A TED lecture by LearnVest: Five Financial Rules to Live By

Hey guys, I just quick wanted to share with you this awesome lecture by LearnVest CEO Alexa von Tobel.

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She presents five basic financial rules to abide by, no matter your financial situation:

1. Live with a budget

2. Prioritize debt repayment

3. Build and maintain an emergency savings fund

4. Negotiate your salary

5. Start saving for retirement now

I’m sorry that this isn’t much of a post, but I promise, it’s worth your time to read that article and watch the video. Alexa says a lot of the things that I’ve said in my blog, but she ties it all together a lot more nicely. And she also presents some staggering facts about the financial situation that most Americans are in. It is the hope of the author of this blog that my readers will be in the minority of people who choose to not only educate themselves about finance, but use that knowledge to create a healthy financial future for themselves. When it comes to getting smart about money, you can never start too early.

Because microwave food is depressing: Cooking on a budget

So since the mere thought of frozen dinner is starting to make me sad, I’ve decided to explore actually cooking on a budget. Sticking to microwaving had always been easier for me, because it allowed me to think in the short term, which is easy. One week? Seven frozen dinners. But cooking on a budget takes a little bit more balance, because you have to be able to stretch out the meals you cook to cover more than one dinner for yourself. Not to mention, you have to keep a mental inventory of what ingredients you have so you can cobble them into something that might be considered a meal.

I’m not going to lie, it makes me nervous. Especially because when I hit the grocery store on Sunday to stock up for this week, my total cost was a little higher than I’m used to it being. But what do you know: I cooked a simple boxed dinner (stir-fry with chicken), and got about 2.5 meals out of it. This might work after all.

Some of the tools I’m using to help me with this:

> Wondering how long that meat is going to stay good in the freezer? What about if you’re storing a sandwich in the fridge, or uncorked wine? Stilltasty.com is an amazing website that allows you to search by type of food to see how long it will stay good in various states (frozen, etc.). When you’ve bought ingredients for cooking, this is especially important.

> I just discovered cheapcooking.com, which not only suggests recipes for people on a budget, but also really useful things such as recipes for your leftovers and advice on home food storage. I made use of their tip that you can make the meat you have last longer if you make recipes that don’t call for a large amount of it and still fill you up, such as stir fry.

More to come on Thursday!