All posts tagged: personal finance

How to set achievable financial goals - plus a free printable

How to Set Achievable Financial Goals – Plus a Free, Printable Guide

At the start of a new year, we often find ourselves setting goals and seeking fresh starts. It isn’t coincidence. It’s something called a ‘temporal landmark.’ Humans seek out ways to improve on ourselves, and one of the popular ones (behind getting fit, losing weight, and enjoying life) is getting our finances in order. Maybe that’s you! And if you’ve committed to getting money-savvy this year I want to commend you. It’s never too late to start getting right with your finances. So today let’s capitalize on that momentum and excitement by talking about financial goal setting and positive habit formation. Why set financial goals? Setting great goals isn’t about creating a laundry list of everything you want to achieve (although that is part of it). It’s about getting really clear on what you want and how you will achieve it. As the late and great Lewis Carroll said, ‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.’ Goals provide focus. And when it comes to getting your finances in …

The Necessary Nature of Trade-Offs in Personal Finance

After November’s mediocre showing, I’ve been reflecting on my actions over the past month. It’s clear that I was overzealous in my first debt payment, and in doing so I had to rely on my credit card to cover other expenses, which only succeeded in putting me in another bad spot. What I was lacking was the mindfulness of the full picture of my finances and I was failing to create space between impulse and payment. I wasn’t asking myself the right questions or taking the time to make sure the math checks out. I gave in to the excitement and adrenaline rush of paying off a huge amount of debt without considering if it was the ‘right’ choice for that time. Lesson learned. Everyday we’re faced with making decisions. We ask ourselves things like: Should I do X? Should I buy Y? Should I get rid of Z? But I believe what we should be asking ourselves are things like: Would I rather do X, or would I rather do Y? Should I buy …

Saying Goodbye to Black Friday and My New Shopping Rules

Today is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. Since the 1930s, this day has traditionally marked the beginning of the Holiday shopping season. It’s popularity comes from the happy coincidence of Thanksgiving being the last major holiday before Christmas and that employers often give workers the Friday after Thanksgiving off as part of a holiday weekend. The name ‘Black Friday’ references stores accounting coming out of the ‘red’ (negative numbers) and into the ‘black’ (positive numbers. (citation needed) It’s a day that retailers employ some of marketing’s best tactics to increase sales: entice with doorbusters to get customers in the door, create a sense of urgency by limiting sales to a single day, and utilize the power of the hype train in all communication channels. Black Friday: Then and Now Over the past decades, the allure and madness of Black Friday has grown. Every year news outlets report on larger and larger crowds pushing, screaming and fighting over limited, out-of-stock or one-time only items. We see viral videos from inside stores …

Find Your Values and Prioritize Your Spending

One of the most important factors in personal finance success is prioritizing your spending in a way that is commensurate with your values. But what if you’re not sure what your values are? What are values? Values are those building-blocks that make each of us who we are. They are the things that you use to make decisions whether you’re aware of them or not. It’s important to call out that values are separate from morals. While culture and society may shape your morals, you, and you alone, define your values. How to Gain Clarity and Define Your Values By working to discover and name your values, you begin to build out explicit and strict criteria that can be used to make decisions in all areas of your life. My favorite value exploration exercise goes as follows: Grab some paper and something to write with Down the left side of the paper write down careers or jobs that you think you would enjoy Example: Historian, Author, Park Ranger On the right hand side write down …