Mortgages and Taxes

Tax season is here, and we just received our annual mortgage interest statement from our bank. It is somewhat depressing to see how much money went to pay interest on our loan, but cool thing about it this year is that we paid about half as much in interest than…

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2015 Goal #1 : Mortgage Reduction

Last year one of my goals, actually a goal for both my wife and I, was to make a serious dent in our mortgage. We set a fairly aggressive long-term goal to have our house paid off by our 10 year anniversary in July of 2016. We moved into our…

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Home Mortgage Tax Deduction – Part 1 : Intro

Have you ever had a moment where you realized that something the majority of the population hold as true was actually a bad idea? You believed that idea for many years, and those telling you seemed to have good data to back their claim, so you just ran with it?…

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Life Insurance: Why?

Let’s talk about a really fun topic today: life insurance. Before we get to that exciting topic, I want to excite you even more with a short meta-post. I sat down and started to write this really long post – what would have amounted to 5+ pages, complete with tables and numbers…

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Budget Basics: Saving for Car Expenses

When we first started using a written budget about 5 years ago, one of the first semi-irregular expenses that we had to start budgeting for was car maintenance. Up until that point, if a tire wore out or a battery needed to be replaced, we just whipped out the credit card, and worked…

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Vacation on a Budget – Part 4 – Recap and Lessons Learned

This is part 3 in a series about vacationing on a budget. Recap I’ve said it before, and will do so again – by budget I do not mean “cheap”, I mean “a plan” – on paper, on purpose, before the trip began. There are many people who take far…

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Vacation on a Budget – Part 3 – Remaining Expenses

This is part 3 in a series about vacationing on a budget. As a quick recap, our budget for the entire trip was $2,400. We broke it down into the following categories: $1,200 for lodging (50%) $300 for gas (12.5%) $400 for food, groceries, supplies (16.7%) $500 for activities (20.8%)…

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Vacation on a Budget – Part 2 – Where to Stay

In part 1, I went over our budget for our 2013 Family Vacation. Our total budget was $2,400 cash. We had saved up that amount in a savings account, and had no more than that to spend. Our rough breakdown was: $1,200 for lodging (50%) $300 for gas (12.5%) $400…

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Vacation on a Budget – Part 1 – Establishing a Budget

Our family loves to travel. During the first 3 years of our marriage, we would travel over 500 miles from home at least 3 times a year. One year we went to Hawaii, San Francisco, Texas, and it seems like at least one other place in that year. One year…

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Private Insurance

It has been a long time since I have written anything of substance, so why not break the hiatus and write about a very exciting subject – health insurance. Maybe this is a bit personal, but I am not going to reveal how much my family earns, nor how much of our…

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