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...
No matter where you are in your financial journey, whether you’re just putting together a financial planning binder or you’ve got a high-performing investment portfolio, everyone could benefit from spring cleaning their finances. Doing so will ensure your goals are still ones you want to work toward, you get back in touch with your numbers, and you can make adjustments sooner rather than later.
Here are my favorite posts that will help you dust the cobwebs out of your finances and refresh your bank account. They’ll help you empower yourself to learn about your finances and choose wisely to make your family financially sustainable!
The best place to start is by taking a look at your money mindset. I know firsthand that it takes practice to change beliefs, especially after you’ve placed them on cruise control for a while. Checking back in with how you think about money is important to make sure you’re thinking about wealth...
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 these five books as graduation gifts because they all teach wise financial decisions in relatable ways so grads start out their young lives on the right financial foot.
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 that your reality)!
I Will Teach You to...
Teaching kids about anything (and especially money) is always easier when you make it fun for them to understand, so that’s why I love games! Using games to talk to your kids about money can be rewarding because you have an example right in front of you to base your conversation on.
I don’t know about your kids, but hands-on experiences are always preferred to hypothetical discussions in my house! (And, let’s be honest, they don't want to hear a lecture about money and quite frankly, I'm guessing you don't want to give it.)
Talking to your kids about money can be a confusing conversation to have, especially if you don’t even want to have that conversation in the first place. So, why not incorporate it in your family nights so it's not a drag?!
On Sundays, we usually have dinner at my mom's, which is often followed by an evening of board games and other family fun. Here are some of our favorites that teach some great lessons on financial literacy.
Let's face it. Debt can be complicated. In some cases, it's a necessary evil. And there are many ways you can go wrong with debt. I was like so many others who came out of school drowning in student loan debt. Couple that with credit cards and a car payment and I thought I would never get ahead. Believe it or not, though, debt can also be a good thing.
For many people, debt is a negative term, and it should be. There are many ways that debt can hurt your finances and can make it more difficult for you to secure your financial future. When you're looking at good debt vs. bad debt, you must look at the whole picture instead of just looking at the basics of "one kind" of debt. There are many different kinds of debt, and all of them can impact your credit in different ways. In fact, just having the debt exist isn't usually enough to make it hurt your credit, but the actions that you take can determine whether it's good or bad debt (more on that in a...