Learn to live below your means (financial pillar #5)

Check out the complete list of Financial Pillars Here   Learning to live below your means is not simply making a budget and sticking to it   Living below your means is a change in mindset. It’s practicing financial discipline – it’s an ethos. A foundation that will provide you freedom in the rest of your life. Freedom to choose, to vacation, to live the life you desire. But more than that, the practice of living below your means will show you that happiness doesn’t come with material possessions. Happiness and fulfillment come in the journey. And it’s this journey of being financially disciplined that will allow all of our following financial pillars to exist.   You want the nuts and bolts? Find out what your fixed expenses are, what your income is, and then save more than you spend. Many articles will try to dress these points up and […]

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The 3 Best Apps to Keep Your Business Running Smoothly

Hi, Team!   This isn’t your typical post.   It’s an article I wrote on for use on a different site and they decided not to use it, so I’m sharing it here with you. I know we don’t typically cover tools for business improvement but please give it a read and let me know if you’d like more or less of this sort of thing. Thanks for reading!     As the boss, you’d be lucky to fit your list of job titles onto a sheet of legal paper, let alone a business card. All of these added responsibilities keep us constantly on the move.   The faith once placed in desktops now pours into our smartphones and the shiny, task-completing apps they house. But with all those products in the app storefront, it’s hard to know which to trust.   No worries, we’ve got you covered.   Here are The Best 3 Apps to Keep Your […]

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Are you missing the ‘Golden Era’ for an opportunity to refinance?

Short answer: Current market and personal conditions are leading Monica and me to consider refinancing right now.   Long answer: This decision depends on many variables that are unique to you.   First off, I’ll give you the background of our situation and the reasons for our decision to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to refinancing, then I’ll cover the important factors to evaluate when considering a mortgage refinance of your own.   Where we’re at   We bought our house in March of 2015 with an ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage). Initially, this option sounded great for where we were financially. The rate was incredibly low, 3.875%, and would remain fixed for 7 years. This would’ve kept us at 3.875% until March 2022, and then we’d have a significantly smaller balance and only 23 years left on the term of the loan.   The downside   That whole “Adjustable Rate” thing had me concerned. […]

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Mailbag – do I track cash transations?

“Mailbag” is a new wrinkle to the blog. As our subscriber and reader numbers continue to grow (thank you!), so do our shares and site visitors (click here if you’d like to join the team). With this, I’ve received some questions and comments in response to past articles.   If a tweet or quick response isn’t enough for me to sufficiently answer, I’ll write about it on the site. Mailbag’s first installment is below.   One last thing. I’d love to hear any questions or comments you have, blog related or – dare I say – otherwise… Let me know. Who knows, you could be referenced in a post!     Question   Ok, so you talked about keeping track of all the money you spend down to the very penny. Using a money app on my phone is how I had done this, manually logging every purchase with a date and not […]

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How a sensible waterpark philosophy almost killed our marriage

Don’t get me wrong. I love family time, attending sporting events, and summer walks to the splash pad, but when it comes to certain activities there’s a switch that triggers in my head.   The opportunity to compete physically, for example. I also get crazy about vacations. Most especially during the lead-up. Christmas, a great book, and some weekends can all flip the switch. Monica knows the importance of keeping my building excitement in check for most of these types of activities.   “Hey, chill out…” Is really all I need to hear to detach from the situation, take a breath, and dial it down a notch or 2.   There was a time early in our relationship when that wasn’t always the case.   In those situations, excitement would build and I’d run at a red-line pace until the game ended, gathering dispersed, or until I crashed.   That’s all well […]

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Respecting limits: and determing a response after you find them

This article isn’t about football but I will use a football observation to illustrate my point. Don’t run away if sports aren’t your thing… Also, this is more of a ‘think piece’ than I’ll typically write. I hope you enjoy it. If not, let me know and I’ll keep these thoughts in my head and off the virtual page from now on. Either way cheers to a phenomenal 2017!!     So, Clara had been put to bed, Monica and I were relaxing on the couch for a minute and watching the Thursday night NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders (December 8, 2016).   Oakland had the ball and they were driving against the Chiefs, who kept their opponents in check for a majority of the game. In large part, this was due to the stellar play of the Chiefs’ linebacking core. These 4 guys […]

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MikedUp Blog’s 7 best posts of 2016

Well… that happened quickly.   We’re 70 posts and 9 months into MikedUp Blog’s young history and it’s hard not to reflect back with excitement at the progress.   After our first year-ish I started thinking about doing a best-of post, so naturally, I pitched the idea to Monica.   “The top 10 posts of 2016,” is where I started.   “How many posts have you done? 10 seems like a lot. I do think it’s a good idea, though.”   Constructive feedback – and focus group green light – in hand, I set out to pare it back but still give a solid recap.   The criteria   Here’s where we get imaginative.   It would be both boring and a cop-out to just pick the most read posts. Although those will have their place, I’ve also added some less prolific articles that still deserve a top spot.   […]

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Worthwhile financial resolutions from a guy who lives them (guest blogger – Jon)

Hi, Team! Today, we’re fortunate to have Jon (yes, this Jon) here to talk about worthwhile financial resolutions that will actually make a difference for the new year. 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     1) Learn where your money is going (and how to control it). As good as my wife and I try to be with our money, there have been times when I have opened the credit card statement at the end of the month, saw the total purchases, and was left wondering, “what in the world did I spend $1,200 […]

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Mike’s top 5 podcasts of 2016: and why I’m listening

(Photo by SMW) What is a podcast and why are they becoming so popular?   Podcasts are digital audio files that can be downloaded to your device and listened to whenever you’d like, without an internet connection. It’s similar to when we would download music to our iPods or Zunes a few years back (look out early 2000s). They’re on-demand radio shows.   What’s with all the hype?   From current sports updates to ancient history and pop culture to politics… There’s a podcast for that. You into meta-learning? I have 1 (well… 2). Interested in starting a business? Startup would be a good place to begin.   The point is – there’s something for everybody. No matter where you are in life, a podcast can help you progress from there to where you want to be. There’s a catch, though… All this information is available but is all of it reliable.   Short […]

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Full disclosure: MikedUp Blog does produce an income

Hi Team!   I want to make sure I’m upfront with changes to the blog as they are made. So, 2 things to give you the heads-up on.   1) If you haven’t noticed, I’ve placed some ads on the blog’s pages. I was hesitant to do this early on because I didn’t want to distract readers from the posts being published. Another reason – there weren’t a whole lot of visitors to warrant ads… Although MikedUp Blog is no household name, we’ve been fortunate to see a gradual rise in traffic.   It is my hope that you agree these ads are subtle and not overabundant. Thus far – no complaints. Cheers to that!   2) My most recent post – Eliminate bad debt (financial pillar #4) – includes a link where you can buy a book on Amazon – The total money makeover by Dave Ramsey. If you click through this link and make a […]

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