Let’s Chat About This Frightening Times Article

Tyler Linsten Not Sarcasm, Personal Finance

Do I have your attention? Yes, the previous post here was about a scary data breach. No, the blog isn’t pivoting into doomsday-prepping( sorry, Preppers). But given the recent Anchorage earthquake the subject couldn’t be more timely.  There’s not a distinct and direct financial planning angle here, but I can’t get over the headline of this stunning Seattle Times piece out today: You can read all the juicy details for yourself – like how they won’t release all the details of the study for fear of exposing infrastructure vulnerabilities – but it’s kind of shook me to the core when thinking about my own disaster preparedness. Personally, we have some basics on hand but are nowhere near prepared for up to …

Remember That Credit Freeze Post? Hotel Edition

Tyler Linsten Personal Finance

This credit freeze post. Today we woke up to news about a massive data breach at Starwood Hotels, as announced by parent company Marriott, which may affect as many as 500 million people. It’s reported to be the second largest breach in history. Why am I mentioning this? Well, it’s a perfect opportunity for self-indulgent told-ya-so-ism. I recently wrote about how being able to freeze your credit with the three major credit bureaus — for free — is a game changer when it comes to protecting your personal information, and your financial future. While freezing your credit is not a perfect firewall, it sure makes it less scary when you see headlines like today’s Starwood breach. That’s pretty much financial …

Spending Hack: Stop Wasting So Much Damn Food

Tyler Linsten Not Sarcasm, Personal Finance

Click for the personal finance angle, stay for the recipe at the end. via GIPHY Food waste is a huge problem. This piece in the Seattle Times estimates the number to be $1500 per household in the US. I waste more than I’d like, and I bet you do, too. Just like other financial hacks – like opening a high-yield savings account or diverting spending through a cash-back credit card – minimizing a painful line item like food waste can have a big effect on your annual finances. As we know, lower spending equals more savings. And more savings equals more dollars flowing into the Magic Compounding Machine, also known as your long-term investing portfolio. And more money in the …

You Should Probably Do This: Credit Freeze Edition

Tyler Linsten Not Sarcasm, Personal Finance

It’s not often there are financial things basically everyone should do, regardless of their situation. This – a free credit freeze – is one of those things.  Good news! The government has done something to help you, and that would be requiring the three major credit reporting agencies to offer a credit freeze to consumers – FOR FREE. GRATIS. NADA. ZIP. Don’t take my word for it, listen to (or read) the details via NPR here. Unless you expect to be applying for credit tomorrow, it makes sense for anyone with something to lose (this means you and me) to lock down their credit. I’ve done the hard work for you below: Freeze via Equifax Freeze via Experian Freeze via Transunion Don’t forget to …

Personal Finance 101 in a Single Picture

Tyler Linsten Investing, Personal Finance

Study up. You’re living the test. Spending the $1,000 results in an instant 100% loss in value, storing it in cash brings a 53% loss in value over 25 years, saving it brings a 22% loss in value over 25 years, but investing results in a 238% gain in value over 25 years. There are so many important bullet points to be extracted from the table above. These are lessons some people never learn and are more valuable the earlier you start: Spending money is not a great investing strategy, but prevents losses to inflation (this is sarcasm). Inflation is an absolute killer. It is the slow-churning, deadly assassin in your financial life. Even a 2% rate on cash in …