Understanding Your Credit Report

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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate or referral links. If you choose to click on these links, I may receive a small compensation at no additional cost to you. I’m going to go over a really dry and boring topic: Your CREDIT REPORT! But, I can’t emphasize enough how important this is in your full financial picture because having great credit gives you the best credit cards and best loan products/rates! This is extremely useful especially if you’re looking into investing in real estate and/or other businesses as well as taking advantage of credit card travel rewards and cash back.  Your credit report contains your credit history as reported by lenders, collection agencies, and the courts to the credit bureaus. There are 3 credit bureaus in the US: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Your credit history or the information on your credit report is used to generate your credit scores (aka FICO scores).  There are 6 key credit factors the credit bureaus use to generate your scores: Payment history Credit card use Derogatory marks Credit age Total accounts  Hard inquiries  1.Payment History (High Impact)  Payment history is the most important factor in deciding your score so it is extremely important to…

The Game Plan to Pay Off My $65k Student Loan Debt

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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate or referral links. If you choose to click on these links, I may receive a small compensation at no additional cost to you. When we started this journey it was clear that we needed to take care of all our liabilities so that we can start investing aggressively. Increasing our savings rate was my number one priority because it would allow us to reach our “FI number” quicker.  Selling our home allowed us to payoff all our credit card and personal loan debts totaling $58k. Interest rates from these loans range from  8% to 20+% so they HAD TO GO! Paying these loans dramatically increased our savings rate. Big win!  I went back and forth trying to decide if I should also payoff my $65k student loan debt which I accumulated when I went back to school for my B.S. in Nursing. We had enough money left over from the sale of the house to do so, but I decided not to so that we can put some money in our savings and invest the rest in low cost index funds.  At the time, I had multiple unsubsidized federal loans with interest rates ranging…

My Deeper “WHY” to Achieve Financial Independence

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I strongly believe that things happen for a reason.  Before learning about financial independence (FI) we were happy living the typical lifestyle — the only lifestyle we knew. You know the one where you land a great paying job, then you get married, then you buy a house, then you have kids, then you work until you’re 60+ years old, and so on and so forth.  Then I remember listening to the very first episode of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast in early January 2018 with Mr. Money Mustache and this might sound crazy, but that moment changed my life.  At that time we had our house on the market and we just accepted an offer. We were so excited because we were going to use the money from the sale to invest in out of state rental properties which we ended up not doing. This is why I believe things really do happen for a reason.  Discovering the idea of (FI) happened for a reason for me and my husband at that particular time because…Later that month, one of my worst fears happened!  It was January 27th (2018) and I had spent all day packing our kitchen stuff and all…

How Much Do You Need To Retire Early?

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Hello everyone! So, I’ve been talking about this Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) concept and the steps we have taken to get where we currently are in this journey, but I haven’t mentioned one very important thing: CALCULATING AND FIGURING OUT HOW MUCH YOU WILL NEED TO BE FIRE!  I’m going to go over a general rule of thumb of how much you will need for early retirement. Of course, everyone’s number will be different as we all have different needs so factor in what’s important to you. This is simply a guide that you can use to set a number as you go through your FI journey.  The 25x Retirement Rule (AKA the 4% Rule) Take your total annual spending and multiply it by 25. This number is what you need to retire comfortably. So let’s take someone who has an annual spending of $50,000.  $50,000 x 25 = $1,250,000 In other words, if you have $1,250,000 it is safe to withdraw 4% ($50,000 annual spending) from your portfolio without running out of money in most cases. Since I’m not very technical, I want to refer you to this link from Mad Fientist’s blog to explain this rule in…

FIRE vs. FYRE

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Last week I got to watch 2 documentaries: Playing with FIRE: The Documentary and FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (on Netflix)  Playing with Fire: The Documentary is the first film about the Financial Independence, Retire Early subculture! I had waited months for this film to be released and when it was announced, I was surprised that there were no screening in the LA area. They did, however, set up an option to bring the screening to any theater nearby through an event platform company called Tugg. I ended up requesting a screening in Long Beach on July 1st and hosted it! Ended up selling 151 tickets! It was amazing and I loved it! It made me more motivated to pursue this lifestyle and work on this blog to get the same message to you! If you’re interested in seeing it, please check out event page to see if there’s a screening near you. Digital release will also be available this fall…I will update this post once I know more. Please see trailer video below.  Later that week, while at a July 4th BBQ, my friends were talking about FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and they all…

Discovering This Thing Called FIRE!

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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate or referral links. If you choose to click on these links, I may receive a small compensation at no additional cost to you. Hey guys! Hope you are all doing well and having a great morning so far! As I’m having my cup of coffee this Thursday morning, I want to take you back to 18 months ago when I discovered this thing called FIRE!  IT all started back in January 2018 when the hubby and I sold our house which we purchased in 2015. The housing market was super hot in our neighborhood and we had about $150k of equity tied up to the house, so we decided to sell it with plans to purchase real estate properties out of state to supplement our W-2 income. For months leading up to selling our house, I invested a lot of time learning about real estate. I read books on how to invest out of state and own rental properties. I’m a member of BiggerPockets, which is the largest and most awesome real estate blog/community. Their podcast is also amazing! The main goal was to make more money and buy a bigger home later down…

First Blog Post!

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Hello everyone and welcome! I’m super excited to finally find the confidence to start this blog! I had been planning this for over a year, but kept putting it off. Today on my 34th birthday, I AM FINALLY LAUNCHING AND PUBLISHING MY VERY FIRST BLOG POST!!! (I wish y’all can see the big smile on my face!) Just a year and a half ago my husband and I were knee deep in debt, and this debt continued to increase as our income increased. Just like the saying “more money more problems” — Big income and big spending, that was who we were. We had a mortgage, a car note, and lots of credit card debt. On top of that, we had very little savings, we’re talking about maybe a month’s salary worth plus some we had in our retirement accounts. But we were happy, or so we thought. We knew we needed a change. After realization of this path we were on, a sense of despair and guilt nearly crippled us. But our mamas taught us how to be strong and persevere. We weren’t about to go down without a fight. Hence, the start of this journey to salvage ourselves…