Category Archives: Personal Finance

Planning My Upcoming Wedding…

I’m engaged!

Just kidding…

But someday I might be and there are many things to be considered before entering into a relationship. Emotional trauma aside, certain aspects involved in a marriage relationship – especially a failed one – (or even a failed premarital relationship) can be quite costly – financially devastating, in fact – and people should be aware of how to avoid some of the economic pitfalls that I will address in this post.

Financial problems related to Dating

Some people, in an effort to impress, will spend more time and money than they can financially afford on a dating relationship. You’d think people would know to look out for this, but they apparently don’t.

Fancy restaurants and elaborate gifts are two of the many ways that people can meaninglessly squander their finances if their main objective is to impress.

Of course, there are circumstances when perhaps such “squandering” might be appropriate and have a purpose. However, depending upon what you are aiming to get out of a relationship (and how much you are willing to invest), it should be considered that “going all out” should not be an everyday occurrence.

Engagement and Wedding Rings

The jewelry dealers love you for your ignorance:

  1. Brick-and-mortar stores will sell you a setting for a relatively good price…and then bankrupt you on the diamond.
  2. The online stores will give you a decent deal on the diamond…and then rip you off on the setting.

Knowing this, you can go to your local jeweler for advice and compensate him for the advice by purchasing the setting from him. Then you can go online and purchase the diamond. You can then take the two parts to a store and have them assembled and tweaked. The store may not like you finding that loophole, but they will likely keep taking your business because they want you to keep shopping around their store in hopes that you will buy more.


This is one place where I think that people go all crazy. Yes, weddings are a special day, and we should keep it that way but you don’t want to spend the next 10 years of a relationship paying of wedding debt, or suffering from a lack of funds due to extravagant wedding expenses beyond your means. Weddings do not need to be expensive, but people put themselves way back financially by getting things they don’t need (or really, want) and inviting people they don’t need (or want) there. They do this because of social expectation/pressure.  

Photographers will charge $200 an hour, refreshments are unreasonably expensive, and expenses for the setting will cost a fortune. My advice is to ignore social expectation; invite people you want there and don’t invite those you don’t; only get those services that you need (and provide the rest yourself); and finally, be original. Everyone goes to a big church, invites all their friends, has matching bridesmaids and groomsmen, parties at expensive buildings for the reception, etc. Yet, many couples will tell you that, though it was nice, it wasn’t necessary. I know people who, if they could do it again, they would make an effort to do it more cost, time, and emotionally effective.

Instead of doing it the aforementioned way, you could have your wedding in a nice park, or if you have access to a farm or acreage, do it there. Instead of buying/renting matching clothing, don’t dress up. Have a time/cultural theme (western, hippie (not suggested, btw), 18th century dress up, etc). Also, wedding dresses are expensive and impractical. I personally would recommend going without. Nonetheless, women like them and I’m not going to tell them to give that up. However, if you’re going to get one, see if you can find a used/like-new/inexpensive dress. Or, suck it up and ask your Mom or friends’ parents if you could borrow theirs.


It is expected that one would follow the tradition to go away for a holiday with your loved one directly after the marriage. Often, people go to tourist attractions (and thus, virtually everything about it is  e x p e n s i v e) and expensive resorts. Again, while couples who have done this would say it was nice and really quite enjoyable, they would also acknowledge that it wasn’t necessary. I’m am not saying that one shouldn’t have a honeymoon, I am saying that there are different ways to go about it. For instance, there are plenty of nice places to take a holiday right near where you live! Or you could go to other less expensive, but still equally beautiful places. It will be more enjoyable, more cost effective, and it will put your mind at ease.

Renting or Buying

Many people will buy their first home. However, renting might be the better choice if they would otherwise have to take on too much debt in purchasing a home. When one owns a home, one must be the one to fix, or at least authorize, all aspects of repair.

Conversely, when one rents, it is the land-lords’ responsibility to repair. You are exempt from whatever damage a natural disaster might through your way. You can save a lot of money, at least for your first house, this way.


In conclusion, there are many financial aspects to consider when entering a relationship. Some of them are:

  1. Dating
  2. Rings
  3. Weddings
  4. Honeymoons
  5. Renting or Buying

One can save a lot of money by being more mindful of these early marital/premarital expenses.


How many of you actually thought that I was engaged?

One Government Regulation that Effects Interest Rates

Personal Finance Lesson 55 (this is an older essay, so please keep that in mind when I talk about “current events.”)

Inflation is taxation without legislation.”

– Milton Friedman

This essay will be touching upon one government regulation that affects interest rates. Or rather, our inflationship with the government.

