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Stop Ironing Shirts – Know Your Blogger Series

Know Your Blogger Series

Stop Ironing Shirts

Come read how you can stop ironing your dress shirts on the way to early retirement in this interview with Stop Ironing Shirts.
Each week at Personal Finance Blogs, we publish interviews from amazing bloggers from the personal finance space. This week, we are featuring the blog, Stop Ironing Shirts.
During these weekly features, we are hoping to provide a way for you to interact and learn more about different blogs in the personal finance space.
Below, you can read more about the story behind Stop Ironing Shirts, learn about the author, and learn personal finance tips from Stop Ironing Shirts to help you improve your financial situation.
A big thanks for Stop Ironing Shirts for this interview! Now, we will turn it over to the author for this interview.

Tell us about Stop Ironing Shirts

I started Stop Ironing Shirts more as a hobby to write about finishing up my corporate career, early retirement, and life afterwards to help other professionals going through the same thing. It was difficult for me to part ways with my professional identity and a career I built after climbing the corporate ladder.
As for the name of the blog, I always saved money by avoiding taking my shirts to the cleaners, but the goal was to stop that (and I ironed my last shirt in March of 2019).

What makes you and your blog unique?

I look at the early retirement path solely using income from a corporate job and market investment. There’s no real estate wins, no tech IPO, no small business sale, and no side hustle that made the retirement possible.
Early retirement came after a decade and a half of earnings through sales and corporate employment while investing the difference between money earned and money spent.

What does “being good with your personal finances” mean to you?

I think of personal finances in the same way I would think about a business: What you earn minus what you spend is the net profit, and the higher the net profit, the more money you will have.
For me, this means earning more than I spend, spending less than I make, and investing the difference.
There are so many expense pressures that come from being a human, so it’s easy to spend 100% or more of the incoming cash flow.
It takes self-discipline to overcome these pressures, but with practice, it can be done.

What are some habits you practice to keep your personal finances in order?

Follow a budget, then starve it: The most important habit for our personal finances was always using a budget and tracking our expenses.
When my income grew, I set up automatic investments, increased deferrals, and kept the amount of money flowing into the budget low.
Every time I got a raise through work, I increased the automatic investments to keep lifestyle creep from showing up.
Also, I try to drive vehicles as long as possible. I recently passed 230,000 on the vehicle I’ve owned for the last thirteen years!
I’m not dogmatic about the new vs. used car debate, or small vs larger vehicle, but I can’t believe how quick people are to buy a new car because of a single repair at 130,000 miles, just assuming it’ll keep costing money.
I had a round of repairs around 150,000 miles, but have since gotten another 80,000 issue free!

What are your three articles people should read to get to know you and your message better on your site?

The three articles people should read are:
The First $500,000: My philosophy around financial independence is about getting to the first half a million dollars in net worth.
Getting to $500,000 puts someone in the top 20% in the United States in Net Worth (2017 statistics), and is what I consider a financial freedom number – especially when someone can make it there before 40.
It doesn’t mean you can stop working, but the need for money to be the primary motivator goes down.
Home Ownership Cost Us $60,000 in a Great Housing Market: This article is all about the rent vs. buy decision for housing. There are a lot of factors that go into home ownership: What is the comparable rent cost, what is the hold period, and what are the transaction costs?
A short hold period when combined with some maintenance expense and the transaction costs of selling can cause a massive loss on a home.
There isn’t an automatic answer for everyone and comparing the cost of renting to the cost of buying is important. Personally I’m going to rent unless a home’s price is roughly within 125x of the monthly rent.
I Gave My Early Retirement Notice….and Live Tweeted It: It’s not very often someone has been at the same company for 16+ years and gives a retirement notice just short of their 37th birthday. I knew this was a once in a lifetime moment and remembered to document it for the world to see.

For someone looking to improve their financial situation, what’s your best advice?

