Where Does It Go?

“I just can’t figure out where the money goes.  We should be doing well with our salaries, but we never seem to have anything left over at the end of the month.” My client’s frustration is shared by many other people I’ve worked with over the years, regardless of their age.   Knowing the amount we spend, and who and what we spend it on, is one of the key questions to unlocking financial security.  But it’s also the one we have the most trouble with, for many different reasons. One couple I worked with years… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

How Thin is Your Ice?

When something goes wrong, how do you respond? Last Thursday morning I read that opening line in Seth Godin’s blog, and I had to laugh. A few minutes earlier I’d received an email from the associate pastor of my church, letting me know the food and preparations we’d made to serve the congregation between services on Easter Sunday had to be cancelled due to flood damage.  Calls had to be made, food orders cancelled, and apologies delivered to the folks who had already prepared food and rearranged their schedules to help. It was by no… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

How Much Money Does it Take to Quit Your Job?

I recently started reading a book called Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod. In it, Janice tells the story of how she came to get rid of almost all of her belongings, quit her copywriting job and leave California to explore the world and become an artist. Her journey began when she took up journaling at age 34. After a couple months of writing, she noticed that the majority of her entries were spent griping about her job where she created (in her words) “junk mail” such as the ads you get telling you how much… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

How Much Do I Owe You?

May is a great month for so many reasons – beautiful weather, the kickoff of summer and best of all 11 more months before we have to file taxes again!  As sure as May is to bring us reasons to smile, April can be a little more moody.  Rain and persistent cold can pop up out of nowhere and filing our tax returns can often lead to a surprise tax bill we weren’t anticipating. It’s easy to neglect our tax withholding.  Our lives are busy and many of us assume that our employers are withholding… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

The Solution to Maintaining a Budget is Awareness

(from Carl Richards’ in the 4/25/2016 New York Times – click here for the original post. Carl Richards is a financial planner in Park City, Utah, and is the director of investor education at the BAM Alliance. His latest book is “The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to Be Smart About Your Money.” Hundreds of his sketches about investing, money and behavior are archived on the “Your Money” page.  Follow Carl on Twitter @behaviorgap.) I talk to many people who have problems with spending. Sometimes it’s friends. Sometimes it’s… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

Return on Investigation

When my husband and I started merging our financial lives, we approached it in what seemed like a reasonable fashion.  We each had separate accounts where our income would get deposited and a joint account that we used to pay common expenses.  We each contributed half of what was due to the joint account; the rest stayed in our individual accounts to be spent as we each saw fit. The system worked fine for us for a while, especially when we were both equally broke.  It seemed fair and it allowed us to maintain some… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

It Rain Tomorrow

No, the title of this blog is not a typo.  It’s an example of a not so subtle difference between futured and futureless languages.  Keith Chen is a professor in behavioral economics at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.  More importantly to his work, perhaps, is his upbringing as an American of Chinese descent, growing up in the Midwest speaking both English and Mandarin on a daily basis. He started noticing differences in how the two languages operated early on in life.  The example he gives in his TED Talk which has received [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

The Art of the Deal

Usually when financial advisors talk about saving, we’re talking about the effort to put away money for the future.  That kind of saving is paramount to the ongoing success of your financial plan, but we must admit it’s not always fun.  Today we’re talking about a different kind of saving.  The kind that always feels great – getting a bargain on what you buy. While I’m certainly not a candidate for Extreme Couponing, I do love to find a deal and have been known to put my husband through more than his fair share… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

Don’t Let Holiday Stress Sabotage your Finances

We only have a few weeks left of 2015 and if your calendars are anything like mine the remaining days of the year are filling up fast with parties, bashes, gatherings, celebrations and all manner of holiday events.  As much fun as this time of year can be, it can also be one of the most stressful as we add to our already busy lives tasks like preparing the house for guests, making our favorite foods and finding and wrapping the perfect gifts for each of our loved ones.  If only I would have listened… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

10 Best Gift Cards to Give for the Holidays

(from Lara Fishbane’s 11/30/2015 KiplingerKip Tips” article published 11/30/2015.  Click here for the original post.  Lara is an editorial intern at Kiplinger, the former Executive Editor of The Georgetown Voice and currently part of the Designing the Future Fellowship, which spearheads experimentation and curriculum innovation on Georgetown’s campus.  Follow Kiplinger on Twitter @Kiplinger.)  Americans are projected to spend $131 billion on gift cards this year, with almost half of these sales coming during the holiday season.  The average consumer will buy between three and four gift cards, spending roughly $50… [read more]
Share this post:
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg