Basic Personal Finance

Cover FrontThis book was an unplanned work of passion. It started when I volunteered to teach personal finance at the Florida Youth Challenge Academy (FLYCA), a program for at-risk youth. I was looking for something to give the students that they could take with them and reference, once they moved on. Sadly, the school couldn’t afford to buy anything for the students, and I didn’t really find any books that fit the target audience. Then I got the terrible news that Richard Fullerton passed away in December 2016. I was heartbroken for the family and frustrated that I couldn’t do anything; I couldn’t even get back to Colorado for the funeral. Shortly after that, I met with a high school principal who wanted to start a personal finance class at his school. I decided to write Basic Personal Finance as a tribute to Rich. I started with his 2007 classroom handout (which I updated in 2009 at his request). I updated all the information for 2016, and built it up to include all the topics that FLYCA wanted covered. I put Rich as my co-author, and I plan to donate half the proceeds in his name to Compassion International’s Highly Vulnerable Children Fund. (That was the charity listed in his obituary.) The other half will pay for books to donate to my local high schools.

To date (Sep 2018), I’ve donated almost 400 books to local area high school and college students, and FLYCA is planning to use the book for their students.

Below are some support materials for those using the book to teach a class or who can’t read the images or tables as published in the book. (You can right click to download any of these.) A typos list follows.

Uniformed Services Blended Retirement System  (2018 update to Appendix A)


Finance Project (A little 3-page retirement planning project)


  1. 2016 Tax Brackets
  2. Budget Start
  3. Average Expenditures
  4. Sample Budget
  5. CD Interest Rates
  6. Loan Example
  7. 1995-2016 Effective Returns
  8. 1997-2006 Amazon Revenue
  9. 2017 Military Pay Chart
  10. Flight Pay
  11. Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay
  12. 2014 BLS Consumer Expenditures


  1. Sample Check
  2. Sample Check Register
  3. Sample W-2
  4. Sample 1040EZ
  5. Tax Table
  6. Simulated Portfolio

Blog: There are several blog posts that build on the concepts in the book (as well as other random economic topics). You can use the search bar on the right to pull up posts on any subject of interest.

Typos: (Let me know if you find any more)
p50, last paragraph: “Also, having over 80% equity in the home…” should be 20%. (This is fixed in later copies of the book.)