The first step is accepting responsibility for your financial situation. Blaming someone else or “the system” is ceding responsibility and control for your outcome. Next, you have to figure out which levers you can pull to increase the gap between what you earn and what you save.
Mr. Money Mustache’s article on debt was one of the most impactful things I’ve ever read. I see too many people treating their financial situation like isn’t an emergency, when in reality, it is an emergency.
Debt, unless it is against reasonably purchased real estate that replaces rent (or an investment property), is a complete emergency. Interest is a negative charge to your financial statement each day you wake up. Too many people still don’t treat debt like the emergency it is.
Some other questions I have for you before I can provide more advice…
Do you have more income opportunities? Work more. If you’re in sales, make more sales calls, go to more events. If your income in the day job is capped, what type of gig work can you pick up in your down time? There are income opportunities that just weren’t available a decade ago.
What abut expenses? People talk about housing, food, and transportation because they are so important.
My short term/emergency advice, such as for folks carrying student loans, vehicle, and/or credit card debt looks like this:
  • If you can’t afford to live alone, get roommates to help share the fixed costs.
  • Do you have debt and want advice on food expenses? If Aldi doesn’t sell it, you can’t afford to eat it.
  • Finally, understand that cars are expensive. The number of nice cars I see in “young professional” apartment complexes is both shocking and depressing to me.
It seems that the 20 something dream is to live in an expensive 1 bedroom apartment, have a financed new vehicle parked outside, and then buy restaurant food 3-4x per week.
For someone who wants to become financially successful, this dream seems asinine to me.

In your opinion, what’s better? Renting a place or buying a house to live?

Renting and buying a house are both great decisions. *Selling* a house can be a destructive financial decision.
Let the numbers drive your choice, buy a property with a good rent/price ratio and you’ll be fine. I’d advise people to avoid buying something that doesn’t work as a rental property unless they are sure it is *the* forever home.
Having to sell something that doesn’t work as a rental can be destructive financially.

In your opinion, what’s better? Focusing on increasing your income, or focusing on decreasing your expenses?

I’m on the income side of this argument. I pursued a career in sales, which has a higher income opportunity and surprised some people when I said our early retirement budget is in the $70,000/yr range.
Ultimately the gap between earning and spending matters, how someone gets a gap and grows it is a personal choice.

What is your favorite investment class and why? (stocks, private business, bonds, real estate, crypto, precious metals, etc.)

I’m a long term equity investor. I like owning pieces of companies. The great thing about investing is everyone gets to pick their own assets for risk/return and sometimes we get caught up dogmatically telling people that A is good while B is bad.
There are successful investors in many asset classes: Stocks, Fixed Income, Real Estate, and Entrepreneurial Businesses.
Either find one, and get really good at it, or invest the difference between what you make and what you spend in an index fund and keep earning money.

If you received a $5,000,000 windfall tomorrow, what would you do with the money?

I’d do a bunch of investing, but that’s not the fun part of the question.
I would improve our housing situation. If we stay where we live now, I’d either get a place on the beach or with a private dock.
Otherwise I’d move our primary residence to Florida, or Hawaii, and buy a second home in the mountains somewhere.

What’s a non-money related interest you have and what do you love about it?

I love the outdoors and traveling. Fishing, trail running, and hiking and high in my list of enjoyable activities. I’ve also recently taken up surfing, so I’m excited for more to come there.

Why do you believe learning about money and caring about personal finance is important?

There are so many institutions that profit by making money *more* complicated than it needs to be.
I used to joke when Investment Bankers came to visit and they’d be throwing around all these garbage terms that were created to make things more confusing.
Investment advisors are often guilty of the same thing.
Investing money isn’t complicated: Buy slices of companies and enjoy their future cash flow. It’s also not complicated, (but very difficult) to track every dollar you spend spending and spending less than you make.

How You Can Contact Stop Ironing Shirts for More Information

You can learn more about Stop Ironing Shirts at https://stopironingshirts.com/ and follow them on Twitter at @stironingshirts.

Thank you for reading this interview, and thank you, Stop Ironing Shirts, for providing us with some great personal finance tips!

About the Know Your Blogger Series

Each week, Personal Finance Blogs features a personal finance blogger for you to learn more about who is behind the different blogs in the personal finance space.

These interviews also provide different viewpoints and tips for improving your financial situation. Check out a couple other recent interviews below, or see them all of the past blogger features here.

Financial Mechanic
Come learn how to flip the script and get to financial independence with this interview from Financial Mechanic.
Life Outside the Maze
Come read about how you can escape the maze of working and get on the path to early retirement!

17 Stock Market Worksheets PDFs (Plus Stock Market Lessons)

Use these 17 stock market worksheet PDFs (and stock market lesson PDFs) to engage your students, kids, and teens.

Teaching students about investing, and looking for some killer stock market worksheet PDFs (that also happen to be free)?

I’ve got you covered.

