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This post may contain affiliate links, which helps us to continue providing relevant content and we receive a small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read the full disclosure here.

Time freedom is absolutely liberating!

If you are not aware of the concept of what time freedom is, then you are completely missing out.

This is something that you absolutely need to have in your life.

You need to learn how to design your life around this concept of time and freedom.

In our society, it is looked upon favorably that you are constantly busy; we are supposed to be busier than we were before. It is an accolade, it is a reward; you are given a pat on the back for being busy.

You’re doing a “great job” of living a busy life. But, those are also the same people that are busy hating life and completely stressed out. Is that really how you want to live life?

Today, I am going to challenge you to jump on the time freedom bandwagon.

This past year, I underwent major surgery; one that took months to recover from. As a result, I had a lot of time to think (flat on my back) without a whole lot to do. No to-do list, no driving children, no cooking dinner, no lifting, no nothing. Since I was recovering from the surgery and unable to do a lot of things, I had a lot of time to think.

One thing stuck out clearly… I do not live my life how I desire.

The way I actually spent my time pre-surgery did not align with my values, ethics, or my long-term vision for my life. I was wasting my life away by living the life that others believe that I am supposed to live.

Then, I began designing the life that I want to live. And that starts with time freedom.

Intrigued? Well, you should be… This will be a game-changer for you.

What Does Time Freedom mean?

Time freedom is exactly what you think it would be… have the freedom and the time to live life like you want to live.

  • You get to call the shots.
  • You get to do things that you want to do.
  • You don’t have to do things you don’t want to do.
  • You control your time.

By choosing time freedom, it gives you the flexibility to enjoy the life that you want to live.

Possibilities include spending time with your family, working on projects that you have passions about, spending time on hobbies that you are passionate about, or volunteering with causes you believe in.

So many opportunities present themselves once you carve out what time freedom means to you.

Think about these questions to help you define time and freedom for you:

  • If I was given an extra hour each day, how would I spend it?
  • If I was given an extra day in the week, how would I spend that time?
  • What is holding me back from living the life of my dreams?
  • Am I strong enough and have the conviction to say time freedom is more important than how others say I should dictate my time?
  • If I die today, what would I regret about how I spent my time?

Once you answer some of these questions, you will have a greater chance of figuring out what tiny meant freedom means to you.

While the overall definition of time freedom is the same for all of us; each person will have their individualized approach and personalization to what time freedom means to them.

How to Achieve Time Freedom?

This is something critical for you to dedicate time to think about.

As I said earlier in this post, this is something that I pondered on for a while. And it wasn’t until a couple of months later, once the hard part of my recovery was behind me and I could actually start doing things again that time freedom became even more important to me.

I am stingy. I am choosy with how I am going to spend my time and with who I am going to spend my time.

Time here on Earth is short; it is a speck on the horizon.

So choose to live life passionately and enjoy the journey.

This process of how to achieve time freedom will be fine-tuned as you go through the process. You can spend 10 minutes and think about it, but you really have to dig deep and make really tough choices. More than likely involve your family and close friends in your decision.

You need to define what time freedom means to you and how you are going to achieve it and more specifically why it is important.

1. Evaluate Your Real Life

You need to figure out what you were currently doing and how you are actually spending your time. This means for at least one week, you need to write down every single thing that you do.

For example, if you have to go pick up the kids, even though you know it is a seven minute drive to and from your house and school. It does not actually take you seven minutes; build in bluffer blocks to chat with your friends, talk to their teachers after school, and the whole event of picking up your kids. It is going to be longer than seven minutes.

So, you need to time block every single thing out. That will give you an idea of exactly how long it takes you to get stuff done.

While I am a believer in 30 Minute Meals and I love meals that are quick. I’ll be honest, I may be able to cook a meal in 30 minutes, but there is no way that I am able to cook a meal and clean up in 30 minutes (at least I am honest)! As a result, I need to make time for an hour to cook and clean up dinner.

How does this relate to time freedom? You need to see how you ACTUALLY spend your time.

Once you see how you spend your time, you can evaluate your true life, not the life that you believe is happening in your head.

You get to evaluate how you actually spend your time.

You may notice things like, wow, I spent 45 minutes or 90 minutes scrolling on Facebook and Instagram, and only 10 minutes talking to my children after

That could be an eye-opener for you to evaluate your life, and figure out what time freedom means for you.

2. Design the Life That You Want

This is the fun part!

As you are going through the week tracking down every single thing that you do and how you spend your time, you get to start thinking and dreaming about how you would spend your time differently.

Figure out how would you live your life differently.

Now that you know that time freedom is a possibility in your life. You get to start designing the life that you choose.

In order to do this, you need to evaluate what are the things that matter to you most.

If you died today, what would you regret most? Just writing that brings tears to my eyes, but you never know what the future holds.

That is why time and freedom are so liberating. You get to make sure that you get to tell those around you that you love them. They are important, and their life is worthwhile.

This step of designing the life that you want to live will probably take the longest because, over time, you will refine things that were important to you and realized others actually were not that important as you thought.

Refining what type of life you want to live will take time; so, please do not limit this soul-searching process.

Focus on time freedom and what it will mean to you.

3. Take Control of Your Time

Take control of your time and enough of the “busy life.”

That is something of “busy” generations before. Going forward, you want to have space, flexibility, and freedom to live the life that you choose to live.

And that starts by taking control of your time.

Don’t let others dictate your life plan.

In advance, decide how and where you are going to spend your precious time. Block out times for rest, recuperation, reading, hanging out with the kids, working out, etc. Do not let whatever get into your blocked out time.

Do the same for your work time – the amount you get paid to work. I cannot stress this enough. If you are sick and tired of working 60 to 80 hours a week, yet you still do it, week after week, even though you were paid on a 40 hour a week salary that needs to stop today.

Enough is enough.

