Frugal Living

The Master Archive!

Would you like to just see all posts links?  Click HERE for the master list!

Free College Education and a Free Car Too

By Keith Taxguy / August 23, 2016 / 10 Comments

The topic of college costs came up and the payment of student loans. I have no sympathy. Student loans are a cancer that need to be excised immediately. The argument was other debt should be paid first before student loans. I disagreed. Let’s listen in on the conversation.

Read More

The Joy of Minimalism

By Keith Taxguy / August 16, 2016 / 1 Comment

Back when Doc* was alive he played cards with us every Friday night. One night we got a call the police were at his house. It seems someone had broken into his home and may have started a fire. We thought the card game was over as Doc would head home to assess the damage. Instead he stayed tight in his chair and demanded the cards be dealt.

That night at cards I discovered the real priorities in life. The card game with family and neighbors was more important than stuff accumulated over a lifetime. Of course Doc never tossed anything out, but if someone wanted to steal his stuff, have at it.

My grandfather (Doc) was a Stoic without knowing it. He knew there was nothing he could do if his house was on fire or he was burglarized. He wasn’t going to grab a bucket and start tossing water on the flame; he was 88 years old. It seems it takes a lot of years for the wisdom to develop on what has real value, like a card game with people you care about. You can act like a chipmunk standing guard around your stash or you can value stuff at zero and relationships as priceless. Your choice will determine the level of happiness in your life.

Read More

It Is Harder to Keep It than To Get It

By Keith Taxguy / August 15, 2016 / 0 Comments

Getting rich in the Western world, especially the United States, is so easy it boggles the mind why so many are poor. There is no excuse why everyone should not have a tidy sum of wealth invested, producing a steady stream of passive income. It is so easy yet people keep searching for the answer to quick riches, which are not so easy.

The lottery keeps bringing in money when the odds a gazillion to one you hit the jackpot. The lottery is the ultimate stupid tax. The only time I gamble is when I have the advantage, as in card counting and I haven’t done that in a while either. If I’m not having fun doing it I do something else. (Casino smoke bothers me so I don’t card count anymore, but I love playing cards.)

Saving and investing is easier than at any time in history. And safer. The first modern mutual started in 1924; the first index fund on December 31, 1975. As unfair as many claim the system is, it is more regulated to protect investors from scams than ever before. Diversification reduces risks due to funny accounting and con men and diversification is so easy and automatic. (Think payroll retirement plan withholding/matching and auto investing available at all mutual fund houses.)

Read More

Decluttering

By Keith Taxguy / August 14, 2016 / 7 Comments

There is a genetic defect in The Wealthy Accountant’s family. It is so serious it threatens to overrun everything we value, costing us money and health. No one doubts grandpa accountant possessed the genetic mutation back in the farming days. Dad accountant followed in grandpa’s footsteps and a brief look around my home will erase any question in your mind the acorn does not fall far from the tree.

When I was a wee tyke my grandfather had a special job for us on rainy days. Rather than take a day off he sent us kids to the old shed where all the nails and screws from assorted jobs were thrown into a wooden bin. Our job was to separate them. Lest you think I am pulling your leg I have a sworn affidavit in my drawer, god forbid I would throw that away.

Read More

The Value of Time

By Keith Taxguy / August 13, 2016 / 2 Comments

You did everything right: maxed out your retirement accounts, invested in index funds, paid off all debt, saved half your gross income, and did every home project and car repair yourself to save money. If you are like me this describes you to a T. I save a massive amount of my income in tax advantaged retirement plans and stuff non-qualified accounts, too. Very few jobs are off-limits to me. The roof is bad; I go up there and spank on another set of shingles after tearing off the old ones. A bad light switch is an easy fix after a short visit to the hardware store. I clip my own lawn at home and the office; I grow most of the food I consume; I bike to work even though it is a 30 miles round-trip; change the oil in the car; and I have no problem with a paint brush.

Read More

Ego is the Enemy Review

By Keith Taxguy / August 12, 2016 / 0 Comments

Ryan Holiday has come a long way since writing Trust Me, I’m Lying: The Tactics and Confessions of a Media Manipulator. From his personal experience and stories of great men and women from today and in history, Holiday outlines how the ego gets in the way of aspirations, success, and even failure in his latest book: Ego Is the Enemy. This book is a guide on how to live life well with a healthy dose of Stoic philosophy so you can live happily too.

This is the best book I’ve read on living right since reading A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy. From the beginning to the end Holiday provides example after example of how ego has harmed great men and women over the ages. He also gives examples of ego as it applies to aspirations and success. Holiday is not afraid to expand the narrative to include his own failures in life, bringing a personal touch to the lessons taught.

Read More

How Fast Does Inflation Rise?

By Keith Taxguy / August 9, 2016 / 3 Comments

Media continually warns of impending inflation due to all the money printing by central banks around the world. The concern is real. If inflation spikes bonds will suffer massive loses and stocks will also suffer a painful decline. It is past time we look at the facts about inflation, how fast it rises, and what causes prices to spike.

Planning for retirement and when reviewing investments, inflation is a consideration. A review of historical inflation data will help in the decision-making process. By reviewing the historical data also clearly shows why inflation accelerates, including solutions to protect yourself. We will focus on inflation data in the U.S. I have reviewed price data for other countries and further back than the U.S. data. The conclusions are the same.

Read More

Why Do You Hate Money So Much?

By Keith Taxguy / August 4, 2016 / 2 Comments

Rewards for a good week of work show up on a regular basis from the boss in the form of a paycheck. There is a special sort of glee when payday arrives as a dance develops in everyone’s prance around the office. The initial excitement gives way to an understanding you will go another week before one of these bad boys show up again. You would love to have more money; who wouldn’t? If only the boss paid a little bit more, life would be so much better.

Read More