Steadfast FinancesSteadfast Finances - Budgeting
10 December 2012

5 Tips for Spending your First Paycheck

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?

12 September 2012

Budgeting after the Wedding

 Personal Finance         No comments

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.

27 February 2012

What You Need to Know about Your Debt to Income Ratio

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.

4 March 2011

Saudi Arabia Revolution: Oil Back to 2007 Highs?

 Commodities,Gas Prices         1 comment

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, [...]

7 October 2010

How the Great Recession Changed Our Spending Habits

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 [...]

5 August 2010

Think Speculators Don’t Influence Markets, Think Again

 Budgeting,Commodities         4 comments

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 [...]

19 April 2010

We Pay More for Cable TV than Clean Water

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 [...]

13 April 2010

U.S. Trade Deficit and Household Deficits are Amazingly Similar

 Politics,Taxes         No comments

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 [...]

11 February 2010

Personal Finance Equations You Should Know: the Savings per Month Ratio

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, [...]

5 February 2010

Personal Finance Equations You Should Know: the Cash Flow Equation

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 [...]

20 January 2010

Should I Ignore My Raise and Save the Difference in Income?

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 [...]

12 January 2010

Visualizing How the Things You Own, End Up Owning You

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 [...]

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