Grocery is a part of every household’s living expenses. According to United States Department of Agriculture, the cost of food at home for a family of four is around $1000 per month. Mr. Money Mustache shows how to dramatically cut this $1000 grocery bill by over 60%. First you have to nail down how much you want to spend on food per month. Mr. Money Mustache gives us an example of a family of four spending $365 per month or around $1 per day for a family member. The key part is you have to cook at home for your day-to-day foods. By shopping at places like Costco, instead of Whole Foods, you can get the needed ingredients for all your meals. By mixing the expensive foods with cheaper ones, you can make very good meals that average out to $1 per person. Thus you can greatly reduce your grocery bill.
Mr. Canadian Budget Binder (CBB) has an advice for tentative home buyer: Pick the least expensive house in the most expensive neighborhood. Buying a high-end house will be harder to sell than smaller ones in the neighborhood once you need to move on. Mr. CBB points out that you also pay a premium for the extra space over the life of the mortgage. By buying a house that fits his family, Mr. CBB was able to pay the mortgage in full by five years. He recommends prospective home buyers to pick a smaller house in a good neighborhood.
Should you buy the least expensive house in a good neighborhood?
In most scenario, good neighborhoods determine property values. By buying the least expensive house in a good neighborhood, your house will have more potential to increase the property’s value after you move in. Also, there’s less chance you would overpay for the least expensive house.
Another advantage of buying the least expensive house in a good neighborhood is that you will get a far greater return on upgrades and remodeling than if you would do the same thing to the more expensive house in your neighborhood.
A recent article on Vanguard has five great advises for young investors. Here are the five things you can should do to save for retirement:
- Take advantage of time by invest early as your original investment compounds and grows over time
- Always take advantage of employer matches
- Save $15 day to be a millionaire by reducing some daily expenses
- Pay debts off, starting with the highest interest rates
- Contribute to your Roth IRA since time is on your side
Sometimes owning a home makes perfect sense. However, in certain case, renting is a better decision. Here are three reasons you should consider renting written by Miranda Marquit. Renting is a better move (1) if you value flexibility, (2) if you prefer to have someone else taken care of things and (3) the market conditions make renting cheaper.
What with all the “What do I do now?” questions, here is one real life example. Dave Roberts, 72, a retired teacher and software engineer, is on a mission to hike the United States by foot, by bike, even by kayak. “Hotels and lodges are out of the question; he camps out at night and lugs 25 pounds of equipment.” His plan is to travel part of the America’s hiking Triple Crown: Pacific Coast, Continental Divide Trail, and Appalachian Trail. For anyone that has a major hike on their bucket list, this article by the New York Times could be a great motivator for early retirement.
Instead of laissez-faire economy China’s Communist Party tends to mess with the market. They are attempting the impossible: Stop market volatility. They did it last year just before the market peaked by telling people to buy more stocks. At the beginning of 2016, the Chinese government also halted the stock market for an entire day on January 7 but to no avail as the market continued to tank. It seems that China doesn’t know what it’s doing and it affects many global economies around the world. 2016 will be another uglier year as China still tries to control the market.
According to Consumerist, ESPN is the most expensive single channel for most people. With the price so high Disney does not want cable subcribers to know how much ESPN costs per year. Most consumers are not avid sports fan. As cable companies let consumers choose which bundles to add to their services, more consumers are willing to part ways with ESPN and ESPN2 to save $8 per month on their cable bill. If you have a choice, would you ditch ESPN to save $8 per month?
Get Rich Slowly shows us how to get better finances in 30 days. Each day you set aside few minutes to get your finance into shape. Starting the first day by compiling all your 2015 expenses and income. Then make a spending plan and plan to save money. After that, reduce your fixed expenses and organize your financial file. Also, audit your bank, interest rate, investment and energy to squeeze out some extra return. Lastly, update your beneficiary information and your will.
Despite living in an expensive area, NYU sophomore Eric Hu is paying his $48,000 tuition as he goes. “After working several jobs his freshman year, he says, he was able to pay off the entire year’s tuition by the beginning of his sophomore year — and he’s on track to do the same for the 2015-2016 school year.” Here’s how he does it: Taking advantage of scholarships, finding ways to earn money, piecing together different jobs to earn enough, planning out his days to maximize earning, living below his means, and following a clear financial plan. Student loan is a heavy load for most newly graduate. By paying the tuition bill as he goes, Eric is well on the way to the road of financial independence.
