The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Independence Day Edition

Today is Independence Day in the United States, which means that I’ll be…. packing, actually. Since our move date is less than a week away, it’s time to get cracking on getting our stuff packed into boxes. It should be an exciting and exhausting day.

Meet Eleanor P. This is a lengthy interview with someone struggling to get out of debt – an excellent but sadly familiar story. (@ i will teach you to be rich)

The 12 Step Get Out Of Debt Program An amusing and detailed adaptation of the classic “12 step” philosophy to debt reduction. (@ zen habits)

Stages of Wealth Management I’m smack in the middle of the wealth accumulation phase right now, I think. (@ queercents)

The Simple Dollar Retro: An Introduction To Compound Interest With Spreadsheets:
Part 1: Getting Started and Defining Compound Interest
Part 2: Monthly Compound Interest, APRs, and APYs
Part 3: A Simple Mortgage Calculator

I wanted to make a very nice overview of basic spreadsheet usage for personal finance – and then it kept growing and growing. This is the result – I thought it turned out quite well.

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  1. beloml says:

    Good luck, and thanks for such a wonderful blog. You and Free Money Finance have changed my life!

  2. Hibryd says:

    Woah, did you see the details of the Ameriprise account in the first link? They set her up with a glorified savings account that all her money goes into by default, and a “money market account” that holds savings until it gets to $1000, at which point she can actually start investing. The price for all this? $300 a YEAR. No wonder they’re advertising so heavily.

    And the investor’s take on this? “Still, that works out to $25 a month, not so bad considering I’ve no idea where to start or how much I should be aiming for or anything like that.”

    There needs to be some sort of class everyone goes through in high school to cover money basics so people don’t throw away $300 a year on stuff like that.

  3. Anna says:

    I too was shocked by the Ameriprise description. It sounds as though Eleanor has begun to “solve” her problems by turning them over to someone else instead of thinking them through and educating herself. She sounded pleased with herself for taking hold of the situation, but in reality she had taken only the first step (recognizing it), followed by the second step (Ameriprise), which was obviously ill-advised. She could do much better by severing her ties with Ameriprise (assuming she hasn’t been hoodwinked into a long-term contract), putting the $25/month into savings, retaining the Ameriprise budget in a self-directed manner until she develops the knowledge and gumption to revise it, and budgeting a smaller but realistic amount for clothing and “feel-better” purchases. Then she needs to take *full* responsibility for her situation by reading blogs like this one, studying the basics of personal money management, reflecting on her own (perhaps subconscious)attitudes toward money and their effect on her current situation, and evaluating her finances regularly to see what adjustments need to be made.

    What I could do with that $300/year! And a whole lot more of us reading this blog!

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