All in Financial Basics

How to Use Venmo Securely

Venmo me tomorrow.

Based on certain sources, I am considered a millennial, although I'm at the end of the older spectrum. My sister on the other hand is at the opposite side of the spectrum so it's interesting to see her take on certain things: Venmo is one of them. I actually use Venmo and find value in it, but perhaps not to the extent that the younger generation does so I asked her to provide some best practices for using Venmo. Here are some tips on how to use Venmo safely and securely.

If you are not familiar, Venmo is a mobile payment service owned by Paypal. It allows a quick and easy way to transfer money via a mobile app or desktop.

How to Use Your Public Library on the Journey to Financial Independence

A library is infinity under a roof.

Today, I want to talk about the library. I know, for most adults, the library was probably a thing of the past. For many of us, we probably stopped going to the library after middle school or after college. With everything available on the internet, it's easy to rely on Google or Amazon for all of our information needs. I want to challenge that thinking and encourage you to get your library card and take advantage of what your local library has to offer. I think the library is one of the most underutilized resources out there. For anyone starting the FIRE journey (Financial Independence/Retire Early), don't discount the library as a tool for your journey.

Why Checking Your Credit Report is as Important as Your Yearly Gyno Visit

A lot can happen in 365 days.

Usually, at around the time of my birthday in March, I like to get my yearly doctor check-ups done. It's just easier for me to remember and also I feel like it makes sense since I’m another year older and another year wiser. One other thing that I also like to do during this time is to check my credit report…because my birthday also means another year of being a more responsible adult.

If you are not comfortable doing this around your birthday, do this around tax season. It's a great way to put yourself in the mindset of money management. Start associating April as the month where you also take care of yourself and your finances.

Total Stock Market Investing As a College Student or First Time Investor

There are things we don't know we don't know.

Investing is a scary act. It involves risk and reward. It involves research. It involves understanding how companies work and how company information is presented in financial statements. There's an old advice out there that says "invest in what you know" meaning support the companies that you would buy from. For a period of time, I invested heavily in an index that tracked against the growth of the S&P 500. This was a hands off approach and one that I would recommend to those just starting out. There's a lot of volatility (ups and downs) with investing in single companies so instead the idea is to invest in an index fund or a mutual fund that already has a diversified list of companies (meaning the basket consists of various companies from many industries.)

Is Being Basic Costing You Money?

Is being basic costing you money?

There's been a term floating around for a few years now called "basic." Urban Dictionary defines it as someone who "engages in typical, unoriginal behaviors, modes of dress, speech, and likes." Is there anything wrong with liking the things that are being mass marketed to us? Absolutely not, BUT, sometimes we have to start doing the unconventional to be able to get off of the same hamster wheel that everyone is on. Being average in the world of Financial Independence sometimes carries a price. 

Track Your Finances For Free With Personal Capital And Get to FI Faster

There are these billboards on the highway close to where we live that says we spend more time liking photos on social media, than planning for retirement. This sounds scary to me. I will also be the first to admit that sometimes I get lost on social media. I've learned to strike a balance though by using a financial app that's as easy to use and as aesthetically pleasing as the feeds I see on Instagram.

What is My Money Mindset?

Money is just a tool. It is neither good or bad. It's value comes from how it is used. 

BUT...depending on how you grew up, you may not think of money that way. Money may be a source of fear. Money may be a source of strength. Money may conjure up good or bad memories.

What is Lifestyle Inflation?

Most people live for the 5-10% pay increase every year. Many think they deserve the increase for putting in another year on the job. The reality is that most of the time this increase is typically eaten by lifestyle inflation and taxes and does not result in incremental wealth.