The American Dollar
One industrious American family's focus on a financial goal of freedom. Through worldly personal finance education, here is our story.
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Our Story: Both my wife and I are 27 years old and have gone through financial hell and back. Now we are on track to financial freedom, however we are not financial advisors or professionals, just everyday people. Share our journey from a negative networth and email us if you have questions or comments! :)


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Making the most out of a whole DOLLAR!

Well you certainly can't find $1.00 gas anymore let alone anything that costs a dollar. Ok maybe you can get a package of gum or a couple candy bars, but whats the maximum you can do with a one crisp dollar bill in your hand. Well you certainly cant find $1.00 gas anymore thats for sure. Its so much harder to be a kid in this generation with a dollar in your hand than it would be when we were kids and a dollar went so much farther. Thats inflation for ya! I had a few thoughts on this and shared it with my coworkers who love stupid topics. We were surprised on the hefty list; no nominal idea was rejected. Heres what we extracted on the dealings of one whole US dollar bill thrown out in no particular order, remembering that tax is included in the pricing (*except in Delaware):

-Go to the vending machine and purchase a .75 cent 12 ounce soda can. The bottles are $1.25

-Download an itunes song for .99 cents (provided you have an itunes account)

-Invest the dollar (we always have SOMEONE mention this)

-Find a broken item or for 2/$1.00 item at the local Dollar store (items at full price are $1.00+ tax so we cant get these)

-3 packs of .30 cent 5-stick gum at 7-11 (total cost .97 cents)

-Play one video game at an arcade (most arcade games are $1.00 or more just to play) Chuck E. Cheese is great because you can play 4 tokens for a dollar but you have to have a kid or the employees will look suspicious at you.

-Buy stupid office supplies like staples, a small calculator, a pencil, pen, note pad at your office supply store.

-Small Coffee

- Newspaper
- Small Tip for a server, driver, etc
- Give to charity/ homeless
- Fast food hamburger, hard taco, piece of chicken, small take out white rice
- One piece of grocery produce
- 3/10ths a gallon of gas or LESS (provided your driving a very small lawnmower)
- A garage sale bargain knicknack
Please feel free to add to our crazy list. I know we didnt cover everything but its a start. We really should be getting back to work.

2 Comments You can link this post

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Buying a New Home and Renting the other!

My wife and I have decided to jump into the real estate investment pool. Right now, our toes are touching the water and getting a feel of the temperature. We purchased our first home when we were 22 years old and it has appreciated quite a bit in the past 4 years, almost a $70,000 gain and since we got the home on such a great deal, the positive equity has been staggering. Now we want to rent it out. A coworker that I have gotten to know in the past couple years has shown a great interest in renting out our home... and they might get their wish.

In these past couple weeks, we found our dream home, wrote up an offer, had it accepted and we completed the home inspection on my 27th birthday. Seeing as the new home was only 2 years old, the home inspection went without a hitch. We basically paid the guy $300.00 for the peace of mind and also he showed me a few things that I probably wouldnt have known about the house(where this pipe goes, what does this particular valve turn off, how to work the dishwasher, etc).

Now that we have found a home, we are hoping to close by the end of the August, depending how quickly the lenders are going to be (a whole other blog post). Anyway I relayed the rental suggestion to my coworker as well as a couple family members. They all loved the idea, however my coworker is willing to pay a little bit more. Since this is strictly a business transaction, I had to tell my family members the bad news. Plus my wife pointed out the drama that would unfold if we had rented to close family. Nevertheless, my good friend and coworker, brought herself and her two children to visit the home and her and the kids loved it. She wanted to sign the rental agreement right then and there. But I didnt know even where to start...

I thought about it last night and was thinking wow, This is my first rental property and my first time being a real landlord. I have a residental lease agreement contract that I can write up and thats it. Perhaps I need to seek legal or tax advice. I have a reputable lawyer but no tax accountant. Im wondering also if I should put my rental in an LLC so I can take the tax deductions and other tax benefits. We may have to seperate business and personal assets too. I know I would need something to seperate the liability factor. I will have to call my lawyer and see what exactly he can answer and whom he can direct me to if he doesnt know. There is just a hundred different checks that I have to do and I want to make sure there is nothing that I'm missing or forgetting. Anyways, other sound advice is always welcome. Otherwise, I'm excited that things have been in motion to get into our new home. We have already gone and picked out mentally some furniture and items we want in the home. Things are just happening so fast, I have to stop and think to myself, 'Is this really happening? Are we really doing this?', and I get a nervous, scared, anxious, and excited feeling all at the same time.

1 Comments You can link this post is here!

Emergency Fund
2007 Roth Contributions
$8,000 Total

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