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A Noonan Moose

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Frugal Fringe
Early Retirement/FIRE, Tax Planning
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Colorado, United States
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Latest Blog Posts

For decades, I wanted a kick-ass stereo system. I’d visit emporiums to hear glorious setups that were priced like down payments on McMansions. I’d attend audiophile expos to gawk at glistening speakers that cost more than luxury sedans. I really, really wanted to buy into this world of great sound. But somehow the cheap part of me always prevailed—while I loved hearing such wonderfully rendered music, I also detested the heavy ...
Posted: Jun 19 2017 @ 5:30 AM
Curious about how your annual retirement deposits compare to other US taxpayers? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Through the magic of governmental data you can see where you rank without making impolite inquiries to friends and coworkers. This post covers employer-sponsored retirement accounts such as 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), 408(p) and Roth 401(k) plans. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) involve different data sources and therefore will be covered in a separate ...
Posted: Jun 12 2017 @ 5:30 AM
Everyone likes to compare themselves to others—it’s basic human nature. But sizing up wages doesn’t make for polite conversation. In fact, it’s taboo. Faced with this, some people try to rank themselves indirectly, such as by trying to outspend their neighbors. This can produce great unhappiness (but at least it produces happy retailers). If you could compare your wages to others without making impolite conversation or spending any money, would you do ...
Posted: Jun 05 2017 @ 5:30 AM
When it comes to making gifts, US households are generous. The Giving USA Foundation estimates that in 2014 donations by individuals totaled $258.51 billion, which reflects a 7.1 percent jump from the amounts reported in 2013. If you’re one of the kind souls who donate to charity, you might want to see how your household stacks up against others in the giving department. Such a comparison can help you become a better philanthropist (to ...
Posted: May 29 2017 @ 7:30 AM
This website promotes a basic truth: if you save now, you’ll prosper in the future. But for this truth to change your life, it’s not enough just to read about it. For frugality to change your life, you need to convince yourself of its powerful reality—and getting yourself convinced requires active investigation. In order to convince you how much frugality can change your life I’ve prepared a new kind of interactive calculator:  FVAnnualSavingsCalc. FVAnnualSavingsCalc lets ...
Posted: Apr 24 2017 @ 5:30 AM
On July 27, 2009, we bought a 2010 Toyota Prius III. The $28,670 gross price (with sales tax) was offset by: (1) a $4,500 payment from the federal “Cash for Clunkers” program; (2) a $2,880 Colorado tax credit for buying a hybrid vehicle; and (3) a $161.60 sales tax deduction on our Form 1040 Schedule A. With these offsets, our final net purchase price was a reasonable $21,128.40. Amount saved: ...
Posted: Apr 17 2017 @ 5:30 AM
Last week I reworked several posts that let you compare your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) to IRS data. Although these posts have garnered more than 13,000 reader views, they’re a tad clunky because they present AGI percentiles in five lengthy charts. Using Javascript, I’ve modernized the presentation by adding interactive calculators (but the charts are still there if you prefer to use them). Here’s a screenshot of an AGI calculator in action:     To use these new ...
Posted: Apr 10 2017 @ 5:30 AM
I spent most of this past week in the land of Javascript. After much fiddling with code, I’ve rolled out major additions to two popular Frugal Fringe calculators. New Printable Table for Labor Cost Calculator (LCC) At this writing, the LCC is closing in on 20,000 reader views. It’s been featured on Lifehacker, Travel+Leisure, Mental Floss, Rockstar Finance, Business Insider, and many other websites. The LCC takes any upcoming purchase you might have ...
Posted: Apr 03 2017 @ 5:30 AM
As part of this website’s ongoing remodel, I’ve updated the popular Worthometer, which at this writing has garnered more than 35,000 views. Users will now have the option to look up their household net worth ranking on either: (1) a two-column table; or (2) a brand new interactive calculator. Here’s a screenshot: To try this new feature yourself, click here. *      *      * This latest revision reflects my continuing forays into the ...
Posted: Mar 27 2017 @ 5:30 AM
This year the federal government once again offers a Premium Tax Credit (PTC) to qualifying taxpayers who buy health coverage from an approved health insurance exchange. To receive a PTC you must split the uprights between making too little and too much income. If you make too little, you drop out of Obamacare and into Medicaid. This precludes any PTC and subjects you to coverage that many believe is inferior to private health ...
Posted: Mar 20 2017 @ 5:30 AM


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