Man-Up and Make Some Sacrifices

I was reading through some personal-finance forums the other day when I came across a post that read something like this: I have a $20,000 student loan, one car loan for $11,000, another car loan for $15,000, $150/month cable bill, $40/month…

Pensions and Your Retirement

We’re going to go over how to save for retirement if you have a pension.  Just a little disclaimer: This strategy is no doubt from a more conservative saver’s point of view.  I tend to be a little less trusting of defined…

Dominate Savings with Automation

When browsing the questions on /r/personalfinance, I’m always shocked to see how many posts there are asking about how to save money.  What they should be asking about is how to save money automatically. I almost never take part in the act…

Phase 8 – Pay Off Your Mortgage

Welcome to Phase 8.  Let’s talk about different ways that you can pay off your mortgage and what paying it off early can do for you.  As we talked about earlier, some people may choose to prioritize Phase 8 over Phase…

Phase 7: Save Outside of Retirement Accounts

Phase 7 is all about how to save outside of retirement accounts.  You’ll be making similar investments, but they won’t be locked away in an account that you can only access once you’re 59-1/2 years old.  This type of account is simply…

Phase 6: Bump Up Your 401(k) to 10%

If you’ve made it this far, you’re kicking some serious financial butt! Pause a moment to think about it. You created–and hopefully stuck to–a lean budget, began contributing enough to your 401(k) to get your employer’s full match, paid off…

Phase 5: Maxing Your Roth IRA

So who is this Roth guy and what is a Roth IRA? In 1997, the Taxpayer Relief Act established the Roth Individual Retirement Account. The legislative sponsor was none other than William Roth.  This arrangement is significant for one reason: taxes.…

Phase 4: Paying off debt

If you’re like many Americans, you’ll find that your money is already spent before it even clears your bank account on pay-day. And it’s spent on debt. Your house payment. Your car payment. Your credit card payment. Your student loans.…

Phase 3: 401(k) Match

Before we get started with what you should do with your 401(k), let’s conduct a brief overview of retirement savings accounts.  We’ll start at a high level and work our way down from there. Crash Course in Retirement Accounts Overall, there are…

Phase 2: Emergency Fund

If you successfully made it through Phase 1 by cutting your monthly spending by 20%, this step will be easy.  Why?  Even if you had been spending every cent of your paycheck and not saving at all, when you reduced your spending…