I’m exactly 2 years into my lease and I’ve got 2 more years to go, but here’s the thing…I no longer need my car. Back in October, my wife and I moved closer to her job for a couple of … Continue reading This is a big lesson I’ve learned from leasing my car…
Since January 2018, my credit score was stuck at 799 and it was killing me that I was 1 damn point away from my personal goal. So you can only imagine my dance celebration when I saw my FICO score … Continue reading It’s been 3 years in the making and I finally made it to the 800 club!
Have you noticed the competition in the credit card industry? It seems like new premium cards with incredible cash back and points offers are introduced to the market every year. I’ve been tempted to play with all of these points … Continue reading This is why I use charge cards and not credit cards
A friend of mine and I go on and off on when exactly is the right time invest. Do I buy stocks? ETF’s? index funds? We seem to just talk about it, but never exactly make that move. For starters, … Continue reading Opinion: Is it the right time to invest?
Infidelity can wreck a marriage, but so can financial infidelity. Imagine this, you are reconciling your credit cards, bank accounts and all transactions at the end of the month and you begin to see payments you don’t recognize…$500 at Nordstrom, … Continue reading Opinion: Financial infidelity
Diversifying your portfolio can be as simple or as complex as you’d like to make it. My personal advice is to not over do it. There is such a thing as too much diversification. Extreme diversification can spread your risk … Continue reading My personal diversification strategy and 3 simple tips for your portfolio
I must have this conversation with my peers at least 3 times a month and it always goes something like this… Peer: Wait, you mean to tell me that I need to have a savings account I never touch unless … Continue reading Stop! Don’t touch that emergency fund
$1M dollars seems like a lot, but it unfortunately isn’t much when you really think about it from a retirement planning perspective. So how much do you really need for retirement? This simple question needs a compounded response because a … Continue reading $1M sounds great, but is it really enough?
This past Saturday morning I was moved by an incredible and inspiring story from Melissa. I met Melissa in a personal finance community I’m a part of and I reached out to her to learn more about her financial journey … Continue reading This is how Melissa is breaking the paycheck to paycheck cycle
I was prompted to write this post a few weeks back when I was talking to Alex about our financial plan and we got to talking about what we considered being “wealthy” was. Funny enough what Alex consider’s wealthy and … Continue reading Opinion: Wealth is not about money and possessions
Before I begin with my post, I have to give a quick shout out to one of our family friends Janet and Hermes who introduced us to this new coffee hack! 🙂 Last year I wrote about how you can … Continue reading This new coffee hack is saving us an additional $510.50 this year
I’ve shared before that 2018 is going to be the year that I focus on my family’s net worth. I’ll be honest, my net worth wasn’t a number I cared about but 2 years ago our net worth weighed very … Continue reading 5 quick tips to increase your net worth in 2018
2017 has been the year for cryptocurrency. On November 29th, Bitcoin hit $10,000. This means that one bitcoin is worth $10,000. It was at this moment it garnered the attention of investors, the media, banks, your friends, co-workers, regular people … Continue reading What is cryptocurrency?
Have you ever had the fear of missing out? Recently, I’ve experienced this on a small scale when I was giving the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency some deep thought. Lately, A LOT of my friends have been chatting with me about … Continue reading I’m a HUGE skeptic of Bitcoin, but this crypto has caught my attention
Everyone loves to travel, have new experiences, learn about new cultures, taste delicious food, but what holds most people back from traveling is money. After paying for airfare and all the fees, figuring out ground transportation and paying for hotel … Continue reading How I traveled to Asia for 2 weeks for Only $1,000
oh 2017…this definitely has been one of the most rewarding and most challenging years of my life. Ever since we embarked on this personal finance blog journey, I’ve decided that at the end of every year I want to share … Continue reading This is how we lived below our means and saved nearly $60,000 in 2017
It’s a Griswold family Christmas and we’re going to have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f***ing Kaye! I am a huge Christmas Vacation fan, and when I mean huge, I mean I own the … Continue reading 5 Lessons I Learned From Christmas Vacation
‘Tis the season to be jolly. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. Strike the harp and create your budget. Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. I love this time of year because my home is full of Christmas tree and sugar cookie scents and it creates the best environment … Continue reading My 2018 Budget
I know that New Years is around the corner when car dealerships quadruple their advertising efforts. I’m bombarded with TV advertisements from our local car dealerships and I’ve lost count to how many times I’ve heard the name Braman and … Continue reading Should You Lease or Buy a Car?
