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My Next Car: Pay Cash, Borrow or Lease?

My Next Car: Pay Cash, Borrow or Lease?

Buying a Car Financial Tips
The finances of buying a car can be tricky.  In addition, there are so many other things to consider. What...
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Savings Accounts for Kids

Savings Accounts for Kids

Savings
Many parents want to create savings accounts for their kids – for one or both of funding their education or...
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Should Chris Pay off his Mortgage?

Should Chris Pay off his Mortgage?

Investing Mortgages Savings
Chris @Money$tir asked other financial literacy and financial independence (FI) bloggers, in a post on March 9, 2019, whether he...
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Investing in Bonds

Investing in Bonds

Investing
Bonds are a common investment for people targeting a low-risk investment portfolio. One of the pieces of advice I gave...
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How to Budget Step 9 – Monitoring your Budget

How to Budget Step 9 – Monitoring your Budget

Budgeting
You may have thought you were done when you created and balanced your budget.  However, there is one very important...
Read More
Traditional vs Roth Retirement Plans

Traditional vs Roth Retirement Plans

Retirement
The difference between Roth vs Traditional plans for retirement is primarily about tax rates. Other differences relate to when you can...
Read More
How to Budget Step 8 – Refining your Budget

How to Budget Step 8 – Refining your Budget

Budgeting
Very few people have a balanced budget on the first try.  This week, I’ll talk about how to refine your...
Read More
Social Security: How Much Will I Get in Retirement

Social Security: How Much Will I Get in Retirement

Retirement
Social Security is a key pillar in most American’s retirement plans, especially those approaching retirement.  Many younger workers, though, have...
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How to Budget Step 7 – Creating your Budget

How to Budget Step 7 – Creating your Budget

Budgeting
You made it!  This week your only task will be to create a first draft of your budget.   Budgeting...
Read More
The Basics of Loans

The Basics of Loans

Financial Tips
Loans are the financial instrument people use to borrow money.  Whether they are getting a mortgage to buy a house,...
Read More
How to Budget Step 6 – Reviewing your Expenses

How to Budget Step 6 – Reviewing your Expenses

Budgeting
You’re almost there!  Only one more week until I describe how to create your budget.  Before you can do that, you’ll...
Read More
Diversification 2 – Using Diversification to Reduce your Investment Risk

Diversification 2 – Using Diversification to Reduce your Investment Risk

Financial Tips Investing
Diversification is an important tool that many investors used to reduce risk. Last week, I explained diversification and how it...
Read More
How to Budget Step 5 – Paychecks and Income

How to Budget Step 5 – Paychecks and Income

Budgeting
Your budget includes your income in addition to money you spend.  In my previous posts on the budgeting process, I...
Read More
Diversification Part 1 – What is Diversification and How Does it Work?

Diversification Part 1 – What is Diversification and How Does it Work?

Financial Tips Investing
One of the key concepts used by many successful investors is diversification.  In this post, I’ll define diversification and explain...
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How to Budget Step 4 – Expenses Not Paid Monthly

How to Budget Step 4 – Expenses Not Paid Monthly

Budgeting
Your budget won’t be complete unless you include all your expenses, including those that you don’t pay every month.  In...
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Financial Decisions – Risk and Reward

Financial Decisions – Risk and Reward

Financial Tips Insurance Investing
Almost every financial decision is a trade-off between reward and risk.  In this post, I’ll use three examples to illustrate...
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How to Budget Step 3 – Setting Goals

How to Budget Step 3 – Setting Goals

Budgeting
Setting one to three realistic financial goals is critical to financial success.  In Steps 1 and 2 of this series,...
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Introduction to Risk

Introduction to Risk

Financial Tips Investing
Understanding risk is key to making sound financial decisions.  Many people don’t have a good grasp on what risk means,...
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How to Budget Step 2 – Tracking Expenses

How to Budget Step 2 – Tracking Expenses

Budgeting
Now that you’ve found a system for keeping track of your expenses, it is time to start recording them in...
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Credit Scores

Credit Scores

Banking Financial Tips
  Your credit score is one of your most important financial numbers.  It not only affects the interest rate you...
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How to Budget Step 1 – Getting Started with Budgeting

How to Budget Step 1 – Getting Started with Budgeting

Budgeting
I’m so excited you want to create a budget!  In my very first post, I outlined the steps I use...
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6 Tips about Homeowners, Condo-owners and Renters Insurance

6 Tips about Homeowners, Condo-owners and Renters Insurance

Insurance
Homeowners, condo-owners and renters insurance policies cover you for loss or damage to your property and liability that emanates from...
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5 Steps to Begin Your Investing Journey

