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. . . .
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 . . .
Buying a home is an exciting step in life. But it's also a big step. Your purchase will affect your finances and your lifestyle for years and years to come. Although you undoubtedly will 'fall in love' with some of the homes you check out, it's important to be sure that the house makes sense financially as well. Fit Your Home in Your Budget Before You Buy Before you buy your first home, . . .
For many, financial independence is the holy grail of personal finance. Although financial independence is a little different for everyone, basically you can consider yourself financially independent when you’re not dependent on any employment income to meet your needs. Some go a little further and define it as meeting all your needs strictly with passive income- or income that you don’t have to . . .
When most people classify their assets and liabilities, they include all their possessions in their asset category and any debts in their liabilities. This might technically be correct from an accounting standpoint. However, unless you are planning on selling everything you have tomorrow, I don't think this is helpful from a personal finance perspective. Many of your possessions are a weight on . . .
Today I've got a guest post by Drew Cloud from The Student Loan Report. Drew Cloud is a journalist who typically writes about student loans, personal finance, and education. If only applying to colleges was where the time and effort of getting to your dream school ended. In truth, once you’ve passed the first hurdle—college acceptance—most students have a second one waiting just after it. . . .
Benjamin Franklin allegedly said that a penny saved is a penny earned. In other words, saving money on an expense frees up just as much purchasing power as earning the same amount of money. Makes sense, right? However, Benjamin Franklin also allegedly said that nothing is certain but death and taxes. Which seems to be true. But this is where he contradicts himself. Because of taxes, a penny . . .