Personal Finance Foundation

Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, pension plans, annuities, tax-advantaged retirement accounts, financial advisers, mortgage amortization schedules…

So you want to learn how to manage your money and, hopefully, make it grow, but you’re drowning in finance speak and don’t know where to start.  Putting all the puzzle pieces together and determining what’s “right” is hugely daunting, especially when you’re supposedly rich relative is telling you one thing, MSNBC is screaming another, and your mom is saying yet another.

I faced this same challenge when I got my first full-time job after college graduation.  Thankfully I have an older brother who taught me about retirement accounts, so I was able to get an early start on retirement investing.  Additionally, while an undergrad, I knew I needed to minimize the financial “damage” I caused in college by being thoughtful with expenses and by earning money through internships.  Retirement investing and minimizing college debt are only two pieces of the puzzle, though.

I’m writing the Personal Finance Foundation series to provide an easily-referenced road map for “what to do.”  Of course, there’s plenty of nuance to personal finance (hence the “personal”), so I’m not claiming this is gospel.  If I were to give my 18 year old version of me a finance lesson, though, this is what it would be!

Part 1 – Know Where You’re Starting (Calculating Net Worth)

Catholic Personal Finance

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