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I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours

By Keith Taxguy / July 11, 2016 /

One of the all-time great pleasures people receive from reading personal finance blogs is stalking the blogger. For some reason peeps want to know what the heck we are spending our money on. Who am I to upset the apple cart? Stalk away.

Below is a table showing my spending for 2015. I know, I know, you expected this months ago. All I can say is: Better late than never, you little stalker, you. My obsessive-compulsive way of recording stuff in my life allows me to break down my spending patterns for you. There were a few surprises when I reviewed the numbers. I will provide some explanations after the table.

In the future I plan on listing my annual spending once per year only. My columns listed here are exactly how my personal records read, minus the description. The miscellaneous column catches a lot of stuff I could break out, but since most months have only minor miscellaneous spending, I elected to keep it simple.

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Lifestyles of the Rich and Stupid

By Keith Taxguy / July 8, 2016 /

The lottery is back in the news with promises of a rich reward for a very small number of people who randomly pick numbers matching the officially drawn numbers. The odds are hundreds of millions to one. But you can’t win if you don’t play. Just one ticket, one little ticket. A single dollar. Better buy two; make that three.

Lottery sales shy rocket when the jackpot rises to mega levels. The impossible odds are still just as bad when the jackpot is massive. The one question I don’t hear people asking is: If nobody won the last time they drew numbers and millions played, what chance do you have of winning?

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Using Debt Intelligently: Good Debt Versus Bad Debt

By Keith Taxguy / July 6, 2016 /

There should be no battle between good and bad debt. Debt is not good or bad in and of itself. Debt is a tool that can be used to simplify personal and business finances or can be used with reckless abandon. The internet is filled with advice on debt. In one corner is Dave Ramsey and his ilk claiming all debt is bad and should be avoided at all cost. In the other corner is Donald Trump and his “There is never too much debt” mantra. Only rarely is someone smart enough to discern between the two camps and provide appropriate advice on debt. Today your friendly Wealthy Accountant will be said smarty-pants.

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Perspective

By Keith Taxguy / July 5, 2016 /

Thousands of years ago humans had a more clearly defined role in society. When food ran low the men would gather for the hunt. They would leave camp for days, or even weeks, at a time. When the prey was caught, the men butchered the animal into carrying size pieces.

Back at camp the women tended the garden and gathered plants from the surrounding area. When the men returned the women scraped the hides and prepared it for clothing. The women also dried, salted, and prepared the food.

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Cut Your Electric Bill 80%

By Keith Taxguy / June 30, 2016 /

Utility bills left unattended can put a serious dent in your budget. There is good news. You can reduce your electric bill 80% or more in a few short steps. Heating, water, internet and other utility bills can also be reduced by massive amounts with a few tricks.

The old adage ‘A watched pot never boils” is an apt place to begin. Before you can reduce your utility bill you need to know how much energy you are consuming. I get invited to seminars periodically that promise massive energy savings. They offer a free meal and Mrs. Accountant and I are always up to learning something new when a free meal is involved. The seminars are all the same. They try to sell over-priced products, many of which will never work if you understand even a small amount of science.

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Occam’s Razor

By Keith Taxguy / June 29, 2016 /

Life is more complicated than it has to be. More moving parts do not mean better. Electric cars have one moving the part, the motor; whereas gasoline powered vehicles have several hundred moving parts. More moving parts mean more things can go wrong. When all things are equal, the machine with fewest moving parts that still gets the job done is usually the best choice. Electric cars will outperform old-fashioned gasoline engine vehicles on every front as electric vehicles are improved. Lots of explanations will be given as to why electric cars blow gasoline engines off the road, but the simplicity of an electric vehicle will be a significant reason for the lower costs and higher performance.

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Giving Up What You Love

By Keith Taxguy / June 28, 2016 /

Financial independence means you can indulge your dreams. By 1995 I had reached a level of net worth where I could realize many of my dreams. Coming from an agricultural background I wanted to move back to the country and have a small farm. Ten acres with a house and barn came up for sale a mile from where I grew up. My dream was now owned.

In 1982 the family farm went through a wrenching bankruptcy. I was eighteen and had no future. Everything I knew related to farming. The pain etched a deep wound in my psyche that never went away. My desire to live in the country was not the whole dream. I had to own a small farm. In my mind I had to understand why the family farm died when I was at such an impressionable age.

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How Lucky We Are

By Keith Taxguy / June 27, 2016 /

Regular readers around here know Friday night is card night in the Wealthy Accountant neighborhood. Scheduling issues forced us to move card night to Saturday this weekend. As always, we catch up on news and solve all the world’s problems as we enjoy the game. This week was no different.

Roger lives across the road from me. He plays sheepshead, but we never invited him to our game, an oversight we need to rectify. Roger is a low-key man. He is quiet, but quick to help a neighbor in need. I don’t remember how Roger came up as a topic around the card table. We started to sing Roger’s praises when Pete said, “Roger would be unstoppable if he didn’t have so many medical problems.”

We all nodded. Roger is hard working and it is understood his medical condition is not good. I said, “Bob told me a few years ago Roger nearly died it was so bad.”

“It wasn’t good,” Pete said. “He was having a kidney replaced when he had a heart attack on the table. They had to do two surgeries in one.”

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