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Finance 101 Course: Baby Step 4 – Planning for Retirement

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Now that you have completed step 3 and built up three to six months emergency fund, you’re ready to tackle step 4, and it’s time to get excited about investing for retirement, no matter what your age.

Retirement is a very personal subject which means different things for each of us. My hope in this rather lengthy article is to share my research and experience to bring this wide-reaching topic to life.

Why I’m excited about retirement?

Having worked hard in my career since leaving the education system, I have my mum to thank for recommending that I start saving for retirement when I was 18. Though it took quite a bit of persuading to give up that initial £50 when I was only earning £400 per month. Looking back, I’m happy I did because it got me into the habit of “What you don’t see, you won’t miss” as my dad is fond of saying.
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Finance 101 Course: Baby Step 3 – Three to Six Months Emergency Fund

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Now that you have completed step 2 and paid off your debt, you’re ready to tackle step 3 and build up your full emergency fund with three to six months of expenses. After all the effort of Baby Step 2, it’s easy for your energy to drop before you complete your emergency fund. Try not to let that happen!

The real aim of this step is to provide you with a safety net for when life puts obstacles in your way and with a fully funded emergency fund, you can continue to run your household for several months. Additionally, you will have the peace of mind and one less stress from your life. Continue reading

Finance 101 Course: Baby Step 2 – Paying off your debt

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Now that you have completed step 1 and saved your £1000 emergency fund in your fixed rate interest paying account, you’re ready to  tackle step 2 and pay off your debt.

Good and bad debt?

There are two types of debt, good debt is buying a home with a mortgage which you can enjoy every day. Bad debt is reaching for the latest technology when last years technology is still very usable.

A little-known secret is that we should avoid keeping up with the Joneses because the Joneses are likely in debt.

TIP: If you are serious about getting out of debt then you must get control of your spending, and I suggest leaving your credit card at home so you cannot use it.

In baby step 1, we have put in place several good budget practices, we can now focus on reducing our debt.

Using the Dave Ramsey debt snowball method is a great way to knock out your debts one by one and becomes very motivating when you see the progress being made each month.
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Finance 101 Course: Baby Step 1 – Emergency Fund

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Welcome to the Finance 101 course, designed for everyone wanting to get off to a good start in life and over a few weeks, we’ll work through the seven baby steps (Source: Dave Ramsey).

Two years ago, I moved into my new home in July, and when the weather got colder in October, my hot water boiler failed, and instead of reaching for my credit card, I had my emergency fund available to pay £1200 and have it replaced with a brand new one with a 10-year guarantee.

Life teaches us that unexpected things happen and having this small safety net, will help you start to break out of the debt cycle.
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Finance 101 Course: Introduction

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During my career, I’ve been very fortunate to work with many fantastic graduates, and during recent conversations, it became clear that there was a demand for an introductory course to money and finance.

Personally, I’m amazed that our education system (at least in the UK) does not teach the basics and I hope that over the next several weeks, we can work together through a seven-step plan to help you get control of your finances and not the other way round.

  • Why am I writing this course, ”I wish that when I was your age, someone would have explained to me why it is important to understand money, look after it and invest for the future.”
  • Disclaimer: I’m not a financial adviser and am speaking from my own personal experience.

Benjamin Franklin Quote

Former US President, Benjamin Franklin once said “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”, and he was absolutely right, because the financial markets are designed to extract the maximum value from each transaction and if we’re to be on the right side of the trade, we should prepare to roll up our sleeves, learn and act.
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