What Is Vesting?

"Vesting" refers to the process by which you become the owner of the employer contributions to your retirement plan. If you aren't fully vested in your plan when you leave a job, you forfeit all or a portion of the contributions made by your employer. Companies may use a vesting schedule to encourage employees to stay with the company for several years, rather than leaving after just a year or two, to reduce costs associated with employee turnover.

What Is Income?

Income refers to money that you make from a range of sources including working, business activities and investments. For example, your salary, tips and bonuses count as income just like money you make from investing in the stock market and owning a business. Income also includes rent payments made to you by a tenant and royalties such as those paid to writers for books and songs.

What Is Gross Income?

Your gross income is the amount of money you earn before anything is taken out for taxes or other deductions. For example, even though your monthly salary might be $3,500, you might only receive a check for $2,500. In that case, your net income would be $2,500, but your gross income is $3,500.

What Is Financial Security?

Financial security refers to the peace of mind you feel when you aren't worried about your income being enough to cover your expenses. It also means that you have enough money saved to cover emergencies and your future financial goals. When you are financially secure, your stress levels goes down, leaving you free to focus on other issues.

What Is Financial Planning?

Financial planning refers to a wide range of activities that help you take control of your financial life, such as figuring your net worth, outlining a budget for your spending and savings goals, and exploring different financial products that can help you meet those goals. Although some people use a professional financial planner to help them, easy-use-programs like Quicken are a more cost effective alternative and enable you to manage your own finances.

What Is Financial Discipline?

Merriam-Webster defines "discipline" as "a way of behaving that shows a willingness to obey rules or orders." Though most people associate discipline with social behaviors, it also applies to how you manage your money. Financial discipline refers to how well you are able to conform your spending and saving to the plans that you have set to achieve your monetary goals.

What Is Debt?

Debt refers to money that you owe someone else and includes things like credit card debt, student loans, car loans and mortgages. Though few people enjoy talking about it, debt levels in America are high: According to an article published in Time magazine, consumer debt in the United States exceeded $11.5 trillion in 2014.

What Is Budgeting?

Budgeting refers to the process of determining how you are going to spend your money. Using software like Quicken can help you track your spending so you can make sure you're on target for your financial goals. And, if you fall behind, you can make changes to your budget and readjust your spending habits.

What Is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding available to folks who can't find another way to pay their bills and satisfy their creditors. It's a last resort, since it goes on your credit report for 10 years, reduces your credit score and cuts your access to credit. You declare bankruptcy in court with the assistance of a lawyer who has the required expertise.

What Is an IRA?

An individual retirement account is a special type of account that allows you to save money for retirement and reap tax benefits for doing so. An IRA isn't an investment itself, but rather an account that holds other investments. The Internal Revenue Service allows you to invest the money in your IRA in a range of options, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and certificates of deposit. However, you can't invest in collectibles.