8 Tips to Save $75,000 Just by Sealing Your House!

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What could you do with an extra $75,000?

I know I could do a heck of a lot with that amount of money: I could pay off almost all of our debt, I could get my master’s degree, or I could buy my husband a pretty awesome truck.

But that doesn’t matter.

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How to Retire by 40 – Part 2

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 This is part 2 of a 4 (or 5?) part series detailing why we want to retire by 40, as well as how to retire by 40.  You can read Part 1 here, but basically I’m giving you all the dirty details from what got us into our bad financial situation, what exactly that situation is (this post) as well as how we’re going to leverage savings, investing, and even to a rental property to ultimately achieve financial independence and Retire by 40!

The first part of our journey to financial freedom is debt freedom

This kind of seems to be the golden standard among those trying to reach Financial Independence (FI).  If a debt is bad (car, credit card, etc) and costing you more in interest than you would make by investing the same money, you’ve gotta get rid of it.  For us, this is the breakdown:

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Frugal Vacation – Is It Possible?

is a frugal vacation possible?

 

I think Missouri gets a bad rap for being “boring” – but this past (long) weekend The Big Guy, baby RB40 and I discovered that it’s anything but during out trip to Branson and the Big Cedar Resort.  Not only did we have an awesome time, we spent very little money!

We just spent 1 night at the Hampton Inn in Branson, MO and 2 nights at Big Cedar Lodge just outside of Branson.  While we were there we did a TON of walking around the beautiful Big Cedar campus,

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You Asked, I Delivered -The Free Pinterest Guide is Here!

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I’m writing this as I’m on vacation, sitting on the balcony of our room at Big Cedar Lodge, just outside of Branson, MO.  The view here is beautiful, but until I get this post churned out I’m not going to be able to enjoy it!

Why?

Because the Pinterest Guide is Here!

Pinterest can be really overwhelming for all bloggers, but especially to personal finance bloggers who feel that their content isn’t really very visual or lends itself to Pinterest.   And if you’re one of those people who think that, you’re wrong!

I’ve been working really hard on this guide, trying to make it interesting, but still cram in every single thing that has helped generate 60% (0r more) of my traffic from Pinterest!

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Traffic & Income Report – August 2014

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During my 1st Year Blogiversary post, I asked you all if you would be interested in my doing both a Pinterest post (since 60% or more of my traffic comes from Pinterest) as well as an income report now that I am actually making some money!  Your response was overwhelmingly “Yes!” so I’m going to start doing these Traffic & Income Reports on a monthly basis!

Plus, I really like transparency, in everything really, and I feel like the blogging world is shrouded in mystery!

Let’s get started!

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How to Retire by 40! – Part 1

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If you’ve been reading this blog long, then you know that we’re doing everything we can to retire by 40.  If you haven’t been following along, then hopefully you know that from the title of the blog???  Retiring by 40, for us, is a 3-step plan.  1st, we need to get out of debt – and this is the phase we’re in now, so you’re seeing posts dedicated to saving money, so we can get out of debt faster.  Phase 2 is to develop passive income streams, and Phase 3 is physically saving enough money so that we can actually retire.

The first question is why would we even want to retire by 40?  What is all the hoopla surrounding Financial Independence (or FI)?

 

Why Do We Want Financial Independence?

I’ve owed you all this post for quite some time now….sorry about that!  

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Must-Do’s Before Listing a Rental – Guest Post

LISTING A HOUSE FOR RENT

Hi everyone!  Today I am welcoming Jennifer Riner of Zillow to Retired by 40!  As many of you know, we are not going to live in our current house forever.  We got a killer price on it, so we intend to rent it out when we move!  As such, getting a house ready to list is something I’ve been thinking long and hard about!

Investors may be antsy to rent out their properties and begin profiting from their recently acquired assets right away. However, prepping rentals for tenancy is a crucial process. Legally, homes for lease must comply with state and federal housing codes. But, to attract tenants, proprietors need to go a few steps further.

To attract renters and retain responsible tenants, follow these provisions.

Clean Thoroughly

Make sure both interiors and exteriors of rental properties are free of garbage or debris. Lobbies and common facilities should be regularly mopped or vacuumed, and units should be thoroughly examined prior to listing rentals on the market. Replace disposable or clean reusable air filters, wipe vents and dust ceiling fans.  Shampoo wall-to-wall carpeting and hire professional cleaners to steam away residue and stains.

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Exposing Third-Party Hotel Rates & Reservations

Third Party Hotel Accommodations Optimized

I’m going to reveal something today that I probably shouldn’t.  I’m going to reveal the nitty gritty details behind how third-party hotel booking sites (such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz, to name a few) manage the prices that they do, how the process actually works between the hotel and the third party, what room rate the hotel actually receives, and how you can get a better deal!

Should I talk about this?  Probably not.  Of course, everyone knows that the rate 3rd-parties pay hotels is significantly less than what they charge customers – I’m just putting actual number to it, and teaching you how to beat it!

Keep in mind, I am talking about third-party discount sites.  There are 3rd-party websites that charge exorbitant rates, and that hotels do not give discounts to.  However, I am referring to last-minute and (seemingly) cheap rates on booking sites.

 

How the transaction works:

Atraveler will book a stay through a 3rd-party website.  When they do so, they physically pay that website with their credit card, not the hotel.  The website then turns around and calls the hotel the traveler booked a room at.  They (in most cases ) give the hotel their business credit card (called a “ghost card” that is good for one single charge of a specific amount) and the guest’s details to make the reservation on their behalf.  These booking sites have a pre-negotiated “hidden” third-party rate.  And yes, it’s significantly lower than the bar rate :-)

This is why when you book through a 3rd-party site and try to call the hotel to get your receipt they cannot provide it for you.  Instead, you have to call the website you booked through because you actually paid the website, not the hotel.  The third party site actually paid the hotel.

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