My Year End AMEX Statement Begins The Budgeting Process

Most people think that they will make their New Year’s resolution on January 1st by starting a new spending plan or budget in their household.   The amount of money you spent in 2012 won’t really sink in until you begin to look at your year-end credit card statements.     Today, I got my 2012 American Express end-of-year statement.     For most of us, this is when we get into a small state of disbelief around all of the places we’ve spent money unless you look at your budget on a monthly basis.    Since people rarely do anything more today than pay the bills that appear in their online bill pay, the year-end statement can be the perfect opportunity to have a family discussion about where the cash has gone out the door.   Here are four areas to analyze on your end of year credit card statement: Groceries:   I discovered this year that we are an equal opportunity grocery store shopping family.     The ...

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Personal Finance 101: Generation X Series – A Vacation Or College Education

Generation X is classically defined at people born between the years 1965 and 1979.    Pretty much those of you in your early 30’s to the mid 40’s.  However, having given personal financial advice to thousands of people, I can tell you that many of you who were born 1960 to 1964 fit within the Generation X type of financial and personal attitude.   Since I am 42 and have had a good deal of financial success, I’ve noticed some big mistakes that I see my generation making with their money and how they think about money.    This week I wanted to discuss the mistake of spending too much on vacations and not enough saving for college education. Where do you think we should take the kids away for spring break this year?      Should we go away for Thanksgiving or would it be better during the holiday season?    I know the children have sports and camps over the summer, but wouldn’t it ...

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