The holidays are always a magical time of year. There are Christmas songs, hot chocolate, festive lights and decorations, and generally good cheer. This is the time of year that is supposed to bring families together and reflect on the … Continue reading How to Keep Your Financial Sanity During the Holidays
To all of my shopaholics Recently Alex and I got back from an unbelievable vacation in Europe. We explored, we ate, we drank, we partied, and naturally, we shopped. Him and I love to travel and come back with a … Continue reading Shopping Spree + Tax Incentives!
If you’re a Millennial, like me, then chances are that you and your friends are starting to think seriously about home ownership. Is it worth it? Have I saved enough? Is it too great a risk? Is it really better … Continue reading Public Policies that affect Home Owners
Before I became a personal finance freek, I had no idea there are 3 types of IRA accounts. To be honest, I didn’t even have an IRA account until 2 years ago! I thought I was killing my savings/retirement game … Continue reading Is Your Cash Simple, Roth, or more Traditional? Check Out Which IRA is Best For You!
There is a difference between a “want” and a “need”. It is also important to factor in an emotional decision and a logical decision. The “want” is the emotional decision and the “need” is the logical one. On my personal … Continue reading Holiday Sales – Don’t Impulse Buy
Wealth in America is growing! You’ve read this and probably thought, “yea, this is obvious,” but I’m referring to 401(k) balances. According to a Fidelity Investment analysis, 401(k) balances have grown 9.6% since last year and the average 401(k) balance … Continue reading 401(k)s in America
So it’s time for you to leave the comforts of home, spread your wings and fly or you’re just moving into a new home or apartment. Whatever the case may be, you’re moving on up to the east side to … Continue reading Don’t Break the Bank When You Move
Capital gains is a fancy word for the profits you made from selling your investment or real estate assets. While this term and what surrounds it may seem pretty straight forward, the tricky part of it comes down to how … Continue reading Capital Gains in Layman’s Terms
To all of you smokers out there, including my very own friends, I’ve got a message for you. No, my post does not include one of those creepy and disturbing videos of a person peeling off their skin when buying … Continue reading The Impact Of Your Smoking Habit
Article reposted with permission from Amandacees.com My very good friend and lifestyle blogging guru, Amanda Cee recently wrote an amazing article highlighting unique and inexpensive date nights around the 305 for each day of the week. Going on dates can be … Continue reading Date Nights In Miami
I’ve been asked several times, why am I so conservative with my money? What has driven my passion to become financially fluent? Normally, I would always respond with something like, “my goal is to be debt free, so I’m using … Continue reading How 3 Economic Crises Have Shaped Me
Let’s bring it down to the basics. In the investment world, there are 3 main asset classes: equities (stocks), fixed income (bonds), and cash equivalents (money market). To further explain asset classes, think of it as a type of investment … Continue reading What Are The Differences Between Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, And Bonds?
Truth is, many people are not ready to invest. Financial planning can be compared to building a home because you’ve got to lay a strong foundation – an emergency fund, insurance coverage to mitigate risk, and very low to zero … Continue reading It Can’t Get Any Easier
This post goes out to all my recently engaged couples out there who have begun to plan their wedding. First and foremost, congratulations! This is the beginning of an amazing journey! As someone who’s married and is a wedding planner … Continue reading Don’t Let Your Wedding Break The Bank
Early on in my career I learned that paying myself via retirement contributions and investing was the biggest opportunity to build my wealth. Many of you might not be comfortable with investing because you believe it’s complicated, you don’t trust … Continue reading Doing Nothing Is Your Biggest Mistake
There is probably nothing more annoying than to deal with credit card fraud. I am impressed by how these hackers get my card information and purchase groceries from a supermarket nearly 50 miles away from my home. Great, you got … Continue reading Have You Recently Dealt With Credit Card Fraud?
If you’re anything like me, you’re eager to grow your wealth by investing in stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, etc. You should be cautious about jumping head first. I recommend that you take a hard look at your finances and ask … Continue reading Read This Before You Start Investing
There are a lot of emotions pre, during, and post a hurricane. As I write this post, I haven’t had power for 4 days and millions of Floridians are patiently waiting for their utilities to get back on track and … Continue reading The Unpredictable And Unexpected
Last week I asked my friends on Facebook for insight on which investment apps they were using. Many mentioned Acorns, Betterment, and Robinhood. Some even mentioned the big banking institutions. Well, I’ve done a TON of research on all of … Continue reading Here Is How I’ll Be Investing My Stash
I live 36 miles from my job and if you’re thinking to yourself “holy cow that’s a lot”, well, it is. On average, it takes me an hour and 15 minutes each way; I absolutely hate my commute. It is … Continue reading Don’t Get Stuck In A Housing Jam
You’ve been saving for several months and you think you’ve got what it takes to begin the home shopping phase, but you’re hesitant because you’re not even sure how much home you can afford. This question can be easily answered … Continue reading How Much Home Can I Afford?
