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Tuesday, 19 January 2016 22:04

A financial pyramid for your new year

Learnvest published a Financial Pyramid for making healthy financial decisions, and I thought it was a great way to start the new year. This is what to aim for instead of perhaps spending every spare bit of money on 'stuff.'

The basics

The bulk of your focus is on this first point. It sets the foundation for the rest of the spending that you do and it is wisdom that you have already heard. But today will be the day for your really understanding how to do this! I'm sure of it.

Published in Money
Monday, 19 January 2015 13:39

Making the most of Social Security in 2015

Social Security is often the largest source of income for retirees. How can you get the most from your Social Security?

Generally, the way to get the most monthly benefit is to wait. The longer you wait to begin taking income, up to age 70, the more money you will have in benefits.

Published in Money
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 21:58

Kids and money

Parenting is tough because we often feel inadequate, uncertain of how to best help this darling child whom we love more than life. We feel like we may be messing things up, as if there is a 'right answer' somewhere, but we don't know it. It can be quite a conundrum.

Teaching kids about money is a good example of how our desires to give the best to our babies are sometimes thwarted by our own fears and feelings on inadequacies. Perhaps, because of past mistakes, we feel as if we aren't in any position to guide, especially since we don't really feel like we know what we are doing even today about money.

Published in Money
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 09:52

When others upon you depend

You look into their trusting eyes and you think to yourself, Wow, I am blessed. And that is indeed true. But that means you are the teacher, the provider and maybe most importantly, the protector. What would they do if you weren't there?

Responsibility requires action' I read this quote and thought, BAM. These words scoop up in a small sentence exactly the theme of parenting. The quote is both succinct and insightful. The responsibility of dependents requires you to act on their behalf, to both protect them now and in the event you cannot take care of them because of some future, totally unexpected calamity. But what can we do? Where do we start? Let's give this some thought.

Published in Biz
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 16:59

Getting ready for college

Got a student getting ready for college? That new life will bring many new experiences from exciting and wonderful to the bittersweet. Tackling money solo, may also be a new challenge. But as a parent, helping your voting-age scholar become financially independent can add awesomeness' to the many life lessons of your college student. 

We have discussed the yummy world of budgets before. Budgets are the go-to tool for helping us track and control our money lives. They boil down to two simple truths: money which comes IN through passive (like rental property) or active (money earned from a job) income. And money that goes OUT- paying bills, or cash set-aside in savings. In your student's transition into adulthood getting on a great money track early can build a great foundation that lasts for life.

Published in Money
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 13:41

Are you making common money mistakes?

Life is full of surprises. Some of them are wonderful, but some stink. If you could take a few simple steps and avoid a few nasty mishaps from common mistakes, wouldn't you want to do that? I like to avoid unnecessary pain when I can, so I like a plan that incorporates mistake-avoiding steps. Here are the four most common money mistakes, and how to avoid them, from a recent survey.

Mistake #1 Budget - As in not HAVING a budget. According to this report, over half of Americans report not having a budget, and 20 percent have no idea how much they spend on housing, food and entertainment. No one has so much money that one can just make spending a hobby. If you spend without keeping track, life will be crazy, not cozy. In no other part of life do you get anywhere without a general plan. You don't get in your car and make a trip without thinking about your destination and whether you have enough gas to get where you're going. Budgets are a cozy. They are your money's plan for fun and savings, bill paying and your future. They track where you hope to go on your money journey and where you have already gone. A budget is a good thing. Please have one.

Mistake #2 Saving - Forgetting to save - or not knowing how to save - is mistake number two. According to the report, 40 percent of respondents are saving less this year than last, and another 40 percent have no money saved for retirement. Many surveyed reported that they didn't know how to save. I'm not even sort of suggesting that you need to be perfect at any of this, but you do have to try. That's what grownups do. They make proper plans. And when they don't know how to do something, they ask for help. We don't know what you don't understand unless you ask for help. I want to help you! But I don't do Vulcan mind-melds, so you'll have to speak up. Then I will quickly help you.

Published in Money

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