Stop being there for your employer and crumbling in your personal life.

You need to take control of your time and work is the number one thing that is a most for us (until you reach your money freedom) that we need to do, but it takes the most time out of your life.

If you are paid for 40 hours, then focus on getting your job done just as well in 40 hours, and not spend that extra 20 to 40 hours working overtime. You are not getting paid for overtime. And that doesn’t equate to your time freedom.

Enough is enough.

I know so many people that are tired and don’t want to work anymore because time freedom is more important to them than their paycheck and their sanity.

Start putting barriers in place – block your schedule. Define your working hours and stick to it. No logging in early and no checking emails before bed. You are in charge of your time.

You need to be more respectful of your wishes and your desires.

4. Drop the Things You Don’t Want

This one is hard for a lot of us because we feel like there is a mandatory checklist
as we go through the life of things that we are supposed to do. And especially if you’re a mom, you know that you’re supposed to do “mommy activities” like you get a badge of honor.

By participating in something, even though it is not something that you want to do, you are wasting your time freedom

Instead, you need to drop the things that you don’t want to do, and choose the things that you do want to do.

It is not rocket science, but it is hard.

It is hard the first time that you say no to a commitment.

Declare to yourself… I am not going to do this presented opportunity because it gives me the freedom of time to choose something else.

That, my friends, is why you were reading this post! You need the okay that you deserve more in life than being stressed out and running from place to place.

You need to find this time freedom!

5. Focus on Your Time & Desires

This is the step that you need to find clarity and personalization on what time freedom works for means for you.

This is something that is going to become a part of your nature.

It will take time to grow into your new self. It is not a process that is going to happen overnight.

However, I can tell you after going through this process of finding time freedom in my life, I am the happiest person now. What I have in my life is because I am choosing that. And I’m very picky about what I will do and what I won’t do.

Focus on the areas of life that fill your bucket, that energizes you, that makes you just want to keep going. And drop the things that demoralize you, exhaust you, and make you feel worthless.

While you may not be able to flip this overnight to drop everything draining you and add everything that you want. It will be a process, and it will slowly happen over time.

  • Say no to that friend that every time you leave after lunch, you feel down and depressed because there isn’t much you can offer. She sucks the living daylights out of you.
  • Block the person on Facebook, who was causing all the controversies. It is not worth it.
  • You get to choose what is worth it.

That is what time meant freedom is all about.

Time Freedom vs. Financial Freedom

First, let’s look at what financial freedom means.

Ultimately, financial freedom means that you have the money and the resources to do what you please to do and do not have to worry about making a consistent income and how you will pay your bills.

Most people believe that they will never reach financial freedom because they do not have enough money saved. In reality, all it takes is just start saving and begin investing, and eventually, make progress to financial freedom.

If you are not saving at least 20% of your paycheck today, then financial independence is going to take that much longer.

Now, the question remains… how do time freedom and financial freedom correlate?

You are trading time for money.

Time > Money

You value your time over money.

And the good news is you can have both! You just have to figure out your priorities first.

The closer you are to reaching financial independence means you are closer to stop working for a paycheck. Then, you have the flexibility to do what you want to do when you want to do it. That means you aren’t working a nine to five job.

Not everybody reading this post right now can quit their job, walk away, and enjoy time freedom and financial freedom.

It sounds enticing, right? So, what are you going to do about that?

Make a plan.

Figure out what needs to happen financially, so you can find more time freedom in your life.

Sleep takes up one-third of our day, and studies have proven we should not sleep less than the recommended amount.

It’s work. Trading money for a paycheck.

The next thing that has to change is how much time you spend working.

You need to find ways to make more money fast or spend less than you make.

If you are determined to find more time freedom in your life, you will make it happen.

Do everything you possibly can to make as much money in that short season, so you have time flexibility going forward. You dedicate three years of your life to be able to years of time freedom. I believe that’s a good trade-off, and that’s what you need to think about and focus on.

You can still have time freedom without reaching financial independence. You just have to be careful about how you choose to spend your time outside of work.

What is Location Freedom?

Location freedom means the ability to live where ever you want because you want to.

There is nothing holding you down to a particular city, state, or country.

You have the freedom to choose where you reside – simple as that.

Unfortunately, for most of us to find that independence to have location freedom is very difficult because we feel the constraints that we have to stay working in our particular city, we need to stay close to family. There is a list of excuses not to become location independent.

Whereas, my friends over at Tuppennys Fireplace decided that they were willing to move to have the location freedom that they desired. They put in the time and effort to choose the location that they chose to live in.

While this may not be appealing to everybody, there is something appealing about being able to travel the world.

Being location independent, whether you are working or not working, may feel like a dream. But, you can actually make it a reality.

Are you Ready for Time Freedom in Your Life?

Well, we have reiterated that time freedom is the most amazing experience to have.

You may be terrified, and possibly even bored when you learn how time freedom changes your life.

With time freedom, you will have more time to spend on the things that you are passionate about, and less time on the things that suck you dry.

Day after day, you have the choice of how you choose to spend your time. That freedom is up to you to determine; as I have said, this is not an overnight process. This isn’t going to happen on a weekend.

It will take time to design the life that you want to live.

If you want to make drastic changes, then sit down over a weekend and really spend deep, quality time, thinking through this concept of time freedom. You will walk away a new person.

Most people will be jealous. Some people will hate you.

While true friends will stand beside you, and jump on the bandwagon to learn more about freedom of time.

Don’t care what other people think.

This is your life! You have one life to live. Live the best life that you can!

With time freedom in mind, you can design your life and truly understand what freedom of time will change you from the inside out.

If you are intrigued about time freedom, then here are the best time freedom books.

These books will help you build habits to find time in your life. Then, you can begin designing the life you want.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Know someone else that needs this, too? Then, please share!!

Did the post resonate with you?

