Focusing on Major Expenses

Often on this blog I will talk about saving money in everyday expenses. From cutting your cell phone or cable bill to clipping coupons or the virtues of budgeting. All of these topics are important and there’s plenty of material to discuss but the fact is, most of the expenses we will face in our lives will come from only a few categories. They makeup what I call our major expenses and I think too often we ignore them. Ignoring them however could have grave consequences on our ability to save and leave the lasting legacy that we want to leave. Continue reading “Focusing on Major Expenses”

Biggest Budget Chunks

What 4 categories eat up the largest pieces of your budget pie? I was reading an article on Motley Fool that tried to answer this very question. The results were based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Before we get to the four budget categories the article mentioned another interesting factoid about our average savings rate. In the past 50 years our savings rate has dropped in half from 12% to 5.6%. This is an interesting thing to note since we are talking about our largest expenses. Now to the four categories. Continue reading “Biggest Budget Chunks”

Millennials and Consumer Debt

I firmly believe that debt is the greatest risk that consumers, businesses and governments face right now. From my viewpoint all three groups are overextend but it hasn’t stopped them. They keep racking up more and more debt while seemingly oblivious to the consequences. I’ve written a lot of articles about debt and today I have another one for you. At the end of the day, the increase in debt doesn’t have to continue. It can stop today and it starts with you saying enough is enough. Continue reading “Millennials and Consumer Debt”

Digit Outrage

This story broke last week and I wasn’t sure how to respond to it. The savings app Digit has decided to charge a $2.99 monthly fee for their service. The service was free so you can imagine there were a lot of upset people. At the end of the day though, Digit is a business. Any business has to find a way to make money. They have to be profitable or the business isn’t sustainable. I understand going from a free app to charging a monthly fee isn’t what people want to hear but it is the reality of life. Continue reading “Digit Outrage”

Parallel Universe, True Stewardship

If your a fan of television shows such as Dr Who or Star Trek you know what a parallel universe is. It is an alternative existence to what is currently happening. It is a reality that co-exists with your own current existence. This concept is the best way that I know of to describe how our Christian walk effects our finances. There are two competing economies, Earth and God. They are polar opposites and yet they co-exist at the same time. As Christians we start life out by living in the former but we are called to focus on the latter. Continue reading “Parallel Universe, True Stewardship”

Tesla, The Little Engine that Could

Yesterday, Tesla became the most valuable US car maker, slightly edging out GM. Obviously this is based on their stock values and their market capitalization. GM sells way more cars each year compared to Tesla. But Teslas’ stock value has surged in the last month by 35%. Investors appear to be betting on the upcoming Tesla Model 3 and hoping that it will take over the market. Continue reading “Tesla, The Little Engine that Could”

Household Debt on the Rise

The last quarterly gauge of 2016 that looked at household debt saw a near record level. Household debt stood at $12.58 trillion dollars. Debt was up $460 billion year over year and is now just 0.8% off the all time high that was reached just before the Great Recession hit, $12.68 trillion. Mortgage debt was the largest piece of the pie at $8.48 trillion followed by student loan debt at $1.31 trillion and auto loan debt at $1.16 trillion. I know that I’ve beat this drum over and over again but we are a nation and a people with way too much debt. Continue reading “Household Debt on the Rise”

Investible Assets

How much do you need in order to be considered wealthy? I’m sure people will answer that question differently. Some might base it off the income you have, the stuff you have, the investments you have or a combination of these and other things. Phoenix Marketing International published their annual Wealth & Affluent Monitor to help answer this very question. Continue reading “Investible Assets”

Retirement Concerns

What are your biggest retirement worries? I thought for many the biggest fear would be never having the ability to retire. Merrill Lynch and Age wave conducted a new study on retirement savings and found that 1/3 of all adults have $0 in retirement savings. None, they haven’t even begun the journey. Another 23% had less than $10,000 saved. No wonder the hope of retirement is a fading dream for many and also why I thought that would be the biggest concern. I was wrong, not being to retire wasn’t the biggest concern. Continue reading “Retirement Concerns”

A Big Pile of Junk

Junk, Fallen Angel, High Yield or whatever else you want to call it, these bonds have been all the rage for many years. For almost a decade now, interest rates have been skimming the bottom of the barrel causing many to reach for better yields. One popular arena has been junk bonds. I myself have bought them in the form of a mutual fund because it’s been one of only a few bond areas returning anything. But a recent story on Investopedia gave me pause about my own holdings. Continue reading “A Big Pile of Junk”