Acorns – Your Digital Change Jar

A few months ago I heard about an app that synched with your checking account, rounded up every purchase made with that account, and invested it for you. The cost is $1/month. I think the name has something to do with squirrelling away money? The app is called Acorns

Here is how I’ve done so far. I don’t miss the money at all because it’s doing all of the work for me and since I rarely have cash on me, this works great.

I will say that the returns aren’t great, but I just use it as another savings account. If you suck at saving or have something particular that you are saving for, this might be a good solution for you. 

Click here to download the app and start to save more tomorrow. 

Mo’ Money Less Problems

Knowing that a lot of life’s stress revolves around your bills and your job, only an idiot would think that having more money would create more problems.

Cripes, the fact that the vast majority of the country has to work forty hours a week to SURVIVE should be an indication that money is the problem.

People who complain that the lottery winnings get taxed like crazy and you actually “only” walk away with half of that 100 million, just don’t get it. Get me a million bucks and I’m done with the race forever.

Getting a hold on you finances is the key to less “problems” and I believe that financial independence and having no debt is the pillar of happiness, allowing you to do whatever the hell you want with your time.

Someone actually told me that they weren’t interested in retiring early because they liked working…

Here are some other phrases that make me cringe:

– If you make more, you just spend more

– I’ll be paying that off for the rest of my life anyway

– It was on sale, so I couldn’t pass it up

– This might be my only chance to buy a new car

– I’m not going to go without in order to save money

There are flaws in all of those statements if you are trying to live more simply and save more money, or are even interested in freeing up your life to di what you want.

Being a regular follower of this site, you can identify what those issues are, can’t you?

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Starting to Declutter

Being surrounded can be stressful, even when what is surrounding you is your own stuff.  What a mess.  You feel like you’re always cleaning up and organizing.  The problem is that there is too much to begin with.  You can keep reorganizing as much as you want but that stuff will not stay where you want it.

If you think it feels good to organize, I can say that it feels better to get rid of that crap you keep on having to mess with.

A great place to start is your junk drawer.  Have you used anything in there in the past six months?  What is that stuff?  Bring the trash can right over to it and start getting rid of things from inside.

Next, move to your night stand or where ever you put things before bed.  That stand might also have drawers on it full of junk you haven’t used in  years.

That’s honestly a good start.  Forcing yourself to really decide if you need to hang on to those chincy trinkets you’ve kept “just in case.”

You might even find something that you get to list on craigslist or eBay and make a few bucks out of it.

Start with the small and easier decisions.  It will feel pretty good.

More Money

Here is a quick tale on how I made more money this weekend. We went for a family walk through our neighborhood and went past a pile of aluminum piping by the side of the road that someone was getting rid of.  Quite a bit of it. I went back home, got my car, and picked it up.

Always, always pick up stuff like this and find a way to get it home. Heavy metal like steel is a waste of time and resources but aluminum and copper should always be collected.

You then go to your local scrap yard with it and they give you money.

I usually have a little pile of metal in the garage that I save up to bring in.  If it’s just steel, it will only be a couple of dollars but my son likes to watch the construction trucks work and we get ice cream with the new cash.  Softer metals like aluminum and copper can get you much more money.  This pile might be worth $30 or so?  I’ll update this after I drop it off so that you know!

Don’t turn down free money.  Yeah, you have to get somewhere with it so it’s not really free, but you know that I mean.  Acts like this add up and when you slam the extra money on your bills, it makes a difference.

This is the mindset you want to have to get ahead.

 

Set Your Goals and Timelines

I think that one of the primary reasons people with good intentions of getting ahead fail to do so is because they don’t put time-frames on their goals. If you don’t do this, you could be chasing your goals to your funeral.

Decide if your main goal is to pay off a loan, become debt free, retire early, whatever.  Then, do what I mentioned in Where to Start and get everything written down and calculate how long it will take you to pay off each debt using the snowball principal. There is your timeline. If you aren’t hitting those goals, something is wrong. Maybe life happened, but it’s always going to, so don’t let that be your excuse. If something comes up that saps some of your money unexpectedly, try to find a way to make up that cash another way. Do some odd jobs, sell some of your junk, downgrade a big ticket item, do something. 

You want to stay on course with this and slacking or telling yourself you’ve got time won’t work. Don’t make the mistake of telling yourself you have your whole life to get ahead or that’s exactly how long it will take you to get there.

Let’s get right to it…

What to expect from this site (what’s in it for you).

Are you happy?  Not this moment, but in general?  Are you sure you are?  Oh, you said you were.  Sorry.  Well if you aren’t happy, maybe you can do something about that.  Maybe not.  I’m the Captain of this vinegar jar and would like to share what has helped me over the past not so many months.  After tripping over a site called mrmoneymustach.com and watching the Minimalism documentary, I realized things could be a bit better.  Everything these guys talked about made so much sense.  They figured out the secrets to life that most don’t discover until they have been worked ragged into their 70s and it’s hard to even say that those old timers even realize it then.  My wife and I have been living relatively frugally on and off for about ten  years, but these two resources really helped lock it into gear.

What if you knew that there were options to life that didn’t include working all week to pay off debt?  You could do whatever the hell you wanted to every day.  What if you weren’t stuck making money for someone else or some entity that’s trying to keep shareholders happy.  This isn’t something that just happens but it’s clear that it CAN happen if you work at it.

Our family is not there, or really even very close, but we have made a lot of steps in the right direction in the past few months and things are looking promising right now.

We currently live in a small suburb in western NY with two kids – Darth Vader and Baby Cat.  I’m the Captain of the Jar and my sweet wife will introduce herself here at some point.

Some things that we would like to share on these pages are the steps we took to save and make money, how to start getting rid of shit you don’t need and try to stop buying shit you think you need, and explain how to destroy barriers that are stopping you from gaining everything you really want.

Bam.

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