Welcome to Wednesday, money nerds. This morning, we have four money stories for you — and a video about trains. Enjoy!
Re-thinking how to view your time. [Of Dollars and Data] — “The key to changing your worldview on time is knowing when to trade it for money. Obviously, if you don’t have much money, you don’t have many options for trading, but as you gain wealth, this tradeoff will become more relevant. The traditional way to think about when to trade your money for your time has been to pay for anything that is below your hourly wage. This explains how one could justify paying for a cleaning or laundry service. I generally agree with this, but it can be expanded.”
This next piece is sad but it’s a great illustration of a point I’ve been trying to drill home for years: It is vital that you keep your housing payment as low as possible. When things are going well, it helps you to save more. And when the shit hits the fan, having a low housing payment means you get to keep your home instead of losing it…
I am unexpectedly a widow and clueless about finances. How can I keep my home? [/r/personalfinance] — “I’m just barely hanging in there covering the bottom line but what is the smart thing to do? No decision seems like a good one. Selling seems like a bad decision to me because I will owe the balance which will wipe out every penny of saving. Do I stick it out until loans are paid and some money is freed up, then try to live as frugal as possible and be house poor?”
How a career slow-down enhanced my life. [Cash for Tacos] — “I knew I wanted to find a position where I could improve my work life balance, earn at least 80% of my current pay and decrease my commute. With a little effort, I was able to find a position that checked off these three boxes. I now have less responsibility and am essentially a worker bee completing projects as they are assigned. I work 40 hours a week with only the occasional overtime. And more importantly, there is no phone tied to my hand. When I leave work, I barely think twice about it.”
How to make money from garage-sale arbitrage. [Financial Pilgrimage] — “Finding great deals at garage sales is all about volume. You need to be able to move quickly from house to house. Once you have experience, as soon as you walk up to a garage sale you’ll know if it is a dud or potential gold mine.”
Lastly, here’s an episode of His and Her Money in which Talaat and Tai McNeely chat with Khalil and Kyara about entrepreneurship — and especially about building a real-estate empire. Nothing scammy here. Just some down-to-earth chat about how people get started with rental properties.
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