My Financial 20s

I got a question from one of my readers about how young people can take control of their money and their lives and she wondered about what I did successfully and what I would have changed about my twenties. It’s an excellent question! My Financial 20s: What I did right Paying off Student Loans I did quite well in my 20s financially speaking because I paid off my student loan debt as quickly as possible…

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YOU are taking a vacation?

As I exercise, I listen to podcasts and once of my favorite financial ones is Suze Orman, author of The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke. She takes calls on her show from people who have serious financial problems, but are quite often in just as serious denial. Examples of the Financial Crazy 1. Someone has $60,000 in credit card debt, but they just leased a $20,000 car. 2. Another person is struggling…

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Money Diet Challenge

One of my Biggest Fears I’ll be leaving my home for the last 10 years, Korea and going to Canada in about a year from now. In preparation for this move, I’ve been officially on money-spending lock-down and am all about the frugal living, even more than I was previously. There is truly nothing scarier to me than arriving in Canada with basically nothing more than what I can fit in 2 suitcases, nowhere to…

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An Emergency Fund is Necessary

This topic is especially relevant to English teachers abroad who seem to be some of the worst offenders when it comes to not having an emergency fund and then when something bad happens, they post all over Facebook asking for donations But, an emergency fund is necessary! I don’t want to be all judgey because some of these people are totally legit; I’ve actually donated a good amount of money to them over the years.…

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Short-term vs. Long-Term thinking and how it relates to financial success

These past few days, I’ve been working away on my new book about financial freedom for teachers abroad and the following thought has been running through my head. Financial success all comes down to short-term vs. long-term thinking. There are lots of people who don’t think beyond the immediate in front of them-today, this week, this month and next month. These people often struggle to pay their bills each month and live in the land…

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Why I Don’t Like Mutual Funds

I was happy to see that Andrew Hallam in his book, The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat dislikes mutual funds as much as I do. It actually surprises me that more financial gurus, such as Dave Ramsey (from The Total Money Makeover) don’t jump off the mutual fund bandwagon and onto the index investing or dividend stock investing one. Anyway, mutual funds are a pretty terrible investment choice especially…

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Advice to my 30 year old self

5 years ago, I was just finishing up my third decade on the Earth, and had been working for a couple years at my first “real” job at a Korean university. I lived in the beautiful Korean countryside and life was good. Here’s some advice for my 30 year old self: 1. Your student loans should be paid off by now. If not, get on that. And unless you have a house mortgage, all your…

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Advice to my 23 year old self

When I was 23, I was just graduating from university with a semi-useless degree in the humanities and making some big decisions about my future. And, similar to when I was 18, I actually had no idea what I was going to do with my life. Here’s some advice for those who are just graduating from college: 1. Student loans are evil. If you were unfortunate enough to accrue them, pay them off as fast…

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The Emergency Fund

Dave Ramsey is all about the emergency fund and I would most definitely agree with him. He advocates having $1000 in the bank until you pay off all your debts, excluding the mortgage. And then once that is done, build it up to 3-6 months of living expenses. These past few years, I’ve been really focused on making and saving my income from the day-job to invest in Dividend Paying Stocks and must admit to…

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Frugal Living: lifestyle creep

I’ve lived in South Korea, working as an English teacher for almost 10 years. For the first 7 years or so, I lived extremely frugally. Like, I always rode public transport and tried to avoid taxis, didn’t have a smart-phone, stayed in the school provided housing and had no pets. And like I would really consider it seriously any time that I spent more than about $5. My weakness was travel, but I almost always…

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Frugal Living: the dreaded “B” word

I’ve talked about in previous posts about the relationship between frugal living and passive income, cooking at home to save money and frugal hobbies.  But, today is the dreaded “B” word which=budget.  While I love the idea of a budget, as a general theory and believe it can be very important when trying to live a frugal lifestyle (as does Dave Ramsey), I don’t do it.  This probably seems quite strange for those who know…

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Frugal Living: Cooking at Home

Rice and Beans, Beans and Rice As Dave Ramsey says, when you’re trying to get out of debt the only time you should see the inside of a restaurant is when you’re working there. And that those who are in debt should be eating rice and beans, beans and rice. Although I’m not in debt, I love cooking at home for the following reasons: Cooking at Home is Healthy! I love the fruits and vegetables.…

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Spend Less Than you Earn

Anyone can do it! No matter your income level, spending less than you earn is by far the most important thing. We’ve all heard those stories about people earning millions of dollars a year going bankrupt. Conversely, we all know about the guy next door working at some average job who ended up dying with millions in the bank. The difference is that one guy spent more than he earned while the other one didn’t.…

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