Selling Out (Part 2 of 4 on my move to San Francisco)

In Part One of this series, I talked about my overall transition to San Francisco. In this entry, I'll talk about some of the stresses involved in moving and cleaning up the personal finance life along with the move. As I wrote about in a series of posts in 2013, I purchased a house in Texas... Lovely carpeted bathroom. Oldest and smallest in … [Read more...]

When Having an Emergency Fund is the Right Move – Or, At Least, Not Counterproductive

We've got a bit of a hangup with emergency funds on this site - we feel that the advice to immediately save 6 months of living expenses in a low-interest high liquidity savings account isn't the best course of action for everyone trying to reduce their debt. In fact, the demand is counterproductive, in many cases.  Savings accounts pay maybe a … [Read more...]

Mortgage Rates versus Inflation Expectations

On Monday, we discussed how to quickly determine the rough inflation expectations in the general market, at least when it comes to CPI.  We also linked you a calculator we built which calculates inflation expectations over various timeframes. All that is well and good - but what can you actually do with that information? Therein lies the … [Read more...]

How Much Did You Save in 2014? (Part 2)

With my colleague PK writing about his 2014 savings rate, I thought that I would chime in as well. Using a loose definition of savings, where principal pay down of debt is included in the numerator, I have an after-tax savings rate of 53.42%. Without including principal paydown of debt, my strict savings rate would be 31.76%. A Note on … [Read more...]

September 2014 Goal Assessment

At the end of last year, I stated that I wanted to pay down ~$34,000 in consumer debt (outside of my mortgage). I am writing today to report on both a level of success and a switch in strategy. How am I faring? In short: decently. I am not currently on track to hit my $34,000 this year. As of today, September 17th, I have ~$16,000 left to go. … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]