When it comes to credit scores, people really like to micromanage. It’s actually like a game: how high can it go! With the advent of Discover and CreditKarma, you can check your credit scores in real time. People read their daily/weekly/monthly reports, and then freak out when it drops 5 points. They might also get very excited if it goes up a few points. The general wisdom is to not really pay attention to your credit score. Pay your credit card bills in full every month, and you’ll have a good score. Unfortunately, not knowing my credit score really hurt me. It meant I didn’t qualify for a prime auto loan rate, and now have to pay an extra $1,000 for my car.
I’m starting a new series of posts, which I’m calling “Millennial FIRE Showcase.” I am going to interview Millennials and learn more about why they chose the FIRE path, and showcase how they are achieving their goals. Remember that FIRE means “Financial Independence — Retire Early.” As we all know, there are many ways to save for retirement, and seeing what other people are doing helps to humanize the FIRE movement. Hopefully it shows that Millennials like myself are extremely hard-working and have dreams just like everyone else. These stories might even push you towards a FIRE goal of your own. Continue reading “Millennial FIRE Showcase #1: Engineers + Entrepreneurship”
Working Millennials have a huge problem: income. As millennials, we graduated from college in the worst job market in a generation. There were very few open jobs, and the competition for these few jobs was intense. This created a scenario where anyone would take a job, regardless of the salary. Fast forward several years and the economy has made great progress. Companies are making profits and the unemployment rate is the lowest that it’s been in decades. Unfortunately, incomes haven’t improved very much, and that is hitting Millennials very hard. Even Millennials who are in a high income percentile are still doing poorly, due to Millennial income inequality.
Balancing quality and price when shopping is really tough. On one hand, its really hard to gauge the quality and long-term performance of an item. Are the $2 or $3 pens better? On the other hand, what is actually worth spending more money on? Should you invest thousands in a mattress because you spend nearly 1/3 of your life sleeping? To find out, let’s turn to reddit. A terribly skewed, but extremely honest source that will bring us into the minds of the everyday person. What are those seemingly expensive purchases that save you money in the long term?
March is over, which means we get another Zero Day Challenge results post! If you haven’t checked out the challenge, give it a quick read. Basically, I gamify savings by keeping track of “zero days” — days where I don’t spend any money. Spending $0 for an entire day is a great way to decrease your spending. The more “zero days” you can get during the month, the lower your overall spending will be. This month was a big step for me because I finally changed jobs to increase my salary. I also made it to the second page of Reddit before the mods over at r/personalfinance decided to delete my post and ban my account 🙁