Thursday, May 24, 2012

Learning about personal finance

What I knew before I started reading blogs and immersing myself in the world of personal finance:
  • Pay off your credit card in full every month
  • Saving for retirement should start as early as possible
  • Spend less than you earn
  • Debt is bad.
What I've learned since:
  • The whole concept of an emergency fund
  • Living paycheck-to-paycheck isn't necessary
  • Idea of paying yourself first (automatic deposits to savings)
  • Tracking spending is eye opening
  • Not everyone has to work their whole lives until retirement (ie concept of financial independence and/or early retirement)
  • How to build a budget that works for me!
  • Stop Wasting Time!  Start working towards your goal now!
  • Have a buffer!
What I still need to learn:
  • Investing
  • Retirement accounts
  • Rental properties?
  • Monthly income streams
  • EVERYTHING related to personal finance post building an emergency fund!
While I don't think I was completely ignorant in the ways of personal finance, I most certainly was not on top of it!  I didn't think it was an issue until my paycheck had a few issues and the university was transferring money in and out of my account irregularly in order to "fix" the issues.  It took them four months to get it all straightened out and during that time I was a financial mess and worried.  Luckily this event spurred me to action, and I've been learning ever since. 

The reason I started this blog was to track my evolution through personal finance from basically zero until I reach financial independence.  I find the process of learning interesting: at one point you look at knowledge and say that it's too hard for you to ever understand, and later on you look at it and it seems like it couldn't be more obvious.  You can't teach from the perspective that it's obvious.  You must struggle through material to truly understand it.

So, dear readers, as I feel I've finally mastered budgeting, saving, and emergency funds, what exactly is my next step?


  1. It seems we're in a similar place. What we're trying to do is just give it time. We can't accomplish our goals speedily because of our low income and we don't need to learn about some aspects of PF until after we graduate (like real estate). So we just need to keep on keepin' on and try to graduate!

    1. When I first started learning about personal finance I was overwhelmed by everything there was to learn. I think in some ways its nice to be able to push some of that learning off until we have real jobs with real income! More brain space for getting that degree I suppose...