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In my last post I mentioned this was going to be a series. I’ve made a few Screw-ups on my way to a million. Today’s post is about investing emotionally. In other words, falling in love with your investments and the disastrous consequences associated to it. Different emotions in play It’s okay to get emotional when investing. When the stock is up I’m happy and when it’s down I get pissed. Can’t help it, it’s just another day on the job so to say. Investing emotionally isn’t okay, it can cloud your judgement. There are several ways in which you can get tied […]

Screw-ups on My Way to a Million: Investing Emotionally


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You’ve probably heard it or seen it on a cheesy motivational poster: The road to success is paved with failure. I prefer to call them screw-ups as it seems to imply more of a duh!!-moment and lessons are learned. For two years now I’ve been writing about how I made my way to a million and how that eventually resulted in early retirement at 43. In my book I write about the screw-ups, but on my blog I’ve not paid much attention to them. Today I’ll start a series that focuses on the screw-ups on my way to a million. We all […]

Screw-ups up on My Way to a Million: Greed



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They say you can’t put a price on a life. Well, there is something morally ambiguous about it, but it happens all the time. Sometimes, that pricing hits too close to home for comfort, in this case, when talking about the price of a life with diabetes. Our son has diabetes Before I go into the cold hard numbers let’s take a step back. Three months ago our son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. For those who don’t know, Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone people need to get energy from […]

The price of a life with diabetes


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Oh, the irony. In my last post I wrote about getting what you need, not what you want. Well, I’m writing this, sitting in my basement in a balmy 84 degrees while the HVAC guys are installing a new condenser and coils. Did I want a new Airco Unit? No. Do I need a new Airco unit? Yes, it is hot (and it will get even hotter next week). Am I tempting the powers that be, or did I prepare for all the right reasons? DIY I’m fairly technical so of course I tried to fix things myself. Me and […]

Am I tempting the powers that be?



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After 18 years of cellphone ownership I finally did it: I broke mine. Well not so much broke it but more like drowned it; took a swim with it. It didn’t take it that well. I tried the rice thing, hoping it would suck the moisture out and it would miraculously turn back on. Alas, it didn’t. It was all done for, before I took it out of my pocket. My soaked in lake water pocket that is. Now before I continue I have to disclaim, I used to be one that got what I wanted instead of what I really needed. In my […]

Get what you need, not what you want


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That’s right, I’m 45 and June 18th will mark the second anniversary of retirement. 2 years into retirement and the funny thing is, this never started out to be retirement. I figured I would take some time off and figure out what’s next. Why retire at 45? For, as much as my job had brought me, in experience, joy and money, in the end stress was starting to physically affect me. After 20 years of Business Rules Management technology it was time for a break. It was maybe 2 weeks into my break that my neighbor came to me and […]

2 years into retirement, what’s next?



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A little too late you may say. “If your money is your business why do you write so much it”? No, my money is my business as in: it is my place of business, it is there to generate our income. A modest income at that. My business isn’t running that well to be honest. The year I took the helm (the year I retired), SPY saw a high of $208.44, yesterday SPY closed at $209.28. In that time span we’ve also seen SPY drop to a mere $182. Since my business is build on a foundation of mostly SPY one might say we’re off […]

My Money is My Business


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It has been some weeks now that we cut the cable. Our heads haven’t exploded yet, which is a good thing (I did not rule that out from happening). As a matter of fact we’ve hardly noticed. No, we no longer get The walking dead but we’ll survive (as I’m sure will they). We no longer get the Daily Show nor the Larry Wilmore show which, given that this is election season, is probably a good thing. As entertaining as these shows are, they’re also somewhat depressing. Here is what we do still get, and how we get it after we cut the […]

We Finally Cut the Cable (continued)



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The following article is a guest post by Stacy Barbee. How I wish money tricks were taught in schools. In our times, schools and colleges primarily focused on obtaining good grades at the end of the academic year. And, that trend is still going on. The 2 fundamental aspects of an awesome financial life are: (i) Making money (ii) Managing money In the last few years, I have interacted without countless people who are not happy with their financial life and have been compelled to enroll in debt reduction programs. And, after hearing their stories, I have come to only one […]

8 Money Tricks That Can Save Young Adults From A ...


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I’ve written in the past about luxury in moderation and have always considered Cable to be a moderate one. I’ve written about how we saved $700 by simply visiting the cable store and asking to pay less. Today I took it a step further.  Cable has now become more than a moderate luxury for us. Living on a tight budget facing heaps of continues medical bills is going to require some sacrifices. Cable is the first. We finally cut the cord. Actually, in our case I removed the outdated cable cards and disconnected the the Tuning adapter (TIVO fans know what […]

