The Federal “Jobs Report” Simply Understood

On the first Friday of every month, the U.S. Labor Department reports key employment data for the previous monthly period. The report includes information about all aspects of the job market: the unemployment rate, the number of jobs added or lost, total hours worked, average hourly wages, and the jobs picture for various sectors of […]

Spending and Lifstyle Decisions

Spending and Lifestyle Decisions The most important factor in managing our personal finances is our control over where our money is going. Before we can establish financial goals or move forward with a financial plan, we need to be honest with ourselves about our spending habits. And our spending habits are most often driven by […]

Eliminating Debt !

The most popular approaches to debt elimination are: paying off the largest debt first, paying off the smallest debt first, paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first, and loan consolidation. In my book “Personal Finance Simply Understood” I walk through a detailed analysis of these approaches using various loan and debt amounts, and […]

Personal Economic Value

What is personal economic value and why is it important? Our personal economic value is our earnings potential or what can we expect to earn between now and when we plan to stop working. As an example, if I currently earn $44,000 each year, I’m 32 years old, and I plan to retire at age […]

Establishing Financial Goals

For some people, their financial goals are to someday be out of debt or have a better handle on their financial situation. But these types of goals don’t lend themselves to an achievable plan, and progress can’t be measured. When we establish financial goals, we assess the things that we need and want in life […]

Student Loan Debt – Too Much?

I was considering a blog on the topic of student loan debt, and came across a great article by the folks at Vanguard. The article “Student debt: How much is too much?” covers the topic, but adds valuable statistics and information including college graduate earnings, understanding what we’re getting into when we take advantage of student […]

Encouragement

Let’s face it, prudent personal finance is like swimming against the current. We spend wisely and save according to a plan that meets short-term and long-term needs; we’re paying down debt, and more than the minimum on credit cards, and we’re making some sacrifices along the way. There are trade-offs in every financial decision we’re […]