College Tuition Savings Challenge

The $6,000 College Tuition Savings Challenge

The specter of college tuition has been breathing down my neck for several years now. I, like many parents, spent my daughter’s high school years living in dread that she would get into her dream school, but that financial aid would fall short of what we could actually afford. If you are also looking down the tunnel at a potentially sizable college tuition, this challenge is for you.

In April, my daughter did get into her dream college. Fortunately, the financial package was very generous. College tuition might not be the massive financial hit I feared after all.

The College Tuition Situation

Starting in September, my daughter will be attending a school whose ticket price for tuition, room, board, and fees is north of 70K. I know that sounds crazy-town. But after the school’s hefty scholarship offer, my daughter’s reasonable student loans, and some grandparent contributions, the  out of pocket cost to my ex-wife and I is only about $18,000.

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6 Steps You Must Take Before You Make Hotel Reservations

The 6 Steps You Must Take Before Making Hotel Reservations

When you are planing a trip, whether long-term or short, you will often need to make hotel reservations. On the surface, this seems like a straightforward task. However, a number of factors will determine whether you return home congratulating yourself on a hotel well-chosen, or lamenting your misguided decision.

These 6 steps will make or break your hotel reservation process:

1. Determine Whether a Hotel is Right for Your Trip

The very first step is determining whether you want to make hotel reservations at all. In this day and age, there are a wide variety of options for overnight accommodations other than hotels. At the outset of your trip planning process, you should consider these alternate possibilities:

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Leftovers

Throwdown Thursday: Leftovers Dilemma

I hate leftovers.

There, I said it. I don’t care how good the gelatinous mess in the refrigerator tasted when we had it for dinner two nights ago. In my opinion it now belongs in the trash. I know that’s a terrible, awful, financially suspect opinion. But it’s just how I feel.  Paul disagrees. Just today I had to force him to throw out a Tupperware containing steak from a meal last week. He was planning to eat it for lunch.

Paul: Man, I could just get old school with “There are starving children in Africa, Heather! And you are throwing out perfectly good food! Such financial folly! Go to your room, but eat these old beets first!” But that is too paternal and not the role-playing dynamic I want in our relationship. So I’ll just stick with: throwing out perfectly good food is sacrilege and flies against all that is just and right with the world. You will fry in eternal damnation if you toss that petite sirloin in the trash before it turns into a true bio-hazard.

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9 Truths of Remote Work

9 Truths We Have Learned in Our 12 Years of Remote Work

For many people, remote work is the dream. Wouldn’t you love to end the commute, drop the wardrobe expense, and leave the land of fluorescent lighting behind? How great would it be to work on your own time? To see all of your child’s track meets without worrying about the boss? Wouldn’t it be lovely to travel as a digital nomad, tethered only to a laptop and strong wi-fi signal?

Paul and I work remotely, and have for over 12 years. We love the freedom of working from home. We love the fact that we get to walk downstairs in the morning and fire up the laptops. Neither one of us has spent money on “professional clothes” in over five years. Paul has coached all of his daughter’s community basketball teams. And I have the freedom to help my son with homework whenever he needs it. Remote work also gives us the freedom to pick up side hustles to make extra income along with our main hustle.

In a few years, when we embark on our poker pilgrimage, we hope to transition from home remote workers to digital nomads. We look forward to travelling the country without worrying we will run out of money along the way.  We can continue to work part-time as we travel, continually replenishing our travel budget.

But working from home is not a great fit for everyone. Yes, there are many benefits, but there are potential pitfalls as well. If you are considering working remotely,  you should be aware of the pros and cons that come with the lifestyle.

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The Frugal Poker Player Reduces Costs

The Frugal Poker Player: 6 Tricks to Reduce Costs while Playing Poker

Poker is a lot of fun (thus our grand plan to spend a year traveling the country playing poker). Poker can also be very expensive. Most players understand the importance of paying attention to your poker budget or bankroll to ensure that they are playing in games they can afford. However, many players overlook the importance of accounting for all of the other spending that goes along with playing poker. In order to maximize your poker opportunities, you need to reduce costs associated with playing, and travelling to play, poker. This is an area that you can not ignore. If you play your way to break even (or better) poker and do not account for these costs, you will quickly find yourself in the red.

So how do you reduce costs when playing poker? Here are 6 tricks to help you out:

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