime… I just didn’t realize its impact and importance in my life until recently (I’m 31).     Winter – 2007 in Kent, Ohio:   Cold. Snow. Clouds. Meteorology isn’t the most difficult task during Northeastern Ohio winters. And for a guy like me (I enjoy the beach and warm weather), all this time indoors affords one an opportunity to think about their future and, more importantly, what they want out of life.   Me? I wanted warmer weather. And because neither the economy nor my professional connection list was too hot at the time, grad school seemed like the place to gain some knowledge and buy some time for things to pick back up.   I […]

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Not your granddaddy’s wireless plan: stop overpaying (guest blogger – Jon)

Hi, Team! Today, we’re fortunate to have Jon (yes, this Jon) here to blow your mind about those crazy prices some of us pay for wireless service. What are Jon’s qualifications? Well, he and his wife paid off close to $89,000 in student loans in about 16 months. These two are living examples of what good, worthwhile goals can lead to. Consistent readers are probably familiar with the story, if that’s not you, feel free to check out the link above. Either way, thanks for being here! -Mike   When it came time for me to finally get off my parents’ cell phone plan and get my own, Heather and I were pinching every penny I made to get her through school without adding to our mountain of student loan debt.  Money was tight, and I was the only one working, which gave me the motivation I needed to venture […]

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We cut our grocery bill by 30%; more than just making a menu…

Alarm bells and red flags were sounding (and going up) in my brain. I sensed all wasn’t well and that some rectifying needed to be done in the near future. This was going to be one of those conversations where the selective hearing would not be an option. My FULL attention would be required.   Monica and I had just gotten home from work and the gym when the daily question presented itself… again. “What are you thinking for dinner?” It was a simple and straightforward question but even as I asked it I sensed the repetition starting to nag at both of us.   Monica vocalized our collective thoughts. “I’m sick of making decisions all day, then coming home only to decide what’s for dinner. This stops now.” She wasn’t mad at me, just frustrated with the situation we’ve fostered. And frankly, her frustration was warranted.   Whether it’s Monica’s […]

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Work with knowledgeable professionals (financial pillar #7)

Although I don’t typically struggle with self-confidence, I’ll readily admit to the following facts: I am not a licensed investment banker, insurance salesman, accountant, loan officer, doctor, lawyer, or personal trainer. I would probably argue that I could do a portion of some of the jobs above, but if you had any sense about you that argument wouldn’t last too long. And while there are many things I’m pretty good at, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert in more than a couple of fields.   Why, then, would I assume that I am the best person to handle those jobs for my family – all on my own? I can’t possibly know enough about the case law, current accounting practices, most worthwhile insurances, and hottest investment funds that would put our family in the best position possible to succeed. Taking it a step further, I’m definitely not comfortable in settling for […]

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MikedUp Blog’s 1-YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!

Hi, Team!   Well… Year 1 flew by. Whether you’re new to the site or one of our long-time (can I say this yet?) readers, I want to say a heartfelt, “Thank you!” Seriously. You guys rock.   The feedback, questions, and comments I’ve gotten from many of you make this experience worthwhile. Here are a few examples:   A friend I worked with years ago messaged me out of the blue to say that budgeting saved her marriage and that reading my financial articles brings back so many great memories of their re-kindling. Multiple readers have reached out to me for help with their personal finances and fitness. Seriously! This has been a phenomenal experience! I am working with one individual that is halfway through paying off 33% worth of their annual salary in credit card debt. Another was in search of a routine and some motivation to build muscle… […]

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