House Poor: What it is and How to Avoid it

Have you ever felt like a complete and utter failure?  I am talking about a total breakdown, tail between your legs, wondering how life will go on from here … flat out FAILURE.  That’s how I felt on that fateful day in the stairwell at my auditing job while speaking with my wife. I had finally come to grips with the fact that we had to move because we were house poor.

That meant selling the house where we started our married life together in 2011.  Here we were, less than 5 years later, having to sell it.  We wouldn’t see the fifth year anniversary of our wedding or closing date in our home.

house poorIt was the realization of our EPIC FAILURE.

It was the house our first child (Davey Joe) came home from the hospital to. The home where my wife become a rock star real estate agent in the area and we spent countless nights scheming for her to continue her rise.  The neighborhood where we spent at least two summers planting countless miniature U.S. flags for July 4th.  The house and a community that we called home was now quickly going to become a place to visit.

The holidays around the dining room table that we got for free. We hauled the damn thing in a rented pickup truck for a half hour or so hoping that it wouldn’t tip over into traffic.

The blood, sweat and many tears that went into painting walls, laying floors, and hanging crown molding. My wife and in-laws did the majority of the work while I went to my job.

It was the home where we learned our pug had lymphoma. But, the little girl beat the odds and was cured.

We experienced ups and downs while we lived there for sure. That said, we loved that house.  We loved that neighborhood.  And we loved that town.

Unfortunately, we were the very cause of our own downfall. We created the circumstances that lead us to have to sell our first home and relocate.

Let me explain where we went wrong and how we bounced back.Read more

Growth Mindset: 3 Ways Running Provides Mental Toughness

Do you ever wonder how the world’s elite athletes do it?

They make it look so easy. Tom Brady executes a perfectly thrown ball for a touchdown.  Usain Bolt outruns the field yet again.  Clayton Kershaw throws a pitch with pinpoint accuracy on the black for strike 3.  Phil Mickelson sinks an unlikely 30-foot putt.

What’s the secret? Well, if you ask Darren Hardy of Success Magazine, it’s about the grind:

It’s the hours in the gym that you don’t see.

It’s the thousands of balls they hit on the practice green that is not filmed.

It is the hundreds of gigs they perform in small seedy clubs for no pay.

It is the thousands of calls they make that DON’T result in a sale.

It’s the years of two-a-days in the hot sun and grinding it out in the minor leagues and doing meetings where no one shows up.

All those moments, despite the boredom and the mundaneness, they keep GRINDING!

Do yourself a favor and read the full article.  It’s worth it and incredibly motivating.

You need to consider this when you start running. It’s not about race day.  It’s about your growth as a runner.  That growth is key and it comes first with a mindset of growth.  You see, it wasn’t until I started training for my first half marathon that I began to harness the mental toughness to do another half marathon and even fathom I could finish a marathon.

In my experience, the mental toughness that produces a growth mindset is inevitably drawn from the 3 key areas I discuss below. These are important to remember as you embark on any worthwhile endeavor.  You should keep them in mind as you begin your training.Read more

Have a Frugal Easter Holiday

With Easter right around the corner, do you find yourself waiting for just ONE MONTH without a holiday?

frugal easter holidayJust one month so you can play catch up and ACTUALLY SAVE your goal savings amount. I understand you and a lot of other people out there are with you.

As parents, we are constantly pulled in two directions. Do we save money?  Or do we buy our little one that extra gift or two?  You tell yourself it’s what your parents did for you.  You rationalize it by thinking it’s a holiday!

Again, I’m with you and I get it. My wife and I are navigating these waters as well with our young son.  It’s not an easy thing.  You see the little face and you just want to give them the world.

However, we all need to be role models for our children. To do that, we sometimes need to make the difficult, but necessary decisions.  Can you say adulting?   (Side note: I hate that term and my spell check doesn’t even recognize it).

