Celebrate Your 2017 Personal Finance Accomplishments

Looking Back to Move Forward

Now that the holiday decorations are packed up for the season, many of my clients are looking at their 2018 financial goals. A great place to start is to look back to your personal finance accomplishments from 2017. It does two things. First, it allows you to celebrate your financial wins and acknowledge the hard work that went into achieving your goals. Second, it calibrates your mindset into what and how you’ll work towards a new set of financial goals.

Saving Energy this Winter

Daylight Savings Time is officially behind us and we’re gearing up for chillier (and hopefully rainy) weather. With our moderate climate in the Bay Area, it’s common that my clients get used to lower-than-average utility bills through the summer and early fall. If your heating bills skyrocket during the winter, let’s explore ways to save.

Smart Shopping During the Holidaze

Can you believe it’s November already?! Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday are just around the corner.

For those on a budget or have limited time for the daze of holiday shopping, here are a few financial tips to give you more cookie dough in your wallet and remain on Santa’s nice list.

Pet Medical Expenses

Typing Companion

Studies have shown that companion animals improve our health — reducing our stress, lowering blood pressure, increasing physical activity and even boosting social interaction. For the elderly, this is doubly true. These are the many benefits of pet stewardship (many of us joke that we’re simply staff for our feline and canine family members). For all the love we give and receive from our pets, there is a related expense — the cost of food, treats/toys, grooming supplies, kitty litter, and routine veterinary care. If a pet becomes ill or injured, those costs can dramatically increase. When living on a fixed income, these unexpected expenses are stressful. And when is how much simply too much?

7 Habits of the Financially Stable

10 and the US TreasuryThe San Francisco Bay Area is booming! Unemployment is at an all-time low. Our freeways and expressways are jammed with commuters. In times like these — where recession concerns are on the backburner — I’ve been musing about money habits. In the spirit of the 7 Habits of Highlight Effective People, I’ve come up with my own 7 Habits of the Financially Savvy.

The Savings Phenomenon

Attack-of-the-Piggy-BanksThe U.S. savings rate hovers just about 5%. This statistic reflects the ratio of personal income saved to personal disposable income during a certain period of time. I guess the good news is that it’s a positive number and it’s double of the rate reported back in 2008, the deepest part of The Great Recession. If you look at the savings rate over the last six decades, you’ll see a shocking downward trend. Back in the 60’s and 70’s Americans were saving nearly 10% of their disposable income. Now 62% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account. So what gives?