Like most things worthy of our time, getting our finances in shape doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by making deliberate, good choices every day. Each choice might not seem like much but, on a cumulative basis, will have a lasting impact over the course of our lifetimes.… Read the rest
Tender Hearted Daisy (what a great name) wrote a nice, little post about some things she’s learning about budgeting.
What I love about this post is that 1) it’s personalized, 2) she shares from her heart, and 3) she definitely doesn’t come off like a holy rolling guru.
To summarize, Liane admits that her and her husband were “lousy at money management” over the years. As a result of being out of the work force and not having medical insurance for several decades, Liane made a commitment to get on the right financial path.
With that, she shares some tips on what helped her and her family get back to financial health.… Read the rest
Success Depends on Debt
Or, rather, success depends on how we handle our debt, especially in our prime earning years. Paul Petillo at Target2025 has a few, simple guidelines on how to best service your debt.
… Read the rest
Paying your mortgage should come as no real surprise as the single most important obligation to pay. The easiest way to think about this comes from the relatively inexpensive service cost (interest rate) you pay on that mortgage.
You may be paying as much 15% less for this debt and if inflation is factored into the equation, the length of the loan actually works in your favor. (If inflation goes up and your dollar is worth less, your payment doesn’t change, giving you the illusion that over time, the mortgage will actually be less costly.)
It’s Going to get Worse. Much Worse.
I’ve discussed the issue of equity investment returns (i.e. stocks, bonds, mutual funds) in the long term and whether lower returns are the new normal.
I don’t consider myself a doomsday kind of guy. But I do like to keep my expectations in check. And questioning the “rule” of 10-12% market returns is how I like to do just that. Paul Farrell at MarkWatch.com seems to agree when he states:
Warning: More bad news ahead. Welcome to a bleak second half 2010, worse for 2011.
And, yes, I understand pundits like to tout historical stock market returns of 10-12%. So, if you wait long enough, the bad times iron themselves out.… Read the rest
Bad Habits that Doom Savers
I envied my older brother growing up. He could walk in a toy store, perfectly content looking (and not touching) the cornucopia of flashing lights and awesomeness, with me, on the other hand, slobbering on every toy as fast as I could.
So, naturally, he’s always been a better saver. Me? Not so much. Whether you consider yourself a good saver or you’re more like me and you have grand savings “intentions”, everyone has to overcome a spending vice at some point in their life. According to a recent GoBankingRates.com article,
… Read the rest
Almost everyone has some sort of vice that plagues them at some point, whether they can’t seem to walk away from the blackjack table or love to take in every stray animal they find on the street.