“When I grow up, I want to... *crickets.*” This is one of the hardest questions to answer. It seems like no one is working in the field they earned their degree in anymore. Who knows how long a career in a certain field will even last? With all the positions you’ve held, what has your career path even been? And how do you find the job you really want?
So I Bought a New F-150…
I take pride in my frugal habits, especially house hacking (basically living in a 2,300sq ft luxury home for free). When it came time to buy a car, shouldn’t it have been small and gas-efficient? After all, a truck is a very non-mustachian vehicle. To all my mustachian friends, I must simply say that I had different priorities than the money alone. However, I was honest with myself about the true cost of ownership and had firmly evaluated the decision before pulling the trigger. In sharing my reasons, I’m not advocating the purchase of a truck. Instead, I’m trying to paint a clear picture of my approach to this large purchase. I’ve now owned my truck for a year, and it was definitely the right choice for me.
Find a Good CPA
I’ve already started organizing for tax time, but it only means gathering my receipts and organizing my bills. I have a great Certified Public Accountant (CPA) on my team who will be doing the actual preparation and filing for me, which means a little less work on my end. I consider my CPA to be an MVP on my team, but not just because he will be preparing and filing my taxes. No no no, he will be busy optimizing my return now that we’ve strategized all year.
Parents: Open a Roth IRA for Your Child
Opening a Roth IRA is the biggest thing you can do to give your child (or your grandchild) a head start on their path to financial independence. The money deposited today has the potential for 50-60 years of tax-free growth. You can open the Roth IRA for them at Fidelity. As the adult, you control the account until age 18, even if it’s in the child’s name. (It does have to be registered with their social security number.) At age 18, the account is theirs, so don’t tell them about the account until later if they are not good with money. Just think of that extra 18 years of compounding before they even reach adulthood!
Meet Your Friend, the Roth IRA
I’ve been investing in my Roth IRA since I was 17. I had landed my first job as a bagger at a grocery store and held multiple other jobs through college. Each year, I diligently tucked away money that will be able to grow until age 60, which is over 40 years. At certain points, my effective tax rate was essentially 0%, which is the ideal time to contribute. Every penny withdrawn will be tax free, and $5,500 with 40 years to grow will be worth over $100,000* tax-free dollars without adding a penny more! If you’re still young and paying minimal taxes, open a Roth IRA.
That’s right, my accounts are 100% invested in stocks. Let me tell you why.
How to Become a Millionaire
The house, the cars, the corner desk and executive title, fancy vacations, private schools, private yachts, private jets, the glamour, the luxury, it all can become yours if you want it. But is all that stuff really what you want out of your life? Or is the thing you want actually the intangible quality that a millionaire has of simply not worrying about money because they have more than they need? You don’t have to have a million dollars to be a millionaire.
The experiment has been a success. It's time for an update after four and a half years of marriage .
Frugality is always relevant, of course. So much of my successful adventures boiled down to timing. What’s still relevant? Am I just an inte...