Check out this cool info graphic by the folks at the Debt Movement.
When it comes to personal finances, you’ve got to run your race . There are many voices out there telling you the who, what, when, where, and how’s about money (my voice included).
Each runner in this personal finance race is unique, so the training methods and running styles will differ slightly, but there are some common core running principals you have to adhere to. Find out what works for you and hit the track.
There are a lot of popular personal finance voices out there. Each have their own agenda or main focus. A coach can both motivate and point out areas you need to improve on.
Find a money coach you can trust or a combination of voices and apply what they are shouting through their bullhorns.
”Some people create with words, or with music, or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, “I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.” It’s more then just a race, it’s a style. It’s doing something better then anyone else. It’s being creative.”-Prefontaine
Sorry, this one is predetermined. You are running for the long haul. You’re running for life. Personal finance is no sprint or 5K, yet you’ll have times when you’ll sprint to get ahead or to jump an upcoming hurdle. Think Ultra Marathon.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”-Prefontaine
Some runners have to start by–walking. The Couch to 5K running plan might be where you need to start, but you’ll be jogging soon enough. Budgets will soon be a breeze and you’ll be making wise financial decisions blindfolded.
The time to run the race of personal finances is every day. Each day wake up and throw on those sneakers and log those miles. Every month make a budget, resist debt hourly, with every paycheck invest a little. The financial principals work best when applied on a consistant basis. Don’t blow your whole race on holiday binge eating with no training.
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”-Steve Prefontaine
Remember when you’re running this personal finance race there are other races you’re running simultaneously: Faith, Family, Friends, Career, Learning…etc. When you succeed in these other areas, you’ll likely begin to see success in your personal finances. Success breeds success.
If you are only running for money, then you’re running the wrong race.
It is hard to run alone, though if that works for you and you can be successful-props to you. If you are like myself and most of us, you need a financial running buddy.
That buddy is already chosen for you if you’re married. Singles will need to find someone who can look at their budget and tell them “no”.
The race is happening if you realize it or not. How are you doing? No matter where you are, you can begin to walk and move towards the finish line.
Run. Choose to win. Finish well.
(Photo Credit domi-san)
I recently moved from Los Angeles to Oklahoma and have noticed a huge decrease in our cost of living.
In short I’ve realized that the cost of living really matters to your personal finances.
The cost of living refers to the prices paid for everyday products and services for a given area. Each region, state, and city have their unique cost of living.
A dollar earned in one region won’t buy as much or could buy more in another section of the country. Purchasing power varies.
Your cost of living determines how far your dollar will go and thus directly impacts the quality of life for your family.
Upon moving, these are known cost of living decreases we’ve experienced thus far moving from California to Oklahoma:
Before you decide to relocate, determine your cost of living using several of these calculators:
How does cost of living and purchasing power impact your finances?
As a “Saver” since 2008, I sadly write this article wearing my bright orange ING T-shirt with the phrase Save Your Money.
In just a few short hours ING Direct (a popular online bank) will be fully absorbed by Capital One.
The logo, the name, the fun bright orange colors, and more are heading the way of the Dodo bird with this change from ING Direct to Capital One 360 that cost Captial One almost 9 billion dollars.
Those who have put their trust and money with ING are full of much fear and a watch-and-see mentality is the norm for many of We the Savers.
I was stricken with the idea of an online only bank like ING Direct and the higher interest rates they (once) offered.
Their witty marketing didn’t hurt either that encouraged us to be fiscally fit and save with that quirky orange ball. What was your favorite ING Direct billboard ad?
I loved that they supported running and had coffee shops that sold Peet’s Coffee–far superior to the Starbucks by the way.
Another important factor that attracted Savers to ING was that they didn’t offer credit cards nor were they affiliated with a much hated bank with poor customer service.
The question remains will Capital One 360 be an improvement or will they make changes that force many Savers to flee to other options?
Several changes stick out in my mind with the change to Capital One 360:
Despite these positive changes, I have several questions that make We the Savers weary–and looking at alternatives to ING.
Are you a ING customer? How do you feel and will you stick with Capital One 360?
Tax refunds. Yep, we’re getting one this year. Of course, I would have rather that money spread throughout the course of the year, but we had a few unknown factors.
We had even saved up to pay taxes and we’ll get to allocate that money also. A double bonus!
So now comes the question: How do you spend a tax refund? There are many options, but here are a some traditional ideas + few ideas we’re brain storming.
1. Giving-Let’s start with giving, since that is a high priority for many people. Some might call it a tithe or some a love drop. Whatever you call it–giving is a financial habit and character trait that will help you remember that money isn’t everything in life.