More importantly, did I answer the questions you have about this topic? Let me know in the comments if I can help in some other way!

Your comments are not just welcomed; they’re an integral part of our community. Let’s continue the conversation and explore how these ideas align with your journey towards Money Bliss.


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The stock market is often seen as a distant entity, a realm of high finance reserved for Wall Street professionals. Yet, for the average American, the rise and fall of stock prices can significantly impact their personal credit score. This article explores the complex interplay between the stock market, consumer behavior, and creditworthiness in the current economic climate.

The Indirect Link: Investor Psychology and Spending Habits

While directly investing in the stock market doesn’t typically influence your credit report, it can indirectly affect your credit score through your spending habits. A strong bull market, where stock prices are consistently rising, can lead to a phenomenon known as the “wealth effect.” Consumers feeling more confident about their overall financial well-being may be more likely to increase spending, potentially resorting to credit cards to finance larger purchases or a more lavish lifestyle. This increased reliance on credit can negatively impact your credit score in two ways:

Credit Utilization Ratio: This crucial factor in your credit score measures the amount of credit you use compared to your total credit limit. Your utilization ratio rises as your credit card balances increase, potentially dragging down your score.

Debt-to-Income Ratio: This metric compares your total debt obligations, including credit card debt, to your gross income. Higher spending fueled by a strong market can lead to a higher debt-to-income ratio, another negative factor for credit scores.

Conversely, a bear market, where stock prices consistently fall, can have the opposite effect. Feeling more cautious about their financial security, consumers may tighten their belts and reduce spending. This could lead to lower credit card balances and a more conservative approach to debt, potentially boosting credit scores.

The Margin Account Conundrum

Using margin accounts is one exception to the general rule of stock market investments that do not affect your credit score. These accounts allow investors to borrow money from their brokerage firm to purchase securities. While offering the potential for amplified gains, margin accounts also have amplified risks. The borrowed money is reflected as a debt on your credit report, impacting your credit utilization ratio.

Furthermore, suppose the value of the purchased securities falls below a certain threshold. In that case, you may receive a margin call, forcing you to sell some of your holdings or deposit additional cash to cover the debt. Failure to meet a margin call can result in your broker selling your assets at a potentially significant loss, further damaging your credit score.

The Middle-Class Squeeze: Inflation, Interest Rates, and Credit

The current economic climate in the United States adds another layer of complexity to the relationship between the stock market and personal credit. Rising inflation erodes purchasing power, making it more difficult for middle-class families to make ends meet. Coupled with rising interest rates on credit cards and loans, the temptation to overextend credit lines becomes even greater. This can lead to a vicious cycle of increasing debt and declining credit scores, making qualifying for future loans at favorable rates harder.

Navigating the Maze: Strategies for a Strong Credit Score

Despite the indirect influence of the stock market, there are steps you can take to maintain a healthy credit score:

Develop a Budget and Stick to It: Track your income and expenses to create a realistic spending plan. Allocate savings and debt repayment funds, leaving room for discretionary spending but avoiding overreliance on credit.

Maintain Low Credit Card Balances: Aim to maintain a credit utilization ratio below 30% – the lower, the better. Consider paying off your credit card balances monthly to avoid accruing interest charges.

Explore Credit-Building Tools: If you have a limited credit history, explore options like secured credit cards or responsible use of store credit cards to build a positive credit profile.

Monitor Your Credit Reports Regularly: Check your credit reports from all three major bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) for errors or discrepancies. Dispute any inaccuracies promptly to maintain accurate credit information.


The stock market may not directly control your credit score, but its influence on consumer confidence and spending habits can have a significant indirect impact. Understanding this connection and prioritizing responsible financial habits can help you navigate the complex economic landscape and maintain a healthy credit score – a crucial factor in securing loans, renting apartments, and achieving your financial goals.


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Inside: Learn what 20 an hour is how much a year, month, and day. Plus tips to budget your money. Don’t miss the ways to increase your income.

You’re probably wondering if I made $20 a year, how much do I truly make? What will that add up to over the course of the year when working?

Is $20 an hour good?

Is this wage something that I can actually live on? Or do I need to find ways that I can increase my hourly wage? How much more is $20.50 an hour annually?

In this post, we’re going to detail exactly what $20 an hour is how much a year. Also, we are going to break it down to know how much is made per month, bi-weekly, per week, and daily.

That will help you immensely with how you spend your money. Because too many times the hard-earned cash is brought home, but there is no actual plan for how to spend that money.

By taking a step ahead and making a plan for the money, you are better able to decide how you want to live, make sure that you put your money goals first, and not just living paycheck to paycheck struggling to survive.

The ultimate goal with money success is to be wise with how you spend your money.

Knowing 20 dollars an hour is how much a year will help you with your budget and spending.

If that is something you want too, then keep reading. You are in the right place.

$20 an Hour is How Much a Year?

When we ran all of our numbers to figure out how much is $20 per hour as an annual salary, we used the average working day of 40 hours a week.

40 hours x 52 weeks x $20 = $41,600

$41,600 is the gross annual salary with a $20 per hour wage.

As of June 2023, the average hourly wage is $33.58 (source).

Let’s Breakdown How That Number Is Calculated

Typically, the average work week is 40 hours and you can work 52 weeks a year. Take 40 hours times 52 weeks and that equals 2,080 working hours. Then, multiply the hourly salary of $20 times 2,080 working hours, and the result is $41,600.

That number is the gross income before taxes, insurance, 401K or anything else is taken out. Net income is how much you deposit into your bank account.

So, $20 an hour is just above $40000 a year and just shy of $43000 a year.

Work Part Time?

But you may think, oh wait, I’m only working part time. So if you’re working part time, the assumption is working 20 hours a week at $20 an hour.

Only 20 hours per week. Then, take 20 hours times 52 weeks and that equals 1,040 working hours. Then, multiply the hourly salary of $20 times 1,040 working hours, and the result is $20,800.