Inflation causes money to decrease in value. That is, the dollar that you might have in your pocket right now could become worth half of that within the next year. How does this happen? Well, banks run a business, and one of the ways that banks earn money is to connect the people who have extra money (savers) with the people who need money (borrowers). The banks collect interest from the borrower, keep some of it, and give the rest of it to the saver.

Now you might say, “What! How is that fair? It wasn’t the banks money – so why do they get a cut?” While it might seem unfair, it is actually not at all. The banks are doing a service to both parties – the saver and the borrower; they are connecting them. Without the banks help many people may not have been able to lend or borrow money. If you don’t want to let the bank keep the cash, you don’t have to use their service.

To increase business, banks lower interest rates making it easier for borrowers to afford. However, this can make the banks need extra cash; that is where the Fed comes to the rescue. They print more money (fake money), therefore, causing the existing money that is already in circulation to be worth less. This can cause anger to arise in people. For instance, lately, there was the Covid19 relief bill in the U.S. However, guess what? The money didn’t come directly out of President Trump’s pocket – it was printed! This creation of fake money steals wealth away from their citizens and is criminal.

In conclusion, one government regulation that affects interest rates is inflation. Inflation is the forced entrance of fake currency into the system which causes the existing currency, which is already in circulation, to have its worth degraded; essentially, making it worth less.



Consider this interesting image which shows the United States’ inflation growth in the past few months:

Photo Credits:

A Potential Small Business I Could Run

Photo by Tim Mossholder on

Lesson 65

For centuries now, leading up the present day, the 21st century, money has become increasingly essential for man-kind’s perceived quality of life. However, in order to obtain that “money” (which today, in and of itself, is worth nothing), you have two options:

  1. You need to have someone give it to you
  2. You need to work for it.

Obviously, the steadier and more reliable of the two tends to be working for it.

In this essay I will be writing about an idea for a small business I could attempt to run.

I live near people who own land. I think that these people would be willing to let me use a little bit of their land for a garden. But even if not, I could buy pots, planters, and even certain containers so that I could grow fruits and veggies in my family’s house. 

So, if I had planted a garden (whether inside or outside) I could then see if there would be people willing to buy some home grown produce.  I think that there would be a market for this type of business but even if the case should arise that there was no one who wanted to buy fresh foods, I could just grow food for our family and in that way save money. Then I could try to obtain a license to sell food and then I could sell the produce.

I could do this by getting people excited by making them wait for harvest baskets. I could also grow certain plants to sell, however, I might do well to be choosy as to who I sell the living plants to as they could possibly then grow the produce themselves and then I could lose business.

As time would go on and if I should become more popular, I may want to upgrade my location. I could rent or buy a piece of land, which of course would likely be very expensive, and then I could build a greenhouse on that piece of land and that is how I could continue to expand. Another way I could expand would be to rent someone else’s greenhouse.

In conclusion, one achievable small business that could grow to become a large, very profitable, full time job is to grow fresh produce in the form of fruits and veggies.


Credit Card Debt

Photo by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash

Lesson 60

Debt’s are like chains, ties, ropes, and fetters. It is as though they restrict movement…the movement of our lives…our freedom. One common form of debt is credit card debt.

There are many interesting credit card debt facts on the internet. However, in this essay I would like to post the important credit card debt facts, how it compares with other forms of private debt, and how credit card debt has changed in the last few years (focusing mainly on American credit card debt).

According to Nerd Wallet, credit card debt has increased more than 7% in the past year and almost 37% in the past five years.

Interestingly, the statistics for the average credit card debt by gender has the men deeper in debt:

According to The Ascent, Millennials have the lowest average credit card debt. This site also said that the average couple doesn’t reveal debt until 10 months into the relationship and that almost a quarter of men and women have hidden debt or lied about it to a partner!

According to, more than 189 million Americans have credit cards and the average credit card holder has at least four cards! According to a live population counter there are about 330, 644, 071 (I say about because it is changing quite fast and I could literally watch as the number went higher, and higher, and higher). Therefore, about half of Americans have a credit card!

Alright, now it is time for the comparison of credit card debt vs. other forms of private debt.

As you can see from the image above (from Nerd Wallet) about debt, credit card debt, though still high, does not even make one trillion. In comparison to either auto loans or student loans it is fairly small. In comparison to mortgage debts (does anyone else find that name even a little bit interesting?) it is incredibly small!

(For reference: “Mort” in French means “death” and the word finishes with “gage”. Death gauge?)

An interesting fact on American debt (found on the Foundation for Economic Education website):  By 2025, the cost of servicing our national debt will exceed the cost of our military spending!



Key Figures Behind America’s Consumer Debt

Photo Credits:

I found the: Until debt tear us apart image here:

Why Interest Rates Are Different For Different Types Of Loans.

