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Showing posts from June, 2018

Journey Update | Week Ending Jun 29, 2018: Evil, Gums, Chocolate

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Welcome back to My Early Retirement Journey. In case you're just joining us, here's a little bit about me.  I am a single 30-something, openly Christian, hesitantly immigrant-y, human woman. I love watching TV while eating takeout, and I want to retire early. I currently work as a consultant in a tele-health call center making around $40/hr. I started my professional life in 2015 at the ripe ole age of 31 after a few false starts. I spent 2016 paying off about $10,000 worth of credit card debt. I spent 2017 paying off about $20,000 in private student loans; I still have about $300,000 in federal student loans for which I am currently on an income-based repayment plan for the next 25 years, give or take.  I started really getting into savings and investing late 2017 when I stumbled upon the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community.  In 2018, I made the decision to try to save for a sabbatical and maybe if all goes well continue the journey to early retirement.  Al…

7 Easy Meals When You Need A Break: A Listicle

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Seasons change and the Journey continues. For those of us still on the Journey to Early Retirement, in the background of summer fun and graduation parties is the ever present work day. After a long day, sometimes you are too tired to cook. You haven't quite simplified your life like the Frugalwoods or FIRE extremists where your daily breakfast consists of oatmeal and afternoon lunch is a hearty bowl of beans and rice. No, you're not quite to the pre-planned meals stage yet in the Journey. In fact like me sometimes you  still eat out . While you're progressing along your journey, healthy eating is a must or at least on your to-do list. One tip is to keep basics on hand and have some go-to simple recipes that you can make without much thought. Here's a few to share, courtesy of myUHC/Rally.



1. Creamy Goat Cheese Grits

I wouldn't be a nice Southern gal if I didn't have this on my list. A southern staple that can be made savory or sweet, hearty or scant. It's …

Wednesday Weekly: Jun 27, 2018

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Most popular post on My Early Retirement Journey this week: Review | 3 Free Spreadsheets You Should Try (2nd week in a row)

Wednesday Weekly is a round up of what I stumbled upon this week on the world wide web because sharing resources and information is what the internet's all about.

WHAT I STUMBLED UPON THIS WEEK
Overtaxed Working Memory Knocks the Brain Out of Sync (Quanta Magazine)
Gossiping Is Good (The Atlantic)

WOMEN ON THE WEB
How To Travel Hack Without Using Credit Card Points (Baby Boomer Super Saver)


THIS BLOGGING BUSINESS
How the Heck Do You Use Mailchimp? A Full Tutorial (with video) For Sending Your First Newsletter (Melyssa Griffin)
How to Insert Ads Within your Post Content on WordPress (wpbeginner)


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Why My Credit Scored Dropped 16 Points: What NOT To Do

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So I received a notice from Credit Karma that my credit score dropped 16 points. I scoured the site but found no explanation. They state that some fluctuations are normal. I doubt 16 points is a normal fluctuation. I called one of the credit reporting agencies and they stated they were unable to provide me any information over the phone. They would send me a free credit report, and I could then file a dispute if  anything on the report was inaccurate.  Fighting with organizations is my least favorite thing to do. How do you prove "nothing." As in, I did nothing to warrant this drop. The struggle is just ongoing.



Sometime in April 2018, I received the free credit report (with no score). It showed me everything I could already see on Credit Karma so that was a bit anti-climactic. I didn't see anything new on the report. The report showed 3 late payments from a federal student loan in 2015 that should have been under a grace period. I thought it was a mistake that w…

My Week Ending June 22, 2018: Dry Cereal, Girdle, Chisme

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Welcome back to My Early Retirement Journey. In case you're just joining us, here's a little bit about me.  I am a single 30-something, openly Christian, hesitantly immigrant-y, human woman. I love watching TV while eating takeout, and I want to retire early. I currently work as a consultant in a tele-health call center making around $40/hr. I started my professional life in 2015 at the ripe ole age of 31 after a few false starts. I spent 2016 paying off about $10,000 worth of credit card debt. I spent 2017 paying off about $20,000 in private student loans; I still have about $300,000 in federal student loans for which I am currently on an income-based repayment plan for the next 25 years, give or take.  I started really getting into savings and investing late 2017 when I stumbled upon the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community.  In 2018, I made the decision to try to save for a sabbatical and maybe if all goes well continue the journey to early retirement.  Al…

Seven Spectacular Reasons I Still Shop at Walmart - Like It or Not! (Who Target??)

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Welcome back to My Early Retirement Journey. This is my summer of listicles (and catchy title challenge). Why, you ask? Because it's summer!  Who has time to be cooped up in the house reading blogs when there is so much life to enjoy!  So to you, readers, I promise to keep these summer posts short, sweet, and engaging.

So while Walmart is an affiliate, I've made $0.03 since I joined their affiliate program. And that was for a purchase I made. Yes, they allow self-purchases. I sought them out when I started blogging because I love the brand so much. You'll see in most of my weekly updates that I tend to run errands there. For the most part, they're my one-stop shop and since I try to automate as much of my life as possible, it suits me and where I am on My Early Retirement Journey.  After spending a little bit of time earlier this year with Auntie MERJ, I remembered why I love Walmart so much even though millennials give it so much flack. Since we're getting to kno…

Wednesday Weekly: Jun 20, 2018

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Most popular post on My Early Retirement Journey this week: Review | 3 Free Spreadsheets You Might Want To Try

Wednesday Weekly is a round up of what I stumbled upon this week on the world wide web because sharing resources and information is what the internet's all about.

