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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A Not-so-Taxing Climb Up the Roth IRA Ladder

A Not-so-Taxing Climb Up the Roth IRA Ladder

As I mentioned in our How We Plan on Reaching FI post, when we started to map out our journey to financial independence, we were basing our calculations of our “stash” as only the money available in our taxable brokerage accounts. This was probably the result of me discovering the prospect of FI through the blog of Mr. Money Mustache and being so feverish with excitement to consume all of the content that I glossed over the fact that we…

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A Short Bit about Health & Fitness

A Short Bit about Health & Fitness

In our consumerist Western culture there are striking similarities between the problems that the average person faces regarding both health and personal finance. Thankfully though, the solution to both sets of problems involve the same two core principles – planning and discipline. The following is the shortest possible summary of my feelings on the fitness industry, nutrition, the diet industry, and the health of the average person in today’s America. There is nothing wrong / unhealthy with being a little…

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Tracking Isn’t Enough

Tracking Isn’t Enough

I opened my first bank account at a small local bank as a junior in high school, primarily as a place to deposit paychecks from my first “official” job.  I started religiously saving every receipt and at the end of the month I would write down every transaction by hand in the ledger. Later when I was working during college I closed this account and opened one with a more prominent bank with a debit card and access to ATMs….

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How We Saved On Cars

How We Saved On Cars

It costs us less to own and operate three cars than it would to own and operate two cars. Yep, you read that right. If you’re surprised, then join the club. I was very surprised at the time that I figured this out. Before we delve into explaining our transition to our current automobile scenario, let’s start at the beginning. A Common American Car Story I didn’t learn how to drive until I was 17, this was due in most…

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My Why of FI

My Why of FI

So we went over how we plan on reaching financial independence but we have yet to explain why we want to be financially independent. The retort that I get from many of my peers when I mention anything about our plans is “Even if that works out for you, what are you going to do all day?” or “Well I personally enjoy working, I will probably work until I am 75 or so” Both of these are valid arguments depending…

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Can Solar Panels Save You Money?

Can Solar Panels Save You Money?

Before we get too deep into the trenches here, I will readily admit that there is no one size fits all answer for “Will solar panels save me money”? The best way to find out if a photovoltaic system can work for your property is to have some installers come out and do quotes. But here are some quick guidelines: Do you have trees shading your house that you can’t or don’t want to remove? Do you lack one continuous…

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How We Plan on Reaching FI

How We Plan on Reaching FI

Our strategy to reach financial independence is actually very simple – reduce our expenses, increase our income, and invest the surplus. I could go into detail for hours about each of these, but I will try to touch on each of them in brief here. Reducing Expenses Cutting costs is the most important part of our strategy. This is because it possesses the ability to stand on its own in terms of affecting life changes. Reducing expenses not only cuts…

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