Lacking Cents is the financial journey of Millennials that learned that lacking money does not have to mean lacking personal finance sense.
When my wife and I were married, we combined our student and auto loan debts into one massive, negative net worth. We discovered that our financial goals were not matching up with reality, and completely changed how we manage our money just in time to welcome our two children into the world. We started investing, paid off $50K of student loans, and changed our whole mindset about personal finance.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
First up is how I protect my personal information online with a password manager. There are a ton of good, secure choices, however they are rarely ever free. But if you have a smart phone and a Dropbox account (free!), I can show you how I securely store my passwords for free across all my family’s mobile devices. Once you setup and use a password manager, you will wonder how you ever went without one.
Finding the Right Place to Store Passwords
For much longer than I am willing to admit, I used one or two passwords across all my logins. That included […]
My parents provided a great life for me and my siblings, but they rarely discussed good financial practices with us (something I want to do often with my kids). However, they did preach one very important thing the moment I turned 18. Building good credit is essential. And they were right.
Good credit lets lenders know that you are reliable and able to pay off your debts. But good credit is worth much more to you than a lower interest rate on a loan. Consider this partial list of times when our credit score has mattered:
- Renting an apartment – our application […]