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finance resolutions for young women

How the Dumpster Dog can help with your money resolutions!

Hello my darlings! Happy 2017! I don’t know ’bout you but I’m pretty jazzed to usher in a new year of adventure and gratitude.

What are your financial resolutions? I bet I can help! I made a QUICK, SILLY video for you to check out (and share with fellow doggies).

For anyone that’s curious, my personal/professional resolution for 2017 is to forge this blog into something truly meaningful. By the end of the year, I want to hear you say that “following The Dumpster Dog Blog is the best thing I ever did for my finances.” It’s a formidable undertaking, yes, but I’m always game to get a little dirt under the fingernails. We comin’ for ya, 2017!

Never hesitate to reach out to me with questions/concerns/advice on how to make this better/advice on how to make my voice less deep.

Cheers to you and your sweeteez!


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  1. Nancy Harlan Crean on January 5, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I’m in! I have some credit card debt I want to pay-off and some vacation savings to do.
    Thanks Amanda!

    • on January 7, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      Amazing! Thank you as always, for the support. You’re the best!

  2. Kyle on January 5, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Hey Dumpster Dog!

    You’ve got me motivated to start saving money and applying it towards investing but how should/can I invest outside of 401Ks? Are online trading sites a good idea? Should I get a broker? Should I place an enormous bet on the Browns to win the Super Bowl in 2018?

    • on January 7, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      Kyle, these are great questions. I’m tempted to tell you to put it all on the Browns ’cause they are using sabermetrics these days, and you created the lightsaber, so it seems like all the stars are aligning and that 2018 is definitely your/the Browns’ year. That combined with Elfie the Brown’s (Brownie the Elf’s?) big comeback are signs hard to ignore. But alas, that teeny little person inside of me that advises against lighting 100-dollar bills on fire is telling me no. Ok, as for investing beyond the 401k? My recommendation is always to keep it simple! The first question you must always ask yourself is: “What am I investing this money for? And what is the time frame?” Your goals and time frame will ALWAYS dictate what type of investments you should or could be in, and then it is up to you to find the cheapest and easiest way to implement that investment strategy. If the money is for the long-term, you can invest in stocks. If that’s the case, I still think it’s best to use index mutual funds or ETFs at a place where you pay next to nothing to use them, at a brokerage firm like Vanguard, Charles Schwab, or Fidelity. (Always look for no-commission funds with a low expense ratio! And definitely don’t pay the bank to hold an account open for you! No fees!) You would simply open up an “Individual” or “Joint Tenants” account with your spouse, no broker or financial advisor needed. (Some folks could look into a Roth IRA, but there are limitations on how much you can earn to use one of these.) Index investing is really unsexy, but in the investing world, the unsexiest strategies have been the most successful over time. That said, I’m a wee bit reticent to recommend online trading platforms because many of them encourage that type of behavior: active trading. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of why I’m not a big fan of active trading, but will leave it to this: Folks investing on their own are a lot like the Cleveland Brown: out of their league, driven by mistake after mistake, and plagued by general life suckiness. Individual investors typically earn about 3-4% annually in stocks, while the stock market has achieved 11%. (See: Dalbar studies.) Our brains are hardwired to do the wrong things at the wrong time (hey this stock looks awesome! It’s roaring! I should buy it! Ummm you missed the boat buddy it’s already come up) and most of all, no one knows the future. And the only reason you would buy individual stocks is if on some level you think you could beat the stock market, whiiiccchhhh pretty much no one can do. (Otherwise, just buy the index fund that invests in the whole market for next to nothing!) So, I say, just buy the boring fund and keep adding and keep adding. Now, this is possible to do with most any online trading platform! You should just remain untempted to make any changes based on your mood. Now, all that said, it is totally fine to mess around with some stocks if you wanna give it a shot!! But, this has to be considered splash-around/betting on the Browns type-of-money that you won’t be upset if you lose. 5% of your overall liquid portfolio is often sited as a maximum dollar figure to to play with in individual stocks. One more option to consider: I am a pretty big fan of some of the new FinTech apps that do your money management for you. Right now, WealthFront does my favorite portfolio, and I really respect the strategic head of the company (Burton Malkiel, serious old-time homie on the investing scene). I like them for use in an after-tax account (that regular ol’ Individual or Joint brokerage account) because they also manage the portfolio in a tax-advantageous way. They do charge a fee after a certain dollar figure, like maybe .5% after 10K and up from there (don’t quote me on that), which isn’t ideal (even .5% is a lot when it comes to investing and compound returns) so I just like to look at their sample portfolios and use their ideas. It’s still very “passive” stuff–a mix of stock index ETFs, bond index ETFs, and maybe a teeny REIT/gold index ETF based on your goals and time horizon. But if you’re going to copy someone’s stragegy for you given your inputs, this wouldn’t be the worst one 🙂 Or, you just pay the fee if knowing someone legit is doing it for you if that’s what’ll inspire you to do it!! Of course, all of these recommendations are assuming you’re investing for the long term, 10+ years AT LEAST (20-30 is better). If you are thinking about using the money in the next five years, unfortunaltey there are very few investing options. Interest rates are still low right now which sucks for investors (but is great for borrowers, e.g. people who want to get a mortgage!) and so you’d want to keep most short-term money in cash, CDs, or “high-interest” online savings banks, which aren’t really that high interest but marginally better than sitting in your account at Hells Fargo. Okay, this is a lot for now, so I am going to stop. But you know where to find me for follow-up questions 🙂 Go SeaMonsters!

  3. Michelle C on January 6, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Love your video! Interested in best types of investing…property, stock, etc. can’t wait to hear more dumpster dog wisdom!

  4. Janice Tafoya on January 13, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    I’m always interested in ideas and information. Look forward to your tips.