Photo by Pixabay on

Lesson 50

Why are interest rates different for different kinds of loans?

Before I answer the question, let’s first understand how loans work.

So let’s say that you are short on money and need or want to pay for something. You then go to someone who is willing to give you money under the promise that you pay it back. However, due to inflation, the value of the money may erode over time. This could mean that even if you pay back the same amount of money you borrowed, it might now be worth much less. Also, the lender has to worry about you not paying the money back. And, the lender is giving away money they could have invested elsewhere.

How does one make sure they get all their money back?

This is where interest comes in. By paying a certain percentage of the amount of money loaned per certain amount of time (whether that be days, weeks, months, or years) that lender is giving him or herself a little bit of cushion if the case should arise that the lender shows their self untrustworthy, or some other issue; as well as earning a little income…which actually may end up being a lot depending on how much was borrowed. The less amount of money you borrow probably will mean a less amount of interest.

The amount of time you have to pay off a loan also affects the amount of interest. The more time they give you to pay off a loan, the more you have to pay in interest.

It is interesting (and perhaps important) to realize that interest rates are different for different lengths of time. This could affect the payback time and, therefore, could mean that either more or less is at stake for the lender.

Here are some rates for loans

Brian O’Connell had the following points,

  • The amount of interest paid depends on the terms of the loan, worked out between the lender and the borrower.
  • Interest represents the price you pay for taking out a loan – you still have to pay off the base principal of the loan, too.
  • Interest on loans is usually pegged to current banking interest rates.
  • Your interest rate on a credit card, auto loan or another form of interest can also depend largely on your credit score.
  • In certain cases, like with credit cards, your interest rate can rise if you’re late on a payment, or don’t make a payment.

Colton Beckwith phrases it well,

“The longer they give you to pay off the loan, the more interest they charge. Interest is charged by a percentage of the amount of money loaned…Different kinds of loans are paid off over various lengths of time, causing them to have varying interest rates. Generally, the smaller the loan, the less time they give you to pay it off, meaning a lower interest rate.”



The Least Expensive (And Most Expensive) Ways To Get In Shape.

Lesson 45

Photo by Victor Freitas on

Have you ever heard that nothing in this world is free? Last I checked, that usually included gym memberships. Well, today’s essay is on the least expensive (and most expensive) ways to get in shape.

The Hustle states this,

“In the United States, 60.8 million people (~1 in 5 adults) have some kind of membership to one of the country’s 38k gyms and health clubs and pay an annual, monthly, or daily fee to work out. Collectively, gyms rake in $30B+ in revenue on an annual basis.”

That’s a lot of people and a lot of money! Not only are the costs of the memberships expensive, but transportation to a gym can be expensive as well.

Also, not everyone always gets the most out of the money they spend on a membership. This is because if they have a busy week (or day), get sick, or just don’t feel like going to the gym that day, that is money wasted.

If you get injured at the gym on one of those new, fancy machines, there might be the costs of medical help.

Speaking of help, even if you have the membership, who is going to tell you what you need to do? Some people may seek the help of a trainer, but this, too, adds on additional costs.

Are there other options? If so, are they better?

Frankly, and happily, yes! It is not that hard to purchase some of the equipment you would have used at the gym. Sure, there is the cost of buying the equipment and sometimes the cost of going to get it, but if you were planning to keep exercising for the next few years, financially speaking, you actually might come out on top (especially if you buy the equipment used). Besides, the fact that you save money on transportation, you can have something to sell when you are done with the equipment. That way, you can get back some of the money you spent on purchasing it.

Plus, if you’re at home you don’t have to worry about what you look like or what other people think.

Also, you may be more motivated to go and exercise if it’s right there…in your living room…in front of your TV!

In conclusion, gym memberships may not be worth as much as people think. As a whole, they can be costly, and they are not all that private. The good news is that there are other options. You can buy your own equipment, seek online help, and save the money on transportation, and keep your personal space!



The Best Online Personal Finance Option For Me!

Lesson 40

Today I will be telling you what the best online personal finance solution is for me and why.

I am only a teen and am not in college or living on my own. This means that I don’t need very much help with keeping track of my money (you can check out Lesson 5 in my Personal Finance category to see how I keep track of my money). Therefore, an Excel template would work fine for me.

Excel is great because sometimes they have already-made templates ready for you to use. This can save time and energy.  Excel also has blank templates; so you can use those if you do not find what you are looking for. I believe Excel came with the purchase of my laptop; this too is great, because it is free.

Another reason that Excel is great is that once you download the template on your computer or laptop, you can edit the template even if your internet connection fails or if you are on the road.

So, Excel is a good personal finance solution for me because I do not need a lot of help keeping track if my money, it is free, and is can be used without internet access. Not only that, but if I decided not to use Excel anymore a try a new one, I would not be losing money by having had to pay for two systems.


