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

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

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

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

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 tells us […]

Makerspace | Conceive, Create, Collaborate and Save!

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

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 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..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 2015 in review

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

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

Last week’s post on 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

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, ...

Welcome to the Millionin10 retirement planner. This online version performs many of the excel calculator I released some time ago. I’ve also added some extra features such as adding a mortgage, emergency fund and college expenses to the calculator. All the information you enter in this calculator IS NOT stored online. I WILL NOT ASK YOU FOR YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WHEN YOU CLICK CALCULATE. I will provide you the answers on this page. If you still don’t trust it and want to hide your date of birth, don’t deviate too much: retirement age and 401(k) withdrawal age are based on […]

Online Retirement Calculator

You know the story line: Clark is expecting the Christmas bonus to pay for the money already put down for a swimming pool. Frank Shirley, Clark’s boss turns out to be a crook and the bonus doesn’t come. Things go south from there real quick and real bad. Yes, its from National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation but, truth is not too far from fiction. The minute that financial windfall comes along, many of you tend to spend it right away. Sometimes even before you have it. You’re all doing it wrong. There is the misconception that the soul purpose of money […]

Extra money? Stop it, you’re doing it all wrong!

As enrollment for next years health insurance has started for most, the saga of our medical bills continues. As I’m posting this we’ll be taking our son in for followup surgery to his elbow, for removal of pins (ICD-10 Z47.2). For those of you who follow this blog (if not, now would be good time to subscribe), some time ago our son broke his elbow (ICD-10 S52.601A) and required surgery to nail it all back in place. It was only after that, I found out what our deductible truly was. Not the individual deductible of $6,400 but instead the family […]

Despite the high cost, I’m still getting Health Insurance

How much do children play a role when creating budgets on your way to building wealth? I’m not talking about the $300 a month it costs to raise a child. I’m not talking about the choice between private vs public schools for the kids (The Debt Free Divas offer some good food for thought on that one) and I’m not even talking about the daunting task of paying for college, should they be inclined to attend. What I’m wondering is how much you can, can’t, should or shouldn’t “drag” your children into your plans and adjustments to life, budgeting your […]

Budgets are cool, but what about the kids?

Calculate the savings you could make by switching to LED lights around your house. The upfront cost of LED lights may be daunting but in the long run they really make up for in savings. The calculator below lets you capture in great detail all the lights you use around your house. It will use your electricity price (or uses a default) and replaces each incandescent light bulb with its equivalent LED. After you’ve entered all the room information you can change additional parameters such as electricity prices, LED pricing and bulb longevity or simply scroll down to the Click […]

Online LED Savings Calculator

Stupid question right? Who doesn’t want to be a millionaire? The question should maybe be “are you willing to pay the price to become a millionaire?” If you want to become a millionaire  and are willing to do what it takes you can read up on the 5 keys to building wealth which will lead you to many other posts on this blog. Before you do that, the second key in my 5 keys to building wealth is about setting a goal and creating a plan. If you want to set the goal of one million and plan accordingly you […]

Do you want to be a millionaire?

When’s the last time you’ve set foot in a library? It’s been while for me. I was there some time ago to see my 7 year old’s art exhibit. My wife on the other hand goes there at least twice a weak. My wife loves to read and gets most books from the library. Oh, and while she’s there she texts me with a list of movies I might like to see. Yes, libraries are still there and you can still get paper books and magazines but the Library nowadays is so much more. Today I’m going to hone in […]

That’s right, I got these at the Library

There are many articles I’ve written that apply to the 5 steps of building wealth. A short reminder on the 5 keys: Start early Set a goal and create a plan Live below your means Invest wisely Be patient and stay the course I’ve written a couple posts related to the 5th key with regards to patience. In short, it simply takes time to build wealth. There are no shortcuts and please don’t fall for any get-rich-quick schemes. They tend to not work and in the end cost you. What I haven’t written much about is the “staying the course”. […]

The fifth key: Be Patient and Stay the Course

That’s right, I invest my emergency fund. In my book I actually point out that, if credit cards are paid off monthly, they serve just fine for an emergency as long as you can free the money to pay those cards again at the end of the month (by selling stock for example). I’m getting a bit of push back on the investment end of things. The main arguments I’m told it is bad are: • An emergency fund should be liquid (hold value). • Emergency fund should be readily available (accessibility). • If you invest your emergency fund, chances […]

Investing your emergency fund

I just saved over $1,400 buying refurbished. If you want to know how I did it and how you could too, read on. It has been well over a year that I left corporate America for a long deserved break and I have to admit I miss some aspects of the job. Surprisingly what I miss the most is the kick ass laptop I was provided. Our company had just gone through a laptop refresh and we had the latest of the latest. For those in the know when I opened task manager it showed 8 threads each with its […]

Buy Refurbished