Saving some of your earnings by living below your means is a key to successful investing. There are many ways to find money to invest, such as living simply so you’ll save more money and developing a career so you’ll make more money. The Earning and Saving category equips you with practical tips for spending less and earning more.

Guide to Choosing Health Insurance (with Spreadsheet)

Choosing health insurance can be confusing, especially when you compare traditional plans with high deductible health plans (HDHPs). Buying insurance on the open market and comparing employer-sponsored plans taught me that choosing the perfect policy for varying health scenarios is impossible.

Still, I’ve learned that I can make a reasonable guess on the plan that might work best for my family. Here are some steps I’ve taken to clarify the pros and cons of health plans available to me:

Your Net Worth Goes Up When You Take These Actions

>When I was younger, I wrestled with whether to pay off debt, build a cash reserve, or invest for the long-term future? Each was important. Yet, they seemed like conflicting, even mutually exclusive goals.

For example, if I paid extra on any credit card balances or my mortgage loan, then I’d have less cash in the bank or fewer dollars to contribute to retirement and college-savings accounts. I could earn a guaranteed return that is equal to loan interest rates if I paid down debt. But then I’d forgo the potential for compound growth in the stock market.

What I learned was that a positive move — whether making a loan payment, increasing my cash reserve, or investing for the future — can increase my net worth. I don’t have to choose the best move to make. I simply have to take one of these actions and, at the same time, avoid taking on additional debt or spending more than I just saved.