My Smartest Financial Moves

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Mr.BB
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My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Mr.BB » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:27 pm

I saw the post about "My boneheaded financial mistakes".
How about we have a post on our Smartest Financial moves. (Also helps soften the pain for all of us that are graduates of "I Really Screwed up Financially" school of hard knocks; which I am the Dean of.) Here are some of my best moves over the years.

In Jan 2006 my wife's 401k had $50,000 in it. We worked hard to add 15-18% a year of her wages to it. Her company matched 6% at the time (now does 4%) In almost 12 years, her 401k is now worth over $600,000!

We had $20,000 in an emergency fund in 2006, we now have almost $60,000.

Finally had a couple of stocks that did very well and one of our taxable mutual funds. Last year I decided to take profits, cashed out and paid off our mortgage. (which is a great feeling FYI)

Found this board a couple of years ago (wish I found a lot sooner).

Using Morningstar x-ray portfolio to really help understand what we have and how it is distributed.

Got my wife (who is a spender by nature) to make her first response to any extra money we get "Let's put X amount in our Roths" before she starts buying anything.
Last edited by Mr.BB on Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

philpill
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by philpill » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:28 pm

INDEXING

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Meg77
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Meg77 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:35 pm

About 6 years ago when I was in my late 20's, I bought a brand new Audi coupe for close to $50,000 with my first big bonus check (plus some savings). This was not my smart move, obviously. But when I totaled the car 6 months later (also not a smart move...), I took the insurance check and put 20% down on a rental property and bought a used Volvo. I still happily drive that Volvo, and the rental has appreciated nicely.

The main reason I consider this one of my smartest financial moves is that I truly made the connection between the price of the car and the rental investment. I'd been planning another rental purchase anyway, but being able to use that insurance check rather than cash funds out of my brokerage account for the down payment really hit home that lifestyle decisions - even justifiable ones - can have an enormous long term impact. The Audi would be worth less than half the original value by now I'm sure, whereas the rental equity has more than doubled - all in just a few short years.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

neilpilot
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Location: Memphis area

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by neilpilot » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:39 pm

My employer relocated me from Buffalo to NJ in 1982. I placed an offer on a house that was 4-5 times the cost of my condo in Buffalo, and my mortgage was at 16-7/8% (not a typo). But, I was able to refi at around 9.5% in just 6 months. In the meantime my employer paid me a 3-year mortgage differential between my old 8.5% Buffalo mortgage and the 16-7/8% NJ mortgage, which was for a much larger balance as well. So I collected about $24k in mortgage differential.

About 4 years after I bought that house I sold it and moved to another LCOL area. The NJ house had double in price in the 4 years, since I bought it in a depressed market due to high interest rates.

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Svensk Anga
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Svensk Anga » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:52 pm

Marrying DW all those years ago. And her earning potential had nothing to do with it. Without realizing it, we were on the same wavelength financially. A couple cannot LBYM if one is spending enough for two. I know a number of colleagues still plugging away at the salt mines because first (and second) marriages worked out poorly.

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JupiterJones
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by JupiterJones » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:00 pm

I've never taken out a student loan in my life. (While that might not be "smart" for everyone's circumstances, it turned out to be smart for my particular situation.)

Only once did I take out a car loan. Hated it so much that I paid it off as fast as I could and vowed never to do it again. (At least it was a used car, and I'm still driving it 11 years later!)

But, in general, I have been "monthly payment averse" my whole life. It's served me well so far.
Last edited by JupiterJones on Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Stay on target...

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1210sda
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by 1210sda » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:08 pm

1.Discovering the "Bogleheads"
2. Passive Investing
3. The Three Fund Portfolio.
4. Vanguard
(Not in order of importance) :)

1210

Fallible
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Fallible » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:22 pm

Getting informed about investing and then staying informed. Getting informed by lots of reading that led to Jack Bogle and indexing, and staying informed by more good reading that helped me stay the course.
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:24 pm

Svensk Anga wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:52 pm
Marrying DW all those years ago. And her earning potential had nothing to do with it. Without realizing it, we were on the same wavelength financially. A couple cannot LBYM if one is spending enough for two. I know a number of colleagues still plugging away at the salt mines because first (and second) marriages worked out poorly.
My first marriage gave me two wonderful kids, but financially was ruinous. I had the undeserved good fortune of having my second wife agree to merge our lives many years ago.

