If you’ve ever had the privilege of picking fruit fresh from the tree, you know that the biggest and tastiest morsels are often located in the very upper-most, hardest-to-reach branches.
While frustrating, this should come as no great surprise given the abundance of fresh air and sunlight available at the top of each tree. Reaching this fruit requires both determination and, in most cases, a ladder. But the juicy reward makes the effort expended well worth it.
Just like grade-A fruit, financial freedom doesn’t always come easy. Obtaining it requires both intentionality and the right tools. With this in mind, today we’re reviewing how to build a savings goal ladder rung-by-rung that will enable you to obtain financial freedom and reach the finer things in life. Continue Reading
The Debt-Free Derby: Debt Snowball vs. Debt Avalanche
By the end of that article, you should have been able to identify the size of your personal debt mother lode as well as the potential income and wealth concealed within each of the individual loans on your debt claim.
But in order to calculate how much of these riches you can actually recover, you need to decide which debt reduction method you’ll put your money on and ride to the debt-free finish line.
Today we’re taking a definitive look at the top two thoroughbreds in the debt-free derby to determine which is the better mount for your financial racetrack – Debt Snowball or Debt Avalanche. Continue Reading
Strike It Rich By Mining Your Debt: There’s Gold In Them Thar Loans!
The topic of debt usually gets pretty rough treatment in the personal finance blogging community. And for good reason – if not handled with care, it can be as dangerous as a short-fused stick o’ dynamite.
But if you’re already in debt and your money situation feels as cramped as a claustrophobic miner trapped deep underground, you’re already acutely aware of how dangerous debt can be. So let’s pivot and instead explore a far more encouraging aspect of debt – it’s hidden wealth potential.
Yep, you read that right. If you’re in debt you are sitting on a potential mother lode of riches. So without further ado, let’s stake out your debt claim and discover how you can strike it rich by mining your debt. Continue Reading
A Financial Freedom Shopping List: Your Savings Goal Price Tags
The almighty price tag is everywhere – fast food drive-throughs, restaurant fold-out menus, catalogs, grocery aisles, clothes racks, and online product listings.
Price tags come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and influence our shopping behavior in many ways. Similarly, the price tag of your financial freedom should influence the saving and spending decisions in your monthly budget.
With this in mind, today we’re exploring how to check the price tags of the individual items on your financial freedom shopping list.
Murphy’s Law – Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. We all know this old adage. And I’d wager that most of us have lived it and can lustily vouch for its accuracy.
The insurance industry is predicated almost entirely on this concept. There are at least 95 policy types that exist – life, health, home, auto, motorcycle, boat, accidental death and dismemberment(!?!), travel, liability, flood, kidnapping, alien abduction… the list goes on.
And while hopefully your chances of being dismembered or abducted by aliens are excruciatingly low, just remember that Murphy is still out there.
So the question becomes, how do you Murphy-proof your finances? I submit that you can do so by copying a design element dating back to the early days of “the motorcar”. Continue Reading
Gimme Hands: The Power Of Being Selfish… With Yourself
Selfishness is typically not a trait to be pursued, developed, or cultivated. But when it comes to your financial freedom, all of that conventional moral wisdom goes right out the window.
Now don’t throw the baby out with the bath water – I’m not talking about being selfish when it comes to the way you treat OTHERS. I’m referring only to the importance of cultivating selfishness in your futureselfwhen it comes to its dealings with your currentself.
If you are still aghast that I would suggest such a thing, it may help for you to think of this concept in the much more palatable light of delayed gratification. Continue Reading
Become Your Own CFO: Calculating Your Monthly Net Profit
Have you ever daydreamed of what it would be like to run a large business? Of being an executive high roller in a high-rise? If so, you’re in luck, because your household has an immediate opening for a Chief Financial Officer. And you just happen to be the most qualified candidate to fill it.
The job requirements of a CFO are varied. They can include ultimate responsibility for everything from crafting budgets to managing cash flow and optimizing tax liability.
These facets all have an impact on the bottom line of every business. But there’s one metric that trumps all others when it comes to determining business success or failure – net profit. Continue Reading
Beat The Blitz: Avoid The Unexpected Bill Scramble Drill
You open up your mailbox and there it is – that forgotten annual bill for your auto insurance, home insurance, or property taxes. You open it with trepidation and baited breath, wondering the extent of the damage. Your heart sinks as you realize the amount due will throw your entire finances off-balance for several months.
