FICO is a Corporation

Much has been written about the recent change in the FICO scoring system from both mainstream media and personal finance blogosphere. Using my compelling inside information and incredible subject matter expertise, I can insist that it will not make much of a difference. What?  Huh? First, a little background. Fair Isaac (FICO) is a publicly … [Read more...]

Time and Well-Being

Everybody has heard the old adage “Time is money,” but very few have considered what it means in their own lives. Every hour you spend on something could potentially be costing you lost wages, leisure, lost weight (through exercise), skills, hobbies, etc. When taken literally, time is entirely interchangeable with money. Money can buy you time … [Read more...]

Emergency Funds are Overrated: Part Three of Three

(Read parts one and two.) In the first two articles, I covered: How important it is to be cash flow positive How to cover very small shortfalls with credit How to cover truly large expenses with different forms of insurance. The most important large unplanned expenses that could potentially be covered by an emergency fund are the … [Read more...]

Emergency Funds are Overrated: Part Two of Three

In part one on Monday, I wrote about how credit cards can provide short-term liquidity where emergency funds would typically be recommended. In this article, I will write about how most "emergencies" people list as reasons for an emergency fund are not true emergencies and can be easily planned for (and anything that is above and beyond can be … [Read more...]

Emergency Funds are Overrated: Part One of Three

Emergency funds are a controversial topic that have always irked the writers here at DQYDJ. Okay: overall, we think they are a decent idea... but the singular focus on obtaining one despite the (usually ignored) costs is  the incorrect focus for most financial prioritization decisions. In this series, I will lay out three reasons why emergency … [Read more...]

It’s a Matter of Principle (Principal)

I try to run my personal finances like I would run a business: Use debt to leverage high ROE assets. Limit expenses and maximize revenues by exploring future potential revenue streams. This manifests itself in many ways in my life... and how I pay my bills. When a bill is due, I wait until the last possible day to make the payment. After … [Read more...]

Maintaining a Debt Paydown Strategy

Recently, I stated that one of my goals for 2014 is to pay down my consumer debt of ~$34,000. My colleague PK also recently wrote about personal finance being much more than simple debt payoff. Surprisingly, PK and I have recently settled on a similar short term goal of deleveraging in 2014. This puts our goals (this sentence makes me feel … [Read more...]

My Resolve About Resolutions

It's the time of the year for New Year's resolutions and an assessment of how 2013 went for myself. Financially, it was a good year for the market, with the S&P 500 returning ~31% with dividends. I did a little better in my 401k at 34% so I must say without a shadow of a doubt that I am producing outsized alpha in my mutual fund selection. More … [Read more...]

Keeping Up with the Joneses: Risk Tolerance

Much has been made on the blogosphere and even on our own website about keeping up with the Joneses, the desire to maintain expenses similar to your neighbors. They bought a new Infiniti, why shouldn't I? A similar, yet different, concept is the idea of lifestyle creep, the slow build-up of "necessary" expenses as your income increases. I myself … [Read more...]

Ode to you, Spirit Airlines

I have a confession to make. I love Spirit Airlines. To those who have not flown Spirit Airlines before, they are known as a low-cost carrier that charges for many services that other airlines provide for free*. Fees range from using an in-person customer service representative at check-in to carrying on your bag. They don't provide even a free … [Read more...]