Blog Posts

Tax-Efficient Investing Strategies – Canada

Tax-Efficient Investing Strategies – Canada

Investing
You can increase your savings through tax-efficient investing. Tax-efficient investing is the process of maximizing your after-tax investment returns by...
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6 Ways to Slay Your Student Debt This Year

6 Ways to Slay Your Student Debt This Year

Financial Tips
From Susie Q: I'm not as familiar with student debt as I am with the other topics on which I...
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Tax-Efficient Investing Strategies – USA

Tax-Efficient Investing Strategies – USA

Investing
You can increase your savings through tax-efficient investing.  Tax-efficient investing is the process of maximizing your after-tax investment returns by...
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New vs Used Cars

New vs Used Cars

Buying a Car Financial Tips
Is buying a used car really all that important to your financial health?  I’ve seen lots of articles and posts...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 – Create your Budget

How to Budget Step 7 – Create your Budget

Budgeting
You made it!  This week your only task will be to create a first draft of your budget.   Budgeting...
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The Basics of Loans: What You Need to Know

The Basics of Loans: What You Need to Know

Financial Tips
Loans are the financial instruments people use to borrow money.  Whether they are getting a mortgage to buy a house,...
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Review the Expenses for your Budget

Review the Expenses for your Budget

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

Financial Tips Investing
Investment diversification is an important tool that many investors used to reduce risk. Last week, I explained diversification and how...
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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...
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What is Diversification and How Does it Work?

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 – Expenses Not Paid Monthly

How to Budget – 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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Financial Risk: An Introduction

Financial Risk: An Introduction

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

Step 2 – Tracking Expenses for Budgeting

Budgeting
Now that you’ve found a system for tracking expenses for budgeting, it is time to start recording them in your...
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The Scoop on Credit Scores

The Scoop on Credit Scores

Banking Financial Tips
Credit scores are one of the most important financial numbers.  Credit scores not only affect the interest rate you pay...
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Getting Started with Budgeting

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 and Renters Insurance

6 Tips About Homeowners 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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When Is It Good to Pay Off Student Loans

When Is It Good to Pay Off Student Loans

Savings
  Option Future Interest Payments Average Future Investment Returns Average Future Taxes Average Cash from $10,000 in 5 Years No...
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Retirement Savings/Saving for Large Purchases

Retirement Savings/Saving for Large Purchases

Investing Retirement Savings
In my previous post, I presented the first part of a case study that introduced Mary and her questions about...
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Savings Framework and Emergency Savings

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 car insurance coverage.  In the process, you have to make lots of decisions....
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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 a checkbook, ranging from completely ignoring it to maintaining...
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Balancing a Checkbook: Benefits and Risks

Balancing a Checkbook: 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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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
5 Replies
Financial Risk: An Introduction

Financial Risk: An Introduction

Understanding financial risk is key to making sound 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
9 Replies
Step 2 – Tracking Expenses for Budgeting

Step 2 – Tracking Expenses for Budgeting

Now that you’ve found a system for tracking expenses for budgeting, it is time to start recording them in your spreadsheet.  In Getting Started with Budgeting, I talked about how...
Read More
1 Reply
The Scoop on Credit Scores

The Scoop on Credit Scores

Credit scores are one of the most important financial numbers.  Credit scores not only affect the interest rate you pay when you borrow, but also your ability to borrow and...
Read More
27 Replies
Getting Started with Budgeting

Getting Started with Budgeting

I’m so excited you want to create a budget!  In my very first post, I outlined the steps I use to do my budgeting.  They are: Identify my financial goals....
Read More
16 Replies
6 Tips About Homeowners and Renters Insurance

6 Tips About Homeowners and Renters Insurance

Homeowners, condo-owners and renters insurance policies cover you for loss or damage to your property and liability that emanates from your residence.  All three policies cover your belongings regardless of...
Read More
6 Replies
5 Steps to Begin Your Investing Journey

5 Steps to Begin Your Investing Journey

Riley is a senior financial analyst at a Fortune 500 company with a CPA and M.S. in Applied Economics who aspires to help young professionals navigate the sometimes-murky waters of...
Read More
1 Reply
When Is It Good to Pay Off Student Loans

When Is It Good to Pay Off Student Loans

  Option Future Interest Payments Average Future Investment Returns Average Future Taxes Average Cash from $10,000 in 5 Years No Pre-Payments, Leave in Savings 1,323 0 -331 -992 No Pre-Payments,...
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4 Replies
Retirement Savings/Saving for Large Purchases

Retirement Savings/Saving for Large Purchases

In my previous post, I presented the first part of a case study that introduced Mary and her questions about what to do with her savings. In this post, I...
Read More
1 Reply
Savings Framework and Emergency Savings

Savings Framework and Emergency Savings

You may be thinking you’d like to get started with investing.  Before doing that, you’ll want to look at how much savings you have and how much you can invest. ...
Read More
10 Replies
Car Insurance Coverage

Car Insurance Coverage

If you own a car, you buy car insurance coverage.  In the process, you have to make lots of decisions.  Do you want to buy Comprehensive? Collision? What limit for...
Read More
6 Replies
Balancing a Checkbook: The Nitty Gritty Details

Balancing a Checkbook: The Nitty Gritty Details

In my previous post, I discussed several different options for balancing a checkbook, ranging from completely ignoring it to maintaining a forward-looking transaction record and balancing it every month.  In...
Read More
5 Replies
Balancing a Checkbook: Benefits and Risks

Balancing a Checkbook: Benefits and Risks

I was pleasantly surprised to see that some of my readers are interested in balancing their checkbooks to their bank statements!  I would have guessed that, although I balance my...
Read More
4 Replies
Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance 

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance 

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D) provides additional life insurance if you die in an accident. It also pays you a percentage of the face amount of the policy if...
Read More
2 Replies
Group Life Insurance

Group Life Insurance

Many employers offer group life insurance on one or all of the employee, spouse and children. Coverage The type of life insurance offered by employers is called term life insurance....
Read More
Employee Stock Ownership: ESOPs and ESPPs

Employee Stock Ownership: ESOPs and ESPPs

I have seen three types of employer offerings related to employee stock ownership. I talked about the first in this post - allowing employees to purchase company stock in their...
Read More
Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance replaces a portion of your wages if you are sick or injured.  In the US, where workers’ compensation insurance covers workplace illnesses and injuries, disability usually covers only...
Read More
5 Replies
Dependent Care FSAs

Dependent Care FSAs

Dependent care flexible spending account (FSAs) allow you to set aside a portion of your paycheck without paying any taxes on the money. You must use the money to cover...
Read More
2 Replies
Extended Health Care Insurance (Canada)

Extended Health Care Insurance (Canada)

In Canada, many of the basics of healthcare are provided through the government health plan.  However, many important expenses are not covered, including prescription drugs, medical devices (e.g., crutches, wheelchairs...
Read More
Dental Insurance

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance pays for preventative dental services (usually two to four cleanings per year), a portion of other dental expenses (fillings, crown, root canals, for example) and sometimes orthodontia. The...
Read More
1 Reply