Browse Tag: Smart Financial Decisions

Smart Financial Decisions

Smart Financial Decisions: Paying Off Our Mortgage

Financial IndependenceA few months before starting Retiring On My Terms, Mrs. ROMT and I made one of the biggest decisions of our financial lives.

We decided to pay off our mortgage.

There appear to be at least two very vocal camps in the personal finance community when it comes to discussions about paying off one’s mortgage and other debt.

The first camp is passionate about eliminating all debt as soon as possible.

The second camp believes almost any debt is ok, as long as you expect to earn a higher rate of return on your investments than you are paying in interest.

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Update: Chase Freedom Announces 5% Cash Back Categories For Q4 17

Financial IndependenceEarlier this year, I wrote about our attempt to optimize our credit card usage to maximize potential rewards.

Since we aren’t frequent travelers, I focused on finding a card with attractive cash back features, rather than a card with great perks for world travelers. We signed up for a Chase Freedom Credit Card in the spring, which has been a smart financial decision thus far.

As a reminder, Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in specific spending categories each quarter, and 1% cash back on everything else. Our Fidelity Rewards card offers 2% cash back on all purchases.

To date, we’ve earned $260 in cash back since getting the Chase Freedom card, including sign up bonuses, but the pace at which we earned rewards from our new card slowed dramatically during the third quarter.

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Smart Financial Decisions: Thinking About Percentages

PercentagesThose who have read Retiring On My Terms before know I tend to focus on the numbers while charting our course towards financial independence.

I’ve posted in the past about the large impact small decisions can have over time, and we have made several changes to our daily habits since we actively started down our path to FIRE.

As I read posts from others who are more focused on frugality and minimalism, I always learn something new. I can’t honestly say I’ve implemented everything I’ve read, but even ideas that seem outlandish still encourage me to review my own decision-making, and force me to think about things differently.

As my thinking has changed, one thing I’ve started doing is evaluating my consumption in terms of percentages.

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Smart Financial Decisions: The Best Purchase Of Our Frugal Vacation

Retiring on my terms

Last week, I wrote about our decision to spend less than half of what we spent last year on our family vacation this year.

A year ago, we stayed at a luxury oceanfront resort.

This year, we stayed at a nice inn, which was about half an hour away from the public beaches.

There were many perks at the luxury resort last year, one of which was that a staff member would help bring your chairs and other belongings down to the beach, and set up a large beach umbrella or portable tent for you.

While this was nice, it also made me a bit uncomfortable. I’m a grown man, in reasonably good shape, with a wife and two children. I don’t need someone to carry chairs or set up a tent for us.

I know some people are all about the service, but I am all about self-sufficiency.

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Update: Chase Freedom Announces 5% Cash Back Categories for Q3 17

Credit CardLast month, I wrote about our Smart Financial Decision to sign up for the Chase Freedom Credit Card.

As a reminder, Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in specific spending categories each quarter, and 1% cash back on everything else. Our Fidelity Rewards card offers 2% cash back on all purchases.

We’ve now maxed out our spending on groceries, the current 5% cash back category for Chase Freedom, so we’ve switched back to our Fidelity Rewards cards for all of our spending.

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Smart Financial Decisions: Pay Attention to the Little Things

Sandwich
Mmmmm… sandwich!!!

Last month, our friends at Rockstar Finance challenged readers to avoid eating or drinking out for an entire week.

As someone who has purchased his lunch on roughly 99% of the working days of his career, I decided to give the challenge a try.

And you know what?

I was successful, and the world didn’t end.

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Smart Financial Decisions: Chase Freedom Credit Card

As I have become more involved in the FIRE community over the past several months, it’s been hard to avoid articles about optimizing one’s use of credit cards.

Initially, I was skeptical. It seemed like the primary focus was travel hacking, which didn’t do a lot for me.

I am not a big traveler.

I am a middle-aged man, with a full-time job, a long commute, a wife, a dog, and two young children.

It’s a challenge for me to find time to travel to the local Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and grocery store, much less exotic locales around the world!

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