Normally, I hate cutting luxuries from my monthly budget, but when the going gets tough, the first thing that goes are my Starbucks trips, Ipsy subscription, and the one that breaks my heart the most, the gym. For some, the … Continue reading That Boujee Gym Membership Doesn’t Belong In My Budget
When my wife and I were home shopping for our very first home, one of the biggest fears we had was that nearly every home we saw needed some sort of repair or a huge makeover! Back track to 2 … Continue reading 8 Ways To Pay For Your Home Projects
Recently, I was talking to my husband about my upcoming promotion and I asked for his advice on salary negotiations. I told him my predecessor made significantly more money than they were going to offer me and that I was … Continue reading Opinion: Be Bold, Negotiate Your Salary
One of the greatest things about owning a home is that you are building your net worth! Many American households take advantage of this worth and equity via a home equity line of credit (most referred as HELOC) or a … Continue reading Home Equity Line Of Credit vs Home Equity Loan
Hey everyone, Thanks for following our blog and for being an awesome supporter! I’m writing to let you know of an update and some changes. We are transitioning FinancialFluency.org to MoneyQlip.com and here’s why: Over the past 2 months, Vania and I have been working with a team of designers and engineers to develop a really cool product! We are projecting this product to be in market in 8-12 months. As you may know, financial literacy in this country is only at 57% and we are focused on creating a solution for the remaining 43% of the population. That is why MoneyQlip … Continue reading Update About Our Blog
Being in debt has been normalized for many of us. Mention that you’re swimming in it and the response is always “who isn’t?”. We have been conditioned to believe that having debt is something we will always live with. I … Continue reading From Financially Clueless To Savvy in Under A Year!
I’ve heard many folks complain about their PMI and how it increases their monthly payments by $100 – $150. With some folks, it’s like the PMI has a bad rep. I think what they forget is that the PMI has … Continue reading PMI May Be The Reason You Are Getting Your Home!
My wife and I are about to enter the mortgage refinance market because we want to get rid of our private mortgage insurance (PMI). What gives us confidence in entering this market is the rate of growth in our equity, … Continue reading 5 Reasons To Refinance
You’ve found the home or your about to get started with your search but you are in the “crunching the numbers” phase and the question arises, should we pick a 15 or 30 year fixed mortgage? Well, there’s a lot … Continue reading 6 Things To Consider Between A 15 and 30 Year Mortgage
Whether you are a first time home buyer or you’re a pro at purchasing homes, your credit score will always influence your mortgage interest rate. As you know, your mortgage payments have 4 components to it and interest is one … Continue reading Keep A Close Eye On Your Credit Score…It Can Make Your Mortgage Very Costly
Ah, the age-old questions that has been ruining relationships since the dawn of time, who picks up the tab when you go on a date? Now, before I continue with this riveting topic, I want to make clear that this … Continue reading Opinion: Your Date Doesn’t Always Have to Pick Up the Tab
I’m currently 27 years old and I’m not yet a home owner. While some might consider it okay (including myself) I often debate whether I should be “throwing money down the drain” in rent or commit to buying a property. … Continue reading Property Taxes And The True Costs of Home Ownership
You may have heard or read from financial advisers and other blogs that your monthly rent/mortgage payments should be less than 30% of your monthly net income. This is great advice! Before you fall in love with the home or … Continue reading Don’t Fall In Love With The Home If It Costs Over 30% Of Your Monthly Net Income
The economy has bounced back since the ’08 economic crisis and one of the best indicators is the housing market. According to Zillow.com, the average home value has gone up by 7.4% in the United States. However, if you live … Continue reading Mortgage Programs and Grants For Public Servants, Including Teachers
If you’re in the market as a first time home buyer, this is one of the most intimidating and confusing experiences you could have if you haven’t done proper research. I can tell you that when we first purchased our … Continue reading Your First Time Home Buyer Checklist
Recently I had one of my really close friends ask me “so what exactly do you pay with a mortgage?” At first my friend thought that my insurance, taxes, and PMI were all separate and in addition to my mortgage, … Continue reading There are 4 Pieces to Your Mortgage Puzzle
Currently, I’m a home owner and I used to be a renter for many years. I’m not going to lie, there is plenty that I miss about renting an apartment. After you’ve removed and installed your own toilets, assembled 3 … Continue reading Buy Or Rent?
