Emily

Emily
Portland, Oregon
http://www.emilyliedel.com

I'm a freelance writer and native Portlander who has lived in Switzerland, Russia, Spain, France and (briefly) China. Like most people, my finances are not in tip-top shape, but I'm working on paying off my student loans and fixing that. I'm also a young widow and mother of a one-year-old daughter.

Blog Posts by Emily:

  • August 31, 2018
  • by Emily

Is Grad School Worth It? Detailed Simulations and Discussion

My master’s degree left me with over $80,000 in debt, at an interest rate that dwarfed the rate I got on my undergraduate loans. I’m not alone among my master’s degree-holding friends in having some ...

Personal Finance

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  • August 11, 2018
  • by Emily

Nine Types of Wealth You Can’t Measure with Money

What does it mean to be wealthy? Most financial advisors will give you a narrow definition - it’s all about how much money you have. Wealth equates to "an abundance", but if money is prioritized ...

Financial Literacy

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Five Ways to Live Rent Free

These strategies don’t fit into the mainstream idea of what you “should” be doing as an adult. But if you really want to live rent free, here are a few ideas.

Personal Finance, Homes and Real Estate

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How to Talk About Money with Kids Age Preteen and Older

As your kids enter the pre-teen years, it’s important to keep talking about money—but you’re going to be more open and honest than before and you’ll be ready to address more complex financial issues. Here ...

Family and Finances

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Are You Addicted to Shopping? 5 Tips To Stop

Do you shop for entertainment “because baby I’m worth it”??? Does it cause stress later? Scientifically speaking leisure shopping triggers a brain high. Here are some tips to manage it and a strategy to stay ...

Budgeting

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Why Tracking Expenses Is Essential to Developing a Budget

The first step towards getting control of your finances is figuring out where your money is going, which means tracking all of your expenditures. Ideally you should do this on a regular basis, down to ...

Personal Finance

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Talking to Your Kids About Money - Starting the Conversation

Talking about money with your kids in an age-appropriate way can help ensure that they grow up with a solid understanding of both how money works as well as how to manage it.

Family and Finances

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Why Higher Income Doesn’t Always Equal Higher Net Worth

When people talk about being wealthy or “rich,” they rarely pause to define wealth—this is true when you’re talking to a neighbor but also often true when you’re reading about wealth in the newspaper. So ...

Net Worth

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  • March 25, 2018
  • by Emily

What Categories Should Be in My Budget?

The key to creating an effective budget, whether you’re creating a monthly or annual budget or planning a budget for an upcoming vacation, is that you need to account for everything. The numbers on your ...

Personal Finance, Budgeting

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  • March 14, 2018
  • by Emily

Smart Spenders Recognize Quality and Pay for It Gladly

As a society we tend to judge each other on how we spend. So and so is “cheap”, or so and so “spends too much”... How much a person spends in dollars is a limited ...

Personal Finance, Budgeting

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  • February 27, 2018
  • by Emily

How and Why (Or Why Not) to Set Up a Trust Fund

You might associate trust funds with spoiled, free spending 20-somethings, but chances are most beneficiaries of trust funds wouldn’t be immediately recognizable. Trust funds are a tool to protect your assets, to ensure that your ...

Family and Finances

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  • January 26, 2018
  • by Emily

Can (And Should) You Retire Overseas?

Moving abroad after retirement is an attractive idea, but there are many things to consider. Perhaps you’re daunted by the amount you need to save for a comfortable retirement in the United States? Or maybe ...

Family and Finances

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  • December 26, 2017
  • by Emily

A Tool To Compare Spending Choices

Could you cut $100 from your monthly spending and invest it instead? What about paying ahead on your mortgage? If you did, how much of a difference would it make?

Personal Finance

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  • December 11, 2017
  • by Emily

Socially Responsible Investing 101

If you’d like to start investing in stocks but balk at the idea of your cash being used to commit environmental atrocities or by a company with a poor human rights record, here are some ...

Personal Finance

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  • November 20, 2017
  • by Emily

Being a Plumber vs. Being a Doctor - Net Worth Simulations

Here’s what you can learn about plumbers, doctors (and other career paths) by running some comparisons on the Wealth Meta Income and Spending Simulator.

Personal Finance

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  • November 8, 2017
  • by Emily

Playing the Credit Card Reward Game—How to Make It Worth It

Rewards cards can be a net win (3% on spending is a reasonable goal). They only pay off if you know how to use them correctly and have the right attitude going in. Here are ...