How Much is $20 Per Month?

On average, the monthly amount would average $3,467.

Annual Amount of $41,600 ÷ 12 months = $3,467 per month

Since some months have more days and fewer days like February, you can expect months with more days to have a bigger paycheck. Also, this can be heavily influenced by how often you are paid and on which days you get paid.

Plus by increasing your wage from $17 an hour, you average an extra $520 per month. So, yes a few more dollars an hour add up!

Work Part Time?

Only 20 hours per week. Then, the monthly amount would average $1,733.

How Much is $20 per Hour Per Week

This is a great number to know! How much do I make each week? When I roll out of bed and do my job, what can I expect to make at the end of the week?

Once again, the assumption is 40 hours worked.

40 hours x $20 = $800 per week.

Work Part Time?

Only 20 hours per week. Then, the weekly amount would be $400.

How Much is $20 per Hour Bi-Weekly

For this calculation, take the average weekly pay of $800 and double it.

$800 per week x 2 = $1,600

Also, the other way to calculate this is:

40 hours x 2 weeks x $20 an hour = $1,600

Work Part Time?

Only 20 hours per week. Then, the bi-weekly amount would be $800.

Learn how to create a biweekly budget.

How Much is $20 Per Hour Per Day

This depends on how many hours you work in a day. For this example, we are going to use an eight hour work day.

8 hours x $20 per hour = $160 per day.

If you work 10 hours a day for four days, then you would make $200 per day. (10 hours x $20 per hour)

Work Part Time?

Only 4 hours per day. Then, the daily amount would be $80.

This post may contain affiliate links, which helps us to continue providing relevant content and we receive a small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read the full disclosure here.

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$20 Per Hour is…

$20 per Hour – Full Time Total Income
Yearly (52 weeks) $41,600
Yearly (50 weeks) $40,000
Monthly (173 hours) $3,467
Weekly (40 Hours) $800
Bi-Weekly (80 Hours) $1,600
Daily Wage (8 Hours) $160
Net Estimated Monthly Income $2,647
**These are assumptions based off simple scenarios.

Paid Time Off Earning 20 Dollars an Hour

Does your employer offer paid time off?

As an hourly employee, you may or may not get paid time off.

So, here are the scenarios for both cases.

For general purposes, we are going to assume you work 40 hours per week over the course of the year.

Case # 1 – With Paid Time Off

Most hourly employees get two weeks of paid time off which is equivalent to 2 weeks of paid time off.

In this case, you would make $41,600 per year.

This is the same as the example above for an annual salary making $20 per hour.

Case #2 – No Paid Time Off

Unfortunately, not all employers offer paid time off to their hourly employees. While that is unfortunate, it is best to plan for less income.

Life happens. There will be times you need to take time off for numerous reasons – sick time, handling an emergency, or even vacation.

So, let’s assume you take 2 weeks off without paid time off.

That means you would only work 50 weeks of the year instead of all 52 weeks. Take 40 hours times 50 weeks and that equals 2,000 working hours. Then, multiply the hourly salary of $20 times 2,000 working hours, and the result is $40,000.

40 hours x 50 weeks x $20 = $40,000

You would average $160 per working day and nothing when you don’t work.

$20 an Hour is How Much a year After Taxes

Let’s be honest… Taxes can take up a big chunk of your paycheck. Thus, you need to know how taxes can affect your hourly wage.

Also, every single person’s tax situation is different.

On the basic level, let’s assume a 12% federal tax rate and a 4% state rate. Plus a percentage is taken out for Social Security and Medicare (FICA) of 7.65%.

Gross Annual Salary: $41,600

  • Federal Taxes of 12%: $4,992
  • State Taxes of 4%: $1,664
  • Social Security and Medicare of 7.65%: $3,182

$20 an Hour per Year after Taxes: $31,762

This would be your net annual salary after taxes.

To turn that back into an hourly wage, the assumption is working 2,080 hours.

$31,762 ÷ 2,080 hours = $15.27 per hour

After estimated taxes and FICA, you are netting $15.27 an hour. That is $4.73 an hour less than what you thought you were paid.

This is a very highlighted example and can vary greatly depending on your personal situation. Therefore, here is a great tool to help you figure out how much your net paycheck would be.

Plus budgeting on a just over $15 an hour wage is much different.

Understand the difference between gross pay vs net pay.

$20 An Hour Salary

Now, you get to figure out how much you make based on your hours worked or if you make a wage between $20.01-20.99.

Learn how to budget on a low income.

This is super helpful if you make $20.19 or $20.25.

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$20 an Hour Budget – Example

You are probably wondering can I live on my own making 20 dollars an hour? How much rent can you afford at 20 an hour?

We have figured out how much is $20 an hour annually is $41,600.

Using our Cents Plan Formula, this is the best case scenario on how to budget your $20 per hour paycheck.

When using these percentages, it is best to use net income because taxes must be paid.

In this example, we calculated $20 an hour was $15.27 after taxes. That would average $2,647 per month.

According to the Cents Plan Formula, here is the high level view of a $20 per hour budget:

  • Basic Expenses of 50% = $1323.40
  • Save Money of 20% = $529.36
  • Give Money of 10% = $264.68
  • Fun Spending of 20% = $529.36
  • Debt of 0% = $0

Obviously, that is not doable for everyone. Even though you would expect your money to go further when you are making double the minimum wage. So, you have to be strategic on ways to decrease your basic expenses and debt. Then, it will allow you more money to save and fun spending.

