The $50,000 Starbucks Latte Habit

Do you ever think that, since it’s “only” $4 for a Starbucks latte, you’re not really throwing your money away?  I mean, $4 for a cup of coffee is nothing compared to your brand new $30,000 car.  Or $50,000 in student loan debt.  Or your $250,000 mortgage.  Right?  What’s another $4?

In the example I am about to share, a $4 Starbucks latte habit over the next decade costs your future self over $50,000.

Before you get your calculator and tell me I am wrong, follow along and I will show you.  This […]

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4 Ways Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps Miss the Mark

Since you’re reading a blog about personal finance, there’s a good chance you have heard of Dave Ramsey and maybe even follow some of his financial advice. Much of it is very helpful, simple advice that working adults managing their own finances should know.

If you are not familiar with Dave Ramsey, he hosts a syndicated radio show on personal finance and is the author of several books, including The Total Money Makeover.  The show instills his Christian beliefs and a very very anti-debt message.  In fact, he is so anti-debt that some of his advice misses several basic financial perks that leave individuals better […]

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Fixing Your Housing Costs Should Be Step One

The main reason I started Lacking Cents was to share my early struggles with money and how it changed my outlook on financial decisions.  People frequently associate money issues with being unemployed or reckless with money, but I was neither.  I started a good job shortly after college with health benefits and a 401K plan complete with a company match.  And I was never reckless with money.

But inexperience with handling my own finances led me to make costly decisions in the first year of my professional life, starting with where I lived.

I rented my first apartment shortly after graduating from college with […]

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2017-03-30T22:16:58+00:00 March 24, 2017 7:30 am|Categories: Budgeting, Housing|Tags: , , |2 Comments

An Emergency Fund is Essential For Our Family

Job loss. Unexpected illness or injury.  Theft.

When my family first decided to open an emergency fund, it was to protect ourselves against these major unexpected financial expenses.  While that continues to be a reason we maintain an emergency fund, it is the smaller unexpected expenses that make this account essential to us.

As I outlined in a separate article, we learned to better understand our monthly expenses and know approximately how much we spend in a typical month.  This is important to us because part of our paycheck goes to monthly expenses and the rest is automatically invested or put toward our mortgage.  In order to have fairly stable monthly […]

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2017-04-17T11:10:24+00:00 March 21, 2017 7:08 am|Categories: Budgeting, Featured|Tags: , |9 Comments

Budgeting 101: Your Monthly Expenses Need An Overhaul

I was flicking through the channels on my cable TV years ago when I stumbled upon premium movie channels HBO and Showtime. “Cool!” I remember thinking to myself…knowing when I signed up for my Time Warner cable package, I had only signed on for a lower package. “Free premium channels!”

You’re probably not as naïve as I was then. As you may have guessed, this was part of a free trial that later expired…but the premium channels stuck around at their regular monthly prices. My old self did not budget whatsoever, and with autopay set up the increasing cable bill went […]

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2017-05-02T21:45:00+00:00 March 16, 2017 7:00 am|Categories: Budgeting, Recommendations|Tags: , , |0 Comments