Mr. Kirby from the Kirby on Finance blog gives a fresh insight to the value of being frugal. In his post, he articulates the fact that our time is just as valuable as saving a few extra bucks. The basic philosophy of too much of anything is a bad thing holds true in this case. A compulsive bargain hunter might spend too much time searching for savings that he or she may actually waste time. And as we all know, time is money in this fast-paced world. I encourage you to read his article and the rest of his blog!
Like many of us trying to make a little revenue back from the knowledge that we share on our personal financial blogs, I have a few advertising links on this page, but hopefully they are not annoying enough to deter the real meaning of this website, which is to help educate young people about personal finance.
I am fairly picky about what advertisements that I choose to share on this website. So, I thought that I would talk about each one, because I truly do think that they add value to this website.
I do not know where these young people are, but they need to be knocked over the head with a frying pan. Pension plans are a thing of the past with big corporations. I am sure there are still some companies that offer them, but they are far and few between and declining as we speak.
If you are between the ages of 18 to 34 and you are in the working world, you need to be contributing to a 401k or IRA plan. You must control your own destiny when it comes to your retirement. If you start early, you WILL retire a millionaire. 40 years of compound interest is amazing. If you only saved $300 a month for 40 years, you will have a nest egg of $1,897,224. And that is being extremely conservative with your monthly saving!
An article in USA Today reports that Americans that are behind on their mortgage payments is up 4.7%. Some of the blame is put on adjustable rate mortgages, Hurricane Katrina, and car and steel factories shutting down. The last two are unavoidable, but buying an ARM on your house is DEFINITELY avoidable.
By Erik Folgate
For college aged people and twentysomethings, eating out is the bane of our financial existence. I know for a fact that eating out is a weakness to my generation’s pockets. We love to go out and socialize. We’re also just too lazy to cook. My wife and I are very guilty of going out to grab something to eat even when we have plenty of food at home to cook. Eating out can be extremely expensive if you do all of the things that restaurants want you to do. However, I propose that eating out does not have to be as costly as it may seem. Here are five tips to help you save money while eating out:
By Erik Folgate
When it is all said and done, there are only two kinds of investments — long-term and short-term.
Long-term investments should be money that you are not going to touch for more than 5 years. This category involves retirement planning and overall wealth building. This money does not need to be as liquid as short-term investments, meaning you can put the money in real estate or a start-up business.
Short-term investments should be money that you need to be more accessible and readily available for you to use at short-term notice. Short-term investments should be savings for things that are less than 5 years down the road. This might include saving for a car, a down payment on a house, car/house maintenance, or other high dollar personal items.
Many of you are coming out of college and diving into “the real world”. I was anxious to see just how real this “real world” was when everyone older than me talked about it like some kind of far off never-never land. Anyway, it’s real and it’s rough. Getting your first real, well-paying job is a huge adjustment. I sat through 4 hours of a benefits meeting, and I was LOST. Once they start talking about 401k contributions, health/life insurance, and short-term disability, your head will be spinning.
USA Today reported that in the month of January the average household spent $575.00 OVER their budget. This means that they spent way more money than they had coming in. Not only is America increasingly spending more money, they are saving less. Spending is only healthy for an economy when they are saving money at the same time. The article revealed that many economists are not worried about the spending deficit. I think they are idiots. Just because they are economists does not mean that they don’t go out and buy a 50″ plasma television on the 29% Best Buy credit card. When the average household is spending hundreds of dollars over budget every month, that worries me.
- BusinessWeek says that total household debt in the US was more than 100% of our disposable annual income last year. Now that is scary.
- The total consumer debt is at 1.7 trillion dollars. (You can visualize a trillion dollars as a stack of $1000 bills placed one on top of the other, flat side on top of flat side, reaching 67 miles high.)
- The personal credit card debt carried by the average American is $8,562 and the total interest paid in 2001 was $50 billion…. an average of $1000 in interest per consumer. The average consumer caries 8 cards and 20% of cards are maxed out.
By Erik Folgate
Take a quick survey…
1. Do you know how much money is in your bank account right now?
2. Do you and your spouse share a checking account?
3. Do you consult your spouse before buying something for more than $50?
If you answered “No” to all of these questions, then you need marriage counseling. It is as simple as that. A marriage constitutes becoming one cohesive unit, and when two people do not share and consult with each other over the finances, things get ugly. The number one cause of divorce in North America is money problems. The problem is not having enough of it, it’s how to handle it.
This morning, Good Morning America ran an interesting segment about the ferociousness of the young Indian generations (35 and under) that are passionate towards education and entrepreneurship. It is now common for young Indians to be well versed in English, technology, and business practices. With these three skills combined, it poses a great threat to young Americans whom they will be competing with for jobs in the near future.
Kirby On Finance writes a great article about the advantages of low-cost mutual funds versus high-cost funds. It is always good to see the numbers sometimes. Plus, this just furthers my belief that mutual funds are the BEST investment tool for the average joe investor.
By Erik Folgate
After reading the USA Today article about Ben Casnocha, I was intrigued to read about a man whom started a software company at such a young age. I found myself reading his personal blog every day. If you read the posts that Ben writes, you will soon find out that he is wise beyond his years, and he has a passion for knowledge and understanding the complicated issues of our society. The most refreshing part about Ben is his humble attitude that oozes out of everything he writes. I introduced myself to Ben through e-mail about a month ago, and recently I asked him to answer some interview questions for this website. He was kind enough to do so. Here is the full interview.
With millions of Americans taking on debt that they cannot handle, numerous non-profit debt consolidation and credit counseling companies have popped up all across the country. Many people think that consolidating debt is a magical way to reduce payments and interest rates, but it comes with implications. You need to know the truth about debt consolidation before you make the decision to hand over your finances to a stranger
Relieving, not Curing
In my opinion, personal finance is 80% about the behavior and 20% about the numbers. However, this is one example of how looking at the numbers can cause a behavioral change. Everyone wants to increase their net worth, and many people try to come up with a 101 get rich quick schemes to boost their net worth. I am going to show you a 100% guaranteed method for increasing your net worth! There is NO start-up fee, and I do not run info-mercials at 4am on sunday morning.
Calculating Net Worth: Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth