Category: Financial Scoreboards

The Key to Keeping Financial Resolutions (Or Why My Finances Are in Better Shape than My Body)

Surveys show that the most common New Year’s resolutions are physical and financial.  I have certainly made my share of both of these types of resolutions over the years but I have had a lot more success in keeping my financial resolutions than my physical ones.  Why is that?  Is it just my personality or…

Is Spock or Homer Simpson in Charge of Your Financial Plan?

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle, ancient Greek Philosopher – If we consistently make good choices it will lead to good habits.  I recently read two books that examine some of the factors that influence our choices and behaviors.  An understanding of these factors…

Calculating Your Personal Savings Rate

In the last post I identified the personal savings rate as the most important measurement in personal finance (What is the Most Important Measurement in Personal Finance?)  In this post I will teach you how to calculate your personal savings rate and how to interpret the results. Historical Perspective Americans are notoriously poor savers.  The…

Personal Savings Rate is the Most Important Measurement in Personal Finance

“Save” – the sum of all financial planning wisdom in one word.  –Phil DeMuth, author and investment advisor Moneyball I recently finished reading the excellent book Moneyball, by Michael Lewis.  The book tells the story of how the Oakland A’s, with a payroll well less than half of baseball’s glamour teams such as the New York…

Confronting Your Financial Reality is the First Step to Improving It

There’s no difference between a pessimist who says, ‘Oh, it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything,” and an optimist who says, “Don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine anyway.”  Either way nothing happens. -Yvon Choiuinard, rock climber, environmentalist, and founder of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia     Admiral James Stockdale was the…

Cash is an Incredibly Compelling Scoreboard

Another simple way to budget is the cash/envelope method.  If you examine your spending habits you will likely find that much of your spending is fixed.  You can’t do a lot immediately about your mortgage or rent, car payment, or basic utilities.  To quickly gain control of your budget your discretionary spending is usually the…