Month: November 2016

An exchange-traded fund (ETFs)

combine the broad diversification of conventional index mutual funds with the continual pricing and trading flexibility of individual stocks and bonds generally at a lower cost than conventional funds.

It is a mutual fund you can buy during the day in a brokerage account. Since most ETFs are index funds, they are not actively managed, which means they are cheaper to hold. A typical mutual fund has a cost of 1%-2% whereas an ETF can be as low at .05%-.40%. That 1% can be a good chunk of money over the long run.

You have to have a brokerage account and many ETFs trade for free now. Now, most can’t have a brokerage account in their 401Ks, but setting one up at Vanguard/TRowe Price/Fidelity etc, is pretty easy.

About 5 years ago, there was a fee to buy an ETF so many would buy large chucks at $5,000 a trade or more so the $10 fee would be spread over a larger trade. Now, with free ETF trades, you can almost dollar cost average ETFs.

You can go to and learn more about ETFs and which trade for free. Some trade for free with X dollars in the account.

It is a great time to consolidate accounts if you have stuff in a few different fund companies.

That is a wonderful surprise and a great incentive..

But it seems like businesses aren’t too keen on accepting checks in these parts. I’m the same way though, I would rather not take a check from people, they bounce too much for my tastes. Cash is king, and debit is queen 🙂

Ha Ha!

Not only do we think a like, but we have like minded husbands. My husband isn’t part of carrying some debt (although he certainly used to be), but he lets me do most of the money crunching, investment allocation, worrying, on my own. Sometimes I think it’s easier this way to not have to argue (or compromise, to be honest), but I am making him sit down and look at his weekly business budget. He doesn’t like it; he’d rather I just took total control of that too.

I have to tell you, I’m going through a major house purging right now, and we’re starting to attack house chores like Keisha is. I keep staring at that iRobot of ours. You may just find it on your doorstep one of these days. I’ve already decided that once it goes, it’s going to you. :0)

Kathy, I ended up doing something similar

Most folks on the list will recall that my relationship with my folks is strained at times, and that pains us all greatly. We have been, and still would like to be, a very close family. My brother took steps late last year to start closing that gap, which was a wonderful first step. And my parents have been working really hard on not telling us kids how to live our lives, which has been vastly appreciated. My parents have also both had some health issues the last year or two which have legitimately made travel harder for them. When I was called out of town for the sudden funeral a month ago, it reminded me that we all do reach a point where we don’t get any tomorrows or any second chances. I had already been thinking that I wanted to find a way to go visit Mom for Mother’s Day, as a surprise. And that funeral cemented for me that I really wanted a chance to go for a visit. And stay for more than 18 hours, without a funeral in the schedule.
Well, with our unexpected escrow refund, and my DH newly practiced at tending the farm, we decided to go for it. I bought tix just this morning for me to fly down and see my folks over the Mother’s Day weekend. DH has agreed to stay here and watch things, which makes the trip possible. Everyone is so excited, including me. I shopped and searched for good airfare, and we were able to buy round trip tix for just shy of $400, which gives us over $800 left of that refund (prev $1K from Not sure where it’ll go. But we’re pretty pleased with how we’ve spent it so far. Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do for family, and this feels pretty darn good.

Kathy, I hope you’re able to really enjoy your trip to help your DD celebrate her graduation. Don’t you DARE feel guilty either. I won’t.

Your rising net worth is the fruit of your labor, um, investments!

Way to go. Now, can you explain in layman’s terms what EFTs are and how they are different from mutual funds. I know what mutual funds are and we are heavily invested in them … retirement accounts and non-retirement accounts. That is the only place we have invested. Our FFEF is split between a savings account and a checking account, each in a different bank. The checking is separate from our household checking account. Thanks in advance.