[Podcast] Episode 003: How Managing Money is Like Training a Puppy

My family has a new puppy, Biscuit. Of course, as a financial planner, this made me think about how similar managing money is to training a puppy. So in this pocast episode, I’m sharing my thoughts on what you can learn about personal finance from the canine world. And, yes, that’s Biscuit in the photo. I also answer an “Ask Mary” question from a follower that is getting ready to start her own legal … Read More

Get Your Finances Organized

I get it. Your life is busy and it can be tempting to let financial organization fall to the side. The truth is, though, being disorganized can hurt you! Late payments can cost substantial fees and finance charges. Overlooked information can jeopardize your security and cause you to miss important deadlines. Not to worry, though. You’ll find that you can easily make progress by taking some simple steps to rid yourself of the clutter and … Read More

Setting Financial Boundaries with Friends and Family

Even if you love your friends and family, have you ever considered the impact other people have on your finances? Some of them might be a real hazard to your financial health. It’s time to take a look at your relationships and learn to recognize the signs as well as how to set financial boundaries with friends and family without feeling lousy. Be on the lookout for these situations: 1. The dealmaker. This person is full of great … Read More

Money Management for Teens

Sometimes, it’s hard as parents to watch your teens squander their allowance or money they’ve earned from a job. You want them to do better, but how do you teach them? Or maybe you are just beginning with the basics of money management, and you want to make sure they get off to a good start.   Money management for teens comes with practice and consistency. Wherever you are in the financial planning process, it’s … Read More

How to Pay Yourself First

I’m sure you’ve heard the financial advice, “Pay yourself first.”  Many experts consider this to be one of the most important financial tips around. But let’s consider what this financial advice really means. It refers to the practice of saving some of your income before you pay any of your lifestyle bills. Ideally, the money would be taken out of your paycheck before you ever see it and deposited into either a savings or … Read More

Want to Change Banks? 9 Tips for a Smooth Transition

Maybe you’ve wanted to change banks for some time now, or perhaps you’re in the process of making the switch. Many consumers feel that banks have become less hospitable in recent years, so you’re not alone if you feel it’s time to move on. Regardless of why you want to change banks, follow these tips to make a smooth transition: 1. Finding a new bank. It only makes sense to find a new bank … Read More

Should We Loan Money to Our Son and Daughter-In-Law?

Question: Our son and daughter in-law have asked us for a loan.  What should we do? Answer: It’s not uncommon, especially  in difficult economic times, to have a family member or a friend ask to borrow money. While some people decide against the idea altogether, there may be circumstances where you feel  it’s worth the risk.  I’m going to give you a few points to keep in mind when trying to decide whether to … Read More

Does your spending reflect what you value in life?

What do you really want from life? What kind of lifestyle do you seek? What are your life goals? What do you want to do, have or be? Does your spending reflect those things? When most of your money goes toward providing what’s important to you, you tend to live a more fulfilled life and feel satisfied with the way you spend your money. It’s also easier to stick to your personal finance plan … Read More

Should we give our kids an allowance?

Question: What are your thoughts on giving kids an allowance? Answer:  This is a tough one because what works for one family may not work for another.  Personally, though, I believe allowances can be a great way to teach your kids how respect and manage money if you can implement the right allowance system or a combination approach.  I’ll explain three basic allowance systems and how they work. Taking the time to learn wise … Read More

Creating income from a hobby

If you’re like most people, you probably dream of having a job that’s enjoyable and fulfilling. The solution maybe closer than you realize if you consider turning something you love to do into a way to pay the bills. You may be thinking, “There’s no way I can make money from my hobby.” But you might be surprised! Just think how great it would be if you could make money from the one thing … Read More

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