Tag Archives: personal finance

The “Broke” Mindset

piggy brokeWe quote money dude Dave Ramsey from time to time here. Primarily because he’s not a know-it-all or a scold; he always seems to offer you HOPE, even when your financial situation is garbage. And this is another good example. This one is called 25 Myths Broke People Believe.

Broke is something you’re just passing through. We’ve all messed up by believing some of the prevailing money myths in our culture. The turning point comes, however, when you’re willing to own up, claw your way out, and never live in the lie again.

He asked his readers to record the things that their broke friends and relatives say about their condition, and here are the highlights:

I’ll save more next year when I’m making more money.
At my age, it’s too late anyway.
What’s wrong with a 72-month car payment?
We’ll pay it off when the tax return comes in.
I’ll start my budget next month.
I’ll worry about the future when it gets here.
I must be able to afford it if I was approved for the loan.
I work hard. I deserve it.
My rich grandparents are going to leave me money.

There are many more tips (and excuses) at the original piece, so check it out! As Dave says, “To win with money in the long term, you have to stop making excuses in the short term.” Have YOU used any of these money excuses? I know I have! Have you wised up? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!



Summer of Savings?

summer savingsAccording to money dude Dave Ramsey, summer is a season of savings – or potential savings, if you play your cards right. How so? Well, for families with kids, simply cutting out school means a lot less running around. That’s less gas, and fewer times when you say, “I’m just too busy to cook – let’s pick up Mickey D’s!”

So Dave has a few tips for taking advantage of potential summer savings. Take a look…

  • Home Cooking: No explanation necessary!
  • Gardening: Interesting statistic – one dollar’s worth of green bean seeds yields $75 worth of beans!
  • Simple Entertainment: For instance, you and hubby chilling in lawn chairs, while the young’uns run through the sprinkler. Note: they have to put down their phones first!
  • Local Events: Back home in Cincinnati, there were roughly 200 church festivals every weekend in the summer!
  • Kids Pitching In: Apparently, the number of kids holding summer jobs has fallen about 50% in the past 20 years. Assuming there are jobs to be had, they provide spending money and valuable life lessons!

As usual, these are just the highlights. More info at the original piece. So, how about you? Do you find that summer is a time of savings, or not? Any other suggestions? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Retirement Planning Pitfalls

ID-100178555Everybody has at least a little anxiety about retirement. Specifically, will we have enough money to get by? Many of us (me) don’t like to think about these things. Many of us (me) put off those icky decisions. But you (I) can’t put them off forever. And the sooner we start making good financial decisions, and taking action, the better off we will be.

And knowing what the right moves are starts what knowing what the WRONG ones are! That’s the topic of a recent Time Magazine article “9 False Moves That Could Derail Your Retirement”. Here are the bullet points…

  1. Raiding Your Home Equity
  2. Unplanned Roth IRA Withdrawals
  3. Failing to Put Away Anything
  4. Helping Adult Kids Financially
  5. Co-Signing for a Child or Grandchild
  6. Failing to Have a Plan B
  7. Poor Investment Choices
  8. Not Making Changes When Needed
  9. Taking Social Security As Soon As You Can

Again, just the bullets. Lots more info at the original piece, so check it out!  How about you? Are you making smart retirement moves, or not? Let us know over at the MndField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Financial Tips for Today’s Grads

grad hatIt’s graduation season. It’s a time when our young people are staring out on their own. It tends to be a time of youthful optimism, but it can also be a time when financial mistakes are made. And those mistakes can take a long time to fix. So, as a public service, here are some financial tips for grads, courtesy of the US News Money section. Any of these sound familiar?

  1. Live within (or below) your means.
  2. Start building your credit early.
  3. Prepare for the future.
  4. Monitor your spending.
  5. Pay down debt.
  6. Get educated.

That last one is interesting. The article says that one reason young people get in trouble is that so few have had any sort of personal finance education.

Like I said, screwing up any one of these will cause problems. Trust me, I messed up more than one! How about you? Are you or your kids just starting out? Have any financial tips to share? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Stressing Over Money

dollarPretty much everybody stresses about their personal finances to some degree. These days, it’s only natural to wonder how you would cope if you or your spouse lost a job, had a big medical expense, etc.

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting piece out today, entitled “5 Tips for Passing a Personal-Finance Stress Test.” Here are the bullet points…

  • Debt-to-Income Ratio: How much money comes and goes out each month
  • Discretionary Expenses: Which things can you cut back (gym membership) and which you can’t (your mortgage.)
  • Emergency Savings: Enough to pay 3 months of expenses at the minimum
  • Additional Income: Cutting grass? Paper route? Sell your stuff? Etc.
  • Total Assets: Everything you own, divided by monthly expenses, to see how much cushion you have

There’s more info at the original piece, so check it out!

Figuring out where you stand in your personal finances may not change any facts on the ground. You may not like the result, but it can help erase the uncertainty and maybe help you focus on solutions.

