In honor of Batman’s 80th anniversary, today we’re going to take a look at the essential and everyday tools that should fill your financial utility belt. Below are my top recommendations on everything from bank and investment accounts to apps and online platforms to track your finances.
When a crisis strikes — a medical emergency, a long-term disability, or the unexpected death of a spouse — the right insurance policies are what stand between you and financial disaster. Part of financial health is understanding and putting into place the essential insurance policies. But be on guard: insurance is a commission-driven business, and so you may be offered expensive products that you don’t need. Below is some honest, independent guidance on insurance policies you should have (or at least strongly consider having).
Given the news of the Capital One data breach affecting over 100 million people in the U.S. (about a third of the U.S. population), here’s your action plan to help protect your identity and personal information.
Like a good catchy tune, some age-old questions just never go away — like the chicken and the egg, a tree falling in the forest, and whether to rent or buy. For most city-dwellers, your rent is your largest expense and buying an apartment (if you do) your largest investment. So we’ll take the time to dive into the pros and cons of buying versus renting and how to decide what’s right for you.
Around here, we tend to talk more about cash flow — earning, saving, and spending — and less about net worth. Why? Because net worth is the sum of what’s happened in the past — how much you’ve previously accumulated — while cash flow drives where you’re headed right now. Are you saving more than you’re spending? Are you throwing money at high-interest debt payments? There’s only so much you can do right this second to increase your net worth, but there’s plenty you can do to improve saving and spending habits and start trending in the right direction.
That being said, net worth awareness is one of the building blocks of financial health. There’s quite a bit of fixation on net worth out there, so we’ll take some time to talk about what it is and what it isn’t, and then we’ll go over how to approach your own net worth.
Let’s kick off the summer with an uplifting quiz question: What area of disagreement between spouses is the best predictor of divorce? Sex, right? Nope. Or perhaps in-laws? Sorry, no. The answer is disagreements over finances. Money implicates our deepest values, hopes, and fears. It serves as a proxy for status and success, and it often drives our sense of self-worth. It’s no surprise that disagreements over money have profound implications for our relationships. For couples, the cornerstone of financial health is not how much you make, how much you spend, or how much you’ve saved — it’s how you communicate about and relate to money as a team. And in this article we’ll be walking through the essentials of healthy communication about money.