Ah, it’s just not a good week unless we have a healthy article from Mr. Money Mustache taking on another ridiculous article stating how impossible it is for a middle class family to retire. You should head over to read the original article, wherein the author states that a family with a $150,000 income would take 110 years of work to retire; or the reply from the ‘Stashe about how absurd the tone of the article is and how it draws a populist CEOs-get-paid-too-much-and-that’s-the-problem conclusion.
January turned out to be a volatile month in the markets, with a correction from the huge upswing last year. For our family, it turned into being the month of expenses: with the biggies being the bill that came due for the rebuilt Nissan Altima transmission and the down payment on the new CX-5. Our auto budget is blown out of the water for the year and we just started! We’d been operating under our typical insurance/gas/maintenance before and haven’t had any huge maintenance issues or new car purchases in a very, very long time – so I suppose our auto bill was likely underestimated as a result. This will certainly cause some budget adjustments on my end.
Yikes, we had one heck of a vacation. As regular readers already know, we had a sick baby over Christmas – leaving us with no sleep and lots of family parties to attend. And then on top of that our family car had the transmission go just a couple days later. This is actually the second car to have a busted transmission in the past few months (my winter beater, a 2002 Dodge Neon went back in September). Then my wife and I managed to come down with the cold our son had, and we went car shopping and took delivery of a new car on the day of a huge winter storm!
Needless to say, things didn’t go as planned.
Seeing as I espouse frugality and avoiding debt, the fact we bought a new car may strike you as odd. Or at least against the normal advice. And I agree partially, but I figured I’d go through the thought process here.
Lousy 401k plans are on my mind lately. You see, yesterday I wrote about my own experience with a 401k to IRA rollover for old lousy 401k plans I had at former employers. I thought I should take a step back and try and give an idea on how to identify if you have a lousy 401k plan, and possible ways to remedy it.
I was originally pointed at this long 30 minute lecture/talk from Bret Victor’s Twitter feed (though it appears he’s deleted the tweet now). I couldn’t pass up the choice quote he pulled and the relevant section of the video is what I’m linking here: Ian Bogost – Procedural Rhetoric
I have so much stuff in my house. I have like the pear couch and the space station and all those shirts I made. I’ve got so much stuff in my house I can’t even walk around in my house… I need more space. I need a bigger house for my stuff.
The problem is that I spent all my money on the stuff that I bought to put in my house so I don’t have any money left to pay my mortgage, so what do I do, Dad?
This quote is from his five year old son, who had been playing Animal Crossing.