That’s why I found some top blog posts from the last few years that I wanted to share as we prepare for Easter. I know Easter isn’t as expensive as Christmas or the child’s birthday, but candy, baskets, and presents can begin to break any well-intentioned parent’s budget very quickly.

Fear not. I found some great tips from other amazing bloggers that can keep you on budget this Easter holiday.Read more

Cultivating Discipline in All Areas of Your Life

I want to discuss a topic that may make you cringe.  Cultivating discipline.

cultivating disciplineNow, I know the word discipline itself has a bad connotation.  You hate hearing it. It harkens back to days where you were told to sit up straight in school or you would go to the principal’s (disciplinarian’s) office (at least in Catholic school).  Or your parents would discipline you by grounding you for not doing your chores or something.  Yes, discipline.

As individuals in our 20s, 30s, and 40s here, we are responsible for fostering our own discipline and mindset. Sure, our bosses could reprimand us or the cop that pulled us over can give us a ticket.  Those are forms of discipline.  But, true day in and day out responsibility and accountability comes down to cultivating discipline in ourselves and our daily routine.

Would you agree?

Here with Run The Money, I am focusing on cultivating discipline in the areas of financial health and physical health. All of these require a mature amount of discipline to not only invoke in our lives, but consistently apply to our lives.Read more

Take the America Saves Pledge!

Thanks for stopping by Run The Money and participating in America Saves Week. Are you looking to change your life? Do you want to actually save money every week and every month? If so, take the America Saves pledge below. By taking this pledge, you're not only having all of those participating hold you accountable for your savings. What's more ... you're holding yourself accountable. And that's where change begins. So, go for it. We here at Run The Money and America Saves are cheering you on!

Thanks,

Dave

Take the #ImSavingFor Pledge for America Saves Week 2017

Share Your Savings Goal and Win $1000 in the #ImSavingFor Contest

To celebrate the upcoming America Saves Week (Feb. 27-March 4, 2017), America Saves is launching the #ImSavingFor contest. It’s easy to enter. Just share a short video of your savings story, or a picture of you and what you are saving for and enter to win $1,000 at americasavesweek.org/imsavingfor.

How to enter:

  • Create a short video featuring your savings story by answering at least one of these questions: What are you saving for? What is your savings story and how can it help other people? What is your favorite savings tip or trick?
  • Or take picture illustrating your savings goal
  • Enter to win at americasavesweek.org/imsavingfor
  • Share your video or photo on social media with the hashtag #ImSavingFor

Get creative!

  • Keep it simple by taking a video or picture in front of the item your savings for – like a new car or house
  • Use a video or photo editing tool to put yourself in the frame with your goal – like a trip to the Grand Canyon or Mount Rushmore
  • Use an app to add a caption or some character to your submission

Bonus chances to win:
You can only enter once per person, but you can get an extra three entries by taking the next step in saving and completing the America Saves Pledge to create a simple savings plan. After entering, look for an email with your bonus opportunity information.

The contest runs from February 1 – April 7, 2017. America Saves will pick one entry at random on March 10 and contact them by email. Click here for the full official rules.

Become Financially Independent in Your 30s

I have always wanted to become financially independent in my 30s.  It has always been a goal of mine.  It all started for me around 2007 and it coincided with meeting my wife in 2006.  She introduced me to Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.  Kiyosaki talked about his Rich Dad, who understood how money worked and built businesses.  He was his friend's father.  His Poor Dad (his own father) was a schoolteacher and was a slave to money.

become financially independent in your 30sKiyosaki spoke about how he learned that having a business is a bridge to building wealth and introduced us all to the E/S/B/I triangle.  E for Employee, S for Self-Employed, B for Business, and I for Investing.  The goal was to move away from being an employee or self-employed (which Kiyosaki called owning a job) and move into the B/I side.  Your goal was to build a business that you could use to invest  From there, you could build true, sustainable wealth.

And I was hooked.  I wanted financial freedom really bad.  These days it's called "Financially Independent, Retire Early," or FIRE.  Yes, it's still a strong desire of mine and one that I'm committed to achieving in the coming years.