We finally cut the cord



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If you follow this blog you’ll find I’ve written about healthcare a few times. Not so much the care itself but the cost of it. Coming from the Netherlands where healthcare is done differently was the actual motivator for me to build our nest-egg. I was worried that no matter what social status, you’re truly one disease away from bankruptcy. Since, I’ve seen two fund-me-now campaigns to support former colleagues, both battling cancer at the time. These were well-insured colleagues, higher up the corporate ladder than I was. Surely they could afford… Last year, our boy broke his elbow and the accompanied […]

Let’s talk about healthcare again


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For those who have followed me and possibly have read my book, you know that I initially built my wealth out of fear of some expensive disease/illness hitting us, putting me and my family in bankruptcy, like so many others before us. Never did I imagine this. Last week Friday, as I was about ready to publish my latest post when Mrs. Mi10 noticed something wrong with our boy. She was initially dismissed by our pediatrics clinic (read about it here) but with persistence was seen. She went, came home and only 40 minutes later the phone rang. Please come back right […]

My little boy has diabetes



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Just read an article by my friend James over at RetirementSavvy  on the fairness of taxes. I think I lean the same way. This year I paid zero in US taxes and feel a little guilty about that (I’ll write about this one later) but for some reason my old homestead, The Netherlands, took some of my hard earned money, 19 years after I left it. Talk about taxation without representation. This year my Dutch passport expired. No big deal, I’ll hop over to the consulate in Chicago (one town over) and get it like I did 5 years ago. I […]

Taxation without representation and hotel points


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I took the Marketplace Economic Anxiety Index test to see how I feel about the economy and my score was 7. My anxiety was way below that of the average of 37 for those in my age group. It made me believe the test says more about me as a person than about the economy (although there is a correlation about how people feel about economy that affects the economy). It’s not like I went through the test fearless. The 7 point probably came from the fact that I’m a little afraid to not be able to pay for my kid’s colleges […]

My Economic Anxiety Index went from 73 to 7



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Back when I was making a handsome six figures, if I wanted a 3D printer I would have gone out and bought one. If I wanted to build one (just for the fun of it) I would have gone out and bought a Laser cutter to cut the parts. Those days are over and that’s okay, now I have the Makerspace. Ever since I retired, I no longer have the discretionary income to buy whatever my heart desires. So instead of buying a 3D printer I’m building one. Total estimated cost for this 3D printer: $230. The designer on instructibles.com tells us […]

Makerspace | Conceive, Create, Collaborate and Save!


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A picture says a thousand words and I found one so I don’t have to. Some of you know I’m a big proponent of LED lighting. I jumped on the bandwagon back when a subsidized LED light bulb still cost $33. Today they are at Home Depot for less then $3 per bulb. You can read how we saved $350 a year switching to LED here. I totally skipped the CFL (Compact Fluorescent light) trend mainly due to the fact that they kept burning out on me but also because of the mercury. The picture below tells you everything you […]

For a light bulb moment that might save you some



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We’re all aware that what we buy is made in China. We know buying Chinese is cheap but did you know it’s even cheaper buying directly from them? I recently re-discovered the geek in me and started working with my first Arduino. I’ve since built a Tornado maker and a super combination/coordination lock (all for the kids). The next project I’m working on is building my own 3D printer. I found the plans on instructables.com from some 14 year old kid that made one for less than $200. How is that even possible? Less than $200 (not to mention the 14 year […]

We know buying Chinese is cheap but..


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Last week I wrote how investing can be scary but if you read the article, you’ll find it is all relative. Despite the ups and downs, hundreds of thousands in my portfolio are pure profits. “Good for you, but I don’t care about your hundreds of thousands. What I want to know is how to invest my $5,000. I don’t know where to start.” For that, I apologize. some of us in the Personal Finance world overlook the fact that most of us DON’T invest. What’s more, you have no clue how to, or where to start. It’s not like they […]

Getting Started In Stocks



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Isn’t it funny how when your friends get back from Vegas you generally hear how they either broke even or actually made a few hundred. Casinos are like Trump, they don’t need to pay for advertising and everyone who goes always only talks of winning. You don’t (or rarely) hear how they lost hundreds (if not thousands) and even when they do lose they’ll talk about the great comps they got to make up for it. We all must have lucky friends and as we know the casinos always wins. Everybody else’s friends must be the unlucky ones. My friend […]

I won this much at the casino


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Why budget? Well, besides the 4 reasons you need a budget below, it is simply a shame not to. You owe it to yourself. All of us spend between 1 and 2 decades getting prepared in school to make a living.  Unfortunately that is where most of us stop. We learn how to make a living and leave it at that. Most of us go through life being totally oblivious about one of the most important aspects of our lives. Where does our money go? Most of you just go through life paying your mortgage and other bills. When done […]

