How Do You Define Success?

“A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions–as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.”  Nietzsche

Success.  For the longest time I defined it by some outward achievement.  I was sold on the idea that an abundance of material goods and the money to pay for all of it would forever hold my place as a “success”.  Some ideas die hard, brutal, gut-wrenching deaths.  Some ideas do not want to die, but die they must if we are to become something else. Continue reading

Saving Money On Home Maintenance Costs With Craigslist

I have a confession to make.  Although I don’t spend much money I do have a nasty habit of when I need something buying it new.  I’ve always been this way.  I guess it’s a convenience thing, I don’t know.  Lately I’ve been trying to look at the second-hand market more than usual and trying to change this habit of mine.   There is a huge used market waiting to be tapped by the frugal minded and those wishing to reduce waste. Continue reading

Five Ways To Maximize Your Emergency Fund

When you’re first starting to get your financial house in order setting up an emergency fund is considered a necessity.  Pick up any personal finance book or scan the numerous PF blogs on the subject and you will quickly find that an emergency fund is considered a fundamental part of any sound financial plan.  What isn’t agreed upon is how much you should have tucked away for the inevitable rainy day.  Deciding how much money your emergency fund should hold is dependent upon your personal situation. Continue reading

The Value Of Sweat Equity

As most of you who have been following this blog over the past year are aware, part of my strategy to make my real estate investment work is to do the majority of the rehab work myself.  Now for a guy with no prior real estate investing or construction background this was a big step and I’m not going to lie to you and say I wasn’t scared because I was.  I seriously doubted my ability to do the work.  I’ve mentioned many times that before I started this project I didn’t even own a hammer and could barely read a tape measure, but when you have invested a large sum of cash in a foreclosure you don’t have much choice but to make things happen.  I now have almost any tool needed for a home repair or rehab project and have learned to use them effectively.   Continue reading

The Costs Of Owning A Home

A year ago this month I purchased my current residence with the goal of not only making an investment but also to improve my cash flow. I made a few assumption back then and some of those can be found here where I discuss why I felt at the time my decision to purchase a foreclosure with cash was one of the best financial moves I could make. Was I correct in my assumptions or did I miscalculate?  Todays post takes a look at the actual cost of owning my home and comparing those costs to what I was paying in rent. Continue reading