Adulting 101: 9 Steps of Personal Finances for Grown-Ups

When you are a child, someone usually takes care of your finances for you, even if you hate that! That someone is most likely to be mom or dad or a guardian, but whomever it is, they try to make sure you have everything you need until that day comes when you fly away from the nest – so to speak. The hope is, of course, that you don’t try to fly and then crash and burn as you hit the ground, but even with help, you might. That’s the reason that Adulting 101 is so important. It’s time to learn personal finances for yourself now that you are a grown-up (no matter how grown up you may already be)!

Teacher with blackboard that says Adulting 101

Now That You’re on Your Own, What Will You Need?

There is a long list of basics that everyone needs in order to be financially secure, or at least try to be. They’re not new and they’re not complicated, but it seems that so many of us fail to “get it”, that is the real importance of these things. It’s that safety net you’ll need when you do jump from the nest and will continue to need for your entire life.

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Saving Money Is Earning Money and Here’s Why

One of the things I shouldn’t ever have to explain to anyone is this simple fact: If you are saving money, in any way, you are actually earning money! It’s effectively the same thing and it’s something you can do almost every time you shop. Even if all you are doing is heading to the grocery store, the gas station, or the mall, when you save when you shop it means that your money isn’t going anywhere except into your pocket just as if you “earned” it. Saving money is earning money!

Woman and piggy bank representing saving money

Something Really Good Happens When You Save

Although you could waste your precious time debating whether or not earning more at your job, side gig, or working for your Uncle Fred in Tucson is a better way to get more cash and build your wealth, why bother? (Spoiler alert: You can do both.) You deal with money every day and you have it in your hand all the time, so why not figure out new and better ways to hold on to to some more of it when you must spend it?

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Will the Social Security 2023 COLA Increase Be an All-Time Record?

Retirees and disabled people could see a record jump in the Social Security 2023 COLA increase (cost of living adjustment). That’s great news, right? However, benefits aren’t keeping up with rampant inflation and that, my friend, is a big problem.

Couple with binoculars looking forward to represent the 2023 COLA increase

It’s like I’ll give you a $20 bill from here in my left hand and then, I’ll take it back from you with my right. Oh, and then by the way, I’ll also take another one from your wallet, your bank account, and perhaps even charge you for that privilege too while I do it!

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How Does Ongoing Inflation Rank Among America’s Problems Right Now?

There are many burning questions on the minds of Americans these days. With all the gut punches that we’ve been taking in the past few years, bad news is the norm and good news…well, try to find some.

Money with arrow pointing down representing ongoing inflation

When it comes to our health, the way we socialize, the kids and schooling, politics, human rights, women’s rights, civil rights, war, and yes, I have to say it, the terror we face every week from gun violence, inflation may seem like an unimportant back burner issue. But it’s not. So how does ongoing inflation rank among America’s biggest problems? And what can we do to prepare for it?

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Now Is the Time to Look at Your 2022 Financial Scorecard and Adjust

As we begin the month of June, it’s a great time to check out your financial scorecard for the year…so far. That is if you can stand the pain of looking at it. With five months now in the books, June is the perfect time to evaluate and re-evaluate what has happened to you financially this year and then to adjust where necessary so you can make 2022 the best possible year it can be. It’s a subject we all need to be on top of, but many of us never look at the numbers until it’s way too late to do anything about them.

Dartboard with bullseye representing a financial scorecard

Our Financial Scorecard Is Like a Business P&L

If you work for a business, you probably know what a P&L is (profit and loss statement) and what it means to the company. In simple terms, it’s the scorecard of their financial numbers and how the company is performing against the plan.

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In This Turbulent Market, Is It Too Late to Start Investing Now?

After sitting on the sidelines for even just a little while—say the past few years because you were just starting out in life, the pandemic had you sitting at home worried, your income was down or non-existent, or you just were afraid of the stock market in general, whatever the reason—you missed the boat. That great “boom” investment market has left the shore and maybe it is going to be sailing away for quite a long time, who really knows. Many in the financial world think it may have left for a good long time and if it has, does that mean that it’s too late to start investing now?

Dollar bills and pocket watch representing whether it is too late to start investing now

Investing Is a “Loooooooong” Game

Unlike an actual game, investing has no real timeline whereas a game has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The only meaningful timeline investing can have is for someone who needs their money in their hand right now for some real purpose like an emergency that requires all cash on deck. Hopefully that will never happen to you, but sometimes it does. If you are in a situation like that, investing money isn’t available to you right now.

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Why We Overspend and How to Stop Spending So Much

We see a slew of advertisements and sales all the time—on TV, in magazines, on radio and online, just to name a few. Stores use their best tricks to attract you, the shopper, and to persuade you to spend more freely with surprise sales, “rush” or “limited time” deals, and other enticing offers. They’re really good at what they do and I know because I was one of those guys doing it for decades when I worked for some giant retailers and helped accomplish those goals!

Woman on bench with shopping bags representing overspending and how to stop spending

So how is the average shopper ever supposed to push back and save their budget during all of the bargains they push at you?

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How You Can Save Money in These High Inflation Days

Good news…well, maybe. The inflation numbers for April overall were down slightly from March. It may mean that inflation has peaked, but what it doesn’t mean is that things will be returning to normal soon, or ever. Prices that go up, in general, never go down as time moves on. That’s the real problem with high inflation.

Piggy bank on coins representing saving money during high inflation days

Strangely though, on the surface, inflation 2022-style isn’t like you father’s inflation days of the 1970s and 80s. Sure, there is the biggie: gasoline prices soaring now to a record high average of $4.47 a gallon nationally (even higher than that in places like California topping $6.00). But even so, that number isn’t making as much of an impact as buying a tankful did when the average paycheck could barely afford one at $1.00 a gallon!

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