budgeting

the ultimate financial checklist to get your s#%! together

See if you can relate:

You’re in your 20s or early 30s and always manage to pay the bills on time but your savings account never seems to grow.

You can’t afford a gift for your friend’s bridal shower but always have the means to buy drinks at the bar at 2:30 in the morning.

You buy the latest and greatest Mac but have no emergency fund.

what you need to know before buying a home: 10 unexpected costs that could break the bank

I wish you could have seen me in the first few weeks of owning my home.

First of all, picture a house that has no dining room table, fold-up chairs serving as seating in the living room and your grandma’s 1980s coffee table being used as a TV stand (that lasted for more years than I care to admit). I’d try to throw a meal together using what little kitchen utensils I had on hand and then eat said meal off of a paper plate in a chair my parents had spent many evenings in watching my soccer games. And why?

Because I had no idea of what it actually took to outfit a home.  Multiple trash cans? I now need multiple trash cans?

3 popular money moves that could actually be hurting you

I think one of the reasons I fell in love with personal finance is that like all other stems of math, there seemed to always be just one right solution.  In high school, I could BS my way through a written English exam with the best of them, but a math test? You had to know your stuff.  And that’s what attracted me to this field: I liked knowing that if I made the right choice, I would end up with enough money in the bank to support the life I wanted to live.

However, once I started writing this blog, I quickly realized that personal finance wasn’t all black and white.  Yes, it’s a lot of numbers, but there’s also a lot of emotion that goes into managing your money properly. People out there have a million different circumstances that can affect their financial decisions, and those in similar situations may choose different paths that ultimately lead to the same success.   

how i organized my entire financial life

One of the most heart-wrenching issues I have with our modern day education system is how little emphasis they place on money management. You’ll learn about the Baroque period, how to identify 50 different types of rocks (literally had to do this), and what Buddhism is all about, but money? Nah. We’ll skip it. And even if you do take a personal finance course, it’s all so academic that it’s hard to apply it to real life.

When I graduated from college and was in the midst of my first month at my “real” job, I remember heading to the movies and thinking how nice it was to not worry about buying a $5 Icee at the theater. The freedom! The liberation! The independence!

And then at the end of that month, reality smacked me in the face when I looked at my bank account and had no idea where all that money I had earned went. I thought I was making a killing, but I soon learned my salary didn’t get me as far as I thought it would. Cue a defeated 22 year-old and some sad, dramatic soundtrack.