The $11 Lunch You Didn’t Enjoy

You get rushed right around lunchtime and once again realize that you didn’t prepare something to eat today.   Your stomach is grumbling, so you rush to the basement floor of your building complex to just pick up a little something for lunch.   You notice the salad bar and begin to pile up a few things on your plate to eat for lunch.  You grab a bag of chips and then a drink to wash it all down.   The deli cashier rings it all up and tells you it will cost $10.89 for your meal.   As you shake your head in a state of shock, you only kick yourself further down the road for not preparing something that will cost you less and you’ll enjoy more.   How many $11 lunches have you had over the last year that happened just like this?   Here are five fast food places you could go to for $5 or less (and eat reasonably healthy as well)! McDonald’s- Many of these restaurants have a $1 value... ...

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How Do You Know When It Is Time To Move?

Unless we have a major job change, there are several times in our lives where we ask ourselves if it is time to move from our current home.  Change isn’t easy.   Moving can be even harder.  New friends, new traffic pattern to work, and time to learn a new landscape.   However, moving may be a defensive or offensive play in your family finances depending on your overall situation and the national marketplace for real estate.  Here are four smart money moves scenarios that may give you some insight if it is the right time for your family to move. The Cost Of Private School Is Killing You- Let’s look straight up at the math on this.   If you pay for private elementary, middle, and high school in any major city, let’s assume the cost is $25,000 per year.   If you are in a neighborhood where the public schools won’t suffice, you may be forced to send you children to private school not by your own design.   If you have two... ...

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Is It The Right ‘TIME’ To Rent A Watch

Subscription programs.  Subscription programs.  It seems as if subscription programs are the new craze when it comes to getting consumers involved with having access to luxury items.  Since most Americans don’t have the real financial health to be making expensive discretionary purchases such as an exclusive second home in Paris, a 100 foot yacht, or a brand new Ferrari, subscription based programs have created access to sample some of most luxurious things in life with the stroke of a credit card order.   One recent evolution of this for businessmen is to be able to rent luxury watches. Typically, watches such as Rolex, Panerai, and Cartier may have been out of reach for many men.   Or perhaps you just couldn’t stomach the idea of forking out $10,000 or $15,000 for a watch that will be the only one you’ll wear for the next twenty years.   Wouldn’t it be nice to actually get some variety to the watches that you wear for both work and leisure?   Here are three sites you might... ...

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The Emotional Wear And Tear Of Debt

Soup is NOT a meal.   What?  What in the world does that have to do with debt?   One of my all-time favorite Seinfeld episodes is where comedian Kenny Bania gives Jerry Seinfeld a brand new Armani suit and tells Jerry that they can call it even if Jerry takes Kenny out for a ‘meal’ sometime.  Seems like a reasonable deal, right?   Jerry gladly accepts the offer and then ends up taking Kenny out to a restaurant and since Kenny was full from a hot dog he recently ate, he decides to just order soup.   Kenny and Jerry argue about whether soup is a side dish or a meal which inevitably Jerry loses the argument.   Jerry left the dinner with one of the worst three word phrases hovering over his head, YOU OWE ME! Over the years, my philosophy around financial planning has evolved from when I first started in the business almost 25 years ago.   Debts come in many shapes and sizes, but no matter how large or how small... ...

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What’s the financial impact of a mosquito bite?

At Mr. Mister Mosquito Control, we believe mosquitoes are the worst creature on the planet. We have data to back it up—mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on Earth, killing over 800,000 people last year and, what’s more, Atlanta, GA was given the title of “American City With The Worst Mosquito Problem.” So what does that mean to my wallet you may ask?  In the mosquito world, we follow the ROE scale (Return on Enjoyment). All your hard work and all your investments are seen through the lens of increasing ROI. A higher ROI should directly correlate to a higher ROE.  ROE investments like swimming pools, Big Green Eggs, playsets and lake houses should result in a positive ROE.  Simple pleasures like having a catch with your child in the backyard, family dinner on the patio, having a sunset cocktail or lounging for a romantic evening by the fire pit are all outcomes of ROE. Mosquitoes are the greatest threat to your ROE.  The first mosquito bite can be a nuisance,... ...

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Why Didn’t You Beat The Stock Market?

The S&P 500 achieved positive returns for the past six years (2009-2014) and is slightly up again this year as this article is being published. Often, when investors hear on the television that the markets are up they become obsessed on whether their portfolio is beating ‘the market’. This begs the question of which market an investor is talking about beating because there are many types of markets including international, real estate, gold, and bonds, as an example. It may surprise you when I tell you that even though large company stocks have done well in this time frame (2009-2014), not once did large company stocks top the chart. In 2010 and 2014, real estate investment trusts were at the top. In 2013, small company stocks led the way. In 2012 and 2009, Emerging Markets were the top overall category and 2011 treasury inflation protected securities led the way. Although, it probably feels as if every time you turn on the news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, The S &... ...

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The All-American Love Affair

When I think of things Americans love, I think of things like football, baseball, cars, a great burger, suing people for ridiculous reasons, uncivilized black Friday behavior, and credit cards! Americans LOVE credit cards, and that’s no surprise to most! I was reviewing a study this week that was published recently by www.cardhub.com, which stated that Americans charged a record $57 billion in credit card debt in 2014, which amounts to a 47% increase compared to 2013! A fellow reader left a comment about Americans being credit obsessed, and asked when we will ever be able to use credit properly. It got me thinking, while those numbers are quite astounding, who said nobody was using their credit wisely? How much of those charges is really a factor of consumers exhibiting unhealthy charging habits, versus just getting smarter with their money? I am not surprised at all by the record increase in credit card use. Americans have always loved their credit cards, but I think they are getting much more credit... ...

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