This year, the holidays will look a little different, but that doesn’t mean that money issues will magically be a moot point. The holidays are prime times to overspend, not stick to a budget, and treat yourself a little too often.
It’s also time to stress about how much you should spend. Will someone think you’re cheap or love them less if you don’t share a gift that’s worth a certain dollar amount? Then, there’s the pressure to give a gift or visit everyone - which isn’t feasible during the best of times, but is definitely going to come under question right now.
But of course! We want to share gifts for a socially-distant gathering with our closest family and friends. It’s the season of love and joy and togetherness. Use these tips to stay on budget and still feel like you aren’t depriving yourself or your loved ones this holiday season. You can also take a look at all of my holiday posts for even more inspiration for holidays...
When you’re starting to invest, it can be overwhelming. There’s a lot of information, industry jargon, and things you can’t control. People talk about the market as a shorthand. If you aren’t in this world day in and day out, you may be missing some things that could help you in the long run. There’s no need to panic or worry, though, because with a little knowledge to get your investment life off on the right foot, it isn’t so scary.
First of all, let’s give you a round of applause! To some people, investing is such a big concept that they can’t wrap their brain around. They kick the can down the road and avoid the subject. But that isn’t you! You are capable, you can learn, and you’re ready to go for it. Here are a few tips for when you’re just starting to invest that will help you sort through some questions and give you a foundation of knowledge.
Prioritizing goals is a big one...
People like to make a lot of proclamations about what to “always” or “never” do with your money. However, these are quite often total financial myths. And, when it’s coming from a source you trust, you tend to take these financial myths at face value rather than exploring the truth of the situation for yourself.
These five financial myths can negatively impact your mental wellbeing as well as that of your budget and financial security. So let’s play MythBusters and talk through some of the things we always hear about finances and the reality of the matter instead.
The Reality: This is a very costly (and not always assured) way to cover emergencies.
This is one of the financial myths that always gets me going! There are so many things that could get you into trouble around credit cards and the way people use them is one of them.
The reality is that you may...
When you’re trying a new budgeting system, it can be challenging to get started with it or stick with it long enough to see if it will work for you. With all the different tracking methods, it’s natural to try out a few before one clicks. Having the right mindset around money, saving, and budgeting will help greatly. Here are five of my favorite budgeting mindset shifts that will help you focus on your money goals.
There is nothing more stressful than having an emergency pop up and no money to cover it - not only will you have to deal with what happened, you’ll have to deal with the added pressure of scrambling to cover it.
What I love about a budget is that it forces you to face your money head-on before a disaster strikes. After all, it’s there in black and white. Embrace the budgeting mindset and habit to look at your bank account every day. Don’t get defeated by what you see,...
Budgeting and spending is always evolving, so having a plan in place to manage your money is a very powerful tool. A spending plan allows you to pivot quickly and make changes on a dime should things suddenly go awry (or, on the flip side, you find yourself with a windfall of good fortune).
Having a plan that gives you a quick overview of what’s coming in and how much you can allocate to spend in which categories will make money management stress-free. As a bonus, when you look at it more often, you can start to spend less time “dealing with” your finances and feeling guilty for treating yourself to a fancy coffee because it’s been a hell of a week and you want to feel good for a moment.
The reality is that when you stop avoiding your finances, you no longer have to fear them and blow it up into a more challenging situation than it really is. A spending plan is simply an evolving relationship with your money and a guide to direct your spending. It will be...
It’s no secret that many Americans have very little knowledge of their credit score or general knowledge about keeping credit scores healthy. For example, VantageScore reported in their 2019 annual survey about consumer understanding of credit scores the following:
The study found that the people who responded thought they had excellent or good knowledge. In fact, more people in 2019 said that they were confident in their knowledge than they were in 2018. But, as you can see, people actually know less about their credit scores. They just think they have a very firm grasp on the subject.
Understanding these numbers and the impact they will make in your...
How do you teach your kids to save instead of spending their money as they get it? And how do you discourage your family members from spending everything they earn? I hear that a lot from parents and they’re great questions.
Teaching kids how to save up for big purchases while they’re young will prepare them for larger financial decisions they’ll have to make down the road. It teaches them to set goals and work to earn their money.
It’ll also help them to make saving and only purchasing when they have enough money to do so a habit. After all, it’s much better to do that instead of hopping on the Instant Gratitude Express at the Debt Station!
Here are a few ways you can teach your kids to save money instead of spending everything they earn.
It’s never too early to talk to your kids about money and saving for bigger things rather than spending money as they get it. Yes, these items will grow as your kids do, but the idea...
Your home is where you can relax and be comfortable. And if your home isn’t decorated to reflect yourself and your tastes, it can be hard to fully feel at home. Home decor is a great way to add your personality into your home, but it can be expensive.
My ultimate goal is to make my home the place we all want to be (especially since we’re spending so much time there now)! And I’ve learned a few frugal tips for refreshing home decor on a budget.
These tips are more than “paint and buy new curtains” - they’ll help you identify how you want to update your home, what will make the most impact, and clever ways to shop for it so you can refresh your home decor on a budget and still have it look good and like you.
It can be so easy to get caught up in comparison, especially when you see a perfectly decorated home on Pinterest or HGTV. It’s important to remember that you have unique tastes and your family's needs will...
Summer 2020 will go down in the books as one of the oddest times since my kids can’t do the summer activities they usually do. I’m getting refunds for my kids’ camp programs that I signed them up for. It breaks my heart because these things they enjoy and that enrich their lives have been canceled. And, selfishly, I want to stop making all these meals every day!
Instead of wallowing in my 11,000th grilled cheese, I’ve decided to invest that camp money back into my family’s summer activities. Since we’ve already budgeted that money for the kids, I’m going to spend it on them. They can still have a fun summer, even if it’s at home.
Although my husband and I did budget for this expense, we don’t want to go over that set amount. There’s a good chance it could happen as we have a long summer to fill! As I’m considering how to keep the kids busy and happy at home, I came up with four financially-friendly ideas to entertain...
There are so many choices when it comes to how you plan for and track your budget and personal finances. Digital tools, paper planners, keeping everything in your head (please don’t do this). A friend of mine has started following people on YouTube who make budgets look like scrapbooks! Whatever you can dream of, there’s a tool for budgeting and financial tracking to make it a reality.
At the end of the day, my recommendation as a financial advisor is to have a plan...any kind of plan. The key is to make sure it works for you. After all, if you don’t jive with the system you’re using, you’ll struggle, get defeated, and give up. That is the last thing I want you to do with your finances.
To that point, I learned that my people are not Excel people, so even though I would guide them through the process on the phone, they wouldn’t use the system to plan their finances on their own. What good is that! Further, they’d get incredibly frustrated...