Archives For February 2013

Kansas HighwayIt seems the travel Gods aren’t even easing us into the mayhem that can often hit during travel.  We’re on our last “moving” leg as we finish our trip from New Orleans to Dallas to Oklahoma to Colorado with a Uhaul trailer in tow and a dog in the back seat.  We’ve spent some good time with our families and friends as we say our goodbyes before our 9 month trip.

Now to the mayhem; we noticed a loose license plate as we left Oklahoma, but I readjusted it at a truck stop and thought it would survive the trip.  We were in the middle of Kansas and heard a rattling in the back which we thought might be the plate.  Instead of stopping, we chose to continue and pull over later to check it.  After a while, we noticed the rattling stopped – it must’ve magically fixed itself!

Turns out it didn’t fix itself.  After we finally checked the plate, we’d driven at least 20 miles from when we last heard it.  What do you do?  Go back and look for it or acknowledge you’re screwed and move onto the next steps of trying to get a new plate from a state you just left or issue a new plate from the other state where you don’t really live?

We went for the former and went on a search mission.  The snow on the side of the road made the search much harder as the plate would likely blend in.  Long story short – we found a license plate but it wasn’t ours (what’s the chances of that) and added 1.5 hours to our 11 hour trip without a successful recovery of our license plate.  Bummer!

Oh well, I don’t think this is the only time we’ll have an issue the next nine months.  While we were looking for the plate, our visa service called to let us know India only issued as a 6 month Visa (we needed about 8 months as we’ll visit in August/Sept) so now it’s time to deal with that!

I’m back!  It’s been a tough two weeks of packing, moving, and planning the trip, but we’re almost ready to take off.  Leaving New Orleans was really hard – over the last three and a half years we’ve had some incredible experiences and made some amazing friends.  It hasn’t really hit us yet because it seems like we’re just on vacation, but as we realize we won’t be going home to New Orleans I’m sure I’ll have to write some more to help alleviate the pain!

Here are seven thoughts on moving and leaving New Orleans:

1.  Nothing is permanent

We’re leaving New Orleans, but we can move back.  We’re taking off to travel the world for nine months, but if we don’t like it we can come back.   My wife quit her job, but she can get another one.

One of the toughest parts of changing is being afraid you can never go back.  Situations are rarely permanent…

2.  Amjad’s advice on friends

We were incredibly lucky to get some amazing friends in New Orleans.  Some were locals who took us in when we were new to the city, some were also new to the city, and others were our neighbors.  We really enjoyed our time with them and will miss them dearly.

When we talked to our friend Amjad about this and our fear of not getting friends like this again, he turned the concept a bit.  He said it wasn’t just luck that we got friends like this, it was because we were open to meeting new people and worked to establish these new relationships.  We hope (or should I say plan?) for this to continue on our trip.

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Daily Money Articles

February 19, 2013 — 1 Comment

It’s pretty incredible to see the sports empire that Jordan has created!  How Michael Jordan Still Earns $80 Million A Year (Yahoo Sports)

How to Deal with Your Shrunken Paycheck in 2013 (Yahoo Finance)

Ask Farnoosh: I Have $4,000 in Debt and No Retirement Savings. What Should I Do? (Yahoo Finance)

I’m not sure I buy into this one… The High Cost of a Cheap College (Yahoo Finance)

If tragedy strikes, are you financially prepared? (Yahoo Finance)

These 5 Workplace Habits Are Making You Look Amateur (Yahoo Finance)

This was great to see… too bad it’s not doom and gloom enough for the news to report it!  401(k) balances hit record highs (Yahoo Finance)

I totally disagree with all of these “suggestions”!!!  Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund – Many people say they are being responsible with their refunds: 42% plan to use the money to pay down debt and cover bills and 25% plan to save it, according to a 2012 survey by TurboTax. Others are splurging: 15% of taxpayers plan to treat themselves to a vacation or shopping. But advisers say that even if you’ve done everything right—you have an emergency fund, no debt and are maxing out your retirement account contributions—you might want to reconsider spending the refund on a 70-inch TV or a cruise. Here are some of their suggestions.  (Yahoo Finance)



Daily Money Articles

February 15, 2013 — 1 Comment

Today’s theme seems to be “the most obvious posts in the world”… there are a few interesting ones though:

Bars, restaurants, real estate agents and even strip clubs that rely on the often extravagant spending of bankers in London’s financial district are reporting a decline in trade from steep job losses and cuts in bonuses. (Yahoo Finance)

5 Retirement Savings Strategies for 2013 – A cornerstone of retirement savings is time — the longer you save, the more you’ll end up with, thanks to compounding interest. (Yahoo Finance)

For those who are looking for ways to pay those student loans off faster, here are four solid tips that can get you debt-free quickly. (2. Make more frequent (or bigger) payments. / 3. Earn more income to put toward loans.) DUHHHHHHHHH (Yahoo Finance)

The Biggest Financial Asset in Your Portfolio Is You (Yahoo Finance)

In other words, older siblings hold themselves to personalized standards, while younger siblings base their standards off of the goals of others around them.  Trying to raise a little entrepreneur in your footsteps?  Take heed: “Birth order [doesn’t matter] so much as the responsibility and expectations of behavior that are placed on kids,” she says (Yahoo)



