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 the lifestyle decisions that […]

Compound Interest Simply Understood

Most bank savings and money market accounts provide periodic compounding of interest, which is the interest being applied to the balance for a given period (usually monthly). What makes this such a great benefit, is that the interest applied in the current month, is applied to the balance that includes the interest from last month […]

The Total Cost of a Mortgage

Buying a home is a major event in our lives, and the excitement can easily overshadow the long-term financial commitment we’re about to make. This is especially true when we’ve found a home that we love. The property taxes, maintenance, and mortgage obligation that we’re committing to, often take a backseat to the excitement of […]

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 […]

An Often Overlooked Company Benefit

If you’re employer has a 401(k) plan and you’re not contributing, it’s time to take a serious look at the financial benefits these plans offer. Company sponsored 401(k) plans allow us to deposit a limited amount of pretax income (taken from our gross pay before taxes are withheld) to an account that grows tax-deferred. This […]

It’s only a Dollar…right?

With interest rates staying at all time lows, we may be tempted to look at saving as a no-win situation. Monies deposited just aren’t accumulating any interest and with an annual inflation rate around 2%, aren’t we actually losing money on our savings? The short answer is yes, but a more prudent answer lies with the […]