To further break down an example budget of $20 per hour, then using the ideal household percentages is extremely helpful.

recommended budget percentages based on $20 per hour wage:

Category Ideal Percentages Sample Monthly Budget
Giving 10% $277
Savings 15-25% $693
Housing 20-30% $983
Utilities 4-7% $139
Groceries 5-12% $243
Clothing 1-4% $26
Transportation 4-10% $139
Medical 5-12% $173
Life Insurance 1% $17
Education 1-4% $35
Personal 2-7% $64
Recreation / Entertainment 3-8% $113
Debts 0% – Goal $0
Government Tax (including Income Taxes, Social Security & Medicare) 15-25% $820
Total Gross Income $3,467
**In this budget, prioritization was given to basic expenses. Thus, some categories like giving are less.

Deep Dive: What Is A Good Salary For A Single Person in Today’s Society?

Can I Live off $20 Per Hour?

At this $20 hourly wage, you are close to double the minimum wage. Things should be easy to live off this $20 hourly salary.

However, it is still below the median income of over $60,000 salary. That means it can still be a tough situation.

Is it doable? Absolutely.

Can you truly live off $20 an hour annually?

You just have to be wiser (or frugal) with your money and how you spend the hard-earned cash you have been blessed with.

If you are constantly struggling to keep up with bills and expenses, then you need to break that constant cycle. It is possible to be smart with money.

You need to do is change your money mindset.

This is what you say to yourself… Okay, this is my season of life right now. I have aspirations and goals to change how much I make, but for now, I am going to make sure that I am able to live on my 20 dollars per hour. No going into debt for me. I will start saving money.

In the next section, we will dig into ways to increase your income, but for now, is it possible to live on $20 an hour?

Yes, you can do it, and as you can see that it is possible with the sample budget of $20 per hour.

Living in a higher cost of living area would be more difficult. So, you may have to get a little creative. For example, you might have to have a roommate. Move to a lower cost of living area where rent is cheaper.

Also, you must evaluate your “fun spending” items. Many of those expenses are not mandatory and will break your budget. You can find plenty of free things to do without spending money.

5 Ways to Increase Your Hourly Wage

This right here is the most important section of this post.

You need to figure out ways to increase your hourly income because I’m going to tell you…you deserve more. You do a good job and your value is higher than what your employers pay you.

Even an increase of 50 cents to $20.50 will add up over the year. Even better $21 an hour!

1. Ask for a Raise

The first thing to do is ask for a raise. Walk right in and ask for a raise because you never know what the answer will be until you ask.

If you want the best tips on how specifically to ask for a raise and what the average wage is for somebody doing your job, then check out this book. In this book, the author gives you the exact way to increase your income. The purchase is worth it or go down to the library and check that book out.

2. Look for A New Job

Another way to increase your hourly wage is to look for a new job. Maybe a completely new industry.

It might be a total change for you, but many times, if you want to change your financial situation, then that starts with a career change. Maybe you’re stressed out at work. Making $20 an hour is too much for you and you’re not able to enjoy life, maybe changing jobs and finding another job may increase your pay, but it will also increase your quality of life.

3. Find a New Career

Because of student loans, too many employees feel like they are stuck in the career field they chose. They feel sucked into the job that they don’t like or have the potential they thought it would.

For many years, I was in the same situation until I decided to do a complete career change. I am glad I did. I have the flexibility that I need in my life to do what I want when I need to do it. Plus I am able to enjoy my entrepreneurial spirit.

4. Find Alternative Ways to Make Money

In today’s society, you need to find ways to make more money. Period.

There is no way to get around it. You need to find additional income outside a traditional nine-to-five position or typical 40 hour a week job. You will reach a point where you are maxed on what you can make in your current position or title. There may be some advancement to move forward, but in many cases, there just is not much room for growth.

So, you need to find a side hustle – another way to make money.

Do something that you enjoy, turn your hobby into a way to make money, turn something that you naturally do, and help others into a service business. In today’s society, the sky is the limit on how you can earn a freelancing income.

There are so many legit ways to make 300 dollars fast today!

5. Earn Passive Income

The last way to increase your hourly wage is to start earning passive income.

This can be from a variety of ways including the stock market, real estate, online courses, book sales, etc. This is where the differentiation between struggling financially and becoming financially sounds happens.

By earning money passively, you are able to do the things that you enjoy doing and not be loaded down, with having a job that you need to work, and a place that you have to go to. And you still make money doing nothing.

Here is an example:

You can start a brokerage account and start trading stocks for $50. You need to learn and take the one and only investing class I recommend. Learn how the market works, watch videos, and practice in a simulator before you start using your own money.

One gentleman started with $5,000 in his trading account and now has well over $36,000 in about seven months. Just from practice and being consistent, he has learned that passive income is the way for him to increase his income and also not be a slave to his job.

Related Questions:

Tips to Live on $20 an Hour

In this last section, grasp these tips on how to live on $20 an hour. On our site, you can find lots of money saving tips to help stretch your income further.

Here are the most important tips to live on $20 an hour. Highlight these!

1. Spend Less Than you Make

First, you must learn to spend less than you make.

If not you will be caught in the debt cycle and that is not where you want to be. You will be consistently living paycheck to paycheck.

In order to break that dreadful cycle, it means your expenses must be less than your income.

And when I say income, it’s not the $20/hr salary. As we talked about earlier in the post, there are taxes. The amount of taxes taken out of your paycheck is called your net income which is $20 an hour minus all the taxes, FICA, social security, and Medicare are taken out. That is your net income.

So, your net income has to be less than your net income.

2. Living Below Your Means

You need to be happy. And living on less can actually make you happier. Studies prove that less is better.

Finding contentment in life is one thing that is a struggle for most.

We are driven to want the new shiny toy, the thing next door, the stuff your friend or family member got. Our society has trained you that you need these things as well.

Have you ever taken a step back and looked at what you really need?

Once you are able to find contentment with life, then you are going to be set for the long term with your finances.

Here is our story on owning less stuff. We have been happier since.

3. Make Saving Money Fun

You need to make saving money fun. If you’re good, since you must keep your expenses low, you have to find ways to make your savings fun!

