Which Income Class Are You In? How Do You Rank?

Income Class

“The other people that live on this lake aren’t uber-wealthy are they? No, they’re middle-class, right?….Like us!” …said one of our friends that earns over $200,000 a year….

I literally had to bite my lip to keep from entering the conversation.

Middle-class like you? You really think you’re middle class? In what fairy-tale world do you live where $200,000 a year is considered middle-class?

Instead of blurting out my brash comments, I decided to suppress them, do some research, and then plaster my findings passively all over this website! Lol.

Which Income Class Are You In?

While I was delving into the details of the income classes, I naturally grew curious around where Liz and I landed on the income spectrum, and then where we might land in the future with our growing rental empire (which at this moment is an “empire” of one… ;)). So of course if I’m . . . → Read More: Which Income Class Are You In? How Do You Rank?

Money and Patience: How to Keep Going When Financial Progress is Slow

financial progress

I recently had a bit of set back in my own journey that caused me to start thinking (read: stressing out) about my perceived lack of financial progress. I’d made some investments in my business, client payments were late and I had to pull from my emergency fund to pay the credit card bill.

To some people, they would read this and say, “Eh, that’s no big deal.” But I’m emotional in these kinds of situations. To me, it was more like “I worked so hard to save that money and now I had to use it. This means it’s going to take me longer to reach my savings goal!”

This started a downward spiral where I felt like I wasn’t clear on what I want out of my finances and some goals seem like they are eons into the future. I felt like a fraud.

Fortunately, I did . . . → Read More: Money and Patience: How to Keep Going When Financial Progress is Slow

How We Survive (and Thrive) on Just One Income (and How You Can Too!!)

Just One Income

I knew we lived simply, but how in the heck do we survive on just 1/3 of our income with my wife being a stay-at-home mom?

Do I earn a six-figure salary at my day job?

Nope.

Well then we must be living in an RV in my parents’ driveway, right?

Ummm, not even close.

How We Survive (and Thrive) on Just One Income

Liz and I live in a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home in a fantastic area of town. We go out to eat almost every weekend and give 10% of our income away to our favorite charities. For the most part we’re pretty normal, so how is it that we only need 33% of our one income to survive?

There are FOUR main reasons.

1) We Paid Off Our Mortgage

My last relationship failed and like most, the majority of our fights circled around the topic of . . . → Read More: How We Survive (and Thrive) on Just One Income (and How You Can Too!!)

How to Get Motivated to Dig Out of Debt

Motivated to Dig Out of Debt

“Well, that’s a relief,” I told my husband. “With that kind of raise, we should be totally fine!”

Looking back on that conversation is kind of like watching a horror movie. You’re looking on yelling, “No! Don’t open that door!” Meanwhile the oblivious buffoon on the screen flings the door open to their inevitable demise.

Yeah, I would say I was a bit of an oblivious buffoon at the time. What I should have realized is that we had been given an opportunity to knock out our debt. In reality, I didn’t even know for sure how much we owed the credit card companies, because I was afraid of what the calculator would tell me.

So I happily ignored the cards, assuming that paying what I could here and there would make them disappear eventually. After all, we’d struggled to make ends meet for a long time. We deserved . . . → Read More: How to Get Motivated to Dig Out of Debt

The Average Debt Load in America is $100,000 – How Do You Compare?

average debt load in America

The goal of this site is to prompt you to be weird beyond belief. And by that I mean wealthy. The average American is broke. Actually, the average American is worse than broke, they’re $100,000 in debt. According to Nerdwallet, debt is on the rise again:

The average credit card debt is $6,184. On top of this, add car loans, student loans, and mortgage debt to the mix and the average debt load in America is $99,835.73.

For some of you, this might actually seem low. Your mortgage debt alone probably totals more than $100,000. And if that’s the case, you’re worse than the average.

The Average Road

At one point in my life, I was $18,000 in student loan debt, a few thousand bucks in credit card debt, and I had a mortgage of $70,000. I was pretty much average according to the charts above.

Some of you . . . → Read More: The Average Debt Load in America is $100,000 – How Do You Compare?