What about you?  Are you new to the concept of financial independence?  Have you ever considered it?  Consider some of the points below as a way to jump start your FIRE goals!Read more

Emergency Fund: Why You Need this 5 Step Savings Plan

We’ve all been there in some fashion: having to put a big unexpected expense on the credit card because we didn't have an emergency fund.

emergency fundYou go in for your state inspection and you find out that your car needs new tires.

You wake up one morning to find out the toilet in your guest bathroom fell through the ceiling and is now in your living room. (This actually happened to my parents’ place at the Jersey shore.  Luckily, they weren’t there at the time and a contractor let them know).

Your little one gets sick and you have a high deductible. You take him to the emergency room and thank God he’s alright.  But, hooray!  We have more bills to pay!  Emergency room visits aren’t cheap.

The point is life happens. Expenses sneak up on you here and there.

If you’re like many people out there, you’re likely not prepared for them.

So, what do you do? You put them on your credit card.  That’s what everybody does, right?  Not exactly.  The Credit Card Catastrophe might be a reality for those in your inner circle, but there are actually people out there who are prepared for life’s emergencies.Read more

Debt Paydown: 9 Ways We Paid Off $60,000 in Debt

Are you in need of a major debt paydown?

I've been in thousands of dollars of debt a few times in my life.

debt paydownThe first was when I graduated college in 2006.  I left school with $20,000 in student loan debt.  Four years later, I was debt free.

That was until I bought my wife her engagement ring for $10,000.  Fortunately, it appraised for double and I paid the ten grand off in a year.

In 2016, we paid off $30,000 in credit card debt.  We accumulated this debt beginning in 2015.  My wife and I were working in real estate together.  She worked the business full-time and I helped manage things on a part-time basis in addition to my full-time job as an auditor.

Everything changed for us in the middle of March 2015.  It was when my wife saw the 8-week sonogram of my our son, Davey Joe (David Joseph).  My wife fell in love immediately.  It was indeed love at first sight.

After the appointment, we got in the car.  She turned to me and said, "I'm done."  I asked her what she meant.  She proceeded to tell me that she wanted to close up shop with our real estate business and focus exclusively on nesting and motherhood.

We purchased our $455,000 at that time in a rather expensive zip code in 2011.  We bought that on an auditor's and teacher's salary.  My wife left teaching to become a real estate agent.  With our real estate business, we had $250,000 coming in annually.  Now, we were going to drastically drop that down to $75,000 -- my salary alone.Read more

2017 America Saves Week Resources

  • February 8, 2017

Hey there, everybody. Thanks for coming to our dedicated 2017 America Saves Week page here at Run The Money.  I am so proud to support America Saves because it falls right in line with our values here at Run The Money.  It’s all about helping you gain financial knowledge, save rather than spend your money, and get you in a winning mindset in all facets of your life.

Follow @RunTheMoney and @AmericaSaves and use #ASW17 for all the latest updates and savings tips.  Be sure to join us for our Twitter chat during America Saves Week on Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm Eastern time (3 pm to 4 pm Pacific).  We will discuss “7 FAQ on Saving Money.”  More information is below.

Also, make sure to sign up to receive our free video on “5 Ways to Save Money for Your Next Vacation.” Subscribe with your email address and Twitter @username and I’ll get it right out to you.

Please check out all the resources below. I’ve included America Saves articles and tools, top articles from Run The Money and other blogs, and recommended books.

To your Savings,

Dave


#RTMChat Highlights

If you missed our Twitter chat on March 2, no worries.  You can check out the entire conversation at TChat.io chatroom or search the hashtag #RTMChat on Twitter.  Check out the highlights below and thanks to everybody that participated.


Resources for America Saves Week

America Saves Week Information

Top Money Articles

Recommended Money Books

New Releases in Money Books

Recommended Mobile Apps

Other Ways to Save