Data Tables

Performing what-if analysis in business is very common, crucial even. What if a new project is delayed by 3 months? Or what if the company is unable to secure financing at the projected cost of capital? Successfully answering questions like these often means the difference between a business finally turning the corner and becoming profitable and, well, it not. But this type of analysis is also helpful for individuals. Far from overly complicated but seldom used by consumers, tools that allow for thoughtful consideration of important personal finance decisions should be used much more often then they are. They can help one understand how much more a car will cost over time or what term and interest rate combination is required to make sure the monthly payment fits into the family budget. They can even reveal how your credit scoreis helping or hurting you.

Data Tables, one of the features in Excel's What-If-Analysis Package, is a very useful tool for comparing.

So let’s dig in. How would you perform this type of analysis? What tools would you use? Microsoft Excel, of course! Until recently, I’d approach this—or any other 2 dimensional, two variable scenario– by building a grid in Excel with all of the intersection values. For example, I might look at an auto loan with six possible interest rates, 5% to 10%, and five different possible terms, ranging from one to five years. To fill out the grid, I’d utilize the power within absolute and relative references to allow easy copy and filling across all rows and columns of the grid. Read more of this post

Is Stress Making You Fat? The Cortisol / Belly Fat Connection

Happy March! Spring is around the corner and so are tank tops and short shorts (for the guys…let’s hope not so short shorts). For those who have accepted the challenge of resisting soda and your diet vice for ten days, congratulations! (Please see last week’s post: https://bobbybluford.com/2011/02/22/welcome-julie/). The comments and conversations that followed my February 22nd post were both informative and entertaining, but what I enjoyed most was your honesty.

We all have vices, whether we acknowledge them or not. Lisa’s comment about wine being a “gateway drug” that leads her to make other poor diet choices is very poignant and I’m guessing relatable to many of us. Bobby’s suggestion to break habits with small successes is spot on. We must hold attainable goals. So, simply put, the “less everyday” approach, rather than the “cold turkey” approach keeps you trending in the right direction and builds your confidence and energy, which eventually translates into activity and the production of endorphins—the feel-good chemicals released in your brain to bring you a sense of well-being. Read more of this post

No More Freakin’ Excuses

Not Me, Unfortunately

No, that is not me.

Unfortunately.

Maybe 10 years ago, but certainly not now.  BUT, it is the front cover of a great article by Men’s Health Magazine.  We all have trouble getting motivated sometimes.  At the top of things for which we look for and find excuses– often legitimate, I’ll concede–is working out and getting in better shape.  Even I fight that voice that tells me to just go home and relax.  I usually push back with my own voice, usually resorting to one of the following:

  1. Excuses are for Losers!
  2. If you look hard enough, you can always find an excuse
  3. Excuses are for Losers!
  4. To have what others don’t, you have to be willing to do what others won’t
  5. Excuses are for Losers!

Fortunately, Men’s Health is more articulate and helpful in their approach.  In their article, 21 Ways to Overcome Exercise Excuses, you should fine just what you need (at least one or two motivating tools) to get you off your butt and get moving.

6 Ways to Become a Millionaire

I make a living keeping the finances of small to medium size companies in order.  But at home, my wife is my CEO and she stays on me to make sure I’m doing everything I can to prepare for our family’s future.  Because of that, I continue to read and gather information everywhere I can get it.  It’s a good thing some publications, like Men’s Health, go out of their way to provide guidance.

Great Article Today: 6 Ways to Become a Millionaire