Defining a Goal and Understanding It’s Purpose

Ah.. the candles are burning, the coffee is brewing and the mind is turning.  This is typically the time of year when we start thinking, writing down and developing the upcoming year goals and what is needed to be done in order to reach those goals.  As we start to write them down, one can literally write anything as their goal, such as, jump three inches higher, have the greenest grass, make the best bologna sandwich, write an article about the best bacon; you get the drift.  This article is really to hone in on not just establishing goals and the stones to walk on to get there, but the “why” to your goal, the “purpose” to what you are setting out to accomplish.  This is very important and a great time to take time to search for that purpose for what you are setting out to do.

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The 5 Most Important Factors for Us When Buying a House

If you haven’t picked up on this yet, after we stated earlier in the year we were not in a hurry to buy a house, my wife and I are beginning to ramp up the process for buying a house.  Wow is it a complicated, intense, and fast-moving process.   We’ve read articles, listened to countless hours of conversations with family/friends, and co-workers, and fallen asleep too many nights to HGTV in our effort to gather as much information as possible.  Buying a house is such a major life decision and we are going to take our time with the decision.   We are finalizing on our list of things that are the most important to the two of us and it only seemed fitting to whittle our list down to a five.

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Crushing $8,000 in Projected Dividend Income

December 2016.  Almost 6 months after I posted about crushing over the $7,000 mark, I have now jumped over the next rung on the projected dividend income high jump bar.  It couldn’t have come at a better time, when weeks are frustrating with traffic pile-ups from snow, working later hours for “the man” and the holiday season upon us.  To say I didn’t think I was going to reach this goal would be a lie, I knew I would get here.  I just knew it.  Luck has quite a bit to do with it, but I had faith and confidence in the actions I was doing, that I would get to the new height.  In this post I will share what I did to arch the back over the $8,000 in projected dividend income bar!

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Is This Stock Market Begging Me to Pay Down My Student Loans?

Each day I watch the stock market in awe.  At 4 PM EST, I read a headline like “Stock Market Sets New Record” and when I log online in the morning I am reading an article about how the market is up in the pre-market once again.   By the end of the day, it is like de ja vu and I start the process all over again.  This market makes finding stocks the meet our stock screener difficult, how could it not?  Well, I have been thinking a lot about where I want to allocate my capital recently and what I want my next move to be.   After doing some research on various blogs, including some articles written by my fellow Diplomat, I find myself considering the option that the title of the article outlines.  Is now the time to accelerate the payments on my student loans?

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Lessons Learned About Setting Goals

It is that time of the year.  To me, December means finishing out the year strong, racing towards the finish line, and setting the table for a successful year going forward.  For the last few weeks, I have been thinking long and hard about my life, investing, and our blog goals.  What should I focus on?  Where should I be at this point next year?  Questions like these have racing through my mind and I am trying to process and make sense of them all.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the goals I have set from the prior year and trying to leverage them as much as possible, including both the successes and the shortcomings.  I thought it would be helpful for me, and hopefully some of you, to write down my thoughts and lessons learned over the last few years about setting goals.   Time to dive in.

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Pay Down the Mortgage or Invest: Part II – Rising Interest Rates

Now that the year of 2016 is wrapping up and we are only around 4-5 weeks away until we ring in the new year, I have been deeply thinking about my extra-mortgage payment paydown strategy.  Mortgage interest rates have been sky rocketing since the election, another element to showcase the rollercoaster ride that we are truly on.  This has caused me to potentially make a tweak or two to my strategy that I have had in play for the last few years.  Let’s see what I mean!

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My Plan to Pay Off Our Student Loans

Student Loans….a topic that almost everyone can relate to and almost every person in the personal finance community curse.  We’ve all read the reports and the numbers are staggering:  total student loans are over $1 trillion dollars here in the US and the average graduate is leaving school with an average of $37,712 (Source: Student Loan Hero).  My goal today is to discuss my family’s student loan situation, some of the tough discussions we had before incurring the student loans, and then to cap it off, my plan to pay off our debt as early as possible.

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