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football week

Football_pass

Lets face it, even Payton Manning throws interceptions. Quarterbacks, no matter how good, throw interceptions. There are times when the QB may be off, other times the defense just happens to be in the right place at the right time. The same thing goes for finance. You are going to screw up, things are going to go bad, and you are going to lapse from time to time. The key here, as it is in a football game, is to shake it off and realize what went wrong and correct it. If you over threw the pass you now know to throw it shorter. If you overspent on indulgences you now know to hold back a little more. Don’t let setbacks get you down, it will get you benched. Keep trucking and learn from your mistakes and then you can excel and achieve things you never thought possible.

The links:

@Matt_SF bribed me with statements about the VOLS, but also his post is pretty interesting on how Insider Trading is Illegal for You and I, but not for Politicians. Seriously all I need to do to get away with insider trading is get elected? Who wants to vote for me, you know you want me in the senate.

@centsiblelife talks about how clutter relates to procrastination. I am sitting here writing this with a cluttered desk, a cluttered mind, and laundry to be folded, and put away. Of course I can directly relate most of those issues to the return of all of my TV shows, enter procrastination, thanks TV. sshould I invest

@SpendOnLife has a great piece on the richest and poorest neighborhoods in America. I am sad to say the state I currently call home ranks quite low on the totem pole, and what is up with the south why do we suck at credit so much? They say things are bigger in Texas, they apparently don’t mean credit scores.

@FiscalGeek says his kids will drive a piece of crap. I read this story and you know what jumped out at me, he got a car when he turned 16. When I turned 16 I got a drivers license with the hope to be able to borrow my mom’s minivan. I also got a job. I then worked until I could afford a car and bought one, hell it may have been a Gremlin but at least it was free, and you didn’t even have to feed it after midnight.

@MattJabs asks should I invest while still in debt? Like any question that begins with “Should I” the correct answer is it depends. Every situation is different and every situation calls for a different solution. If you are in nominal debt with low interest then get your company match if they have one, otherwise pay your debt down and off then hit the market.

Deals of the Week

I guess this is officially the second week of http://deals.suburbandollar.com here are some of what you may have missed if you weren’t subscribed to the exclusive feed either via RSS or Via e-mail.

25% off MyFICO Products

$20 off Morningstar Premium

$25 INGDirect Bonus Codes Updated.

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Football_huddle

In case you missed it somewhere, football is a team sport.  The quarterback cannot win the game on his own, he needs the defense, the offensive line, the receivers, running backs, and special teams to get the job done. Teams have to be cohesive and they have to work together for anything to happen. In the world of your finances teams can have several meanings, I am going to focus on two of them.

The People

There are people in your life you depend on to help you, or there are people in your life you should depend on to help you. For those of us who are married, engaged, or otherwise in a serious relationship the team is our immediate family. The biggest key to your success is to work with your team, whoever they may be, to better your financial position.

As someone who has struggled in the past with being concerned about their financial well being, I can assure you it is a rough road if you don’t talk to you spouse and agree on a path for your future. You can end up with one spouse working their ass off to pay down debt while the other is eating out at lunch everyday and buying whatever they want with little concern for the plan.

You need to develop a plan as a couple, or if you have older children, as a family. With an agreed upon plan everyone will be on the right track and move forward towards the common goal.

The Money

You money is the other part of your team. While not exactly the same kind of team as the people you keep around you it is just as important. You money works as a team to better your financial position and improve your prosperity. If you are like most people your cash is spread across several accounts, each of those accounts should have been carefully selected to somehow improve your finances.

The selection criteria you used to select your accounts could range from APY to convenience. Each of these accounts should work together and have a purpose, you shouldn’t have accounts here and there just because someone told you it is the right thing to have. You should have a purpose for every account and every account should have a purpose.

Sit down and create a financial network map so you understand where you money is and how it all interconnects. Then improve the connections by automating your saving, your bills, and your investing as best you can.  Once you have it all laid out in front of you, you can see what may be missing and build the perfect team to win.

Photo: (Monica’s Dad)

This post is part of a series of posts where I relate personal finance to the game of American Football. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series:
Take it Ten Yards at a Time
You are Nothing without a Good Defense
Special Teams can Make or Break You

It’s All About Teamwork

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football_fieldgoal

Special teams players are the unsung heroes of the football team. These guys have to be multifaceted and versatile even though the time they spend on the field is limited. We have all seen football games that were won or lost in special teams. If you can’t stop a punt or kickoff return you are in trouble. On the flip side if you can get a couple blocked punts or field goals you have drastically increased your chances at winning.

Managing Your Tax Burden

This falls into two categories, the now and the later. Basically it amounts to whether or not you are paying your taxes on your current income or your future income. A lot of people probably plan to have a lower income when they retire and therefore would prefer to pay deferred tax, in other words they pay tax when they withdraw it from their account when they retire.  Deferred accounts are things like traditional IRA, 401(k), and 403(b) accounts. Additionally you can have accounts where you pay the income tax now and they are tax free when you withdraw them, typically you see Roth IRA’s in this category.

In addition to managing your future tax burden you need to be diligent about managing your current burden as well. There are plenty of people who love to get that massive tax return at the end of every year, however, they don’t realize they are really loaning Uncle Sam their money for free.  Now you want to make sure you don’t underpay by too much, because unlike you the government charges for you hanging onto their money. Additionally you should be aware of the tax liabilities associated with your investment accounts and other assets.  You need to diversify your tax burden across the various types of taxable accounts, it isn’t going to be the same for everyone and if you have a siginificant amount of wealth to manage you should probably look into an estate planner.

Investing for the Future

Investing is not my forte to say the least. To me they are the kicking team, even though it is really the offensive powerhouse on the team.  Either way you are going need to look at some form of investing. Most people, my self included, limit themselves to retirement accounts as their main focus of investing.  One day I would like to have the cash on hand to be able to start investing using regular taxable account but until then I will keep at it with my 401k.

The trick here is to not let yourself be fooled into not investing at all, many people, like me, are intimidated by stocks, bonds, funds, ETF’s, Forex, Etc. Etc. The truth of the matter though is that the puny APY on your savings accounts or the minimal return on your cd ladder aren’t going to out pace inflation. What this means is that your investments while gaining value will actually be worth exactly the same, or more likely less than when you put them in. This is why long term investing in the stock market is so common place and the excepted norm for retirement accounts.

At the very least start putting into your companies 401k until you max out the matching. Within the plan there should be some target funds that adjust based on your age and risk aversion so just pick out one of those to start with. After you are rolling you can start to research more about what your options are and starting making educated decisions on where to put your money.

Photos: (Monica’s Dad)

What  would you put on your financial special teams?

This post is part of a series of posts where I relate personal finance to the game of American Football. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series:
Take it Ten Yards at a Time
You are Nothing without a Good Defense
Special Teams can Make or Break You

It’s All About Teamwork

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

You are Nothing Without a Good Defense

September 22, 2009

If you don’t have a good defense the other team is just going to run all over you. In the case of your finances the opposing team is spending and emergencies.  If you don’t have a good defense it is going to be an offensive battle that can go either way. Build Up Your Defensive […]

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Take it Ten Yards at a Time

September 21, 2009

In case you haven’t noticed, football is back on and it is in full swing. I sat down last night to write a post about how personal finance relates to football. It turned out that football an personal finance have a lot in common so it is going to be a week long series. Today […]

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