Review Category : At Home

How To Settle Your Money Arguments At Home

Many families worry about their financial plan and whether or not they will run out of money.  Some families are living paycheck to paycheck and trying to figure out a better way to budget their monthly dollars.  However, money arguments are one of the leading causes about why couples ultimately split up.  According to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysis, 22% of all divorces are caused by money issues.  So, how do you stop those money arguments at home? #1 The Dreaded Spender Saver Couple It is important to try to understand your spouse’s money personality as we all have a unique way we think about money shaped often by how we were raised as a child.   The most critical item for a couple where you have one person who is very frugal and the other who can often be frivolous is to set concrete unified family financial goals.  This means really sitting down and figuring out the financial priorities ...

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What Itemized Deductions Will Look Like In 2018

To itemize or not to itemize, that is the question?  With all of the tax law changes recently passed by President Trump in the GOP tax bill, one of the considerations you’ll need to get your arms wrapped around quickly is whether you will want to itemize your deductions when you file your taxes in 2019 or you will simply use the standard deduction. For 2018, the standard deduction amounts will increase from $6,500 for individuals, $9,550 for heads of households (HOH), and $13,000 for married couples filing jointly, to $12,000 for individuals, $18,000 for HOH, and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly. Since the personal exemption is being completely eliminated, you’ll need to do the math about whether this was a good deal for you or not.  For those married couples filing jointly, if you have three or more children, I actually think you went backwards on the new tax plan if you were filing the standard deduction. For ...

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Never Worry About a Traffic Ticket Again

We all (well, most of us) have been in this dreaded position before. You’re in the car, listening to music or your new favorite podcast, and you hear sirens. You start pleading: “No, no, no, please not me. Not today.” It is when the police car does not pass you by & the blue lights stick around that you realize a ticket is most likely in your future. Minor traffic violations that result in a ticket are more of a nuisance than anything. Traffic tickets can not only result in an increase in insurance premium, but the most annoying part is often initially when 1) you have to pay an extra expense this month that you weren’t budgeting for and 2) you really just don’t have the time. This is where the new startup TIKD comes in. They know your struggle, and using their own phrase, they want to be your “Traffic Ticket Champion.” You simply enter the amount of ...

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How To Save BIG Money On Your Teenagers Auto Insurance

It’s Official!  Effective November 1st of this year, I officially have three children that can drive an automobile.  On one hand, it’s a sigh of relief because now I have three drivers who can make a run to CVS or Chick-Fil-A to do those small errands I simply don’t want to do at all. On the other hand, you simply worry every time your children get out on the road and spend your nights waiting up to make sure that they get home safely.   Beyond the bad and good of having your children be able to drive, the one that really hits home is your auto insurance. In fact, when my 20 year old went on to our auto insurance for the first time, even a seasoned financial advisor like myself gulped a little bit with sticker shock as a good solid student cost more than $2,000 per year.  When my second daughter went on about two years later and ...

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5 Ways To Increase Your Family Cash Flow

One of the biggest financial planning concerns I hear every week is how to manage the family cash flow.  So many people see their incomes increasing, but it isn’t necessarily translating to the bottom line.  If you are struggling to make ends meet or just want to stretch your paychecks further, here are five ways to increase your family cash flow. Review Your Tax Return? While you might love getting a tax refund, this is essentially giving an interest free loan to the Government for a year or more.  While some people see this as a form of forced savings, one strategy you could consider is to adjust your withholdings to get more of those dollars back in your paycheck so you aren’t falling behind every month.  In addition, many taxpayers don’t spend the time to take advantage of every tax deduction legally available to them.  You should thoroughly review your tax return and what deductions are available to you ...

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What Women Need To Rethink About Their Money After Divorce

  Have you ever heard that term ‘they traded in for a new model’ when it comes to discussion around a divorce?   While divorce is never emotionally easy, the more challenging part especially for women is thinking about how to get their finances set after the divorce is finalized.  Many women don’t build a financial plan to recalculate their own goals and objectives, nor do they always fully understand the implications of child support, alimony, or how to best get the assets set up that they took over after the divorce.  Here are five important consideration every woman should rethink after the divorce. Your Home – The last thing in the world you want to do is to sell the house that your kids are used to or move to a new school district. Just the thought of making new friends, new neighbors, and navigating a new school traffic pattern in the morning can be daunting.  However, many women take ...

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5 Ways You Are Wasting Money Without Even Realizing It

The truth is that more people are struggling with cash flow issues in their finances than they do with their investment assets.  The challenge is that we often blow our money in places where we don’t even realize it is going out the back door.  $20 here…$100 there…it can seem at times that we are nothing more than our own ATM machine.    It’s hard to define the difference between spending money and wasting money, but making quality decisions as the CEO of your family finances is paramount to having a successful personal financial picture.  Here are five ways I see that people waste money. Buying Too Large A House – We can convince ourselves that buying a large home is a great idea because we expect long term growth of the value of our home. Remember that primary residence should never be considered an investment, but rather your home.  The place you will raise your family or use a source ...

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Big Financial Pitfalls If You Plan On Working Longer

There are more people I meet every day who tell me that they aren’t planning to retire early, but instead enjoy life a little bit more and succumb to the fact that they are going to have to work later into their lives.  While on the surface this all seems fine and dandy, the harsh reality is that there are some major pitfalls with trying to work past the age of 65.   This strategy is often filled with some pretty unrealistic expectations and can have close to retirement families grasping for straws if their plan isn’t executed successfully.  Here are my pitfalls and tips to be thinking about if you want to work past the age of 65. Reality vs. Fantasy – In a recent study by the employee benefit research, 38% of the workers in the workforce expect to retire at the age of 70 and only 4% actually retire at the age of 70.   So, many workers are ...

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