And two that don’t matter

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The problem with wanting to become rich is that there’s no good definition.

If you live in an apartment, you think that homeowners are rich. Us homeowners think that the people who live in mansions are rich. The mansion dwellers think that Oprah is rich.

And Oprah…well, I really hope that Oprah knows she’s rich.

But the very real question you need to grapple with is what makes you so sure you aren’t rich right now? After all, if you’re reading this, you’re doing so on a very powerful device and apparently have some free time.

You’re probably wealthier than…

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In the last post, we talked about why it’s important to have an emergency fund and how big it should be.

But there’s a question we didn’t address: Where should you keep it?

When it comes to selecting a home for your this stash of cash, there’s a few important criteria we need to keep in mind:

  • You need it to be separate from your spending money
  • It has to be liquid (you need easy access to it)
  • You want some sort of interest or return
  • You want it to be safe, preferably insured

The Best Place For Your Money: An Online Savings Account

Having your money in a savings…

Sometimes you don’t have time to play the long game

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If you had to come up with an extra $2,000 in 30 days, would you be able to do it?

The unfortunate reality is that it’s tough to make that much money in such a short period of time. Lots of people have a salary as their primary source of income, and salaries aren’t conducive for pulling in a little extra when needed.

The best way to increase your income is to focus on the long term. You invest time and energy now to set up higher earnings in the future. …

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Here’s a confession: I’m still not 100% sure exactly how much money I should have in my emergency fund.

Sometimes I find myself wanting more, realizing that life can be chaotic and unpredictable and it’s good to have a margin of safety.

Other times I’m frustrated with how much cash is just sitting fallow in a savings account, losing purchasing power to inflation. It’s money that could be earning money if it were invested wisely.

This inner debate is a constant dance between two emotions that are always front-and-center where money is concerned: Fear and greed.

I’m not sure I’ve…

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For most people, transportation is one of their biggest expenses, so it’s worth thinking about how to get it under control.

One option is to buy a late mode used vehicle instead of buying a new car. Even with this option, buying a car will be stressful and expensive, but you can save money.


Every year you own a car, it loses resale value. This is called depreciation and it’s one of the biggest costs of owning a car. You pay top dollar and then resell the vehicle later for much less.

But depreciation isn’t linear. If a car drops…

The big ideas that make it worth reading

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All the Money in the World is a hidden gem of a personal finance book. It’s a lesser known book by a lesser known author who is usually known for writing about another topic.

I usually associate Laura Vanderkam with productivity advice. Books like 168 Hours or What Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast are the ones that usually get mentioned when she’s being introduced.

In fact, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned comes from one of her time management books, Off the Clock.

In that book, she talks about the concept of “memory sinkholes,” which are the dark…

A Guide to Personal Capital

Image source: Author’s Image

By far, my favorite tool to manage my money is Personal Capital. It’s free, it’s easy to use, and it’s incredibly powerful.

In the past, I’ve used Mint and for a while I kept a detailed spreadsheet on Google Sheets. But Personal Capital blows those two approaches out of the water. In this post I’ll walk you through how to use Personal Capital and highlight some of the features that make it the best tool for managing your money.

A Look at the Personal Capital Dashboard

Here’s what it looks like when you log in on a web browser on a computer:

Not all debt is dumb

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If you want to get ahead in personal finance, you need to escape the shackles of debt. As we’ve covered, there are three ways of thinking about what debt is:

  • Borrowing from your future self
  • Signing away your freedom
  • Agreeing to pay more than something is worth

Despite these disadvantages, it’s not always a bad idea to borrow money. The golden rule of borrowing says you should only borrow to build. In other words, only borrow when your expected profit exceeds the cost of borrowing.

This rule suggests that you should avoid consumer debt, but it might be okay to…

And do you really have to spend that much?

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Why are weddings so expensive? Well, it’s a complicated question, but it boils down to three components:

  • There are a lot of cultural expectations around a wedding
  • A wedding is a complicated event involving a lot of moving parts that need to be coordinated
  • Professional services tend to charge more for weddings

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at why weddings are so expensive, why you should buck the trend, as well as some ideas of how to make your wedding cheaper.

How Much Does a Wedding Cost?

According to the wedding planning website The Knot, the average wedding has typically cost…

How to use FIRECalc

FIRECalc is one of the coolest online tools I’ve ever come across.

On this website I try to always run the numbers myself and give you pretty graphs and charts that display the results.

Running the numbers for yourself is great, but doing it can be a lot of work. Especially when you’re considering something like retirement where a lot of variables come into play.

Fortunately, there’s a really powerful, free online tool that use can you to run the numbers yourself. In seconds you can generate results that would take me hours to come up with on my spreadsheets.

Matthew Kent

Done settling for average. Now I have my sights set on awesome 😎 Get “The Ultimate Daily Checklist,” my free ebook on productivity:

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