Planning Your Financial Independence Day

It’s July and Americans are getting ready to celebrate Independence Day on July 4th! It’s a day with fireworks, great food, and gathering your loved ones together to appreciate all the good things we have here in the US and pay homage to it. Despite the headlines, we still know that this is the land of opportunity and we feel lucky to be a part of it. And so we celebrate our country’s independence. But have you ever thought about celebrating your financial independence day?

Planning Your Financial Indpendence Day

Financial independence (or FI as it’s known) isn’t a dollar amount you accumulate but rather a date that you have or will set for your financial freedom. Most of us think of it as a retirement date, simply because it will take some time to reach the goals for your independence. For some people it can come early in life, just ask Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. But for the rest of us, it’s a longer term goal and we get to it with good plans and habits. It’s what we want and look forward to, isn’t it? So let’s plan it right now: your financial independence day can come before retirement!Continue reading“Planning Your Financial Independence Day”

Are You Wasting Your Money?

In this day and age, perhaps more than ever, spending your money wisely is essential to keeping you and your family financially healthy. If you’re like me, you probably plan a budget and think about your big purchases long and hard before you spend any hard-earned money. You probably don’t think you waste your money, but sometimes our everyday habits leak money without our even realizing it.

Are You Wasting Your Money?

Are you wasting money? Take a look at this list to figure out what ways your money may be disappearing right out of your pocket.Continue reading“Are You Wasting Your Money?”

OMG, I Can’t Pay My Bills!

Maybe you’re in your twenties and you’ve been out and about enjoying life. You socialize with your friends most nights and you finally got that apartment you always wanted even though it cost just a little more than you wanted to pay. You have a job, but it’s not the one you really wanted. It’s a paycheck and some experience, but you really want something better. And now this…you realize that you just can’t pay all your expenses each month and you’re in big trouble! Trust me on this: you’re not alone. Many young people (and even not so young people) start out with the idea that everything will just fall into place once they’re on their own. They’re all about the fun of independence, their first apartment and job, and what seems to be a great adventure with sunshine and happiness ahead. But, the reality is you never had to manage your own money before. Mom and Dad probably helped you quite a bit and if a shortfall ever arose, well they put a bandaid on it with a loan or a gift. There’s nothing to be ashamed of here. It’s part of growing up and now that you are an adult, you need to figure it out on your own!

OMG I Can't Pay My Bills

So you can’t pay your bills…what can you do?Continue reading“OMG, I Can’t Pay My Bills!”

5 Smart Money Choices for New Grads

We all have decisions we make every day and we seem to survive just fine with the vast majority of them, even when we are young or inexperienced. We can usually decide how to spend our free time and what to have for lunch and dinner without much difficulty, despite the number of choices out there. There’s very little stress involved and any choice we make won’t affect our lives too much (barring some foolish behaviors like excess drinking or drug use).

5 Smart Money Choices for New Grads

But when it comes to financial matters and money choices, it’s a whole different ballgame. These decisions can be very tough, especially for new college graduates who have little or no experience in making them, and can cause heavy-duty, brain-busting stress. Especially because the money habits we start as young adults can have benefits, or consequences, far into our futures.Continue reading“5 Smart Money Choices for New Grads”

A Roadmap to Happiness, Success, and Financial Health

The following blog post is part of the The Road to Financial Wellness Blog Tour.
Over a period of 30 days, the Phroogal team will go to 30 locations to raise
awareness about financial empowerment. Today they will be in Elizabeth, NJ!
Our goal is to help people learn about money by starting the conversation.
We understand  that local conversations can help bring
about national awareness.

I worked for forty-five years in the business world before I began writing this blog in my retirement. That’s how long it took me to put together, in a simple way, how you can achieve happiness, success, and financial health in your life by focusing on a road to that very goal. By avoiding many of the mistakes I, and many others, have made over the years, you can improve your chances of feeling that feeling that makes you a success.

A Roadmap to Happiness, Success, and Financial Health

It seems like most of us work very long, hard hours, making personal sacrifices in the hope that we will make more money and get promotions. Despite doing that, most of us aren’t really happy in our current situation. We want more, but we don’t seem to know how to get there. A big part of the equations is that we think that being financially successful makes us happy, and that monetary wealth guarantees we will have it all.Continue reading“A Roadmap to Happiness, Success, and Financial Health”

Is Your Emergency Fund Big Enough?

It’s Murphy’s Law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Now it might not be as bad as all that, but you never know when a crisis will hit out of the blue. And that’s why having an emergency fund is so important. Typical personal finance advice says to save approximately 3 to 6 month’s worth of expenses in an emergency fund to deal with life’s unexpected expenses. But how many people actually keep that much sitting around? Most people have some consumer debt, so if they’re focused on their finances at all, they’re typically saving up a minimal emergency fund (like $500-$1,000), and then spending the rest on paying down their bills. That seems reasonable, after all the interest you’re likely paying on your consumer debt usually far outweighs the measly 1% interest you’d be lucky to get on your savings (if you can even find 1%). But is your emergency fund big enough to save you? When it comes to emergency savings, size matters.

Is Your Emergency Fund Big Enough?
Continue reading“Is Your Emergency Fund Big Enough?”

4 Valuable Reasons to Delay Spending

Most of the time, when people want to save more and spend less, they try to reduce or eliminate their extra spending. And this is a really important part of living below your means, saving money, and reaching your financial goals. But sometimes, just delaying your spending is enough to make an important difference.

4 Valuable Reasons to Delay Spending

However, delaying your spending can also be a bad idea. In fact, sometimes it’s a really, really bad idea. If you have a medical issue, or if your car or home needs a repair, waiting can be a huge mistake. Your problem can escalate from a small, manageable issue into a large, expensive one. Plus those issues can multiply and affect your income (missing work due to an unreliable car or an illness) and now putting that spending off will cost you big time.

But if you’re thinking of spending on a purchase, whether it’s something big (like a home or a car), medium (like a laptop or smartphone) or even something small, there are several useful reasons to delay your spending.Continue reading“4 Valuable Reasons to Delay Spending”

Are You Choosing to Live Paycheck to Paycheck?

A tremendous number of people these days are living paycheck to paycheck. What exactly does that mean? It means they use all of their paycheck for expenses and are unable (or unwilling) to save up for an emergency, a goal, or retirement. That’s a scary place to be because a temporary job loss or emergency expense would throw them into debt or more likely, further into debt than they already are.

Are You Choosing to Live Paycheck to Paycheck?

According to a survey by Bankrate.com, only 38% of Americans have emergency savings for expenses like an emergency room visit or car repair. Continue reading“Are You Choosing to Live Paycheck to Paycheck?”