Evolving Personal Finance » Archive

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

October 2015 Budget Report

October 2015 Budget Report

October was our third full month living in Seattle, so our expenses are becoming more regular/predictable, which is great.   I traveled three times in October for my business, all three times to California. The weather in Seattle quickly transitioned in October from summer-ish to winter-ish (at least, that’s how it feels to us!), so my jaunts to warm, sunny California reminded me of the importance of our goal to move there sooner rather than later.     Other than … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

Irregular Expenses Are Still Kicking Our Butts!

Irregular Expenses Are Still Kicking Our Butts!

Somehow I thought that doubling our income would solve our irregular expenses problems, but I guess I was wrong!   Our targeted savings accounts were our budgetary saviors during grad school. Our income was pretty low, so irregular expenses like plane tickets and car repairs would have totally overwhelmed our available cash flow in a given month. Our targeted savings account converted large irregular expenses to small regular expenses and helped us plan, save, and make spending … Read entire article »

Filed under: targeted savings

Living in Someone Else’s Awesome

Living in Someone Else’s Awesome

Last year I posted an explanation of why high cost-of-living cities are so expensive: a lot of people think they are awesome and want to live there. At that time, Kyle and I were living in a medium cost-of-living city that we thought was great but not ideal. Now, we have moved to not only a high cost-of-living city but a city that is rapidly expanding both in population and cost (Seattle). And for us, … Read entire article »

Filed under: housing

September 2015 Money Puddle and Spending Report

September 2015 Money Puddle and Spending Report

This was our second full month living in Seattle and our spending is finally settling down. We have our apartment more or less fully furnished and stocked now. We have a weekly routine and we picked a church to attend.   This was a very fun month as we are now starting to explore the city a bit. We are trying to figure out what our new hobbies will be, so we took a stand-up paddleboarding lesson. … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review

Seattle Staycation with Another Couple

Seattle Staycation with Another Couple

Last week we had our first houseguests in our Seattle apartment! My sister and her boyfriend came to see us for a long weekend – they were here from Thursday morning to Monday morning. My sister said she wanted to spend “100%” of the whole long weekend with me, so I took Thursday and Friday off from work (and the weekend, too – I usually work quite a bit on Saturdays and sometimes on Sundays). … Read entire article »

Filed under: travel

Running a Location-Independent Business from the Same Room Every Day

Running a Location-Independent Business from the Same Room Every Day

When I stumbled into self-employment, I accidentally created what is apparently a very coveted form of entrepreneurship: running a location-independent business.   Nearly all of my time spent working could be done anywhere (with an internet connection). On a day-to-day basis, I don’t have to be anywhere in particular, and I spend my time writing, producing videos, talking to people over the phone/Skype, rehearsing my presentations, and interacting with people through social media. On a few days … Read entire article »

Filed under: self-employment

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

Avoiding an Expensive 401(k) Plan through Self-Employment

Avoiding an Expensive 401(k) Plan through Self-Employment

Kyle finally received the 401(k) plan information from his new employer about 6 weeks after starting work. When he told me the plan offered American funds, my heart sank! The stereotype I have about American funds is that they have loads and high expense ratios. When we looked at the plan documentation, we didn’t find any load disclosures (thankfully), but the expense ratios were approximately an order of magnitude higher than what we have in … Read entire article »

Filed under: retirement, self-employment

August 2015 Money Puddle and Spending Report

August 2015 Money Puddle and Spending Report

I was wrong about this month being a bloodbath on the income side. I mean, I was right about that, but this month was also a bloodbath on the expenses side! We had to furnish our apartment with a few new items we didn’t need in Durham and also stock our fridge and cabinets with food and household consumables. Those expenses were all distributed across “Groceries” and “Furnishings” in probably not a very consistent manner, … Read entire article »

Filed under: month in review