You don’t have to be a stock market wizard to teach your students, thanks to some great stock market lesson pdfs, lesson plans, and worksheets.

Psst: one of the best ways to teach students about investing and the stock market is to actually have them play it. But don’t worry – they needn’t lose any money. Here are 6 free stock market game for students.

Stock Market Worksheet PDFs

Teaching your students and kids how to invest in the stock market is such a worthy cause – it’s one of the best ways to ensure they’ll have a solid financial future.

I can clearly remember learning (or, at least trying to learn) how to read stock tables in my seminar class back in middle school. We each chose a stock, and then read the stock tables on it from week-to-week over a series of a few months.

At first, reading a stock table is like trying to read hieroglyphics at a museum – it just isn’t intuitive.

But then as we worked through it together, it became less intimidating. Do the same with your own students! They’ll thank you when they’re older.

And you don’t have to do it alone (especially if you’re not confident with investing, yourself).

Whether you’re looking for worksheets to follow specific stocks on the stock market, or company valuation worksheets, or price to earning ratio worksheets – you’ll find them below.

1. One-Page Stock-Monitoring Worksheet

Suggested Age: 4-8 grade

Sometimes, simple is best, right?

Here’s a one-page stock purchase worksheet you can download for free (after you sign up for a free Teachers Pay Teachers account).

It’s a way for your students to choose a stock to buy with $XXX amount of cash, and then to monitor that stock over several weeks.

Other one-page stock market worksheets include:

To go along with this, you’ll likely want to give your students a worksheet on how to read a stock table. I’ve got that coming up, next!

2. Stocks, Stocks, Stocks

Suggested Age Range: Not given.

What I love about this teacher guide + accompanying student worksheets is they teach everyone how to read stock market tables.

Because let’s be honest – those can look so intimidating!

3. Stock Investing 101 Worksheet

Suggested Age Range: 7-12 grade

This is a free Microsoft Word document that walks your students through three familiar companies on the stock market: Amazon, Home Depot, and General Motors.

They’re asked to fill in a bunch of info for each one, then more thinking-questions like which stock is the most volatile, and which stock is the most profitable.  

4. Stock Market Definitions and Terms

Looking for NYSE terms + an answer key? Great!

This stock market vocabulary worksheet is very simple and straightforward, and will help you to reinforce a lesson on understanding how to maneuver the stock exchange (links to the worksheets are all the way at the bottom).

Psst: don’t forget to download the answer key – that has all the definitions on it.

5. Price to Earnings Ratio Worksheet

Suggested Age Range: Not given.

A great lesson to teach your students is how to value a stock. You can do this by helping them to figure out the price to earnings using this worksheet.

6. Buy, Sell or Hold?: An Overview of Investing

Suggested Age Range: 9-12 grade

Practical Money Skills offers both a teacher’s guide and student worksheets talking about what the stock market is, plus has them work through the price to earnings ratio for real-life stocks. This is Lesson #21, FYI.

7. What’s Up with the Stock Market?

Suggested Age Range: 9-12 grade

BizKids has a great video plus accompanying stock market worksheet pdfs that teach your child to think about investment strategies. Students will also learn how to read a stock ticker.

8. Dividend-Paying Stocks

Suggested Age Range: Teens

Here’s a great, free teaching guide + worksheets on dividend-paying stocks.

9. Doing Your Corporate Homework

Suggested Age Range: not given.

Either assign a corporation to each student, or let them choose one. Then, have them do research on the company by using this worksheet.

Afterwards, ask them if they should buy that company’s stock or no.

10. Are Stocks a Risky Long-Term Investment?

Suggested Age Range: 7-12 grades

Your students will analyze stock markets returns from 1871 to 2014, and then answer questions to determine whether or not it’s a good idea to invest in stocks over the long term.

Psst: you’ll want to check out my article on 7 best investment books for kids and teens.

Stock Market Lessons PDFs

Looking for more than just a one-page stock market worksheet?

I’ve got exciting stock market lesson PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, and anything else you need to teach your students all about the stock market.

11. Building Your Future: Accumulating Wealth

Suggested Age Range: High school

Are you ready for a really comprehensive set of stock market worksheets and lessons for students?

This is it!

You’ll definitely want to download and read the 22-page Teacher’s Guide that goes along with it.

