Money Milestones For Children And Young Adults

A few months ago I learned some alarming facts about debt and money management.

According to NerdWallet’s 2017 American Household Credit Card Debt Study, the average American household with credit card debt has a balance of approximately $15,432.

Indebted households pay hundreds in interest each year, and many Americans use credit cards to cover medical expenses.

Nearly 1 in 10 of those earning more than six figures annually said they struggled to make ends meet.

We need to have a conversation about money

Read moreMoney Milestones For Children And Young Adults

8 Free Investing Apps You Should Try If You’re New To Investing & Broke Like Me

What apps should you try if you’re new to investing?

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a YouTube video about the ins and outs of investing, for beginners. In the video, the speaker was excited to report that he’d become an investor.

He’d invested just $25 dollars so far!

Wait, what?!

It hadn’t occurred to me until then how little I knew about investing. I didn’t realize you could start with so little.

How did you start?
Where did you need to go?
Did you have to physically “go” anywhere?
Did you need to have a financial planner first?

Everything I know about investing can fit easily onto a 3 X 5 index card. Which is to say, I don’t know very much.

I know that when you invest you should be mindful of all the associated fees. If you invest through a brokerage firm or through an app online, at the absolute least, you should make sure you can answer these questions: 

Read more8 Free Investing Apps You Should Try If You’re New To Investing & Broke Like Me

How Do You Feel About Money?

Since I started this blog a few weeks ago, I’ve been asking friends and family to share their perspectives on wealth, personal finance, and money. When you were younger, what did you learn about money?

How do you feel about money?

Like most broke people, I hate money. From a historical standpoint, money was basically just made up.

What were you taught about wealth and money when you were younger?

Nothing: Go to school. Get a good job.

What do you wish you knew about money when you were younger?

I wish there was more emphasis on saving money. I don’t know if I would’ve ever listened. There are certain concepts I wish I knew earlier because a lot of things are time-based. I wish had learned better business sense too. 

Read moreHow Do You Feel About Money?

5 Reasons Not to Cosign on a Loan

I only see my brother twice a year if I’m lucky, but he’s one of the most important people in my life.

I taught him how to read.

He introduced me to Agatha Christie and anime.

When I turned 30, he flew more than 1,200 miles to celebrate with me.

When it took him longer than expected, I encouraged him to finish college.

We’ve traveled to more than 5 different cities together.

A few years ago, he even changed his hairstyle to match mine!

I’m just kidding.

That would be weird. 

Read more5 Reasons Not to Cosign on a Loan

8 Basic Questions About Trading & Investing

I don’t know very much about personal finance except for the mistakes I’ve made. Blogging about it has forced me to learn more and to understand more.

I recently asked a friend of mine to give me his two cents on trading and investing.

What questions do you have? What expertise can you share?

1. Are there certain basics you think people should know before they even start investing or trading? 

Yes. I think they should know certain concepts like the differences between a growth and value investor. They should know how to place a call order for stocks and how to automate it. They should know how to read a stock chart and what the numbers mean. Those are just a few things that come to mind.

[See also: Stock Market Basics: What Beginner Investors Should Know]
[See also: Stock Trading: How to Begin, How to Survive

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How Do You Feel About Being Rich?

Since I started this blog a few weeks ago, I’ve been asking friends and family to share their perspectives on wealth, personal finance, and money. When you were younger, what did you learn about what it meant to be rich or poor?

How do you feel about money?

It’s just a thing that’s needed to live within the current society. It’s neither evil nor good; it’s just a tool, and people use it for their own devices.

Should billionaires (or millionaires) exist? Is it right to aspire to be a billionaire (i.e. rich)?

I don’t see any moral or ethical issues with billionaires/millionaires existing because they are not all inherently bad or good. It’s their actions that reflect who they are as people. We have people like Bill Gates who donate a lot of money to many good causes, and then we have people like Trump who are just in it for the money/power.

We can’t even blame it on our capitalistic society because even economically socialist countries like Sweden have Ikea and Spotify, whose leaders make millions of dollars. That said though, there shouldn’t be preferable treatment towards these individuals, but there is, and we have to change that norm.

I think the proper idea to have is to be financially free. 

Read moreHow Do You Feel About Being Rich?

Should You Use Personal Loans To Pay Off Credit Card Debt?

What’s the best way to eliminate credit card debt?

I recently used Lending Club to secure a small personal loan to pay off some debt. I purposely made this decision because the interest rate I received (10.99%) was significantly less than the interest rate of my original debt (24.74%).

Although the decision was intentional, I admit I could have done more research upfront to compare rates, review lenders, and confirm there was no other, more viable, option.

No regrets

Read moreShould You Use Personal Loans To Pay Off Credit Card Debt?

7 Questions You Must Answer Before You Can Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Yesterday I read a post from NerdWallet’s 2017 American Household Credit Card Debt Study stating that the average American household with credit card debt has a balance of approximately $15,432.

Indebted households pay hundreds in interest each year, and many Americans use credit cards to cover medical expenses.

I am sensitive about my credit card debt because not all of it belongs to me; but as the cardholder, I understand that I am responsible for it.

Since this January 2018, I’ve paid off about $10,000!

If I continue to be successful, this December 2018 I hope to report that I’m completely credit card debt free. Hold me accountable!

I’m learning as much as I can about personal finance, money management, and investing.

If you’re finally able to pay down unwanted debt, please answer these questions first. 

Read more7 Questions You Must Answer Before You Can Eliminate Credit Card Debt

5 Things To Consider Once You Commit To Eliminating Debt

I used to sell life insurance in one of those thinly veiled pyramid schemes.

To be fair, I didn’t know what a pyramid scheme was at the time.

To be completely transparent, I never actually sold any insurance.

Way back then, I was too young and too green to be embarrassed about it.

I kept hope alive that that opportunity would work out for me in the end.

It didn’t.

I’d wanted another job on the side, but I hadn’t completely committed to getting rid of my debt.

To date, I have (1) credit card debt + (2) a car note + (3) and student loans.
Since I’ll be paying student loans off forever, I’m pretending that I’ll be “debt free” once #1 and #2 are done.

Don’t judge me. 

Read more5 Things To Consider Once You Commit To Eliminating Debt