Eventually I came to BH principles, invested sensibly, etc., but the most important thing was marrying a wonderful woman.
Zero Net Carbon by 2019.

goalie
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by goalie » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:29 pm

Finding the old Morningstar board, Vanguard Diehards. Which is still there but it's not Bogleheads.org.
Indexing, but I must admit that I love small cap value and emerging markets
Constantly trying to live below our means
Now trying to buy a small business, if banks would cooperate. :annoyed

SeaToTheBay
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by SeaToTheBay » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:31 pm

1. Saving every dime of bday/Christmas money since I was 5 (this one thanks to my parents... I was "paying myself first" before 1st grade!!)

2. Opening a mutual fund at age 10 (again, thanks to my parents, although I picked the fund :happy )

3. Contributing $200-300/mo into a Roth since age 16 (AGAIN, my parents' suggestion, although I pat myself on the back for doing it while in HS with a girlfriend and a car addiction)

4. As a huge car enthusiast, being smart about my notoriously money-sucking passion. My first car, I sank $7k into modifications over the years - this might sound like a horrible mistake, but racing, working on it, and socializing around car communities occupied countless days, nights and weekends over the 13 years I owned the car. All of this was part of my DNA, formed many lasting friendships, gave me driving and mechanical skill, and occupied time when I could have been doing more expensive or worse things. If you combine modifications + depreciation + racing expenses, it averaged about $1,675/yr, which isn't bad at all. My 2nd car I sold for over $5k more than I paid after 6.5yrs/29k miles of use because I bought the right car at the right time, and my 3rd car I sold for $900 more after 3.5yrs/23k. Now at 33 I'm on my 4th car (bought a year ago) and have paid a total of $6,360 in depreciation in my life... less than $400/year.

5. Not carrying a balance on my CC bill, not spending too much money on stuff I don't need, etc. I am careful with what I spend money on, so when I do spend it, I seldom regret it.

6. Marrying my wife. Not only does she make about the same as I do, but she was smart and hard-working enough to get full rides to undergrad and grad school, and most importantly, we are largely on the same page on finances and virtually never argue about money. There are obviously other reasons why I married her, but having money essentially out of the way is a huge obstacle removed.

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catdude
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by catdude » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:43 pm

Fallible wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:22 pm
Getting informed about investing and then staying informed. Getting informed by lots of reading that led to Jack Bogle and indexing, and staying informed by more good reading that helped me stay the course.
+1

I will add that, during the last 10-12 years of my career, I maxed out my 457 plan and my Roth IRA, and also saved a significant amount in a taxable account.
catdude | | All generalizations are false, including this one.

Mr.BB
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Mr.BB » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:44 pm

SeaToTheBay wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:31 pm
1. Saving every dime of bday/Christmas money since I was 5 (this one thanks to my parents... I was "paying myself first" before 1st grade!!)

2. Opening a mutual fund at age 10 (again, thanks to my parents, although I picked the fund :happy )

3. Contributing $200-300/mo into a Roth since age 16 (AGAIN, my parents' suggestion, although I pat myself on the back for doing it while in HS with a girlfriend and a car addiction)

4. As a huge car enthusiast, being smart about my notoriously money-sucking passion. My first car, I sank $7k into modifications over the years - this might sound like a horrible mistake, but racing, working on it, and socializing around car communities occupied countless days, nights and weekends over the 13 years I owned the car. All of this was part of my DNA, formed many lasting friendships, gave me driving and mechanical skill, and occupied time when I could have been doing more expensive or worse things. If you combine modifications + depreciation + racing expenses, it averaged about $1,675/yr, which isn't bad at all. My 2nd car I sold for over $5k more than I paid after 6.5yrs/29k miles of use because I bought the right car at the right time, and my 3rd car I sold for $900 more after 3.5yrs/23k. Now at 33 I'm on my 4th car (bought a year ago) and have paid a total of $6,360 in depreciation in my life... less than $400/year.

