Overview

Learning personal finance probably feels like a Sisyphean task. You know that the rich have their advisors that you can’t afford. You don’t know enough about the stock market to avoid losing your shirt (even though you have very confident friends who can tell you what to buy 6 months ago). You don’t know how to do your taxes. We cover that here - and more. Whether you are a newly minted college graduate or a 45 year old mother of two, it is never too late to get your finances in order - we promise you will thank yourself later.

We first discuss why you should care about your personal finance. In our taxation section, we consider wealth from an absolute perspective. Here, we consider relative wealth and offer a perspective on what it would take for you to be wealthy.

We then go to the basics of budgeting. How aggressively should you pay back your debt? Save for retirement? How much rent can you afford? Fortunately, there are rules of thumb for this.

Once you understand budgeting, we talk about paying back debt. Most people have some degree of credit card debt. Most college students take on debt, then graduate. Everybody takes out loans to buy their house. What does your credit score have to do with anything? How aggressively should you pay back debt?

Instead of paying for what they have already acquired, through debt, people also need to save for what they will buy after they are done working. Here, we talk about the basics of saving for retirement. It turns out it is simpler than you might expect; the best advice anyone can give you is save early, save often.

Some people are lucky (or unlucky) enough to receive a windfall; sometimes a random stock they bought soars in value or they win the lottery or they get a large inheritance or win a large settlement in a lawsuit. It is extremely common for people to spend their windfall much more quickly than they anticipate; this advice helps you understand what to do to make sure your windfall helps you as much as possible, as long as possible.

Then, we discuss common strategies for saving money by lowering your monthly budget, freeing up more money to be saved.

After common strategies for saving, we cover common pitfalls for saving; these are often the inverse of the strategy, like eating out every day or buying a new car.

Finally, we cover paying your taxes.