I'm just a local business and finance nerd looking to help people get educated about small business, marketing, and personal finance! I write about anything and everything that I can tie into those themes. I'm also Central Florida's only Kilted Realtor, so I write about Real Estate too! Check out my About Me page to see the origins of Cash Flow Celt.
Conquering Your Financial Empire
In my last article, I talked about how the Lady Celt and I interact when it comes to money. However, I didn’t really talk about how we view money. More importantly, I didn’t even mention how we came to view money the same way! I’d like to brighten up that dark space – Feng Shui this topic if you will.
How relationship’s view money is a critical topic because it ties into the relationship health. Is one of you a saver? Who is the big spender in the group? You need to understand these roles so you can have honest discussions. Surprisingly, Lady Celt and more similar than separate; We’re both SPENDERS!
Like most things in life, money is a spectrum. Some people enjoy saving their money and some people enjoy spending it. I am a spender. Lady Celt is a spender. However, on that spectrum Lady Celt is a bigger spender. I am just fortunate enough to be strong-willed enough to stick to my budget.
Spenders, unsurprisingly, gain enjoyment out of spending their money. They view money as a tool to get “stuff”. ‘Stuff’ doesn’t necessarily mean material items. It could be experiences or moments. Most people, in my experience, will fall somewhere on the spender spectrum. It’s not shocker either; it’s basic human psychology. Our brain releases little chemicals for things that make us happy. Whether that’s going to Disney, buying new shoes, or travelling, your brain encourages that happy feeling.
Savers however, enjoy finding the good deal. They seek to amass and conserve the wealth they have. For them NOT spending is as important as spending to cover their needs. Very few people fit this description. For them, spending creates a paranoia of sorts: ‘will I have money tomorrow?’ I would like to note that frugality and savers aren’t synonymous. Frugal people are like myself. Why would I pay $100 for jeans when I can buy the same quality for $45? Frugal people are willing to spend money. They just do so economically.
Like I said though, most people get happiness from spending money; not saving it. Where do you think you fall?
When Lady Celt and I first got together, we had some issues. We’re both spenders, but I’m diligent with the budget. She – was not. As we progressed, I had to convince her that frugality was a benefit to her. It sounds silly, but talk to your friends. You will find just how many of them don’t think in the long term when it comes to money. They “put money away”. That’s about it. They don’t know why, they don’t know where it goes, or why it does what it does. So, the million-dollar question. How did I get Lady Celt and I to see eye to eye?
I had to redefine money to her. I had to expand her horizons. We also talked – a lot. For her, $1,000 just meant $1,000 in consumable goods. I had to make her see that $1,000 as $500 in consumable goods and $500 in travel goods to Ireland. It sounds simple. Just snap your fingers and voila somebody can see how the same lump of money can be differentiated into separate accounts. However, psychology is a funny thing. When somebody has done something for a decade, it’s a difficult habit to overcome. I gave her my tips to create a budget and then define her goals. Now, she knows what her income ACTUALLY gets her. It’s not just a mish-mash of “stuff”. She knows that for every dollar she makes 25cents goes to this, 10cents to that, 15cents to this thing. Money means something now.
It sounds simple, but it’s not. But that’s why couples need to talk. Converging how you two view money, and being realistic with expectations, will save your relationship.
On top of sticking to your budget, you may also be derailing your budget by doing silly things. Be sure to read that article for more information. People who are spenders and people who are savers probably will not mesh well. However, two spenders can converge their ideas. Everything is a spectrum, so if both parties get and give a little, then you can view money the same. For Lady Celt, it was just defining her goals and then setting up a plan to get there. Now, when she splurges, it’s an issue of whether or not we go to Ireland; not simply “oh well.”
We still have differences. She thinks we should spend more on food or date nights. I think we should spend more on entertainment and increase our savings. However, now it’s an allocation issue – not a fundamental issue. We view money the same, relatively, now. It wasn’t an easy task, but most worthwhile things aren’t easy.
Everybody knows the facts. 40% of all first marriages end in divorce. Interestingly enough, there is a lot of evidence to support the idea that those statistics were created rather than found. However, communication is still one of the largest downfalls to any relationship. Money tends to be pretty high on that list of incommunicado. Personally, I support open dialogue of how many dollar bills I have with the Lady Celt. I also love talking about money in general – much to her chagrin.
So how do couples in a relationship broach the topic of money? Knowing it can be very difficult for many people, I’d like to step in and offer support. Today, I’d like to talk about how Lady Celt and I mince through the finance topic. It’s not always easy, but it’s (mostly) worth it. Continue reading
Do you remember a time when your savings account could fetch 4-5% returns a year? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Alas, we live in a bottomed-out interest rate environment. Granny and Gramps are unsure of what to do with their retirement money, because the historical go-to for liquid funds isn’t providing a steady enough return to recoup some of their living expenses. Yikes! Hopefully it’s not too upsetting for the grandparents though; otherwise you may need to have the talk.
Personally, I was predicting a 1-1.25% increase in the Federal Funds Rate (FFR) this year and that might be good news for people looking to put more of their assets into a conservative savings account. Especially since December of last year we’ve seen an uptick of half a percent in the FFR. But don’t get too excited. An increase in the FFR isn’t necessarily a predictor of the market interest rate! Continue reading
As we ponder the auld lang syne of 2016 and begin the entry into 2017, I’m forced to realize that I’ve been blogging for 9 months. Amidst the craziness of a full-time job and blog writing, I’ve added a new job (I’m a Realtor!), the purchase of a home, and two puppies to the mix! I’ve been engaged in life to say the least. The year has been a roller coaster. It’s up and down, happy and sad, but at the end of the ride, I can still say I had fun! As far as the Celt family, we remain intact. Lady Celt hit a large goal for weight loss, and the Mini-Celt (who now sports a new Mini-Kilt) has grown exponentially – both physically and mentally.