Sure, those Christmas gift-giving and annual vacation memories were great. But now that the credit card bill funding those memories has arrived, it’s time to pony up and pay the piper.
Do your irregular bills have you on the run? If so, it’s time to dive deep into the budgeting playbook and shore up your protection so you can avoid the unexpected bill scramble drill for good. Continue Reading
Cover Your Budgeting Bases: Position Yourself To Win With Money
Budget, budgets, and budgeting. If you read those words and picture something akin to handcuffs, a ball and chain, or an experience about as enjoyable as plucking a nasal hair, you’re not alone. These words possess a negative connotation in the minds of many.
Based on your own past experience or perhaps someone else’s horror story, you might even believe that budgeting and the concept of financial freedom are diametrically opposed to one another.
But the relationship of budgeting to financial freedom isn’t that of a necessary evil, or even a means to an end. Done right, budgeting actually serves as the key to removing those handcuffs you’re envisioning, along with that ball and chain. Continue Reading
Laying Your Financial Foundation: A Guide To Mint Transactions
Understand where your money is going. Align your spending with your values. Make your financial goals a reality. Obtain the freedom to live the life you’ve always wanted.
A highly-optimized and easy-to-implement financial plan can deliver on all of the above. And if you’ve been following the Master Your Money series from the beginning, you’re on track to create just that.
In this article we’ll walk through how to use Mint transactions to lay the foundation upon which you will build the money management system that can power you to financial freedom. So grab your trowel, and let’s get started!
Bills – one of the most critical aspects of any money management plan. No, I’m not referring to the type that have Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson, or George Washington on their face.
I’m talking about the type that list your name, account number, balance, and due date. The kind that tie your stomach up in knots, increase your blood pressure, and result in late fees if you don’t pay them on time.
It’s time to put those possibilities in the rear-view mirror and eliminate your bill-related stress for good. Today I’m going to show you how Mint is standing by to come to your rescue with a bill pay safety net which will help prevent you from ever forgetting to pay a bill again. Continue Reading
Personal Finance Made Easy: Master Your Money With Mint
As all workout warriors and diet veterans can affirm, these are core requirements of any successful fitness plan. Without these characteristics, most physical fitness journeys fail before they’ve truly started.
Similarly, becoming financially fit and achieving financial freedom requires a game plan possessing all of these same attributes. Crafting such a plan is a tall order, but after reading this article you’ll be well on your way to answering the bell.
Today we’re peeking through the keyhole at how online banking can open the door to your path to financial freedom.
If you’ve ever attempted to follow a map to a given destination while unaware of your exact location, you know how frustrating and fruitless of an endeavor this can be.
Whether as a tourist, road-tripper, or mall-shopper, most of us have found ourselves in this situation at least once before. We all know the uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty that ensues – the second-guessing, the traveling in circles, the lost time and frustration.
It’s no mere accident that standard navigation software such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, and MapQuest require users to either input a starting location or enable the automatic tracking of their current location prior to providing directions to the selected destination. Continue Reading
Saddle Up, Rodeo Cowboy: Time To Master Your Money Bronco
Now comes the fun part – it’s time to start putting all of this new-found knowledge to work.
I’ve been letting you off easy in terms of practical application of the topics covered so far. But like a rodeo cowboy fast losing his grip, that’s all about to change in the blink of an eye because it’s time to saddle up and master your money bronco.
This is the fifth and final installment of a series on compound interest and the impact it can have to both speed and sabotage your journey to financial freedom.
In part four of this series, we reviewed how the power of compound interest creates a hidden, deadly cost of debt in the form of opportunity cost, which can effectively double the interest you pay on your credit card and easily triple the original cost of a mortgage. Continue Reading
Compound Interest, Part 4: The Hidden Opportunity Cost Of Debt
By now you should be familiar with how to calculate the total amount of interest incurred over the life of a loan when you purchase something on credit, whether that be in the form of a credit card, auto loan, student loan, or a mortgage. Continue Reading
Compound Interest, Part 3: History’s Best Double Agent
This is the third installment of a 5-part series examining the massive impact compound interest can have on your journey to financial freedom.
In part two of this series we reviewed how the power of compounding accelerates over time and can serve as your rocket to riches, making it possible to break the sound millionaire barrier by simply saving and investing $46.00/week over a period of 50 years.
In today’s article we’ll be detailing how compound interest can actually work AGAINST you by going undercover and acting as a double agent to thwart your financial goals.