10 Timeless Financial Lessons I Learned from My Grandfather: A Father's Day Tribute

Through watching my grandfather's approach to life and money, I was able to grasp some truly valuable financial lessons. This was particularly poignant given that my father's approach to finances served as a stark counterexample of what not to do.

10 Timeless Financial Lessons

Live Below Your Means

My grandfather, who grew up during the Great Depression, embodied the principle of living below one's means. This was not merely a saying but a lifestyle he embraced, shaping his prudent financial habits. He prioritized long-term financial security over the allure of short-term material gain.

The Power of Saving

The concept of saving was one my grandfather held in high regard. No matter his earnings, he made it a habit to set aside a portion of his income. This practice not only emphasized the importance of saving but also fostered in me the discipline to prioritize savings over unnecessary spending.

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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 most challenging 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 how to manage your money. The app uses a "zeroed" out budget and makes sure that you allocate your money down to the very last cent!

You can learn more about YNAB here....

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How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck - Part 2

In our previous blog post Stop Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck, we discussed some common reasons people live paycheck-to-paycheck. In this blog post, we'll share some ways that can help you get out of this cycle and put your money to work for you. 

Setting a Budget

The first step is to set a budget. When you set your budget, it's important to consider your needs, wants, and future, which involves savings according to your goals and plans. Creating a budget can initially seem overwhelming, but keep reading for helpful tips. 

Determine Your Income

Your income is not what your boss pays you or what you earn if you work for yourself; it's what you have left over after all mandatory paycheck deductions like taxes and insurance have been paid. After all, you cannot budget what you do not have. So getting this figure right will help.

Add Up Your Expenses

This may take longer if you're in debt or have many expenses you didn't realize you had. The best way to do this is to open...

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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's 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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Improve Your Financial Wellness 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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5 Financial Myths to Stop Believing (and the Truths Instead!)

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.

 

Financial Myth #1: You don’t need an emergency savings fund if you have a credit card.

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...

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Frugal Tips for Refreshing Your Home D├ęcor on a Budget

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.

 

Determine Your Goals and Budget

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...

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4 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities for Kids

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...

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How Online Bill Pay Can Save You Time and Money

Many people have switched to online bill pay, and most of them do it for the convenience factor. Did you know, though, that paying your bills online could actually save you time and money? 

What is Online Bill Pay?

Online bill pay is, most simply stated – an online and/or automated way of paying your bills online. You can set it up with your bank to pay all of your bills or with each individual merchant by adding your credit, debit or bank account to a payment processor.

In addition to the convenience, online payment processors typically send regular reminders about payment due dates! That means, no more late payments and no more late fees. 

 

Get Discounts Online 

Many online payment processors offer discounts for automatic or online payments. Why? Because online payments are immediately applied to the account, meaning that the company spends less money on manpower. 

More common than getting a discount for paying online is getting a discount for going...

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9 Ways to Save for a Down Payment on a House

Buying a home is an important decision and a major life-changing event. As such, it needs to be carefully thought about. The process can be long and requires a substantial amount of your savings. It will be worth it in the end. 

To be able to buy the house of your dreams, there are a few prerequisites: a good credit score, a steady job, and a savvy strategy to save money for a down payment.

Determine How Much Down Payment You Need

It’s always nice to know exactly how much you need to save. To do so, you’ll need to figure out the total mortgage you qualify for, based on your income and credit score. As a rule of thumb, the price you pay for the house should be no more than 25% of your total income.

Once you know that number, it’s time to estimate the percentage of down payment you will need. Generally, a 20% down payment is considered a good practice as it allows you to get the lowest interest rate and monthly payment. Having a 20% down payment...

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