After paying off the houses and contacting the insurance companies to get the bank taken off the binder, I was wondering about the next steps. I called and increased the umbrella insurance policy but that may need to be revisited. Other than that, the next thing that came to mind was the emergency fund. I'm a huge proponent of having $1000 in cash at home. That the true emergency money. I live in an area where ice storms have taken out power for a week. No ATMs, no internet connection, etc. Having cash was the only way to do transactions and if you didn't have cash prior to the event, you were going to have a tough time getting it…

It high time I get back into shape. I have a good workout program, but wanted to add along something to keep it interesting. Queue me remembering all of those Crossfit WODs (workout of the day). Great! I'll go to crossfit.com and see what today's WOD is and get greeted by this: Of course today is a rest day! So the day I decide to workout, I find out is a rest day. Am I good, or am I good!? Time to work on plan B

I got tired of all the arbitrary rent a house versus own a home posts and comments in the world, with everyone spouting their opinion but really had very little information to back it up. I opened up my excel sheet and went to work. I ran the numbers via made up data and also real world data using my personal experience (as a home owner for 20 years using my real world relevant numbers). In almost every scenario it was better to own than to rent. Yes, you read that right. Ownership has its perks. Rentals do have their place but it truly depends on time frame (how long you will live there) and the size of the rental.…

During whaling times, the custom of fashioning a small round button from a section of Sperm Whale tooth and having it mounted to the top of the newel post of your home became popular. The presence of a Newel Post Button told visitors that there were no liens on the property. Hence, over time, the name changed to Mortgage Button. I ordered one a month ago as we paid off the house. It is installed now and while very few visitors go there or will even understand it, all that matters is that we know what it is and what it means to us, so we can smile every time we go by.

When I originally started my robo-investment experiment that I wrote about here: https://carterbrown.com/betterment-vs-acorns-vs-robinhood-an-experiment/ I had no idea how long it was going to go on. Betterment lost out early on as their side by side returns were much lower than Acorns and Acorns had the better (in my opinion) platform and app. Then their debit card and spending account, they also had the IRA feature. In the end, I already have all of this. My accounts are at Fidelity, I have a core spend account there, IRA, Trust accounts, etc. There is just no need to duplicate it. Which is where I found myself: Having way too many accounts and little bits of experimental money in too many different pockets.…

Summer is almost upon us, and while it doesn't feel like it where I love - cold, damp, rainy, the forever spring it seems - the calendar is telling me otherwise and the sun is staying out longer. As soon as the weather cooperates it will be time to get the guys together for some drinks and a fire. I started with the pits I put in last year. Added some play sand on top and lined the side with some old bricks for a classy look. While these don't have the nice cement runways on the side, I don't feel we need them for how we are going to be playing. Only time will tell. Something I can always…

I'm going to take a moment from my regularly scheduled blogging to post a more-than-humble brag today. Today marks the date when my wife and I can call ourselves 100% debt free. We have no debts what-so-ever. No credit cards owed, no car payments owed and we own our homes outright! No, we will not be on the Dave Ramsey show. It's been a long time coming. Lots of long hours, hard work, saving and not splurging on trips and on "want" items. The couch in our living room was one that was given to us. The dogs of torn up the chairs and our deck is falling apart. No worries, already hired a company to come out and replace…

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