When Compound Interest Empties Your Wallet

Image from rawpixel.com

“Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.” – Albert Einstein Compound interest is a financial concept I really, really wish was emphasized more in the United States’ education system.  Of the many subjects taught in school, all of them with some value… Continue reading When Compound Interest Empties Your Wallet

Personal Finance Foundation – Part 1 – A Starting Place (Calculating Net Worth)

So you’re on the journey to get your financial house in order.  You first need to know where you’re starting.  You do this by measuring your net worth.  Net worth is calculated by adding up your assets and then subtracting your liabilities.  A very, very simple example: You have a savings account balance of $10,000… Continue reading Personal Finance Foundation – Part 1 – A Starting Place (Calculating Net Worth)

Lending Money – Advice from Scripture and the Catechism

At Mass on last Sunday, February 19th, the following passage from the Gospel of Matthew caught my ear: Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow. This passage stood out to me because at first glance it stands in contradiction to another passage, Proverbs… Continue reading Lending Money – Advice from Scripture and the Catechism

Is College Worth It?

The cost of a college education and the associated debt that often accompany a college degree were both hot topics during the recent presidential election cycle.  The price of college tuition has soared and greatly outpaced both incomes and inflation.  One fringe presidential candidate even campaigned on promises of “free” college education for all (rant:  We’ll… Continue reading Is College Worth It?

Three Lessons from The Millionaire Next Door

The Millionaire Next Door is my favorite personal finance book because of three life-changing lessons it imparts, all supported by mountains of research data gathered and analyzed by two professors, Thomas Stanley and William Danko.  These lessons provided me with a financial enlightenment when I was first learning the basics of personal finance, and I suspect… Continue reading Three Lessons from The Millionaire Next Door

Psychology and Fear in Personal Finance

Be fearful when others are greedy.  Be greedy when others are fearful. -Warren Buffet Warren Buffet is one of the most successful investors of recent times and provided this great quote in 2008 during the height of the subprime mortgage crisis.  During the 2007-2009 bear market, the S&P 500 lost over 50% of its value… Continue reading Psychology and Fear in Personal Finance

Great Personal Finance Podcasts

One of my favorite things to do on long drives is listen to personal finance podcasts.  There are a handful that I have found (so far) to be better than the rest: My favorite podcast is Afford Anything with host Paula Pant, as she combines an entertaining delivery with great guest speakers.  Paula encourages listeners… Continue reading Great Personal Finance Podcasts

Measuring Progress – Tracking Net Worth

As we budget, save, grow our income, and practice self-control in spending, it’s important to have a method for tracking progress.  After all, if we are indeed working to improve our financial lives, shouldn’t we have a way to measure our improvement (or regression)? I have a coworker who has turned into a terrific friend and… Continue reading Measuring Progress – Tracking Net Worth

The Debt Snowball

One of my favorite concepts from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) is the debt snowball.  The debt snowball is the second of Dave’s baby steps to financial peace and is a technique for paying off debt that pays off the smallest debt first, the next smallest debt next, and so forth. The debt snowball… Continue reading The Debt Snowball

Student Loan Debt Affecting Parents and Grandparents

A recent Wall Street Journal article indicates that an increasing number of parents and grandparents are being affected by student loan debt:  http://blogs.wsj.com/bankruptcy/2012/10/29/soured-student-loans-bankrupt-parents-grandparents.  From the article: As young graduates and former students struggle to find work, their student-loan obligations are increasingly falling to the family members who agreed to back the debt in the event… Continue reading Student Loan Debt Affecting Parents and Grandparents