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Author: Corey

Hi, I’m Corey and I am one half of The FI Guys (the less cool half… Seriously Allen is way cooler). I was born, raised, and attended college in Rhode Island. After getting my degree in computer science, I moved to Boston with my girlfriend (now my wife) and immediately went to work for a tech company as a software engineer. My pursuit of frugal living then led me to uproot my life and move to Columbus, OH, where I now reside and work comfortably from my home office as a DevOps Engineer. Read More

Corey’s Financial Independence Update – August 2018

journey to FI on a winding road

Welcome to another post in my Financial Independence Update series! If you don’t know what the purpose of this series is, please read this first. This month, I am covering August of 2018.

I want to follow this particular format in these posts:

  • Main Goal(s). This will talk about my main financial goal(s) that I set out for the particular time period.
  • Ups and Downs. This will be a general reflection of what went well, what did not go well, and some improvements I am looking to make.
  • Financial Picture. This is not a net worth update. In this section, I will talk about how I deployed my cash in a way that improved my financial situation and why I did it the way that I did.
  • Looking Forward. In this last section, I will talk about what I plan on doing going forward. This can include how I plan on deploying cash, any changes in my strategy, or any significant expected changes in my financial situation in general.

My Top 4 Financial Independence Books

old books on a shelf

A common thread in the financial independence community is reading books. It is one of the best ways to learn, relax, and grow. Some of the most successful people in the world are voracious readers, and even say that reading everyday is key to success.

So, where should you start? I believe that there are 4 books that everybody should start with on their path to financial independence. Don’t get me wrong – these 4 books are not the “best” books, nor are they the only books you should be reading. I simply believe that these 4 books are a great starting point to achieving financial independence. Without further ado, let’s get to reading!

DISCLAIMER: The post will contain affiliate links that gives The FI Guys commission.

Corey’s Financial Independence Update – July 2018

journey to FI on a winding road

Welcome to another post in my Financial Independence Update series! If you don’t know what the purpose of this series is, please read this first. This month, I am covering July of 2018.

I want to follow this particular format in these posts:

  • Main Goal(s). This will talk about my main financial goal(s) that I set out for the particular time period.
  • Ups and Downs. This will be a general reflection of what went well, what did not go well, and some improvements I am looking to make.
  • Financial Picture. This is not a net worth update. In this section, I will talk about how I deployed my cash in a way that improved my financial situation and why I did it the way that I did.
  • Looking Forward. In this last section, I will talk about what I plan on doing going forward. This can include how I plan on deploying cash, any changes in my strategy, or any significant expected changes in my financial situation in general.

Before diving in, I just want to give you a heads up on what you are going to read. This month, the main focus was experiencing life a bit more than usual. My wife and I had some profound conversations about money and life, which was reflected in July’s overall spending. I’ll explain more below!

Corey’s Financial Independence Update – 2018 Part 1

Welcome to the first post in my Financial Independence Update series! If you don’t know what the purpose of this series is, please read this first. This being the first post in the series, I will cover the entire first half of 2018, so it might be a longer one. Every post after this will cover one month, with the next post covering July.

I want to follow this particular format in these posts:

  • Main Goal(s). This will talk about my main financial goal(s) that I set out for the particular time period.
  • Ups and Downs. This will be a general reflection of what went well, what did not go well, and some improvements I am looking to make.
  • Financial Picture. This is not a net worth update. In this section, I will talk about how I deployed my cash in a way that improved my financial situation and why I did it the way that I did.
  • Looking Forward. In this last section, I will talk about what I plan on doing going forward. This can include how I plan on deploying cash, any changes in my strategy, or any significant expected changes in my financial situation in general.

How Tax Reform Changed My IRA Strategy

retired couple relaxing on a bench

Retirement accounts are key to achieving financial independence. However, with all of the different types of accounts, it can be challenging to know which ones to use. Throw taxes into the mix and retirement planning gets even more complex! Throw early retirement into the mix and now you are royally screwed! The good news is that this post is going to discuss two types of accounts: Traditional IRA and Roth IRA. Specifically, how the new tax reform changed my IRA contribution strategy.

Brief Lesson On IRAs

Before I get into tax reform, let me give you a refresher on IRAs.

Personal Finance 101 – Starting Your First Budget

balancing your budget

The FI equation can be summed up as IncomeExpenses = Net Income. From there, net income (whatever is left over) can be invested into assets that grow, which eventually grow large enough to allow you to retire. One issue here is that too many people focus on the income side of the equation and completely forget about the expenses side. This makes sense, as income is easier to understand because it typically comes from one source (a job) while expenses come from many. Well, it’s time for you to start focusing on the expenses side with the use of a budget.

A large majority of Americans do not budget. According to Hanscom Federal Credit Union, 41% of Americans in 2014 said they used a budget. While this number was up from 2013, I believe we can do better. Creating a budget and sticking to it is a key practice of financial independence. It not only helps achieve FI, it also helps you stay FI. You want to keep the wealth you have worked so hard to build, so you need to make sure you budget.

If you don’t have a budget, you’re in the right place. I hope that you are ready to create your budget after reading this post. The art of budgeting can be split up into two main activities: tracking and evaluating.

Before I continue, let me just say that tracking and evaluating are typically done on a monthly basis. I’ll explain more below. Let’s dive into each category and help you start your first budget!

Car Ownership: The True Cost and Why I Sold My Car

car - black mercedes benz

Let’s face it: you probably need a car, but you probably don’t need your current car. If you commute to work, run errands, or do anything else, then a car makes your life significantly easier. But do you need a flashy, expensive car to accomplish those things? Having said that, do you really know how much your car is costing you? If you knew, would you still be driving it? Would you downgrade?

Look, I am not going to tell you to sell your car and only ride your bike everywhere. I am also not here to shame you for owning a car. Financial Independence is about creating the life you want to live. If cars are one area of your life you do not want to change, then that is ok! All I hope to do is expose you to some of the hidden costs to car ownership. This post aims to give you my perspective on car ownership, what it truly costs to own, through specific examples from my life. My hope for you, dear reader, is that my experience will help you evaluate your current car situation.

If I had to summarize this post in one little TL;DR blurb, it would be the following: your car’s hidden expenses are costing you much more than the obvious expenses. With that, let’s dive in!

Why My Spouse and I Never Argue Over Money

couple fighting boxing

There is no doubt that money is a leading cause of stress and divorce between married couples. Don’t believe me? This article talks about “divorce day” – the first working Monday of the year, where there are an increased number of couples looking to end marriages after the holidays.

There is a lot of evidence surrounding the fact that money causes stress and tension in relationships. I am not very interested in trying to convince you of this – I think society is pretty good at it already. Look to your social circle (family and friends) for this evidence, as I am sure you will find instances of financial stability and instability.

What I am interested in doing is telling you how and why my wife and I never argue about money. Yes, you read that correctly. We discuss, spend, and save money, but none of these ever lead to arguments.

I want to make a few things clear before diving into this discussion:

  1. My wife and I have argued about money in the past. When I say we never argue over money, I mean to say that we don’t anymore.
  2. This plan might not work for everyone. I am not here to say that this post will end all of your financial arguments with your spouse.
  3. This post, along with the advice given, is not a substitute for professional marriage counseling. If you feel like you and your spouse need some sort of intervention by a professional, licensed marriage counselor, please seek one!

With that out of the way, here we go!