5 Steps to Begin Your Investing Journey

Investing
Riley is a senior financial analyst at a Fortune 500 company with a CPA and M.S. in Applied Economics who...
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You Have Some Savings. What’s Next? Part 3: Pre-paying Student Loans

You Have Some Savings. What’s Next? Part 3: Pre-paying Student Loans

Savings
This week, I’ll conclude the case study about Mary and her savings.  Her last question focused on whether to pre-pay...
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You Have Some Savings. What’s Next? Part 2: Large Purchases and Retirement Savings

You Have Some Savings. What’s Next? Part 2: Large Purchases and Retirement Savings

Investing Retirement Savings
Last week, I presented the first part of a case study that introduced Mary and her questions about what to...
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You Have Some Savings. What’s Next? Part 1: Savings Framework and Emergency Savings

You Have Some Savings. What’s Next? Part 1: Savings Framework and Emergency Savings

Investing Savings
You may be thinking you’d like to get started with investing.  Before doing that, you’ll want to look at how...
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Car Insurance Coverage

Car Insurance Coverage

Insurance
If you own a car, you buy auto insurance.  In the process, you had to make lots of decisions.  Do...
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Balancing a Checkbook: The Nitty Gritty Details

Balancing a Checkbook: The Nitty Gritty Details

Banking
In my previous post, I discussed several different options for balancing your checkbook, ranging from completely ignoring it to maintaining...
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Balancing a Checkbook: Options, Benefits and Risks

Balancing a Checkbook: Options, Benefits and Risks

Banking
I was pleasantly surprised to see that some of my readers are interested in balancing their checkbooks to their bank...
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Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance 

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance 

Employee Benefits Insurance
Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D) provides additional life insurance if you die in an accident. It also pays you...
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Group Life Insurance

Group Life Insurance

Employee Benefits Insurance
Many employers offer group life insurance on one or all of the employee, spouse and children. Coverage The type of...
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Employee Stock Ownership: ESOPs and ESPPs

Employee Stock Ownership: ESOPs and ESPPs

Employee Benefits Investing
I have seen three types of employer offerings related to employee stock ownership. I talked about the first in this...
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Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance

Employee Benefits Insurance
Disability insurance replaces a portion of your wages if you are sick or injured.  In the US, where workers’ compensation...
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Dependent Care FSAs

Dependent Care FSAs

Employee Benefits Insurance
Dependent care flexible spending account (FSAs) allow you to set aside a portion of your paycheck without paying any taxes...
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Extended Health Care Insurance (Canada)

Extended Health Care Insurance (Canada)

Employee Benefits Insurance
In Canada, many of the basics of healthcare are provided through the government health plan.  However, many important expenses are...
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Dental Insurance

Dental Insurance

Employee Benefits Insurance
Dental insurance pays for preventative dental services (usually two to four cleanings per year), a portion of other dental expenses...
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Vision Insurance

Vision Insurance

Employee Benefits Insurance
Vision insurance is generally covers the basics – eye exams related to vision correction, glasses and contact lenses – and...
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Investment Options in Retirement Savings Plans

Investment Options in Retirement Savings Plans

Employee Benefits Investing Retirement
All investment decisions are a trade-off between risk and reward. In this post, I'll focus on how risk and reward...
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Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans: Types & Benefits

Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans: Types & Benefits

Employee Benefits Investing Retirement
Once you have the basics covered – food, housing, transportation and a few other things, saving for retirement is likely...
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How to Choose a Health Insurance Plan

How to Choose a Health Insurance Plan

Employee Benefits Insurance
Now that you’ve learned about what is covered by health insurance from last week's post, I’ll help you choose a...
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How Health Insurance Works

How Health Insurance Works

Employee Benefits Insurance
Health insurance is one of the most expensive purchases you will make every year, whether you buy it on your...
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Fundamentals of Interest

Fundamentals of Interest

Financial Tips
Interest is a basic financial concept. It applies anytime you borrow money or someone borrows money from you. You pay...
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Introduction to Budgeting

Introduction to Budgeting

Budgeting
A budget is the foundation of your financial health.  Want to know if you can afford a vacation?  How much...
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Financial Advice I Gave My Kids

Financial Advice I Gave My Kids

Financial Tips
It is so important that kids learn about financial matters when they are young. Although we didn't have any formal...
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My Next Car: Pay Cash, Borrow or Lease?

My Next Car: Pay Cash, Borrow or Lease?

The finances of buying a car can be tricky.  In addition, there are so many other things to consider. What kind of car do I like?  How often do I...
Read More
2 Replies
Savings Accounts for Kids

Savings Accounts for Kids

Many parents want to create savings accounts for their kids – for one or both of funding their education or giving them a head start on life.  In this post,...
Read More
2 Replies
Should Chris Pay off his Mortgage?

