For those of us with kids, we hope to pass down certain traits—good looks, agility, perfect vision, smarts, business savvy. But what of our money management skills? Financial finesse rarely makes it onto our list of personal strengths, yet it’s a crucial life skill everyone needs to acquire. A Charles Schwab 2010 Families and Money survey found that “not saving early enough for retirement (43%), not saving money for emergencies (42%) and carrying credit card debt from month to month (30%) [were] cited as the top three financial mistakes [parents] fear their kids will repeat.” Don’t let your kids make your same mistakes or fall into that ever-growing percentage of 18-24 year-olds who file for bankruptcy.
I had the pleasure of receiving a publisher’s copy if David Bach’s latest book Debt Free for Life – The Finish Rich Plan for Financial Freedom. Rather than give a general overview of the book, I’m going to talk about chapter 14 – How Bankruptcy Works, When to Use it, How Long it Will Take to you to Recover.
Bankruptcy is pretty much a last ditch effort to help save your financial situation (and perhaps your overall health and life). The hope is that no one will ever need to know about bankruptcy but the truth is over a million and a half people in 2010 will file for personal bankruptcy.
Are you trying to cut costs? Did you have a sudden drop in income? Are you a college student trying to avoid student loans?
One of the most common suggestions personal finance authors make is to move to a cheaper location to save costs, but does it really save that much? How long do you have to be in the new location to reap the rewards of moving?
My husband and I currently live in a spacious, 1,000 sq. foot, two bedroom apartment. We live in an urban area and find our $1,000 a month rent competitive with the area. We have not had a rent increase in two years, and most two bedroom apartments cost more than ours does. I will use our current situation as the example for the purpose of this exercise.
Marriage can be hard enough some days. Throw money into the mix, and things can get downright ugly. However, just as disagreements in other aspects of your married life don’t have to result in permanent rifts, disagreements over money don’t have to ruin your relationship. As with all things in marriage, money issues need to be worked through. Here are some ideas for overcoming disagreements about money in marriage:
One of the best things you can do is understand your relationship with money. In order to articulate your position on money to your partner, you need to be able understand. Think about why you spend (or save) money the way you do. You should also come to grips with why you don’t like the way your spouse handles money, and determine whether or not your own preferences and money prejudices are coloring the situations.
Do you have a solid plan that will make your financial goals a reality?
Craig has recently written some excellent articles on how to create SMART goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
However, setting financial goals is just the first step. Once you have your aspirations properly identified, you’ve got to follow a concrete, actionable plan to move from where you are to where you want to be.
You need a map and directions to reach your desired destination, one that lays out your path in a step-by-step manner.
Financial Goals without a Plan are Pointless
You can have your spreadsheets, online budgeting sites, statements, etc… Want to know what the single greatest positive impact on my finances has been? I’ll tell you – it’s my wife. Let me explain…
Back in the day I was in debt, had no savings, no investments, and my net worth was measured in “things” I owned (not like a house but more like guitars and music CD’s). I wasn’t the picture of good financial health.
But I slowly worked my way out of my financial funk. I educated myself. I paid off my credit cards. I contributed to my 401(k). I started saving.
I did these things on my own. Had I not met my wife I would have continued to improve my finances but not to the extent that they are at now. My wife turbo-charged my finances, well, OUR finances.
Here’s why my wife is the greatest impact on my finances and my best financial tool: Continue Reading
The end of the year – it’s a time to look back and remember all that’s happened. It’s also a time to reflect on the best of the best for the year. I thought it would be fun to put out a call to those in the personal finance community and ask for their best article of the year. These are articles that either the author thought was their best work or perhaps the readers responded strongly to. I think as you read through these you’ll find a lot of gems, great information, interesting stories, and even a little controversy. Enjoy!
The following are the best of personal finance articles in 2010: