It’s Thursday, and you know what that means: time for another round of awesome personal finance articles hand-picked by ESI of Rockstar Finance!
I always get so excited to hear about a new, super-specific budgeting tactic that’s worked for someone. (I mean, look at what my job is, of course I do.) Sometimes I think I’ve seen it all, until I see something that reminds me of how varied and wonderful the human experience is with everything — including managing money!
I love love love this concept of blocking out your finances in order to get a visual idea of where your money is coming in and going. Basically, it involves using a bar graph to visually represent your money, where one cell = a certain dollar amount (which is up to you). That way, you have an easy way to see how your expenses compare to your income, debts, and other expenses. I loved reading about the questions answered after the author used this method:
Some of the questions have concrete answers after some calculations.
How many blocks are being saved per year? Currently only 3 blocks.
How many blocks are sent to Radford University? 9 blocks.
How many blocks added with an 8% stock market increase this year? 10 blocks.
What about a 25% stock market correction? 33 blocks destroyed.
Our monthly mortgage payment is less than half a block, but only a third of that reduces the principal. How many blocks are reduced by a year of mortgage payments? 3 blocks.
Be sure to check out the full post for more details about how to use this system, as well as the rest of this week’s awesome articles!
1. How to squeak out positivity after losing a bunch of cash – Think Save Retire
“It’s not always easy to think positive. Believe it, it’s not. But, it’s also an extremely powerful mental exercise that pays benefits in the way that we live virtually every minute of our lives.”
2. The Path Is Simple, but It’s Not Necessarily Easy – Route To Retire
“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately… dangerous, right? Hindsight has me realizing that if you’re hoping to reach financial independence, the path is simple, but it’s not necessarily an easy journey to get there.”
3. Why Money is Always More than a Math Problem – She Picks Up Pennies
“’I would love to make more money.’ It’s not an uncommon sentiment. In fact, social media and real-life conversations are equally dotted with people wishing for more. Sometimes, it’s a passing daydream or even a whimsical song. But a lot of times, it’s a real request. A true want. Or even an absolute need.”
4. On Facing Death, 7 Years Later – Twisted Paths
“Where was I going? At 9 AM sharp, they were going to wheel me into the operating room, open up my skull, and operate on my brain. As my classmates were deep in their sleep back in our college dorms, I was being driven to Johns Hopkins Hospital to have brain surgery. That’s where I was headed at 5 AM on a chilly winter Wednesday.”
5. Block Out Your Finances – Jumpstart From Scratch
“The block method can create helpful representations using graph paper, a straight edge, and a calculator. I’ve read many times that personal finance is personal, and this format allows flexibility to suit anyone’s personal needs.”
6. Seven Ideas – Humble Dollar
“For my own list, I think less about practical financial concepts—things like indexing and asset location—and more about the big ideas that should guide our financial decision-making. Here are seven of those ideas, all of which heavily influence how I manage my own money.”
7. How Preparing for EarlyRetirement Makes You a Better Employee – Abandoned Cubicle
“Well, here I stand, a little over four years later. Still employed and staring down a likely promotion, of all things. Strange as that sounds, I think it’s probably more common than not for FIRE types. Chances are, if you’re driven to make, save, and invest your money wisely, you might just wind up applying that same drive and determination at work.”
Image via Unsplash