Tag Archives: net worth

My Personal Finance Curriculum

There was a really interesting article in the New York Times last weekend about having courses on personal finance for kids in K-12. I think that this is definitely something schools should look into, even if it is not tested. Out of all the courses one takes in primary and secondary schools, a practical course like personal finance can really do some good – especially today.

I never took a formal personal course when I was in school; it wasn’t offered. The closest we came to it was when I was in seventh grade and I was in a “Home and Careers” class. It wasn’t really heavy on the economics; it was more about how to cook basic meals, sew, and the like. We had a unit on caring for a family. We were paired off into husbands and wives, and we had to care for a fake egg. The fake egg was a baby, and we were randomly chosen to have particular careers in different locations, salaries, etc. We had to budget for our home and raise the egg, er, I mean child.

I think I passed, but it didn’t really teach me much about personal finance. We all would fudge the numbers and concoct dream scenarios to ensure we would have enough money to survive. The real world doesn’t let one concoct dream scenarios. It has a penchant to just slap you in the face.

With that said, I gave some thought as to what kind of personal finance course I think would do a great deal of good. Check out this site for actual assignments and courses one organization, the National Endowment for Financial Education, put together for schools that want to take the plunge into personal finance courses.

After the jump, check out my personal finance curriculum.

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March Net Worth: On the Rise

I’m continuing to make great gains in my net worth — since a small blip in November 2009, I’m continuing on the right path. My net worth increased another approximately 27 percent in the last month.

On to the numbers …

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December Net Worth = Early Holiday Gift

After a small decline in net worth in November, I’ve made a very strong comeback in December … thanks to stronger stock market returns and a decision to pay off almost half of my college debt.

On to the numbers …

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November Net Worth: Gobbling Up Stock Profit

It’s that time again — today I went through all of my assets and liabilities to determine just where I stand with regard to net worth.

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Weekly Roundup

This week was complete with plenty of posts about how to drive down debt, avoid credit card failure, and savings tips — several of which I collected in my weekly Daily Dimes. Here are the best nuggets from the past week.

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Daily Dimes 9/21/09

Ca-ching! Hear that? It’s the sound of America’s total net worth actually increasing for the first time since 2007. I kid you not. According to this post on Consumerism Commentary, the increase in the past quarter was $2 trillion, bringing our total net worth to $53 trillion. That’s the most it’s been since the end of 2007, when Americans were collectively worth a cool $65 trillion. While this is a positive sign amidst news of rising unemployment and a shrinking job market, the article cautions readers to look at their increases with a wary eye. The stock market has rebounded much quicker than many thought, and since that can be a large part of many people’s net worth calculations, it could be a temporary rally. It also wasn’t immediately clear from this post if the increase took into account inflation between 2007 and now. I agree with the assessment, though with all of the doom-and-gloom stories lately, this is definitely nice to hear.

Now, if the term net worth makes you scratch your head and wonder, check out my post on budgeting basics. I believe that knowing your net worth (a basic equation of assets minus liabilities) is a staple, a must. It is imperative to calculate yours before creating any personal financial plan of value. If you don’t know what you’re literally working with, how can you create any worthwhile goals for yourself to work toward?

Speaking of planning and looking ahead, a couple in this blog post are looking at all of the different calculations, expenses, and possibilities they will have to plan for once their child is born. Having a baby seems to be tough enough — I don’t have any real-world experience there — but managing that along with the couple’s goal to pay down debt (which is highlighted on the left-hand side of the post’s page) can be downright nerve-wracking. I won’t go into the specifics of what exactly the writer was assessing in the post — what is really cool to me here is the long-term planning and practical, short-term legwork the couple has been undertaking during this hectic time.

This follows several of the commandments I put forth when I launched this site — particularly the one about having a disciplined plan, but having the wherewithal to be flexible when necessary. Having a baby, taking leave from work, and figuring out how to juggle all of those changing expenses while maintaining your debt-reduction goals is definitely a good time to reassess.

Last, President Barack Obama is going to ask the G20 this week in Pittsburgh to discuss rethinking and reshaping the global economy as a response to what Reuters deemed as “the deepest financial crisis in decades.” (On a personal note, as a journalist, I appreciate creative ways of trying to avoid the words and phrases including “recession”, “downturn”, and “worst economic period since the Great Depression”. “The deepest financial crisis in decades” is a good one.) According to the article, one of the biggest points of emphasis is going to be a “rebalancing” of the import/export relationship the top countries have been engaging in for awhile now. You know, trade surpluses, deficits, currency reserves, all of those things that people like you and me think about deeply every day. Psht.

Let the bigwigs try to hash things out. You ever hear of the phrase, “If I don’t look out for me, who will?” I’m not trying to say Obama is or isn’t looking out for us; I’ll leave that to you to decide. I choose to only look at these types of stories on a high level and focus on my own personal finances. Why? To ensure I am still in a good situation despite what goes on in the macroeconomics world.

I strongly urge you all to do the same. Take the information I give about my own financial journey, the tips and tricks I share here, and start getting smarter with your money today.

What type of topics would you like to see here, and among the tips and tricks I continue to share with you all?

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