Two Ways to Keep Your Emotions in Check While Managing Money

keep your emotions in check while managing money

When I first started learning about managing money, I was an emotional mess. I’d just graduated from college, had gone six months without a job and saw no real recourse for getting my finances in order.

The good news is I used this as motivation to start teaching myself about personal finance. The way I saw it, I didn’t have a choice but to get it together in the managing money department.

I’ve now been on this journey for almost seven years, and what I’ve learned is this: The key to managing money is to keep your emotions out of it. Here are some of the tools and practices I use in order to keep my emotions in check when I’m managing money.

This post was written by Amanda Abella, a fantastic writer and speaker of personal finance.

I don’t check my investments everyday.

The stock market is a prime . . . → Read More: Two Ways to Keep Your Emotions in Check While Managing Money

Getting Rich with the Lottery – It’s Just Not Happening

Getting Rich With the Lottery

The odds of winning the Powerball are 1 in 292 million. That means that if you bought 10 tickets every single week, it would still take you 562,000 years to win the jackpot. Did you catch that? 562…thousand…years.

Whoa.

Let’s face it…it’s just not going to happen.

People are aware of the odds, and they know that they probably won’t win in a million years (funny, this phrase can finally be used literally!), so why do they still play? What makes them think that this is a good idea for them? And what might be a better alternative?

Getting Rich With the Lottery – It’s Just Not Happening

According to the recent Wired magazine article, “The Psychology of Lotteries“, people buy lottery tickets for two main reasons:

It gives them a cheap high – and a chance at becoming a millionaire They lost all hope of becoming rich any other . . . → Read More: Getting Rich with the Lottery – It’s Just Not Happening

The Unbelievable Power of Belief

Power of Belief

I was 19 years old bowling with friends when one of them asked, “How much money would it take for you to walk up to a complete stranger and stick your tongue in their ear?” (FYI…this is the G rated version of the actual question…but there’s no need to go into the embarrassing details of my childhood, right…?). It was definitely a strange question, but I had no idea how profound it really was until many years later…

The Unbelievable Power of Belief

To me, the question wasn’t so much about “How gross would it be?” or “How much trouble could this get me into?”. Since I wouldn’t want to stick my tongue in someone else’s ear in a million years, I thought about the question like this, “How much money do I think I can earn in my lifetime?”…because that’s what it was going to take for me to . . . → Read More: The Unbelievable Power of Belief

How to Get Completely Debt Free by 30

completely debt free

I graduated from college at the age of 23 and was worth -$10,000. Over the next 7 years, I married, divorced, remarried, and still came out completely debt free (including the house) by the time I turned 30.

How the heck did I do that?

How to Get Completely Debt Free by 30

I honestly didn’t think I was doing anything that spectacular at the time. Sure, I was a little more aggressive than most, but was I super-human in my efforts to pay off my student loans, my credit cards, and my house? Nope. Absolutely anyone could have done what I did over those seven years.

Looking back, I attribute my financial success to the following reasons – all of which you can implement and use for your success as well!

1) I Got Scared

Everything was new. We just recently graduated, found an apartment, and were living on . . . → Read More: How to Get Completely Debt Free by 30

4 Ways a Thousand Dollars Can Change Your Life

a thousand dollars can change your life

According to a recent study performed by Carnegie Mellon, if you handed $1,000 to a millennial, the men would go out and buy a TV and stereo equipment, and the women would come home with bags full of clothes. Not that big of a shocker huh?

But let’s be honest, would we be any better if someone handed us a thousand bucks with no strings attached?

Doubtful.

How a Thousand Dollars Can Change Your Life

I started writing on this blog back in 2010, and to be honest…I was terrible. I wrote as if I knew everything, but in reality I had experienced nothing and the only people I knew were the middle class or upper-middle class.

Today, I’ve got years of writing, research, and speaking under my belt and I can teach from experience. Especially on this seemingly innocent topic centered around $1,000.

Why is it so important . . . → Read More: 4 Ways a Thousand Dollars Can Change Your Life