Library Value Calculator – November 2018 – $79.00 Saved

This is the seventh in a series of monthly posts in which I will attempt to prove the awesomeness and supreme value of the Metropolitan Library System (MLS).

In January of 2016 my wife and I moved into a home less than a mile from one of the MLS branches that we now frequent. I also help run a job readiness internship for young adults, and I had an opportunity to help place one of the program interns in a position at another branch in OKC just this past summer.

In addition to becoming a big fan of the library, I’ve long been a fan of the personal finance community. And I believe this could be a fun project over the course of the rest of 2018.

Estimated values below are based on a variety of outlets and vendors defined by the MLS, including but not limited to Amazon.com, iTunes, Netflix, Audible, and more.

Let’s dive into my library value calculator for November 2018:

Adult Books Borrowed – Qty 3 – Value of Use = $45.00

  • The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant
  • Your Money Or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin
  • Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

Movies Borrowed – Qty 6 – Value of Use = $24.00

  • Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town!
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (animated)
  • Creed
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Leave No Trace
  • The Star

Magazines Borrowed – Qty 2 – Value of Use = $10.00

  • Money Magazine (x2)

November 2018 Total Value of Use = $79.00
October 2018 Total Value of Use = $91.00
September 2018 Total Value of Use = $204.00
August 2018 Total Value of Use = $44.00
July 2018 Total Value of Use = $215.00
June 2018 Total Value of Use = $209.00
May 2018 Total Value of Use = $171.00
2018 Total Value of Use = $1,013.00

How much have you saved at the library this month? Feel free to share in the comments below. I’d also love to hear what item you checked out that was your favorite.

You can calculate your savings via the Metropolitan Library System’s Value Calculator.

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Get a FREE Google Home Mini Device For Being An Existing Spotify Customer

Black Friday is almost here! I confess, I’m all about it. I dig the crowds and the energy of it all. We’re going to spend money on gifts anyway, so we might as well try to save some money while we’re at it. Right?

I recently spent close to an hour researching deals and hit the JACKPOT with Spotify! It turns out the company is offering a FREE Google Home Mini device to existing “Premium for Family” customers. The giveaway is advertised for new customers, which is another way to make this happen. But I, as an existing Premium for Family customer, was able to snag my own device without spending an additional dime just by clicking a couple buttons. Instructions aren’t overt, so follow the steps below to get your own.

  1. Visit Spotify.com
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the advertisement that says “Get a Google Home Mini with Premium for Family” and click the “Learn More” button.
  3. On the next screen, click the “Get Started” button.
  4. On the following screen you will be prompted to login to your existing account. Simply login and you will be prompted with another screen that says “You’ve reserved your Google Home Mini” and that you will be emailed with information as soon as your device is available.

It’s as simple as that. I received an email immediately and redeemed my FREE Google Home Mini in minutes.

Act fast! The offer is only good while supplies last and the offer ends 12/31/18, and devices must be redeemed by 1/15/19.

Also worth noting – I originally discovered that existing Spotify Premium users can take advantage of a 0.99c/month promotion HERE, which is what prompted me to experiment with the “Premium for Family” option. This for those of you who are using Premium and not Premium for Family.

What crazy good holiday deals have you discovered this year?

Happy hunting!

Library Value Calculator – October 2018 – $91.00 Saved

This is the sixth in a series of monthly posts in which I will attempt to prove the awesomeness and supreme value of the Metropolitan Library System (MLS).

In January of 2016 my wife and I moved into a home less than a mile from one of the MLS branches that we now frequent. I also help run a job readiness internship for young adults, and I had an opportunity to help place one of the program interns in a position at another branch in OKC just this past summer.

In addition to becoming a big fan of the library, I’ve long been a fan of the personal finance community. And I believe this could be a fun project over the course of the rest of 2018.

Estimated values below are based on a variety of outlets and vendors defined by the MLS, including but not limited to Amazon.com, iTunes, Netflix, Audible, and more.

Let’s dive into my library value calculator for October 2018:

Adult Books Borrowed – Qty 3 – Value of Use = $45.00

  • Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program For Fast & Sustained Weight Loss by Joel Fuhrman
  • 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke
  • 7 Secrets of the Newborn: Secrets and Happy Surprises of the First Year by Robert C. Hamilton

Movies Borrowed – Qty 4 – Value of Use = $16.00

  • Coco
  • Wonder
  • RBG
  • I Can Only Imagine

Magazines Borrowed – Qty 6 – Value of Use = $30.00

  • Money Magazine (x6)
    • It’s one of my new favorites

October 2018 Total Value of Use = $91.00
September 2018 Total Value of Use = $204.00
August 2018 Total Value of Use = $44.00
July 2018 Total Value of Use = $215.00
June 2018 Total Value of Use = $209.00
May 2018 Total Value of Use = $171.00
2018 Total Value of Use = $934.00

How much have you saved at the library this month? Feel free to share in the comments below. I’d also love to hear what item you checked out that was your favorite.

