December 20, 2019

Last week we discussed how to use a Google Sheet to track credit card debt.  This week we will discuss how to use the same Sheet to track long-term debt such as student loans, car notes, mortgages, etc.

Similar to credit card tracking, your starting point is the debt’s current balance and annual percentage rate (APR).  You can obtain this information from the most recent statement that you received.  Let’s say that you have the...

December 13, 2019

Last week we covered the basics of tracking your budget (see DIY Personal Finance - Tracking Your Budget).  If you have credit cards, you can use the same Google Sheet that I referenced in that article (or create your own similar sheet) to track your credit card activity.  We’ll discuss how to do that in this article.


Add Your Credit Cards
List each credit that you own (e.g., Chase, Capital One, etc.) on the Sheet.  If yo...

December 5, 2019

After you have made a plan for your money, the next step is to track the plan.  I absolutely love using Google Sheets on my laptop to create my plan and the Sheets app (also by Google) to track my plan on a daily basis.  I love using Sheets because it’s free, and I can access my budget from anywhere.

Create Your Plan

Your plan is essentially an analysis of the money that you expect to earn and what you intend to do with tho...

November 22, 2019

Earlier this week, I put on my favorite pair of boots. I smiled as I thought about how many autumns and winters they got me through, and they still look almost brand new. I need to buy another pair in case they ever get ruined, I thought to myself.  Then, it dawned on me that I had no idea where I bought them from. 

As special as they are to me, I knew not from whence they came. However, I can vividly recall where and whe...

November 18, 2019

As I gain momentum in coming to the close of my college career, the future has been heavy on my mind. There are many things to think about, finances, starting a career, and finding a place of my own.

In a recent conversation with my mom about all of the above, we stumbled onto the topic of getting my own place. And that’s when she made one thing very clear: renting was not an option.

What? That’s literally all I could thin...

November 12, 2019

In March 2019, Black Enterprise published an article titled African American Economics: Real Facts. The article referenced a State of the American Family Study by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual), which found that:

1. Outside of retirement accounts, only 37% of African Americans own wealth-building products such as stocks and mutual funds.

2. Only 35% believe they are doing a good job of preparing for retirem...

November 5, 2019

A phrase that I often heard while growing up is, “Take the meat, and leave the bones.”  In essence, the phrase means that you should take what is valuable or applicable to you and leave behind what is of no use.  Chances are that if you read a personal finance article, the article will not be customized to every nuance of your specific financial circumstance.  If you expect it to be, it is likely that your expectation will not...

November 1, 2019

I burst into laughter when I came across this post on Instagram - “I paid all my bills for this month. Does anyone have some good recipes with water?”

We’ve all been there before. Your job giveth, and your bills taketh away.  There are two common causes of this predicament. Either your bills are higher than your income, or you spend before considering your bills for the month.  In this post we will tackle the issue of spending...

October 24, 2019

As I write this post on the morning of my birthday, the importance of mindset and perspective are on my mind. Birthdays always make me reflect on the year and years past. Without question, this past year was the worst year of my life.  I experienced multiple deaths in my immediate family and financial setbacks. It's also the year that I became a homeowner and obtained a career position that I wanted for a long time. I now full...

October 17, 2019

What do you do once you gain knowledge? Oftentimes, especially when it comes to money management, people cite a lack of knowledge as the reason for not saving, for bank overdrafts, not paying credit card bills on time, not contributing to their 401k plan, etc. While it may be true that you didn’t save because you weren’t taught that you should, that you got an overdraft because you thought the bank wouldn’t let you keep spendi...

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