  • It could be participating in a no spend challenge for the month.
  • It could be challenging friends not to go to Target for a week.
  • Maybe changing your habits and not picking up takeout and planning meals.
  • Whatever it is challenge yourself.

Find new ways of saving money and have fun with it.

Even better, get your family and kids involved in the challenge to save money. Tell them the reason why you are saving money with the 100 envelope challenge and this is why you are doing it.

Here are 101 things to do with no money. Free activities without costing you a dime. That is an amazing resource for you and you will never be bored.

And you will learn that a lot of things in life you can do for free. Personally, some of the best ones are getting outside and enjoying some fresh air.

4. Make More Money

If you want if you do not settle for less, then find ways to make more money. If you want more out of life, then increase your income.

You need to be an advocate for yourself.

Find ways to make more money.

It could be a side hustle, a second job, asking for a raise, going to school to change careers, or picking up extra hours.

Whatever path you take, that’s fine. Just find ways to make more money. Period.

Find ways to make $1000 in a day.

5. No State Taxes

Paying taxes is one option to increase what you take home in each paycheck.

These are the states that don’t pay state income taxes on wages:

  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

It is very interesting if you take into account the amount of state taxes paid compared to a state with income taxes.

Also, if you live in one of the higher taxed states, then you may want to reconsider moving to a lower cost of living area. The higher taxes income tax states include California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Minnesota, District of Columbia, New York, Vermont, Iowa, and Wisconsin. These states tax income somewhere between 7.65% – 13.3%.

6. Stick to a Budget

You need to learn how to start a budget. We have tons of budgeting resources for you.

While creating a budget is great, you need to learn how to use one.

You do not have to budget down to every last penny.

You need to make sure your expenses are less than your income and that you are creating sinking funds for those irregular expenses.

Budget Help:

7. Pay Off Debt Quickly

The amount that you pay interest on debt is absolutely absurd.

Unfortunately, that is how many of these companies make their money is from the interest you pay on debt.

If you are paying 5% to even 20-21% or higher, you need to find ways to lower that debt quickly.

Here’s a debt calculator to help you. Figure out your debt free date.

Make that paying off debt fast is your target and main focus. I can tell you from personal experience, that it was not until we paid off our debt that we finally rounded the corner financially. Once our debt was paid off, we could finally be able to save money. Set money aside in separate bank accounts and pay for cash for things.

It took us working hard to pay off debt. We needed persistence and patience while we had setbacks in our debt free journey.

Jobs that Pay $20 an Hour

You can find jobs that pay $20 per hour. Polish up that resume, cover letter, and interview skills.

Job Search Hint: Always send a written follow-up thank you note for your interview. That will help you get noticed and remembered.

First, look at the cities that require a minimum wage in their cities. That is the best place to start to find jobs that are going to pay higher than the federal minimum wage rate. Many of the cities are moving towards this model so, target and look for jobs in those areas.

Possible Ideas:

  • Virtual Assistant – Get free training NOW!
  • Customer service representatives
  • Bank tellers
  • Freelance writers
  • Restaurant Kitchen staff
  • Truck driver
  • Uber /Lyft driver
  • Security guard
  • Movers
  • Warehouse workers
  • Companies that pay more than $20 per hour: Costco, Wayfair, Amazon, Best Buy, Target, In ‘N Out Burger, Wells Fargo, Disney World, Disney Land, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Cigna, Aetna

$20 Per Hour Annual Salary

In this post, we detailed 20 an hour is how much a year. Plus all of the variables that can impact your net income. This is something that you can live off.

How much is 20 dollars an hour annually…


In this post, we highlighted ways to increase your income as well as tips for living off your wage.

Use the sample budget as a starting point with your expenses.

You will have to be savvy and wise with your hard-earned income. But, with a plan, anything is possible!

Still thinking I don’t want to work anymore, you aren’t alone and need to start to plan for your early retirement.

Learn exactly how much do I make per year…

Know someone else that needs this, too? Then, please share!!

Did the post resonate with you?

More importantly, did I answer the questions you have about this topic? Let me know in the comments if I can help in some other way!

Your comments are not just welcomed; they’re an integral part of our community. Let’s continue the conversation and explore how these ideas align with your journey towards Money Bliss.


Apache is functioning normally

Series EE bonds, or Patriot Bonds, were initiated in 1980 as a low-risk way for Americans to save. The money invested is guaranteed to double in 20 years.

They build upon the tradition of Series E bonds, or war bonds, which were introduced by the federal government in 1941. Learn more about this savings vehicle here.

What Is a Series EE Bond?

A series EE bond is a U.S. Treasury bond. It’s considered to be a very safe investment, as it’s backed by the U.S. government. It is guaranteed to double in value in 20 years, even if the government has to add funds to it to meet that mark.

To provide some context, here’s a quick look at what bonds are and how bonds work. A bond is a debt instrument. Bonds are issued by corporations or governments in order to raise capital. The bond market is huge — much larger than the equity markets. (In 2023, the market cap of the global bond market was about $133 trillion, versus $111 trillion for the stock market.) Investors provide capital to companies and governments when they buy the bonds, effectively loaning their money to that institution.

Meanwhile, the bond issuer agrees to pay investors the capital back, along with interest, after a certain period.

There are different kinds of bonds investors can purchase, including municipal, corporate, high-yield bonds, and U.S. Treasuries. A savings bond is a type of U.S. Treasury bond, issued with the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, meaning there’s virtually no chance of losing money. Savings bonds allow the government to borrow money for various purposes while giving investors a reliable and predictable stream of interest income.

Series E bonds, which were created in 1941 to help fund the WWII effort, were replaced in 1980 with Series EE bonds, or Patriot Bonds.

💡 Quick Tip: An online bank account with SoFi can help your money earn more — up to 4.60% APY, with no minimum balance required.

