Finances: A practical post

Sometimes I get lost in the self-help section of the bookstore or library. Sometimes I think about “financial planning” a bit too much…

Before I head down that rabbit hole, perhaps I should have a handle on the basics. Of these 10 (I’m counting questions 2-11 here) from Derek at How I Do Money, I can answer 5 without looking anything up, can ballpark 3 more, and, yikes, have no answer for 2. How about you?

  1. What is 2 + 2? (That’s a warm up question.)
  2. How much money do you have?
  3. How much do you earn each month?
  4. How much debt do you have?
  5. How much money do you spend each month?
  6. How much do you spend each month on debt payments only?
  7. How much money are you saving each month?
  8. How much is in your emergency fund?
  9. What is your net worth?
  10. What’s your plan?
  11. Bonus question to make up for question #1: How many months until you are debt free?

Derek, wisely, suggests getting a handle on the basics before trying to do the complicated. I think all my time spent on the non-basics is simply hoping that there is a magical solution out there so that I don’t have to work to figure out the answers to those last two questions that I can’t answer right now.


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