Budgeting Basics – The First Step in Securing Your Financial Future

Thank you for visiting JoesMoney.com!  If you were linked here from my YouTube video on how to use the budgeting spreadsheet, the link to the file is below the text of this post below.

Budgeting is the first step in securing your financial future.  Without knowing how much and where you’re spending your hard earned money, it is impossible to start goal setting.  Please take a few minutes to view the video below to help you get started on your journey to financial freedom.  This entire series is aimed at regular, everyday folks!

Please post comments or questions by registering below, or on the YouTube page.  I encourage any and all questions and I’ll do my best to help you along the way.

Don’t forget to bookmark our page or subscribe to our YouTube channel.  This series will cover many personal finance topics along the way.

 

Download the completely free excel budgeting worksheet here

90% Junk Silver Coins Pickup Walking Liberty Half, Mercury Dimes, and More

Walking Liberty Half Dollar

 

 

 

 

 

Just got back from the local coin store, got a pretty nice selection today.  I picked up some great 90% silver junk coins including:

Mercury Dimes
Roosevelt Dimes
Barber Dime
Walking Liberty Half Dollar
Franklin Half Dollar
Barber Half Dollar
Morgan Silver Dollar

I like to buy silver coins and bullion.  They are a very small portion of my investment portfolio.  I enjoy the collecting aspect of it as well as the investment itself.  Many say silver and gold are a great hedge against inflation.  I hope you all enjoy, I’ve created a youtube video of all the coins.

Link to the YouTube review of the silver coins

For coin supplies, check out this link

Silver Bullion Coin Show Score – Fiji Taku, Canadian Wildlife Series Antelope, More

Hey everyone!  I had the chance to check out one of the local coin shows yesterday.  There was the usual handful of dealers, and the usual 2 or 3 silver bullion dealers I usually buy from.  Luckily, I was able to find a few silver coins to add to the collection.

My favorite of the batch was the 2013 Fiji Taku $2 1 ounce fine silver coin.  Of course, since 2013 isn’t over, I have no idea what the mintage limit is, but if its like the 2012, mintage will be limited at 350,000.  While they may seem like a lot, take for example the American Silver Eagle or the Canadian maple leaf bullion coins that are far into the millions.  The Fiji Taku coin is an amazingly detailed coin with tons of eye appeal.  The obverse of the coin has the same beautiful design as the years in the past.  However, the reverse has changed completely.  The reverse in past years had the queen imprinted, however, this year, the design has changed.  Personally, I feel the change isn’t so great.  The design is somewhat bland, although a welcome change to coins plastered with the queen, at least they tried.

I was also able to pickup the 2013 Canadian Wildlife Series Antelope.  Great looking coin, lower mintage, a great addition to my collection.  The reverse of course, has the queen as all other Canadian coins.  No milk spots on this one!

As for 90% coins, I was able to grab an average condition 1926 Peace Dollar, I just love the look and weight of these coins.  In addition, I grabbed 4 90% proof state quarters that included Hawaii, Alaska, Arizona, and Oklahoma.  All of the state quarters are in pretty good shape, but were mixed in with pre-64 coins so they do have dings but certainly better than the highly worn 90% that is so common.

I’ve posted a youtube video if you’d like to take a look, otherwise high definition pictures are available below for a closer look.

Link to YouTube Review (Opens in new window/tab)

Democrat, Republican, Independent, Alien Life Form – What I Think You Should Know

Regardless of who took office, I believe the following information everyone should have.  Some of this is my opinion but is backed by my years with a Fortune 500 Financial Firm and more hours of study on economics than I’d care to share.

Again, impartial to whom took office and when, the money machine printing press has not stopped in the US in a long time.  In my opinion, it is critical that we all understand the implications of unsound monetary and fiscal policy.

When we print money at the rate we have over the last several decades and wages do not rise either at par or better than the inflation that comes with the money printing, we all suffer, most of the time completely unknown to many of us.  By printing even a single extra dollar, the value of all other dollars goes down in value.  I’ll do my best to explain this on a smaller scale.  Keep in mind for the full effect you’ll have to multiply the following example by trillions to understand what I believe is happening.

In a world with finite resources (food, land, gold, oil, etc) prices fluctuate based on outside factors.  Let’s just say for the sake of this example there is only $100 in currency in the entire city, country, planet, whatever.  And within this physical space we have only 10 houses for sale.  Simple math tells you that all houses created equal there are enough dollars to buy each one at $10.  But what if we double the supply of money?  Now we have $200 across our land but we’ve only been able to build an additional 2 houses (because we can only grow the economy so fast, apparently if at all).  Also assume that the 2 new houses are exactly the same as the first 10.  We now have 12 houses that we could spend $200 on.  The price is now almost $17 per house but we’re getting the same asset.  You can apply this to anything.  Apples, cars, yachts, etc.  The asset isn’t worth more, but you have to use more of your dollars to buy them.  Before we increased the money supply in this example, we could buy a house for $10.  After doubling the money supply, the same exact house costs almost $17!  The more money that gets printed, the worse off we are.

With that said, who does this effect?  In my opinion, we print money for a multitude of reasons, each have their merits.  However, when the economy doesn’t grow as fast as the money supply, we end up with the effect above.  This affects the middle class most as this, in essence, lowers their standard of living because more of their dollars are eaten away on housing, food, energy, etc.  When they have less dollars left over, they can buy fewer things.  The government is taking your wealth without you even knowing, it’s a hidden tax.  You say well I’m making $20 an hour.  Well that doesn’t matter because your $20 buys less than $10 would buy 15 years ago.  We take this wealth that’s been stolen via inflation and we spend it on programs to try to bring the “poor” up by providing assistance and other programs.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.  I think we can all agree there are at least some abuses within these programs.  They do not enable or encourage people to better themselves but it creates an environment of low self-worth that keeps people down with no ambition to ever get out.  In the meantime, the middle class has less money to spend on discretionary items so their standard of living has been lowered, again, many times without them even knowing, it’s a blind tax and it will not stop until we stop printing money.  The poor are no better off than they ever have been and the poor class is growing because inflation is taking away wealth form the middle class, and in turn making them poor.  This has been happening for decades.  Since the inception of the Federal Reserve Note in 1913, the dollar has lost 95%+ of its purchasing power.  IE – In 1913, if you spent $1 on something, that same item adjusted for inflation would cost over $22 today.  This is because they can’t turn off the printing press!

A lot of people like to think it couldn’t happen here but it already is.  In my opinion, the only way out of the debt this country is in, is to inflate (print) our way out.  Whether we do it today, or in another 100 years, we’re merely delaying the inevitable.  When they do come to that point, its bad news for us.  Our savings will be worthless, we’ll be starting over regardless of how hard we’ve worked.  History repeats itself often…

To see some of the history of consequences of high inflation, see this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation

In somewhat recent history, severe devaluation of currency has resulted due to loose monetary policy in several countries you may not have expected.  In Germany around 1924, the value of their currency was devalued to a point where it was literally worthless. (See this link)  The savings of the citizens was erased due to poor monetary policy.  The same thing happened in Hungary in 1946, the largest bill they created was 100 quintillion because lower denominations had zero value.  Another striking example right here at home was around 1933 when Roosevelt devalued the dollar by approx. 40% overnight, with nothing more than the stroke of a pen, when he took us off the gold standard.  Don’t even get me started on fractional reserve banking.

I fear that if we continue down this path, the ultimate breaking point will be much more severe.  Please share these thoughts with friends or anyone who will listen.  I encourage any challenging comments or questions you may have.  I’m by no means an expert, but to me, the writing is on the wall and it doesn’t look good for any of us.