Pay Down the Mortgage vs. Investing: Rockstar Finance Money Match-up

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Our Financial Path and I had the opportunity to square off in Rockstar Finance’s Money Match-up. The Money Match-up is a series at Rockstar Finance where bloggers debate two different sides of a money related topic.

Click Here to Read the Article

Our topic discusses paying extra on a mortgage versus investing the excess funds elsewhere. I took the side of paying extra on the mortgage. If you’ve been following my story you know we’ve been aggressively paying down the mortgage for the past 2 years.

Pay Down the Mortgage vs. Investing: Rockstar Finance Money Match-up

The reasons to pay down the mortgage include:

  • behavioral aspects,
  • guaranteed return on investment,
  • decreasing monthly expenses (when the mortgage is paid),
  • protection against a recession, and
  • not being tempted to spend the extra money instead of investing.

Overall I believe that paying down the mortgage is more beneficial if you are seeking peace of mind and financial freedom. If your goal is to get as rich as possible as fast as possible, then I understand the argument of investing instead. However, this approach also comes with additional risk. Overall, Our Financial Path makes several good arguments to invest instead of pay the mortgage. It’s just not my preference.

Please check out the article and let us know which side you fall on. This tends to be a very personal topic and can ignite a lot of passion. My wife and I have been on both sides of this argument as well. Only recently did we move to the side of paying down the mortgage aggressively.

In the end, if an someone is in position to either make extra payments on the mortgage or invest the excess funds then they are likely doing very well financially. With the majority of Americans barely scraping by or living paycheck to paycheck, those of us fortunate enough to be in this position should be grateful.

Click Here to Read the Article

Want to learn more about my story?

Check out my interview with Scott at Making Momentum.

Fourth of July, Paying off the Mortgage, and FinCon

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When I started this blog a little over six months ago it was primarily to stay motivated while paying down our mortgage. Paying off debt is really boring and something needed to be done to keep from doing something crazy like buying a new house we didn’t need. Like most bloggers, I came out of the gate full steam and have since slowed a bit. I’d like to attribute that to the summer lull, work being busy, life with two kids, coaching two baseball teams, and a variety of other excuses. The reality is that we have time for anything we want, just not everything. This is a whole other topic, so I’ll digress at this point. Regardless, I am learning so much blogging, developing relationships with other like-minded individuals, and am so excited about attending FinCon in September.

My favorite thing so far about blogging is the community of personal finance nerds like myself who are focused on spreading financial literacy and improving the financial lives of others. Getting people to think differently about money will require an army of content providers to make a small dent when faced with the competition of billions of dollars in targeted marketing dollars everyday. This small but mighty militia definitely seems up to the challenge. Continue reading “Fourth of July, Paying off the Mortgage, and FinCon”

Moving From Two Incomes to One

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My wife made the call to her principal last week. “I’ve decided to take a few years off work.”

After a 30 second phone call it started to become real. We were officially moving from two incomes to one.

As a tenured middle school teacher in a good school district, this decision did not come easy. There were many discussions in our home leading up to this moment. We went out to dinner a few weeks back. Kicked back a few drinks and discussed the pros and cons.

If possible I’d love to be the one to take a few years off. However, we’re not in position yet where we could live off just her salary. My wife went back to work a few weeks ago to finish out the current school year. I was fortunate to be able to defer some of my paternity leave until she went back. For two weeks I had the opportunity to drop our pre-schooler off every day, then my new little buddy and I ran all around town together. It was both exhausting and rewarding. I loved every minute of it and am glad my wife will have the opportunity to do the same during the next several years. Continue reading “Moving From Two Incomes to One”

Three Funerals in Eight Days: Why Don’t We Live Life to the Fullest?

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Funerals have a way of making us think differently about life. They can be a strange combination of heartbreaking yet inspiring. Funerals give us a chance to step back from the day-to-day grind and reflect on what’s truly important in life.

I’ve often left funerals feeling inspired to make changes in my life to be more present, invest in relationships, and help others. Each of the three funerals that I’ve attended recently had a common theme to “live life to the fullest”. This can be a strong message when you (me) may not being doing so. Life is short, and sometimes it takes a swift kick to the gut to get us to realize this truth.

Three funerals in Eight Days

All three funerals were for individuals in different stages of life taken for different reasons. All were heartbreaking in their own way.

  • A young man who took his own life.
  • A sweet woman with medical complications
  • A mother of two young children with aggressive cancer

Continue reading “Three Funerals in Eight Days: Why Don’t We Live Life to the Fullest?”

How We’re Teaching Our Preschooler About Money

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Financial Literacy Month

With April being Financial Literacy Month, I wanted to share a few things we’re doing to teach our preschooler about money. These techniques are not new or groundbreaking, though already seem to be having a small impact after only a few months. I could go on about the benefits of financial literacy in general. It needs to be taught more in schools. And if schools aren’t going to make it a priority, then it’s up to us parents to ensure our kids grow up to be smart with money.

Our children will likely grow up much better off than me or my wife when we were younger. With all the positives that come with their situation, there are some negatives as well such as a lack of appreciation and entitlement. I want to give my kids a great life, but don’t want to spoil them. That’s why we’re trying to get an early start to teach financial literacy in our house. The following are a few examples of how we’re teaching our three year old about money.

Spending, Saving, and Giving

A few months ago we started paying our three year old a commission of five dollars per week to complete four chores every day. The chores include making his bed, feeding the cats, picking up his toys in the living room, and cleaning his room. Every day that he doesn’t complete a chore he is supposed to lose one dollar. Continue reading “How We’re Teaching Our Preschooler About Money”