So you wanna be a baller? Frugality vs. Side Hustle- only one clear winner

“You can’t be a baller on a budget.”  These were the words a friend of mine, who sells Audis,  uses to sell luxury cars to people who want to haggle the price of a car down and, consequently, cut into his commissions.  I can assure you that, in order to achieve financial independence at a reasonable or early age, you absolutely can not spend like a baller. Financial Independence requires building up your net worth quickly, but how? If you are like I was, you have a vague idea that you should be saving as much as you can, pre-tax, and

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Creating our early retirement checklist

So you’ve done all your saving and investing, took care of your Roth IRA problem, and now you’re ready to pull the trigger and tell your employer bye-bye.  However, as an early retiree, you are a forward thinking individual and wish to tie up any loose ends before your early workplace exit.  I happen to be in this situation as I write this post.  I am going to share with you what’s in our early retirement checklist. Before we dive into this checklist, I must share the lyrics that come to my mind when I think of lists; From Santa Claus

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A Beginner’s Guide to Brokerage Hacking

A Beginner’s Guide To Brokerage Hacking : Earning Substantial Side Income In a Few Hours What is Brokerage Hacking? Brokerage hacking involves taking advantage of promotional rules set up by online brokerages in order to earn substantial bonuses for opening up new accounts or adding to existing accounts. A history of my brokerage hacking First, let’s review, in sequential order, all of the various brokerage accounts I have had over the years, and why; Putnam Investments (my first foray into investing, suggested by a financial adviser) Janus Funds (I had funds rolled over from an IRA into Janus because they offered no load

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Determining an appropriate emergency fund

What is the size of an emergency fund a future retiree should have?  Why set one up at all?  How should an emergency fund be compiled?  Before we answer these important questions, I think we should define what an emergency fund is. According to Investopedia, An emergency fund is an account used to set aside funds needed in the event of a personal financial dilemma, such as the loss of a job, a debilitating illness or a major expense. Why have an emergency fund? Many financial planners advise a 3-6 month emergency fund.  Let’s explore some reasons why you might want

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Our 2016 tax return exposed; The good, the bad, and the awesome

Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes.  The Finance Patriot is working hard to avoid both. Before diving into the details of our 2016 return, which I know you are all dying to know, let’s start with our 2016 tax summary (from taxact.com).  After reviewing the summary, please scroll down for a detailed discussion of each line item. Federal Tax Summary, 2016 W-2 Income $105,626 Adjusted gross income $105,626 Deductions $14,133 Exemptions $16,200 Taxable income $75,293 Tax computed using Form 1040 Line 44 – Qualified Dividends Capital Gain Tax WS $9,779  Credits $(2,000)

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Five Things I’ll Miss About Work When I Retire Early

In the niche world of Early Retirement and Financial Independence writing, the themes seem to be focused endlessly on the things we will enjoy about leaving the full-time work force world of being a wage slave.  I too, have these feelings each morning I am forced to be on a 10 minute conference call, where we discuss our plans for the day (inevitably this 10 minute call lasts 15-30 minutes). Recently, though, between analyzing our investments and our realization that I can retire today, I have been reflecting on my last six years at my current employer.  I want to detail all

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A History of My Interest in Financial Freedom and Early Retirement

Who am I and how did I get here? As an infant, the concept of work and career are foreign.  The concept of play is not.  Somewhere along the way, work becomes more important than play… far more important.  Therefore, as we grow up, it is incumbent upon us to figure out a way to reset the pendulum. Welcome to the Finance Patriot.  What comes to mind when you think of a patriot?  The web defines a patriot as; a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. Fair enough.  In America, the

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