It may seem like there is a lot to personal finance. And in one sense there is. There are thousands of different approaches to personal finance. And this can get overwhelming. It may seem so overwhelming that you feel paralyzed at square one. But it doesn't have to be. There are a handful of things that are critical in personal finance. All the rest is splitting hairs. So go through each of these items one at a time and make an improvement in each area. . . .
Much of the United States depends on car loans to finance their vehicle purchases. According to credit rating agency Experian, over 80% of new cars and roughly 55% of used car purchases are financed. So if everybody's doing it, it must be smart, right? Taking out a Loan The obvious advantage of financing a car purchase is being able to get a nicer, newer car than you would have been able to . . .
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are relatively new to the health insurance field. An HSA is a tax friendly savings account that is available to anyone who signs up for a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), which must meet certain IRS requirements. Income Tax Benefits Unlike most retirement accounts, HSAs are double tax advantaged. Both your contributions and withdrawals to the HSA are tax exempt, . . .
Choosing to live debt free can be one of the most liberating choices you'll make, impacting far beyond your finances. A debt free life makes you flexible and resilient and frees you from lots of worry. Perhaps you've never been in debt before, or perhaps you've paid off all your debt. Or you might be currently paying off your debt, with the debt free life as your goal. Either way, having . . .
The deeper you go into the financial world, the more you hear about the credit score. Everybody wants you to want to know what your number is. The way people talk about it, your entire financial future is dependent on your score. Even John Oliver did a (surprisingly informative) episode on it. Maybe they've gotten to you and you now obsess about those three numbers, or maybe you just don't care. . . .
Warren Buffet once said that investing is simple, but not easy. He could have said the same about most of personal finance. Knowing what we should do with your money is often much easier than actually doing it. We know we should budget, but conveniently forget to make time to review our budget. We know we should save for retirement, but never get around to making our monthly investment. And that . . .
Dave Ramsey likes to recommend buying a house with no mortgage. As in, 100% cash. When I first read this in Ramsey's book, 'Total Money Makover,' I thought this was the dumbest suggestion I'd ever read. Because everybody knows that renting is just throwing money away. So, after a year of renting, my wife and I bought a house... with a mortgage. That was 5 years ago, so now I have 20/20 hindsight . . .
Suze Orman has been around for a while, as has her "Ask Suze" series. But, old doesn't mean irrelevant. These quick little books, styled in an FAQ format, are still packed with lots of relevant information. Suze Orman unpacks the details of how everything from annuities to Social Security work. With the FAQ style, you can decide to read the book cover to cover, or just scan through for questions . . .
'The 4 Hour Workweek' by Timothy Ferris is the 'click bait' of publishing. Its got a catchy title that really makes you want to find out how exactly to 'escape the 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich'. Once you get into the book, you find out it's not as easy as you were hoping. Which you really knew all along, but were hoping you'd be wrong. Essentially, the book boils down to coaching . . .
Buying a new car is usually not the cheapest option when you're replacing your vehicle. In fact, you usually won't save any money by replacing the vehicle in the first place. But, since the point of life isn't to pinch every penny, you'll likely decide at some point to replace your vehicle, possibly even with a new vehicle. Some people love the car shopping process. They like test driving . . .
Personal finance experts and bloggers love talking about net worth. Many people re-calculate their net worth on a monthly basis. It's a fun statistic in your personal finances that can give you a broad idea of what direction your finances are going. But too often it is misused, over-tracked, and over-valued. Net Worth Misused Using your net worth to examine your own finances is one thing. . . .