Entering 2017, I would be remiss to not give you all some savvy tips for a New Year, New You. This past year I’ve regaled you all with topics of retirement plans, and identity theft; making a car budget and various treats of real estate. Let’s see if I just can’t wrap it all up with a nice big tartan bow!
Read on to learn how you can make 2017 your best year for finances yet! Continue reading
This past weekend, I ventured into the wilderness that was my backyard. We’re talking months of neglect. We have a lawn guy for the front, and it’s a fairly large yard for our area. It’s also more than adequate for our Mini-Celt, so we had no use for the backyard. But I got sick of feeling like Teddy Roosevelt wandering through Panamanian jungles every time I walked by the back door. For my out of state readers, the humid and hot Florida climate makes shrubs and grass grow like no other. We’re talking zero to four feet tall in just six months, if left unchecked.
The good thing about yard work like that is that it’s easy on the mind, which allows me to idly think about other things. So I got to thinking. First about how much a lawn guy would charge me to clear out the backyard (for its dire state of repair, I estimated about $200). Then I got to thinking about our upcoming renovations on the home. Renovations that I am determined to do myself! My DIY mentality was born out of a willingness to learn and the thought that knowing these skills might be good for my eventual venture into land lording. It also doesn’t help that I’m a public servant and thus not flush with cash. Continue reading
One of the major reasons I started this blog was because my friends asked for it. Many of them asked for it because they were entering, or finishing, law school and were faced with enormous debt loads and were coming to an age where they were becoming classier consumers. Trading in their futons and beanbag chairs for sofas and dining tables. While they sought practical applications for money, what they were really asking for was how to become more financially literate. An important topic for upcoming professionals that need to fund retirement 40 years down the road.
Financial literacy has been an avid passion of mine for many years. Advocating the benefits and small research costs involved is something I do for pleasure. It’s why I got the title of the money guy in my sphere of influence. Much to my chagrin though, financial literacy rates are still garbage in America. I was reminded of this fact while listening to NPR when they had a segment on the topic. While listening, all I could think about was a paper out of Wharton School of Business on the topic (you can read the overview of it here). This paper described the dire state of financial literacy in America and abroad.
Consequently, I thought a paper on the value of financial literacy might be in order. Continue reading
Personal finance is an everyday endeavor. It is present in nearly every decision you make from the time you get up; to the time you go to bed. Ironically, because finances are so ingrained into our daily living it actually becomes harder to do well by your budget. Imagine having to whip out an Excel spreadsheet every time you wanted Starbucks over making coffee at home. Seems ridiculous doesn’t it?
However, just because it’s impractical doesn’t mean we should ignore our finances until the end of the month. Finding the right balance between thrift and fun is just part of the struggle. That said, there are a few “constants” in personal finance. A budget is by far the most important, but you may be surprised at some others. That’s why I wanted to share this article with you all. It’s the six ways you’re ruining your finances without even knowing it! Continue reading
I was reading in the news the other day that the White House was tooting their own horn when it comes to education. This particular tooting was specific to the student debt currently in the economy. The thing that struck me as particularly odd was that the White House said that student debt is, in fact, great for the economy! A foul toot indeed.
This report, published by the Council of Economic Advisers, was chock-full of graphs and statistics to validate their claims. I read through it and it seems to present a fairly straightforward argument. My problem with the published report is that it just repeated the same benefits of education over and over. Everyone knows education is good in some aspect. This report just feels like Ivory Tower academics who are unable to see that what may be good for them, is not good for everyone else. Continue reading
I hate the high price of cell phone bills. I’m not someone who needs two or three gigabytes of data each month, nor do I spend a great deal of time using my phone in a place that wouldn’t have WiFi (like driving). Thus, the mere thought of spending $60 or more for two phone lines for talk, text, and 1GB of data scared the daylights out of me. I had to find a more economical solution.
That’s when I learned about Republic Wireless. Republic Wireless is primarily a WiFi based carrier. That means, when you have WiFi coverage your phone functions as a VoIP system which provides savings to Republic and is the main focal point of how they offer cheaper plans. How cheap? I pay $25.82 a month for two phone lines. That frees up AT LEAST $30 a month that I can now spend on myself, rather than some corporate telecommunications company. Depending on who your current provider is, you may see even more savings – my guess is you will. Keep reading, I’m about to break down Republic Wireless’ coverage and operation to help you make a more informed decision. Continue reading
Does anyone hear that? The faint sound of the Christmas Creep groaning awake from its six-month slumber. I think I can definitely hear the bellow of a thousand sleigh bells tuning their pitch for their yearly debut; the Christmas Creep has come again. While I don’t condone anyone going out and playing their favorite Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas carols, now is probably a great time to start thinking about Christmas. In fact, budgeting for Christmas NOW makes it less stressful for when December actually rolls around.
I know holiday finances are a huge bane to many of us (myself included). Between unforeseen holiday parties that you have to go to, that extra mouth to feed at the holiday table, or your good cheer that means more charity donations when you visit your supermarket, it’s easy to blow your budget. I don’t take great care to hit my Christmas goal, but I budget and save throughout the year. My budgeting for Christmas consists of whatever is left over each month after all of my expenses are paid – including a 20% savings rate. I will take a look at my month over month savings in October, and if I need to make it a No-Fun November to “catch up” I will, but it seldom happens. However, I know that budget doesn’t work for many of my readers, so I would like to present something a little more concrete. Continue reading