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. . . .
Anyone who’s owned a home for more than a couple years will tell you that home maintenance is unpredictable. You may have some idea of when things will give out, but surprises still happen. You can go for long stints without having to replace anything, and then have to replace and fix several things in a short window of time. I’ve said over and over that you have to budget for home maintenance. . . .
Today I’ve got a guest post by Ricky. Ricky blogs about personal finance at MoneyHeroBlog.com. Millenials entering the workforce, and new to personal finance, are bound to make mistakes when it comes to money. I've been there myself, and as a teen and 20-something, I wasted a lot of money on things that I didn't need. As I got older and wiser, I started to learn the ins and outs of good . . .
In The One Page Financial Plan, Carl Richards approaches personal finance from the 'why', instead of the 'how'. Richards emphasizes over and over that financial planning is pointless if it doesn't accomplish your goals. He stresses the importance of figuring out why money is important to you, and what you want to accomplish. This lays out the foundation for setting goals that are appropriate for . . .
In one sense, cable or satellite TV is one of the easiest things to cut from your budget. No matter how hard you try, you won't be able to argue that live TV is a 'need' in any way. Yet, it provides hours of entertainment and distraction from real life as well as a 24/7 news cycle that has us hooked. For most of us, TV is such a big part of our lives that we can't imagine tearing it away. However, . . .
I'm a huge proponent of teaching kids to manage their money at a young age. Critical to doing this is actually putting real money into the child's control. We adults tend to be bad at grasping money in the abstract, so we can't reasonably expect kids to learn budgeting, saving and other money concepts without actually putting them into practice. Allowances Are Great, But... An allowance is a . . .
Groceries are typically one of the largest areas of people's budgets. And we need to eat, so unless you start growing all your food, you do need to spend money on groceries. But that doesn't mean that there aren't ways to keep your grocery bill down. We've already talked about how grocery lists and other shopping strategies can help manage your spending. These are how you buy. But a big part of . . .
Utilities may be the most boring line item on your budget. They don't buy you a fancy new car, a trip to Europe, or a date night. But skip paying your utility bill for a month or two, and things won't stay boring for long- and not in a good way. However, while you can't just dump your utility bills to free up your budget, there are several ways to trim your utility bills with relatively little . . .
Credit cards can be useful tools for protecting yourself from fraud, racking up rewards and establishing credit. However, they can also be dangerous if you don't use them responsibly, potentially starting a viscous debt spiral. Following is some advice from Betsy Megas on how to wisely use credit cards, originally published on Quora and is licensed under CC BY 4.0 1. Sign up for credit . . .
Annuities are an investment (and insurance product) very much unlike any other. They definitely offer some features that other investments do not, and can have a place in many people's financial plans (see 5 Reasons to Consider Annuities). However, they do have drawbacks. Because of their drawbacks, you may decide to pass on annuities, or at least keep them as a smaller portion of your financial . . .
When you have all your current expenses, needs and wants comfortably in your budget, you may be tempted to stop there. You may even have an emergency fund in place. And that's all great! But don't stop there. When you have your needs covered and your emergency funds (both your $1000 in cash and your 3-12 months income backup) in place, start focusing on saving. House Savings Buying a house is . . .