There is no secret sauce to managing your debt. If you have been following my posts this month, I have focused on debt management and I have written many tips, best practices and strategies I have personally used in my … Continue reading What It Takes To Become Debt Free
Let’s be honest, impulse buying happens to all of us, you, me, your abuela (that’s grandmother for all my non-Spanish friends.). I know personally, there is nothing I enjoy more than going to the mall on a lazy Sunday to … Continue reading Do You Really Need Those New Shoes?
Let me be clear up front, bankruptcy should literally be the LAST resort. However, when it comes to debt management and the debt crisis that exists in America, this is a real conversation many families are having. Before you consider … Continue reading Is Personal Bankruptcy 100% Forgiveness? Not exactly…
Truth be told, the facts and statistics I found related to this are disheartening. It makes me think about the political climate in our country, the ridiculous medical costs, and wonder why we are falling behind other developed countries in … Continue reading Unfortunately, This Is The #1 Reason For Personal Bankruptcy In America
This past week I was chatting with one of FinancialFluency’s followers and asked him for suggestions about a future topic he’d like for me to cover. He shared that he has credit card debt he’d like to payoff as fast … Continue reading How An Extra $50 Monthly Can Save You Thousands!
I’m sure that many of you have thought “WTF” when you saw the pathetic interest you earned from keeping your savings at your brick and mortar bank…this has been my thought for quite some time. Well, a couple of weeks … Continue reading I Ditched My Traditional Savings Account and Made 2,818% More The Next Month
Much like the rest of the United States, I too have student loans and can I tell you, they suck! It wasn’t until I got into graduate school that I found myself neck deep in student loans. See, I always … Continue reading How I Consolidated My Student Loans Into One Low Monthly Payment
Getting calls from your lenders and debt collectors is probably one of the most annoying experiences. I can say this because I personally experienced it once with a medical bill in college about 5-6 years ago. In general, our first … Continue reading Tips On How You Can NEGOTIATE With Your Lenders And Debt Collectors
You might be asking yourself why a blog that focuses on financial literacy is wading into the dark waters of the raging healthcare debate. Well, the real question is, how could we ignore it? When a single market segment accounts … Continue reading Your Money, Your Health: How The GOP Healthcare Bill Can Affect You
Don’t overlook a balance transfer. If you have credit card debt and are paying a ridiculous amount of interest this is actually a good strategy that could save you hundreds of dollars! A balance transfer is simple…you use the credit … Continue reading What Is A Balance Transfer? Should I Consider It?
Before I started to write this post, I gave myself some time to really think about this one…I couldn’t think of 1 good reason to keep my cable TV at an additional $100/month, including the rental of 2 cable boxes! … Continue reading We’re Saving $1,000/year By Cutting Our Cable TV
Just like many of you, I’ve got student loans to pay. Between my wife and I we owe about $140,000 (we both have bachelors and masters degrees). I owe $100,000 and she owes $40,000. Our repayment calculations are a joke. … Continue reading Snowball Method vs High Rate Method
Debt sucks. I know. Sometimes it feels like quick sand! You’re making progress by paying on time, paying the minimum payments and then the interest rates keep increasing your balance and you can’t seem to get a grip on it. … Continue reading Not All Debts Are Created Equal
Who doesn’t love raw, natural honey, I mean they call it the nectar of the gods for a reason, or maybe that’s wine…In any event, we can all agree that honey is good for you and tasty. So incase you’re … Continue reading Nothing Is Sweeter Than Honey
Managing debt is no easy or fun task. Becoming debt free and achieving financial freedom is the ultimate goal, right? Set realistic expectations for yourself because this will be a long and steep climb, but don’t become overwhelmed! Your … Continue reading Debt Doesn’t Define You
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve talked to many friends and followers about their financial progress and their new goals. Having the conversation and recognizing the need to adjust your lifestyle and finances is a great start, but it … Continue reading How To Stay Accountable To Your Financial Goals
I’ve been in Florida for 12 years and coffee is a daily ritual. Even if I tried to cut coffee it isn’t an easy task because my wife is Cuban. Since I’ve been introduced to Cuban coffee, it has opened … Continue reading Here’s How You Can Still Drink 2 Cups Of Coffee A Day AND Save Money!
