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...]

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...]

After You Pay Off Your Debt, Then What?

There's a virus spreading around Personal Finance sites (and yes, at least 30% of the time, we're one) - a virus which infects both blogs and writers alike.  I'm talking, of course, about the obsession with debt-pay-down to the exclusion of all other notable personal finance topics. What?  A Debt Payoff Virus? Is it realistic for a virus or a … [Read more...]