Financial Blog


Small leaks sink great ships: How little habits can have large consequences

If you've spent any amount of time reading money blogs over the past fifteen years, you've heard of the latte factor. In fact, you're probably sick of hearing about it. This concept — put forth by David Bach in his best-selling The Automatic Millionaire — is based on the idea that daily spending on small […]

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Financial advice from my father (when I was nineteen)

“Who was there for your father when he died?” Kim asked me a few moments ago. She's interested in becoming a death doula, so she's reading a book about end-of-life care. “It's odd you should ask that today,” I said after I told her the story of my father's six-year battle with cancer. “Why?” she […]

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How I learned to stop feeling hopeless about money

J.D.'s note: Last week's talk by Vicki Robin was hosted by the School of Financial Freedom, a Portland-based organization I'm friendly with. At that talk, I met Naomi Veak, one of the school's coaches. She and I have a lot in common (grew up poor in small towns, attended the same college, etc.). I asked […]

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By the numbers: My spending for February 2019

One of my goals in 2019 is to get back to basics. I feel like I've succumbed to lifestyle inflation, so I'm taking the time to track my money in detail (using my fave tool: Quicken 2007 for Mac) in an attempt to identify problem areas. When I find money leaks, I need to decide […]

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What is money for? An evening with Vicki Robin

When I was a boy, my heroes were athletes and astronauts. I dreamed of playing pro football one day. Or, better yet, walking on the moon. As an adult, my heroes are more mundane. They're the people who make personal finance accessible to average people. Long-time readers know that billionaire investor Warren Buffett is one […]

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Two months with HelloFresh: A quick look at the cost and quality of HelloFresh recipes

When I published my first HelloFresh review last June, I liked the popular meal-delivery service. Kim's employer had given us a one-week free trial. The three recipes we received were fun and tasty. In the end, we chose not to sign up with HelloFresh but resolved to remember it for the future. At the end […]

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Saving regret ? and how to avoid it

In November 2018, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a paper called “Saving Regret” [here's the full PDF version]. Once you wade through the study's academic language, there's some interesting stuff here about why people do and don't save for retirement. Saving regret, the authors say, is “the wish in hindsight to have saved […]

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Twenty years of U.S. government inflation data

Inflation is the silent killer of wealth. Year after year, the purchasing power of your dollar (or pound or euro or yen) gradually erodes. My father was one of those “hide money under your mattress” type folks because he believed that was the best way to keep his cash safe. He was wrong. If you […]

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Case study: Deep in debt but scared to take action

Last night, as I do from time to time, I met with a GRS reader. Actually, Debbie doesn't read this site but her sister does. And Debbie means to. Although I met Debbie's sister last year at a Camp FI event, I'd never met Debbie before. “So, what's your situation?” I asked after our waiter […]

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The end of the road: Preparing to buy a new car

Yesterday, Kim and I joined my cousins for an afternoon trip to the Oregon Coast. Our aim was to harvest a bounty of clams. We came home with zero. We managed, however, to harvest a bounty of mussels. Plus, the dog had fun. My cousin Duane carpooled with us to and from the beach. We […]

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