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 […]

Protecting Our Long-term Savings

Our saving plan should cover three essential areas: cash on hand for unexpected bills, money put aside to cover expenses in case our income is interrupted, and an account for later in life when we stop working or work in a reduced capacity. This approach protects our longer term savings from an unexpected withdrawal by providing for short-term […]

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 […]