Random financial tips

Intro: I’ve come across a few interesting / relevant ideas lately.  There isn’t exactly a thematic coherence between these financial tips / this financial advice, but it’s worth sharing. Random financial tips: HSA (Health Savings Account) can be used as a super-charged retirement account.  Here’s how it works.  Contributions aren’t taxed. Contributions can be invested […]

The Trimurti of Household Budgeting

Intro: Personal finance types, myself included, often recommend making small lifestyle changes to save more money for retirement.  A prominent example is the latte effect, which holds that cutting out a daily cup of coffee can theoretically save 1,000’s of dollars (it can).  This kind of advice, however, really gets under some people’s skin. Take […]

Location arbitrage: living abroad to save money

Abstract: Living abroad in countries like Ecuador or Thailand can save the average American serious money (and serious working time).  Specifically, living in an inexpensive country abroad for 10 years saves nearly $225,000 versus living in the U.S., and even more than that for big spenders.  As more and more people transition to location independent careers, […]

Building vs. buying a home

Abstract: Buying an existing 1,000-square-foot home saves $17,500 over the first ten years of ownership compared to building a new one. Intro: I’ve often wondered: would the energy and maintenance savings on a new home be worth the added construction costs versus buying an existing house?  Financially speaking, the answer turns out to be no. […]

More roommates = more money + more fun

Abstract: Ever thought about finding some roommates to save money?  Well, getting one roommate would save the average American renter about $6,000 per year, while getting two roommates would save $7,600 per year.  Despite the diminishing marginal returns of extra roommates, there’s actually a lot to be said about the non-financial aspects of platonic cohabitation […]

Lifestyle inflation: pocketing America’s spare change since 1950

Intro: How did our young, handsome grandparents spend money back in 1950 and how do we spend it today? In real terms, our quality of life as Americans is much better today than it was in the past (but maybe not for much longer?). Goods and services are cheaper than ever (such as flights), and […]