I’m embarrassed to share this, but there is a strong savings and budgeting lesson here from personal experience. So, here I go… Late last year, my lovely wife introduced me to UberEats. I didn’t find too much value in it … Continue reading UberEats Is Killing My Budget
So if you are anything like me, that little piece of paper they give you at the end of a transaction is either a napkin when you spill coffee in your car or the new lining in your purse. Either … Continue reading Receipts or Napkins, What’s The Difference?
You may want to serve yourself a glass of wine for this one…Lately, I’ve been speaking to many of my millennial friends who are engaged, married, or see themselves marrying their boyfriend/girlfriend and we have talked about their personal financial … Continue reading Opinion: You Should Have Joint Goals And Joint Bank Accounts
As I grew to understand the importance of saving and the type of safety net this creates for my family and I, I’ve become more strategic with my methods and how I am prioritizing the purpose of every dollar that … Continue reading 5 Ways To Prioritize Your Savings Goals
Setting the path and having the vision towards financial well-being always starts with a budget. So once you’ve got that done lets talk about the actual accountability, discipline, and follow through that is required. Oh…you mean to say there is … Continue reading 6 Tips To Track Your Spending
First thing is first, you don’t want to stash your cash in your mattress, bury it in your backyard, or keep it in a safe. There are many financial vehicles that provide secure methods to keep your emergency fund. Your … Continue reading Stop Stashing Your Savings In The Mattress!
Ah yes, Credit Karma, a product I have been using for a little over four years, and one I couldn’t live without. Credit Karma has become an integral part of my journey to financial freedom, in part because it has … Continue reading Get To Know Your Karma, Your Credit Karma That Is.
You may have heard that having an emergency fund is extremely important for your financial well-being. I’d like to reaffirm the statement because it is crucial to have a sense of security. Your emergency fund should have between 3-6 months … Continue reading 7 Steps To Build Your Emergency Fund
Your credit score is generated by the information provided in your credit report. Don’t accept your credit score for its face value. Roll up your sleeves and take a deep dive into your credit report. Be on the look out … Continue reading Take A Deep Dive Into Your Credit Report
Did you know that there are 4 very specific laws that provide guidelines and procedures for lenders and that expand your protections? Safeguarding your credit and financial life is extremely important and, unfortunately, there are many negligent institutions that cross … Continue reading You Have Credit Rights!
Right now is probably one of the best times to be a consumer in the credit card market! Why? Because all of the lenders are pouring millions of dollars to develop strong products and to offer premium rewards in order to … Continue reading Are You Stuck Trying To Find A Credit Card?
Your credit score is one of the most important financial numbers associated to your name. If your confidence is low because your score is poor or average, don’t let yourself become defeated and don’t give up. Only YOU can directly … Continue reading My Credit Score Increased By 100 points Within 1 Year
Our identities are at risk every single day. Fraud is a scary thought because you never know when it will occur. Think about this for a second…our cell phone providers, insurance companies, banks, employers, etc. store our personal information in their … Continue reading Reduce Your Risk of Fraud
Managing your credit score seems extremely complicated. It’s going up and down every single month and every time you get your free credit reports and scores, the numbers between the 3 bureaus don’t even match! If these are your thoughts … Continue reading What Exactly Is A Credit Score?
This past week I read the 2015 Economic Well Being of U.S. Households report and it has revealed astonishing statistics about the state of personal finances in this country. While I’m aware and sensitive to the fact that economic conditions affects each … Continue reading There Is Urgency for Financial Literacy
What I’m about to share with you is something no bank will advise or admit. Don’t get trapped paying them interest and depending on them to survive with your financial life! They LOVE when you revolve your credit balances because … Continue reading How To Leverage Credit Cards
At a high level, businesses want to receive their cash as fast as possible and extend their payables as far out as possible. Why? Because it supports strong cash flow for their operational costs. Think of your household and personal … Continue reading Improve Your Cash Flow
If your answer to the question in the title is ‘YES’ or you’re not even sure what an emergency fund is, I’m glad you’re here! An emergency fund or rainy day fund is given its name for a reason…it’s cash that … Continue reading Is Your Emergency Fund In Shambles?
Are you prepared to set financials goals at this moment? You probably don’t even know where to begin. It’s okay…take a breath and don’t get overwhelmed. If managing money and understanding finances is not your strength, I will guide you … Continue reading 3 Financial Principles