5. Not carrying a balance on my CC bill, not spending too much money on stuff I don't need, etc. I am careful with what I spend money on, so when I do spend it, I seldom regret it.

6. Marrying my wife. Not only does she make about the same as I do, but she was smart and hard-working enough to get full rides to undergrad and grad school, and most importantly, we are largely on the same page on finances and virtually never argue about money. There are obviously other reasons why I married her, but having money essentially out of the way is a huge obstacle removed.
Being on the same financial page as your spouse is huge. It makes a big difference in a successful relationship and saving for retirement.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Dottie57
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:47 pm

I started contributing to a 401k in 1988 at 6%. Each raise went into the 401k until it was maxed out. At that time the max employee contribution was $7313.

basspond
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by basspond » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:58 pm

Married up
Moved up in house, then refinanced to 15 year mortgage, have remained in same house for 25+ years
Buy new cars and then keep until the wheels fall off
Started saving in 401k as soon as I could in my very early 20s
Stressed the importance of work, study, and values to children who have gone to state schools and did or on track to finish in 4 years or less

fouroheight68
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by fouroheight68 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:04 pm

1. Started contributing to my 401(k) as an intern in 2008
2. Bought my first house 2 months after graduating college in 2010. Lived in it 2 of 5 years, sold with $60k profit (gross) with no capital gains tax.
3. Bought a boat in 2013. Yes, bought a boat is on this list. A friend was the original owner and did a 15 year loan. They were losing it to the bank and owed $22,000. I negoitated with the bank directly to purchase it for $13,000. I sold it 3 years later for $24,000.
4. Bought a 1968 Javelin in 2002 for $1,500. Sold it in 2014 for $15,000 back to the guy I bought it from.
5. I bought my second house in 2014 for $465k. Current value $600k.
6. I left Edward Jones and moved funds to Schwab Index funds
7. I bought a brand new Dodge Ram in 2010 for $23,500 in the depths of the recession. I sold it in 2015 for $24,000 and bought a $5,000 truck.
8. I married a woman who is a saver and owned her own house before even meeting. Married up big time.

Slacker
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Slacker » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:10 pm

1. Changing career fields.
2. Reading a Dave Ramsey book, followed by "The Millionaire Next Door" and then searching the internet until I ended up on Mr. Money Mustache and Boglehead websites.
3. Getting my spouse on board with a financial plan we can both agree to.
4. Maxing all retirement accounts and building up taxable accounts to pursue #3 above.
5. Refusing to allow our lifestyle to consume our incomes as our incomes rapidly increased.

aristotelian
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by aristotelian » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:13 pm

Moving to flyover country for a relatively high paying job.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:48 pm

Bought a house in the Bay Area. Price doubled within the first year. I wish I had bought 2, I had the cash.

noco-hawkeye
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by noco-hawkeye » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:52 pm

Didn't buy more house than we needed, went with 15yr mortgage, avoided cash out refinances etc.

Implemented a strict budget to LBYM, which eventually led me here.

Fallible
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Fallible » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:55 pm

catdude wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:43 pm
Fallible wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:22 pm
Getting informed about investing and then staying informed. Getting informed by lots of reading that led to Jack Bogle and indexing, and staying informed by more good reading that helped me stay the course.
+1

I will add that, during the last 10-12 years of my career, I maxed out my 457 plan and my Roth IRA, and also saved a significant amount in a taxable account.
Those are really smart financial moves. :thumbsup

(Also like your cat photo and great signature line from Twain.)
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

Silverado
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Silverado » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:11 pm

Opened an IRA when I first went on active duty after ROTC. It was with the infamous USPA-IRA, but it got me started. 2,000 a year for eight years or so. Then converted to Roth when I went to grad school and had way low income. That account (in a US index fund at T.Rowe) is just shy of six figures today. Slick!

Luckiest move: we took jobs in Europe in 2005 being paid in Euros. Made the salary decision at 1.23 exchange rate. Saved pure cash for three plus years. Moved all them Euros back at 1.67 when we moved back. So rather than pouring money into stocks during the run up before the crash, we moved a 200k sum into the market as it was already on its way down. Those are pretty big dollars now. We also started new 401k at that time and have maxed them each year. Closing in on a decade.

investor997
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by investor997 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:21 pm

Bought my home in a HCOL back in '98. My last mortgage payment is in November. Current market value is about 3X the price I paid.

