I didn’t grow up in a wealthy family. As a child, I don’t remember staying in hotels very often, if at all. Whenever we took vacations, we stayed with family or friends, or went camping. Now that I’m older, I can see why. The two most expensive parts of a vacation are airfare and lodging. Sometimes you have no choice but to fly, so if you can cut that lodging cost down, it results in big savings! Continue reading “How Much Better is a 5-Star Hotel vs. a 3-Star One?”
Okay, a couple of things need to be said about the title. First, I’ve never, ever, said this to anybody, although I’ve wanted to many, many, times. Second, there are repercussions to saying something like this. Any money you save may be totally offset by medical payments. Third, although getting fat asses out of your car will save you money, this really applies to any and all excess weight in your vehicle since this all affects fuel economy.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Maybe it’s a big secret since I talk about personal finance and investing. I don’t know my own salary. Or my net worth. Or how much my investments are up (or down). Sometimes I don’t even remember my own name. I keep track of my expenses, but I don’t really look at that either.
I know what all these numbers are directionally. But my point is I don’t keep track of them on a regular basis. If you want to be successful, you wouldn’t keep track of any of this stuff either, except your name. You sound like an idiot if you don’t know that.
I realize most people don’t have aspirations to become a billionaire. Most people just want to get out of debt and maybe live a middle class lifestyle. The more ambitious of you want to become millionaires. Trust me, being a millionaire is over-rated. Millionaires may have been an exclusive segment of the population 50 years ago, but it’s not so exclusive anymore. According to this CNBC article, there are 10.8mn households that have a net worth of $1 million or more, or 10% of total households. Being a millionaire used to be like having platinum status, and now it’s more like gold. Maybe even silver. Continue reading “Why You’ll Never Become a Billionaire”
Like most people, I need to travel for business. I don’t travel much, maybe 5-10 times a year. So I’m not like those hardcore travel warriors that are flying every week and have executive platinum status for everything. I honestly don’t know how those people do it. First, it must suck being away from family for so long (maybe that’s not such a bad thing when you have small children). I think some of them fly so often they know the flight attendants by name! But I do travel enough where it makes sense to take advantage of what I spend. Here are my tips on how to maximize your business travel spend.
Earlier this year, my beloved Lexus was totaled! I had the car for 14 years and I was hoping it would last me at least another 10. I was stopped at a light when a distracted driver in a large SUV rear-ended me. How did I know he was distracted? That’s an educated guess considering everybody else was stopped at the red light yet he somehow thought that he could keep driving. Thankfully, I didn’t suffer any permanent injuries. Hopefully you’ll never experience this. But if you’re ever in this unfortunate situation, here are some tips on how to deal with a car accident and what to do when your car is totaled.
In the past, I’ve talked about how cars are depreciating assets. From a financial standpoint, it’s better to buy used so somebody else can take the largest depreciation hit up front. Since the value only goes down, it’s also better to minimize how much you spend on a car. So why did I spend $50k on a brand new Audi S3? I can explain.
Having been married for many years now, I’ve become quite an expert at buying diamonds. Not by choice, mind you. But when you screw up as often as I do and you have a bad back, you have to do something (anything) to get off of sleeping on the couch. Given my experience, here’s my diamond buying guide on a budget. Continue reading “Diamond Buying Guide on a Budget”
Before we being, I want to point out how much I love driving. I love my car too. It’s fun being in control and flooring it (within the speed limit of course) every once in a while. So I’m not advocating getting rid of your car to save money. Besides, I live in Texas. So it’s not like it’s even feasible for me to live without a car. But it’s still an interesting exercise to see how what’s the total cost of ownership for my car.
You’ve heard it a million times before. If you want to save money, bring lunch from home. Make your own coffee. Cancel your cable bill. Don’t have a life and don’t have fun. Yes, these are all very good suggestions on how to save money, but you’re giving up convenience in return. So how would you feel about saving $150 every year, without any inconvenience other than spending 5 minutes a month? Let me ask you, how often do you check your tire pressure?