Sisters for FI Wealth Building Strategies

We recently created these postcards as a friendly reminder of the many things we can do today to set ourselves up for financial independence. The 3 Guidelines of Personal Finance is Spend Less, Earn More and Invest the Rest. These are what I also call the 3 Wealth Building Strategies. Do all 3 and you are sure to have a sizeable nest egg to help you fulfill your dreams, but I am going to change the order a bit and actually make it Invest First, Spend Less, Earn More.

Have You Told Your Boss How Great You Are

I always dreaded completing my annual self-review because I had to condense everything I had done in 1 year into a paragraph. Then when I became a manager, I had to remember all of the other things my team and direct reports did. It became a chore. I was lucky though because as program manager, I was organized. I tracked milestones and I communicated successes and failures. Still compiling those at the end of the year was time consuming. The one thing I learned during my years as a program manager was to make sure my boss knew the good things I was doing. So this post, is all about reminding you to tell your boss how great you are.

How to Have a Financial Checkup With Your Aging Parents

“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.”

I never thought I would write this or be adult enough to have a discussion with my parents about finances, but it happened and it's been happening folks. I feel like the more I talk about money, the more comfortable I am getting and the more people around me are also getting comfortable talking about it.

Is the Point of FI Social Enterprise?

The point of FI is social enterprise. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Perhaps, I am being idealistic with thinking that the point of financial independence is social enterprise, but what is the point of putting yourself in a position of financial security, of having time to do what you want? Is the freedom that we all crave all for the sake of building our own islands, separate from everyone else? I would think such a life to be boring and unfulfilled.

The College Series - Back-to-School Prep with Financial Independence in Mind

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."

It’s that time of year...the Sunday of Summer. In the blink of an eye, your days of vacationing, interning, or working elsewhere become days of mental and physical preparations for back to school. August rears its head a lot faster than expected and you scramble to pack for move-in or buy books for classes. Across the country, students just like you are trying their best to get through back to school season and trying not to break the bank (or your parents’). Broke college students seem to be the norm, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you already started classes or will begin in September, here are some helpful tips to get you in the money-saving mindset for back to school!

How to Unlearn Everything

Most people are living in an illusion based on someone else’s beliefs.”

I was a great student in high school and mostly in college. I did what I was supposed to do. I memorized facts. I handed in work on time. Today though, I wish I wasn't a good student. What I am realizing today in my 30s is that being a good student was actually a detriment. I was so caught up in having the right answer that I barely made mistakes. I didn't fail enough to want to keep trying again. I didn't fail enough to be more resilient. I took things just as they were without questioning why. Today, I am unlearning everything.

Substitute the Word Money with the Word Freedom: Phrases to Try

"A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life."

I recently came across an article written by Whitney Cummings on the last page of Money Magazine. She talks about her personal money management, but more importantly how she started substituting the word money for the word freedom. So I thought I would compile a list of phrases with this substitution. It's important to note that sometimes changing our language changes our mindset in a whole new way even if we haven't fully internalized it yet. Try these on for size. Speak them out loud. How does saying one versus the other make you feel?

Are We Spoiled Because Our Luxury Baseline Has Changed?

"Our luxury baseline has changed."

This is one of those small quotes that stood out to me from The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money. The quote was in context to the fact that today's and tomorrow's kids have a different baseline for luxury. Their expectations of the world are completely different from ours. Most kids growing up today have everything at their fingertips. While we should be grateful for the new luxuries available today, we should continue to instill good values that allow ourselves and our kids to appreciate the simpler ways of doing things. This is the same for us adults too.

Why Take Advantage of a 401K: It's Part of Your Compensation

Without vision you don't see, and without practicality the bills don't get paid.

If your employer told you you would get a $5000 bonus each year, would you take it? Of course we all would, but we would ask the question, what do we have to do to get the bonus? How much to we have to meet in sales? How many projects do we have to complete? What performance metrics would be tracked and what do we have to do to meet it?