Also, discovering this website and moving completely over to indexing. I will never buy an individual stock ever again.

wandering_aimlessly
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by wandering_aimlessly » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:45 pm

Not a path for everybody but:

Transitioning from military to civilian by getting an MBA at a very recognizable name. Post MBA I was looked at entirely differently by employers. Best $50k I ever spent (invested in myself)...

torcantabrigia
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by torcantabrigia » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:09 pm

Doing a work study program during college, and then working at my college post-graduation, only to realize that my prior work at the university counted as "vesting years" (although I was being paid a pittance), and so I was able to vested in the university's 403(b) program. Given my post-graduation work contract was for two years (and the vesting period to receive 403(b) contributions was for three years), the work study paid off! Got a nice $6k "bonus" out of that :)

Iliketoridemybike
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:31 pm

Starting a business and buying a commercial building. Way more return than the market could have ever given me.
Also not listening to people who said to not invest in bonds.

123
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by 123 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:04 pm

Started by buying individual stocks in the 1970's. Did so-so. Switched to active mutual funds around 1980 but tended to trade them every year or two depending on performance (chasing yield). By the late 1980's I realized that an S&P 500 fund should work out okay. Been an indexer every since.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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mister_sparkle
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by mister_sparkle » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:34 pm

Going back into the corporate world at age 32 after 8-1/2 years of self-employment. Had tons of fun running my own business, travelled the world, mets loads of great people I still call friends, but I was burnt out on what I was doing, probably depressed, and making only $15K a year, so barely subsisting.

I sucked it up, started temping at various companies, and within a few months got a full-time offer in a completely new area where I've now been working for 18 years. It's allowed me to shovel a fairly good chunk of money towards my retirement, and I know I will have the proverbial "pot to piss in" in my elderly years.

:sharebeer

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stemikger
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by stemikger » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:42 pm

Maxed out my 401K
Paid off my home
Didn't take out a car loan
Passive investing in index fund
Listened to John Bogle (for many years now)
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

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stemikger
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by stemikger » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:42 pm

Duplicate entry
Last edited by stemikger on Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

reisner
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by reisner » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:47 pm

I listened to the guy who hired me at SDSU and bought a house in San Diego in 1973, only 2 3/4 years into my first job, for 33K. Zillow now lists it for 869K. Of course I no longer own it, but I did ride CA real estate up until I sold out at the top in 2005. Stayed out of the market for personal reasons and then stumbled back into it at the bottom in 2011.
Last edited by reisner on Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

bovineplane
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by bovineplane » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:36 am

Signed up for the TSP the first month it was available for military personnel. Been contributing ever since.

Pay my cc off in full every month before the balance is due to avoid interest. Moved to the cc after my debit card was stolen after using at a gas station and my checking account was drained. Bank would not replace the money until I could prove the purchases were fraudulent. This despite getting gas in San Antonio at 5am at Valero and the purchases being made 15 minutes later in Brooklyn Target. Have not used a debit card since for purchase and only keep what I need in checking to avoid the mess again.

Signed up for USAA limitless 2.5% cashback Visa and never carry a balance. 2.5% back on all purchases is nice. Have a Citi double cashback as a back up with 2%. Makes a nice discount built in to regular spending and I dont have to fret about which card to use or carry a bunch of cards.

Started a second checking account at a different bank than my check goes in with auto deposit from my primary account. Dont carry a debit card for this account and do not keep it otherwise connected for withdraw to my primary account. Use this for emergency money. Makes it hard to use it for other stuff on a whim.

Sounds really stupid but switched to a small wallet. Actually is is a public transportation pass wallet with two id windows and 2 cc pockets. Limits what I can carry. As I can't carry a bunch of cards it forced me to pick only the two best cards. Keeps me from carrying a debit card to take out cash. Limits back pain and bad posture from have a huge wallet in a back pocket. Fits in a suit jacket pocket or front pocket. When out with co-workers looks much better than getting out some of the mess they carry to pay for lunch-dinner etc.

bikechuck
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by bikechuck » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:50 am

1) Always invested in 401Ks, 403bs etc though not always to the max until my daughters were out of college. Kept my allocation consistent and increased my contributions during the 2008/2009 and similar downturns

2) Generally purchased relatively inexpensive new cars and drove them for 10 years and 150,000 miles or more. Some would disagree with this approach but I like it.

