5 Easy Ways To Lose Money And Become Broke – Investing Mistakes

5 Easy Ways To Lose Money And Become Broke - Investing Mistakes Budget Picture

Whether we are talking about investing in the stock market, real estate, material objects, or something else, I’m sure all of us have heard a story about someone losing their money by making some sort of investing mistake.

While we all hope that we will never make the same mistake and lose some or all of our money, that’s easier said than done.

No one wants to lose their money, possibly have to start all over with their investments, or risk their retirement because of a simple mistake.

While I am definitely not an investing expert (yet!) as you can tell from my recent post Why You Should Invest and Save For Retirement – Plus a Personal Finance Confession Fail (basically an investing 101 post), investment mistakes are something I want to try to avoid, especially if they are the easy ones. [Read more…]

How I Maxed Out my Roth IRA On a $28K Salary

How I Maxed Out my Roth IRA On a $28K Salary

Hello! Today I have a post written from a blog friend of mine. I was able to meet her at FinCon and talk to her quite a bit. She has a great blog and I definitely recommend that you check it out. This post goes along well with my recent post Why You Should Invest and Save For Retirement – Plus a Personal Finance Confession Fail. Also, if you are new here, check out my latest online income report – $14,136 in October Income.

There’s a myth out there that you need to be rich to get started investing for retirement.

You may think that first you have to pay off all of your student loans. Then you need to squirrel away $25,000 in savings. Maybe buy a house. Start earning an income of $100,000 each year. Only THEN would you consider yourself “qualified” enough to become a Capital-I Investor.

The problem is: waiting too long can threaten your ability to retire at all.

Because here’s the deal—the math is in your favor to start as early as possible. Even if that means starting with a measly $100 or so. (Seriously!)

If you need a refresher, here’s why, in math terms. [Read more…]

Why You Should Invest and Save For Retirement – Plus a Personal Finance Confession Fail

Why You Should Invest and Save For Retirement Plus a Personal Finance Confession FailThere is one topic here on Making Sense of Cents that I hardly ever talk about. That topic is investing.

Investing is something I have never really gotten too deep into in my personal life. I know, personal finance blogger fail right here.

It’s an area in my life that I have been too embarrassed to really talk about. We’ve always had some money in a retirement fund, but nothing to be proud of. My main excuses in the past were always that I was paying off my student loans, saving for something, or preoccupied with things going on in my life.

We do have other money saved as well, but I’ve made a huge mistake of letting it sit in accounts that earn hardly anything in interest.

However, I plan on changing that now.

To make a long story short, I took a leap and bought a few hundred shares of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares and put it into my SEP IRA. Yes, I’ve finally joined the Vanguard bandwagon thanks to Holly at ClubThrifty and J. Money at BudgetsAreSexy (among several other bloggers!). It is cheap to invest in VTSAX, and their diversified holdings definitely had my interest. [Read more…]

Should I Ruin My Retirement By Helping My Child Through College?

Should I Ruin My Retirement By Helping My Child Through CollegeToday’s topic will probably be a touchy one and it’s all about whether or not parents should start (or end) saving for children’s college expenses. Ever since I paid off my $38,000 worth of student loans last year, I have received many e-mails from parents who are interested in seeking help for their children.

These e-mails are all related to whether or not parents should risk or sometimes even ruin their retirement by helping their child pay for college.

There is usually one common theme in these e-mails – the parents are usually not on track for retirement, they have debt, or they cannot afford to help their child in college.

Here are some of the stories I have heard in these emails:

  • The parents have over $100,000 in student loans that they took out in THEIR name so their child could go to school. These parents are not on track for retirement and they have a lot of other debt besides student loans.
  • Their child is in medical school and the parents are paying for all of their college expenses plus food, car, rent, etc. These parents are not on track for retirement and they have debt.
  • Their child is in law school and the child said that if his/her parents don’t continue paying for their expenses, that they would hate their parents. This child was even more mad when the parents printed out every single blog post of mine and gave it to them (I did not tell their parents to do that, it was entirely their idea). The child said I was ruining his/her life (yup, that actually happened). These parents are not on track for retirement and they are afraid of losing their child now as well.

I know I’m not a parent.

I’m not a parenting or child expert either. [Read more…]

Retirement, Financial Independence, and Living Life

Retirement, Financial Independence, and Living Life

This is what a happy life is to me.

After two very long posts this week, DIY Wedding Ideas – Worth It Or A Waste Of Money and How Much Money Should I Save Up For A House, today’s post is a somewhat shorter (and a rambling) one.

Lately, we’ve been home “shopping” online a lot.

It’s almost become an addiction.

Okay, who am I kidding? It is an addiction. Luckily, shopping for homes online is a free hobby of mine.

My favorite websites right now are Zillow and Realtor and I look at each a few times each week. We don’t plan on moving for around two years from now, but it’s still something we plan on putting a lot of thought into.

Before you think both me and Wes are crazy planners, I do want to say that it’s mainly just me who is crazy. If Wes had his way, we would have moved yesterday.

We want to move to a new state (Colorado is winning right now), and the next home we buy will probably be our “forever” home. We plan on living in it for a long time and possibly retiring in it.

The whole thing sounds a little crazy, even to me, especially since we are only 25.

[Read more…]