Guess what? That $5000 bonus is actually easier to get than you might think. All you have to do is to save money. Easy right? The reality is that many people don't do this because they don't understand what a 401K is or why they should take advantage of it. Today, we are going to breakdown why you should be taking advantage of your 401K to build your nest egg, to build your retirement accounts and get you to financial independence faster.

Financially Successful Woman: How to be Financially Empowered

“A woman’s best protection is a little money of her own.”

The gender gap is everywhere. Women are usually paid less in spite of their male counterpart doing the same job. Finance and women are also considered to be poles apart.

According to a survey conducted by Forbes, around 58% of men were of the view that their financial understanding was up to the mark, whereas only 47% of women said so.

But, the situation is changing day by day. Women are now gradually climbing the ladder and gaining financial success.

The College Series: What I Did With My First Paycheck

"No matter who is watching or paying the paycheck, we are ultimately each our own boss."

A few weeks into my summer internship, my bank account was graced with a direct deposit. As a student still living at home with my parents, my expenses were minimal when it came to things like extraneous bills and insurance.  It was pretty tempting, and fairly easy, to have just spent it all on new clothes, food, and drinks, (especially working in New York City) but with some thoughtful consideration, I realized I probably shouldn’t blow my first paycheck, or all of them for that matter. Here’s how I prioritized where all my money went and things I needed to consider as a student and emerging young professional.

When Geoarbitrage Means Going Back to Your Home Country

It has always been my parents intention to retire in the Philippines. I have never known them to say otherwise. This year, they will return to our home country and setup a new life there. It’s been an eye-opening experience to watch my parents plan and finally make this goal a reality. I am happy and sad at the same time. Happy that all of their hard work will allow them to do this. Sad that we will be many time zones apart.

Doing so will allow them to take advantage of a concept called geoarbitrage.

10 Decisions I Might Change to Get Me to FI Faster

Hindsight is always 20/20.

My sister and I (who are in our 30s) recently sat down with our 22 year old sister to talk about finances and lessons learned. This got me thinking about some of the things I would change if I could to get me to financial independence faster. Of course, these are nice to think about and perhaps if I really did come across a time machine, I may change one or two decisions, but I do have to also say that the decisions we make get us to a certain point in our lives and we just need to learn and let live.

We Almost Fell Into The Trap of Buying a Larger Home

"If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”

My husband and I just closed on a condo a few weeks ago. After a few calculations and looking at the prices in the market and towns we wanted to be in, we came with a number that we were comfortable with. When we first started the process, we met with a mortgage loan officer and provided our financials. His first statement to us was “you know you could afford more,” but we stuck to our guns and kept our original budget in place.

New Financial App: Zeta and the Need for Couples to Financially Plan Together

"Select a partner carefully. Your spouse should have the same characteristics that are compatible with success."

A few months ago, I came across the Zeta Platform. I wish this tool was around when my then boyfriend, now husband first got together. I'm probably the one that pushed a lot of this personal finance stuff on my husband, but I don't regret any of it one bit because by the time we got married, we were significantly better of had we not talked about it. Because I'm a fan of having that financial conversation early on and I'm a fan of helpful technology, I found Zeta to fit the bill so I wanted to share it with you all today.

The College Series: Setting Yourself Up For Internship Success

The expert in anything was once an unpaid intern.

It’s the beginning of the spring semester and you realize that you’re going to have to face the realities of the real world in five months or so. It’s prime internship-searching season. You’ve googled “interview questions” dozens of times and are already anxious for your school’s career fair. This isn’t an article asking you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, nor is it a guide on what to look for in a company, but rather things to consider to ensure a more successful job searching experience. Whether you’re applying for summer internships or an internship over the school year, it’s important to think ahead and cover your bases when it comes to the internship applying process.

Book Summary: Your Money Or Your Life

"Waste lies in not in the number of possessions, but in the failure to enjoy them."

I had the chance to pick up Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. They are thought to be the ones that coined the term "FIRE" A writer from a FI group in NYC brought the book and passed it around. It didn't click to me that this was the book. I had it on my reading list and bumped it up so that I could review it earlier. I'm so surprised I hadn't come across it earlier in all of my reading, but here we are and it seems like everything about the FI concept is falling into place for me.