What is the Most Important Thing to Know About Finances?
I hold an MBA. While in school, I took several finance courses. It wasn’t until later, through the best education—real life—that I got a firm grasp on personal finance. I credit podcasts for a lot of my knowledge. Mad Money and Fast Money are two podcasts available through CNBC. You can also watch them as television shows.
With the financial knowledge I now possess, the best piece of advice I can offer is to save as much as possible, ideally twenty percent of your income, every month. Invest the money in your future—fund things like a retirement account and a down payment on a home. If you aren’t familiar with individual stocks, invest your savings in an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) like VOO or SPY, which mirror the S&P 500. Invest through a quality brokerage firm, like Charles Schwab or Fidelity.
Budget savings first, and then work around the rest of your needs. If you don’t have enough to rent an apartment on your own, you hopefully know good people you can share the rent with. Maybe you can live in your parents’ home while saving for a down payment.
Take the right steps now, and your financial future will be bright. Think of where you want to be ten, twenty, and thirty years out. Saving now will make your goals possible. And then some.
Sample Write-up of Designer Interview
Q: What motivated this remodel for the homeowners?
A: While they were able to fit a small dining table in the breakfast nook, the family of five couldn't comfortably sit at that table. As a result, they felt like they were missing out on family time. They'd talked about redoing the kitchen sooner, but decided to wait longer to save enough for a kitchen remodel and expansion.
Q: What materials were used?
A: The owners wanted to use a natural stone for the countertops. They liked the look of marble but were afraid of its porousness. That brought them to quartzite, specifically Mont Blanc quartzite.
The cabinets are Shaker style, with satin nickel hardware. The appliances are stainless steel, including a Viking 48" range, and the floor tile is a 12x24 gray porcelain.
The homeowners' style is transitional and the new kitchen fits in well with the rest of the house.
Q: What were some must-have features?
A: The owners really wanted an island. That was another motivator in doing the addition. But even with the addition, configuring an island was tricky. To allow for a 3.5 foot walkway on either side, the cabinets underneath the second window were made only 18 inches deep.
Q: Anything you or the owners would have done differently for this project?
A: Probably start before the pandemic. The family saw inflation at work as they were getting bids and ordering materials, but they're thrilled with how things turned out. So am I.
Thank you so much for all of the answers, and congratulations on the completion of another beautiful project!