Why Waiting to Buy a House Pays Off


I bought my first — and only — house when I was 35, a couple of years older than the typical first time home buyer.  It was one of the best financial decisions I’ve ever made, and the age when I bought it mattered.

Today, I discuss why it may be better to wait to buy that house on Jen Smith’s wonderful site, Saving With Spunk!

(Remember how I mentioned in my last post why networking with other bloggers was so key?  I met Jen through a blogger support group on Facebook and it’s been a joy working with her on this post. I’m hoping to have her guest post on JMC. Please show her some love!)

8 Blogging Tips: Everything I Did Wrong

IMG_2566.JPG(Left to right: Liza, Zack, Zuzzy, and yours truly. Our heads almost look like a bar graph showing the early stages of a compound growth curve.)

What did I just get myself into?

Ever ask yourself that? I do—all the time. If I find something interesting, my hand shoots up to volunteer before the question of knowledge or capacity ever crosses my mind. I agreed to team up with my wife to give a talk about relationships to college students next month (spoiler alert: I’m clueless about relationships). I also agreed to give a 2.5 hour money seminar next year (2.5 hours?!). Of course I said yes to the stress. What did I just get myself into?

I asked myself that plenty of times during months 1 and 2 of blogging. Then months 3 and 4 rolled around and something happened.

(Actually, it’s been 3.6 months—I’m rounding up—but I digress.)

Blogging has been a hike through the woods. Intimidating at times, sure, but if you look around there’s beauty you wouldn’t have experienced if you didn’t start walking. Here are my tips, 4 months in.

Continue reading “8 Blogging Tips: Everything I Did Wrong”

How to Have the “Money Talk” with Your Child


Photographer Douglas makes inaction figures come to life! See more of his amazing pictures on Instagram @jedimasterbuilder.

On a recent visit to a friend’s house in Los Angeles…

“Joshie, can you tell Spider Man to get me a glass of water?”

Joshie looks at the red and blue inaction figure near the couch, lying still and splayed as if it were run over by the Hobgoblin. He titters. Joshie may be 5, but even he knows a toy can’t do that.

I hold up a dollar bill and smile. “This is money. This can get me water if I tell it to.”

His eyebrows rise.

I put on my flip flops. “C’mon. We’re going to 7-11.”

Continue reading “How to Have the “Money Talk” with Your Child”

Under a Common Sky: Post-Election Thoughts

Today’s post was supposed to be about how to have the “Money Talk” with your child, but given the mood and my many hurting friends, it doesn’t feel right to move on to that quite yet. Connor has already written about her response to the election. I hope you’ll read that, and this, and that we can move forward together in conversation, empathy, and understanding.



On my desk are two pictures of my older children. To my left is a picture of Zuzzy taken back when she was in pre-k. She stands in front of a simple painting of the world, smiling while looking in the wrong direction. In the middle of my desk is a picture of Zack on his 1st birthday, sitting on his lion truck, bringing all of his chubby baby cheeks to bear. (To my right, I have a spot reserved for Liza, my youngest.)

These pictures usually warm my soul, but today? I well up with tears.
Continue reading “Under a Common Sky: Post-Election Thoughts”

How to Pay for College


When I was in college, an administrator at the business school where I worked told me she needed to put away $700 a month to afford to send her newborn to her alma mater, Yale.

I nearly spit out my soda.

It’s only gotten worse.

As a father of 3, I’ve been forced to give this a lot of thought.  I share my tips on how to pay for college on my good friend Mandarin Mama’s blog.  She writes about homeschooling, teaching your children mandarin, and family finances.  Check out her site!

We’ll be back Thursday with how to have the “Money Talk” with your child. (I also might post a fun election picture from Douglas tomorrow)

Trump or Hillary: Voting from a Financial Perspective

What a fool believes, he sees. No wise man has the power to reason away.

– the Doobie Brothers


An ancient voting machine. The Greeks thought of everything!

Everyone is riled up. It feels like the fate of our country is on the line.

We all have so much anger and contempt for the other side and righteous indignation about our own side. We sound like a couple headed into a divorce.

I want to take out the emotion as we look at our choices. Since JMC is not a political blog (although we each have our views), I will focus on voting from a purely financial perspective.

Continue reading “Trump or Hillary: Voting from a Financial Perspective”

How to Beat the Financial Monsters


All photos courtesy of the phenomenal Douglas. Follow him on Instagram @jedimasterbuilder!

True Horror.

I won’t look at it.

Instead, I press my nose to the window and squint eighteen stories down. There’s a news van below. I swivel to my computer screen to search the news, leaving a vapor of breath on the window.

They’re reporting about a death. “Blood in the Streets!” “Panic!” “Thousands Chopped!” The headlines scream.

I don’t have the stomach for this. I can’t look at it.

“Zombies!” shrieks another headline. I hurry and shut my door. There’s no lock… but curiosity overtakes me.

I look at it.

The toll is told in cold numbers. Down 56%. Hundreds of thousands of my own money, bled away. Just when I was about to click off, I hear it.


I grip my mouse, barely clicking off my browser before it comes again.


I open my drawer. I see highlighters. Pens. Paperclips. I’m looking for…I don’t know. Something, anything to put off the inevitable.


“Hello?” I answer.

“Come to my office.”

As I get up, Ed’s phone rings next door. Through the wall, I faintly hear Ed say, “Ok, I’ll be there.”

Minutes Later…

My fingers quiver as I dial her number. I whisper into the mouthpiece: “I’m cut.”

My eyes moisten. My bottom lip throbs.

“I’m sorry…will we still have insurance to cover my prenatal visits?”

Continue reading “How to Beat the Financial Monsters”

Why Traveling is a Better Way to Spend Money

imageI’m 37,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. My wife and I just celebrated our anniversary in Greece, specifically Santorini, Athens, Hydra, and Delphi. (Notice who are missing? Z, Z & L are staying with their grandparents. What a blessing they are!)

So while I didn’t have time to focus on eCommerce learning while I was away (lest I incur my wife’s wrath), it reinforced the best benefit of an online business: location independence.

It also showed why traveling is a better use of money than almost anything else.

Continue reading “Why Traveling is a Better Way to Spend Money”