Category Archives Money

I picked up a new wood shed a little late in the year, as it took a full month to get it even after ordering. The wait was worth it. 6 x 10 and holds roughly 3 cords. Whomever invented this deserves the Nobel peace prize. What would have taken me all day, was shortened into three quick hours. I love heating our house with wood. It surprisingly heats our home quite well as it is well insulated and the double staircases let the heat go up one and push the cold air from the upstairs down to be warmed up and recirculated. Brilliant, even if by accident. Always look for ways to save money. Wood is inexpensive but laborious…

I am currently stuck. I sit around nightly vexing over all the different ways I can invest, their returns, risk and my trying to to maximize the % return and weighing all the different options. Real estate? Should I go for single family, duplex, in-town, out of state? Maybe owning a vacation rental? Just keep it in the market? FXAIX is my favorite fund right now. Fidelity SP500 Fund. If I just look at the returns alone I would be better off in that, but then again I would like to diversify so I don't have all my eggs in one basket - as the old saying goes. I have what is lovingly called: Analysis Paralysis. I sit, calculate over…

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…

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.…

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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