Daily Money Articles

February 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

I’m not sure why this is “harsh advice” from article:  Mrs. Moneypenny, the internationally read columnist at the Financial Times, has some harsh advice for women: You can’t have it all (Yahoo Finance)

Here are five simple ways to save more than $1,500 in a year  (Yahoo Finance)

People like to give it to the athletes who do this, but the ironic part is most people screw up their money this bad… it’s just on a smaller scale!  From article:  Did Vince Young take out a loan for a $300,000 party? A former adviser says yes (Yahoo Finance)

Apparently Jim Cramer lived out of his car for a stint… maybe that’s why he’s mad?  From article:  Advice from Jim Cramer – Save. Whatever you can – whenever you can. But always save. (Yahoo Finance)

Pretty interesting to see how far behind the US has fallen on minimum wage (CNN Money)



Daily Money Articles

February 13, 2013 — 2 Comments

I totally agree with this – the “surgery” market is not a capitalistic system!! From article: Good luck getting hospital cost info; study finds answers often elusive and costs vary widely (Yahoo Finance)

Here’s a checklist of essential money strategies to consider before you take one of these five key steps in your life. (Yahoo Finance)

Ok, so I almost didn’t add this one just because of the title… 5 Ways Money Makes You Happy (Yahoo Finance)

Remodeling the kitchen? Crunch the numbers first (CNN Money)

Americans Are Tapping into Home Equity Again (Yahoo Finance)

First Person: I Had No Savings at 40, but I Retired by 60 (Yahoo Finance)

Your Happy Retirement Is Probably About $250,000 Short (Yahoo Finance)

Godin’s new book Icarus Deception is definitely worth checking out – 

It’ll be ok

February 11, 2013 — 23 Comments

When we’re kids, it’s easy to find a reassurance that everything will be ok.  Whether it’s the bump in the night, the stressful math test, or the rough first break up, our parents and other adults are quick to remind us that the end of the world is not imminent.

Cactus Flower

Just as a flower blooms…. just kidding, I like this picture my wife took so I added it in this post!

However, adults don’t have that luxury.  We’re forced to find our own reassurance when making big decisions and often times people are quicker to tell us the reasons to not do something than the reason to do it.

Sometimes we just need someone to tell us, “It’ll be ok”.  We want the reassurance that our big risks are worth it and that all possible negative consequences have been property dealt with and that success is guaranteed.

But of course, you know that no one can ever guarantee you success.  Hopefully, you’ll find support from friends and relatives, but at some point you just have to accept the risk and go for it.  Prepare, make an educated decision, trust yourself, and make the leap!

It’ll be ok.  We’re in the process of making our leap and as you might have read last week, we’re very nervous.  However, we’ve prepared for it and now it’s time to leap.

Daily Money Articles

February 8, 2013 — Leave a comment

“Lots of money is poisonous to have,” he said of his kids. “If they create things themselves, then it’s a sense of achievement. Whereas if you just give them stuff, it almost destroys their desire to do things and you actually end up with kids that are a lot worse off.” (Yahoo Finance)

Are you a job hopper? (Yahoo Finance)

5 investing mistakes to avoid this year (Yahoo)

Who Pays Your Credit Card Debt When You Die? (Yahoo Finance)

the European Union still requires 14 weeks of paid maternity leave (the US has no mandatory leave policy) (CNN Money)

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Daily Money Articles

February 7, 2013 — 2 Comments

Below are some of the interesting Finance articles from across the web… I’m thinking of doing this daily but this is just the first test!


The average U.S. household paid an estimated $2,912 for gasoline last year, sucking up nearly 4% of the average household income before taxes (Yahoo Finance)

Millennial investors are more conservative and less trusting of financial advisors than baby-boom and Gen X investors (Yahoo Finance)

Workplace experts predict 2013 offers the best chance for career enhancement in more than five years, especially if you’ve got skills. (Yahoo Finance)

Debt collector horror stories abound: There are threats to dig up the dead relatives of those who couldn’t pay their funeral bills, promises to imprison debtors or take their children into custody — even warnings that pets will be killed. (CNN Money)

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February 4, 2013 — 20 Comments
Seychelles Beach (La Digue)

One of the beautiful beaches on La Digue, Seychelles where we visited on our honeymoon in 2009.

Let me start by saying I was incredibly impressed with the insight left in the comments sections of the last post, “What’s your BREAK FREE story“.  I’m honored to have such brilliant people reading my blog and continue to learn a ton from everybody.  It’s amazing to see what some have already accomplished and what others are on their way to accomplishing.

In fact, we may not be embarking on our BREAK FREE adventure in a little over a month if not from the encouragement of everyone who contributes to this site.  So, thank you!

Last month I announced we’re taking a Round the World (RTW) trip.  We’re incredibly excited and consider it to be part of our BREAK FREE plan.  To summarize, my wife’s contract was up at her job, and I asked for an unpaid leave from my corporate job – which was granted.  We’re selling our house in New Orleans along with about half of our furniture inside.  Starting in March, we’re taking off to explore the world for 9 months.

It was such an easy decision and we’ve had no issues with doing it.  Money really is no object when you find what you love… Just Kidding!  If you threw the BS flag here, you’re correct… it wasn’t easy at all.  I’m going to summarize in timeframes… otherwise, I’ll be all over the place.

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