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How The Happy Rock Went Bold

by The Happy Rock on March 1, 2008

I talked about how success requires bold decisions, so I figured I should share the decisions that where bold and went against the grain to get me were I am at today. Where am I today, you ask? Well…awesome growing marriage, beautiful wife, two wonderful children, paid off 70,000 in debt, no debt except for a mortgage, 32% equity in a home, $12,000 emergency fund, and a net worth of about $150,000 at age 29 to list a few. I am ecstatic about my as it stands, I truly am, not one complaint. The question remains, what decisions stand out […]

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Do We Earn The Right Not To Budget?

by The Happy Rock on November 7, 2007

I have admitted it before, The Rockette have never lived on a formal budget. The closest we come to real budgeting is what I label retroactive budgeting. This is when you come up with reasonable spending amount for the different categories like groceries, clothing, entertainment, etc. Then at the end the month you compare the actual totals to your suggested limits. When we were in the midst of shedding our 70k in debt, we did this almost every month. As the debt shrunk, so did frequency of our retroactive budgeting. I have been trying to decide whether this is a […]

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Why Personal Finance is Personal

by The Happy Rock on October 24, 2007

The reason they call it personal finance is because there aren’t any right answers. That’s right, no right answers. If there were right answers, we could call it something like personal financial decision science. Everyone would be doing the same 20 step program and trying to achieve similar goals. That isn’t how it works. It is our money. We are all different. We all have our own quirks, goals, personalities, and dreams. Personal finance can not escape that fact that it has to deal with humans, and that is where the personal side of equation comes into play. Consider two […]

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5 Key Strategies For Getting Out Of Debt

by The Happy Rock on August 12, 2007

Being debt free has been more amazing than I thought, and I want others to be able to share in a similar joy. For those who are trying to get out of debt or entertaining the thought, here is some ammunition. As my wife and I and slowly hacked our way out of $70,000 in debt, there were a few key strategies that were extremely helpful: 1. Find Your Passion – Finding your passion is my number tip for anything that requires a large amount of energy and commitment. I started thinking about being debt free, because I realized that […]

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The Credit Card Premium. How Much More Are We Paying?

by The Happy Rock on July 6, 2007

Duncan Simester created one of the first experiments that attempted to directly test how consumer’s ‘willingness to pay’ is affected by credit cards. In this experiment 1st year MBA students were instructed to provide a sealed envelope with the amount that they would be willing to pay for sold out Celtics and Red Sox tickets. One set of instructions required cash payment and the other a credit card payment. In both cases the face value of the tickets were not given. The prize was to be sold to the person who wrote down the highest price, but sold at the […]

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We want people to accept us, it is a fact of human nature. Time and again you hear people sharing the same thought on friendship, “I want a friend that accepts who I am”. That sounds noble and uplifting enough, but let’s take a deeper look into that idea. Think about examples of people for whom nothing is ever expected. What becomes of the child whose parents give them everything, yet don’t expect anything? Your dog Max accepts you, and so does a car salesman, or even a drug dealer. The question remains, “is that enough?”. I say no. Personally, […]

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Delayed Gratification Will Save You Money

by The Happy Rock on June 12, 2007

Remember the ‘Marshmallow Test‘? It was a study from the 1960’s which found that preschoolers who were able to delay gratification at four years old were more likely to be socially competent, assertive, trustworthy, dependable, able to cope, and likely to embrace challenge. The ability to control our impulses will encourage success in most areas of our lives. Our relationships, careers, money, and wealth will all be positively affected by being able to delay our gratification. As an example let’s look at two similar families who want to own their $300,000 dream home. They both have a $60,000 down payment […]

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Having Goals Is Great, But Having Purpose Is Better

by The Happy Rock on June 10, 2007

Consider two similar working mothers: one who wants to get out of debt because a few of her friends starting getting our of debt. The other woman decides to get out of debt, so that she can provide a more secure environment for her children by quitting her job to pursue a life goal of staying at home full time. If you had to bet on which one will succeed at becoming debt free, which one would it be? Maybe the example is too simplistic, but I hope the point is clear. Having goals is very helpful, but having purpose […]

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What should our personal finance system “buy” us?

by The Happy Rock on May 25, 2007

Before I post on how we are going to change our current system, I wanted to discuss what I am looking for in a good finance system. Note, I am using personal finance system to mean the accounts and tools that your money flow through from paycheck through payment and/or savings. As always, the purpose of analyzing this and the overall theme of The Happy Rock is to continually simplify our lives in order to create more freedom for the goals and people we truly value in life. Here are five areas that should be analyzed when creating, tweaking, or […]

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What does getting out of debt “buy” you?

by The Happy Rock on May 16, 2007

So we battled for three years to get rid of our $70,000 dollars in debt….so what! Here are the benefits that being debt free(besides the house) and the process of becoming debt free gave us. Cash Flow – First and foremost, we got control of our money back. Instead of the bank requiring hundreds and thousands of dollars a month, that money was staying in our account. Catharsis – I didn’t see this one coming, but eliminating debt helped me to revisit and deal with some bad decisions I made in college. Instead of just chalking them up to youth, […]

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