How Do Series EE Bonds Work?

If you’re interested in buying bonds, here are details on how a Series EE bond works:

•   Series EE bonds are electronic and can only be purchased and managed online with a TreasuryDirect account. They are available in any denomination starting at $25, up to $10,000 per person named on the bond, per calendar year.

•   These bonds are guaranteed to double in value in 20 years, even if the government needs to kick in extra cash. You can hold the bond for up to 10 additional years to continue to earn interest.

•   When you purchase a Series EE bond, the interest rate will be stated. Through October 31, 2024, the interest rate is 2.70%.

•   Interest is earned monthly, compounding semi-annually, for up to 30 years, unless you cash it sooner.

•   Series EE bonds can be cashed in (or redeemed) after 12 months, but early withdrawal can trigger a penalty of partial interest loss.

•   Electronic Series EE bonds can be cashed in via the TreasuryDirect site.

•   Interest earned on Series EE bonds is taxable at the federal level. Federal estate, gift, and excise taxes, as well as state estate or inheritance taxes, may also apply. If the money is used for qualified education expenses, however, you may not be subject to taxes.

•   The TreasuryDirect site also makes 1099-INT statements of interest earnings available annually.

Recommended: Understanding the Yield to Maturity (YTM) Formula

Understanding Series E Bonds

The popularity of Series E bonds may have hinged largely on the patriotic call to purchase them as part of the war effort. Buying bonds served two purposes: It helped the government to raise money for the war and it also helped to keep inflation at bay as shortages threatened to push consumer prices up. Apart from that, there were other qualities that might have made a Series E saving bond attractive.

These bonds were issued at 75% of their face value and returned 2.9% interest, compounded semiannually if held to 10-year maturity. So investors were able to earn a decent rate of return on their investment.

Series E bonds were also affordable, with initial denominations ranging from $25 to $1,000. Larger denominations of $5,000 and $10,000 were added later, along with two smaller memorial denominations of $75 and $200 to commemorate the deaths of President Kennedy and President Roosevelt, respectively.

Series E bonds were redeemable at any time after two months following the date of issue. Bond purchasers could redeem them for the full face value, along with any interest earned.

Interest from Series E bonds was taxable at the federal level but exempt from state and local taxes, adding to their appeal. And because they were issued by the federal government, they were considered a safe investment.

Recommended: Understanding the Yield to Maturity (YTM) Formula

Series EE Bond Maturity Rate

The maturity rate for EE bonds depends on when they were first issued.

Here’s a table showing the maturity dates for Series EE bonds over time:

Issuing Date Maturity Period
January – October 1980 11 years
November 1980 – April 1981 9 years
May 1981 – October 1982 8 years
November 1982 – October 1986 10 years
November 1986 – February 1993 12 years
March 1993 – April 1995 18 years
May 1995 – May 2003 17 years
After June 2003 20 years

Recommended: 13 Tips for Aggressively Saving Money

Are Series EE Bonds Right for Me?

Series EE bonds can be a convenient, low-risk way to help your money grow over time. Plus, many people like the idea of investing in America and having their investment backed by the U.S. government. However, the rate of return may not be optimal, and the bonds are typically held for quite a long time versus a short-term investment.

Here are two popular alternatives you might consider to grow your money:

Savings Accounts

A savings account is a deposit account that’s designed to hold the money you don’t plan to spend right away. You can find various types of savings accounts at traditional banks, credit unions, and online banks. Savings accounts can pay interest, though not all at the same rate.

High-yield savings accounts at online banks, for example, tend to pay much higher rates than basic savings accounts at brick-and-mortar banks. Currently, they may offer around 4.60% APY (annual percentage yield) versus 0.58% for savings accounts.


If you’re unclear about how stocks work, they effectively represent an ownership share in a company. When you buy shares of stock, you’re buying an ownership stake in a publicly traded company. The way you make money with stock investing is by buying low and selling high. In other words, you want to purchase stocks at one price then sell them for a higher price.

Stock trading can be a more powerful way to build wealth over time versus keeping money in a savings account or buying bonds. But there’s a tradeoff since stocks tend to be much riskier than bonds or savings accounts. Buying shares of mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which hold a collection of different stocks as well as bonds, is one strategy for managing that risk.

Recommended: Bonds vs. CDs: What’s Smart for Your Money?

Banking With SoFi

Series EE savings bonds can be a safe way to earn a steady rate of return. However, they aren’t the only way to grow your money.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.

Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.


When should I cash in EE savings bonds?

Series EE savings bonds are optimally held for 20 years, at which point the money invested will have doubled. If you’d like to keep earning interest, you may hold the bonds for up to an additional 10 years.

How long does it take for a Series EE savings bond to mature?

Series EE savings bonds mature in 20 years. At the end of that period, the initial investment’s value will have doubled. You may hold them an additional 10 years and continue to earn interest, if you like.

Do Series EE savings bonds double after 20 years? 30 years?

Series EE savings bonds double after 20 years. If you don’t redeem them, you may continue to earn interest on them for another 10 years, for a total of 30 years.

Photo credit: iStock/loveguli

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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*Awards or rankings from NerdWallet are not indicative of future success or results. This award and its ratings are independently determined and awarded by their respective publications.



Apache is functioning normally

I’m now 30 months into my new career, and I’m loving every single day.

As a lifelong learner, I find the nuanced topics of financial planning and investment management to be a limitless sandbox, or perhaps more like an underground cave system. Where’s the bottom?! Nobody knows!

Despite that complexity, my colleagues and I help clients with many common issues that are not the strict domain of experts. These are topics you don’t need CFPs, CPAs, or attorneys to help you with. And that fact – that even experts focus on getting the basics correct – is an important lesson.

Let’s dive into some examples.

Cash Flow Management

Cash flow management is the single biggest financial fundamental that most people overlook. I see examples of this daily, both good and bad.

