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Natural Frugality in Seattle

Natural Frugality in Seattle

I’ve made no secret of the fact that Seattle is not a great home for us in terms of its financial value – it’s a high cost-of-living city, but what it offers doesn’t match up well what we’re looking for in a city. (I have to say that we are really warming up to Seattle with the wonderful spring we’ve been having!)   But despite Seattle’s high cost of living, I’ve observed that we have easily fallen … Read entire article »

Filed under: frugality

Our Biggest Life Transition Yet Is Due this Summer!

Our Biggest Life Transition Yet Is Due this Summer!

As I anticipated when I founded this blog, our major life transitions are now coming fast and furious!   2014: We defended our PhDs and finished grad school. Kyle became a postdoc and I became funemployed.   2015: I moved to DC for 3 months for a fellowship. Kyle got a real job. I started a business. We moved from Durham to Seattle.   2016: We are expecting our first child!     We have been extremely fortunate that both getting pregnant and (so far) being pregnant were easy, smooth experiences. … Read entire article »

Filed under: parenthood, transitions

I Learn Something New about Taxes Every Year

I Learn Something New about Taxes Every Year

My dad loves to encourage me to “learn something new every day,” and that’s certainly a great way to grow. Kyle and I submitted our tax returns last Saturday, and I realized that we learned quite a bit about taxes this year for our personal return. (I additionally learned a lot about grad student taxes, but that was more academic for me.)   This year was our most complicated tax return to prepare to date, and we did … Read entire article »

Filed under: debt, giving, investing, self-employment, taxes, transitions

The Pleasure of Finishing Something

The Pleasure of Finishing Something

I recently won a battle with my perfectionism – or perhaps limped to the finish line is a more accurate illustration! I became aware of how my perfectionist nature was holding me back during grad school, so I knew that as I finished my PhD and transitioned into entrepreneurship I would have to keep it in check. The upside to being a perfectionist is that whatever you do manage to push out the door is … Read entire article »

Filed under: grad school, self-employment

How Losing Track of My Car Title Cost Me Hundreds of Dollars

How Losing Track of My Car Title Cost Me Hundreds of Dollars

In a recent post, I confessed that I lost track of my car title for about six years and only tried to have it sent to me once selling the car became a near-term possibility. I was a terrible fool to ignore that problem for as long as I did, and in the end it took nearly a year for the DMV to mail me my car title. Insane! Of course, I wish I had … Read entire article »

Filed under: cars

March 2016 Budget Report

March 2016 Budget Report

Life in Seattle is really starting to improve for us! There were many days in March that had no rain and/or were quite sunny. Near the end of the month, it got above 60 degrees F on a couple days! The start of daylight savings time has also been amazing – sometimes Kyle comes home when it’s still light out! We are also slowly strengthening our social ties.   Near the beginning of the month, we went … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

Life Lesson: Don’t Lose Track of Your Car Title

Life Lesson: Don’t Lose Track of Your Car Title

When I was growing up, my parents had a large filing cabinet in their home office that was filled with important paperwork. My parents didn’t keep a perfectly clean and clutter-free house or anything, but this filing cabinet was meticulously organized. All the documents my parents wanted to keep track of – from birth certificates to insurance policies to repair records – were safely stored in this cabinet and accessible within moments.   When I moved to … Read entire article »

Filed under: cars

Impulse Purchase for the Win

Impulse Purchase for the Win

In January, Kyle and I did something completely out of character for us: we made a large impulse purchase. We literally fell victim to advertising and the “sale” mentality, but I actually think it turned out to be a great decision! Maybe when you train train train yourself not to make rash or quick spending decisions, the exceptions you make work out?     Kyle subscribes to some of those ridiculous deals-of-the-day type emails. (I’d rather not expose … Read entire article »

Filed under: spending

An Adult-Sized Emergency Fund

An Adult-Sized Emergency Fund

Confession time: Until very recently, Kyle and I didn’t have a proper emergency fund. We had some cash on hand and then of course accessible investments (our house down payment and student loan payoff money), but I figured age-30-with-a-Real-Job was time enough to work on that personal finance 101 advice of having a true emergency fund.   We’ve let this aspect of our financial life slide for so long because our financial life was rather small and … Read entire article »

Filed under: emergency fund

February 2016 Budget Report

February 2016 Budget Report

This was a humdrum month for us financially, except for overspending in some of our variable budget categories. We have basically just been working our new Seattle routine. The weather is definitely changing for the better; February was much warmer than January, and there are sunny and non-rainy days from time to time.   We finished filling up our 2015 Roth IRAs this month – earliest ever! From now until April 15-ish we’re putting our retirement money in my … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review