Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Personal Finance Tips

    Posted 05-11-2020 07:01 PM
    You know how you graduate from high school and college and are expected to know all things "adulting"? Like personal finance, time management, goal setting, etc. I don't know about you but I did not learn much about Personal Finances (budgeting, debt, savings, or retirement) before I started my career. Instead, I learned everything the hard way and it cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars! 

    I personally believe that if people talk about money more openly, we could save a lot of people out there from some terrible financial decisions/situations. I know handling money isn't engineering related BUT your personal finances will definitely have an affect on your career.

    If you are a young professional, what is your biggest question about money? If you are a more experienced professional, what is the ONE thing you wish you knew earlier on that would have helped you?

    I am sharing all of my own personal mistakes, discoveries, and tips in a 4-part Personal Finance Video Series. Registrants can join me live Tuesday nights 6-7pm MST in May and then get access to the replays when they are available. You are welcome to register here.

    Nicolai Oliden P.E., M.ASCE
    Roadway Team Leader/Office Manager
    ETHOS Engineers
    Tempe AZ

  • 2.  RE: Personal Finance Tips

    Posted 05-17-2020 01:16 PM
    Thanks for posting this. This is a topic that is very relevant given the economic situation we are in. I'm fortunate to have been raised in a way that exposed me to personal finance principles and have taken it upon myself to read a lot on the subject. A couple tips I'd share are about the importance of planning for the future (e.g. emergencies that disrupt your finances) and thinking more long-term about what you do with the money you earn. Make sure you have 3-6 months of your essential expenses saved in cash so that you can get through emergency situations. Check if you are keeping too much money in cash during and after large drops in the stock market instead of embracing the long-term benefits of having money in the stock market. Make sure you are taking advantage of retirement savings vehicles that allow your money to grow relatively quickly.
    I agree that we need financial education as children or young adults, ideally in school. It should also be the responsibility of parents to pass on their knowledge and encourage their children to educate themselves so that they don't make the same mistakes they did (the internet has endless information). Consulting a financial advisor may be the best option for some people, and although it may seem like an expense you can't afford to pay, consider that in the short-term, following their advice could easily result in thousands of dollars more in your retirement accounts, and over the long-term, hundreds of thousands of dollars more to your net worth.

    Anthony Vecchio P.E., M.ASCE
    Engineer III
    Philadelphia PA

  • 3.  RE: Personal Finance Tips

    Posted 05-19-2020 07:32 AM
    I love it Anthony. Sounds like you had a great financial education early and I can only imagine how much farther you will go because of the strong foundation. Keep it up.

    Nicolai Oliden P.E., M.ASCE
    Roadway Team Leader
    ETHOS Engineers
    Tempe AZ

  • 4.  RE: Personal Finance Tips

    Posted 05-28-2020 04:42 PM
      |   view attached
    When I first graduated I knew this was something I was going to have trouble with, so I started creating a spreadsheet. You can see it attached below. You can input your monthly salary to the respective cell and let everything else calculate from there. Adjust the fees and finances according to your personal spending/budget style and add other items as necessary but don't forget to modify the summary cells at the bottom to reflect those changes. 

    Please note, the values in row 26 should be lower, if not, negative since it is using the biweekly value instead of monthly.

    Oanh Le Aff.M.ASCE
    Suwanee GA


    Generic Budget.xlsx   20 KB 1 version

  • 5.  RE: Personal Finance Tips

    Posted 05-18-2020 04:32 AM
    Thank you Nicolai! Looking forward to joining your next video

    Tung Nguyen, MSc
    PhD Candidate
    Washington State University

  • 6.  RE: Personal Finance Tips

    Posted 05-28-2020 04:58 PM
    Hello Nicolai,

    As a civil engineering student at Ohio State, I know finance is a topic that students like us should at least be taught the basics about before we're suddenly entrusted with so much money. My 5th of five years will start after this summer: I was planning on taking a Business Finance class, but with class time for it this Autumn, I don't know if I can take it now.

    I have found a video that at least can explain why finance is so esoteric right now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OevEml84BI

    Alexander Granato S.M.ASCE
    Bexley OH

  • 7.  RE: Personal Finance Tips

    Posted 06-09-2020 05:53 PM
    I thought everyone following this thread might be interested in this week's Thursdays @ 3 - ​ How to Survive, Restructure, or Strengthen Your Finances During COVID-19. I hope you are able to join us! Stay safe!

    Tirza Austin
    Manager, Online Community
    American Society of Civil Engineers
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive
    Reston, VA 20191

  • 8.  RE: Personal Finance Tips

    Posted 06-10-2020 07:06 PM
    The failure to teach people even the most basic concepts of personal finance in highschool is an outrage.  I wouldn't waste your time taking a business finance class if you're trying to learn personal finance. I would just listen to the Dave Ramsey Podcast. He gives a good foundation of personal finance. I don't agree with his stance on the use of credit cards or the home mortgauge but his advice comes from the prospective that people have much less self control when it comes to personal finance. If you have good self control credit cards can actually be a very helpful financial tool. But that would be in a more advanced personal finance topic and one no bank or credit granting institution will teach you.

    Dustin Leduc A.M.ASCE
    Field Engineer
    Shakopee MN