Debt Management Personal Finance


  • Economy & Politics
  • Investing
  • Personal Finance
  • Related Posts

    How ‘Secondhand Millionaires’ Paid Off $100K Debt And Took On A Side Hustle
    Lending Club Responds To Treasury Dep’t Request For Information
    Many Moms Go Into Debt To Be ‘Perfect Parent’
    The Safest, Quickest Way For Entrepreneurs To Become Debt-Free
    7 Millennial Credit Score Killers [slideshow]
    3 Bad Money Habits You Have To Kick
    Can’t Afford 15-year Mortgage? Then Don’t Buy
    30 Percent Of Millennials Would Sell An Organ To Get Rid Of Student Loans
    Credit Score Killers
    What Your Lawyers Don’t Tell You About Bankruptcy
    Step-By-Step Guide: How To Pay Off Debt For Good
    9 Things That Surprisingly Won’t Affect Your Credit
    A $1,000 Loan Can Balloon Into A $40,000 Debt — And It’s Legal
    FICO Exec’s Tips For Boosting Your Credit Score
    Three Reasons The Average American May Be Worse Off Than Greece

    Resolving The New Year: Back To The Basics

    Happy New Year! It’s a brand-new start on our calendars, the chance to start making better choices and stop doing the things that weren’t very good for us in the first place.

    Not surprisingly, 46 percent of consumers are making resolutions to improve their finances in 2013. That is wonderful, and I certainly hope they are successful. One of the best ways to get started on this life-changing journey is to review and renew the basics.

    The Basics

    It should be no surprise to anyone that my advice is simplistic. It is founded on the basic principles of saving, spending and doing something smart with the difference.

    Most people want to read articles about the “doing something smart with the difference” part. I agree; those are fun and they stretch our minds to the possibilities of how taking our little bit of savings can turn it into an income stream that will afford us the ability to do anything we want. Hope, excitement and dreams are wrapped up in the future of our money, aren’t they? Who doesn’t like to dream?

    No matter what age, income level or marital status, good financial health begins with the basics. In my opinion, everyone should have:

    Insurance And A Will

    Wow! Jump right into it, Steve. Go right for the mortality angle. If you are single and nobody is depending on your income, then you can skip right past this important topic.

    The basics of personal finance include planning for the inevitable. None of us gets out of here alive, so it would be nice to leave some money for our heirs. They’ll remember you more fondly because of it.

    A will is super important, too. My wife and I didn’t do one until our daughter was 4 years old. We put it off, thinking there was plenty of time. Thank God we were right. What is funny is how relieved we were once the notary validated our document. What were we worried about?

    It sure feels good to have a will. It’s also cool to think that we can give gifts in the afterlife.

    A Spending Plan

    Successful businesses forecast their spending, and Americans feel like they got a raise whenever they stick to a pre-determined spending plan. A monthly dose of vitamin B would prevent anyone from having a visa headache, especially in January, if they just spent 10 minutes creating a budget and a few minutes every week to makes sure they are on track.

    An Emergency Fund

    Nobody can predict the future, and nothing on this Earth is without flaw. Things deteriorate, break or disappear. People get sick, cars have flat tires, and things get misplaced or stolen. Having an emergency fund — even $1,000 — can give anyone the confidence to weather a small storm like missing work because of a cold or paying the deductible from a fender bender.

    A Debt-Elimination Or Debt-Avoidance Plan

    Want to become wealthy someday? Get out of debt and stay out of debt. Don’t let the banks pull one over on you; nobody is getting rich off their credit card reward points or benefiting from a car loan. Yes, free stuff is fun. And a new car is a wonderful thing, but car payments are not.

    A debt-avoidance plan is simply a savings or investment plan where money is put aside for things you need, want or will have to replace in the future. Have you ever paid cash for a car? We haven’t yet, but our next vehicle purchase will be paid in full before we ever turn the key. I can’t wait for that conversation on the drive home.

    What’s your 2013 resolution? If you are one of the 46 percent who decreed improving personal finances, then I encourage you to spend a couple hours reviewing the basics.

    Have I left anything out? Please leave a comment, and let’s start a conversation.

    — Steve Stewart

    Steve Stewart is a Personal Finance Architect who helps families design their house of financial freedom. His experiences in the market swings of 2000 and 2009 brought him to a powerful realization that the key to wealth is to live on less than you make and doing something smart with the difference. His philosophy is a simple one: Spend wisely and purposefully, invest regularly but don't chase the market, and pay attention - not interest. Steve has a show which regularly ranks in the Top 20 iTunes Investing category, the MoneyPlan SOS podcast, and he has been coaching couples with their personal finances since 2007. If you are looking for ways to Cash-Flow So You Can Go Pro then contact Steve through his website,

    | All posts from Steve Stewart

    Discuss this Story:

    Comment Policy: We encourage open discussion. Comments including racist statements, profanity, name calling or spam will be removed at our discretion. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear it is likely because it violates the policy.

    These Are Going To Be The Most Popular Video Games For The Holidays
    J.P. Morgan Leads A Huge Investment In This Hot Cloud Startup
    Poor People Are Getting Terrible Investment Advice
    The Design Anatomy Of A Perfectly Crafted Store
    Fidelity’s Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate Rises To $245,000 A Couple
    The End Of The World (So Where Do You Put Your Money?)
    JPMorgan Buys More Mortgages From Other Lenders As Market Shrinks
    Seven Tax Tricks For Homeowners
    25 Best Places To Retire In 2015
    QLACs: A New Tool For Retirement Income
    PepsiCo Beats Analysts’ Expectations In Q3
    Financial Guru Suze Orman Is Completely Wrong About This Retirement Myth
    The Best Place To Die
    My Debt Snowball Beats The Pants Off Your Debt Avalanche
    How To Draw Down Your Retirement Savings
    Beware Of New Smart Chip Credit Card Scams
    Use Reverse Mortgage For Long-term Care Or Insurance?
    High Yield, Future Tension? Three Themes Macro Investors Need To Be Tracking
    Why Baby Boomers Should Convert To A Roth IRA
    Does That New Credit Card Chip Really Protect You?
    Holiday Shopping Season Forecast: Consumers Fight For Deals
    Global Regulators Finalize New Capital Rule For Big Insurers
    Drug Shortages, Price Gouging, And Our Broken Health Care System
    Four Must-Know Social Security Facts
    5 Most Costly Investment Mistakes
    Should Small Business Owners Stay Out Of The Stock Market?
    Pssst! You Don’t Need A 20 Percent Down Payment To Buy A Home
    Is Obamacare Working? This Report Card Says It’s Failing
    5 Ways To Get A College Education Without Amassing A Lot Of Debt
    Your Next Item Of Clothing Should Be So Expensive It Hurts
    Read more from Personal Finance...

    Liberty Investor Digest

    Get today's most important
    financial headlines all in
    one place by email!



    Sign Up For Liberty Investor Digest™!

    Get Liberty Investor Digest FREE By Email!

    Input your name and email address in the fields below and get today's most important financial headlines sent straight to you inbox!

    Privacy PolicyYou can opt-out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.