Monday Night Finance- Volume 91

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10 Money Moves to Make Before You Turn 40

We’ve all heard of the concept of a bucket list—a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” But how many of us also have a list of goals we want to achieve by the time we are 30, 40, or 50? These milestones are not just about climbing mountains or visiting exotic destinations; they often mark crucial transitions in our financial journey. Just as you map out your adventure trips, it’s equally important to chart a course for your financial life as you approach these significant ages. Nearing the big 4-0 and feeling like you could use some pointers? Well, you’re in luck. The Frugal Expat has penned an incredibly insightful article that serves as a financial checklist for those approaching 40. Let’s take a closer look.

Turning 40 is a big milestone for many individuals as it transitions from young adulthood to middle age. It’s a time when your priorities, goals, and responsibilities are likely to have shifted much, especially regarding your finances. As you approach this age frame, you need to make several crucial money moves to ensure your financial stability and security in the years ahead.

~The Frugal Expat

The article from The Frugal Expat serves as an essential roadmap for anyone nearing the age of 40, outlining strategic financial moves that promise stability and security. It explores vital personal finance aspects, from the establishment of an emergency fund and the eradication of high-interest debt, to the regular contributions to retirement accounts, the diversification of investments, and the implementation of an estate plan. There’s even a spotlight on the importance of getting the right insurance coverage. But there’s more. The author also delves into the concept of frugal living and the avoidance of lifestyle inflation despite rising incomes. Curious about how this could transform your financial future? Check out the article for the full picture.

The Eternal Struggle of Personal Finance

Personal finance is full of tough questions. Should I max out my IRA or pay down my mortgage? Should I take out an auto loan or only buy a car I can pay cash for? Sometimes personal finance optimizations hinge on the fact that time is a precious resource too. Should I take the family to Disney while the kids are young, or sock that money away in their college fund so they don’t need to take out a loan in 12 years? Navigating these choices is like walking a tightrope, balancing the enjoyment of the present moment against securing a comfortable future. But what if this dilemma is not just a series of tough questions but the essence of personal finance itself? An insightful article from the Best Interest Blog delves into this eternal struggle, exploring the intricate dance between meeting our current wants and preparing for our future needs.

Each and every one of us could exclusively eat rice and beans for every meal. It’d cost $20 per week. What a financial win! But would we be happy with that? Or would it suck? I know my answer…That’s the struggle. Step back, review your life, your choices, your happiness…are your financial decisions bringing you some joy?

~Jesse Cramer, Best Interest Blog

The article from Best Interest Blog describes the eternal struggle of personal finance as the tug-of-war between current wants and future needs. The author asserts that the main challenge lies in our innate predisposition for instant gratification, which often leads us to prioritize short-term desires over long-term financial security. The piece argues for the importance of resisting this urge by practicing delayed gratification, maintaining discipline, and keeping a clear focus on long-term financial goals. It further emphasizes the role of savings and investments in building a secure financial future. To illustrate these points, the author uses a relatable anecdote of a young man deciding whether to spend money on a lavish vacation or to invest it for future returns. The article’s overall message underscores the need for balance and careful decision-making in personal finance.

Travel Soccer: What is it and Is it Worth It?

We’ve all heard of soccer moms. And if you have kids, you can probably relate to the stereotype of spending all weekend hauling kids around to different events. But what about the financial aspects? After all, investing in your child’s hobbies and passions isn’t just a commitment of time—it’s often a significant financial commitment as well. This becomes even more apparent when your kid’s pastime involves more than just local games, like the increasingly popular travel soccer, for instance. It’s not just about gas money and equipment costs; the financial implications can run much deeper. An insightful article from Marriage, Kids and Money delves into this issue, shedding light on the real costs of having your child participate in travel soccer

In addition to how teams are formed, another big difference between recreational soccer and travel soccer is the cost associated with it. 

Families spend an average of over $500 a year on soccer costs, and travel soccer can sometimes cost thousands of dollars. Personally, our family paid $1,500 just for the team initiation fee this year.

~Andy Hill, Marriage, Kids, and Money

This article from Marriage, Kids and Money takes a comprehensive look at the financial and lifestyle implications of having children participate in travel soccer. It points out that while travel soccer can provide children with enriching experiences, skill development, and potential opportunities, it comes with a significant price tag. Costs include travel, equipment, tournament fees, and often unforeseen expenses, which can amount to thousands of dollars each year. Additionally, the piece discusses the time commitment involved, potentially leading to less time for other activities and additional strain on the family. The author encourages parents to carefully consider both the financial and time implications before deciding to commit their child to travel soccer. It emphasizes the importance of making thoughtful financial decisions that align with a family’s overall values, goals, and budget.