Review Category : Mom’s Corner

When Mom Never Asked Dad About the Finances

This post was sponsored by Regions Bank.  All opinions are my own. Making financial decisions can be tough with or without the right tools. As young professionals juggle many financial priorities, it’s important to realize the gravity of our decisions and the influence those around us have on us, whether that be found in a role-model or through a family member. There is no doubt that your childhood and upbringing have a massive influence on how you manage your finances in adulthood.  These range from small items to how you handle traditions during the holidays to whether or not you decide to take grand scale type vacations.  My “boss” behavior was dramatically impacted with an event that changed my life forever and what got me into the business of becoming a financial advisor. While attending Boston College, I had always planned to do a double major in finance and accounting.  My real goal was to become an investment banker in ...

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The Mom’s Summer Guide To Saving Money

Ice cream, ice cream, we all scream for ice cream. For moms across America, summertime can be both a blessing and curse at the same time. While it’s exciting not to worry about packing lunches and dragging the kids to the bus stop, it is also a time when you might feel like you constantly have to entertain your children. This may mean a lot more discretionary income will go out the door than you have coming in each month. We put together our smart money moves guide for 10 moves moms can make over the summer to manage your family finances. 1. Have a budget – Whether you use a spreadsheet, 50/30/20 rule or www.youneedabudget.com, it is important to set expectation for everyone around how much cash flow you have for fun and entertainment. 2. AAA membership – There are lots of great discounts especially hotels, rental cars, & amusement parks. So when you are planning your family vacation ...

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What To Do “MONEY – Wise” When You Get Pregnant

It seems like every couple who learns they are pregnant ends up reading the famous book What To Expect When You Are Expecting.  However, most people are so overwhelmed with the good news that they don’t spend time to think about the smart money moves to make when the find out about the pregnancy.   Here are five smart money tips you should know before the due date comes. BUDGET THE BABY ROOM- Especially if this is your first baby, many parents simply don’t plan for the unexpected cost of a new baby room.   Once you start hitting the baby stores for the new crib and reclining chair alone, you could spend $1,000 before you blink your eyes.  Factor in the cost of painting the room, new clothes for the baby, and all the accessories you will need, the new baby room can end up costing several thousand dollars or more if you aren’t careful. PAID LEAVE AND HEALTH INSURANCE- This ...

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Are More Women In The US Going Childless?

There are always interesting angles to discuss when it comes to financial planning.   One of the trends that continues to explode across the United States is the mere fact that more and more women are going childless.  The Wall Street Journal just ran a great article recently on this story.  According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of women in their 30’s and 40’s going without children is rising.  For women in their late 30’s, about 18.5% of the women aged 35 to 39 are going childless which is sharply up from 17.2% in 2012.  The trends are also up for women aged 40 to 44.  So, what does this mean as it pertains to financial planning for women in the United States who are going without children? In my opinion, there are several reasons we are seeing this trend happening in the United States today: More and more women are getting married later in life. ...

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How To Avoid A Holiday Financial Hangover

Set yourself a budget. Most people overspend during the holidays because they don’t go in with a budget for each person they are going to buy presents. Typically, when you go on an impulse shopping spree, you often spend more than had originally planned for before the shopping excursion.  My recommendation is to set a clear budget with a fixed dollar amount per person, and then work yourself backwards.  Remember, it isn’t always the amount of gifts that somebody gets . . . it’s the thought of the gift that counts. If at all possible pay cash and stay away from the credit cards. Think about what you are going to give people who work for you, with you, or who help you. People such as the mail person, trash collectors, paper delivery people, etc. If you’ve got people that work in your house or do work for you in a regular basis, think about how much cash or what ...

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Does Whole Foods Equal Your Whole Paycheck?

Most consumers today have a very difficult time holding themselves accountable for their discretionary spending. In fact, I have seen more families making $100,000 or even $250,000 who are still managing to live paycheck to paycheck. The largest area of spending waste that I have seen proliferate in the family budget by far are in the categories of grocery shopping and dining out. You would think from all of the television programs that we have today showing us all these cutting edge techniques to cooking that we would actually learn how to cook, but instead all we have learned is how to eat out more. It’s just easier, simpler, and quicker than making a game plan for weekly meals. At least that is what we think. In addition, what’s increased as well is the number of trips families make to the grocery stores with all of the options for gourmet takeout food. I remember going once per week on Sunday’s ...

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I Said I Would Never Go Back To That Restaurant

There are more than 125 large scale national fast food chain restaurants (source: Wikipedia). These range from McDonalds to Buffalo Wild Wings to Bonefish Grill. You should take a look at the list when you have some free time. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fast_food_restaurant_chains). Whether it is a local restaurant in your neighborhood or a national fast food chain, we have all had that experience of going to a restaurant only to complete the meal thinking to ourselves, “This is the last time that I ever eat here!” Our memories seem to work in mysterious ways. As clear as we can recall some things in life, it appears that the time machine tricks us into thinking that the bad experiences or bad food in restaurants we hated may not have been as awful as we once remembered. Why is that? Surely, when we leave feeling deathly sick for the next three days you’d think the experience would stick with us? Or the ‘miscellaneous stuff’ ...

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One Selfie And Create Your Own Dressing Room

The internet is evolving all kinds of new business models every single day. While more consumers are doing shopping on the internet, it can still be very difficult to purchase clothing items because you may not be certain how the clothes will actually fit. Sometimes, packages can come in the mail only to disappoint when you try them on at home. That is . . . until you try the new website www.seeitfit.com. See It Fit is a really cool new website that may help those of you who never want to make a trip to the mall again in the future. The first thing you do on the website is to upload your picture. Who says that selfies are all a waste of time After you upload your picture, you can begin shopping at many major department stores. This includes the GAP, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Kate Spade, and even Tory Burch. The website boasts some of the top ...

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Is Disney World For You Or For Them?

For dual income families with children today, you often burn the candle at both ends trying to be the best you can be at work and the best you can be at home. You want to create magical memories for your children because some days you don’t get to see them when the sun comes up or until the sun goes down. Due the frenetic pace you are running every day, it’s not that your competency shrinks, but your capacity shrinks often forcing you to make bad financial decisions. The dumbest financial lesson I see parent’s teach their children today is to take fancy vacations that simply aren’t in the family budget. As a side note, over the top birthday parties aren’t far behind on my list. Vacations are still at the top of the list. Take the average parent today who has a 4 year old and a 2 year old and they get the bright idea to wipe ...

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Don’t Let Your Kids Fritter Away The Money

I salute all of the parents in America.  By far, it is the toughest job that we will ever have, filled with moments of both sadness and euphoria, as Billy Joel would put it in his music.   It’s hard watching our kids make mistakes, but sometimes it is the only way they can learn.   However, there are three smart money moves scenarios that I’d like to share with you in order to help you help your children become smarter about their money. Zero to 18 years old- INSTITUTE A 50% RULE– Since we continue to move to a cash and gift card society, physical presents are something we don’t see as often anymore.   The gift card as we know it actually makes you spend more money because it doesn’t really feel like cash.   That is mentally how younger people get into problems like credit card debt, because you never actually see the money.   The 50% rule is simply this;  take ...

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