3) I retired this year without owing anything to anybody. Some would disagree with this as well but I like it.

I have made a bunch of mistakes along the way but I am trying to make fewer and fewer as I go.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Nearly A Moose » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:36 pm

These observations have been good, but lots of them fall into the category of "I just happened to do something by accident that turned out to work." Nothing inherently wrong with that, but it's hard to replicate and learn from. Here's something that was very intentional:

Chose to attend an up-and coming state institution for college for free, instead of the nationally very well-recognized private alternative I had also been accepted to, which literally would have cost the price of a Ferrari for tuition and board (a Modena 360 for those interested). And then went to what is still an excellent grad school in my field on a partial scholarship, rather than going up one or two numbers in the "rankings" and paying full freight (numbers, not tiers). As a result, I graduated with 2/7 of the student loan debt I otherwise could have had (and it's now gone). That's been invaluable (and I honestly don't think I've been held back professionally at all by these choices - if anything, I probably feel a stronger desire to prove myself).

Others:
-Cutting down to one car (we live in the city)
-Living close to work (costs more, but we've bought more time spent not commuting, so we can invest more in ourselves by working a bit more and in our family by being home a bit more)
-buying probably a year earlier than many BHs would be comfortable doing, but being very comfortable we would grow into the mortgage (we did). This let us start building home equity earlier, let us buy more house in a HCOL area than we would have been able to a year later, and with tax deductions, it was cash flow neutral to renting (not even counting the equity buildup)
-searching until I found a good tailor - I can now consistently buy good but not amazing suits that look and wear fantastic after $100 of tailoring
-biking to work
-cutting cable (small cost savings, big quality if life bump; sports may be the only exception)
-buying used clothes or taking hand me downs for our second kids clothes and my wife's second round of maternity clothes. Seriously, don't pay full price for kids clothes.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

michaeljc70
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:45 pm

-Keeping cars as long as reasonably possible
-Indexing
-Simplified portfolio (4 fund for me) + set it and forget it

I've been a long time aggressive saver/investor but the last 2 really counteract emotional responses to financial events that probably weighed on my portfolio previously.

seity
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by seity » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:14 pm

Made an agreement with my parents to stay at home and attend a community college for two years while working and paying all college expenses.
In exchange they would pay for my second two years of college.
Got my degree and graduated with no student loans or debt.
As soon as my salary covered rent and food, I started putting 5% in the 401k to get the maximum match and tried to have it be at least 10%.

p0nyboy
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by p0nyboy » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:21 pm

Marrying someone who is on the same page in terms of finances...although she makes significantly more than me which is a huge plus!

Always living below means. Never had issues saving...always maxed 401k/roth since I started working. I was maxing 401k and roth when I was making $54k/year.

Another one of our biggest moves was a recent home purchase. It represented 1.46x of our salaries.

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gasdoc
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by gasdoc » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:31 pm

Read "Millionaire Next Door," and a couple of John Bogle books. Then kept reading and learning.

gasdoc

miles2go
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Location: New England

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by miles2go » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:46 pm

So when I started working, I thought to myself, "I better learn how the market works so I know what stocks to invest in!" I went to Amazon, searched for a book to help, and on a whim found "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need" by Andrew Tobias. He introduced me to Vanguard, indexing and the Bogleheads. Via this forum I then found the White Coat Investor. Now I max 403b's, do backdoor Roth's, and have a solo401k. I was talked out of Whole Life before too late. I now spread the word among colleagues.

Luck works in mysterious ways.
...and [many] miles to go before I retire.

protagonist
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by protagonist » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:53 pm

Stupidest short-term financial move: divorce.
Smartest long-term financial move: divorce.

Second smartest: not spending beyond my means.

Third smartest: staying debt-free.

Fourth smartest: maybe indexing, though only time will tell.

