How Much Does a Puppy Cost?

As a Private CFO™ to my clients I often get questions that have nothing to do with the traditional financial planning topics you might imagine.  While many are concerned with high level planning areas like retirement or asset allocation, I’ve found that many younger clients crave “life” advice as they educate themselves on making smarter decisions. One of the recent questions I was asked was, “How much does a puppy cost?”  Since it’s been a little over a year since I made the big lifestyle change myself, I thought I’d share some of the things you should consider before taking on a little Old Yeller (sorry, I’m dating myself with one of my favorite childhood movies…). They often compare getting a dog to having your first child, so think twice about the financial obligation, opportunity costs and commitment it takes to be a good “parent” to you pup. Cost to buy the dog can range from a rescue at $250 ...

Read More →

How To Do A Wedding For Under $10,000

Will you marry me?    That magical phrase is shared between two people in love every day whether it be on a baseball scoreboard or with the entire family watching in the living room.    Today student debt for Generation Y graduates is approaching an all-time high.  About two-thirds of college grads in the Class of 2015 will graduate with some student loan debt. The average debt is about $35,000. (source: www.wsj.com).  The real question couples should be asking when they tie the knot is “Am I marrying you or your debt?”   With two daughters of my own, I don’t know if I’ll be able to get away with a $10,000 budget, but here is how to plan a fabulous wedding and do it for under $10,000. The Day Of The Week and Limit Guests – Most of us would prefer Saturday as the day of the week we get married. If the weekend is the only choice you have, Sunday can ...

Read More →

Why Do College Education Costs Defy Gravity?

In the homes of parents today in their 40’s and 50’s, the debate about how to pay for the rising cost of college has become the topic of conversation.  It isn’t just the fact that while the Government says inflation remains really low, most parents are experiencing that cash flow management is becoming more of a problem than asset management.   So, why do college education costs continue to defy gravity in this low inflation environment. More Non-Teaching Jobs – Higher education payrolls have also been rapidly adding more non-teaching jobs in recent years. Public and private colleges and universities expanded their payrolls by 28 percent between 2000 and 2012, more than 50 percent faster than the previous decade, according to an analysis of higher education staffing by the Delta Cost Project. There are more student programs offered on big campuses, continuing to increase the necessity of these non-teaching positions. Competition For Talent – Ultimately, price is dictated by the law ...

Read More →

Remember When You Could Leave Your Door Unlocked

Since it is political season and most of my articles tend to focus on the money side of politics, I thought I would give you some food for thought about the way it is now and the way it was when most of you were growing up as a child.   It’s imperative being in the money business that I stress to people every day the importance of savings and how money can secure their future, but in some ways it worries me on how people may be accumulating money and the negative impact the pressure of having to earn more money is having on families across America. Can you remember when life seemed a lot simpler than it is today?  Is it that you have more responsibilities?  Is it that technology has made you more accessible?  Is it that now you have had a taste of the ‘good life’ that you don’t want to go back to just the status ...

Read More →

Trump vs. Clinton Tax Plans

While the election is kicking into high gear, there may be many reasons why you may choose one candidate over the other.  Or, you just may choose to vote for one of the independents this year.   Since I write a column mostly about smart money moves, it might be in the best interest of your family to understand the basics of what the candidates are proposing for tax overhaul and reform.  Here is the high level of Trump v. Clinton for income taxes. PERSONAL INCOME TAX Trump is proposing we move to four tax brackets 0%, 10%, 20%, 25%. More importantly, he is wanting to make the standard deduction for single people at $25,000 and for married couples $50,000 which means those families will pay no tax at all. Clinton is going to hold the same general similar tax bracket structure we have in today’s world. However, she is looking to make two major changes: one being a 4% surtax ...

Read More →

Going Digital With Your Filing Cabinet

When I was 12 years old, I found an old term paper in a box of my father’s things.  It was about creating a Cashless Society.  It intrigued me as a child on other things we could get rid of in our society.  My biggest desire was to get rid of paper.  I hated it.  So as a teenager and young adult, the idea of being paperless was exciting to me.  By the mid 90s scanner technology and cost had reached a point where I could start to realize my digital dream. I began scanning every bill, invoice, statement and tax return I had.  Fast forward 20 years and now my filing cabinet is 100% completely digital.  Here are 5 things you can do to achieve my dream of a Paperless Society. Ditch the receipts. Grocery Stores, Gas Stations, Fast Food joints.  Unless the receipt is something you can deduct on your tax return, then there is no reason to ...

Read More →

5 Ways Pokémon Go Can Help Your Business

In the 70’s we had the Pet Rock, in the 80’s it was Cabbage Patch Kids, the 90’s was Beanie Babies and today we have the latest craze, PokemonGO.  The difference with this fad is that it is attracting the attention of adults.  Some are the young adults that might have played with the original Pokémon games and cards from 20 years ago.  But it is even attracting the 40 somethings, and if Grandma hears enough about it, we might be seeing our senior citizens playing as they go on their daily walks. So for those that are still messing with their Pet Rocks and have not heard about PokemonGO, here is a simple explanation.  Using a phone App, the player wanders the real world hunting for animated Pokémon monsters.  Gathering Pokémon, builds your collection and makes you more powerful to battle other players in game Gyms. The game is causing people to walk in areas where they might not ...

Read More →

Sh*t Nobody Says About Money

Several years ago, one of my favorite YouTube comedy teams Tripp and Tyler, came out with a short clip called S*it Nobody Says.  If you have not seen it (especially because there are a few Atlanta references), here it is for your enjoyment http://bit.ly/29f22uP.  Since it is summertime, I thought I would have some fun and give you my top items over the past twenty five years about S*it Nobody Says About Money.  Here you go…. I wish my kids would move home and stay until they get married. I hope he buys me an engagement ring from Zales. I can’t wait for the IRS to audit me. I hope she buys more pillows for the bed this weekend. I hope he has a good time at the Strip Club. I’ve been dying to buy a Smart Car. I should up my kids’ allowances. Private school college tuition really is a good deal. If I needed to really cut back, ...

Read More →