The world appears to be a pretty chaotic place much of the time. Anyone who has lived a decade or more in adulthood knows this. One day you think you have things figured out and BOOM, something happens to rock your world. There is a rather crude statement that describes this very real occurrence, "shit happens." This is why emergency funds are so very important and why it should be high on your list of things to do. The money you save and set aside will be there when life throws you that inevitable curve. An emergency fund reduces the stress in some mighty big ways when catastrophe hits. It does not eliminate it, but it certainly can make a negative event less painful. Without savings, you have stress on top of stress and that will simply make the situation worse. Saving a portion of your income when others are not, just makes you the responsible one in the group. It also puts you in position (after your emergency fund is set up) to start investing for your future as you take calculated risks with stocks and bonds all over the world within retirement accounts whenever possible. Remember these words the next time someone is telling you to live in the moment and not to worry about the future. Living paycheck to paycheck will cost you dearly. The reality is, some people just don't get it. You will be the one prepared financially AND psychologically when the future actually does show up with a surprise or two. Become a saver not to hoard your money, but to prepare for the volatility of life. Your future self will be glad you did.
The things that really matter in life are not sold in stores. Love, friendship, family, respect, a place in the community, the belief that your life has purpose; those are the essentials of human fulfillment, and they cannot be purchased with cash. Everyone needs a certain amount of money, but chasing money rather than meaning is a formula for discontent. - Greg Easterbrook
What is the difference between a load and a no-load mutual fund? Why should one be avoided and the other embraced? Where can you go to find the lowest cost options?
This week I would like to highlight John Bogle and his wonderful book, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. This little book is an ideal manual for the beginning investor. John Bogle is a true expert in the field of investing (he is the founder of the Vanguard Group) and he has a wonderful way of communicating difficult issues in simple ways that you can understand and then act on. Mr. Bogle does this through the use of stories, quotes, and a whole lot of facts. The book is an easy read (you will have it done in a week or less) worth every penny you pay for it. Buy it. Read it. Act on it. Financial freedom to follow!

Are you Financially literate?