Evolving Personal Finance » savings

The 80/20 Rule Applied to Personal Finance

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 (and counter-arguments) really got me thinking about how simple most of personal finance is. Really, … Read entire article »

Filed under: budgeting, savings

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

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? What if the incomes are highly skewed? How do you account for taxes and saving … Read entire article »

Filed under: budgeting, savings

What We Did in Graduate School to Enable Our Risky Career Decisions

What We Did in Graduate School to Enable Our Risky Career Decisions

Since our move to Seattle, Kyle and I have been meeting lots of new people as well as updating our friends and acquaintances about the changes in our life. These conversations often go as follows:   new person: So what brought you to Seattle? Kyle: I got a job at a small biotech start-up. new person: Oh, wow! That’s great. And what do you do? me: I’m self-employed. I’m starting a business teaching graduate students about personal finance. new person: A … Read entire article »

Filed under: career, choices, savings, self-employment

What to Do About a Large Reimbursable Expense

What to Do About a Large Reimbursable Expense

In May, I went on an interview and incurred some incidental reimbursable costs for food and transportation (my flight and hotel were paid directly by the company). Also in May, Kyle registered for a conference; in June he booked his flight to the conference; in July he paid for his lodging and food at the conference. All of his costs were reimbursable as well, but not until after he returned.   My costs were only $85, so … Read entire article »

Filed under: career, emergency fund, savings

Why We Aren’t Contributing to Our New 401(k)

Why We Aren’t Contributing to Our New 401(k)

Kyle’s new postdoc position comes with a benefit neither of us have ever had before – access to a 401(k). (Okay, it’s a 403(b) because it’s through our university, but I’m going to call it 401(k) in this post.) However, we have (mostly) decided not to set up contributions to it. I’ll tell you our reasoning and then you can let me know if we’re missing anything and should change our decision.   Accounts Prioritization   Up to this … Read entire article »

Filed under: career, retirement, savings

Becoming Hundred Thousandaires

Becoming Hundred Thousandaires

Kyle and I officially have a net worth of over $100,000!  I’m so excited to reach this milestone, but how it happened precisely has taken the wind out of my sails a little bit.  But it probably shouldn’t have.  See below.  😉   Slow and Steady   One afternoon last week, I had some time to kill waiting in a parking lot, so I became absorbed in our Mint account (naturally).  This was the net worth balance I saw … Read entire article »

Filed under: family, savings

A New Appreciation for Living Below Our Means

A New Appreciation for Living Below Our Means

Kyle and I are coming up on our first big financial transitions – something I’ve anticipated since the founding of this blog.  I always thought that our post-PhD lives would offer an opportunity for lifestyle inflation, but instead I’m grateful that we live sufficiently below our means to absorb an income cut.  This week, I have a new appreciation for our budgeting system and how clearly it delineates between wants and needs.  On top of … Read entire article »

Filed under: budgeting, career, savings, targeted savings, transitions

Grad School vs. Blogging vs. Career vs. Money

Grad School vs. Blogging vs. Career vs. Money

It’s finally time to give you all a life update!  As I’ve hinted a few times recently, there have been some big changes in our plans.     Grad School   Last week, my advisor made the official announcement that he is moving to another university at the end of the summer.  He first alerted us to the possibility back in January, so I’ve had a few months to assimilate the news.  At that time, he and I discussed it … Read entire article »

Filed under: blogging, career, grad school, income, savings

Financial Tweaks for Our New Year

Financial Tweaks for Our New Year

Kyle and I have been so busy with work in the past few months that we have really left our money management on autopilot.  I haven’t even played with spending scenarios recently, as I love to do!  But even without me looking for issues to tweak, three areas of our budget have popped up with some needed updates.   Take-Home Pay Increase   We noticed that the take-home pay we received at the end of in January was slightly … Read entire article »

Filed under: budgeting, food, savings, spending, targeted savings, taxes

When to Pass Up a Company Retirement Match

When to Pass Up a Company Retirement Match

I know this is practically heresy around the personal finance community, but I don’t think everyone should contribute to his 401(k) or equivalent, even when a company retirement match is available.  I didn’t think that I held that opinion until I advised a coaching client to pass up his unlimited 100% company 401(k) match.   I am supposed to advise my coaching clients according to the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps, perhaps with some reasonable modifications.  Starting Baby … Read entire article »

Filed under: budgeting, choices, investing, retirement, savings