A Squirrel in the Kitchen

A Squirrel in the Kitchen

In our backyard grows a century old Scarlet Oak. This tree provides abundant shade for the yard and patio while also serving as a squirrel hotel.  The money maker in me would love to charge these little fur-balls a nightly rate, but anytime I bring up this subject, the squirrels hide in the branches and attempt to hit me with acorns.  At this point in our standoff, I’m resigned to observing their daily routine while hoping for a breakthrough. As I watch them gather acorns, hide them in various places…

Some taxes are optional

Some taxes are optional

I awoke, much like I do every morning, and will hopefully, continue to do for the foreseeable future.  I put my feet on the floor, stood erect (inspiring envy from countless evolutionary ancestors), and traversed across the house using a bi-ped motion. I walked. What an exciting skill.  Using my feet I can easily move my whole body from one place to another.  I wondered if this worked outdoors?  I gingerly stepped outside, delightful; I thought, as I experimented with various surfaces, pavement, concrete, and grass.  Soon, I grew apprehensive…

Ask How?

Ask How?

Everyone has different goals and lifestyle expectations.  For me, achieving financial independence is high on the list. Not because I hate work, or because I’m manically trying to accumulate as much money as possible, but rather because I want to pursue my passions without concern to their monetary reward. Others may feel that my goals create a restrictive depressing life which eliminates all fun.  While some others may be fine living paycheck to paycheck and burning through cash like a sparkler on the fourth of July! I’m not here to…

Debt Avalanche vs. Debt Snowball

Debt Avalanche vs. Debt Snowball

How my wife and I lowered our student loans by $40,000 in one year, on a teacher and physical therapist income. Suddenly, I keep hearing reports that interests rates may be headed higher, since economic forecasts are less reliable then your local weatherman, I’m not to worried, but it does make for a good time to analyze any debt payoff strategy. Personally, I have shifted focus away from my student loans and towards my mortgage, both have low interest rates, but by reducing / eliminating my mortgage, I could accelerate…

What is a dividend? How does it contribute to an IRA?

What is a dividend?  How does it contribute to an IRA?

I’d like to answer two questions I received after writing NO Limit IRA accounts – Here’s How.  In the article, I discussed how I’m using dividends to increase the amount I’m able to contribute annually towards my IRA accounts.  Currently, my wife and I are limited to $11,000 combined, but when dividends are included, I’m currently able to contribute over $14,000.  So, what is a dividend, and how am I using it to increase my contribution limits? A dividend is paid by some companies to anyone who owns shares in…

What’s stopping you – FEAR

What’s stopping you – FEAR

I’ve been trying to post every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, which means I try to at least have a draft typed the day before.  Yesterday, I didn’t get anything done, but luckily this article came to me last night when I was supposed to be sleeping.  I was / am a bit grumpy so this article may take on a bit of a rant form, but given today’s topic is fear, maybe that fits just fine. Fear, rational or otherwise tends to hold us back and prevent us from accomplishing things…

Real Estate Income Report – January 2016

Real Estate Income Report – January 2016

My real estate portfolio currently consists of 6 rental units.  The monthly reports highlight the income and expenses associated with each property as well as the total monthly profits or losses. January 2017 House 1: $950 House 2: $825 House 3: $850 House 4: $850 House 5: $850 House 6: $650 Total Income: $4,975 – Ahh, if only that was all profit.  Now for the expenses. Mortgages / Loans: $2,913 This number is slightly different then my December total due to adjustments to my escrow payments.  This happens each year…

$1,500 Lost!

$1,500 Lost!

Creating content for Gentleman of Leisure has motivated me to keep better records, evaluate my savings, and monitor my investment progress.  I have recorded my dividend income for the past few years, which has proved to be revealing and motivating, as I’m able to watch these numbers grow each year. My real estate portfolio has been a bit of a financial wild west.  I have a separate bank account for my real estate LLC, and I’ve basically just checked to make sure the account has enough money to pay the…

Debt Demolition – Show me the money – Triathlon

Debt Demolition – Show me the money – Triathlon

If you haven’t already, read THIS first. The year was 2006, I was 2 years out of college, and searching for an athletic outlet. I had always been an athlete, participating in swimming, soccer, and basketball through high school and continuing my basketball career as a bench player in college.  Competition was a part of me, and at this stage of life, competition was missing.  Triathlon filled the void.  Quickly, I my time was consumed with swims, bike rides, and runs, my free time disappeared. I loved it. In August…

Rental Income – Home Renovations

Rental Income – Home Renovations

So you took my recommendation and bought a solid, vacant, ugly house, and now you are wondering what’s next?  At my Fulton St. property (read this first) the first priority was to get the roof checked, since there were several patches of water damage on the walls and ceiling upstairs.  Second on the list was to get all the rattly wallpaper removed.  I know nothing about roofs, so I called around and got some estimates.  Within a week or two the roof was replaced, eliminating leaks and the prospect of water…