I’ve seen people earning $600,000 and spending $625,000 yearly. They’re drowning (though usually unaware of it).

I’ve seen people earn $300,000 and spend $200,000, or earn $120,000 and spend $80,000. They are thriving. If you’re saving 20%+, you’re killing it. Great work.

Yes, it is so simple: Spend less than you earn and, ideally, measure it. Despite its simplicity, this idea is the foundation upon which the rest of our finances are built. Cash flow management is a vital part of every financial planning conversation.

Portfolio Complexity

Prospective clients or new clients typically prioritize portfolio reconstruction. I get to see the peculiar, the zany, the intriguing…somebody call P.T. Barnum!

The most common theme, though, is that many outside portfolios have come to me far more complex than they needed to be.

The most frequent complexity is to see 4 or 8 or 15 mutual funds in a single portfolio that are performing the same exact role. Who needs 15 mutual funds that are all 60% stocks, 40% bonds, and actively managed? The answer, of course, is nobody. But why, then? Why do investors get in this situation in the first place?

The reason is what I call “flavor of the month.”

With about 97% accuracy, I can tell these portfolios were built by a financial advisor who was financially incentivized to buy specific funds for their clients. The “mothership” will tell such advisors, “Our NBNHX mutual fund is undercapitalized. If you put your clients in NBNHX this quarter, we’ll double your commission on it.”

That’s a flavor of the month. Not for the client, mind you. But for the advisor. It’s a conflict of interest, for sure, but not all advisors are required to act as fiduciaries. We call on Uncle Charlie to remind us, “Show me the incentives, I’ll show you the outcomes.” Next thing you know, NBBHX has entered the portfolio.

The portfolio fills up with these various flavors of the month until – voila! – you have a Baskin Robbins. But despite the “flavors” having different ticker symbols, they all taste the same. Imagine if Baskin Robbins sold 31 flavors of vanilla! That’s what these portfolios look like. “Could I get a scoop of vanilla, a scoop of French Vanilla, and one of Vanilla Bean? Sprinkles? Never…”

Instead, we should make specific investment choices to answer specific portfolio problems—in layman’s terms, put the “right tools for the jobs” into your portfolio.

Each “job” might require its own specialty “tool.” We each have many tools in our garages and toolboxes. There’s nothing wrong with having multiple funds in a portfolio. But you don’t want or need redundant assets, just like a homeowner doesn’t need nine shovels. 

You should be able to point to each fund or asset in your portfolio and describe the unique reason it’s there or the specific portfolio problem the asset is solving.

It’s hard to find a picture that combines “ice cream” and “tools,” so I asked A.I. to help me out. I’ve seen plenty of weird A.I. images at this point, but it’s still disorienting to see such real-looking objects (that ice cream isn’t real?!) juxtaposed with a computer’s misguided interpretations (what kind of dental torture device is that in the lower right? and why do the screwdrivers all have wooden popsicle sticks?).

Too Much Cash 

Nobody should complain about 5% risk-free rates. However, cash is not a long-term investing strategy. Risk-free rates cannot, and should not, outperform inflation over the long run. You need to take some risk.

While cash is an important buffer to ensure short-term liquidity and an emergency fund safety net, your long-term assets should be in a risk-bearing, higher-growth asset class.

Stocks and bonds are wonderful.

Further reading: How Much Time Does It Take for Stocks to Outperform Bonds?

Goal Setting

Whether you realize it or not, your financial plan has specific branches and pitstops and end-points. My financial plan does too. But mine are much different than yours.

The reason is because each of those branches and pitstops and end-points are related to specific goals. My goals for my plan, your goals for your plan.

You don’t need a professional’s intervention to ask yourself, “What are our financial goals? What do we want life to look like, and by when, and how much might that particular life cost us?”


A common financial stress I hear rhymes with, “We have money all over the place. Too many accounts, too many statements, we need help!”

There’s not always a financial impact from consolidation (though sometimes it will save you annual or monthly account charges). But a significant mental burden lifts when you go from 24 disparate accounts down to 5.

Scary Stuff 

People out there have scary stuff in their financial lives. The more stones I overturn, the more interesting scenarios I find. Some examples include: 

  • Keeping large amounts of credit card debt to “improve our credit scores.” Credit scores don’t work that way.
  • Saving large sums ($25,000+ per year) while carrying huge credit card debt ($50,000+). Bad priorities. No investment is going to outperform paying down a 25% debt.
  • Tapping into a 401(k) prematurely (though quite intentionally) without awareness of the extremely stiff penalty. There’s a 10% early withdrawal penalty plus your marginal Federal tax rate (22% to 37% for most of you) plus your marginal state tax rate (6-8% here in NY). For hire earners, it sums to north of 50%. That $50,000 withdrawal? You keep $24,000 of it. The rest goes to the IRS.
  • Unrealistic spending plans. Both irrationally optimistic and irrationally pessimistic. Two families each want to spend $100,000 a year throughout their retirement. The first family has a $500,000 nest egg, which works out to a 20% withdrawal rate. The 4% rule is squealing. The second family has $15 million, or a 0.67% withdrawal rate. They are crippled with anxiety over running out of money. Neither family is living in reality.
  • No communication. Family finances are a deeply personal topic. There are many ways to skin the cat. But there aren’t infinite ways to skin a cat. Some methods are plain stupid. It shouldn’t take a meeting with a CFP for one spouse to tell the other spouse they still have $120,000 of student loans. Communication, communication, communication.

Ok, you spelunkers. It’s fun to dive deep into the financial planning cave, where the Social Security salamanders and the Roth conversion crayfish lurk. But the professionals care deeply about the “surface-level” stuff too, and it’s perhaps more important to get those simple ideas right.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, join 8000+ subscribers who read my 2-minute weekly email, where I send you links to the smartest financial content I find online every week.


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