Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Love Spreadsheets

Please forgive me. For those who were counting, semi-monthly came and went a long time ago. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa. I promise I’ll make it up. After all, it was your loss for me not writing.

Last time I wrote, I begged that you begin to become aware of your financial surroundings.  If you’d like to re-read it, I’ve posted it here. It might be worth swinging through again. How did you answer those questions? Feel free to email some of your answers. Remember, no judging from this guy.

If you didn’t answer those questions, at least attempt this one: What are your goals? Personal finance is structured around setting and achieving goals, both short term and a long ways down the road. If you don’t have a defined goal (or goals, even better), you’re just wandering around lost. So set some goals. (Also, accomplishing things and checking them off your list feels great. I dare you to try it)

I guarantee that some of you already figured where I’m going first – budgeting and tracking your expenses. It’s step numero uno. You cannot become aware of your financial position and habits without tracking them. It doesn't matter if you are in school and making next to nothing, eating PB&J's nightly or working for The Man and paying Uncle Sam. Track what you make, track what you spend.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Beginning

Well, here goes nothing. I’ll be honest – I’m not entirely sure where this thing is going to go, but I’m excited to find out. I’m a little nervous too. Maybe that’s just me placing undue expectations upon myself. Or maybe that’s because I’m writing to you all. You can be a tough crowd and have been known to eat people alive. I digress. Oh, and sorry for the length of this first one. Others won’t be as bad…

It’s only fair that I briefly touch on my goals and motivations for starting this newsletter. Over the last few years, I’ve become increasingly aware about how little people actually know about personal finance. I’ve got the facts to prove it. I want to change that. I want to offer you my knowledge and energies to potentially make a difference in your life. I want you to take away things that, if implemented and done properly, could greatly benefit you. I’m not saying you’ll be wealthy beyond your imagination, but you’ll be able to make critical financial decisions with a degree of confidence. I want to inspire you and give practical knowledge you can directly benefit from (a lot of times I can quantify it too – an accountant’s dream!).

I don’t claim absolute expertise in this area. But I do know a great deal. As time goes, you can decide for yourselves and judge me accordingly. Currently, however, I beg for benefit of the doubt. And now for my disclaimer: I am a personal finance and investing nerd. I hold an active CPA license in Minnesota. I’ve been investing since high school. I’ve given multiple lectures at college during my time there and since graduating. I closely follow the world of finance, both from a broad economic and personal perspective. I’ve sat down with many friends to discuss their issues and situations. However, I am NOT a Certified Financial Planner or Registered Investment Advisor. I can explain what I would do and why in situations, but I cannot tell you what to do, for obvious legal reasons (well, you could sue me). Thanks for understanding :-)