How we automate our life: Charity

Admittedly, this is something that might be a personal one for many, but for us, it’s not a question: We give to charity.

Yes, you can now go and pontificate about which charities are worthy of your money, or which ones are doing the most work, or which have the highest ratings on Guidestar. But at the end of the day, my wife and I give.

And more importantly than just giving, we do it all the time. How? By automating it! Let me give you the details…

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What is FIRE and choose your favorite flavor…

If you’ve been on any financial blogs lately, you may have encountered the term “FIRE” — in all caps. What is FIRE? It’s an acronym meaning “Financial Independent / Retire Early.”

It is a financial plan for those that are, generally, high income earners and are saving prodigiously so that they can no longer need to work a job in order to live. Regardless of your exact income, anyone on the FIRE path needs to be a strong saver and disciplined in their finances.

But did you know that there are different flavors of FIRE? Flavors, you ask?

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Investing App Round Up

Ok, so you’ve decided to invest — that’s great! The next question should be, where? What broker should you use? And if you’re like me, you’re addicted to your phone and the first place you’d start to invest would be from the comforts of the throne, er, I mean, the couch. Right, the couch.

With that in mind, I thought I’d go ahead and give a little tour of the different “new” brokerages that are primarily app-focused. Specifically, Robinhood, Acorns, and Stockpile. Then I’m going to compare these new comers against some old stalwarts of the brokerage world: Fidelity and Vanguard.

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How I Got Started in Investing: Picking Stocks at 14

I think it’s always fun to look back and think about our past–after all, the past is what got us to where we are today. I thought I’d share with you the very first investment I made: Handspring, Inc.

Now, you may not remember this little company, but they were a blip on the radar of the early oughts — in an era where the Palm Pilot ruled, they were a spin-off company. As a young teenager, I saw a blue Handspring Visor, their first product, and had to get one for my 14th birthday.

I loved their product and so I thought, I’m going to invest in this company: they’re going to be huge someday. And I so did. Unfortunately, they did not. But let’s back up a little further…

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Why PSLF is For Us

Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

Public Service Loan Forgiveness, also known as PSLF, is a program for removing student debt for those that work full-time in public service.

In essence: work 10-years full time at a public service organization (generally a 501(c)3 not-for-profit or government agency) and any remaining balance on your loans is forgiven!

So is this program for everyone? No, but we’ve decided that this is the right plan for us.

So how are we approaching it and how are we mitigating risk?

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How we automate our life: Retirement

Photo by Simon Migaj from Pexels

In this blog post, I’m going to continue our discussions of how to automate your life — with the goal of reducing mental complexity and making your life more free. In this post, I’d like to share how we automate our retirements.

As I said before, you make the decision to save for retirement once, so why relive that decision month after month when you carry out your plan?

Make the decision once and take action once. Pure and simple.

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Why I Won’t Ever Have a Garage Sale

Photo by Jose Antonio Gallego Vázquez on Unsplash

Growing up, my family hosted a garage sale nearly every year. In fact, it became such a big-to-do, that they’d co-hosted it with other families into a 3-4 family garage sale extravaganza!

Only problem is? Man, those things were a load of work.

Although, it’s in vogue now to have a pop-up shop, ya know, a place where a company puts together a new mini-store or restaurant for a limited-time only. That’s exactly what a garage sale is. Except instead of being for some cute kids clothes or yoga pants, it’s of…your old stuff.

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How we automate our life: Credit Cards – Capital One App

Photo by Two Paddles Axe and Leatherwork on Unsplash

I thought for this one, I’d make this into a bit of a “How-to”, so to speak. Everybody loves a little bit of action, no?

I wanted to continue my earlier posts on automating your life — making sure the essential gets done based on a one-time decision and then never having to worry about it again.

The decision my wife and I made was: We’re going to use credit cards and pay them off every month. So why not automate this decision?

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How a Student Loan Consultant is Saving us Thousands a Month

Photo by Niels Steeman on Unsplash

Ah student loans, the millennial’s persistent foe.

This may sound trite, but make no mistake, student loans are no joke. The problem is especially so if one goes to graduate school, where the greater number of years of borrowing and the much higher tuition costs make getting an education one of the most expensive things someone can acquire in the US.

We too fell into this position with my wife attending medical school and neither of our families being in the position to pay for our schooling out of pocket. All together, we have approximately $340,000 of student loan debt.

So what has helped us tackle this formidable foe? Well, we got a student loan consultant.

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