President Obama talks about his personal finances

Monday, December 3rd, 2012 By

President Obama strides

President Obama takes a straightforward approach to personal finances. Image: Muhammed/Ficker/CC BY

President Obama dropped in on the White House Personal Finance Summit Wednesday to give his opinion on a variety of budget related issues. He seemed a bit blind-sided when asked by Meg Marco, of the Consumerist, how he handles his own finances. After a brief pause, he answered, “don’t spend all your money.”

Saving some of what you earn

“My grandmother worked her way up from being a secretary to a vice president of a regional bank,” Obama told the small group of writers. “She was from Kansas, and she had a very straightforward view, which was save a little bit of what you’re earning and the magic of compound interest applies.”

College debts

“That is something Michelle and I have tried to apply, not always successfully,” the president said. “I’m very sympathetic to what young people are going through today, because Michelle and I graduated from law school with combined debt of $120,000, and it took us 10 years to pay off.”

Spending discipline

Obama said in the current economy, young people often are forced to deal with the “quadruple whammy” of unemployment, school debt, housing expenses and, often, the need to care for elderly parents. He said developing a “spending discipline is important.”

Spend on things that increase wealth

“Our first starter home was a $180,000 condo,” Obama said. “That was still a good investment. … It remains smart to spend on things that will increase productivity and income in the long term.”

The President finished by applying his theme to the national economy. “That’s an important distinction that we as a country have to make. … The economy has to get back to producing more and not just spending more.”

Practicing what he preaches

Last month, the White House made financial disclosure reports for President Obama available to the public. Those reports reflect that Obama practices what he preaches. In 2010 he earned $1.57 million, nearly quadruple the $400,000 he earns annually as President of the United States. Most of Obama’s investments are in Treasury Bills and Treasury Notes, opting for long-term security over risky high return investments.


Daily Finance
The Consumerist

Previous Article

« UK payday loans ruling good news for consumers, lenders

The UK Office of Fair Trading's recent pro-payday loans decision has been a relief to consumers and businesses like Speed-e-Loans… Description: An ATM machine which is covered up by warning tape that reads "Danger: Do not re-use," a hint at the possible trouble overdraft can bring when chosen as an alternative to payday loans.
Next Article

Two thirds of low interest emergency SBA loans denied »

Government loans intended to help homeowners and small businesses affected by disasters are being denied more than 60 percent of the time... Flooding

Other recent posts by Ron Ford

Renting smart in a landlord market

More people are trying to rent and available rentals are down. Landlords have the upper hand. A renter has to be savvy to get a good deal.
Landlord Tenant Law

Tips for a more successful yard sale

Spring is here; time to declutter and spend time outside. How about a yard sale? Some planning will make it more profitable and low-stress.
A yard sale

Limited payday-lending regulation bills passed by Texas Senate

Monday, the Texas Senate passed two bills regulating the payday loan industry. Critics, however, say the legislation does not go far enough.
Payday lonas storefront