Photo Credits:

The Morality of Work and Wealth

Lesson 25

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?…”

Mathew 16:26

Is being wealthy immoral? Is it unjust that some people have more wealth than others? No. but the mindset and the mental maturity of the person who is either wealthy or poor can be evil or good. Today I will be addressing the morality of work and wealth.

It is not immoral to be wealthy. However, some believe it is. I found this quote on Current Affairs:

“A reminder that people who possess great wealth in a time of poverty are directly causing that poverty…”

A.Q. Smith

 The Bible is not against wealth either. But it cannot be the reason you live. God has to be. In Mathew 6:24, Jesus says, “You cannot serve God and Money.” It is true. You must serve God only and put Him first always. Money should be a tool to survive in this world that we currently live in. Remember that we can be in the world, but should not be of it.

It is not unjust that some people have more wealth than others. Some people have very good work ethic, others not so much. If someone works hard their entire life, they should not be required, or even feel obligated to give up their wealth to someone less well off. 

There are moral limits on how a person can gain wealth. Not only can you not go to the extreme and become a prostitute and sell your body for money, you shouldn’t even got to the place where money (or your job) tales you away from your wife, kids, and other family. I have a friend who was an airplane mechanic. He got to go all over the world for his job. At some times he made more than he did at others. However, he realized it was a bad environment to be in. He no longer relies on his expertise as an airplane mechanic to be his main source of income.  

On top of all this, I will state that being wealthy can have negative effects on people. According to the Greater Good Magazine, wealth can cloud moral judgment. Again, I am not saying that wealth is bad, but you must have the correct mindset.




Current Affairs

Greater Good Magazine

Photo Credits:

Biography of Andrew Carnegie.

Lesson 20

 “Watch the costs and the profits will take care of themselves.”

Andrew Carnegie
Picture of Andrew Carnegie taken from Biography

Would you like to rich? Of course you do! Pretty much everybody wants to be well off (financially). Well an entrepreneur named Andrew Carnegie lived his version of the rags-to-riches story. Andrew Carnegie was the son of a poor Scottish weaver (William Carnegie) and was born November 25, 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland. Andrew had little formal education. The Carnegie’s immigrated in 1848 to America when times were tough. Their house was shared with another family so the actual living quarters for the Carnegie’s actually weren’t all that much.

Andrew became a source of income for the family when he was younger (than 99 years old). Considering that he learned how to recognize the sounds the incoming telegraphs produced, we might deduce that he was fairly initiative.  

At 17 years of age, he became a secretary to a railroad superintendent.

Andrew invested in oil in 1864. He also invested in coal, express, and horse car companies. However, the investment that he became so well known for was his investment in iron and steel. He became known for leading the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, in the 1900, the profits of his corporation, named Carnegie Steel, were $40,000,000 of which Carnegies share was $25,000,000.

So as I said, in 1901, Carnegie formed U.S. Steel with a banker named  J. P. Morgan. This became the largest corporation in the world.

During the U.S. Civil War,Andrew Carnegie was drafted into the U.S. army. But he did not serve. He paid another man $850 to take his place.

So Andrew Carnegie eventually owned a steel company, which he later sold for $304,000,000

Andrew Carnegie died in August 11, 1919 at the age of 83 in Lenox, Massachusetts. He had also given away about $350 million dollars. In today’s dollars that would be around 5 billion dollars.  

Thanks for reading!




Timothy D. Terrell


Encyclopedia Britannica



Which Schedule?

Photo by Pixabay on

Lesson 11


So, today I will be making an essay on the differences of two schedules and why I might choose to use one over the other.

The first schedule is just a calendar. It is just an ordinary paper (or whatever the material is) calendar nothing particularly special about it. It is However one very useful thing about using just an ordinary calendar is that I don’t have to worry about computer crashes, not saving the template, or any other possible electrical mishaps. I also would not have to worry about sharing confidential information.

The second schedule is a template on my computer. The nice thing about this template is that in one table it has the time, then the appointment table, then a ‘to-do’ table, and then a table for calls. This template is on Excel, so the nice thing about that is that I can change certain aspects of the template that I don’t like so much, as well as add things to the template. I can also print it off my computer if I feel the need.

Now, I might choose the calendar over the Excel template not only because of the security advantages, but also because of the accessibility advantages. If I have a calendar on the wall, and a template on my computer, which one am I more likely to go to? Perhaps it would make the most sense to go to the calendar on the wall instead of turning my computer on, entering the password, opening the template, then do what I need to do…only to turn it off after that.

If you have a calendar that works really well for you and would like to share, feel free to do so in the comments!

Thanks for reading!