Practice Gratitude

We all logically know that money by itself will not make us happy. Yet so often we find ourselves falling into the trap of wanting the next best thing, or struggling to delay gratification (for ourselves or those we love)—denying something good now in order to have something great later. Aside from focusing on willpower and self-discipline, which seem so…

Waste Not, Save Lots

Have you ever thrown out a head of rotten organic broccoli and been irritated about it? Or cleaned out your pantry to find a slightly used bag of quinoa purchased for a recipe made two years ago that’s now expired? Or what about this one—you reorganized your spice cabinet and found three containers of paprika? If you haven’t already suspected it,…

Suburban Farm Life Takes Work

That’s me in the picture, and those are most of the animals on what has become our backyard “farm.” Actually, there are more, but you get the point. This all started when my wife and I lived in married student housing at the University of Tennessee. One evening I was reading the paper (yes, people did that at some point) and…

Money is the Fuel, Not the Destination

It is not uncommon for guys to frame financial and retirement planning in quantitative terms only. How much money do I need to have saved? How many years do I plan on being retired? What will my monthly expenses be in retirement? While all of these are necessary and important considerations, they are only part of the overall equation.

Breaking Money Barriers

At the Women Adviser Summit I attended last fall, Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, a wealth psychology expert, spoke on the topic of her recent book Breaking Money Silence. She shared that “62 percent of women would rather talk about their own death than money.” Also, consider these stats from a recent Credit Karma survey. Of those surveyed, “almost 40 percent of women…

To Shred or Not to Shred?

Spring is the perfect time to purge your closet—and the financial documents you’ve filed away over the years. But knowing what’s OK to throw out can present a hurdle. To help, here’s a cheat sheet to consider, with a breakdown by time period: keep forever, keep for seven years, and “revolving” documents.

Reduce New Year Stress with Tax Prep

Given the tax law changes for 2018, many are wondering if they’ll come out ahead. Even for those in the industry, this quote from Albert Einstein on taxes rings true: “This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher.”

Avoid the Creep

One of the easiest ways to stay on a solid financial path is to intentionally avoid lifestyle creep, which happens when our spending increases with our income, but our savings stays stagnant. If we’re blessed to receive a raise at year-end, we can easily absorb those extra dollars into our spending. As this happens year over year, the impact compounds…

The Rules Changed. Should You?

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made significant changes to the way itemized deductions are treated on your tax return. Common deductions include mortgage interest, real estate taxes and charitable giving. The IRS gives all taxpayers a basic reduction of income called a standard deduction. The new tax bill roughly doubled the amount of the 2017 standard deduction, thereby making it harder to…

Express Espresso

Do you come out ahead by buying an upgraded machine and making your coffee at home, or is it more economical to keep visiting your favorite shop? Given all the variables and preferences when you start talking about coffee, this question was a little more difficult to answer than I anticipated.