As I was talking recently to a potential client, the term ‘financial freedom” has been mentioned a few times. I heard the term plenty of times before; I know there are many online communities built around it. It has traction so it must be at least semi-legit and yet, I really, really don’t like what it represents. It’s not really the term, I guess. It is the concept behind it.
The whole thing assumes that we cannot live the life that we want to live now. Instead of waking up in the morning and doing the things that we want to do, we need to go to a job that we don’t really like, earn a paycheck, hoard all that cash for the future and live with a countdown to something that is supposed to exhilarate us at some future date. Read More
Our lives are becoming ridiculous. Not in a good way. Ridiculously busy, overscheduled and stressful. You don’t need me to tell you that. You know what you have to do every day just to “survive”. So today, I would like you to think about the list of Nos. When and how do you say no to demands, opportunities and random encounters? Do you have a process, an organized way to decide what to commit to, what to say maybe to, and what to say absolutely not to?
I am the worst at this. I say (or used to say as I am trying to stop that) yes to everything and everyone, in the process stressing out myself, my family and everyone around me by trying to squeeze one more things into the mix. But I am also a person who believes in processes, lists, and an organized way to analyze a problem. As a result, recently, I implemented the following system in order to make better decisions on this topic. I call it my “List of Nos” for work related demands.
Six months ago I signed for my first sprint triathlon. I was excited. This has always been “a thing” I wanted to do. What better present could I give myself for my 36th birthday? Side note: I can think of about 245 better ways right now. In November, I started training. In December, I became discouraged and two weeks ago, I changed it to a duathlon. Last Sunday, I finished the race in way better time than expected and yet, it feels like a failure. This is just like our money life. We all set expectations in life, we set goals and then we fail and give up. So today, I want to talk about the few things that I learned from my “failed” triathlon. I promise it has lots to do with your money.Read More
My mother is a high school counselor at a really good high school in FL. If you didn’t know, October is the early admission scramble month. Most of the applications are due November 1st so we had a few conversations over the last few day about why some kids choose to apply to specific schools even though it may not be worth to do so financially. And how do you even know if it is worth to apply and go to one school versus another when the price tags are so different? October is also the new FAFSA deadline month so in its honor, let’s talk about college today.Read More
Life insurance is not for us. It is for the person who needs to take care of things after there is no more us. Continuing with the benefits-related month, today, I would like to touch on two things related to life insurance. As you are thinking about your life insurance needs, here are two things to consider. Read More
It’s September and in the benefits world, this is known as AE or Annual Enrollment. To roll with the theme, today, we will talk about health insurance and how to choose what’s right for you. If you have multiple plans to choose from, putting some thought into potentially changing your health insurance for 2018 is time well spent. When I got my job at Cal State, I was presented with 12 health plans to choose from. No one needs 12 options, I promise you. But I take these things seriously, so 10 hours later, I was still choosing my plan. How do you make your choice?
The major plans are HMOs, PPOs and HDHPs. How is that for acronyms? What is the difference? Pretty much what doctor you can see and how/how much you pay for it. Here is a great primer video to get you the basics if you are not 100% sure how the types of plans differ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coSyGQI28eM
This is not easy stuff so here are my top 5 things to think about when you are selecting your employer health insurance for the upcoming year.Read More
It has been a long time I was around here. Life gets in the way of things like this. There is always some emergency to solve or something to figure out. Not an excuse, but I have also been a little busy writing a personal finance book, which will be coming out around Thanksgiving. However, for the rest of the year, we will be working diligently on getting some knowledge around finances in this blog. Here is what’s coming up between September and December:
- Each month will be dedicated to a specific topic. I am committing to two blog posts per month, coming every other Tuesday and I want you to keep me accountable to this promise.
- The month of September is all about your benefits. Annual enrollment is coming up and we will discuss some things related to how to choose your benefits. October will be about going to college/sending your kids to college in “honor” of the new FAFSA deadline. In November, we will move to investments and in December, we will focus on getting help for all things finance related.
- In addition to the posts I will be creating, I will try to post useful articles related to the same topic on the off Tuesdays. I will be posting those to LinkedIn (Inga Chira), the Facebook page for Attainable Wealth and Twitter (IngaChira). Make sure find me on the preferred platform if you have a special interest in any of these topics.
I look forward to getting back into writing the blog.
Many of us are opposed to being in debt. I am no exception. Despite any logical argument I can frame for others, on some instinctual level, I do not like debt. And yet, I am going to try to convince you today to think twice before pre-paying your cheap debt.
Recently, I went through 2 months of training on debt. More than ever, I know that paying off cheap debt is a financial suicide. Let’s walk through some numbers and make it more scientific.
Here is the deal: you can pay off your mortgage, student loans, etc. and be free or you can continue making payments but be better off a few years down the road. Let me quantify this. Imagine you have a $400k mortgage with 20 years to go, a $20k car loan with 5 years to go and about $20k in student loans with 10 years to go…. your total monthly payment is about $3k. Let’s say your mortgage is at 4.25%, your car is at 1% and your student loans, at 4% (all realistic given our current interest rate environment). Let’s also imagine that you have an extra $200 per month to do whatever you want with. Here are 3 scenarios, see which one you prefer:Read More