Frugal Living

The Master Archive!

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Cut Your Electric Bill 80%

By Keith Taxguy / June 30, 2016 / 6 Comments

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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Passive Income Hoarder

By Keith Taxguy / June 25, 2016 / 3 Comments

When it comes to passive income I have an edgy side as the title indicates. Multiple streams of income showing up in your account regardless what you are doing is a powerful force to have on your side. Losing your job is only an issue if your job is the bulk of your income. Business owners know the loss of one client out of hundreds is no more than an annoyance. You can harness the same force in your finances.

Before I list the sources of passive income I have, let me share a short story that happened to me recently. Certain sources of passive income are offered to small groups only. I was fortunate enough in my business to have one of these sources. Mr. Money Mustache, a personal finance blogger named Pete, gave me a plug, including a plug for this new source of passive income. I did not expect a lot. When the numbers were finally tallied I was surprised. The revenue was much higher than I calculated. I shared the info with Pete along with traffic data. He responded with an email saying, “Welcome to the world of passive income.” It started me thinking about all the sources of passive income I have and how passive income cements my finances regardless of the economy or my business.

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Financial Planning and the Death of a Spouse

By Keith Taxguy / June 15, 2016 / 0 Comments

There are critical times in the course of life when financial independence is at risk of destruction. A lifetime of planning, saving, and investing can go up in smoke in a few short years without an adequate plan to protect the most vulnerable member of a marriage (or any relationship, for that matter) after the death of a spouse or loved one. The trauma and grief after a loved one dies is acute. Deep pain and emptiness creates risks for the surviving spouse. Well intentioned, and lonely, people will try to connect with the bereaved. A couple committed to a lifetime of financial discipline will acquire a massive nest egg of retirement wealth. The surviving spouse is a prime target, a highly desired, person for this reason. Even people with honorable intentions can wreck havoc on the surviving spouse’s finances.

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My Allergic Reaction to Commercial Media

By Keith Taxguy / June 13, 2016 / 3 Comments

Cable TV arrived late at my household and left early. Back in the 80s and early 90s we only had local channels available over the airwaves. As the year 2000 approached I broke down and allowed cable TV to enter my home. It was a disaster. I could not believe I was paying for something that was mostly ads to get me to waste even more money. A few years later the fix was in; cable was on the way out.

My greatest concern was my family. Mrs. Accountant and the girls liked a few shows on the glass teat (reference The Glass Teat by: Harlan Ellison). I had to devise a way to cut the cord without making it look like I was cutting the cord. My idea was to convince my family we were only temporarily suspending the DirecTV account for six months as an experiment. To my surprise nobody was bothered by my idea.

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Camp Mustache III Roundup

By Keith Taxguy / June 4, 2016 / 8 Comments

There is a raggedy band that gathers in the hills east of Seattle every year over the Memorial Day holiday in the States. From around the planet they gather, each with their own unique story. I was one of those stories.

Camp Mustache III was a resounding success again this year as Joe, Kristin, and Emma put together a hell of a program. Camp Mustache is a gathering of like minded people focused on financial independence and early retirement. Pete Adeney is the guest of honor as Mr. Money Mustache.

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Buy a Car $4,000 Under Blue Book

By Keith Taxguy / May 26, 2016 / 9 Comments

Cars are a leading cause of wealth destruction; they are also a necessary evil in our society. The only way to win the “car” game is to prepare for battle with a fully loaded arsenal. Today I am going to show you how I buy cars for $4,000 or more under Blue Book.

Before we begin battle you need to understand my car habits. I drive 6,000 – 8,000 miles per year, mostly for business trips. I bike to work around 100 days per year and drive another 100 days. The round trip to work is 30.2 miles. I always buy a used vehicle. Once I claim ownership of said vehicle I drive it for 15-20 years. There are two cars in the garage. This means I buy a car every 7 to 10 years on average. I keep my cheapskate skills honed by helping clients and family members engage in the same mischievous auto savings activities.

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The Real Interest Rate on Your Mortgage

By Keith Taxguy / May 13, 2016 / 10 Comments

People suffer financial hardship largely due to limited math skills. Myths, frequently perpetuated by the financial services industry, are created, repeated, and reinforced to keep people poor and enslaved. Financial services companies are there to provide financial services and collect a fee for that service, not make you wealthy.

Today we are going to dispel a few of those myths and start you thinking differently about money, investing, and wealth. Armed with the real math you can avoid stupid money mistakes. Early retirement (any retirement for that matter) and financial independence requires you to manage your money wisely. This means you will need to put aside the lies you have been told from young on.

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The un-Free

By Keith Taxguy / May 3, 2016 / 4 Comments

A letter was waiting for me on the kitchen table. My daughter had a letter from school. “What’s this?” I ask. My daughter was all smiles as she says, “I made Student of the Month.” Mrs. Accountant was not as excited as she should have been and I know why. Her bullshit meter goes off as easy as mine. I read the letter and discovered there is more than one Student of the Month. In fact, there are a lot of Students of the Month. And here is the coup de grace that set off the BS meter in Mrs. Accountant: Our daughter gets a free meal at a certain restaurant with all the other “Students” of the Month. Of course, mom and dad have to fork out an armload for their meal and mom and dad are required to attend the function if our daughter is to get her meal gratis.

Free: The one word in the English language sure to get people to look. It is used by marketers and scam artists alike with great skill. It is the most dangerous

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