We see it every day. College graduates (some of them not so recent) saddled with the repayment of school loans that is quite frankly eating their lunch. It is becoming apparent to me that we are not doing a good enough job helping our students do the simple math of the loans. The simple math of how much to borrow and what is will actually cost you to repay the loans. Borrowing is the easy part, repayment is the bear. It is obvious that the lending institutions are expecting the student to figure out how much to borrow and the students still live in the la-la land of “someday they will be making it big and will have plenty of money to repay whatever loans they incur”. What is worse is that many parents are taking a cavalier attitude towards preparing their students to navigate the loan game. Seems that everyone these day put themselves through school walking up hills both ways in the snow with a full time job. Continue reading “Are Students doing the Math on School Loans?”
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about retirement. Unfortunately, I am one of those guys who didn’t listen real well in the Investment 101 class. Come to think of it, I am not sure I got invited to the Investment 101 class. I heard about it and even got some of my friends who shared some of their notes and highlights with me. Best I can remember, the curriculum is pretty simple: invest money early in your 40 year working life and that money grows over time and will hopefully grow enough to tide you over in your 20 years of retirement.
Let’s do the math on the American Dream. Young professional settles in to a working rhythm by age 25 and works 40 years till he hopefully retires at 65. Retiree enjoys healthy golden years and hopefully gets to put in another 20 years where he/she dies peacefully at ripe old age of 85. Because it is no longer cool for said retiree to depend on children or anybody else they must have saved enough money over the 40 years to help them remain “financially independent” till they die.
I am a sucker for a good story. I love to watch all kinds of TV. In fact, I watch a little too much TV. I don’t mean to, it just happens. We sit down to dinner around the TV (I know I am a bad example of the Cleavers not being around the dinner table). And the news turns to wheel of fortune, which turns into Duck Dynasty, which turns into a ball game with a good dose of Netflix drama to end the night. Before you know it the evening has gone and we spent the evening wrapped up in a series of stories. Some fact, some fiction.
What does that have to do with budgeting you say? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. My love for story translates into budgeting. Each line item starts out just a number and then translates into a philosophy and then progresses to a real life event. Namely the story of my life told through the lens of resources expended on behalf of that line item. Let me give you an example. Continue reading “Write a Story with Your Budget”