A Frugal Business Trip

A Frugal Business Trip

Last month I achieved something I’ve wanted for several months but never pulled off: a frugal trip for a speaking engagement. I minimized the costs both to me and to my host for various aspects of my travel.   First, to back up to my previous speaking trips: they were surprisingly unfrugal, at least in comparison to my typical personal travel experiences.   The costs I can’t do much about are the flight, which is a necessary large cost … Read entire article »

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January 2016 Budget Report

February 5th, 2016 | 5 Comments

January 2016 Budget Report

We made a few adjustments to our budget this month and are gearing up for more changes this spring.   First, we are going to budget off of Kyle’s salary alone instead of his salary plus my contractor income as we were last fall. This month, in addition to Kyle’s salary I did have contractor income and I paid myself part of … Read entire article »

Picking Up the Check

January 25th, 2016 | 10 Comments

Picking Up the Check

Here’s one perk to being a grad student: everyone pities you. Wait, that doesn’t sound like a perk… I’ll rephrase. When you’re a PhD student, people with real jobs assume you are poor. They either think you’re taking on debt for your extended schooling or know that you’re living on a small stipend. The perk is that this pity often … Read entire article »

The 80/20 Rule Applied to Personal Finance

January 20th, 2016 | 4 Comments

The 80/20 Rule Applied to Personal Finance

I’m sure that most of you are familiar with the 80/20 rule or the Pareto principle, but in case you aren’t…   The basic idea is that 80% of outcomes can be attributed to 20% of causes (Investopedia). This originated as a business principle but has been loosely applied in many other areas.     This post from Money Peach on excuses for not budgeting … Read entire article »

How Much Is YOUR Life Worth?

January 15th, 2016 | 27 Comments

How Much Is YOUR Life Worth?

Kyle and I had one of our rare money disagreements last week. The (temporary) conclusion is that we need more information before making a decision, which is where you come in!   We decided that it’s high time we bought life insurance as I’m rather financially dependent on Kyle while I’m growing my business. We also want to have kids in the … Read entire article »

Lifestyle Inflation Analysis

January 6th, 2016 | 10 Comments

Lifestyle Inflation Analysis

One of the big purposes of me creating this blog, right from the beginning, was to keep Kyle and I from succumbing to lifestyle inflation as we transitioned out of grad school and into our careers. I knew that many people, upon experiencing a jump in salary, would mindlessly let their spending increase across various areas of their budget. I … Read entire article »

December 2015 Budget Report

January 1st, 2016 | 15 Comments

December 2015 Budget Report

We took an extra long Christmas break this year because we skipped out on traveling for Thanksgiving. Kyle used up all but one of his vacation days! We spent several days up through Christmas Eve with Kyle’s family in California, took a Christmas morning red-eye, then spent Christmas and several days following with my family in Virginia, and returned to … Read entire article »

Lessons Learned from My First Year Building a Public Speaking Business

December 7th, 2015 | 10 Comments

Lessons Learned from My First Year Building a Public Speaking Business

A bit over a year ago, I gave my first presentation as a (future professional) public speaker. Last month, I received a speaking fee check that was – for the first time – in the full amount that I had requested from my host. While I have certainly grown as a speaker in the intervening year, the biggest lessons I’ve … Read entire article »

November 2015 Budget Report

December 4th, 2015 | 11 Comments

November 2015 Budget Report

Good things about this month: I had two speaking gigs and finalized one last booking for 2015 college basketball has started we celebrated Thanksgiving twice with local friends we saw a friend from Durham while he was in town for a conference there have been some sunny days   We did a pretty good job with our spending, too, even with Thanksgiving! We booked our Christmas travel … Read entire article »

Living on One Income: What to Do with the Other?

November 9th, 2015 | 26 Comments

Living on One Income: What to Do with the Other?

With Kyle’s and my new phase of life comes a new phase of our budgeting methods. We are trying to live on Kyle’s income alone for all our expenses and save my income.   “Living on one income” (for two people) has always sounded nice to me but also a bit vague and arbitrary. Which income would you choose to budget around? … Read entire article »