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Taylor Larimore
Advisory Board
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Re: My Smartest Financial Move

Post by Taylor Larimore » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:01 pm

Bogleheads:

The most smartest Financial Move we ever made was moving our securities from Merrill Lynch to Vanguard in 1986.

Best wishes
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

Cieren
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Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Cieren » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:08 pm

1. Getting YNAB to get our spending/expenses under control.
2. Convincing my husband to let me take over our asset management (no FA).
3. Snapping up a foreclosure for under market value, and staying in it (small mortgage, small house, happy finances).

lostdog
Posts: 1246
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:15 pm

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by lostdog » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:23 pm

paid off debt including mortgage
Indexing
Simplify/Minimalism
Will sell home

Texanbybirth
Posts: 983
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:07 pm

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:09 pm

Married the girl who is now my wife.
Got my CPA license.
LBYM - so many people around us struggling mightily due to this.

I don't feel like I've been in the "game" long enough to see the fruit of any other moves e.g. putting down 20% down on our house, saving 15% toward retirement, having an emergency fund, etc.

Fripp
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:06 am

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by Fripp » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:14 pm

My smartest financial move was listening to a co-worker who advised me to put 15% into my 401K when I first became eligible. While I only started at 12%, within 2 years I was in at 15%. I have done this for 31 years. By getting into this habit early, I never missed the money.

Through the years I have made plenty of good and bad moves regarding investments in my 401K, but overall my moves worked out fine.

I have called that co-worker a few times over the years, and thanked him for his advice. By listening to his advice, I was able to put kids through school and will have a nice retirement.

basspond
Posts: 1085
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:01 am

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by basspond » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:24 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:36 pm
These observations have been good, but lots of them fall into the category of "I just happened to do something by accident that turned out to work." Nothing inherently wrong with that, but it's hard to replicate and learn from.
I can't change your feelings on your observations. You are not alone. A lot of people who have not done as well seem to think that others have more money because of luck or accident. A majority of the examples are of people doing something thoughtful and tangible to get ahead in life. I spent hours, days, and longer looking at actions and decisions that would make our family more financially secure. It just wasn't by accident.

Hope your actions lead or have given you a secure financial future!

ohmygodabear
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:49 pm

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by ohmygodabear » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:35 pm

I always sold my ESPP shares as soon as I could, despite rumors of buyouts over the years. We weren't a startup so I never planned on betting heavily on the company. Eventually, a buyout happened and I watched several of my coworkers holdings double overnight, 5 years later the stock is up 1000%, I believe. I never bothered calculating what I'd have if I'd held all my shares.

Don't regret following my investment plan at all, in spite of many of my coworkers now conspicuously having nicer cars and building pools. Nothing really differentiated us from a dozen companies whose shares have dropped in value or gone under except chance, and if I was privy to any real factors I'd have been an insider trading on it.

OK, maybe I wish I had a pool. ;)

stoptothink
Posts: 4464
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by stoptothink » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:38 pm

protagonist wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:53 pm
Stupidest short-term financial move: divorce.
Smartest long-term financial move: divorce.

Second smartest: not spending beyond my means.

Third smartest: staying debt-free.

Fourth smartest: maybe indexing, though only time will tell.
This.

nakedbird226
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:18 pm

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by nakedbird226 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:47 pm

Paying off student loans ASAP.

Finding this community to help start my investing journey at the age of 23.

Learning from the financial mistakes my parents made over the years.

Maxing out a Rorth IRA and my 401k as soon as I was able to.

Actually the one that has helped most, and was somewhat unintentional, was expressing my unhappiness with work situations and being able to move teams within my company. Both led to unexpected salary increases and a promotion.

book lover
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:01 pm

Re: My Smartest Financial Moves

Post by book lover » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:56 pm

Marrying my wife ( Numero Uno).
Keeping a ledger for all expenses for the past twenty seven years.
Following the great advice given by Bogleheads on this website including keeping investing expenses low and the use of indexed mutual funds and the importance of asset allocation as well as many other valuable ideas to numerous to mention.
Being self employed and maxing out self employed solo 401K plans and Roth IRAs.
Paying off house in four years and remaining in it since being married (27 years).
Having no debt: fortunate to live in low cost of living area especially for housing.

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