All in Financial Basics

Financially Successful Woman: How to be Financially Empowered

“A woman’s best protection is a little money of her own.”

The gender gap is everywhere. Women are usually paid less in spite of their male counterpart doing the same job. Finance and women are also considered to be poles apart.

According to a survey conducted by Forbes, around 58% of men were of the view that their financial understanding was up to the mark, whereas only 47% of women said so.

But, the situation is changing day by day. Women are now gradually climbing the ladder and gaining financial success.

The College Series: What I Did With My First Paycheck

"No matter who is watching or paying the paycheck, we are ultimately each our own boss."

A few weeks into my summer internship, my bank account was graced with a direct deposit. As a student still living at home with my parents, my expenses were minimal when it came to things like extraneous bills and insurance.  It was pretty tempting, and fairly easy, to have just spent it all on new clothes, food, and drinks, (especially working in New York City) but with some thoughtful consideration, I realized I probably shouldn’t blow my first paycheck, or all of them for that matter. Here’s how I prioritized where all my money went and things I needed to consider as a student and emerging young professional.

10 Decisions I Might Change to Get Me to FI Faster

Hindsight is always 20/20.

My sister and I (who are in our 30s) recently sat down with our 22 year old sister to talk about finances and lessons learned. This got me thinking about some of the things I would change if I could to get me to financial independence faster. Of course, these are nice to think about and perhaps if I really did come across a time machine, I may change one or two decisions, but I do have to also say that the decisions we make get us to a certain point in our lives and we just need to learn and let live.

We Almost Fell Into The Trap of Buying a Larger Home

"If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”

My husband and I just closed on a condo a few weeks ago. After a few calculations and looking at the prices in the market and towns we wanted to be in, we came with a number that we were comfortable with. When we first started the process, we met with a mortgage loan officer and provided our financials. His first statement to us was “you know you could afford more,” but we stuck to our guns and kept our original budget in place.

How I Will Raise Money-Smart Kids (Not Spoiled Kids)

"How can we be the future if you're not going to teach us about money, which is our future?"

I don't have kids, so this will sort of be my manifesto for when I do. It will also serve as a snapshot of my thoughts at this point in my life. I know perspectives often change especially when there is an actual human being in the picture so I hope this helps me navigate how I want to raise kids that understand what money can do so that I may set them on a good financial path. These are my thoughts today. It could be different tomorrow as the world changes and I change. My husband's perspective and plans will be different. At some point, we will have to compromise as our goal, in the end, is to provide a good financial background for our future kids.

You Can Travel Hack and Still Have an Excellent Credit Score

It's better to see something once, than to hear about a thousand times.

One of the biggest eye openers for me in the past few years has been the idea of travel hacking. I had my first credit card when I was a senior in college. It had a $500 credit limit. A few months later, I was already maxing out that limit. I had no concept of credit (despite majoring in Econ), let alone how to use it wisely. Fast forward a few more years, I got into more credit card debt. Thankfully, I was able to put a stop into my credit card debt and started getting wise about its use.

What Barriers Do Young Australian Women Face in Reaching Financial Independence?

Australia is popularly known as “the lucky country.” It holds the OECD record for economic growth at 26 years and counting. While there are some definite advantages of living in Australia over the United States in terms of reaching financial independence (like free universal health care) there are still many reasons why Australian women need to think about financial independence differently than their male compatriots.

The Power of F U Money

Save for your freedom.

OK, I didn't necessarily call mine F U Money, but I did have a fund setup in case I needed a break from the 9 to 5.

I first had this sense of wanting to get out of the race early on in my career. I had just graduated from college and was working full time in IT at a pharmaceutical company.

Should You Pay Off Debt or Invest? FIRE Logic

This has been a question that's been weighing on my mind lately. Today, my husband and I have two large debts: a car loan and his student loans. I've been trying to weigh what our best strategy is towards these. Should we pay these off quickly or use some of the money to invest instead. Those in the FI/RE community will probably have a different way of looking into this.

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.