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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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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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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Discipline equals financial freedom (Jon and Heather II)

Remember these two?   If you missed the original article, check it out here. Either way, here’s a brief refresher:   In the spring (2016) I wrote an article about Jon and Heather – a young, 20-something couple embarking on their life together. There was a wedding, apartment, a couple of new jobs, and a dumpster-diving brother-in-law (yes, you read that right – see the link above for that story). And as with many millennial couples, there was the albatross of student loans hanging around the young couples neck. About $89,000 worth.   But that’s not all…    There was also a plan. Some termed the plan as crazy; others – inspirational. We’ll leave that up to you. Essentially, the plan was to eliminate the student loan debt. And eliminate it as fast as possible.   Last we heard from these 2, they had paid off close to $52,000 in 8 months!! This was in […]

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Make no excuses

Hi Team! I’ve heard the cries, and the wondering, and the tears (too far??). I’ve been MIA over the past few weeks and although that will happen from time-to-time, I didn’t give you guys (and gals) a heads-up first. My bad. Fear not. We have some great stuff coming for you in the weeks ahead! There are posts with some great holiday tips, helping us to stay fit and to only slightly over-eat. I’ve been doing some reading/listening and plan to share with you some great books and podcasts I’ve read/heard over the past few weeks. The financial pillar (for us millennials) series will resume. Remember Jon and Heather? The young millennial couple working their way out of student loan debt… Well, we have an exciting update for you! We have a new guest-blogger to introduce as well. I’m excited and grateful to have you hear and reading! Talk with you […]

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What are Job Benefits Really Worth?

If you’ve had a job, you’ve had a talk about benefits with your friends or family.   “Well, the salary is a little lower than I’d like but the benefits are nice.” Or, “I need this job for the benefits.” Or, “Benefits. What benefits?” Or, how about this one, “This job has the perfect salary and a ton of benefits!”   We’ve all heard that last one, right?   I had one of these talks with a job searching friend the other day and it spurred this question: How much are job benefits really worth? We’re talking cash value. Healthcare, retirement, time off, and other ‘benefits.’ What percentage of your paycheck. So, compared benefits from different jobs that I’ve had, in addition to jobs of friends, to get a breakdown for the benefits given in 3 different job types (government job, private career-type job, and hourly work job).   Keep […]

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Updates for August ‘16

(Photo by SMW)   Hi Team!   Oh, man, do we have some good things coming up this month. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, though… How are you guys? All’s well I hope. We’re having a great summer over here. Just capped off the 3rd wedding of a sibling in 11 months, the sister-in-law had a baby recently, and we’ve had a great vacation. No dull moments for this family!   As far as MikedUp Blog is concerned, here’s a look a some of what’s ahead for August:   – We’ll start to uncover our Financial pillars for us millennials.   – We also have some big news! Our first contribution from a guest blogger will be published in early August. She has worked in the healthcare field for over 30 years, has been a contributing author on 11 scientific publications, and currently works as a clinical research […]

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July updates – Happy Independence Day!

Hi Team! I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Independence Day! We had a great time visiting friends and are now back home enjoying this July weather.     As we typically do, below are some updates about what to expect with MikedUp Blog’s coming month. Thanks for being here! The conclusion to Why can’t dudes do Zumba too? will be posted this Friday! The first installment was well received and I know the second is full of more outlandish stories… Believe it or not. Oh, and maybe we’ll answer the title question along the way too? After that post, we’ll be taking 2 weeks off from posting our new content. With summer comes vacations, visiting family members, weddings, and other important life activities. We are still developing new content and will continue writing/filming, so fear not – we’ll be coming back strong with our new content after the break! What […]

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