Five Ways To Save Money When You Plan Your Wedding

Since I have two daughters, it’s entirely possible that I will be shelling out some big bucks down the road if my daughter’s get married.  The cost of weddings continues to skyrocket across the United States and the national average cost of a wedding day in 2016 shot up to $35,329, according to a survey by The Knot. That’s a $2,688 jump from the 2015 average of $32,641. Increased focus on tailoring an unforgettable day for wedding guests is central to the rise in costs, says The Knot. While the number of people showing up may have decreased—from 149 in 2009 to 141 last year—amenities like photo booths, food trucks, and lawn games are driving up the average cost per guest to $245, compared to a meager $194 in 2009. So, the big question is how can you save some money when planning a special wedding day.  Here are my five tips on how to have a great day, but still stay within your budget. ...

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What You Should Know About The Current Trump Tax Plan

Almost a year after President Trump was elected to office, none of the main agenda bills have passed in Congress.  With Thanksgiving looming around the corner for a Congress shut down here in 2017, one of the big questions will be whether the major tax bill passes before the end of the year.  This single tax plan could have a big effect on how the market finishes here in 2017 and its potential impact into 2018.   Here are the key points you should know about the current Trump Tax Plan. Businesses Get The Biggest Cut The current proposal is to reduce the tax rate of “C” Corporations (currently mostly large corporation) to move from the current 35% down to 20%.   Consider this impact for a company that makes $20 billion dollars and currently pays $7 billion dollars in taxes.  Those companies would in theory get back another $3 billion dollars in freed up cash flow.   The current proposal still considers ...

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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 Fantasy Football Can Teach You About Diversification (or Your Financial Plan)

The football season is upon us again here as the fall rolls around and neighborhoods and workplaces are buzzing with Fantasy Football fever.  The Fantasy Trade Sports Association commented that the Fantasy Football market is more than a 70 billion dollar industry today and growing.   With so many people joining multiple leagues, what can this popular game teach us about how we manage our portfolios and diversify our assets. Do Your Homework? It’s shocking how many people don’t know what they own in their 401(k), IRA, or their brokerage accounts.  You may have purchased a target fund or some growth and income fund, but you don’t actually know what you own.   Moreover, you may not understand the risks on how much you could gain in one year or how much you could potentially lose in one year.  It’s important to read the prospectus before you invest, look at the track record of the investment you will be making, and learn ...

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7 FAFSA Mistakes That Could Crush Getting FREE Money

In many parts of the country kids are already back at school and the rest of the children will be starting right after Labor Day.  While the college football season is kicking off, most families don’t realize that applying for free financial aid is literally right around the corner for 2018.   The problem is that most people don’t understand how the process actually works and often sell themselves short of getting free money that could help offset the growing cost of college.  Here are seven mistakes that could crush your ability to get free money for 2018. Fill out the FAFSA form on October 1st – If you are interested in getting the most possible money from the Free Application For Student Aid, then you must fill out the forms by October 1st.   Some of the financial awards are issued on a first come first serve basis, so when you fill out the form matters.  Some states and some colleges ...

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Do Millennials Face “Money Bullying”?

Have you experienced the same thing at home that I have been experiencing over the past few years.  As you plan out great family vacations, wonderful dinners, and cool birthday activities, you often find conversations about how one of your kid’s friends always seem to be doing something better?  I guess part of this has never really changed.  No matter how cool of a shin dig you end up putting together, there is always someone else who has Johnny one upped you already.  The difference with our kids today is that the vacations, the new clothes purchases, the new cars, and the special events are so much more in your face with Snapchat and Instagram with pictures meaning more than just a few words. In a recent study done by TD Ameritrade, some extremely interesting data came out about Millennials and their comfort level about discussing money.  While 56% of young millennials feel comfortable talking to their parents about money, ...

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5 Ways To Pays For College Without Student Loans

The Economist reported in June 2014 that U.S. student loan debt exceeded $1.2 trillion, with over 7 million debtors in default. Public universities increased their fees by a total of 27% over the five years ending in 2012, or 20% adjusted for inflation. Public university students paid an average of almost $8,400 annually for in-state tuition, with out-of-state students paying more than $19,000. (source:Wikipedia).  With, costs rising out of control for four years of college, how can someone build a plan to pay for college without incurring student loans?   Seek out all and any scholarships – While this may sound like a “no duh” type statement, the reality is that most families are woefully unprepared when it comes to searching for scholarships and often think they will not get any at all if they make too much income. There are two great websites to begin with including fastweb.com and www.collegeboard.org which can help with starting you off on the track to ...

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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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