The White Coat Investor just wrote a detailed guide on how to do a backdoor Roth IRA. It is a must read if your income is over the limit and you need to take advantage of a backdoor Roth IRA. The author shows each step from making the contribution to filling out the tax form 8606. The three main steps detailed as follow: “1. Get rid of any SEP-IRA, SIMPLE IRA, traditional IRA, or rollover IRA money. 2. Make a $5500 ($6500 if over 50) non-deductible traditional IRA contribution for yourself, and one for your spouse. 3. Convert the non-deductible traditional IRA to a Roth IRA by transferring the money from your traditional IRA into your Roth IRA at the same fund company.”
Couple Joanna and Johnny shows how two very different people in a marriage can thrive together. The couple states: “We finally found one thing we both agreed on wholeheartedly: what we wanted for our future. And we realized that had to create a budget if we wanted to reach our goals.” It seems that budgeting is the key for the marriage between a spender and a saver.
Check out BBC Capital – Top seven places to retire. It gives you some idea if you are nearing your retirement age and ready to travel. The top seven places to retire are Panama, Equador, Malaysia, Spain, Malta, Portugal, and Thailand.
Forbes also covers some of the best places to retire in U.S. Here are the top 10 places to retire in U.S.:
- Abilene, Texas: Robust economy, cost of living 17% below national average, average home price $142,000 (national average: $209,000). Low rate of violent crime. High number of doctors per capital. Warm climate.
- Asheville, North Carolina: Strong economy and scenic terrain and good weather, cost of living 3% below national norm, average home price $206,000. Abundant doctors. High volunteering culture.
- Athens, Georgia: Good tax climate in bustling college town (University of Georgia). Cost of living 1% below U.S. average, average home price $139,000. Low serious crime rate.
- Blacksburg, Virginia: Economically booming college town (Virginia Tech). Average home price $235,000. Above average air quality. Low crime rate.
- Boise, Idaho: Strong state capital economy. Typical home price $175,000. Good tax climate. Low serious crime rate. Strong marks for bikeability and volunteerism.
- Bowling Green, Kentucky: Vibrant, growing economy in college town (Western Kentucky University). Cost of living 11% below national average, average home price just $138,000, good tax climate. Low crime rate.
- Cape Coral, Florida: Rosy economy in half-century-old Gulf of Mexico cost city developed with a master plan. Cost of living 4% below national average, with home prices also slightly national average at $190,000. Good weather, above average air quality, low serious crime rate.
- Casper, Wyoming: Bracing economy and low unemployment in scenic, mile-high city. Cost of living at the national average, average home price $245,000. Above average air quality. Low serious crime rate.
- Colorado Springs, Colorado: Promising economic outlook and plentiful jobs in the outdoor playground bordered by scenic Pike’s Peak. Cost of living at the national average, average home price $225,000. Above average air quality.
- Columbia, Missouri: Booming economy in classic college town (University of Missouri). Halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City. Cost of living 5% below national norm, average home price $159,000. Abundant doctors per capita. Good bicycle environment.
The Globe and Mail just did an interview with Mr. Money Moustache detailing his approach on how to retire at age 30. Here’s an excerpt: “But even better, choose your career and employer (and gradually build up your own business) in such a way that you can live somewhere beautiful that is affordable. With good Internet access, you can pull in a six-figure salary while living in some seaside haven in Nova Scotia where the houses might cost 80 per cent less. Or you can do what I did and choose any other country in the world, figure out the immigration rules and expand your life to include this great new location. Living in Colorado where it is always sunny and I can ride my mountain bike on red rock trails in the middle of January, we also come to Canada and spend every summer there with family and friends. This was well worth the hassle of getting a degree in a portable field, deciphering a few government forms and going to some job interviews.”
Peter Adeney, the man behind Mr. Money Mustache, actually earns around $400,000 a year on his blog. His blog Mr. Money Mustache is currently one of the top blogs on the list of Top Personal Finance Blogs. Now that he’s retired with more money his family ever needs, Mr. Money Mustache plans to donate to money to worthy charity.