So, have YOU done an inventory like this? Did it help you focus and make some changes? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Money Questions for Potential Young Marrieds

"OK, kids, scootch in a little closer to the dollar sign..."
“OK, kids, scootch in a little closer to the dollar sign…”

Love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Many candlelight dinners will be consumed, and many nervous young dudes will be popping a certain question. Well, slow down tiger. You can barely afford this fancy dinner. Can you afford to be married?

A lot of young folk skip right over this question, and this can lead to heartache down the road. One problem is that people just don’t like to talk about money.

If your relationship is heading toward joint finances, it’s essential to talk about it first – openly and honestly. A 2014 survey…found that 13 percent said they had failed to share information about their personal debt or income, which had “an effect on the relationship.” YourHoustonNews.com

So here are some questions for prospective brides and grooms to discuss openly:

  • Where are you financially as individuals?
  • What are your money personalities?
  • How do you want to live?
  • How will you handle everyday spending?
  • What if you need help?

As usual, these are the bullets. Lots of further explanation at the original piece. How about you? Were you once young and dumb and skipped over these questions? I WAS and DID. How did it work out for you? DID it work out for you? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Money Trends for 2015

dollarThere are so many outside forces that affect your family’s cash flow and financial well being. Dropping  gas prices put a lot of $$$ back in our pockets. Drought and livestock disease raised the price of food, taking some of that $$$ back.

So, what’s coming in 2015 that might affect your family? Money guru Dave Ramsey has some ideas:

  • Fines for not having medical coverage will increase
  • The job market will strengthen
  • Car values will go down
  • The U.S. deficit will continue to grow
  • Social Security will be one year closer to failing
  • College tuition will rise
  • The housing market will continue to rebound
  • Gas prices will go back up (and back down)
  • Individual 401(k) contribution limits will increase

I guess the lesson is that there are forces pulling in every different direction that will affect your wallet, your budget, your savings, and on and on. So, pay attention, and always be trying to improve your financial situation (though that’s not always easy!)

As always, more bullet points and much more explanation at the original piece. What about you? Are you reading news and changing your money behavior? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Americans Wasting Money

I hate it when I get to the counter and I only have swirls in my wallet.
I hate it when I get to the counter and I only have swirls in my wallet.

In a piece entitled “10 More Things Americans Waste Money On,” money guru Dave Ramsey suggests that there are 10 things Americans waste money on. Actually, he says 10 MORE, bringing the list to 20 because we are bad people. Here are some highlights, with bonus dumb commentary®!

  • Purebred Dogs: Sure, because “get my DOG BUDGET under control” was my #1 resolution this year.
  • Lottery Tickets… I always thought the phrase “a tax on stupidity” was a bit harsh. Not wrong, but harsh!
  • Brand-Name Medicine: You hold the brand name in one hand, and the generic in the other, and the difference is $3? Sold.
  • At-Home Parties: Some ladies aren’t going to like this advice. Others will be relieved to be able to say, “Sorry, Dave Ramsey told me to stay home!”
  • Singing Birthday Cards: Mom will enjoy it, but will she enjoy it $7 worth?
  • Up-Sizing Your Order: But, if I get the 72-oz Sprite, the girl behind the counter will like me better. I’m not popular enough to “be different!”

I think the important thing to remember is that Dave Ramsey isn’t against you having nice things (a private education, a new car, etc.) He just doesn’t want you to go into debt for them. Anyway, there are more things on the list, and much more detail at the original piece, so check it out!

How about YOU? Do you agree with the list? Are you “wasting” money on them? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Good News on the Financial Front

Looking for some good financial news? Well, the stories are out there, and Yahoo Finance dug up a few of the better ones.

Most of these folks got into debt in ways you would recognize. Student loans, sudden changes in health, unemployment…and plain ol’ bad decision making. We’ve all been there. So it’s good to see that people can climb out of the hole if they make a plan, make some sacrifices, and stick to it.

The headlines include:

  • Single mom retires $5000 of debt in a year while only earning only $21K
  • Family of five pays off $100,000 of debt in just four years
  • Woman eliminates $50,000 worth of debt in two years, despite six months unemployment
  • Retired couple cashed it all in to travel the world
  • Couple pays off $118,000 worth of debt in four years – on $70K annual earnings

These are just the headlines. There are some pretty inspirational stories behind them, so check it out!

How about you? Ever been in the hole? How did you make it out? Do you have an inspiring story? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

New Year’s (Financial) Resolutions

new-year-sNot everybody makes New Year’s resolutions. I decided years ago to quit while I was behind. But many folks still keep the faith, and resolve to Get Healthy, Reconnect with Friends and Save More Money. Those are the three, right?

Anyway, if you are in the mind to do better when it comes to personal finance, here are some handy links to light your path. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Dave Ramsey: What’s In and Out this year

Huffington Post: 5 Ways to Keep Your Financial Resolutions Beyond the New Year

Forbes: The Secret To Making Financial Resolutions You’ll Actually Keep

Fidelity Investments: 2014 New Year Financial Resolutions Stud

Investopedia: Financial New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep

Schwab: 10 Resolutions for a Happy Financial New Year

Daily Finance: 7 Financial New Year’s Resolutions You Should Keep

American Institute of CPAs: New Year’s Financial Resolutions

How about YOU? Have any spending or saving resolutions you wish to share? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!