Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ditch Your Bank

Last time, you were introduced to the 5 first steps of becoming financially literate. Here’s the link if you’d like to refresh (5 First Steps). The focus of this update is on Step #3: “Ditch Your Bank.”

Now, contrary to some people’s opinions, banks aren't evil businesses hell-bent on steal from you. Banks play a critical role within our economy, and life would be very different without them. Imagine a world where you kept your money literally under your mattress or invested in gold bars in your closet. Sorry, but no thanks! Banks offer a safe haven for you to store money with the guarantee that, when you would like to withdraw it, there is no need to worry whether your money still exists or not. And in today’s world, you don’t even need to worry if the bank itself goes bankrupt – the government guarantees all deposits up to $250k. It’s called deposit insurance, from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC.

You might have experienced bank anxiety before. There are a multitude of banks and every single one wants to do business with you. How would you ever choose which bank to use? Many factors can go into this decision. Do you want online account access? Do you want access to an ATM anywhere you go? Do you want a personal relationship? These questions are very important and can easily differentiate between banks. However, people often forget arguably the most important question: Do you want the best rate possible?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

5 First Steps

One thing so often lamented by individuals who do not understand their finances is, "I just don't know where to start!". Fear not, lamenting individuals, here are the easy 5 First Steps you should immediately take to begin your financial journey!  

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Potential 2013 Finance-Impacting, Tax Changes

I would be willing to go out on a limb and wager that you're sick of hearing about the "fiscal cliff." Don't worry, I am too. Washington politics often seem to not serve a purpose outside of making our lives, and reading the news, miserable. Cynicism aside, there are some important changes potentially coming for 2013 that will have a noticeable impact on your daily financial routine and paycheck.

Many times, changes to the tax code do not have much impact on the average person's day-to-day life. They don't notice a small percentage increase or decrease. It's not at all surprising when someone is suddenly sticker-shocked by a tax change because rarely do people care much (That's why they have a CPA! *Hint* *Wink* #Shamelessplug)

Saturday, December 1, 2012



Can you help me define discipline? What is the literal meaning? What does it actually mean to you?

Discipline will be the foundation of your successes in life. Dedicating yourself to a job, relationship, or idea allows you to engage that thing or person with the best of your abilities. Discipline provides you with the greatest chance for success. Often, the most successful people, the ones we idolize, are the most disciplined. If I asked you who the greatest investor of all time is, chances are you'd respond with Warren Buffett. If I asked who the best basketball player is, you might tell me LeBron James. Two completely different individuals, yet very successful in their ways. Both have shown extreme levels of discipline - making sound decisions or practicing non-stop.

Why should your financial endeavors be any different? Why should you not institute discipline into your personal finance life? Trick questions. They shouldn't and you definitely should (There's a reason that many lottery winners end up broke! They have no discipline! But that's for another post). If you expect to learn discipline as your financial situation improves or you begin making more money, it'll be too late. Discipline forms habits. Habits are what help you make wise choices and are what keep you on track for your goals. Speaking of goals, have you defined any personal finance goals for yourself yet? Have you begun tracking your spending and saving? I know some of you have. But I guarantee others haven't. If you haven't, why not?