Category Archives: Money/Investing

Everything you need to know about money

carl-richards

Money makes the world go ’round…or so they say. Manage it well and life is good; manage it poorly and life can be hell. Isn’t it interesting, then, how little they teach us in grade school, high school and college about finances, budgeting, and managing our money. So, most of us end up being self taught in this key area of our lives, for better or for worse.

I’ve read many books and articles about investing and managing your money over the years. Most are variations on a theme. There are a handful of basic principles that are key to our financial success. In addition to the mechanics of budgeting and investing, there are psychological and emotional aspects to consider.

I realized that many, if not most, people don’t like to read as much as I do, especially about something as seemingly mundane as managing our finances. We all like pictures, so let’s take a look at managing our money in a series of simple drawings like the one above.

Carl Richards is a weekly contributor to The New York Times and is a columnist for Morningstar Advisor. Through his simple sketches, he makes financial concepts easy to understand. Carl’s drawings serve as the basis for his book The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money. I think Richards does a great job of teaching us about the psychological and emotional aspects of financial management…the socialized wisdom and the “gotchas” to watch out for.

Interested? Good! Take a look at Mandi Woodruff‘s article about Mr. Richards and These 27 Napkin Sketches Will Teach You Everything You Need to Know About Money. It’s fun…it’s educational…and it has the potential to impact your finances and your life for the better.

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance…and financial well-being.

‘Tis the season to buy, buy, buy! But why?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. December 1st is rushing toward us at full speed which means Christmas is just around the corner. For some, anxiety…and maybe even dread…is already rising because of tasks and preparations yet undone. Still, retailers beckon us with glorious ads filled with all the must-haves at bargain prices. And, the internet mall (my personal favorite…it’s impulse purchase heaven!) is calling out to us “Come spend with me. I have everything you need for those on your gift list…and unbelievable deals on the things you’ve been wanting too! Just a few clicks. It’s so easy! Don’t wait! You’ll be too late!”

What should we do? Why shouldn’t we take advantage of these excellent purchasing opportunities? Most assuredly, buying at these bargain prices will bring joy and peace and happiness to us and our loved ones. But will it really? Or are we just getting sucked in by those who want to get their hands in our pockets…like carnival hucksters.

Fortunately, a fellow blogger has already proposed a solution in her post How to Silence the Desire to Acquire. Rather than reinvent the wheel by trying to rewrite what she’s already written, I’ll make it easier for all of us. Simply click here to read Courtney Carver’s helpful post.

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance this holiday season.

Someday I’ll…

Interesting how I always think I’ll have more time “someday.” The list of things I’m going to do “someday” has become very, very long! Procrastination reigns supreme!

When I was younger, my most common “Someday, I’ll…” conversation with myself was about money…saving money to be precise. I easily convinced myself that I’d have plenty of time to save money…later. After all, I was young and had a lengthy future to look forward to. Therefore, I could spend more money in the present…and save money later.

The weird thing about this repetitious discussion with myself was that I knew better. After all, I was a math major in college! I knew all about the magic of compound interest…and how to calculate it. And how to calculate how much money I would need to retire comfortably at a specified age. I could do the math but I couldn’t bring myself to save and invest.

Before I give you an very informative link that will show you the magic of saving and of compound interest…and the reason to get it working for you now, not someday…there is an even more basic “money rule” you and I need to to take to heart. Here it is…

SPEND LESS THAN YOU MAKE!

Pay yourself 10% of every paycheck if at all possible. If there is absolutely no way you can save 10%, save the most you possibly can every paycheck…without fail. Your financial future will thank you because it will be much more pleasant.

Now, here’s the link: Invest like Einstein. This article will show you why there’s no time like the present to start saving and investing for your future. I wish someone would have hit me over the head with these two simple “financial planning” ideas when I was 25…or even 35!

Now you know…you have no excuse for falling into the “Someday I’ll…” trap. Make your money work for you. You will never regret it.

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance…and a comfortable financial future.