4 reasons you need a budget



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I somewhat freaked out the Debt Free Diva during my interview, some time ago, when I told her I lost some $200,000 in my first 401(k). That was my first lesson in investing. In hindsight probably not the first thing to bring up when talking about building wealth. Don’t worry, it all came back. Just as I’m convinced the $100,000 my portfolio dropped in January will come back (as we speak half way there). All of this sounds scary like shit right? Yes, but it doesn’t have to. I look at it from a different perspective. As scary as a […]

Yes, investing can be scary, but


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It’s that time of year again. The Boat show is back in Milwaukee. Why in January when the worst of winter is still to come? My theory is that it’s like “Bread and Games”;  maybe if we distract them enough with shiny trinkets, they’ll forget about the misery of minus 15 outside and stay one more generation. And it works, it reminds us there is light at the end of the tunnel. The show presents everything none of us can really afford. While in the “economic” boat section, I heard a woman say to her husband “This is just like […]

The Boat Show Extravaganza



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Must Stop Capitalizing Each word. The Geek has taken over. Hence the lack of a new personal financial article this week. I haven’t forgotten about you, though. My son is into locks. Not just a little, he’s obsessed. So last week I decided to build him a super lock. I purchased the Arduino starter kit and now I’m geeking out. I think I may actually add a little “Geek” section to my blog. So if you thought I died and don’t care about this kind of stuff, I’m still alive and I promise I will write about money soon enough […]

The Geek in me has Taken Over


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Snowball and Avalanche can cause different costs (increase in interest payments) depending on the kinds of debt, the size of debt and associated interest rates you have. This Snowball vs Avalanche Calculator/Simulator will allow you to determine the cost of the Snowball Method for paying off debt over the Avalanche Method. For more information behind this calculator you can check out the post I wrote about it Snowball vs. Avalanche: Which one is better for you? Not, which one is best? If you’re not sure what to enter feel free to click on one of three simulations I’ve added. Two […]

Online Snowball vs Avalanche Calculator



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Happy New Year! 2015 is behind us and we’re ready for a new one. Or are we? What about 2016? We’re only 8 days into 2016 and I’ve already rearranged my workshop, hung some additional LED lights (Fluorescent workshop light replacements, very cool), built an Ice Rake using recycled PVC piping and took the family out back for some skating. There are plenty of other tasks around the house that could use attention but, unfortunately, all expensive so some prioritization is in order. We live by a budget that hasn’t changed much from last year. We need to figure out […]

What about 2016


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There we have it, another year has passed and an interesting one it has been for us. This was the year I started this blog. It has been the first full year that I’ve been off of work and as a result we’ve tried to live by a fairly strict budget. We’ve had a shitty stock market and some serious medical expenses come our way but in the end we’re all doing just fine. The Blog It has been a year of blogging and writing for both me and my wife. January of this year I started this blog millionin10.com. […]

Millionin10 2015 in review



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We’ve all heard it once, “I’m working at Crate & Barrel just to get the 10% discount”.  Many in retail make full use of the discounts their employer provides. Retail isn’t the only one offering perks though. Corporate America is big in getting you perks. I’m not talking about the free logo-infested polo shirts or cheesy slogan-laced stress balls. I’m talking about serious discounts on a new DELL or cheap airfare using your corporate travel agent. Soon after I left my corporate job, I had two regrets. I should have refinanced while I still had a paycheck (not relevant to […]

Employee Discounts


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This calculator was created in response to an article I read about what to do with extra money at the end of the month. Apply it to the Mortgage or invest it? I wrote an article explaining the exact numbers. This calculator can be used to figure it out for yourself. The extra payment you enter in this calculator will be applied at the start of the plan (not the start of the mortgage, unless those coincide). The calculator assumes that after you’ve paid off the mortgage, the entire mortgage payment along with the extra payment is redirected to investing. […]

Online Prepay Mortgage vs Invest Calculator



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Last week’s post on debtfreedivas.org about paying off the mortgage early, again made me second guess my decision on investing as opposed to paying off my mortgage. I did okay investing but, would I have slept better not having a mortgage today, had I paid it off early? So to find out if I did the right thing, I’ve created my own Prepay vs Invest calculator and ran a couple of “what-if” scenarios. Take the fictional Millennials Jane and Joe. Retirement will start for them at 2050 so for the sake of this simulation lets say 35 years from now. […]

The exact price of paying off the mortgage early


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I haven’t written much about debt issues but browsing the web on Personal Finance I have seen many articles on the Snowball vs. Avalanche method applied to paying off debt. Both strategies have their proponents and opponents (some of them fierce). What I will try to show you in this post along with the simulator below it is, the question is not: Why one is better than the other? but rather: Why one might be better than the other for you. A quick guide to the different strategies: Both strategies apply to paying of multiple sources of debt and assume […]

Snowball vs. Avalanche: Which one is better for you? Not, ...