Investing subjects covered (with 39 pages of stock market worksheets) include:

  • Overview of investing
  • Asset allocation
  • Evaluating stocks
  • Building a bond portfolio
  • Mutual funds

12. EconEdLink’s Buy and Hold: A Stock Market Simulation

Suggested Age: 9-12 grades

Sign up for a free account with EconEdLink, and get access to this great lesson on the stock market.

You and your students will go through a brief simulation on an IPO (Initial Public Offering).

You’ll get access to:

  • PowerPoint presentation (with Notes section talking points for teachers)
  • Printable Stock, Bonds, and Money cards
  • Stock market quiz worksheet + answer key
  • Guiding questions

You can use these tools to teach your students things like why diversifying when purchasing stocks is a good idea, and why corporations sell stocks.

13. EconEdLink’s Where Did all the Money Go?

Suggested Age Range: 9-12 grades

I like how this lesson on the Great Depression gives students clues and has them solve the mystery of what caused the Great Depression.

Great lesson on how interdependent everything is – including the stock market, jobs, banks, farmers, etc.

14. Teaching Financial Crisis

Suggested Age Range: 9-12 grade

Looking to tie in your stock market teaching with actual history about financial crisis (where the stock market has played a major role)?

Personally, I think it’s great to teach kids that recessions and bear stock markets are a natural occurrence, and that they have always bounced back.

This resource has 8 lesson plans to teach financial crisis, specifically by comparing the financial crisis of 1907 to the financial crisis of 2007.

FYI: The worksheets are more like PDFs for kids to reach, but they’re still very informational.

15. Money Working for You Stock Market Lesson Plan

Suggested Age Range: 9-12 grade

Register with High School Financial Planning, and check out Module 4 on investing, which is an entire lesson plan around investing.

You’ll get the following, all free:

  • Instructor lesson packs
  • Student lesson packs
  • Lesson slide decks

There you have it – some awesome, and free stock market worksheet PDFs for students (both kids and teens) that will help them understand the stock market. Much better than I did at their age, anyway! 

The post 17 Stock Market Worksheets PDFs (Plus Stock Market Lessons) appeared first on Money Prodigy.

Liquid Net Worth: How To Track Your Financial Freedom

Understanding how much liquid net worth you have on hand is a huge part of starting your journey towards FIRE. However, it’s not exactly as cut and dry as adding up all the money in your bank accounts. You need to consider things like your liquid net worth and your total net worth and make …

Liquid Net Worth: How To Track Your Financial Freedom Read More »

The post Liquid Net Worth: How To Track Your Financial Freedom appeared first on How To FIRE.

May Mailbag: Kids and Money, Aging Parents, & More

May Mailbag: Kids and Money, Aging Parents, & More

Why You’ve Got to Listen to This Episode…

Still have questions about creating your family’s unique money values? We’ve got you covered in this special Q&A style episode.

For this episode, we asked the mamas in our free Mamas Talk Money Community on Facebook to send us their questions about family finances and family money values. If one person in our community has a question, there are no doubt others wondering the same thing.

So if you’re still a little overwhelmed by the topics of teaching your kids about money, your aging parents and their finances, or what your specific family money values are, today’s episode will help clear things up. I’m going to be sharing my answers to questions we received about helping your teens budget, how to prepare financially for the death of a loved one, whether or not spending money on unnecessary things for your kids is frivolous or not, plus so much more.

Moments You Don’t Want to Miss



  • [02:01] How do you teach teens about budgeting as they start earning their own money?


  • [04:42] What are some tips for teaching young kids about money right now when going to the store to use cash is not super practical?


  • [08:41] What are some ways to prepare for the death of loved ones and make the process as smooth as possible?


  • [12:57] Is life insurance for kids necessary?


  • [16:58] What is the value of prepaid burial plans for adults?


  • [19:18] What are some things people who are good with their finances will spend money on for their kids that aren’t entirely necessary?

Links & Resources Mentioned

What Are Your Family Money Values?

Grab our free Family Money Values Template and create a strong foundation for your family’s healthy money habits!

Have You Subscribed Yet, Mama?

Are you subscribed to the Smart Money Mamas podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to head over to Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen to your podcasts) and subscribe! I release episodes twice and week and as a subscriber, you’ll be notified right away so you can take checking the feed for new content off your mental to-do list. 

Click here to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify!

Ready to Learn More?

The post May Mailbag: Kids and Money, Aging Parents, & More appeared first on Smart Money Mamas.