Personal Finance

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  • November 1, 2017
  • by Emily

Is Buying or Renting a Home Better? Simulator Results

Using the Wealth Meta Income and Spending Simulator, I ran a couple of tests to see what would be better in the long run. It turns out buying is better given our assumptions, but that ...

Homes and Real Estate

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  • October 24, 2017
  • by Emily

Should You Stay Home with the Kids

Childcare in the United States is really expensive. However being a stay at home parent comes with hidden costs both for the parent and the child.

Family and Finances

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  • October 14, 2017
  • by Emily

Using the Income and Spending Simulator to Meet Your Financial Independence Goals

If you’re interested in FIRE (financial independence / retire early) you need to try this simulator. This walk through details my own personal finances as a single mother currently living abroad.

Personal Finance

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  • September 30, 2017
  • by Emily

How to Improve Your Credit

Having a good credit score will save you money every time you try to take out a loan, whether it is for a car, a mortgage or to start a business. Getting and maintaining a ...

Personal Finance

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  • September 2, 2017
  • by Emily

How Much Is "Enough" for Retirement?

It primarily depends on your expenses and how long you live. The more frugal you are, the less you need in savings. Calculators and in depth analysis included here.

Personal Finance, Family and Finances

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  • August 25, 2017
  • by Emily

How Much Does Your Ride Really Cost?

We all know that owning and operating a car costs money. But not everyone realizes how much, or how large the difference between types of cars can be. The main categories to know about are ...

Personal Finance

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  • August 18, 2017
  • by Emily

Understanding Savings Accounts

One of the simplest tenets of wealth creation is to “pay yourself first.” In other words, put money into your savings account. There are many types and we explain them here.

Financial Literacy, Personal Finance

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  • August 1, 2017
  • by Emily

Odds of Living to Retirement

The number one mistake people make in planning for retirement is underestimating how long they’ll live. The longer you end up living the greater your risk of under saving is.

Personal Finance

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Lock Your Digital Windows and Doors: Basics of Digital Security

It today's world financial security and digital security go hand and hand. Here are a few basics for keeping yourself and your data secure from hackers and identity thieves.

Risk Reduction

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Things to Look for When Shopping for a Home

Buying a home is an investment in more than the financial sense of the word. It takes a lot of work to find the perfect home! Here’s a detailed list of things you should be ...

Homes and Real Estate

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How Municipal Bonds Fit Into Your Investment Plan

Municipal bonds are like the opposite of a lottery ticket: safe, secure, unexciting. Also unlike a lottery ticket, municipal bonds likely have a place in your investment portfolio. Here are some basics on municipal bonds ...

Personal Finance

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Retirement Savings Plans for the Self-Employed

For self employed individuals contributing to a retirement plan is like giving yourself an instant raise without charging your clients more. The IRS allows you to contribute a percentage of your income into a retirement ...

Personal Finance

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Understanding the Realities of Investing in Real Estate

Real estate can be a way to invest, and it can lead to good returns. That doesn’t mean that it’s risk-free or trouble-free. Here are some realities to keep in mind when thinking about investing ...

Homes and Real Estate

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Understanding 529 College Savings Plans

We all want the best for our children, and that means access to a college education. No one likes to think of their children saddled with student debt, yet saving for your child’s college education ...

Family and Finances

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  • April 11, 2017
  • by Emily

Balancing Debt Repayment with Savings

You may ask yourself, should I pay off debt or save the money? We've listed a few key things to consider as you are balancing how much to devote to each financial priority.

Personal Finance

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What to Do with Your 401(k) When You Change Jobs

Congrats on your new job! While you’re saying goodbye to your old co-workers and preparing to take on new responsibilities and learn a different office culture, you should also think about what will become of ...

Personal Finance

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  • March 24, 2017
  • by Emily

Buy the Right Life Insurance

Buying life insurance is an exercise in thinking about the facts of life we’d rather not ponder. Included is an in depth example of what a family could do to make sure they are protected. ...

Family and Finances, Risk Reduction

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  • March 10, 2017
  • by Emily

Estate Planning Basics for Couples

Getting your affairs in order while you are still healthy and seemingly immortal is a sign of how much you love your significant other. You are making sure that even if you are not around, ...

Family and Finances

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