Personal Finance is a catch-all for anything that falls under the umbrella of taking care of your money. A lot of people think of their personal finances as some "other" thing they don't always have to pay attention to. I think it's integral to your life and health.

Take a look at the articles below and get your personal finances in shape.

Being Thankful Works Wonders for You, Including Your Money

Practicing gratitude improves your relationship with money.

It’s easy to lose focus when it comes to your money.

When you’re struggling to get your bills paid, stressing over retirement, worried about the kids paying for college — it’s a lot weighing on you and it can bring you down.

Even if you’re doing well you can lose focus.

With more money comes more desire for more stuff — bigger house, nicer car, wider TV…you know the drill.

That’s why gratitude is so important.

You need to appreciate what you have even if it doesn’t seem like a lot.

How Practicing Gratitude Will Improve Your Relationship With Money (and Other Aspects of Your Life Too!)

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I’m Sick Of Hearing It’s For The Kids – Stop Spoiling Them

Stop spoiling the kids.

Ever run across someone that gives their children everything?

All the latest clothes, electronic gadgets, extracurricular activities, lavish weddings, education, you name it they have it.

And then you find out the parents are struggling to keep their heads above water financially.  (Note: the parents aren’t always in financial jeopardy but I find it’s a common theme.)

Not “we’re just getting by.”  No.

I mean one month they don’t pay cable, another month they miss the electric bill; the rent gets paid late; always something and always “it’s for the kids!”

When you talk to these people they take great pride that they provide for their kids.  They insist that their kids have the best even when it’s out of the parent’s means.

The problem though, comes when the kids start to expect a certain lifestyle with nothing in return (read: they’re spoiled).  When you get stuff just for asking without having to work for it then the stuff you get starts to lose value.  That may sound like it doesn’t make sense but it does.  When you keep getting things you don’t worry about what happens to it.  Why should you?  If you break that new toy or lose it you’ll just ask for another one or for whatever else is new out there.  It’s a cycle that builds a certain negative character in a child that they take to their adult life.

Of course the other problem is the parents that can’t afford the lifestyle they are creating for their kids.  It creates debt which creates stress.  And somewhere down the line it has to stop and the child is left wondering what they did wrong that they can’t have their cushy lifestyle anymore.

Here are 6 Excuses/Reasons I’ve Heard Regarding “It’s for the Kids”:

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7 Ways Your Finances are Scarier Than Zombies

7 ways your finances are scarier than zombies.

Thanks to the Walking Dead zombies are more popular than ever this Halloween.

You might even say they’re cool.

But do you know what’s scarier than zombies?  Facing yet another Halloween with your financial demons!

Here are 7 Ways Your Finances are Scarier Than Zombies…Read on…IF YOU DARE!!!

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Should You Buy a Bigger House? Take These Into Consideration First!

Should you buy a bigger house?

Many people look to the time when they can get a bigger home. 

Sometimes you just need more space.  Some just want the bigger place.  I see homes being torn down and re-built into much larger houses.

Thing is, when you buy a bigger house you aren’t just paying a bigger mortgage.  With a bigger house comes some other expenses and costs that increase.

The question is, should you buy a bigger house?

If you have weathered the current recession and have the funds, those beautiful, large houses that were built just fifteen to twenty years ago may be tempting.  Even if the price on a larger house is one you can afford, think carefully before upsizing.

With an upsize comes many other upsized costs.  Keep reading and see why buying a bigger house may be more than you expected.

Here’s What You Can Expect to Go Up If You Buy a Bigger House:

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How to Start an Emergency Fund – It’s Not That Hard!

How to Start an Emergency Fund

One of the best things you can do for your personal economy is to start an emergency fund.

Your emergency fund can help protect you against financial setbacks, since it provides you with a little extra cushion to draw on.  Rather than turning to debt, you can use money in your emergency fund to cover unexpected costs.

Experts recommend that you save at least six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund.  So, if you spend $3,000 a month, you need to have $18,000 in an emergency fund.

Notice here that I’m talking about expenses and not income here.  What you need to save in an emergency fund is money to cover what you normally spend in expenses each month, not how much you make.

Anyway, that’s a daunting task.

How can you get started when you have that huge amount of money hanging over your head?

Here’s How to Start an Emergency Fund

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Is Your Money Mindset Killing Your Finances?

Is your money mindset killing your finances?

Millions of Americans are struggling to pay their bills and meet their financial obligations. 

The last eight years have taken a toll on Americans economically, and many are still feeling the financial repercussions.  According to one study, indebted Americans owe $14,517 on credit cards on average (Forbes).

But how much they owe isn’t the only problem.

The other half of that equation is how much they’re saving. . .or not.

According to TIME, only 1/3 of Americans have at least $1,000 saved in an emergency fund.  Of course, logically, if they’re not saving for the short term, they’re also not saving for the long term.   As CNN Money reports, “About 49% of Americans say they aren’t contributing to any retirement plan, according to a new survey conducted by LIMRA, a trade association for the financial services industry.”

Americans are in bad shape financially.

But what if the secret is not learning how to live more frugally?  What if the secret is instead to look at your money mindset?

If you’re stuck in a financial rut, could one of these reasons be the cause?

4 Crucial Places Your Money Mindset is Killing Your Finances

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What Should You Do With a Cash Windfall?

What should you do with a cash windfall?

Quick—if you got a serious cash windfall what would you do with it?

What’s a serious cash windfall?  That number is different for everyone but I think any amount that would make a significant dent in your life (or more).  I’m thinking an amount starting at $1,000 and going up from there.

It’s fun to think about this question, not the least of which since windfalls do happen, at least from time to time.  And when they do come, it never hurts to have some ideas or a plan for what you’d do with it.  This way when the money comes you can act rationally.  A cash windfall is a great opportunity that you don’t want wasted.

The way I see it, there are three basic choices—spend it, save or invest it, or use it to pay down (or pay off) debt.

Which you choose depends on your circumstances.

Let’s take a look at three options for a cash windfall:

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