You can calculate your savings via the Metropolitan Library System’s Value Calculator.

Library Value Calculator – September 2018 – $204 Saved

This is the fifth in a series of monthly posts in which I will attempt to prove the awesomeness and supreme value of the Metropolitan Library System (MLS).

In January of 2016 my wife and I moved into a home less than a mile from one of the MLS branches that we now frequent. I also help run a job readiness internship for young adults, and I had an opportunity to help place one of my interns in a position at another branch in OKC just this past summer.

In addition to becoming a big fan of the library, I’ve long been a fan of the personal finance community. And I believe this could be a fun project over the course of the rest of 2018.

Estimated values below are based on a variety of outlets and vendors defined by the MLS, including but not limited to Amazon.com, iTunes, Netflix, Audible, and more.

Let’s dive into my library value calculator for September 2018:

Adult Books Borrowed – Qty 12 – Value of Use = $180.00

  • How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won’t Get From Your Financial Advisor by Ernie J. Zelinski
  • Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World by Annie Lowrey
  • Simple Green Meals: 100+ Plant-Powered Recipes To Thrive From the Inside Out by Jen Hansard
    • My wife loves to cook y’all, and I love when she cooks!
  • Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes From, How It Sabotages Our Lives by Pia Mellody
    • Suggested reading for a 5 day retreat at the Green Shoe Foundation I’ll be attending in October. They work to raise awareness of how past family roles and family systems reverberate in current relationships. In the immortal words of John Cochran, “Those who win Survivor are those who are most self aware”.
  • Lonely Planet’s Hawaii, 5th ed.
    • We’re having a baby in 2019, but 2020 maybe!?
  • Fodor’s Essential Hawaii, 1st ed. 
  • 1,107 Baby Names That Stand the Test of Time by Jennifer Griffin
  • Cool Irish Names for Babies by Pamela Redmond Satran
  • The Baby Names Almanac 2018 by Emily Larson
  • Christian Names: Baby Names Inspired by the Bible and the Saints by Martin H Manser
  • The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for your Baby by Laura Wattenberg
  • The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney
    • My wife said she wants to go, so research begins NOW.

Notes: We’re having a baby! Hence all the books about what do we name our child.

Movies Borrowed – Qty 1 – Value of Use = $4.00

  • The Miracle Season
    • Me and Holly’s good friend Ari just made the high school volleyball team this year, so this movie is a must watch.

CDs Borrowed – Qty 2 – Value of Use = $20.00

  • My Head Is An Animal by Of Monsters and Men
  • Glorywonder by Masaic MSC

Notes: Holly wanted to kick it old school in her car this month with a couple CDs. Have you heard Mosaic’s song Tremble? Good stuff.

September 2018 Total Value of Use = $204.00
August 2018 Total Value of Use = $44.00
July 2018 Total Value of Use = $215.00
June 2018 Total Value of Use = $209.00
May 2018 Total Value of Use = $171.00
2018 Total Value of Use = $843.00

How much have you saved at the library this month? Feel free to share in the comments below. I’d also love to hear what item you checked out that was your favorite.

You can calculate your savings via the Metropolitan Library System’s Value Calculator.

I’m A New Staff Writer at Okiedads.com (Post Archive)

I was recently invited to begin contributing over at Okiedads.com, a website created with one goal in mind – to help men in Oklahoma become the most active and engaged husbands and fathers they can be.

I’m passionate about being a husband and NEW DAD, and I’m excited to share some of my experiences along the way. I’ll continue to update this blog post with those I share on Okiedads. Enjoy!

Sept 24, 2018 – Keep The Conversation (And Connection) Alive With TableTopics

Oct 11, 2018 – Minimize Technology Distractions With A Minimalist Device

Oct 28, 2018 – Turn Your Halloween Candy Into Cash

Nov 20, 2018 – Get A Free Google Home Mini Device For Being An Existing Spotify Customer

Dec 18, 2018 – The Minimalist Home: A Room By Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life – Book Review

 

My Net Worth Win Featured on the Marriage Kids And Money Podcast

A couple weeks ago one of my favorite personal finance podcasters, Andy Hill, asked a simple question on Twitter.

“Has anyone hit a recent net worth win?”.

Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 8.53.57 AM

It struck me because just this month I was silently celebrating my family hitting the $50,000 net worth mark, which is a turnaround of $100,000 over the last two years for us.

So I crafted an email to put my thoughts down. Turns out Andy was inspired by the email and generous enough to include a bit of my story on this week’s blog / podcast (around the 53:22 mark) as a part of his Money Master of the Week segment.

IMG_5587

Below is the original email I wrote Andy:

Hi Andy, 
 
My name is Bruce Doane, and I love Marriage, Kids and Money! I first discovered you on the ChooseFI podcast a couple months ago, talking a bit about the “additional baby steps“. It was a huge moment for me, because when I got serious about my money a couple years ago I was deep in the Dave Ramsey camp. The more I learned, though, the more I felt like I wanted to take a hybrid approach to managing my finances. In a way, I feel like your story gave me permission. 

