Sunday, July 29, 2012

How to Effectively Save for Retirement

I've talked about the 401(k) and the IRA separately before, but I thought I'd do a more consolidated post comparing the two.  There are two main types of accounts that you can use to get tax advantages to save for retirement and they each come in two forms.  The two main types of accounts are 401(k)s and IRAs and the two forms are traditional and Roth.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Online Savings Accounts

I haven't blogged about one critical tool almost everyone has for their personal finances: the savings account. I've introduced bank accounts before and analyzed what are the important features to look for in a bank account, but I don't think I've specifically addressed which are the best bank accounts to have.  In a savings account, you really only care about 3 things: convenience, security, and returns.  You want it to be easy to use when checking your balance or making transfers, you want to make sure that your money is safe, and you want to make sure that you are earning as much as you can on your savings.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Income Analysis 2012 YTD

There are always two sides to the financial health equation.  The past couple weeks I have been taking a closer look at the expense side of things, analyzing how much I spend on food, transportation, and bills this year compared to last year.  Why do we automatically think that budgeting means controlling our spending?  There is the income side that you need to look at as well.  The thing is that controlling expenses is relatively easy while increasing your income can be difficult to do, at least in the short-term.  However, arguably there is much more potential to improve your financial health by increasing your income.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Expense Analysis 2012 YTD

Although it sounds extremely dorky, I actually enjoyed looking at the data and making the charts for my last post looking at my credit card rewards for the first half of this year.  I took a slightly more in depth look at my expenses overall, especially with my handy budgeting app, and wanted to share the results.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Credit Card Expenses YTD 2012

Some of the benefits of budgeting is that you can get a really good look at how your expenses shape up year after year.  Are your consumer habits changing?  Maybe you didn't realize that eating out every day rather than every week was having that big of an impact.  Taking the time to check with a budget can be really helpful.  I am going to take a look at my records for the first half of 2012.