Why Married Couples Who Combine Finances Get Richer

This Is What It’s Like to Get Hitched On The Cheap

I was listening to a Dave Ramsey podcast episode on my way to work when a caller asked: what’s a reasonable wedding budget for a couple on Baby Step 2? That’s Ramsey-speak for someone still trying to pay off debt besides the mortgage. And, one of the co-hosts, George Kamel, …

Why I bought my wife a Toyota

Why I Bought My Wife a Hybrid Toyota Corolla and Not an Overhyped Tesla

For many years, my wife had been driving a 2008 Honda Pilot. We bought the SUV in 2009 as a people hauler, back when my in-laws and eldest son were living with us. We also needed a dependable car to drive all seven of us to church on Sundays. Now …

Why you probably want to track your spending

Why You Probably Want to Track Your Spending

I came to America in 1997 with only $500 in my pocket. It was a grueling 20-hour flight from Manila to Philadelphia. Coming from a third-world country, I thought that was a lot of money. So, midway through the flight, I bought a $100 Swiss leather watch, which I justified …


Why Work ‘Til You Drop When You Can Retire Early in the Philippines?

For many Americans, retiring early in the USA is a lost dream. Sure, staying within your comfort zone has certain advantages: established social connections, proximity to family and friends, and the local culture. But the cost of living— with rising housing, taxes, and healthcare costs— could potentially deplete your retirement …


Why Earning More Won’t Solve All Your Money Problems

When I was younger, I did a lot of insane long driving. I’ve driven from coast to coast at least twice. There’s even a period in 1999 where I drove 500 miles every weekend to see family.

But nothing is crazier than when I drove, over the long 4th of July weekend of 2003, from Philly to Dallas round trip— hoping to be able to return to work on Monday.

Black Friday

How to Avoid Being Conned This Black Friday

It was the Christmas season of 1993 when I decided my personal computer needed an upgrade. One limitation of PCs at the time was they couldn’t talk or play real music. Floppies also weren’t spacious enough to store large files like audio. I had to buy a Sound Blaster upgrade …

True Cost of Luxury

The True Cost of Luxury (or why the Joneses suck)

My wife and I had a small money argument the other day. I opened a newly delivered Amazon box in my name, and it turned out to be a hiking bag she bought and already owns. We’ve been spending many of our weekends and holidays in the Appalachians lately. “Didn’t …

The Kingmaker Review

The Kingmaker: a Damning Documentary of Imelda Marcos’ Greed and Excess

If you haven’t heard of Imelda Marcos’ legendary 3,000 pairs of shoes, it’s either you’re too young or live under a rock. Imelda Marcos was the Evita Peron of the Philippines, only greedier and more corrupt. Her conjugal dictatorship with the late president, Ferdinand Marcos, is listed in the Guinness …

How Vanderbilt Heirs Squander the World's Greatest Fortune

How the Vanderbilt Heirs Squandered the World’s Greatest Fortune

A common adage among wealth advisors is “The first generation makes it, the second maintains it, and the third blows it.” Succeeding generations are left scratching their heads in wonder where the money went. No one epitomizes this better than the Vanderbilts. Considered as the first tycoon, Cornelius “The Commodore” …


Best Ways to Spend Coronavirus Stimulus Check

We woke up this morning $2,500 and a few nickels and dimes richer. The amount was automatically credited to the checking account we use to pay Uncle Sam at tax time. In case you haven’t heard, the president has signed into law a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package known as …