What’s Your Real Interest Rate?

As an accountant, I work with financial statements every day.

I spend a lot of time reviewing P&L’s and balance sheets. And when I signed up for Mint and connected all my accounts, I was pleased (nerdy, I know) to find a sort of “personal balance sheet” which is really the software showing your Net Worth figure.

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Savings vs. ROI

One of my favorite feelings in the world is an epiphany. I’m talking about an “aha!” moment, or a “paradigm shift” if you’re into Stephen Covey.

For me, these moments usually involve some small change in perspective, or a slightly different way of explaining something, which drastically changes the way I view the subject.

It’s like discovering some great secret, except the secret has been right in front of you all along. In that sense it’s like buried treasure: you were probably all over it, you just needed to dig down and find it.

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The Simplest Frugality Hack

The other day, I wrote about my daily budgeting strategy, which is what finally got me serious about budgeting and being mindful of my spending.
The process is straightforward, but I wouldn’t call it simple. It forces you to categorize your regular expenses and identify which of them are more variable or voluntary in nature. What’s more, if done properly, the process never ends. For instance, each new month means a new evaluation of my baseline expenses, a new assessment of financial goals, and often a new daily spending target. To get the most out of it, you need a certain level of discipline and enthusiasm for your goals.
The concept I want to talk about today isn’t like that at all.

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