Our Frugal Beach Destination

Our Frugal Beach Destination

I have fond memories of all of the beach vacations I have gone on in my life. From our trips to Virginia Beach when I was very little and trips to Ocean City (MD), Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks later on in life. I have enjoyed them all for what they were – vacations, a break from the normal run of the mill. My favorite beach town to go to – by far – is Chincoteague, VA. Chincoteague is…

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How Coffee Led Us to FIRE

How Coffee Led Us to FIRE

In an attempt to shed some light on our personal story, I wanted to post these brief summaries of my past (both individually and together with my wife) as it pertains to finances. This is the third post in the series. When I was growing up, after a certain age, we were allowed to drink “pop” (or “soda” for you non-Western Pennsylvanians). It wasn’t shoved down our throats, but it was available in the house, and I drank a lot…

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Stepping into “Grown Up” Finances

Stepping into “Grown Up” Finances

In an attempt to shed some light on our personal story, I wanted to post these brief summaries of my past (both individually and together with my wife) as it pertains to finances. This is the second post in the series. My wife and I married in 2010 and bought a house in the same year – we managed to cover the down payment and closing costs mostly from a small loan from my parents and utilizing the First-Time Homebuyer…

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My Early Financial Background

My Early Financial Background

In an attempt to shed some light on our personal story, I wanted to post these brief summaries of my past (both individually and together with my wife) as it pertains to finances. This is the first post in the series. I grew up in a more or less middle class home in the 80s and 90s. My father was a pharmacist and my mother was a nurse and later a cardiovascular consultant. When I was very young, there were…

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Remembering My Mom

Remembering My Mom

So it has been just over seven weeks since the last time I posted on this blog. A few things contributed to this, but only one that I want to focus on today. About a month ago today – my mother lost her almost two year battle with cancer. More on that later, but first I want to speak to the person that my mother was and how she helped mold me into the person that I am today. I…

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That Time We Thought We Were Travel Hacking

That Time We Thought We Were Travel Hacking

My wife and I had an awesome honeymoon. It was a 4 day concert at an all inclusive resort in Mexico, bookended with extra nights at the resort on either side. We spent a little over a week in January enjoying warmer temperatures, great music, fun excursions and more Coronas and Pina Coladas than I ever want to drink again. We enjoyed it so much that we made a goal to celebrate our fifth anniversary by doing the trip again….

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How We Budget Part 1

How We Budget Part 1

For someone who doesn’t track or budget at all, knowing where to start can be daunting. There’s a misconception that a budget is essentially a diet for your spending habits. In actuality, a budget can be a really helpful planning tool and doesn’t necessarily have to be restrictive. Our current budgeting process has evolved so much over the years I couldn’t even begin to explain how it got to where it is today. However, I can explain how our system…

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Stop Loaning Uncle Sam Money

Stop Loaning Uncle Sam Money

I remember thinking of income taxes as this magic art that only my mother, with her copy of TurboTax, could figure out for me and my siblings. She would buy the software every year and then run our numbers through the program and figure out what we owed. Most years it was nothing or a small (under $50) refund. One year I made the mistake of letting a few venues pay me directly with checks for gigs that the band…

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Taking Full Advantage of the EV Tax Credit

Taking Full Advantage of the EV Tax Credit

In a recent post from an online financial independence community someone was asking about how the federal EV (electric vehicle) tax credit works to “reduce the price” of new EVs. Officially known as the “Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit (IRC 30D)”, the way this works is that if you buy a new EV or PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle) with a large enough rechargeable battery (over 5 kWh) from a qualified manufacturer, you are able to claim a $7,500 tax…

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Half As Well Bites: Oatcakes

Half As Well Bites: Oatcakes

Back in early 2014 I got really into strength training and nutrition. My wife and I gave the South Beach Diet a try and it worked pretty well for the first few months. The more palpable gain of the experience was piquing my interest in various diets and nutrition beyond just simple calorie counting. This led me to looking up information about the Paleo diet, which brought me to this neat website called Nerd Fitness. Though I never dove into…

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