Avoid Debt, the Enemy That Can Drag Down Your Finances

Personal finance blogs are filled with stories about people who have overcome big personal debt over the years and then write about it to try to help you defeat your own debt. Debt is such a major problem! I get messages from regular folks who need help dealing with debt all the time. Of course the best way to deal with it is to avoid debt in the first place, but that’s easier said than done.

Cartoon of man trying to avoid debt with debt weight falling down on him

About 15 years ago, after my divorce, I too had racked up thousands of dollars in debt and when I remarried, my wife and I had a combination of over $25,000 in debt on our books (not including my mortgage). That isn’t a real good way to begin a new relationship and frankly, much of it was divorce-related expense, so that there wasn’t really even any shiny, fun stuff to look at and play with despite that debt.

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What Dad Really Wants for Father’s Day

If I tried to write a new post for Father’s Day, I wouldn’t really be able to say it better than this one which I first published years ago. It’s how I felt then and it’s how I feel now. It may not be my best work, but it comes from the heart.

In 2016, I wrote a post about my thoughts on Father’s Day and I haven’t changed my mind yet. It really did come from my heart. I think the message in it says what every dad (and mom too) thinks and feels about a day like this. Even though the environment we live in makes us feel like honoring our dads and moms is all about buying gifts and making a big deal out of just the one single day a year, I can tell you from personal experience, that’s not what dads (and moms) really want from their kids.

Father's Day is coming on June 20th. I'll share with you the secret of what Dad really wants for his special day and you won't need to spend the big bucks.

I hope you won’t mind if I repeat my real feelings today about Father’s Day, in anticipation of this Sunday, June 20, 2021. I am republishing this old post so if you didn’t see it then, I hope you will read it now. I also hope that it says what you are feeling the same way it does for me. Here’s hoping all the “kids” of any age out there read and get the message I am conveying. Have a great Father’s Day and make it last all year long!

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Series I Savings Bonds: Save Money and Guard Against Inflation

On Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a market basket of item prices including food, energy, and housing costs, rose by 5% over the past year. The report showed the biggest CPI gain since August 2008. Here is the inflation I’ve been talking about since October! And with the Fed describing the inflation as only transitory, that means that the interest on money you’re stowing away in savings accounts won’t keep up with inflation. Enter the Series I Savings Bond.

Considering the low interest rates on most savings vehicles, Series I Savings Bonds are a great way to save money while guarding against inflation.

Often flying under the radar these days and almost forgotten about in the 21st century is a really good old friend that I grew up with as a child: the U.S. Savings Bond. They were originally developed as encouragement to save (called the “baby bonds”) in 1935 during FDR’s first term during the Great Depression. And they eventually evolved into the E bonds that helped finance and pay for World War II back in the 1940’s (War Bonds).

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Paying Off Your High Interest Credit Card Debt Takes a Real Plan

I have always been a good manager of credit. A big part of that was learning from my mom and pop about spending within my income, but another part of that was that back when I was a kid, credit cards were not the way people paid for what they bought. Today it’s a totally different world and using your credit card is not only popular, it’s almost a requirement and the result is credit card debt.

Hand holding credit card, ready to get out of credit card debt

While Visa and MasterCard didn’t even exist until the 1960s and 1970s, everyone today seems to have one, two, or even more of them, and uses them constantly. That has led to massive overuse and huge debt run up for many people.

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What Are Sinking Funds and How Can They Keep You Afloat?

Have you ever heard of the term “sinking funds”? What are sinking funds? It sounds like something pretty complicated on the surface, doesn’t it? There is the ring of danger to it and it almost sounds like it’s high finance or big business.

Sinking funds are important tools in planning your finances. Here's how they differ from emergency funds and why you'll want to set them up.

It is, and it does sound scary to some perhaps because it’s a phrase not often found in everyday at-home use. But it is something you need to be aware of, because every one of us at some point needs to have one! Let me tell you about it and how sinking funds can keep your finances afloat.

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Missing Your Money Due to a Tax Refund Delay? You’re Not Alone

It’s all over the news every day. May 17th was Tax Day this year and unless you filed for an extension, you had to settle up with Uncle Sam or face interest and penalties on your tax bill if you didn’t. That’s bad news for millions and there’s just no way to avoid it if you failed to file on time.

But what about the situation in reverse?

If the tax refund delay is causing you financial problems, here's how to deal with it and to make sure it doesn't happen again.

The IRS is behind on processing tax returns due to staff shortages and other complications. This tax refund delay could be holding up the money you were counting on to cover your bills.

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5 Warnings About the Softer Side of Retirement

When you think about retirement, the planning stages seem to be pretty obvious and simple. You work all the years you want or need to, save some of your money, invest it wisely, and then at some point in time, you retire. Now after you do, life is easy, right? You might think so, but before you get surprised, let me give you some retirement warnings.

Retirement should be a great time in your life. But you'd better heed these 5 retirement warnings about things you might not expect.

Retirement should mean no more waking up at dawn, fighting the morning traffic, and dealing with a boss who you almost never agree with but have to deal with every day. Now you get to call the shots and enjoy life on your terms…finally! The plan seems perfect: work until about age 65 and then enjoy the good life of golfing, travel, gardening, and/or being a grandparent.

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Warning: What Warren Buffett Says About Rising Inflation Matters

If you didn’t believe me or you didn’t want to believe me, then perhaps you will believe Warren Buffett about rising inflation. It really was inevitable and although I’d like to take credit for being one of the very first and only ones talking about the danger of inflation returning to the world economy, the truth is that it had to happen.

I've been talking about rising inflation for months, but now that Warren Buffett is talking about it, consider it a warning and be prepared.

With the economy suffering so much and so many businesses going down and under, there was only one way to see the course that would come when things started to open up and return to normal: Inflation from new higher wholesale and retail prices!

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