What Is the Most Important Financial Decision You’ll Ever Make?

Wouldn’t it be just great if you could ask yourself a question like the one in the title of today’s post and get all the information and the answer you need to make a great financial decision? I guess first you need to know what questions to ask to find out the answer. That seems to be much more difficult than it appears and if you were to ask ten people that big question, you might get ten different answers. And they all may be right! Life is so confusing and so intimidating when you first start out on its highway, isn’t it?

Chess board representing the most important financial decision you’ll ever make

If you actually ask yourself the right questions, then the answers come a lot more quickly and easily. The problem, however, is that sometimes we don’t ask the right questions or even worse, we don’t ask any questions at all and just let life take us down the highway all by itself. That’s dangerous and like riding in a car and traveling at high speed without any brakes! So let’s try to answer it: “What is the most important financial decision you’ll ever make?

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How to Avoid Money Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Finances

I have blogged in the past about some specific no-no behaviors and money mistakes to avoid in life. They all are important to know and understand. But today I want to talk to you about some of the real basics of those mistakes, and how to avoid them.

Woman reacting after making money mistake, it's better to avoid money mistakes

Kids Do and Kids Learn

When you first were exposed to having some money in your life as a kid, it’s such a big deal that I bet you were just like I was. I held onto it as tight as I could, evaluating every single penny and how I would spend it.

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Why Do We Spend Money on All Those Things We Don’t Need?

As someone who worked in retailing for decades, I can tell you that business is responsible for creating an awful lot of need. Or is it that we just think we need them? There are some things in life that we actually do need, like food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and so on. But even within those basic necessities, needs are always being created for things that do us no good at all or even cause us harm to our finances and there’s the problem. So when you really think about it, you have to ask the question, “Why do we spend so willingly on things we don’t need?”

Young woman with shopping bags after buying things we don't need

The “Brand Name” Thing

No one needs Adidas or Nike sneakers. No one needs a Big Mac. No one needs a Lexus or a Range Rover (especially here in NJ where the ranges are few and far between!). And the list of branded items that we don’t really need goes on and on.

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Your 2022 Social Security COLA Increase May Be Huge

The pandemic we have all been experiencing has resulted in so many hardships. The ongoing spike in inflation that has Americans paying more for gas, food, cars, and many other things could lead to the biggest Social Security COLA increase in almost 40 years when officials announce the cost of living adjustment for 2022 in October. That’s just two months from now. And wouldn’t it help if that announced increase was to be a biggie? Well, it appears that it just might be. 2022 may see the largest Social Security monthly payout increases in almost 40 years!

Senior couple shopping in the supermarket after receiving a huge Social Security COLA increase

Social Security Changes – Are They on Your Horizon?

Every year some nuances are adjusted in the Social Security system. Usually it’s a modest increase in the amount you will receive and that is based on the CPI, the index that measures inflation each year. We can debate whether or not the index is a valid one. For years seniors have been claiming that it isn’t and doesn’t accurately reflect the “real” costs to seniors like medical costs.

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Making Good Investment Choices That Grow Your Money

I was at one time in my career a financial advisor working with a major U.S. bank. It was my job to help people decide on what investment choices were best for them, how much to invest, and how safe or risky those investments might be. That put pressure on me, but even more pressure on my clients who were risking their hard-earned money. I gave the best advice I could for each individual, but here’s the fact: no one knows with certainty exactly what will happen when you invest in the stock market.

A seedling being watered so it will grow like your investment choices

So the real question is “Can you make good investment choices that will grow your money?” That’s the subject for today, but first let me tell you that I’m retired and no longer a financial advisor. And secondly, today’s post does not take into account the specifics of your situation and should not be considered financial advice.

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Why It Isn’t Convenient to Worship Convenience, According to Your Wallet

Sometimes I try to save money by buying things that I think that I “really” need and will use every day. It’s innocent enough and smart, right? But you and I may sometimes need a reminder or even more, a kick in the butt, about the whole spending routine that we all do each week.

Woman holding take-out containers for convenience

Gary, what kick are you referring to here? It’s our obsession with “convenience”. You know it’s true. Here’s a reminder that I have to slap myself in the face with each time I wander down the path to worship the idol at the convenience altar; a false idol is a false idol every time.

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Goal Planning or Do You Believe in M.A.G.I.C.?

I have written so many posts over the years (more than 700!) that sometimes I don’t always remember some of the detail now. But in some important cases, I not only remember them but I really do live them. This one today comes from way back in 2015 and it’s certainly one that we all should be living every day. So it’s time to reflect and recall on goal planning. It’s “M.A.G.I.C”!

Magic hat and playing cards symbolizes the M.A.G.I.C. acronym of goal planning

Dreams

Just about everyone has some real dreams, hopes, and visions of what they want their lives, jobs, and families to be like. It’s our nature to think about these things and work towards our desired result. But how do you get there? What method is there to get you from here to there, the place you really want to be?

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How to Score 24 Birthday Freebies

For today’s guest post on birthday freebies, please welcome Marjolein from Radical FIRE.

They say it’s your birthday? It’s my birthday, too! Let’s Celebrate!

Celebrating your birthday should be a fun and exciting day each year. An opportunity to indulge, to let time slow down, and to receive gifts and affection. It’s one of the days of the year where you need to feel special and loved. One thing birthdays should not be? Expensive!

Woman blowing out candles on a birthday cake and thinking about birthday freebies

Spending money on your birthday isn’t necessary to have a good time. In fact, wouldn’t the ideal birthday be one in which you spend no money at all? We definitely think so. That’s why we investigated some of the best birthday freebies. With some planning, you can have a fantastic birthday filled with free treats, gifts, free perfume samples, and some major discounts. Now, this is something that is worth reading, isn’t it?

Keep reading to find out the 24 best birthday freebies that we found for you!

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