WHAT I STUMBLED UPON THIS WEEK
College May Not Be Worth It Anymore (New York Times)
Making a Killing in Virtual Real Estate (Bloomberg)

WOMEN ON THE WEB
How To Live on $700 a Month (Sarah Titus)


THIS BLOGGING BUSINESS
When Is The Best Time To Publish A Blog Post? (CoSchedule)


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7 FIRE-UNFriendly Things I Still Do on My Early Retirement Journey: A Listicle

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Hi, there. If you're just joining My Early Retirement Journey, I had some struggles early in the Journey with how exactly I fit in as I am in the FIRE community. There are some good tips in the FIRE blogosphere about how to live frugally and maximize savings, but not everyone's advice can be applied to your life. It's your life! Live it the way you want! Here are some things I still do or buy that are not particularly FIRE-Friendly so to speak, but it makes my life easier and in the end ..it's my money... I do what I want!

1.  Paper plates, bowls, and utensils. I still use paper plates and bowls and plastic cutlery. I can hear the cringe of environmentalists. I try to eliminate as many barriers to healthy eating as possible because I love eating junk food straight out of the package. If using a paper plate means I'm more likely to eat something more nutritious, that's what I'm going to do. If using a paper plate means I'll bother heating something up w…

Review | 3 Free Spreadsheets You Might Want To Try

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So when I was doing my June 2018 Financial Update, I was looking into different spreadsheets. Primarily I wanted a way to visualize my numbers and maybe refine the spreadsheet I'd made back in December 2017 when I first started this Journey.

Below is what mine looks like. It's functional but a bit clunky and I keep adding things. And then I get annoyed with having to re-write the formula. I want something a bit more automated, and I want it now, says the millennial in me.



Currently I'm only tracking my savings and investment balances quarterly, or every three months. If you're just joining us I just started this Journey Dec 2017 and started blogging around Feb 2018.

Four Pillar Freedom
Onwards. I know Four Pillar Freedom creates some nice visuals and I knew he'd posted a free copy of his spreadsheet. So I gave that a try.



Key points:
I liked the simple bar graph to track your net worth over time.I liked that there wasn't much data entry involved and I di…

My Week Ending June 15, 2018: Enema, Frozen Rice, Junk Food

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Welcome back to My Early Retirement Journey. In case you're just joining us, here's a little bit about me.  I am a single 30-something, openly Christian, hesitantly immigrant-y, human woman. I love watching TV while eating takeout, and I want to retire early. I currently work as a consultant in a tele-health call center making around $40/hr. I started my professional life in 2015 at the ripe ole age of 31 after a few false starts. I spent 2016 paying off about $10,000 worth of credit card debt. I spent 2017 paying off about $20,000 in private student loans; I still have about $300,000 in federal student loans for which I am currently on an income-based repayment plan for the next 25 years, give or take.  I started really getting into savings and investing late 2017 when I stumbled upon the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community.  In 2018, I made the decision to try to save for a sabbatical and maybe if all goes well continue the journey to early retirement.  Alo…

Scrapbook | Jun 2018 - Junky Grocery Haul

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Hey there! Welcome back to My Early Retirement Journey. I don't know what direction this blog is going quite yet. Making money off of it seems to be a long way off, if ever. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy this part of the journey and add some fun pictures along the way! My new brainchild is this scrapbook series. It's one of my favorite things to do even virtually, so I hope you like it! And remember if you enjoy what we're doing here, then Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook / Share/ Comment/ Subscribe!

So if you've been following along with my most recent weekly update, I hit a financial milestone and got a little spendy. Well, I bought some rando items just because. They made me giggle so I thought I'd share this part of Summer 2018 so far...






 Yummy find.
Impulse buy..sort of.
Lucky Charms (2lb): $3
Chips Ahoy cereal: $4



Some refreshing soda for movie night this weekend.
On tap: pizza + popcorn + soda
Movie: Set It Up









Colossal Crunch: $3
Frosted…

Wednesday Weekly: June 13, 2018

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Most popular post on My Early Retirement Journey this week:My Week Ending June 8, 2018: 100k, Google Docs, Auntie Dearest

Wednesday Weekly is a round up of what I stumbled upon this week on the world wide web because sharing resources and information is what the internet's all about.

WHAT I STUMBLED UPON THIS WEEK
How to Make Tough Decisions Easier (The New York Times)

WOMEN ON THE WEB
The Quest of Laurene Powell Jobs (The Washington Post)
The Passion Profile Quiz (Clarity on Fire)

THIS BLOGGING BUSINESS 
7 Steps to Use Google Calendar to Create Your Editorial Calendar (Your Marketing BFF)
How To Optimize Images For Your WordPress Website (Elegant Themes)

Enjoy? Follow us on Twitter / Like us on Facebook / Share/ Comment/ Subscribe!


How Being A Victim of Identity Theft Helped Me Take Control of My Finances and Pay Off $30,000 of Debt in 2 Years

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So I thought I'd share my debt payoff story. I didn't think there was much there, but perhaps I don't give myself enough credit (no pun intended). I just thought - I got into debt when I didn't have any money; I got out of debt when I did. That's the overall gist. End of story. And in fact as I got deeper into the recesses of my debt history, it started to get more personal and less finance. I almost didn't want to publish this part of the journey. But baring our soul through the lens of personal finance is what we do here in the hopes that it will inspire the next person and help that one person feel a little less alone.  Read on then if you dare.
Background: The Identity Theft
Between 2016 to 2017, I was a victim of identity theft. Some new credit cards were mailed to an old address and someone stole them out of the mailbox. I had no idea as I still had the old credit cards in my possession. However due to the new chip technology, new credit cards were shippe…
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