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Thursday, 11 July 2013 10:42

Money and kids starting the conversation

Many of us, if we even think to, hesitate when it comes to teaching our kids much about money. For one thing, there are some of us who do not feel well-versed enough about the topic. 

Then there's the pesky problem of where the heck to start the conversation. All we know is we are always arguing with someone about why they can't have this or that, why they can't go to this cool vacation spot or why on earth we won't let them eat out more.

Published in Money
Wednesday, 06 February 2013 14:56

I love me. I love me not?

It's February and love is in the air. Celebrating Valentine's Day really focuses my mind on love - and money.  I think about my beautiful gender and how we think about finances, and I worry about us women. 

The growing field of behavioral finance examines the differences in men and women and money. And as a woman, there is reason for worry.

Published in Money
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, 18 July 2012 15:23

Annuities and you

Here I sit, behind my computer writing a perspective on finance that I think is worth knowing. I can't see you and I don't know your individual needs or financial situation. Nor do the other financial columnists whose work you may also read. So how can anyone write a column that describes the exact needs and perfect recommendations for you? We couldn't possibly.

So when you read one expert's opinion or that one's opinion on a particular instrument or financial strategy, understand that many other experts, equally capable, may strongly disagree with the columnist.

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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