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. . . .
Sticking to a budget can be hard. It is tempting when you're out and about to just swipe your card to make a purchase you want, perhaps using money that is actually budgeted for bills, or worse money that you don't even have. What makes it even harder is not being able to 'visualize' your budget in real life. This is where the envelope budget excels. Actual Envelopes, Actual Cash The . . .
This time of year, people often find themselves with a small windfall from tax returns. Often they want to know whether it's better to pay off debt or invest extra cash. It depends. It depends on a variety of factors, your personal situation, and your personality. But I'll outline 5 considerations that hopefully will help you make a wise decision. 1. Interest Rate of the Debt vs. Return on . . .
Debt can be destructive. The interest you pay on your debt can consume your net worth and income, and the monthly payments on your debt can make it hard to make it from one paycheck to the next. Dave Ramsey and other finance experts are quick to condemn debt. Yet, we often hear about 'good debt.' Does such a thing exist? Or is all debt bad? Debt on a Spectrum Of course, not all debt is . . .
Your home is likely the single largest expense in your budget. If you don't already own a home, you've likely thought about the possibility. You've probably heard a lot about how buying a home is the best decision you'll ever make. You might already be saving up for a down-payment, which is great! However, before you take the plunge into home ownership, consider both the pros and cons. The . . .
Everybody (and everybody's mom) wants to trim their grocery bill. Eating is expensive! And your grocery bill is probably higher than it could be. There are several ways to trim how much you are spending on groceries. You can watch the ads, stock up on good deals, shop at cheaper stores, etc. But there's one tool that will make or break your grocery budget- the list. Do I Really Need A . . .
If you're like most people, you've probably thought a little bit about what your retirement will look like. It's probably fair to say that you have dreams for retirement. Perhaps you want to trot the globe. Maybe you want to settle in a cozy cabin in the woods. It could be the Florida beaches. Or it might be something completely different. It might even be as simple as living where you're living, . . .
A while ago, my 3-year-old was at his grandparents' house. At one point, he went through the house turning lights off and scolded his grandmother saying, "Grandma, you're wasting money!" I wonder who he got that from. But on a serious note, how do you raise kids that are good with money? Before we go any further, watch this TED talk: Making Money Real Of course, every generation . . .
If you're not old enough to notice the gradual rise in prices over time, you've probably heard other people talk about it. People complain that their groceries cost more than ever before. Or maybe you've been told a dozen times what a penny could have bought you back in the day. This is inflation. But where does it come from? And how can you beat inflation? The Gold Standard Every once in a . . .
I don't do my own oil changes. I don't know how, and I have no interest in learning. You probably want to scream at me about how much money I could be saving. I'm a personal finance junkie after all. Don't worry, enough people have already told me about all the savings I'm missing out on. But if you want to tell me again, feel free to leave it in the comments. Changing Your Own Oil . . .
You probably know full well that retailers have an arsenal of marketing techniques to get you to pull out your wallet and spend. Unless you have superhuman self control, you've probably fallen prey to these techniques more than once or twice. However, there is one marketing strategy that is particularly dangerous to your budget. When marketers target your habits, they are not just attempting to . . .