Due to the popularity of the visualizing how your stuff owns you post from several weeks ago, I thought it would be beneficial if I documented exactly how I use a simple monthly calendar and a few personal finance metrics to visually represent how many hours, days, even weeks, I had to work in order [...]
Payday has finally come and you are staring and your first ever paycheck. This is probably one of the most unforgettable moments of your life. Yes, it is very tempting to go wild and spend it all in one go. After all, it is what tradition dictates that you do. However, is it really the smartest way to go about enjoying your paycheck?
Almost every aspect of our lives is connected to finance. When you get up and go to work, you are leaving the comfort of your bed for a paycheck. When you go to the grocery story each week, you pay money for the food you eat. Marriage is no different. While it is often associated with ideas of romance, sacrifice, commitment, marriage also has many connotations for our finances.
Have you ever heard of the term debt to income ratio? Although this term may not be as popular as the credit score, this is also something that lenders like to look at when evaluating their borrowers. This figure is important because it represents the cash flow of an individual. So, if you are planning to get a mortgage, it’s important for you to know what your debt to income ratio is so you can self-assess how well you qualify.
If you think 2007 oil bubble highs of $147 per barrel based on “global demand” was bad, just imagine what’s going to happen to oil prices if the stalwart of Middle Eastern oil production stability — Saudi Arabia — falls into civil unrest (e.g. Egypt), or worse, outright civil war (e.g. Libya). As we speak, [...]
Excellent chartporn from the Wall Street Journal in how the Great Recession altered American’s spending habits broken down in income quintiles (five 20% groupings). [click to enlarge image] Notice the change in elastic commodities (alcohol, retail apparel, etc.) versus inelastic commodities like food for a healthy home cooked meal. Not to delve too deeply into [...]
I get a laugh out of folks who say… speculators have little or no effect in the everyday lives of consumers. Really? Wheat futures Ostensibly, it’s never a good thing when a vast supply of any commodity, in this case, wheat, is taken out of the supply and demand equation by a devastating round of [...]
Leave it to one of the masters of observational comedy, Lewis Black, to point out an obvious fact that has completely escaped me even after 11 years of diligent record keeping. We pay more for cable TV than we do for clean water! Granted, this might not be true for everyone, but now that I [...]
A stunningly simple overview of the Obama administration’s plan to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, freeze federal spending, and allow the 250k+ salary tax cuts to expire. Why worry about such big picture items? Because a budget is a budget! It doesn’t matter how big, or small, the numbers are. What matters is that after [...]
We’ve all heard our parents say over and over again that we’re supposed to save 10% of our paycheck, but now that you’re all grown up, have you actually taken the time to calculate just how much of your monthly income — if any — that you’re actually saving? Even if you’re a habitual saver, [...]
Paying bills is a fact of life. We all have them, and we’re required to pay them. Otherwise, after a few months of not paying them, you’ll probably find yourself sitting in a cold, dark house with no electricity, no water, and probably not have a house/apartment to sit in much longer. Therefore, keeping track [...]
This personal finance question comes from reader Gary, who recently got a surprise promotion and a 20% raise after his boss left the company. He’s married, has a 2 year old daughter that his wife is caring for full time, has a monthly mortgage payment, two monthly car payments and no consumer debt. He’s curious [...]