Retire at Plaza and Main St

The intersection of personal finance, financial independence, and Disney.

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Thanksgiving Turkey – Recipe Friday

thanksgiving turkey recipe
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

Our family has two traditions on Thanksgiving: cooking delicious food to share with family and friends as well as running the local Turkey Day 5K. Some of you out there are already doing the math and calling shenanigans on doing both of those things. I hear you. The Turkey Day 5K run starts at 8 am about 20 minutes away and a 16 lb turkey needs to be roasted before noon. How is that possible?

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Personal Finance is Lonely

personal finance is lonely and taboo
Photo by Andrew Neel on

Personal finance is like sex and religion: nearly everyone has something to say but will generally avoid discussing it. Our society has made discussing your finances with anyone else taboo. We’ve spent years associating our self-worth with our net-worth to the point that people feel like personal finance is a competition. You try ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ because deep down you don’t want to get too far behind in the race you perceive to be life. That race can be lonely because personal finance is lonely.

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Step 6: Pay All Your Bills On Time

pay all bills on time step 6 path to FI

Well… that seems obvious.

I’ll agree that to pay bills on time isn’t the most revolutionary financial advice but it is very important. It is important beyond the obvious ‘stay out of debt and collections’ aspect of paying your bills. There are far-reaching effects of paying your bills late you will want to avoid where possible. I fully understand that sometimes people pay their bills late because they lack the funds to pay in full on time. This advice isn’t necessarily for that situation but rather for those forgetful among us who have trouble remembering to pay on time.

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Vegetarian Potato Leek Soup Recipe

vegetarian potato leek soup recipe
Photo by Viktoria Slowikowska on

Vegetarian potato leek soup has to be one of the easiest soups to make on a weeknight. It is three ingredients and almost as few steps. I promise that regardless of your current cooking skill level you can make this dish in 30 minutes. Impress your friends and family and make this soon.

Baby it’s cold outside…

Well… cold for Florida. It finally dipped down to the upper 68 degrees here in Florida for a couple days, so its basically winter now. We have our windows open and the air conditioner is getting it’s annual 2 month vacation from running 24/7. If it gets any colder I’ll have to rummage through the back my closet to find one of the two coats I own. We might even have to break out the long-sleeve shorts northerners oddly refer to as pants.

It is soup weather

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Coding a new career

coding finance job crafting
Photo by ThisIsEngineering on

Coding a new career through continuous learning

I love the job I have today. My job is an interesting mix of corporate finance, creative problem solving, coding, spreadsheets, and decision science that provides recognizable value to the company I work for. I know what you are thinking right now and I agree that any job involving spreadsheets is going to be a sexy career choice. It didn’t start out like this though. I was able, with the help of some amazing managers, to craft the job I want from the job I had over time. You can start coding a new career too.

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Get a small emergency fund

step 5 get a small emergency fund

You need an emergency fund.  I personally don’t think that is up for debate in the personal finance world. The amount in your emergency fund and where you keep it certainly is though.  At this stage in your personal finance adventure, you need at least $1,000 in your emergency fund.  Do you realistically need more than that? Of course.  We’ll get there soon but for right now you need at least $1,000 or at least one month worth of your typical expenses.

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My College Savings Story

my college savings story negotiate scholarship

I wish I had a “back in my day college was the same price as a night at the movies, and I could work 4 hours a week at my part-time job to cover the tuition” type of college savings story to share here.  Unfortunately I am a millennial, and college was already very expensive by the time I got there.  I also voluntarily chose to attend a private university instead of one of the state schools I was offered scholarships for, and I’m sure that didn’t help.

Despite all of that, I found an unusual way to save a lot of money on my college expenses. I was able to convince my school of choice to give me a free MBA before I even took my first class. My college savings story is one I don’t hear enough about.

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Personal Finance Step 4 – Set Up A Budget

set up a budget track it step 4 path to FI

Did you already set up a budget you track and stick to? If not that is ok. I’ll help you build a simple budget to get you started on the path to financial independence. you update each month to track how you are spending your money?

If you do that is perfect and you are on your way to understanding your finances. If you don’t have a budget that is fine too since we’ll be working below to build one. I honestly don’t expect every person outside of the finance or accounting profession to have a budget they keep up with. Everyone needs to set up a budget but so few people have one they manage to despite the advantages.

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Pandemic Travel Scones: Safest way to see the world

pandemic travel scones recipe

Pandemic travel scones are a thing. Maybe a thing we invented but who cares. The COVID-19 pandemic upended the lives of nearly all Americans for almost the entire year (so far). We usually set up a budget each year that includes some traveling. Sometimes it is far away but more often a fun weekend close to home. We all know that isn’t happening but our pandemic travel scones recipe brings some of the magic home each weekend.

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