Should Chris Pay off his Mortgage?

Chris @Money$tir asked other financial literacy and financial independence (FI) bloggers, in a post on March 9, 2019, whether he should pre-pay his mortgage or invest the money. He provided...
Read More
10 Replies
Investing in Bonds

Investing in Bonds

Bonds are a common investment for people targeting a low-risk investment portfolio. One of the pieces of advice I gave my kids (see others in this post) is to never...
Read More
3 Replies
How to Budget Step 9 – Monitoring your Budget

How to Budget Step 9 – Monitoring your Budget

You may have thought you were done when you created and balanced your budget.  However, there is one very important step left in the budgeting process – making sure you...
Read More
Traditional vs Roth Retirement Plans

Traditional vs Roth Retirement Plans

The difference between Roth vs Traditional plans for retirement is primarily about tax rates. Other differences relate to when you can or must withdraw your savings.  With one exception, the same...
Read More
8 Replies
How to Budget Step 8 – Refining your Budget

How to Budget Step 8 – Refining your Budget

Very few people have a balanced budget on the first try.  This week, I’ll talk about how to refine your preliminary budget if it isn’t in balance.  I have been...
Read More
4 Replies
Social Security: How Much Will I Get in Retirement

Social Security: How Much Will I Get in Retirement

Social Security is a key pillar in most American’s retirement plans, especially those approaching retirement.  Many younger workers, though, have serious concerns about whether they will receive any benefits at...
Read More
6 Replies
How to Budget Step 7 – Creating your Budget

How to Budget Step 7 – Creating your Budget

You made it!  This week your only task will be to create a first draft of your budget.   Budgeting can be challenging as you try to balance your long-term...
Read More
The Basics of Loans

The Basics of Loans

Loans are the financial instrument people use to borrow money.  Whether they are getting a mortgage to buy a house, borrowing money to buy a car or other large purchase,...
Read More
5 Replies
How to Budget Step 6 – Reviewing your Expenses

How to Budget Step 6 – Reviewing your Expenses

You’re almost there!  Only one more week until I describe how to create your budget.  Before you can do that, you’ll want to make sure that the income and expenses you’ve...
Read More
2 Replies
Diversification 2 – Using Diversification to Reduce your Investment Risk

Diversification 2 – Using Diversification to Reduce your Investment Risk

Diversification is an important tool that many investors used to reduce risk. Last week, I explained diversification and how it is related to correlation.   In this post, I’ll illustrate different...
Read More
4 Replies
How to Budget Step 5 – Paychecks and Income

How to Budget Step 5 – Paychecks and Income

Your budget includes your income in addition to money you spend.  In my previous posts on the budgeting process, I talked about setting your goals and tracking and recording your...
Read More
6 Replies
Diversification Part 1 – What is Diversification and How Does it Work?

Diversification Part 1 – What is Diversification and How Does it Work?

One of the key concepts used by many successful investors is diversification.  In this post, I’ll define diversification and explain how it works conceptually.  Next week I’ll explain different ways...
Read More
3 Replies
How to Budget Step 4 – Expenses Not Paid Monthly

How to Budget Step 4 – Expenses Not Paid Monthly

Your budget won’t be complete unless you include all your expenses, including those that you don’t pay every month.  In the past three weeks, I talked about creating systems for...
Read More
Financial Decisions – Risk and Reward

Financial Decisions – Risk and Reward

Almost every financial decision is a trade-off between reward and risk.  In this post, I’ll use three examples to illustrate how financial decisions can be made in a risk-reward framework. ...
Read More
8 Replies
How to Budget Step 3 – Setting Goals

How to Budget Step 3 – Setting Goals

Setting one to three realistic financial goals is critical to financial success.  In Steps 1 and 2 of this series, I talked about creating systems for tracking and recording your...
Read More
3 Replies
Introduction to Risk

Introduction to Risk

Understanding risk is key to making sound financial decisions.  Many people don’t have a good grasp on what risk means, particularly in a financial context, so I will focus this...
Read More
6 Replies
How to Budget Step 2 – Tracking Expenses

How to Budget Step 2 – Tracking Expenses

Now that you’ve found a system for keeping track of your expenses, it is time to start recording them in your spreadsheet.  In Getting Started with Budgeting, I talked about...
Read More
Credit Scores

Credit Scores

  Your credit score is one of your most important financial numbers.  It not only affects the interest rate you pay when you borrow, but also your ability to borrow...
Read More
18 Replies
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