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The smart (and free!) way to track your Net Worth

With the current amount of monthly savings, when will you hit the $1 million savings? Are you saving enough for your kid's college education? Will $100,000 be enough when you retire? Will $2.5 million be enough when you retire?  How will your upcoming house mortgage payments affect your retirement savings? All these and related questions, boil down to one simple question. How do you find if you are saving(and investing - remember that saving is not the same as investing) enough right now?

There are multiple ways and even more tools and best practices to calculate and find if you are roughly on track towards a good saving and investing regime. It is futile to aim for accurate numbers or to assess if you will have saved $2.4 million by the age 63. What is more important, is to assess if you are roughly on track. With the innumerable variables in life, it is next to impossible to predict accurate numbers and financial milestones. Yet, educated best practices and tools, historical le…
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Essential principles of setting basic saving goals

Can you run out of money? Yes, you definitely will run out of money, unless you take a conscious steps towards laying down some strong foundational steps. It really does not matter much whether you are making $60,000 per year or $200,000. If you do not save and invest, the future of a general family is bleak.

I might be sounding too aggressive and pessimistic, but I feel it is better to be a bit worried today, instead of in future when you really need the money. I understand that I cannot make a sweeping generic statement because everybody is unique, with unique situations, but here are a few facts to ponder upon.

I have read many times people commenting that they aim to save at least about $100,000 for retirement.
Do you think $100,000 sounds like a big amount? 
For a moment, let us not consider any alternate income sources such as social secruity incomeAssuming annual before-tax return of 5% on the amountAssume that you may need to withdraw about $7000 every month at retirement age …

Top two simple ways to begin investing

I am no investment guru but do know that I need to save money for the future. Yet, saving itself is not enough because thanks to inflation, money kept in your bank account is losing its value fast! We need to invest to help make our money work as hard as we do. What's more, most major banks in the US do not give any tangible interest on savings/checking account.

If you are in the USA, either as a citizen, permanent resident, green card or even on a visa such as H1B or L1 then you should invest without a doubt. You may choose not to invest in the USA if you plan to leave the US after a year or two for good, in which case I would assume you are investing in your primary/target home country. The question is where to invest today in the US. Time is money, literally and hence you need to act fast and make your hard earned money last longer. As I mentioned above, saving is not enough as money in your checking/savings account is actually getting depleted. You need to invest, by starting…

Are you guilty yet?

My friend recently told me the superb 30% returns he got from stocks last week. My other colleague was discussing how the future college costs would be around $350,000 for a 4 years course. I read somewhere the rising cost of healthcare or even of raising a child! On a lazy weekend, when I sit sipping my morning coffee and recalling these conversations, I sometimes feel a shiver run down my spine.

I feel guilty. 
I feel guilty that I might not be on the right track to confidently say if I am saving and investing enough. A lot of what-if questions arise. I feel guilty, that though with gods grace I am working in a full-time job with a pay check coming at the end of every month, perhaps the saving is not invested in the most efficient manner.

Every now and then I do read personal finance blogs, articles, investment blogs, view what others have to say on video channels, but then I feel guilty that I did not act to do something tangible with any little money which I might have lying idle…