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6 Budgeting Myths to Stop Believing (and the Truths Instead!)

Having a budget is essential to successful financial planning, and over the years I have heard so many myths about budgets and why people say they don’t work or why they don’t need a budget. These budgeting myths can prevent you from achieving financial security so in this blog post, let’s play MythBusters and walk through some of the misinformation I hear about budgets and what the truths are instead. 

Budget Myth #1: Creating and managing a budget takes too much time.

The Reality: Taking control of your money is worth the investment.

Creating a budget for the first time can seem overwhelming and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many tools, templates and apps available to help you through the process. And once your budgeting framework is in place, you can easily and quickly adjust your budget. 

If you use an app or other online money management tool for your budget, the tool walks you through the set-up process. You often...

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Caregiving and the Sandwich Generation

Many of our clients are feeling “sandwiched” between caring for their kids and their aging family members at the same time they are balancing working, saving for retirement, and living their own lives.  

As part of our Thriving After Divorce Speaker Series, Mary Molnar, occupational therapist and co-owner of Senior Care Authority - Greater Cleveland, presented on this very important topic of what is the sandwich generation and how we can manage it better.  

What is the sandwich generation?

The sandwich generation is defined as a group of people typically in their 40s and 50s who are raising their children (or still providing financial support - like if you have kids in college) while also caring for their aging parents or other family members. 

According to Pew Research, more than half of Americans in their 40s are “sandwiched” between their children and an aging parent and are providing physical, financial, and emotional care to both...

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Use these 5 Steps to Give Your Budget a Check-Up

Give Your Budget a Check-Up

We’re in the full swing of Summer, and whether you’re in vacation mode or you’re working just as hard as ever, July is a great time to review your budget. After all, if you created it in January, a lot can change in 7 months, and you want to make adjustments now if you need to. Budgets are fluid documents that are meant to be changed and updated as needed to make sure your money is always working for you.

You don’t need to spend hours and hours pouring over every detail of your budget, but I do suggest taking the five steps listed below to make sure you’re on track to reaching your goals by the end of the year. 

Review & update your budget

If you created your budget at the beginning of the year, now is the time to make sure that it’s still working for you. Are you staying within your budget, or are there some categories that need to be adjusted? With the increases we’ve seen in food and gas prices, many...

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10 Personal Finance Books for Grads

Personal finance books come in two varieties: entertaining or drier than twice-reheated pork chops. So, you may not think of giving recent graduates personal finance books for fear of wasting your money on a book they’ll never read (see: pork chops).

That said, there are some fantastic personal finance books out there! I love giving at least one of these ten books as graduation gifts because they all teach wise financial lessons in relatable ways so grads start out their young lives on the right financial foot.

(Our original post included five books, but I found five more that are worth checking out!)

1. The Latte Factor by David Bach

I love giving The Latte Factor as a gift to everyone, not just recent grads. This book is short and sweet, but very impactful. It teaches that no matter where you are in your personal finance journey, you have the power to achieve your financial goals. You’re richer than you think (and you didn’t have to take any big leaps to make...

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How to Spring Clean Your Finances

So who has started spring cleaning? Do you have a good system in place so it doesn’t take hours and hours to get the job done? There certainly are a lot of cleaning checklists on Pinterest and Instagram. As we’re thinking about spring cleaning our homes, it’s also the perfect time to spring clean your finances. The first quarter is over, and last year taxes have been completed so let’s get organized financially for the rest of the year.

Here are 10 ideas for spring cleaning your finances.

Check your credit reports. You can check your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year so I recommend checking one at the end of April, one at the end of August, and one at the end of December. Credit report mistakes can prevent you from getting a loan or force you into paying a higher interest rate. If you see any errors or fraudulent activity on your credit report, file a dispute with the credit bureau right away.   

Review your monthly...

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Bringing Awareness to Equal Pay Day

What is Equal Pay Day?

Every year in March or April, National Equal Pay Day brings awareness to the pay discrepancies between men and women for the same work. Equal Pay Day was created by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996. This year, Equal Pay Day will be recognized on March 15.

Equal Pay Day also symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

In 2021, women earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men so a woman must work 15 months to earn what a man earns in 12 months. According to a recent article in Forbes, women lose hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime compared to their white male counterparts. One study showed that white women lost $555,360, and black women lost $964,400 over their working lifetime. 

The pay gap between men and women is expected to rise post-pandemic. The prediction is that women will earn ONLY 76 cents for every dollar earned by a male worker, and it will take more than 10...

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Improve Your Financial Wellness in 2022 with These Five Tips

 

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, many of us are focusing on those special people in our lives and how we can show them what they mean to us. And that is certainly important…but I also want to challenge you to do something for yourself.

Self-love and taking care of yourself should be a priority - I'm sure you're familiar with the airplane safety speech…put the oxygen mask on yourself BEFORE assisting others. And that's great advice for other areas of your life too! 

As a financial advisor and money coach, I want to encourage you to do one thing this month that will help you improve your financial wellness. After working with hundreds of clients, I know that financial wellness can significantly impact a person's overall well-being. 

There have been countless challenges since March 2019, and now we're experiencing high rates of inflation and supply chain issues. So this is the perfect time to see what changes you need to make in the new year....

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17 Best Budgeting & Money Management Tools

 

Looking for the best budgeting or money management tools? There are so many facets of budgeting, and you’ll likely have to make some sacrifices, but using one of these tools can make those sacrifices easier and can take the hardest work out of budget. These are the best budgeting apps and tools to download now if you want to get your spending under control. 

Some of these budgeting products listed below offer both a desktop and an app version of the product. And some of these tools do the same thing. You don’t need all of these, so pick and choose which ones best fit your financial situation! 

YNAB

You Need a Budget is one of the most popular budgeting apps available. If you’ve never even had a budget before, this is the app for you. It’s a great way to get started with budgeting and will teach you about all the ways to manage your money. The app uses a “zeroed” out budget and makes sure that you allocate your money down to the very last...

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Staying on Budget & Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

It’s easy to overspend and go over budget during the holiday season! I’ve certainly done it plenty of times!! I know it’s hard not to get caught up in the gift-buying season with all of the advertisements and “special” deals that we’re bombarded with every day. And none of us want to be viewed as a “scrooge.” With some planning and research, there are so many ideas for creating a wonderfully memorable holiday season without stressing about spending too much. 

Here is a recap of some of our previous blog posts that share gift ideas for some people that may be hard to buy for as well as tips on how to stay on budget and creative ideas for decorating. 

8 Ways to Stay on Budget During the Holidays

Read about some tips to help you stay on budget, including setting spending limits, only shopping for the kids, using cash-back websites, and more! Even if you only want to incorporate a few of these tips, they are sure to help you stay...

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Developing a Gratitude Mindset to Grow Personally & Professionally

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays with its focus on family and gratitude, and it’s the perfect opportunity to feel grateful for everything that I have, despite whatever bumps in the road tried to take me off course throughout the year. But Thanksgiving can also be a difficult time for people for a variety of reasons so I wanted to share how developing a gratitude mindset can help you take a different approach to not only Thanksgiving but each new day. 

So what is a gratitude mindset? 

Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful and exhibiting a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Simply put, a gratitude mindset is the ability to focus on the positive things in life rather than the negative - you know the glass is half full kind of thinking. You see opportunities instead of obstacles. When you can focus on gratitude, the number of things you appreciate continue to grow. 

Why should you strive for a gratitude mindset?

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