The Basics of Personal Finance (including links)

There are many components to personal finance. This article lists and explains the basics with important links to help you better understand personal finance.

One of the main tenants of personal finance is to establish a personal plan for you and your family. To quote an old adage “people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.” The information in this article can help you get started establishing a personal financial plan. Plans need to be updated from time to time to include major changes in one’s life (marriage, children, health issues, changes in careers, layoffs….).

Below are descriptions and links to the different components of personal finance. Many of the links come from Bank of America with a partnership with the Khan Academy. They are excellent, and provide a basic understanding of personal finance.

Here is the link to the many personal finance videos, articles:

(Could Lead to More Funds to Invest)

I’ve studied corporations for over 30 years, and I recommend that individuals emulate corporations when it comes to personal finance and budgeting.


Like corporations, individuals must constantly think about how to increase income/revenue. Ask for raises at work, take a part-time job, prepare for a better paying career….

Here is a link regarding work, income and benefits:

Here the best advice I can give - learn how to invest with the aim to increase your wealth. That is what this site is about.


A good corporation will not only increase revenue, but also cut and control costs. I personally find it a challenge to reduce my expenses: I put all my expenses on a spreadsheet and challenge myself to lower the expenses for each item. I will challenge companies and demand refunds when I’ve been charged unfairly, I turn off appliances when not in use, I watch how much water I use and have replaced grass with rock in my yards. As I get older in life, I realize I don’t need as much “stuff”, so I’m spending less.

Challenge yourself to reduce the expenses in your life.

It’s important to increase your income and reduce your expenses so you have more money to invest.

Increased Income minus Lower Expenses = More Money to Invest

Here is the link to saving and budgeting:


The link below has some excellent articles on: How to Rebuild Your Credit, How to Boost Your Credit Score, Making Sense of Your Credit Report.

Below is a link to provides a lot of good, free information regarding where are the best interest rates for savings, mortgages, credit cards, personal loans, and auto loans.


The benefit of debt is to leverage yourself to a higher standard of living.

The downside of too much debt are many: can lower your credit rating, less spending if your money is going to service debt, can pile up over time, can lead to bankruptcy if you lose your job and your debt is too high.

Below is a link to an excellent video by Ray Dalio, billionaire, investor and hedge fund manager, about debt.

The name of the video is “How the Economic Machine Works”, but there are some good lessons about debt, especially how it can overwhelm a country, company, and individual.

Use debt judiciously.

Home Buying and Renting

These articles, videos include: buying or renting, what can you afford, mortgage options, starting the mortgage process, saving for a down payment and other costs. renting.html


Good videos, articles explaining tax planning and taxes:


You must protect yourself financially by having the right insurance, and the right amount.

Below is an article about the best insurance websites for car, life, health, homeowner and other types of insurance: S002-the- best-in- insurance.html

Retirement Planning and Investing

This is the most important part of personal finance and planning, building wealth for yourself, family, and the causes you care about. with-retirement/overview.html

One of the concepts that you must understand and take advantage of is the time value of money.

You can establish wealth for yourself if you start young.

Click below to put an investment retirement plan into action. Try different scenarios with time, investment returns, amount you invest each month….


The most important part of your personal finance plan is investments. If done correctly, early, consistently over your working life, you should be able to create significant wealth for yourself.

The purpose of this site is to help you with your investing and wealth creation, and to take the mystery out of investing and the markets:

Below is a list and brief description of the best investment books for an investor’s library.

There are over 20 books that I briefly review. If you spend several years studying and mastering these books, it should help you become a successful investor.

Wills and Estate Planning and Trusts


Below is a link to the best websites that can help you establish a will. software/


As you get older, and your financial life becomes more complicated you may consider establishing a trust, normally with an attorney.

Below is a Family Trust link to vs-llc- 25104.html

Personal Financial Planner

As your financial life becomes more complicated you may consider hiring a personal financial planner who can analyze all the components of your financial plan, life.

Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal about how to select a Financial Planner: your-money/how- to-choose- a-financial-planner/

Here is another article “10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Financial Advisor”: to-ask- when-choosing- a-financial-advisor/#2a52b3f47d9d

“What to Look For in a Financial Advisor – According to Advisors” look-for- in-a- financial-advisor- according-to-advisors.html

Develop Relationships with Key Professionals

Overtime, you should hire and develop relationships with the following professionals:

- Local banker

- Insurance professional


- Attorney

- Financial Planner

- Investment Advisor