Three years of my life and at least $100,000 in expenses that I’ll never get back

Photo: Michael/Unsplash

My mom has been staying with us for the past few months to help us take care of our son, and as a result, she’s been able to get a look at my daily work routine as a full-time writer and blogger. Most mornings, after I drop my son off at daycare, I get home, plop down on my couch, and start writing. It’s a very different look from what things were like just a few years ago when I would put on a suit and tie and head off to a fancy downtown office.

The other day, as I…


You don’t need to wait for a raise or for your employer to give you more hours.

Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

I think most of us could use a little more money in our lives. The only problem is that earning more money isn’t always that easy or immediate. Raises are typically an annual thing and definitely not guaranteed. Bonuses are the same way. You could switch jobs to make more money, but that’s not always an option for everyone.

One surefire way to make some extra money is to get some overtime hours. But if you’re a white-collar worker like many of us are, you’re probably getting paid a salary. …


Your job should fit around your life — not the other way around

Photo: Alekon Pictures/Unsplash

When I quit my job a few years ago to pursue self-employment, it completely changed how I thought about work, and specifically, the way I think about how work fits in with our lives.

Take my current morning schedule as an example. I have a young son, and as you can probably imagine, my morning can be hectic. Back when I had a regular job, I had to be in the office by 8 am. It was a fairly arbitrary time. …


And they probably aren’t Warren Buffet either

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

When my brother first started making a decent amount of money, I told him that the smart thing he could do was to save as much of his income as he could, live modestly, and invest in low-cost, passively managed index funds. I assured him that if he did all of this, he could pretty much guarantee that he’d be in better shape than the vast majority of the population.

Naturally, being my younger brother, he ignored everything I said and did things his own way. He ended up finding a financial advisor from a big-name financial services company that…


Money

You don’t have to wait for financial independence — instead, you can create your own version of financial independence right now

Photo by Elizeu Dias on Unsplash

A few years ago, I gave a presentation at a financial independence retreat. I titled the talk “Create Your Own FI,” and the idea was one that I had been thinking about for a while — that financial independence (FI) isn’t something that we necessarily have to wait for. Rather FI is something that we can work to create for ourselves right now.

That’s essentially what I’ve been building towards over the past few years. As a bit of background about who I am, I worked as an attorney for five years. While I was working as a big shot…


Ignore the noise and stick to the basics

Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

My brother has a knack for making and saving money. At just 28 years old, he’s managed to build up a sizable net worth. With his current pace, I suspect he can probably be financially independent by his mid-30s.

What makes his net worth growth really astounding is that it pretty much happened by accident. While he’s always been good at making and saving money, my brother has never been so good at actually knowing what to do with that money. For a long time, he put his money in a regular savings account. When he finally did start investing…


Investing doesn't have to be hard — here are simple investment portfolios you can use that will stand the test of time

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

The hardest part about investing, I think, is the very beginning. You’ve opened up your first brokerage or retirement account, but then find yourself stuck. What are you supposed to do next? Unlike a bank account, just putting money into your brokerage accounts isn’t enough. You have to invest it too. And with so many different investment options out there, it’s easy to end up paralyzed with indecision.

Here’s the good news though — there are lots of easy, straightforward investment portfolios that will allow you to perform better than the vast majority of investors over the long term.

Remember…


There’s more to it than just paying off what you borrowed

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Every once in a while, I like to listen to a little Dave Ramsey. And while I don’t agree with a lot of the things he says, I do concede that he does a good job of motivating people to pay off their debt. His secret is how simple and doable he makes paying off debt seem. Listen to him talk, and you can’t help but feel like you’ll be able to crush any debt really fast.

Take the typical call he gets from someone asking about how to handle their student loans. It usually goes something like this.

Someone…


You can learn a lot about what work and life are all about from these food truck owners

Photo by Arturo Rey on Unsplash

Whenever I need a little motivation, I like to hop on YouTube and watch videos profiling food truck owners. A few years ago, CNBC profiled a dumpling food truck in New York. And the YouTube channel Munchies has a regular series where they profile food truck owners, ranging from complicated food truck operations with award-winning food to people doing simple things like running a hot dog stand or a breakfast cart or selling wood-fired pizza out of a pickup truck in a parking lot.

I find food truck owners to be an interesting group of people. They’re extremely passionate about…


We know there are things we should do — but we never do them. Here’s why.

Photo by Lukas Leitner on Unsplash

When I quit my job a few years ago to become a full-time writer and blogger, I knew that I had a few housekeeping tasks that I needed to complete. This included rolling over my 401k to my Solo 401k and getting myself health insurance.

Of course, both of these tasks, while seemingly pretty simple to do, required a bit more than just clicking a button. In many cases, I had to print out some forms or call someone — two things that I, as a millennial, never want to do!

What ended up happening was pretty predictable. I waited…

Kevin Ha

Writer, Side Hustler, & Blogger at FinancialPanther.com. I write about personal finance, financial independence, and side hustling in the gig economy.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store