I’m writing mainly because of your recent Twitter post about net worth wins.  

 
This is a topic that has recently been on my mind. My wife and I just hit a $50,000 net worth this month, which is a turnaround of $100,000+ over the last two years. 
 
We first discovered our net worth in May of 2016. I remember this because we were applying for life insurance, and that was one of the required fields on the application. At that point we were sitting at a -$66,000 net worth. 
 
I realized instantly that I did not want a – in front of that number moving forward. 
 
My wife and I had bought a home earlier that year (January 2016) on an FHA loan (which we would have done differently knowing what we know now). I feel like we did all our research on buying a home AFTER buying a home. 
 
The good news is that we were in a decent enough financial situation to get our home loan to value ratio down to 80/20 by the end of the year and refinance. Refinancing in December of 2016 allowed us to erase PMI payments and shorten our term from 30 years to a conventional 15 . We were able to get an interest rate a whole point lower than on our original loan, and our monthly payment only increased by approximately $60. We have also been able to make small additional principal payments each month since refinancing. 
 
That, on top of my wife and I opening and nearly maxing out two Roth IRA accounts each year has really allowed us to aggressively grow our net worth. Special thanks to the 2017 stock market. 
 
All in all, we probably save 1/3 of our income on a monthly basis. 
 
The greatest tools we have used to track our spending and net worth are Personal Capital and You Need A Budget (YNAB). 
 
We’re all about the FI community and in pursuit of financial independence ourselves. That, for us, is likely years and years down the road. 
 
However, knowing our exact financial situation in real time gives us a feeling of freedom to pursue the things in life that are most important to us. It’s not ideal in the long run, but I think we could have a $0 net worth, or even a -$66,000 net worth at this point and still feel a bit of security because of the proven principles we’ve discovered. 
 
It’s pretty simple for us – spend less than we earn and track assets, liabilities, income and expenses in great detail, allowing that information and the results to inform our next steps. 
 
We will be excited to hit a 6 figure net worth in the next year or so, but even more we will be excited to start a family without a lot of financial stress. We will be excited about the opportunity to visit places on our bucket list, and to pursue a variety of dreams that being financially responsible will surely afford us an opportunity to do. 
 
Thanks Andy, for inviting me into the conversation and for allowing me an opportunity to put my thoughts down in writing. And thanks again for your inspirational work!
 
Bruce
 
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Have a listen to Andy’s inspiring conversation with J. Money (and a short feature of my story) HERE.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or comments!

Library Value Calculator – August 2018

This is the fourth in a series of monthly posts in which I will attempt to prove the awesomeness and supreme value of the Metropolitan Library System (MLS).

In January of 2016 my wife and I moved into a home less than a mile from one of the MLS branches that we now frequent. I also help run a job readiness internship for young adults with developmental disabilities, and I had an opportunity to help place one of my interns in a position at another branch in OKC just this past summer.

In addition to becoming a big fan of the library, I’ve long been a fan of the personal finance community. And I believe this could be a fun project over the course of the rest of 2018.

Estimated values below are based on a variety of outlets and vendors defined by the MLS, including but not limited to Amazon.com, iTunes, Netflix, Audible, and more.

Let’s dive into my library value calculator for August 2018:

Adult Books Borrowed – Qty 2 – Value of Use = $30.00

  • WordPress Web Design for Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson
    • Anyone know how to create a good looking personal blog?
  • Blogging for dummies by Amy Lupold Bair

Movies Borrowed – Qty 1 – Value of Use = $4.00

  • I Can Only Imagine
    • Holly and I were in this movie! Kind of. Several scenes were filmed in Oklahoma City, including the one where Bart Millard debuts the song I Can Only Imagine at the “Ryman Auditorium” in Nashville, which for the movie was actually filmed at Oklahoma City’s Civic Center Music Hall. We showed up for this scene and were encouraged to dress up in 90s church swag and sit in the audience. We were so high up you can’t actually see us on camera, but if you listen closely enough you might be able to hear us clap and cheer when the song concludes.

Audiobooks Downloaded – Qty 1 – Value of Use = $10.00

  • The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
    • Still trying to finish this one.

August 2018 Notes: Our foster baby turned 1 month old! Turns out a fresh baby doesn’t really afford much reading time, or down time in general for that matter. Plus, I was offered an advanced readers copy of Joshua Becker’s upcoming book, Minimalist Home (due for December release) in exchange for writing a blog post about it. So that has taken up a bit of my allotted reading time.

August 2018 Total Value of Use = $44.00
July 2018 Total Value of Use = $215.00

June 2018 Total Value of Use = $209.00
May 2018 Total Value of Use = $171.00

2018 Total Value of Use = $639.00

How much have you saved at the library this month? Feel free to share in the comments below. I’d also love to hear what item you checked out that was your favorite.

You can calculate your savings via the Metropolitan Library System’s Value Calculator.