Summer Finance

Where’ve you been? Oh, sorry.  That was me gone too long.

Yes, I’ve been an absent blogger.  But, I’m back.

While I’ve been pondering where I’m taking this blog, this is how I’ve spent my summer and I’m happy to discuss the financial angles of each.

  • Managing the costs of various expensive household items
  • Coaching a new client
  • Being interviewed by Millionaires Unveiled
  • Blown away at the increase in my investment accounts

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The Joneses

Perfect family

On a typical lazy weekend, I came across an Amazon Prime flick called The Joneses.  All I saw from the description was “a perfect family…” and stopped reading.  I don’t like spoilers and I also know that there are no perfect families, so it intrigued me.

I was pleasantly surprised to see some of my factor actors, Demi Moore, David Duchovny, and Lauren Hutton, and as the story progressed, it sent my money-brain thoughts into motion.

The movie opens with the Joneses moving into a new home.  It’s in a polished, upscale neighborhood where the possibilities of a charmed life await.  With their stately peaks, each house’s exterior represents the image of suburban nirvana.

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Walking The Fine Line Between Frugality And Scarcity

When it comes to saving money, there are many ways to economize.  Taking your lunch to work is a great way to avoid overspending.  Then, there’s finding better alternatives.  A generic store brand is worth a try and may be just as good as a name-brand item.  Ultimately, there’s doing without.  However, the habit of doing without may offer diminishing or detrimental returns.

Frugal, froogal, froot-gle.  Nothing good can come of acting out a word that sounds way goofy.  I’m reminded of 18th-century farm living where vocabulary was as limited as the society’s vocational opportunities.  No one’s saying that you can’t adjust some habits downward, but developing an austerity habit may not help your future as much as you think it will.  Frugalizing to the nth degree can be harmful to your well-being.

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5 Things You Need To Know About Bonds

 

investment allocation

Investing.  The word alone connotes stocks and bonds.  Diversification is the sister term associated with investing.  Subtract your age from 100 to figure out how much of an allocation in bonds you should own.  Why do we need to have bonds? And what makes bonds a necessary portfolio companion?  While trying to understand portfolio allocation a little bit better, I came up with the following five points.

 

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS.  SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE FOR DETAILS.

 

First, Some Basics

Bonds are fairly simple to understand, they’re loans with a specific duration.  They pay interest at stated dates.  There’s an issue date and a maturity date.  The issue date is the beginning of the loan and the maturity date is when the principal is paid back to the investor.  Therefore, unlike stocks that you own forever, bonds are a temporary loan to the issuer.

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Book Reviews: Janesville and Hand To Mouth

financial struggles

In an effort to understand financial struggles, I read two non-fiction works: Janesville: An American Story (Amy Goldstein) and Hand To Mouth (Linda Tirado).

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS.  SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE FOR DETAILS.

 

Janesville is an account of the economic adjustments that occurred subsequent to the closing of the local Janesville, Wisconsin, GM plant.  The book documents the shakeout of the newly-unemployed individuals that relied on their financial livelihood from the assembly plant.  To earn their living and raise their families, generations of workers banked on GM employment as a default.  When GM closed down the Janesville assembly plant, it disrupted the economic environment, leaving GM workers, and workers of supporting businesses, without employment.

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Making Financial Change

 

financial changeToday is as good as any day for making financial changes, but maybe today’s not the day.  Are you truly ready to change?  What’s stopping you?

Instead of thinking about all the reasons why not, take the pressure out of the equation and, well, try.

When I took my Dale Carnegie class, each session involved standing in the front of the room and speaking for approximately three minutes.  The most compelling presentations had a beginning, middle, and end.  What I didn’t know was that this started in the first session.  I thought we would have a warm-up session, not jump right in.  I felt sick to my stomach and barely managed to get through.  Continue reading “Making Financial Change”

Improve Your Financial Knowledge

financial control

When it comes to your financial knowledge, stop pretending that you don’t know what you’re doing.  There are more resources than ever.  If you’re a book lover, read a few on personal finance.  If you’re a net surfer, start Googling up on financial terms.

 

Answer the following questions and take a few minutes to research anything that you don’t know.  Don’t be afraid, we all have an area that we need to focus on.  These items are off the beaten path, and from what I’ve seen, points that cause confusion.  Some are Yes/No or True/False, while others are thought questions.

 

I’m all about sharing knowledge.  I learn something new every day and never stop reading.

 

Earning

True or False:  I have a progressive career plan that will increase my earnings within the next five years.

 

The last time I improved my work skills was ______________.

 

Related Post: Money Learning Checklist 1         Earning/Saving

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2018: What To Start Doing And What To Stop Doing

2018 leap

I’m revved up for the new year.  I like to think about the books I’ll read, the new projects I’ll work on, and my new financial goals.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS.  SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE FOR DETAILS.

What I’ve accomplished during 2017 inspires me to keep it rolling.  I pulled off some difficult projects at work and earned a top evaluation rating and raise.  I finished an 18-credit certificate in Web Programming. I started this blog.  Learning WordPress on my own and customizing the blog page was a challenge, but the struggle stretched my skillset.  Blogging isn’t just about writing. It’s learning about social media, like Facebook, Pinterest, affiliate marketing, guest posting, and commenting on other blogs.  My professional development wasn’t ignored.  I conducted two financial planning workshops and presented at the IRS Practice and Procedures conference with the New York State Society of CPAs.

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